The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday the threat of violence from foreign and domestic terrorism remained high in the United States, saying the rise in AI tools will likely help foreign governments continue to spread misinformation and sow distrust.
The agency released a new report Thursday called the Homeland Threat Assessment, where officials said they expected the threat of violence from people radicalized in the U.S. to stay high, but largely unchanged, over the coming year, warning of lone offenders or small group attacks “that occur with little warning.”
But the agency said the proliferation of illegal drugs from Mexico — mainly fentanyl — would continue to “kill more Americans than any other threat.”
“Sharing information with the public on the threats we face is a vital part of protecting our homeland from today’s evolving security challenges,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
The agency pointed specifically to ongoing misinformation campaigns by foreign governments, adding such countries hoped to undermine trust in government and democratic processes. Artificial intelligence tools will likely only bolster such acts, with the report pointing to sophisticated programs coming from Russia, China and Iran.
“Many of the tactics these adversaries use to influence US audiences will likely be used in the lead‑up to the 2024 election,” the report reads. “Russia likely will continue to use traditional media, covert websites, social networks, online bots, trolls, and individuals to amplify pro‑Kremlin narratives and conduct influence activities within the United States.”
President Joe Biden has addressed the threat of home-grown terror throughout his administration. In May, he used a commencement address to call white supremacy the “most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.”