This week, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly announced an update of the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the homegrown terror threat. It’s the fourth update of the Bulletin on the homegrown terrorism threat which has been reissued twice since the initial Bulletin was released in December 2015.
Since 2015, DHS “has used this Bulletin to highlight the continuing threat from homegrown terrorists, many of whom are inspired online to violence by foreign terrorist organizations. The United States is engaged in a generational fight against terrorists who seek to attack the American people, our country and our way of life. An informed, vigilant and engaged public remains one of our greatest assets to identify potential homegrown terrorists and prevent attacks,” the latest Bulletin stated.
The updsted Bulletin is effective until November 15, 2017, at 12:00 AM EST.
“After careful consideration of the current threat environment and input from intelligence and law enforcement partners, I have made the decision to update and extend for six months the NTAS Bulletin based on the persistent threat from homegrown terrorists,” Kelly said. “We are in a generational fight against terrorists groups and those they inspire, and for us to protect our homeland we will need constant vigilance and clear focus on staying a step ahead of the enemy.”
Kelly’s remark that this is “generational fight” tends to acknowledge what Islamist scholars and authorities have been saying for years – that Islamist jihad, specifically, will last for another generation, or two — perhaps longer — given that Islamists who believe whole-heartedly in jihad and the establishment of a global Muslim ShariaCaliphate will not give up until all infidels and apostates are converted or killed. These true believers are actively raising their children in the Islamist ideology of jihad, which ensures these children will continue the jihadi crusade for generations to come.
The Bulletin said, “We face one of the most serious terror threat environments since the 9/11 attacks as foreign terrorist organizations [jihadists] continue to exploit the Internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts.”
“Homegrown terror suspects are increasingly relying on technology, such as end-to-end encrypted social media applications, to avoid detection. Moreover,” the updated Bulletin said, “terrorist groups are urging recruits to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events. Specific attack tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives and homemade explosives, as well as other acts such as taking hostages,” as Homeland Security Today has repeatedly reported.
“As the United States steps up efforts to disrupt and defeat terrorist groups overseas, we will continue to face a multi-faceted threat environment,” the Bulletin stated. “Specifically, continued successes aimed at disrupting and defeating terrorist groups overseas may encourage homegrown terrorists inside the United States to carry out acts of violence.”
Continuing, the updated Bulletin said, “Additionally, foreign terrorist fighters who have acquired training and battle-tested terrorism experience are likely to flee from terrorist-controlled territories with a desire to conduct attacks elsewhere, including the United States. Some of these individuals may be US citizens or citizens of other nations attempting to travel to the United States on visas, from visa-waiver countries, with the aim of attacking the homeland or inciting others within our borders to conduct attacks.”
DHS said it “and the FBI continue to provide guidance to state, local, tribal and territorial partners related to the current threat environment. DHS also partners closely with the private sector to provide risk assessments and coordinate security measures with business owners and operators. The public may continue to observe law enforcement and security activity in and around public places and events.”
In addition, “DHS is taking steps to address the threat from foreign terrorist fighters who have traveled or attempt to travel to the United States, including working closely with the FBI and Intelligence [Community] partners to identify US persons who left the country to join terrorist groups, as well as putting in place enhanced screening and vetting measures to detect travelers with potential terrorist connections.”