Flint Airport Update: FBI Says Attacker Tried to Buy a Gun, but Used a Knife Instead; London Update: Suspect Charged With Terrorist-Related Murder in Mosque Attack; Murder of Muslim Teenager in Virginia Is Being Investigated as a Road-Rage Incident
Terrorists—particularly homegrown violent extremists (HVEs)—will likely continue using vehicles as weapons based on foreign terrorist organizations promoting this tactic, the success of past attacks, and the ease of vehicle acquisition. An NJOHSP review of vehicle-ramming attacks in the West over the last 10 years shows increases in this tactic and resulting casualties.
NJOHSP assesses the recent uptick in propaganda from Hamza bin Ladin is an attempt to inspire sympathizers to execute attacks in the West, secure his position as a future al-Qa’ida leader, and attract supporters. Since Hamza’s public introduction in 2015, he has produced six audio messages—two were released in the past month.
NJOHSP assesses al-Qa’ida is attempting to reform its operations in Syria following a split with its affiliate, the Nusrah Front. Since 2012, al-Qa’ida has maintained an active presence in Syria, taking advantage of the multi-faceted conflict; however, in 2016, the Nusrah Front broke with al-Qa’ida and is focusing its efforts on the Syrian conflict.
London: Van Rams Worshipers Leaving a Mosque; Teenage Muslim Girl Assaulted and Killed After Leaving a Mosque in Virginia; Congressional Shooting Illustrates Increased Potential for Politically Motivated Violence
On May 4, ISIS released the ninth edition of its online magazine, Rumiyah, which featured an article on detaining people during an attack—stating the purpose is “not to hold large numbers of the [disbelievers] hostage in order to negotiate demands…the objective is to create as much carnage and terror as possible.” The article also praises the attacks at the Bataclan theater in Paris and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as examples for sympathizers to emulate.
Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs); Emergency Notification System; FirstNet; JerseyNet
A Point Pleasant (Ocean County) man faces federal terrorism charges after a family member notified law enforcement of his erratic behavior—underscoring the role friends, relatives, and close associates play in countering violence. According to authorities, Gregory Lepsky plotted to build a pressure-cooker bomb and detonate it in New York City to “kill as many people as possible” in support of ISIS.
Anti-fascist groups, or “Antifa,” are a subset of the anarchist movement and focus on issues involving racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as other perceived injustices.
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 “rebranded” since at least last year, when they took a more high-profile role with conferences and rallies, official statements, and recruitment efforts.
Although there are no specific or credible threats to New Jersey, recent events, including the 2016 bombing in Seaside Park, demonstrate terrorists continued targeting of large public events. Event organizers are encouraged to implement risk mitigation measures to enhance the safety of participants, staff, and spectators of outdoor endurance events such as running or cycling races.
For the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will provide a new service—storm surge watches and warnings—which will alert the public about life-threatening inundation caused by hurricanes and other tropical cyclones.
Manchester Attack Calls Attention to Security Concerns After an Event; Manchester Investigation: Suicide Bomber Appears to Have Been Supported by a Network; Egypt: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack on Coptic Christians
On May 25, ISIS released a video calling on supporters to conduct assaults and justifying the killing of innocents during Ramadan, the most sacred month in Islam, which runs from May 27 to June 24. Historically, ISIS and its predecessor groups have called for an offensive campaign during this month.