The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning ahead of the holiday travel season.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, saying there is a heightened threat across the country.
“Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment — as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence — and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance,” Mayorkas said in the alert. “To keep Americans safe, DHS is committed to working with partners across every level of government, in the private sector, and in local communities by sharing information, equipping communities with training and resources, and providing millions of dollars in grant funding for security enhancement and prevention.”
DHS warned against lone aggressors and small groups that are a “persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.”
Mayorkas said that the groups could exploit upcoming events and target “public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.”
The department cited both domestic and international attackers.
The NTAS bulletin, issued on Wednesday, will expire on May 24, 2023.
DHS provided tips on how to stay safe:
- Be prepared for emergency situations, making a note of your surroundings.
- Be safe online, and watch for false or misleading information.
- Review DHS’ resources for protecting businesses, houses of worship and schools.
- Prepare for active-shooter situations and bomb threats.
- Educate yourself about community resources.
- Report suspicious activity.
- Learn about suspicious behaviors and how to de-escalate.
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