2012 State of the Union Address Joint Threat Assessment
- 9 pages
- For Official Use Only
- January 9, 2012
(U//FOUO) This Joint Threat Assessment (JTA) addresses potential threats to the President’s delivery of the State of the Union address at the US Capitol on 24 January 2012.
(U) This information is intended to support federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local government agencies and authorities and other entities in developing and prioritizing protective and support measures relating to an existing or emerging threat to homeland security.
(U//FOUO) The information in this assessment is current as of 9 January 2012. Unless otherwise noted, this JTA uses the FBI definition of terms, which may differ from the definitions used by DHS.
(U) Key Findings
(U//FOUO) We have no specific or credible information indicating a threat to the US Capitol or the National Capital Region (NCR) to coincide with the 2012 State of the Union address. We assess, however, that al-Qa‘ida and its affiliates and allies remain committed to attacking the Homeland and, as of February 2010, al-Qa‘ida identified the NCR and the State of the Union address itself as important targets, presumably for attacks. Moreover, homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) as well as lone offenders could view the event as an attractive target, offering the means to inflict casualties and garner extensive media coverage. Detecting homeland plots involving HVEs and lone offenders continues to challenge law enforcement and intelligence agencies due to the operational independence of the perpetrators, which can reduce or eliminate preoperational indicators.
(U//FOUO) Robust event security at the US Capitol might cause would-be attackers to engage less secure targets within the NCR during the State of the Union address in order to leverage the media attention and symbolism associated with the address.
(U) Intelligence Gaps
(U//FOUO) Are international terrorist groups or their affiliates and allies plotting to attack the US Capitol or the NCR during the State of the Union address?
(U//FOUO) Are domestic extremists planning to disrupt the State of the Union address by targeting entities associated with the US Government, including the US Capitol?
(U//FOUO) Are unidentified HVEs, inspired by international terrorist groups, planning to attack the US Capitol or the NCR during the State of the Union address?
(U//FOUO) Are unidentified lone offenders plotting to attack the US Capitol or the NCR during the State of the Union address?
(U//FOUO) Will peaceful demonstrations in the area of the US Capitol or within the NCR be exploited by violent actors who will pose a risk to officer safety during the State of the Union address?