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US updates advisory on terrorism threat

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (KUNA) -- Acting Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Elaine Duke issued an updated National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin pertaining to the terrorism threat to the US homeland on Thursday.
The new NTAS, designed to more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the American public, warns against use of social media applications by homegrown terrorists and homemade drones by terrorist groups abroad. "After careful consideration of the current terror threat environment-and with input from intelligence and law enforcement partners, I have made the decision to update and extend the NTAS Bulletin for six months. "Our enemies remain focused on attacking the United States, and they are constantly adapting," said Duke. DHS says it is stepping up efforts to combat terrorism and to prevent terrorist recruitment and radicalization in the US, and the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.
"We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the Internet to inspire, enable, or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts," according to the NTAS.
The Advisory Bulletin points to the increasing reliance on technology by homegrown terror suspects, including end-to-end encrypted social media applications, to avoid detection. Terrorist groups reportedly urging recruits to target public places using easy-to-use tools such as vehicle ramming, small arms, knives, poison and explosives. Abroad, terrorist groups are new technologies including drones and chemical weapons in conflict zones, as well as targeting commercial airlines and cargo planes with concealed explosives. The recent US operations against terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, may raise the risk of a potential attack against the US as it "may encourage homegrown terrorists to carry out acts of violence in the US instead of attempting to travel overseas to fight or in retaliation for apparent losses," or drive foreign terrorists target the US, according to DHS. This marks the fifth iteration of the Bulletin on the terror threat to the U.S. homeland. The NTAS Bulletin has been reissued three times previously since its initial release in December 2015. Such bulletins offer "broader or more general information about terrorism trends, events, and potential threats" when there isn't a specific or credible threat toward the US, according to the DHS; they do not indicate a specific credible terrorist threat. (end) hy.gb