New Jersey: Anonymous Threats to Muslim Community

New Jersey: Anonymous Threats to Muslim Community

Since late February, two mosques and four Islamic centers in New Jersey have received letters with crude drawings of individuals being beheaded from an unidentified perpetrator using the pseudonym “Muslim slayer.” These acts are occurring against the backdrop of national threats against the Muslim community, including arson attacks and vandalism, and an increase in bias crime reporting. 

At a Glance | May 22

Driver Charged With Murder After Times Square Attack; Motivation Remains Under Investigation; Interfaith Issues: Video Released Showing Arson at Tampa Mosque in February; Bin Ladin’s Son Hamza Releases Another Video, Is Becoming Increasingly Prominent as Al-Qa’ida Spokesman

Domestic Terrorism: 2015-Present

Domestic Terrorism: 2015-Present

Between January 2015 and May 1, 2017, there were 81 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations. These infographics compare different types of extremists, identify notable incidents, and highlight the targets and methods used by domestic terrorists with different ideologies.

New Jersey Suspicious Activity Reporting: Success Stories

NJOHSP encourages the public, law enforcement, first responders, and our private- and public-sector partners to report suspicious activity that could be related to terrorism. In the last few years, such reports in the tristate area led to investigations that thwarted several terrorist plots. Here are a few incidents where a suspicious activity report helped uncover and frustrate possible attacks.

AQAP: New Propaganda Emphasizes US Attacks

AQAP: New Propaganda Emphasizes US Attacks

Recent attacks in the West and renewed US raids in AQAP-controlled areas have prompted al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to disseminate new propaganda aimed at inspiring and providing tactical guidance to sympathizers in the United States. In January, Nawar al-Aulaqi—the eight-year-old daughter of deceased US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi—was killed when US forces raided an AQAP-controlled area in a remote desert region of Yemen. AQAP has since leveraged this operation to spread anti-American rhetoric and motivate supporters in the West.

At a Glance | May 15

Al-Qa’ida: Usama Bin Ladin’s Son Calls for Suicide Attacks in the United States and Against Jewish Interests; Intelligence Community Assesses Homegrown Terrorists Are “Most Frequent and Unpredictable Threat;” School Security: Information Sharing Helps Avert Attack in North Carolina

Maryland: Father’s Tip Disrupts Possible Mass Shooting

Maryland: Father’s Tip Disrupts Possible Mass Shooting

After becoming suspicious of his daughter’s behavior, a Maryland father discovered her journal detailing plans for a Columbine-style school shooting and immediately notified authorities—underscoring the role parents, friends, and close associates play in countering violence. In March, Nicole Cevario was arrested for planning to conduct a mass shooting at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, Maryland. She has been charged with possession of explosive and incendiary materials, with the intent to create a destructive device.

White Supremacists: Rhetorical Shifts Unlikely to Deter Violence

White Supremacists: Rhetorical Shifts Unlikely to Deter Violence

To appeal to new audiences susceptible to its radical messaging, the national white supremacist movement has tried to deemphasize hate symbols and attacks against non-white communities. These organizations have attempted to “rebrand” since at least last year, when they took a more high-profile role with conferences and rallies, official statements, and recruitment efforts. 

ISIS: Paris Attack Highlights Threat to Law Enforcement

ISIS: Paris Attack Highlights Threat to Law Enforcement

On April 20, ISIS claimed responsibility for a shooting against law enforcement officers in Paris, killing one and injuring two, declaring the perpetrator a “fighter of the Islamic State.” This is the second ISIS strike this year against police officers in Europe. At this time, there are no known or credible threats to New Jersey.

Mall Security: Risk Mitigation After Germany Plot

After foreign terrorist calls to attack shopping malls in the West, which has been circulating in propaganda since 2015, the Limbecker Platz mall in the western German city of Essen closed on March 11. Two men were arrested after German police received a tip that ISIS contacted followers in Germany to attack the mall—the second terror plot against malls in the country since December 2016. 

ISIS Strikes Churches in Egypt

ISIS Strikes Churches in Egypt

On April 9, ISIS claimed responsibility for suicide bombings at Coptic Christian churches in two Egyptian cities, killing roughly 45 and injuring 106, during Palm Sunday services. At this time, there are no known or credible threats to the Coptic Christian community in New Jersey, which has one of the largest concentrations of Coptic Christians in the United States.

AQAP: Steadfast Intent to Target US Aviation

AQAP: Steadfast Intent to Target US Aviation

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) continues to demonstrate its willingness to attack US aviation, prompting the United States to implement new security enhancements in this sector. Since 2009, the group has plotted unsuccessfully to blow up airliners over the United States three times using various non-metallic explosive devices, which can evade security detection. The chief architect of these attacks, bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri, likely remains active in Yemen.