The DHS just increased the Terrorism level in the United States
The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration. Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.
DurationIssued: January 27, 2021 11:00 am
Expires: April 30, 2021 01:00 pm
- Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities.
- Long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration—has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
- DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.
- DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.
- Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions.
- DHS, as well as other Federal agencies and law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States.
- DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views.
- DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.
How You Can Help
- We ask the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.
- Your choice can make a difference. Choose non-violent ways to make your voice heard and support friends and family in doing the same.
- Communities are strongest when they are not divided: Strengthen your community by standing together against violence.
- Avoiding large crowds, including protests, is safest due to ongoing pandemic conditions. However, if taking part in protests do so peacefully, safely, and wear masks.
- Be responsible for your personal safety. Make note of your surroundings and security personnel. Carry emergency contact as well as medical and other needs information with you.
- Connect, Plan, Train, and Report to prepare businesses & employees.
- Local, state and federal agencies will provide specific information about emerging threats as additional information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local law enforcement and public safety officials.
- Last year, DHS released a Homeland Threat Assessment to the public examining the threat environment through 2021.
- The DHS Lexicon on terrorism includes terminology for DVEs and HVEs.
Types of Advisories
BulletinDescribes current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism.
Elevated AlertWarns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.
Imminent AlertWarns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States.