20:00 GMT26 October 2020
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    The Middle East currently resembles a bellicose and growing vortex of formidable threats, that could quickly devour the region in a bloody war due to US President Donald Trump's authorization to assassinate top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

    While bringing its military overseas to combat readiness, the United States has also scrutinized the many and varied loopholes in its domestic security.

    A day after Soleimani was killed, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletin, while at the same claiming that “at this time there is no specific, credible threat" to the United States.

    "At this time there is no specific, credible threat against the homeland. The Department issued this bulletin to inform, share protective measures, and reassure the American public, state and local governments, and private sector partners that the Department of Homeland Security is actively monitoring and preparing for any specific, credible threat, should one arise”, said the acting secretary.

    “The Department is operating with an enhanced posture and various operational components are taking protective measures where prudent and necessary. We have been in constant communication with Congress and interagency partners. The American people should feel assured the entire Department is working for them to keep them safe”, according to the statement.

    The newly-released DHS bulletin asserted that Iran was designated by the Reagan administration as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” in 1984. The designation remains, since that time, according to the DHS statement.

    The document also mentioned last year's designation of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization", and blaming the IRGC for various but undocumented terrorist plots.

    The DHS bulletin outlined possible threats - mainly those of online - emanating from Iran and briefly mentioned possible countermeasures that could be taken by ordinary citizens.

    US-Iran relations have deteriorated since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the country from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement, in spring 2018. The Trump administration also re-introduced sanctions on almost all major sectors of the Iranian economy. The White House proclaimed its intention to reduce the sale of Iranian oil to nothing.

    Trump earlier claimed that he was against striking Iran, justifying the assertion with a stated desire to live up to a campaign promise to keep the United States out of war, citing economic ramifications among other negative corollaries.

    On Saturday, Trump tweeted that the US had identified "52 sites" in Iran for a possible strike if Tehran retaliates over the killing of its IRGC commander.

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    Tags:
    threats, Qasem Soleimani, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US, Iran
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