Amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are issuing a warning about increased threats to public safety during the holiday season and throughout winter. This advisory serves as a reminder for everyone to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activities or threats of violence to law enforcement.
The FBI is closely monitoring the situation and acknowledges that there may be potential threats that are amplified by the war. They take all these threats seriously and are committed to working closely with their law enforcement partners to assess their credibility, share information, and take appropriate investigative actions.
As per the FBI and DHS assessment, the ongoing tensions related to the Israel-Hamas conflict are anticipated to increase the risk of lone-wolf violence targeting large public gatherings throughout the last quarter of the year. This includes events associated with holidays, faith-based meetings, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and gatherings protected by the First Amendment that are linked to the conflict.
The bureau points out that these events are attractive targets for criminals inspired by symbolic triggers and various ideologies. Terrorist media organizations have already called for lone-actor attacks in the United States. At the same time, ethnically motivated or violent racial extremists have also called for violence and attacks on the Jewish community.
Since Hamas’ deadly assault on Israel on October 7th, hate crimes have spiked across the nation. The FBI has observed an increase in active shooter threats and hoax bombings, specifically targeting synagogues across the United States. These threats are likely intended to intimidate congregants and disrupt services. As the holiday season approaches, the FBI anticipates that calls for violence may further increase in the days leading up to the holidays and before other notable events this winter.
Given these warnings, everyone must remain vigilant and report any potential threats or suspicious activities to law enforcement. By staying alert and working together, we can help ensure the safety and security of our communities during this challenging time.