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White supremacists want to weaponize coronavirus, DHS says

Multiple white supremacists have discussed using the novel coronavirus as a biological weapon, Yahoo News reported on Saturday, citing a document from a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

An intelligence brief issued Feb. 24 by the Federal Protective Service, which protects federal government buildings, claimed that “White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus.”

The memo, which was based on online conversations on the messaging app Telegram that the government had gained access to, claimed that some extremists had proposed targeting government offices as well as minority communities. Among the ideas proposed included having infected white nationalists purposefully spend time in non-white neighborhoods in order to infect others, as well as leaving “saliva on door handles” and spitting on elevator buttons in office buildings.

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The Telegram channel is devoted to “accelerationism,” the idea that inciting or conducting violent attacks on minorities and the government will accelerate the creation of a white ethno-state.

DHS did not respond to Yahoo News’ requests for comment.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink




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