Agencies Warn Of Possible Threats To Large Holiday Gatherings

A combination of unchecked illegal immigration and widespread societal unrest have triggered a spike in violent crime — and threats thereof — across the United States in recent years.

With the holidays approaching, federal intelligence agencies are urging Americans to be vigilant about the potential of attacks on large groups.

In a joint announcement this week, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI signaled that rising tensions related to the Israel-Hamas war could influence attackers to carry out such a potentially deadly act of “lone actor violence” targeting public gatherings.

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

The advisory specifically cited religious gatherings, noting that such a “convenient target” could be at an elevated risk in coming days and weeks.

“We therefore urge everyone to remain vigilant and to report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement,” the statement concluded.

Antisemitism has been on the rise across the U.S. and around the world following October’s terrorist attack on Israel and that country’s military response against the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

The recent warning advised that there is an increased likelihood of “potential hate crimes or other criminal violations,” specifically citing an uptick in shootings and bomb threats at the nation’s synagogues.

While FBI Director Christopher Wray denied that there was any “specific plotting activity” responsible for the release of the advisory, the bureau has recorded a 60% increase in hate crimes over the course of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Addressing the issue during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, he noted that agents are working to address threats posed by individuals aligned with the terrorist agenda of Hamas.

Wray explained: “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’ horrific terrorist attacks in Israel.”