DENVER (KDVR) — As the hearings into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection begin in Washington, FOX31 is hearing from Colorado’s Division of Homeland Security.
After the Jan. 6 attacks, the division put out an alert about the heightened threat of domestic extremism here in Colorado. The Problem Solvers are asking. Is the state at that same level now?
Homeland Security Chief Kevin Klein stressed that even though Jan. 6 happened in another state and well over 500 days ago, officials in Colorado are still on high alert.
So is Colorado at an enhanced level of security?
“I would say that’s fair to say,” Klein said. “I think the threat has increased over the last few years and I don’t know that it’s any more pronounced than it was on January 6th. But it’s still very, very real and a very real threat that we all need to take seriously.”
Rise in Colorado hate crime ‘substantial’
He revealed to the Problem Solvers that the state of Colorado investigated a troubling rise of hate crime cases, even before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“That’s been pretty substantial. I think that leads into our concern with identity-based violence and how that may play out,” Klein said. “So that is one thing that we’ve definitely seen in Colorado.”
Klein said a lot of what the state and nation are seeing regarding domestic extremism is a result of online rhetoric and where people consume their information.
“It just concerns us when that rhetoric ramps up, which then can motivate people to take action,” he explained. “We saw that January 6th and then we see that in individual acts of domestic terrorism, such as we saw in Buffalo.”
Colorado officials remain on high alert as the nation continues to grapple with how to combat domestic extremism.