FBI, DHS issue advisory to law enforcement on possible terror targets

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued a joint bulletin to law enforcement nationwide advising vigilance of civilian facilities as possible targets by ISIS inspired terrorists, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reported. 

The bulletin, sent out on Aug. 31, said analysis indicates that homegrown violent extremists, and ISIS inspired terrorists, appear to have shifted their focus to target attacks on civilian venues. These sorts of venues include places like restaurants, theaters, churches, and sports arenas, with less focus on law enforcement, military and government facilities.

The bulletin said that according to analysis, more than 75 percent of homegrown violent extremists disruptions and attacks over the last 12 months have focused on civilian targets, Milton reported. 

A law enforcement source said that the so-called soft targets are more attractive targets because they generally have lower levels of security, are easily accessible without interference, and attackers may be more familiar and comfortable with those venues.

The source said that this is an important distinction because it shows they may be altering their priorities. But at the same time, the source said, there is a need for continued vigilance of law enforcement and military as well.

The source said the timing of the bulletin was not meant to coincide with the upcoming 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.