U.S. Tweaks National Terrorism Advisory System, Issues First ‘Bulletin’

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a terror “Bulletin.” The issuance coincides with an update to the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS).

A “Bulletin” describes “general developments or trends regarding threats of terrorism,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said today.

Two other advisory levels exist:

An “Elevated Alert” warns “of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.”

An “Imminent Alert,” meanwhile, warns “of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States,” DHS says.

The Bulletin issued today expires June 16, 2016, and reads as such (italics added):

We are in a new phase in the global threat environment, which has implications on the homeland.  Particularly with the rise in use by terrorist groups of  the Internet to inspire and recruit, we are concerned about the “self-radicalized” actor(s) who could strike with little or no notice. Recent attacks and attempted attacks internationally and in the homeland warrant increased security, as well as increased public vigilance and awareness.

  • Though we know of no intelligence that is both specific and credible at this time of a plot by terrorist organizations to attack the homeland, the reality is terrorist-inspired individuals have conducted, or attempted to conduct, attacks in the United States this year.
  • DHS is especially concerned that terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places.
  • As we saw in the recent attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, terrorists will consider a diverse and wide selection of targets for attacks.
  • In the current environment, DHS is also concerned about threats and violence directed at particular communities and individuals across the country, based on perceived religion, ethnicity, or nationality.

Here’s how Johnson began his remarks today (italics added):

“In the period of weeks following the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 and the terrorist attack in San Bernardino on December 2, officials of Homeland Security, the FBI, the intelligence community, state and local law enforcement and homeland security officials have been in a heightened state of readiness to protect our homeland. People are anxious now. They should know, they need to know what their government is doing to protect our homeland.”

Read his full statement.

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