The FBI has warned that terrorist groups could strike during the festive period as they use the Israel-Hamas war as an excuse to increase violence.
A new joint bulletin from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to local, state and federal law enforcement warns that groups like al Qaeda and ISIS will likely use the war in Gaza as an opportunity to attack.
It said the terror organisations will use the ongoing Middle Eastern war "to increase calls for violence in the US during the holiday season compared to prior years."
The bulletin said the most likely "primary targets" could include churches, synagogues and members of the Jewish community.
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Senator Lindsey Graham had asked FBI director Christopher Wray to discuss the ‘threat matrix’ to the US, at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Capitol Hill.
Wray testified on Tuesday before the committee, where he spoke of unprecedented levels of terror threats on the United States since the October 7 attacks.
He remarked: "While there may have been times over the years where individual threats could have been higher here or there than where they may be right now, I’ve never seen a time where all the threats or so many of the threats are all elevated, all at exactly the same time."
He warned that terror groups would likely try and target the southern border and said the FBI is working to "identify and disrupt potential attacks".
In his prepared testimony to Congress, Wray said: "Our top concern stems from lone offenders inspired by — or reacting to — the ongoing Israel-HAMAS conflict, as they pose the most likely threat to Americans, especially Jewish, Muslim and Arab-American communities in the United States.
"We have seen an increase in reported threats to Jewish and Muslim people, institutions and houses of worship here in the United States and are moving quickly to mitigate them."
Wray also said he was seeing blinking lights "everywhere", and warned that was used by officials before 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in US history.
"All the lights were blinking red before 9/11, apparently. Obviously, all of us missed it."
Graham asked: "Would you say there’s multiple blinking red lights out there?" to which Wray agreed.
Wray testified on Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he spoke of unprecedented levels of terror threat on the United States due to the October 7 attacks
The warning has come after police arrested a 16-year-old who allegedly plotted to attack Las Vegas in support of Isis.
Investigators say they recovered a homemade ISIS flag and bomb parts, police said.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said it began investigating last week after it received reports of an online threat of "lone wolf operations in Las Vegas against the enemies of Allah".
The intelligence report issued by the FBI warns civilian casualties in Gaza, "whether real, perceived or falsified," and the "increased presence of US military forces in direct support of Israel" could be manipulated by terrorist groups.