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(The Situation Update Report [SUR] is a near real-time brief of a possible threat or situation being monitored by The Counter Threat Center. The information is accurate at the time of reporting, but may be subject to change.)

Nicholas Novak, Mateo Maya

Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor

October 18, 2023

Al Ahli Hospital[1]

Current Situation: An explosion at the Al Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital in Gaza reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and wounded many more. The IDF claims that a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) rocket misfire caused it to fall into the hospital.[2] Hamas denied these claims on their official Telegram channel, blaming it on an Israeli airstrike.[3] The IDF targeted BBC News on X, accusing them of spreading misinformation and misreporting the event.[4]

Day/Time of event: October 17, 2023/Around 1900 local time

What is the current threat:

  • The spread of unverified information will almost certainly lead to an escalation of protests worldwide, with protestors subscribing to different beliefs. Hate speech online against Jews and Arabs will likely lead to increased violence between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protesters.

  • The uncertainty of the situation will very likely lead to mistrust of the media and increase the possibility of further misinformation spreading via social media.

  • Riots at US and Israeli embassies will very likely continue in neighboring Arab countries, likely claiming justice for the victims of the explosion.

  • Hate crimes against Jewish and Arab individuals and communities will likely increase, especially in European and Middle Eastern countries. There is a roughly even chance that European alt-right groups will increase hostile activities toward these minorities. Jewish and Arab individuals, along with sympathizers, will likely target each respective community and vandalize their properties.

  • Islamist terrorist organizations will likely call on pro-Palestinians worldwide to retaliate, almost certainly capitalizing on current misinformation. They will likely incite strikes on soft targets.

  • Lone wolf attacks will likely increase in Western Europe, very likely conducting copycat attacks similar to the recent attacks in Brussels and Illinois. Lone Wolves will very likely be encouraged through online blogs and social media.

Who will it directly impact:

  • Palestinian civilians

  • Muslim communities abroad

  • Jewish communities abroad


[1] File:مستشفى الأهلي.jpg, by أمين licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

[2] IDF, from X, via HUMINT

[3] CTG Threat Hunter 1 via Telegram

[4] IDF, from X, via HUMINT

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