Protecting Houses of Worship and Faith Communities During Inauguration Week

Recommendations for safeguarding houses of worship from white supremacist attacks.

January 19, 2021

A coalition of national and state level intelligence and law enforcement agencies issued a Joint Threat Assessment (JTA) for the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., that will be held on January 20th, 2021, due to the recent incidents of ideologically-motivated violence. As we collectively witnessed during the Capitol riot, domestic terrorism and far right extremism are a clear and present threat and need to be prepared for appropriately.

Houses of worship, considered “soft targets,'' are at risk of incidents from Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVE). The Muslim Public Affairs Council has been notified that HVEs may target minority houses of worship, including mosques. Unaffliliated lone offenders and homegrown violent extremists (HVE) are a concern due to their ability to act with little to no warning, their willingness to attack civilians and soft targets, and their ability to cause significant casualties with weapons that do not require specialized knowledge, access, or training.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council recommendations:

  • Coordinate with local faith and intergroup partners and issue joint statements to demonstrate solidarity
  • Communicate with local police and develop a contact list in case of any emergency; ask for Senior Lead Officer for your neighborhood
  • Create a security committee to devise a plan for this upcoming week
  • Notify your communities for the need to be vigilant and to share information with your mosque leadership on any suspicious activity
  • We encourage all houses of worship to exercise vigilance, caution, and protective measures to ensure the safety of their congregations during our nation’s transition of power. We hope that this will serve as a guide for you as you take important steps to ensure that our mosques, schools, and community centers are safe. Please share the resources below with your institutions and communities. 

Law Enforcement Resources:

DHS Community Outreach:

DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), Community Engagement Section & Training Resources:

DOJ Community Relations Service:
Contact: (202) 305-2935

DOJ Civil Rights Division:
Contact: Eric Treene (

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):
Contact info for FBI field offices across the country:

The U.S. Secret Service - National Threat Assessment Center:



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