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  4. National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 18, 2020

National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 18, 2020

A red banner displaying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal with the text National Terrorism Advisory System - Bulletin - www.dhs.gov/advisories
A red banner displaying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seal with the text National Terrorism Advisory System - Bulletin - www.dhs.gov/advisories

National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin

Date Issued: January 18, 2020 5:00 PM ET
View as PDF:  National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin - January 18, 2020 05:00 pm (pdf, 1 pages, 849.17 KB)

Summary of Iran-Related Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland

Iran likely views terrorism as an option to deter or retaliate against its perceived adversaries. At this time, we have no information indicating a specific, credible threat to the Homeland; however, we remain concerned about Iran’s potential to carry out cyber attacks. Additionally, Iran and its partners, such as Hizballah, have demonstrated their capability to conduct various operations in the U.S.


Issued:   January 18, 2020 5:00 PM ET
Expires:   March 18, 2020 1:00 PM ET

Additional Details

  • The U.S. designated Iran a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” in 1984 and since then, Iran has actively engaged in or directed an array of violent and deadly acts against the United States and its citizens globally.  The United States designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization on April 15, 2019 for its direct involvement in terrorist plotting.
  • Following the lethal strike on Iranian IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Iran, conducted a limited ballistic missile assault on two bases inside Iraq housing U.S. and allied forces. In the near term, we remain concerned that violent extremist organizations tied to the regime, including their various partner organizations, may continue to pose a general threat against American citizens and interests both overseas and in the homeland.
  • Previous Homeland-based plots have included, among other things, scouting against infrastructure targets, assassination attempt against the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2011, and cyber enabled attacks against a range of U.S.-based targets.
  • Iran maintains a robust cyber program and is capable, at a minimum, of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the United States. Based on Iran’s historic homeland and global targeting patterns, the financial services and energy sectors, maritime assets, as well as U.S. Government and symbolic targets represent consistent priorities for Tehran’s malicious operational planning. 
  • Homegrown Violent Extremists sympathetic to Iran could capitalize on the heightened tensions to launch individual attacks, with little or no warning, against U.S.-based Iranian dissidents, Jewish, Israeli, and Saudi individuals as well as against the U.S. Government infrastructure and personnel.
  • The FBI, DHS, and NCTC advise federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism, cyber, and law enforcement officials, and private sector partners, to remain vigilant in the event of a potential Iran-directed or violent extremist Iran supporter threat to US-based individuals, facilities, and networks consistent with previously observed covert surveillance and possible pre-operational activity.

How You Can Help

Be Prepared

  • Be prepared for a cyber incident with an offline backup, an incident response plan, and know who you are calling for help. For more information visit CISA.gov.
  • Be responsible for your personal safety. Know where emergency exits and security personnel are located. Carry emergency contact and special needs information with you.
  • Connect, Plan, Train, and Report to prepare businesses & employees.  Security resources can be accessed through the DHS’s Hometown Security Campaign.

Stay Informed

  • The U.S. Government will provide additional information about any emerging threat as additional information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local law enforcement and public safety officials.
  • We urge Americans to continue to travel, attend public events, and freely associate with others but remain vigilant and aware of surroundings.
  • The Department of State issues international travel alerts and warnings.
  • For additional information visit Ready.gov.

Types of Advisories


Describes current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism.

Elevated Alert

Warns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States.

Imminent Alert

Warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States.

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