Amid the Middle East war between Israel and Hamas, a terrorist organization, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently warned Americans of potential violence committed by lone actors surrounding Christmas.
— One America News (@OANN) December 14, 2023
The FBI, alongside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Counterterrorism Center, released a public service announcement, expressing that the Israel-Hamas war could increase “the threat of lone actor violence targeting large public gatherings throughout the winter.”
The FBI said that large gatherings during the holidays could be an ideal target for those who wish to commit violence against populations who consider themselves Jewish, Muslim, Arab, or Christian.
“Calls for violence may increase in the days leading up to the holidays and before other notable events this winter,” the public service announcement reads. “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.”
“We therefore urge everyone to remain vigilant and to report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement,” the announcement continued.
The FBI explained that since Hamas’ unprecedented invasion of the Holy Land on Oct. 7, 2023, which took the lives of over 1,200 individuals, there has been a jump in “potential hate crimes or other criminal violations.”
The bureau also said that the number of shootings and threats against synagogues across the U.S. has drastically increased.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said there was no “specific plotting activity” behind the announcement.
Since the outbreak of war in the Middle East, the FBI has investigated a 60% increase in hate crimes across the U.S., with many being directed toward the Jewish community, according to Wray.
During a recent appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wray said that threats against the U.S. have grown and that the FBI is actively trying to prevent attacks by Hamas sympathizers.
“Given the steady drumbeat of calls for attacks by foreign terrorist organizations since Oct. 7, we’re working around the clock to identify and disrupt potential attacks by those inspired by Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks in Israel,” the FBI director said.