DHS Issues National Terrorism System Advisory Amid Iran Tension

The Department of Homeland Security has posted a bulletin warning of an increased terrorism risk from January 4 until the 18th over the US killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.

The bulletin, posted to the National Terrorism Advisory System, is the lowest type of advisory the agency can issue. The bulletins general describe general trends regarding terrorism, rather than specific threats.

The United States designated Iran a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’ in 1984 and since then, Iran has actively engaged in or directed an array of violent and deadly acts against the United States and its citizens globally.  The United States designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization on April 15, 2019 for its direct involvement in terrorist plotting,” the bulletin reads.

The warning notes that “Iranian leadership and several affiliated violent extremist organizations publicly stated they intend to retaliate against the United States,” but that “at this time we have no information indicating a specific, credible threat to the Homeland. Iran and its partners, such as Hizballah, have demonstrated the intent and capability to conduct operations in the United States.”

Though they have no credible threats at this time, they warn that “previous homeland-based plots have included, among other things, scouting and planning against infrastructure targets and cyber enabled attacks against a range of U.S.-based targets.”

The department added that homegrown violent extremists could capitalize on the heightened tensions to launch individual attacks and could strike with little or no warning. However, they are working with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to detect and defend against threats and said that they “will enhance security measures as necessary.”

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