U.S. faces ‘heightened threat’ in holiday season, DHS says

The U.S. faces a “heightened risk atmosphere” from home extremists and folks impressed by international terrorist teams with the strategy of the vacation season, the Division of Homeland Safety warned Wednesday.

Whereas DHS mentioned it had no credible data on a particular risk, the company warns in its newest nationwide terrorism advisory bulletin that mass gatherings for the upcoming non secular holidays could possibly be potential targets, together with from folks and organizations looking for to use resentment over pandemic lockdowns and up to date occasions such because the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The Homeland continues to face a various and difficult risk atmosphere,” it mentioned.

That is the fourth time this yr the company has issued a bulletin, highlighting the perceived hazard from a unstable mixture of home extremists, usually motivated by racially or ethnically motivated hate, and homegrown extremists impressed by abroad teams. It displays a shift from the deal with al-Qaida and different organizations following the creation of DHS after the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001.

It additionally is available in an atmosphere that has been super-charged by on-line propaganda and conspiracy theories in addition to anger over the financial turmoil attributable to the pandemic. DHS warned that extremists will pose a “vital risk” at the least into 2022.

The language of this newest bulletin is much like the earlier ones however provides language primarily based on latest occasions. It warns that international teams equivalent to al-Qaida and the Islamic State celebrated the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and should use it to encourage violence by their supporters.

On the similar time, some home extremists have sought to make use of the resettlement of Afghan refugees within the U.S. to fire up anti-Muslim hatred.

From 2010 via 2020, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists advocating for the prevalence of the white race have dedicated 18 deadly assaults in america, killing 70 folks in assaults that sometimes targeted on homes of worship, together with in Charleston and Pittsburgh, in line with the FBI.

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