ATF investigates ‘suspicious’ fire at Oregon pregnancy center

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The Seattle Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said Friday it was assisting Oregon authorities investigate a fire who was “suspicious in nature” at a pregnancy center run by a Christian organisation.

Why is this important: The Gresham, Oregon, facility fire came after a similar anti-abortion facility in Eggertsville, New York, was damaged in a suspected arson earlier this week. This incident is also under investigation, according to the Buffalo News.

  • The US government is bracing for a possible upsurge in political violence following the Supreme Court’s final ruling on abortion rights in the coming weeks.

What they say : First Image, the anti-abortion organization that runs the Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center, said in a post on its website that a fire broke out at the establishment around 3 a.m. on Friday.

  • Extensive fire damage was mostly confined to one room, but there was further water and smoke damage in other parts of the building, the organization said. No one was injured during the accident.
  • “We don’t know who is involved in this. But there’s enough to tell us it’s suspicious in nature,’ said Gresham Fire Battalion Chief Jason McGowan. KOIN 6, a CBS affiliate, on Friday. “And that’s why we need to get multiple agencies to look into this and see exactly what happened this morning.”
  • CompassCare Community, New York’s anti-abortion Christian facility, said tuesday that a fire broke out in the building, several windows were smashed and the exterior of the establishment was vandalized with graffiti.

The big picture: A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo last month said law enforcement was investigating social media threats to set fire to or storm the Supreme Court building and murder judges and their clerks, as well as attacks targeting places of worship and abortion clinics. , Report by Sophia Cai and Stef W. Kight of Axios.

  • Political acts of violence could be perpetrated by both anti-abortion and abortion-rights extremists, the memo says.
  • DHS publicly warned this week that the United States faces an increased threat of violence stemming in part from the court’s final ruling.
  • A man was arrested and charged with attempting to murder Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his home in Maryland this week. He confessed to law enforcement officials that he had suicidal thoughts and traveled from California to Maryland to kill Kavanaugh.

Go further: Man charged with attempted murder of Judge Kavanaugh

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