Summary of recent terrorism advisory bulletin, which expires May 24, 2023
National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - November 30, 2022
The United States remains in a heightened threat environment. 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. Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland.
Several recent attacks, plots, and threats of violence demonstrate the continued dynamic and complex nature of the threat environment in the United States.
Some domestic violent extremists have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration for their attacks. Following the shooting in Colorado, DHS observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker.
Domestic violent extremists in the US praised an October 2022 shooting at a LGBTQI+ bar in Slovakia and encouraged additional violence. The attacker in Slovakia posted a manifesto online espousing white supremacist beliefs and his admiration for prior attackers, including some within the United States.
Recent incidents clarifying the continued persistent threat to faith-based communities, including the Jewish community. In early November 2022, an individual in New Jersey was arrested for sharing a manifesto online threatening to attack synagogues. The author of the manifesto admitted to writing. He claimed to be motivated by ISIS and hatred towards Jewish people.
Midterm elections saw isolated violence, but DHS remains vigilant
While violence during the midterm elections was isolated, DHS remains vigilant and aware of the heightened political tensions capable of motivating violence (Rhetoric from highly influential figures can affect whether people become violent).
DHS has seen general calls for violence targeting elected officials, candidates, and ballot drop box locations over the last few months. In October, Paul Pelosi was attacked in his California home with a hammer. The individual arrested for this crime was allegedly inspired by partisan grievances and conspiracy theories.
Several elected officials, candidates, and political organizations received threatening letters with suspicious powders. These powders were found to be harmless, but they were likely intended to target the political process.
The threat surrounding elections continues, as some social media users justify violence with unsubstantiated claims of election fraud (Leaders directly influence whether people become violent when they lie).
Perceptions of government overreach have led to calls for violence
Perceived government overreach continues to drive people to violence. Some domestic extremists are voicing grievances against the government based on their perception that it is overstepping its Constitutional boundaries or not doing its job.
An example is the man in body armor carrying a firearm and nail gun attempted to enter an FBI office forcibly in Ohio. The individual fled, resulting in a pursuit and shots fired by responding officers. In the days leading up to the attack, the individual called upon others to acquire weapons and kill federal law enforcement. This was not and is not a war. This was an act of domestic terrorism.
Lastly, changes in border policy and a likely increase in noncitizens attempting to enter the US could lead to more calls for violence.