AUSTIN, Texas - Texas' terrorism threat is now set at "elevated" according to the latest assessment from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
An annual report, the Texas Public Safety Threat Overview, was released Friday, indicating threats from lone wolf attackers, the drug cartels and even natural disasters all combined led officials to the level.
"The threat from Mexican cartels is particularly high due to their wide range of criminal activity in Mexico and in Texas. Cartel members and associates are involved in the cross-border smuggling of people, weapons, drugs, and currency. Their operations are either run directly by cartel members, or indirectly through affiliated criminal organizations that pay fees to transit across cartel territory," the report reads in part.
The report also details threats from groups like ISIS, saying the threat is "expected to persist during the next year, due in part to the relatively high number of recent terrorism-related arrests and thwarted plots, and the prevalence of ISIS's online recruitment and incitement messaging."
"As terrorism has become more disaggregated, communities in Texas and across the nation are facing a heightened threat of terrorism, and the continued potential for attacks against civilians and members of law enforcement is a serious ongoing concern," said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a news release. "The report identifies several other unique threats to our state - including organized crime and Mexican cartels, natural disasters and cyber attacks - for which we must be prepared. With the 2017 Texas Public Safety Threat Overview in mind, DPS will continue working with our law enforcement partners to prevent, respond to and recover from all potential threats facing our state."