Research (Insikt)

Israel-Hamas Conflict and US Elections Drive Violent Extremist Threats in 2024

Posted: 11th June 2024
By: Insikt Group®

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the upcoming 2024 US presidential election, and the rise of violent extremist content online are likely to escalate homegrown and domestic violent extremist (HVE and DVE) threats. HVEs and DVEs are expected to conduct various physical threat activities, including violent attacks and disruptive demonstrations, in 2024. The resurgence of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISKP) in Afghanistan may increase the frequency of HVE attacks. While mass-casualty plots are likely to be stopped by law enforcement, lone actor and small cell operations remain significant threats.

Israel-Hamas Conflict and US Elections Drive Violent Extremist Threats in 2024

The geopolitical turmoil surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict and the upcoming 2024 US presidential election has created a volatile environment that is likely to spur increased activities from HVEs and DVEs throughout the year. These developments are expected to drive physical threat activities, posing significant risks to public and private sector leaders, facilities, and communities.

Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs)

HVEs, particularly supporters of the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, are poised to remain significant threats in 2024. The Israel-Hamas conflict serves as a potent motivator, likely leading to increased recruitment and mobilization efforts by jihadist groups. ISKP in Afghanistan has enhanced its external operations capabilities, raising concerns about more frequent and sophisticated attacks in the US. These extremists typically conduct attacks as lone actors or in small cells, making it challenging for law enforcement to intercept and prevent such incidents.

Domestic Violent Extremists

In 2024, DVEs are very likely to carry out physical threat activities against US government personnel, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, commercial facilities, and US critical infrastructure. While white supremacist and neo-Nazi violent extremists are most likely among DVEs to conduct mass-casualty terrorist attacks, we project that anti-government and anarchist violent extremists will increase physical threat operations in 2024. High levels of contestation and polarization during the 2024 US election cycle will very likely lead to greater levels of DVE violence.

Key targets include facilities and personnel associated with racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, government agencies, and critical infrastructure. The motivations behind these attacks are often rooted in ideological beliefs and reactions to domestic political or geopolitical events.

To monitor threats from violent extremists, organizations can leverage the Recorded Future Intelligence Cloud to track references to their organizations, reactions to ongoing geopolitical and domestic political events, and promotion of TTPs for physical threat activities in sources popular among DVEs and HVEs.

To read the entire analysis with endnotes, click here to download the report as a PDF.