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FBI warns the threat of violence is heightened this holiday season

The FBI warned that the Israel-Hamas war could heighten the risk of lone actor violence targeting large public gatherings.
FBI warns the threat of violence is heightened this holiday season
Posted at 4:44 PM, Dec 12, 2023

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center updated a warning on Tuesday that holiday gatherings were at increased risk from violent attacks this year because of the Israel-Hamas war.

The statement warned that the Israel-Hamas war would "heighten the threat of lone actor violence targeting large public gatherings throughout the winter, including holiday-related, faith-based, New Year's Eve, and First Amendment protected events related to the conflict."

Agencies say they don't have specific evidence of planned incidents. Instead, they say, such holiday gatherings may present an appealing target for lone actors due to their religious or symbolic natures. They say gatherings may present an opportunity for an attacker to target Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Arab communities.

SEE MORE: US, EU officials warn of increased terror risk associated with Hamas

The FBI says foreign terrorist media organizations have called for attacks on U.S. soil following Hamas' attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

There has been a spike in reports of potential hate crimes and other violence from the public, and an increase of hoax reports of shooting and bomb threats at synagogues nationwide.

The FBI says the risk of attacks at holiday gatherings may be increased if conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates. It asks the public to stay vigilant and report potential threats to law enforcement.

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