FLASH ALERT: INCREASED RISK OF VIOLENCE FOLLOWING THE PUBLICATION OF “THE HARD RESET: A TERRORGRAM PUBLICATION”
Savannah Fellows, Maria Ruehl, Rhiannon Thomas, Stacey Casas, Jan García, Daniel Ruiz, NORTHCOM Team
Claudia Santillan-Vazquez, Editor in Training; Justin Maurina, Manja Vitasovic, Editors; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff
Thursday, July 7, 2022
“The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication” Poster
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) is issuing a FLASH ALERT for the US government, law enforcement agencies, federal and state buildings, and the general public for violent attacks following the online advertisements for “The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication” publishing on July 14, 2022. Radicalized individuals and groups will very likely aim to conduct violent attacks, targeting US government and minority communities. CTG urges US government officials, law enforcement agencies, and the general public to remain on high alert on or after July 14 with special attention to possible active shooter attacks following the recent increase of mass shootings across the US.
CTG is on HIGH alert due to the HIGH likelihood of violent attacks in the US after “The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication” expected on July 14. Attacks will likely include shootings, arson, bombings, and stabbings. The motive behind the publication is to encourage white supremacists and anti-government individuals and groups to take violent actions against the US government which, according to them, is facilitating the replacement of the white race in the US with non-white minority groups. Extremist violent attacks will ALMOST CERTAINLY increase across the US after the publication. The targets will VERY LIKELY include US government officials and minority communities like Hispanics/Latinos, African-Americans, Jews, and Muslims. Firearms will ALMOST CERTAINLY be used, likely inspired by recent mass shootings.
The release of “The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication'' is expected on Thursday, July 14, 2022, following advertisements on online alt-tech platforms like Telegram. Since a CTG Threat Hunter identified the first advertisement on June 19, 2022 on Telegram, more ads and videos referencing “The Hard Reset” have been published. They include extremist symbols like the swastika or the black sun, used by neo-Nazis. “The Hard Reset” slogan and the publication release date are included in every ad. Ads include firearms and skull pictures, dark colors, and slogans like “if we can’t protect our race, violence will do.” The advertisements aim to encourage violence against the US government due to its stance on not responding to white supremacist demands. “The Hard Reset” believe that “the only way to overthrow and reshape the government or state according to their political and/or religious worldview is through violent means.” Ad keywords include “kill,” “reset,” “disciples,” “white man,” “calls,” “duty,” “race,” “eternity,” “terror,” “violence,” “fanatic,” and “warriors.”
“The Hard Reset” posted a video with pictures and parts of livestreams from previous mass shootings along with words like “Kill, Kill, Kill.” Anti-government propaganda and invitations for violent attacks have been increasing among right-wing extremist groups like the Patriot Front. The belief that the political system is working to replace the white race is likely motivating right-wing extremists to act violently against the government. The “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory teaches that the white caucasian population will be demographically and culturally replaced with non-white populations through mass migration. The number of “The Hard Reset” ads will very likely increase close to July 14. The ads’ images call for violence, as one specifically states to “Stop talking, start killing,” while another includes a swastika in front of a semi automatic rifle. Violent images are almost certainly reaching increased numbers of social media users, like Telegram, and in private chat rooms. Videos and ads very likely aim to recruit and inspire other right-wing extremists. The publication of “The Hard Reset” is likely meant to serve as an inspiration and a guide on committing mass shootings and terrorist attacks.
“The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication” will very likely encourage right-wing extremists to commit terrorist attacks in the days after July 14. “Buffalo shooting” and similar attacks will likely inspire new attackers, who will likely use similar weapons and methods. Potential attacks will likely be recorded, publicized, and shared online to radicalize other individuals and encourage other extremists to conduct attacks. The attackers will likely target neighborhoods with a high density of African-American, Asian, or Latino populations, community centers, religious centers, shopping malls or other spaces where large groups of people congregate.
Attackers will very likely use “The Hard Reset” as a guide to “sainthood” where white mass shooters become idolized and labeled as saints. The five criteria required to become a saint include being of white race, conducting a deliberate attack, having motive to kill those who “threaten the white race,” a “score” of killing at least one, and sharing the worldview of white supremacy. Attackers will likely try to meet all this criteria to become saints. Some radicalized individuals planning to attack will likely view the casualty criteria as competition, likely aiming to kill as many as possible, likely to garner influence in the white supremacist community and media attention. Far-right lone actors, influenced by neo-nazi groups and ideologies, will likely conduct attacks, likely aiming at causing chaos and mass casualties.
The potential attacks will very likely cause social unrest, likely driven by the public perception of an insufficient law enforcement response. The general public will very likely feel unsafe in malls, grocery stores, places of worship, places of business, and federal buildings if new attacks occur, likely causing protests and political unrest. Protests will likely be met with white-supremacists’ counter-protests, likely turning the demonstrations violent to cause chaos.
CTG recommends security agencies to consistently monitor places that may be targeted by attackers after the document is released. CTG also recommends continuous tracking of individuals who express interest in the document through messaging apps like Telegram in order to identify, track, and mitigate the risk of attacks. Vulnerability assessments in areas likely to be targeted, and discussed as potential targets in the “Terrorgram,” like public spaces where firework displays can mask the sound of a firearm, should be conducted as soon as possible. Increased security measures based on vulnerability assessments and the increased risk of an attack are highly recommended. CTG recommends civilians remain alert of suspicious activity and report it as soon as possible.
CTG assesses that the current threat climate against government officials and the general population is HIGH due to the advertisements for “The Hard Reset: A Terrorgram Publication.” The images and messages used are almost certainly directed to provoke violence against the US political system and minority communities. The increased mass shootings in the US are very likely inspiring extremists to act violently, likely seeking to commit copycat attacks. The publication of “The Hard Reset” is likely an emergence of a new extremist group whose goal almost certainly is to incite white supremacy attacks.
Analysis indicates that there is a HIGH PROBABILITY the “Terrorgram” will encourage attacks on minority communities. Government officials will also likely be targeted due to the perception that the US government has enabled mass migration in the US, which is perceived as threatening to the white race. There is a HIGH PROBABILITY the ”Terrorgram” publication will spread across online platforms like Telegram, allowing attackers to post their content anonymously. Sympathizers will likely download and save copies of the “Terrogram” for future reference, which will almost certainly increase content dissemination and exposure through resharing across online platforms.
 CTG Threat Hunter on Telegram