Thursday, September 14, 2023
- 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA) identifies high risk of foreign and domestic terrorism.
- Annual HTA replaces National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) for sharing terrorism threat levels.
- NTAS advisories now for specific or imminent threats.
- Mayorkas emphasizes importance of informing public on evolving security threats.
- 2024 HTA key findings:
- High threat from US-radicalized individuals; lone or small group attacks.
- Foreign terrorist groups, e.g. al-Qa’ida and ISIS, seek to rebuild overseas.
- Border and immigration challenges expected to persist.
- Increased supply of lethal fentanyl variations anticipated.
- Misinformation from foreign states to continue, undermining trust.
- Adverse nations to use economic tactics, espionage, cyber-attacks against U.S. economy.
Unedited Press Release Text:
DHS Continues to See High Risk of Foreign and Domestic Terrorism in 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment
Annual Threat Assessment to Replace Regular NTAS Bulletins and Provide the Public and our Partners with More Comprehensive Analysis of Most Pressing Threats and Challenges
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA), which continues to identify a high risk of foreign and domestic terrorism in 2024. The HTA provides the public and the Department’s partners with a detailed report on the most pressing threats to the United States as part of the Biden Administration’s continuing effort to assist them in preparing for, preventing, and responding to the diverse and dynamic threat environment.
Going forward, the annual HTA will serve as the primary mechanism for sharing the terrorism threat level, which has previously been done through the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). The issuance of NTAS advisories will be reserved for situations where DHS needs to alert the public about a specific or imminent terrorist threat or about a change in the terrorism threat level. This shift will provide the public and DHS partners both in-depth annual reports and urgent updates, as needed.
“Sharing information with the public on the threats we face is a vital part of protecting our homeland from today’s evolving security challenges,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The annual Homeland Threat Assessment is a publicly available resource on the most pressing challenges facing the nation. By sharing our analysis of the threat landscape, we will enable our partners across state, local, tribal, and territorial government, along with the private and non-profit sectors, to make better-informed decisions that account for these security challenges.”
Assessments from the 2024 HTA:
- Foreign and Domestic Terrorism: The Department expects the threat of violence from individuals radicalized in the United States to remain high, but largely unchanged, mainly seen through lone offenders or small group attacks that occur with little warning. While sustained counterterrorism pressure has significantly degraded the ability of foreign terrorist organizations to target U.S. interests, foreign terrorist groups like al-Qa’ida and ISIS are seeking to rebuild overseas, and they maintain worldwide networks of supporters that could seek to target the homeland.
- Border and Immigration Security: The complex border and immigration security challenges we have faced over the last year are likely to continue. In addition to the immigration challenges, the trend of an increased supply of fentanyl and variations in its production during the last year that have increased the lethality of these drugs is expected to continue.
- Foreign Misinformation: The spread of mis-, dis-, and malinformation aimed at undermining trust in government institutions, social cohesion, and democratic processes will remain a likely strategy for adverse nation-states. Foreign actors leverage cyber and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to bolster their malign influence campaigns by improving the translation quality of their content.
- Economic Security: We expect adverse nation states to continue using predatory economic practices, espionage, and cyber-attacks to try harm the U.S. economy, gain advantage for foreign companies, and steal U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets.
Examples of DHS Efforts to Combat Threats Identified in the 2024 HTA:
- United States Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) provided over 280 trainings and briefings to over 28,000 participants in the past year, the most in the NTAC’s history, including to state and local law enforcement, government officials, educators, mental health professionals, faith-based leaders, and workplace security managers across the country.
- In 2022, DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) awarded over $250 million in funding to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements to non-profit organizations at high risk of terrorist attack.
- DHS provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism through its Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program. On September 6, 2023, DHS awarded $20 million in funding to 34 organizations working to develop and strengthen their community’s capability to combat targeted violence and terrorism.
- In addition to biometric and biographic screening and vetting of every individual encountered, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded information sharing agreements with international partners to enhance their ability to prevent, detect, and investigate trafficking and other crimes. CBP’s National Targeting Center continuously works to detect individuals and travelers that threaten our country’s security, while also building a network of partner nations committed to fighting global threats.
- DHS launched the Prevention Resource Finder (PRF) website in March 2023 in collaboration with more than a dozen federal partners. The PRF is a comprehensive web repository of federal resources available to help communities understand, mitigate, and protect themselves from targeted violence and terrorism.
- The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships engages a coalition of faith-based and community organizations, as well as members of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council (FBSAC), which DHS reconstituted in July 2022, to help build the capacity of faith-based and community organizations seeking to protect their places of worship and community spaces.
- The Office of Intelligence and Analysis’s (I&A) National Threat Evaluation and Reporting Program continues to provide tools and resources for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners on preventing terrorism and targeted violence, including online suspicious activity reporting training.
- DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Intermodal Security Training and Exercise Program (I-STEP) and Exercise Information System (EXIS®) work with government and private sector partners – including owners and operators of critical transportation infrastructure – to enhance security and reduce risks posed by acts of terrorism.
- Among many investments and initiatives to counter fentanyl and transnational criminal organizations, the Department’s recent Operations Blue Lotus and Four Horsemen stopped nearly 10,000 pounds of fentanyl in just two months. CBP’s Operation Artemis is building on that effort by leveraging intelligence and investigative information derived from Operation Blue Lotus to target the fentanyl supply chain. Concurrently, USBP’s Operation Rolling Wave is significantly increasing inbound inspections at Southwest border checkpoints and HSI is running Blue Lotus 2.0, to continue significantly increasing resources to Ports of Entry, while increasing coordination of operations to target the fentanyl supply chain.
- DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with government and private sector partners – including owners and operators of critical infrastructure and public gathering places – to prepare for and respond to cyberattacks, as well as enhance security and mitigate risks posed by acts of terrorism and targeted violence by providing resources addressing Active Shooters, School Safety, Bombing Prevention, and Soft Targets-Crowded Places.
- DHS’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) educates and trains stakeholders on how to identify indicators of radicalization to violence, where to seek help, and the resources that are available to prevent targeted violence and terrorism.
- In 2021, 2022, and 2023 DHS designated domestic violent extremism as a “National Priority Area” within its Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), enabling our partners to access critical funds that help prevent, prepare for, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from related threats.
- SchoolSafety.gov consolidates school safety-related resources from across the government. Through this website, the K-12 academic community can also connect with school safety officials and develop school safety plans.
The complete Homeland Threat Assessment can be found and shared HERE.