FBI and DHS Issue Warning on Foreign Terrorist Groups for June

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
May 15, 2024US News
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FBI and DHS Issue Warning on Foreign Terrorist Groups for June
An FBI agent walks toward a crime scene in Gilroy, Calif., on July 29, 2019. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a public service announcement saying that foreign terrorist organizations like ISIS and related terrorist organizations could target certain events across the United States during “Pride Month”-related events in June.

“Organizations like ISIS may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” the announcement said. The two agencies said the terror threat is “compounded” by the “current heightened threat environment” in the United States.

The terrorist threats could come via the mail, in person, or online, the agencies said, without elaborating or providing specific details.

The bulletin noted that June 12, 2024, is the eighth anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people died. After the incident, pro-ISIS groups “praised this attack as one of the high-profile attacks in Western countries” and “supporters celebrated it,” the FBI and DHS said.

There was no evidence that the ISIS terrorist group was directly involved in plotting that shooting, the shooter, Omar Mateen, called 911 after the incident started and pledged allegiance to the group.

The agencies cited that in February 2023, an ISIS-related message board had included “rhetoric and rallied against the growth and promotion” of LGBT groups, the FBI said. “Messages also called for ISIS followers to conduct attacks on soft targets, though they weren’t specific” to those venues, it added.

Last June, three ISIS sympathizers tried to attack a parade in Austria, using vehicles and knives, according to the FBI and DHS.

The two agencies revealed “possible indicators” of what they called “potential threat activity,” which includes “unusual surveillance or interest in buildings, gatherings, or events” as well as “unusual or prolonged testing or probing of security measures at events or venues,” violent threats made online or in person, or photography of security related equipment or personnel.

Other FBI Warnings

In April, the FBI announced that it had arrested an 18-year-old Idaho man for allegedly plotting to carry out a terrorist attack targeting local churches. The man, identified in court documents as Alexander Mercurio, is accused of telling an FBI informant about his alleged plans and that he wanted to launch an attack last Sunday, April 7, but was thwarted by officials.

“The defendant allegedly pledged loyalty to ISIS and sought to attack people attending churches in Idaho, a truly horrific plan which was detected and thwarted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force,” the FBI said in a statement issued at the time

It comes as FBI Director Chris Wray last month that foreign terrorist groups are again looking to attack the United States in an “increasingly concerning” way, adding that his agency is attempting to prevent an attack on U.S. soil via terrorist groups such as ISIS-K, a regional branch of ISIS mainly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Foreign terrorists, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their adherents, have renewed calls for attacks against Jewish communities here in the United States and across the West in statements and propaganda,” Mr. Wray said at the event. He then made reference to a terrorist attack claimed by ISIS in Moscow, Russia, that left more than 140 people dead.

“The foreign terrorist threat and the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, like the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall a couple weeks ago, is now increasingly concerning. Oct. 7 and the conflict that’s followed will feed a pipeline of radicalization and mobilization for years to come,” he added.

In the meantime, Mr. Wray has been issuing warnings about the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), often warning this year that the regime is actively targeting U.S. systems. The CCP’s hacking programs are much larger than the U.S.’s cybersecurity structure.

“To put it simply, [the Chinese Communist Party] is throwing its whole government at undermining the security and economy of the rule-of-law world,” the FBI director said earlier this year.

From The Epoch Times

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