Written by Sean Lyngaas
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have concluded that Iran is very likely behind a website apparently aimed at inciting violence against election officials as well as the FBI director, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The website, titled Enemies of the People, posted photos and purported addresses of state election officials and employees of a voting equipment vendor, as well as information on FBI Director Christopher Wray and Chris Krebs, the former head of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The website, which is now inactive, falsely blamed the officials for the electoral loss of President Donald Trump, and featured a bull’s eye target over the officials’ photos.
The revelation shows the extent to which Iran has tried to sow discord in the U.S. before and after the presidential election, which Trump has repeatedly and baselessly claimed was tainted by fraud. Before Election Day, U.S. officials blamed Iran for a flood of emails posing as the Proud Boys, a far-right group, attempting to intimidate U.S. voters. Iran denied involvement in that operation.
The Washington Post first reported on the FBI’s attribution of the website to Iran.
The FBI declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Election officials have pleaded with Trump and his supporters to tone down their rhetoric challenging the election results after election officials in multiple states reported death threats.