Aug. 14 (UPI) — The Department of Homeland Security has warned of a “heightened threat environment” in the United States leading up to the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The department issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin on Friday saying the anniversary and upcoming religious holidays “could serve as a catalyst for acts of targeted violence.”
“These threats include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences,” the bulletin reads.
The department said mass gatherings in houses of worship during religious holidays and the reopening of certain institutions including schools could provide opportunities for such violence. There are no credible or imminent threats at the time, though.
The bulletin made note of the new release of al-Qaida’s English-language version of Inspire magazine — the first in more than four years. The department said it was indicate of the militant group’s efforts to inspired people in the United States to take part in violent extremism.
The Department of Homeland Security said it was working to identify and evaluate such calls for violence and work with state and local law enforcement agencies to maintain awareness of potential violence.