Just in time for the Christmas holiday travel period, the FBI issued an alert to Americans on Tuesday. The bureau warned of possible “lone actors” committing violent acts while the vast majority of the U.S. celebrates the season.
The public service announcement originated from the FBI, DHS and National Counterterrorism Center. It cautioned that the Israel-Hamas war could significantly increase “the threat of lone actor violence targeting large public gatherings throughout the winter.”
Traditional celebratory congregations would be convenient targets for those angered by the current wave of Middle East violence. The warning specifically mentioned the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities as needing to be on alert.
According to the announcement, “Factors that could further exacerbate the threat of violence include escalations in the conflict between Israel and Hamas and notable instances of violence in the homeland inspiring copycat or retaliatory attacks.”
The public is urged to “remain vigilant” and notify authorities of threats or suspicious activities.
— One America News (@OANN) December 14, 2023
The Oct. 7 massacre of over 1,200 Israeli citizens led to a sharp increase in antisemitic threats and activities — inexplicable considering the Jewish state was the victim in the surprise terrorist attack.
The FBI noted a spike in shootings and fake bomb threats targeting synagogues in the country.
Federal authorities asserted there is not a specific threat that led to the warning. However, “various foreign terrorist media organizations have called for lone actor attacks in the U.S.”
The FBI and DHS cautioned that public events over the Christmas holiday as well as New Year’s Eve “remain attractive” for those wanting to cause the maximum possible chaos.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week that the bureau has investigated 60% more hate crimes nationwide since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Many of those targeted the Jewish community.
Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wray laid out the recent work of the FBI. “Given the steady drumbeat of calls for attacks by foreign terrorist organizations since Oct. 7, we’re working around the clock to identify and disrupt potential attacks.”
Even with the politicization of the FBI under the Biden administration, the warning of possible lone actors creating havoc should be heeded. There are too many in this nation with allegiances elsewhere, and it would not be shocking to see violent acts carried out as Americans pause to celebrate.