As the holiday season approaches, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are warning the public to remain vigilant and report any potential threats to public safety. This warning comes in the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has raised concerns about the potential for violence targeting large public gatherings.
In a public service announcement, the FBI stated that they are closely monitoring potential threats to public safety during the holiday season, which may be intensified by the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. The agency is taking these threats seriously and working closely with law enforcement partners to determine their credibility and take appropriate action.
According to an assessment by the FBI and DHS, the ongoing tension between Israel and Hamas is likely to heighten the risk of lone-actor violence targeting public gatherings throughout the winter. This includes holiday-related events, as well as faith-based, New Year’s Eve, and First Amendment-protected gatherings related to the conflict. These targets are particularly vulnerable to lone actors due to their accessibility and symbolic nature.
Three American government agencies issued a warning Tuesday about heightened threats to public safety in the U.S. during the holiday season associated with the Israel-Hamas war. https://t.co/dFYnQIByQh
— Axios (@axios) December 13, 2023
The FBI also noted that terrorist media organizations have called for lone actor attacks in the United States, while racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists have celebrated attacks on the Jewish community. Additionally, hate crimes have increased nationwide since the start of the war on October 7th. There has also been a rise in hoax bomb and active shooter threats against synagogues, believed to be intended to disrupt services and intimidate congregants.
The FBI warned that calls for violence may increase in the days leading up to the holidays and other notable events this winter. In light of this, the agency is urging the public to remain vigilant and report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement. It is crucial for individuals to be aware of their surroundings and report any concerning or out of the ordinary behavior.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas may have far-reaching consequences, with potential repercussions for public safety even in the United States. The threat of lone actor violence is a serious concern, and law enforcement is taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the public. However, the public also has a role to play in remaining vigilant and reporting any potential threats.
In conclusion, the FBI and DHS are warning the public of potential safety threats during the holiday season and through the winter due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Increased tensions have heightened the risk of lone actor violence targeting public gatherings, and it is important for everyone to remain alert and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. Let us all work together to ensure a safe and peaceful holiday season for all.