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December 18, 2021
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Winter Holiday Threat Outlook - ALLOW IMAGES

Winter Holiday Threat Outlook

December 18, 2021
What You Need To Know

This week the Department of Homeland Security hosted the National Holiday Threat Call with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, along with private sector partners. Analysts with DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI have collectively assessed there are currently no “identified…specific or credible threats” this holiday season. However, authorities at all levels emphasize that “patterns of violent extremist attacks are often spontaneous” regarding target selection.

Increased vigilance for indicators of security concern, physical and cyber, is urged, especially for large, well-publicized gatherings, at public venues, and at places of worship.

A Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by DHS / FBI / NCTC in late November, reinforced attention to the persistent threat environment related to violent extremism.

“The FBI, DHS, and NCTC are currently unaware of any specific, credible threats surrounding this holiday season in the United States, but note that previous terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning. Past violent extremist attacks highlight the symbolic appeal of the winter holiday season and could influence violent extremist planning.”

Recent events, including the Wisconsin Christmas parade vehicle ramming, threats to Virginia malls, as well as foreign terrorist organization (FTO) calls to target mass gatherings ... highlight the need for increased public safety awareness during the holidays.

Readers should remember that these are threat assessments. These agencies are not clairvoyant. Similar assessments were made last year with the approach of the winter holidays and we still experienced a Christmas morning recreational vehicle (RV) bombing in downtown Nashville, TN that killed one, injured 8, and damaged dozens of buildings in the surrounding area.

Readers are also reminded that a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin is in effect, warning of the threat posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences.

Readers are encouraged to maintain a high level of situational awareness while in public. Keep the ear buds in your pocket and pay attention to your surroundings.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


12/13 - Shallow M7.6 EQ, 95 km N of Mauaere, Indonesia (Flores Sea). Tsunami waves possible for coasts within 1000 km of the epicenter. Monitoring..

12/14 - AlertsUSA monitoring response to reports of gunfire, Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall, National City, CA. Heavy police presence. Add'l alerts as warranted.

12/15 - Gov of Canada warning citizens against non-essential international travel due to ongoing spread of coronavirus variants. Hints at stricter border controls.

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of chronically infected and partially lysed cells (green) infected with a variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (blue), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Quick Hits

December 18, 2021


According to data provided by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of Friday evening there have been more than 805,000 total deaths in the U.S. attributed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


COVID-19 infections are increasing in Canada. There have been more than 30,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.

This week, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a nationwide Level 3 health advisory urging travelers, regardless of their vaccination status, to avoid non-essential international travel due to the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.


Mexico leads the region in new reported COVID-19 deaths, followed by Brazil and Columbia. Across the region, more than 1,553,000 deaths have been attributed to the virus.


New cases are climbing fast across Europe. Russia still leads the region in COVID-related fatalities, followed by Poland, Germany and Ukraine. As of December 14, more than, 1,778,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported across the region since the pandemic began.


‘Virtually every’ COVID omicron case at Cornell was in those fully vaccinated
S. African hospitalization rates plunge despite Omicron onslaught
Denmark study confirms rare heart risk from Moderna jab
Refugees lack COVID-19 shots because drugmakers fear lawsuits
Records fall and borders close as world races to get control of Omicron
65% cases in Scotland are in vaccinated persons
The military’s vaccination discharges have begun
Across services, troops face discipline for refusing vaccine
Two battalion commanders fired for refusing covid-19 vaccine
CDC narrows use of J&J vaccine due to concerns about clots

Google will fire employees who refuse vaccinations
CDC withdraws support for PCR tests
US sports leagues facing COVID-19 crisis
CDC issues grim holiday COVID forecast
A pandemic of the vaccinated


Striking Antibody Evasion Manifested by the Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map)


According to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) between mid-December 2020 and December 3 of this year, more than 965,000 adverse events have been reported following COVID19 vaccinations. As it is estimated that only 1% of adverse events are recorded into the system, these numbers could be significantly higher.

Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

Current VAERS reports (U.S. only) related to COVID-19 vaccines incl:

Deaths: 9,295
Hospitalizations: 44,186
Urgent Care: 86,230
Anaphylaxis: 2,207
Bell's Palsy: 2,873
Miscarriages: 1,460
Heart Attacks: 4,614
Myo/Pericarditis: 4,242

Anarchist/Left-Wing Violent Extremism in America - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

December 18, 2021

Anarchist/Left-Wing Violent Extremism in America

Anarchist/left wing violent extremism, often referred to in USGOV parlance with the catch-all term “anarchist violent extremism” (AVE), has a long-standing history in the U.S. The political climate in recent years has intensified focus, interest, and controversy surrounding the activities of specific left-wing extremist currents. Despite this, there is a dearth of quality, impartial, and non-partisan research on these groups and the individual violent extremists associated with them.

This paper, published by the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, attempts to situate AVE within the broader landscape of domestic violent extremist (DVE) threats facing the U.S.. A recent FBI / DHS joint report that reviewed significant domestic terrorism incidents in the U.S. between 2015 and 2019 found that AVEs were among the extremist groups “presenting the greatest threats of violence.”


The Supply Chain is the Perfect Asymmetric Target

Asked recently what risk he worried about most, alongside Taiwan and Ukraine, Cipher Brief Expert, General Stanley McChrystal said it was cyber security, particularly in the supply chain.

General McChrystal is part of a growing group of the most senior operational and strategic US commanders that include former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, in seeing the supply chain threat as existential. Unless the supply chain can be secured, the whole infrastructure on which Western economies rest, not to mention their military defenses, will be compromised.


Washington Is Preparing for the Wrong War With China

The United States is getting serious about the threat of war with China. The U.S. Department of Defense has labeled China its primary adversary, civilian leaders have directed the military to develop credible plans to defend Taiwan, and President Joe Biden has strongly implied that the United States would not allow that island democracy to be conquered.

Yet Washington may be preparing for the wrong kind of war. Defense planners appear to believe that they can win a short conflict in the Taiwan Strait merely by blunting a Chinese invasion. Chinese leaders, for their part, seem to envision rapid, paralyzing strikes that break Taiwanese resistance and present the United States with a fait accompli. Both sides would prefer a splendid little war in the western Pacific, but that is not the sort of war they would get.


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Dec 13, 2021  - ALLOW IMAGES
USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker
December 18, 2021

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Dec 13, 2021 based on U.S. Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Sailors and Boeing team members prepare to move an unmanned MQ-25 Stingray aircraft into the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Va., Nov. 30, 2021. The MQ-25 will be the world’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft. - ALLOW IMAGES
World News Roundup
December 18, 2021


Pentagon worries about Chinese buildup near India
Putin and Xi show united front amid rising tensions with U.S.
Biden admin says Huawei is 'national security threat'
First look at Kratos' shadowy new drone design for the U.S. Air Force
US to expand military, economic ties with Indo-Pacific, Blinken says
U.S. Space Force holds war game to test satellite network under attack
US space war games with allies ‘raise risk of Star Wars-style arms race’
Sailor, 20 accused of starting fire that destroyed Bonhomme Richard warship
Man pleads guilty to derailing locomotive near hospital ship
Congress approves import ban targeting forced labor in China
Congress passes bill allowing easier National Guard defense of Capitol
Federal prosecutors indict suspected Salafi-Jihadist extremist in Houston
Man who threatened to shoot Pelosi receives two years in prison
FBI: Nashville Christmas bomber acted alone, was driven by 'paranoia
Senate approves sweeping defense bill


Russia floats idea of rapid security talks, new Biden-Putin call
Putin and Xi to discuss 'aggressive' talk from U.S. and NATO
UK foils seven late-stage plots since March 2020
NATO Chief: : Russia is ‘a power in decline,’ still a threat
EU hopes to avert Ukraine war with talks, sanctions threat
Baltic leaders urge new Russia sanctions amid ‘series of attacks’
Europe's biggest economy is on the brink of a winter recession
Black Sea Fleet adding new ships


Anti-ISIS coalition shifts focus to Africa
U.S. and allies shoot down drone near U.S. base in Syria
US Navy fires laser weapon in Mideast amid drone boat threat
RAF war plane in 'unprecedented' engagement over Syria
Iran to allow cameras at nuclear site, UN watchdog says
Tehran Times reveals list of Israeli targets
UAE says it’s suspending F-35 talks as U.S. sticks to conditions
Israel’s ‘Air Force One’ is ready for takeoff
Jordan says hosted Saudi-Iran security dialogue
Saudi UN envoy: Iran playing "games" in talks with kingdom


Kremlin: Xi supports Putin’s pursuit of guarantees from West
North and South Korea agree ‘in principle’ on formal end of war
What Does Agreement 'in Principle' on an End-of-War Declaration Mean?
After 10 years under Kim Jong-un, N Korea is in a state of purgatory
Docs link Huawei to Uyghur surveillance projects
Beijing 2022: Putin tells Xi he will attend Winter Olympics
Taiwan navy takes delivery of two more rapid mine-laying ships
Afghanistan will once again become nexus of global terrorist ..

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Book - Three Seconds Until Midnight by Dr. Steven Hatfill et al..

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Travel Security Resources

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to research on the security situation at your destination prior to departure.

Active USGOV Travel Notices
Worldwide Caution

Active USGOV Travel Advisories
Alphabetical Country List
Dynamic Map

Other USGOV Travel Resources
Traveler's Checklist
Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)
Travelers with Special Considerations
Travel to High-Risk Areas
Faith-Based Travel Information
Information for Women Travelers
Cruise Ship Passengers
Students Abroad
Your Health Abroad
Driving and Road Safety Abroad

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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Ezekiel 33:3 - "Then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head."


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