Threats against Jews, Muslims and Arabs continue on social media: DHS bulletin

ABC News has obtained the latest DHS tracking data.

January 11, 2024, 10:44 AM

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis "continues to observe" domestic and foreign individuals using social media to make threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities, according to a new bulletin obtained by ABC News Thursday.

"[Foreign Terrorist Organizations] continue to post or recirculate messaging in response to the ongoing conflict to encourage violence or recruit new members," the bulletin, dated Jan. 10, said.

"On 4 January, ISIS media released a 34-minute speech by official ISIS spokesman Abu Hudhayfa al-Ansari titled "And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them," it said.

In the speech, al-Ansari called for attacks against Jewish and Christian targets around the world, including in the United States, according to DHS.

The speech encourages prioritizing houses of worship as targets, lists a range of tactics including bombings, stabbings, shootings, and vehicle attacks, and promotes the intentional targeting of civilians. The speech is the first time ISIS has directly addressed the Israel-HAMAS conflict," the bulletin said.

PHOTO: In this Dec. 11, 2014 file photo, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal hangs on a fence at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
In this Dec. 11, 2014 file photo, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seal hangs on a fence at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

The DHS said that ISIS and its affiliates have since claimed responsibility for attacks in Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines as part of a new campaign also called "And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them."

Federal law enforcement officials have said in the past that Jewish people represent a large percentage of those targeted by threats, despite their smaller population in the U.S.

"In fact, our statistics would indicate that for a group that represents only about 2.4% of the American public, they account for something like 60% of all religious-based hate crimes," FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate panel in October.

Graphic images from the war overseas "will likely continue to circulate online and garner significant media attention, potentially acting as a catalyst for various violent actors," the DHS bulletin said.

"Plots or attacks in other countries that are potentially related to the conflict could also motivate copycat or retaliatory attacks," the bulletin said. "I&A remains concerned about lone offenders inspired by or responding to the conflict committing simple, unsophisticated attacks that are difficult to warn of in advance."

In an interview with ABC News earlier this week, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Kristie Canegallo touted the department's outreach toward faith-based communities.

"Thinking about the the threat landscape and the end and the new challenges that have been posed in light of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the challenges particularly to faith based organizations that's been work that we have done for years," she said. "This year [we've] done a record breaking number of engagements [with the faith based community]."