The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the continued heightened threat environment across the United States.
This is the seventh NTAS Bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since January 2021, and it replaces the current Bulletin that was set to expire in November.
“Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment — as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence — and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “To keep Americans safe, DHS is committed to working with partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and in local communities by sharing information, equipping communities with training and resources, and providing millions of dollars in grant funding for security enhancement and prevention.”
Lone offenders and small groups motivated by ideological beliefs and personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the homeland. In the coming months, DHS expects the threat environment to remain heightened, and threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence.
These targets could include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.
Several recent attacks, plots, and threats of violence — including the Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart attack, the shooting at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, the University of Virginia attack, the Raleigh, North Carolina attack, the Highland Park, Illinois shooting, Tulsa, Oklahoma medical building attack, the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting, the Tops supermarket shooting and other attacks — demonstrate the continued dynamic and complex nature of the threat environment in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive has counted at least 618 mass shootings as of December, making it the second-worst year for gun violence in the eight years since the Gun Violence Archive, a comprehensive tracker of mass shootings, began recording data — as the country recovers from major shootings in Colorado Springs and Chesapeake, Virginia.
Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies, and some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration, according to the DHS.
While violence surrounding the November midterm elections was isolated, DHS remains vigilant that heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personalized grievances.
For the full NTAS Bulletin, visit www.dhs.gov.