Unclassified Threat Situation (as of 18 Oct. 2022)
The unclassified threat statement informs DOD elements and personnel under U.S. Army Europe and Africa Force Protection responsibility on the current threat situation.
- Transnational terrorist groups, State-Sponsored terrorists, and those inspired by their propaganda continue to threaten Europe, Africa, and U.S. interests worldwide. Terrorists often target mass gatherings including transit nodes, public events, tourist venues, and places of worship as well as police and military forces (including the U.S. military). In recent years, allied counter-terrorism forces have thwarted several plots by transnational and state-sponsored terrorists in Europe. Both kinds of terrorists have, however, succeeded in conducting simple, lethal attacks in Europe. Lone wolves continue to act on their own initiative and timelines, sometimes in response to events taking place outside Europe or Africa. Unsophisticated plots by lone wolf terrorists and organized terror groups are difficult to detect and can, therefore, occur with little to no warning. In Europe and Africa, public demonstrations and protests may become violent without warning, putting bystanders at great risk.
- There are currently no credible threats or indications of imminent attack against U.S. personnel or their interests within the USECOM area of responsibility (AOR). Following the 31 July strike against now-deceased al-Qa’ida emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, and the 9/11 anniversary, al-Qa’ida and pro-Salafi jihadist media may increase threatening rhetoric and encourage others to conduct attacks. Additionally, the 2020 strike that killed Iran’s Major Gen Qassem Soleimani remains a potential motivator for retaliatory violence. sympathetic extremist media outlets continue rhetoric to sustain and encourage social conditions that could encourage attacks. To date, supporters of terror have had a limited response following the death of their leaders; however, inspired lone actor attacks remain the most likely terrorism-related threat to DOD personnel. inspired extremists generally use simple methods such as knife or vehicle attacks and could exploit targets of opportunity. The difficulty in predicting and countering these threats necessitates the need for DOD personnel and their families to maintain enduring vigilance and apply appropriate protective measures to detect and defend against terrorist activities. Additionally, perceived Anti-Muslim sentiment in the region creates further inspiration for violent extremists to take action in the near term.
- With threats posed by violent actors differing across Africa, personnel should get updated threat information for specific areas prior to travel. extreme levels of poverty, underdevelopment, cultural and religious fractionalization, overcrowding, and environmental vulnerability have led to destabilization and permissive operating areas for violent actors. Roughly two dozen Islamic extremist groups (with constantly shifting objectives and allegiances) operate in at least twelve African countries. Pockets of extremism present lethal threats to U.S. equities in specific locations across the continent, while risks such as crime (including abduction), disease, and undeveloped healthcare systems can be regionally significant.
- In light of the above situation, and other factors such as regional conflicts, health controls, economic conditions, international sanctions, energy and supply chain challenges, and other geopolitical and societal tension, commanders must continually stress the importance of the need for DoD personnel to remain vigilant, increase their awareness of their security environment, report suspicious activity, and take proactive steps to improve individual and organizational security.
Download the Anti-terrorism Travel Awareness Trifold (As of Oct., 2022) This guide will assist in your travel planning.