DHS issues new terror alert ‘bulletin’ after Orlando attack

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the Orlando terror attack at the Pulse nightclub, the Department of Homeland security has issued new guidance in its second-ever National Terror Advisory System announcement (NTAS).

DHS has re-issued what it calls an “intermediate level NTAS Bulletin,” which is the lowest of three possible alert levels. The first was issued in December 2015.

The new bulletin states that DHS has “no intelligence that is both specific and credible at this time of a plot by terrorist organizations to attack the homeland.”

However according to the advisory, “we remain concerned those violent extremists could be inspired to conduct attacks inside the U.S.”

“In this environment, we are particularly concerned about homegrown violent extremists who could strike with little or no notice. The tragic events of Orlando several days ago reinforce this.  Accordingly, increased public vigilance and awareness continue to be of utmost importance,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, in a statement.

In this latest bulletin, DHS expressed concern that the carnage at the Pulse nightclub against the LGBT community may be played out against other groups in the U.S.

“In the current environment, DHS is also concerned about threats and violence directed at particular communities and individuals across the country, based on perceived religion, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation,” the bulletin stated.

The bulletin also says, “as we saw in the attacks in San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, and, most recently, Orlando, terrorists will consider a diverse and wide selection of targets for attacks. Terrorist use of the Internet to inspire individuals to violence or join their ranks remains a major source of concern.”

The new advisory has a five-month duration. DHS officials said they will reassess the threats of terrorism in December to take into consideration new developments and concerns specific to the holiday season.

National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin

J.J. Green

JJ Green is WTOP's National Security Correspondent. He reports daily on security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments, and provides regular on-air and online analysis. He is also the host of two podcasts: Target USA and Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America.

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