Editor’s Note: This press release from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is republished in the public interest, with very minimal edits.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas November 30 issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the continued heightened threat environment across the United States.
“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 a range of ideological beliefs and/or 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 demonstrate the continued dynamic and complex nature of the threat environment in the United States. Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations —who remain intent on attacking America— continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the homeland. 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.
“Perceptions of government overreach continue to drive individuals to attempt to commit violence targeting government officials and law enforcement officers. Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances based on perceptions that the government is overstepping its Constitutional authorities or failing to perform its duties.”
– Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
While violence surrounding the November midterm elections was isolated, we remain vigilant that heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personalized grievances. Perceptions of government overreach continue to drive individuals to attempt to commit violence targeting government officials and law enforcement officers. Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances based on perceptions that the government is overstepping its Constitutional authorities or failing to perform its duties.
DHS works with partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and in local communities to keep Americans safe, providing resources and support, including the following:
- DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue to share timely and actionable information and intelligence with the broadest audience possible. This includes sharing information and intelligence with partners across every level of government and in the private sector. DHS conducts recurring threat briefings with private sector and state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus partners, including to inform security planning efforts. DHS remains committed to working with partners to identify and prevent all forms of terrorism and targeted violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep communities safe.
- In July 2022, DHS reconstituted the Faith-based Security Advisory Council (FBSAC). The FBSAC serves as an advisory body with the purpose of providing guidance and recommendations to the Secretary on the development and implementation of strategies, policies, programs, and information sharing practices that will further the Department’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of targeted violence or terrorism, major disasters, cyberattacks, or other threats or emergencies against places of worship, faith communities, and faith-based organizations.
- DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center released updated behavioral indicators of U.S. extremist mobilization to violence. Further, I&A’s National Threat Evaluation and Reporting Program continues to provide tools and resources for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners on preventing terrorism and targeted violence, including online suspicious activity reporting training.
- DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with government and private sector partners – including owners and operators of critical infrastructure, soft target facilities, and public gathering places – to enhance security and mitigate risks posed by acts of terrorism and targeted violence through its network of Protective Security Advisors and resources addressing Active Shooters, School Safety, Bombing Prevention, and Soft Targets-Crowded Places.
- DHS’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) educates and trains stakeholders on how to identify indicators of radicalization to violence, where to seek help, and the resources that are available to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. In 2021, CP3 awarded about $20 million in grants through its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program.
- In 2021 and 2022, DHS designated for the first time domestic violent extremism as a “National Priority Area” within its Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), enabling our partners to access critical funds that help prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to related threats.
- In 2022, DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provided over $250 million in funding to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements to non-profit organizations at high risk of terrorist attack.
- DHS remains focused on recognizing disinformation that threatens the security of the American people, including disinformation by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran, or other adversaries, including as transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations.
- SchoolSafety.gov consolidates school safety-related resources from across the government. Through this website, the K-12 academic community can also connect with school safety officials and develop school safety plans.
- The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships continues to engage a coalition of faith-based and community organizations, including members of the Faith-based Security Advisory Council, to help build the capacity of faith-based and community organizations seeking to protect their places of worship and community spaces.
This NTAS Bulletin will expire on May 24, 2023. This NTAS Bulletin provides the public with information about the threat landscape facing the United States, how to stay safe, and resources and tools to help prevent an individual’s radicalization to violence. The public should report any suspicious activity or threats of violence to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or a local Fusion Center.
Categories: Press Release