On November 10, 2021, the Secretary of Homeland Security issued an updated National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the current heightened threat environment across the United States.
While the Department of Homeland Security is not aware of an imminent and credible threat to a specific location in the United States, the NTAS Bulletin notes that the United States continues to face threats posed by individuals and small groups engaged in violence, including Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences. Among other things, the NTAS Bulletin provides the following:
- Following the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, violent extremist media branches of al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham (ISIS), have celebrated perceived victories over the United States and encouraged the use of violence by their followers and supporters to further their objectives.
- Historically, DVEs and individuals inspired by foreign terrorist organizations have targeted crowded commercial facilities, among other locations, which have at times caused mass causalities. The continued reopening of commercial facilities and the potential for ongoing societal and economic disruptions due to the pandemic, as well as mass gatherings associated with several dates of religious significance over the next few months, could provide increased targets of opportunity for violence.
- Foreign and domestic threat actors, to include foreign intelligence services, foreign terrorist organizations, and DVEs, continue to introduce, amplify, and disseminate narratives online that promote violence, and have called for violence against commercial facilities, among other perceived ideological opponents.
- Ideologically motivated violent extremists fueled by personal grievances and violent extremist ideological beliefs continue to derive inspiration from and obtain operational guidance, including regarding the use of improvised explosive devices and small arms, through the consumption of information shared in online forums.