(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Homeland Security has designated Tuesday’s March for Israel in Washington, D.C., as a “Level 1” security event, the highest rating of risk assessment, sources tell ABC News.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed off on the designation earlier Monday, the sources said. For comparison, the Super Bowl is routinely designated a “Level 1,” which DHS says is “defined as having such significant national and/or international importance that it may require extensive federal interagency security and incident management preparedness.”
As part of the designation, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have issued a “Joint Special Threat Assessment” to other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies ahead of Tuesday’s event.
The assessment, which ABC News has obtained a copy of, indicates no “specific, actionable threat to the March for Israel,” but it also echoes previous warnings from the DHS and the FBI, saying: “DHS and FBI assess that lone actors inspired by, or reacting to, the ongoing Israel–HAMAS conflict pose the most likely threat to Americans, especially Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities in the United States.”
“Since the 7 October attacks in Israel, we have observed an increase in threats to these communities, including reports of physical assaults, bomb threats, and online calls for mass casualty attacks. Tensions related to the ongoing Israel–HAMAS conflict, coupled with the widespread sharing of graphic and disturbing content related to this conflict, increase the prospects for violence in the United States with little to no warning,” the assessment read.
The assessment notes that “[s]pecial events with significant attendance and media coverage, like the March for Israel, remain an attractive target for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), homegrown violent extremists (HVEs), and domestic violent extremists (DVEs).”
And the assessment says: “High-profile events can draw individuals and groups wanting to engage in First Amendment-protected activities. These individuals, groups, law enforcement, and security elements may be targeted by malicious actors looking for targets of opportunity to perpetrate targeted violence and criminal schemes. Lone actors interested in targeted violence remain a concern.”
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