DNI’s Annual Threat Assessment Mentions ‘Climate’ 26 Times but ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Terrorism’ Only 14 Times

(CNSNews.com) – Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, published an annual national threat assessment today that mentions “climate” 26 times, but “terrorist” and “terrorism” only 14 times.

The threat assessment cites “climate change” in the first paragraph of the “Forward” to the assessment. There it says: “Second, shared global challenged, including climate change, and human health and security, are converging as the planet emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and confronts economic issues spurred by both energy and food insecurity.”

Three paragraphs later, the Forward mentions “climate change” again. This time it says: “The accelerating effects of climate change are placing more of the world’s population, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, under threat from extreme weather, food insecurity, and humanitarian disasters, fueling immigration flows and increasing the risks of future pandemics as pathogens exploit the changing environment.”

In the paragraph after that, the Forward mentions “terrorist threats” in a sentence that first mentions “climate change.”

It says: “In every region of the world, challenges from climate change, demographic trends, human and health security, and economic disruptions caused by energy and food insecurity and technology proliferation will combine and interact in specific and unique ways to trigger events ranging from political instability, to terrorist threats, to mass migration, and potential humanitarian emergencies.”


The remaining 34 pages of the threat assessment cite “climate” 23 more times.

Starting on page 22 of the threat assessment, there is an entire section of the report that carries the headline: “Climate Change and Environmental Degradation.”

By contrast, after the one mention of “terrorist threats” in the Forward to the threat assessment, neither “terror,” “terrorism,” or “terrorist” appear in the threat assessment until page 26—in a section of the report entitled, “Additional Transnational Issues.”

On this page, the word “terrorism” is used twice. First it says: “While climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the challenges that a wide range of transnational issues pose to U.S. national security, we will now address several other priority issues. Some have a direct and immediate impact on U.S. interests, such as narcotics trafficking and terrorism.”

Two paragraphs later, this threat assessment says: “Several transnational challenges stand out for the clear and direct threats they will pose to U.S. interests during the coming years. Among these are the rapid development of technologies, the spread of digital repression on the Internet, the threats posed by transnational organized crime and terrorism, and the societal effects of international migration.”

Starting on page 31, this 39-page threat assessment has a section that carries the headline: “Global Terrorism.”

This section starts as follows: “U.S. persons and interests at home and abroad will face a persistent and increasingly diverse threat from terrorism during the next year. Individuals and cells adhering to ideologies espoused by ISIS, al-Qaida, or the transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) movement pose a significant terrorist threat to U.S. persons, facilities, and interests. Iran and Lebanese Hizballah remain committed to conducting terrorist attacks and could seek to do so on U.S. soil.”

The report then makes clear that groups like ISIS and al-Qaida are not the greatest terrorist threat to the United States.

A subsection of the section of the threat assessment on Global Terrorism says this: “Transnational Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists.”

The beginning of this section of the threat assessment says: “Transnational RMVEs continue to post the most lethal threat to U.S. persons and interests, and a significant threat to a number of U.S. allies and partners through attacks and propaganda that espouses violence.”

The assessment then explains: “Transnational RMVEs are largely a decentralized movement of adherents to an ideology that espouses the use of violence to advance white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and other exclusionary cultural cultural-nationalist beliefs. These actors increasingly seek to sow social divisions, support fascist-style governments, and attack government institutions. The transnational and loose structure of RMVE organizations challenges local security services and creates a resilience against disruptions.”


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