Chattanooga: Attack Underscores Threat to Miltary

On July 16, Air Force recruiters witnessed a white male pull up in front of a National Guard recruiting center in a strip mall in Chattanooga and fire 25 to 30 rounds at the office with an automatic rifle. Local authorities pursued the shooter to the NOSC, approximately 7.5 miles from the first shooting site.

Abdulazeez, 24, had traveled to Jordan in 2014, but had no previous contact with law enforcement, except for a drunk-driving charge in April. According to the FBI, he had two “long guns” and a handgun at the time of the attack.

US military facilities and personnel have been on heightened alert since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) specifically mentioned them as priority targets last fall.The onset of the US-led counterterrorism campaign in Iraq and Syria last summer also likely raised the threat to the Homeland.

  • In early May, ISIS released a statement that it has 71 “soldiers” in 15 states ready to launch operations. In March, the “Islamic State Hacking Division” released names and addresses of 100 military personnel from 23 states, encouraging followers to kill them.
     
  • In late June, ISIS’s spokesman released an audio recording urging followers to escalate attacks during the month of Ramadan, which ran from June 18 to July 17. In March and April, federal investigators discovered three plots against military bases in Kansas, Illinois, and North Carolina.
     
  • We encourage citizens and law enforcement, military, and intelligence personnel to remain vigilant in the face of heightened threats to the military. Any suspicious activity in New Jersey should be reported by calling (866) 4SAFENJ (866-472-3365) or 2-1-1, or by emailing tips@njohsp.gov.

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For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Analysis Bureau at analysis@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.