DHS Reports Threats

Intelligence Community News’s Loren Blinde details how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA) on October 6. The HTA is designed to “synthesis threat information across DHS including intelligence and operational components”. Below are some of the HTA’s key points: 

  • Natural disasters threaten lives while impacting national and local economies. 
  • Mexican cartels pose the greatest transnational criminal organization threat to the United States. Transnational criminal organizations will continue to undermine public health and safety in the US. 
  • COVID 19’s severity in the US and Central and South America will impact migration to the US’s Southwest Border. This will exacerbate regional political and economic conditions. 
  • Domestic violent extremists present the most lethal threats to the US. This includes lone offenders and small groups who are ideologically motivated. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic creates opportunities for US economic competitors to exploit Americans. 
  • Nation-state and state actors impose acute cyber threats that will likely grow. 
  • Iran, China, and Russia may use cyber capabilities to compromise infrastructure used to support the 2020 elections. This includes methods to influence voters. 

DHS director Chad Wolf mentions this report is designed so Americans are more aware of traditional threats such as organized crime and terrorism. Americans should also have faith knowing these threats were identified using DHS’s best employees, knowledge, operational information, and intelligence. This HTA is part of the Strategic Framework for Countering Terrorism and Targeted Violence, which mentions DHS will produce annual threat reports. This HTA is a collective DHS initiative with input throughout DHS, such as the US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, and immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

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