DHS Warned of “theater attacks” in US last may 2012
ROLL CALL RELEASE
I n C o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h t h e I T A C G
(U) Prepared by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), Cyber, Infrastructure, and Science Division. Coordinated with the I&A Homeland Counterterrorism Division, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation, and the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group. Shared with the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection.
(U) Warning: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U//FOUO). It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information
Act (5 U.S.C. 552). It is to be controlled, stored, handled, transmitted, distributed, and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to FOUO information and is not to be released to the
public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need to know without prior approval of an authorized DHS official. State and local homeland security officials may share this
document with authorized critical infrastructure and key resource personnel and private sector security officials without further approval from DHS.
17 May 2012
(U//FOUO) Terrorists’ Interest in Attacking Theaters and Similar
(U//FOUO) An early April 2012 suicide bombing of a theater in Somalia and a violent
extremist communication advocating attacks on US theaters highlight terrorists’
continued interest in attacking such venues. Although we have no specific or credible
information indicating that terrorists plan to attack theaters in the United States, terrorists
may seek to emulate overseas attacks on theaters here in the United States because
they have the potential to inflict mass casualties and cause local economic damage.
— (U//FOUO) On 4 April 2012, an al-Shabaab female
suicide bomber detonated explosives at the National
Theater in Mogadishu, Somalia during a speech by
the Somali Prime Minister attended by multiple
cabinet members. The bomber blended in with the
audience until her attack, which targeted the VIPs in
— (U//FOUO) On 7 April 2012, an al-Qa‘ida-linked violent extremist urged others to
emulate the 2002 Moscow theater hostage attack—in which Chechen terrorists
seized the Dubrovka Theater and held over 800 people captive for three days
until Russian security forces gassed the theater—by seizing crowded facilities in
the United States, including movie theaters; taking hostages; and demanding the
release of captured al-Qa‘ida-linked or -inspired violent extremists.
(U//FOUO) These recent instances demonstrate that mass gatherings such as those
associated with theaters likely remain attractive terrorist targets. We encourage facility
owners and operators, security personnel, and first responders to remain vigilant and
report suspicious activities and behaviors that may indicate a potential attack.
(U) Somali National Theater
(U//FOUO) Potential Suspicious Activity Indicators
— (U//FOUO) Persons in crowded areas wearing clothing that is unusually bulky or atypical for
the season, possibly to conceal suicide explosives or weapons.
— (U//FOUO) Persons asking about theater security screening and evacuation procedures.
— (U//FOUO) Packages—possibly containing explosives—left unattended in open areas or
hidden in trash receptacles, lockers, or similar containers.
— (U//FOUO) Suspicious or illegally parked vehicles near a theater or where crowds gather prior
to or following performances and events.