The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued a joint warning about potential “violent extremists and lone offenders” that could target Muslims or Jewish people in the United States amid the war in Israel.
The public service announcement said that the threat warning has increased since their first warning earlier this month.
Since the initial warning on October 10, the agencies said that there have been “additional calls by foreign terrorist organizations to their supporters seeking to foment violence in the West.”
“Since DHS and FBI issued the 10 October Public Service Announcement, the volume and frequency of threats to Americans, especially those in the Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities in the United States, have increased, raising our concern that violent extremists and lone offenders motivated by or reacting to ongoing events could target these communities,” the warning states.
The warning said that threats have included hoax bomb threats at places of worship and violent rhetoric online encouraging attacks on Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities in the US.
“Of note, on 14 October an individual in Illinois stabbed and killed a six-year-old Palestinian-American child and severely wounded his mother, an incident that is being investigated as an anti-Muslim hate crime,” the warning explained.
The agencies said that they “have no specific information that foreign adversaries are plotting attacks against the homeland,” but said that some are “seeking to take advantage of the conflict, calling for violence in furtherance of their respective goals.”
On October 19, according to the announcement, ISIS media urged followers to “target the Jewish presence all over the world…especially Jewish neighborhoods in America and Europe.” The terrorist organization specifically listed Jewish temples, nightclubs, and economic interests and against “Jewish and Crusader” embassies.
“Tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories have long been a source of calls for violence against Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities,” the warning concluded. “This history, coupled with the current widespread sharing of graphic and disturbing content related to this conflict, increases the risk of incitement to violence in the United States. We therefore urge everyone to remain vigilant and to report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement.”