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HomeGeneralFBI Warns Israel-Hamas Conflict May Amplify Threats to Public By Terrorists This...

FBI Warns Israel-Hamas Conflict May Amplify Threats to Public By Terrorists This Holiday

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A new joint bulletin from the Departments of Homeland Security and the FBI warns of increased public safety threats. They warn that terrorist groups like ISIS may use the Israel-Hamas conflict to increase calls for violence in the U.S.

In addition, they said ongoing tensions could lead to terrorists targeting large public gatherings, including holiday-related and faith-based events. Also, the FBI observed an increase in hate crimes, hoax bombs, and active shooter threats targeting synagogues.

Consequently, the FBI said in a statement that they are “closely monitoring threats to public safety during the holiday season.” They also added that international conflicts may amplify the threats.

“We take all potential threats seriously and will work closely with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility, share information, and take appropriate investigative action,” wrote the agency.

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According to the FBI and DHS, the conflict between Israel and Hamas will “likely heighten” threats to large public gatherings throughout the winter. They also said the most likely “primary targets” could include churches, synagogues, and Jewish community members.

Furthermore, the FBI stated that these targets are “attractive to lone actors inspired by a range of ideologies.” The agency added that their “accessibility and symbolic nature” makes them an easy target for terrorists.

With the Israeli military bearing down on Gaza and menorah destructions during Hanukkah, the FBI warns of increased terrorist threats. The warnings mirror FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony on Capitol Hill. When Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him about possible warning signs, Wray said, “I see blinking lights everywhere I turn.”

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He said the number of threats is at a “whole other level” since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. He added, “I’ve never seen a time where all the threats or so many of the threats elevate at exactly the same time.”

In addition, Wray warned that terrorists may try to exploit the U.S. southern border. However, he said the FBI is working to “identify and disrupt potential attacks.” According to reports, the holiday season always sees heightened intelligence chatter.

However, the intelligence report predicts an uptick this year because of the ongoing conflict in Gaza. According to Wray’s testimony, lone offenders whom the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict inspires pose the most threat to Americans.

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Consequently, they are the FBI’s “top concern,” as they pose dangers to the Jewish, Muslim, and Arab-American communities. Also, Wray revealed that the FBI recorded an increase in reported threats to Jewish and Muslim people. However, he said they are “moving quickly to mitigate them.”

Also, the internal government report comes as new details emerged about an alleged plot to attack Las Vegas. Authorities arrested a 16-year-old who allegedly wrote on social media about launching a lone-wolf attack in support of ISIS. In addition, investigators say they recovered a homemade ISIS flag and bomb parts, among other items.

Wray testified that there’s no indication that Hamas has the intent or capability to conduct operations inside the U.S. However, the FBI director said the Bureau will not discount the possibility. Hence, Wray urged the public to remain vigilant and report any threats or suspicious activity to law enforcement. 

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