Threat of Violence Likely Heightened Throughout Winter

Cyber Threat Summary:
The FBI issued an advisory that they are closely monitoring threats to public safety during the holiday season, which may be amplified by the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) are issuing this Public Service Announcement to highlight elements posing potential threats in the United States from a variety of actors during the winter season. FBI and DHS also continue to share information with our law enforcement partners, including local authorities.

NCTC is highlighting threats within this public service announcement that concern international terrorism including:

  • General terrorist tactics
  • Techniques
  • Procedures
  • Threats posed by foreign violent extremists
  • Those violent extremists they inspire

Analyst Comments:
FBI, DHS, and NCTC assess that ongoing tensions related to the conflict between Israel and HAMAS likely 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.

The FBI notes that this announcement is not in response to any observed planning, but these gatherings remain targets for lone actors inspired by a range of ideologies due to their “accessibility and symbolic nature”. The FBI says it will continue to work with law enforcement partners to determine the credibility of threats, share information, and take appropriate investigative action. They are also asking members of the public to immediately report anything they consider suspicious to law enforcement of their local FBI office.

Hamas supporters and various foreign terrorist media organizations have called for lone actor attacks against the United States. Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) have also increased calls for violence and celebrated attacks on the Jewish community. These lone actors may look to disrupt or escalate violence at large gatherings, high profile events, or symbolic or religious locations throughout the holiday season. Such gatherings could become a convenient target for those inspired to commit violence against Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Arab communities. Hate crime perpetrators have also played a role in violence and threats of violence.

The FBI says there has been a spike in reporting on potential hate crimes or other criminal violations from the public, local law enforcement partners, and other private or public sector partners since Oct. 7. The FBI has also observed an increase in hoax bomb and active shooter threats targeting synagogues across the United States, likely intended to disrupt services and intimidate congregants.

Calls for violence may increase in the days leading up to the holidays and before other notable events this winter. 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.

Suggested Correction(s)
The FBI urges everyone to remain vigilant and to report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement. The FBI and DHS are particularly attuned in this environment to the concerns of the Jewish, Arab American, and Muslim communities and will continue to engage directly with leaders in these communities to ensure that available resources are utilized.

To help mitigate potential risks in today’s dynamic and rapidly evolving threat environment, DHS has compiled several resources for communities and faith leaders, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) compendium of resources for securing mass gatherings and public spaces.

Additionally, resources for law enforcement also are available to increase our nation’s ability to prevent acts of violence and increase our resilience to evolving threats. To report any leads, threats, or suspected criminal activity, FBI and DHS urge the public to visit or contact their local FBI Office: For emergencies or an immediate threat to life, please call 911.