Anarchists: Targeting North Dakota Access Pipeline

Anarchists: Targeting North Dakota Access Pipeline

Anarchist extremists are protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and aiding in the destruction of pipeline construction material, resulting in transport disruptions in at least two states. DAPL is a $3.7-billion project to build a pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois, where crude oil would be transported to refineries on the Gulf or East Coast. It is unlikely this activity will impact New Jersey pipeline projects because no New Jersey-based companies are directly supporting the DAPL project.

Environmental Extremists Vandalize Trump Golf Course

Environmental Extremists Vandalize Trump Golf Course

Last week, an “anonymous environmental activist collective” defaced one of the President’s private golf courses in Rancho Palos Verde, California, claiming offense with the Trump Administration’s perceived “disregard” for the environment and threatening further action. This act, which caused roughly $20,000 in damages, is the first time a US golf course affiliated with the President has been targeted; other Trump properties have been vandalized in the past.  
 

ISIS: Deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (UPDATED)

ISIS: Deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (UPDATED)

ISIS will likely continue refining its UAV capabilities and touting successes as proofs of concept for future operations. Since February, ISIS claims it has conducted approximately 80 UAV attacks in Iraq and Syria, killing approximately 40 and injuring 100. The UAVs are primarily quadcopters, which can be easily purchased online and customized to drop small explosive munitions.

Risk Mitigation for Hospitals After Afghanistan Attack

On March 8, four men killed at least 30 people and wounded more than 50 at the Sardar Daud Khan military hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, using tactics indicative of premeditation after foreign terrorist calls to strike hospitals in the West. ISIS later claimed responsibility. 

Earthen Spillway Failure Impacts Limited in New Jersey

Earthen Spillway Failure Impacts Limited in New Jersey

A dam failure like the one on February 12 at the Oroville Dam in Northern California does not present similar risks to New Jersey’s population because of differences in the State’s dam design, topography, and magnitude. According to media outlets, heavy damage to the Oroville Dam’s main spillway compromised its structural integrity, hindering its safe release of floodwater. Water flowing down the unpaved auxiliary spillway eroded the hillside and roughly 180,000 people in the inundation zone were subsequently evacuated.

AQAP: Exploiting US Raid in Propaganda

AQAP: Exploiting US Raid in Propaganda

Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is leveraging a recent US counterterrorism (CT) operation in Yemen to spread anti-American rhetoric and motivate supporters in the West. On January 29, US forces raided an AQAP-controlled area in Bayda Province, killing three tribal chiefs linked to the group and the daughter of deceased US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi. In a rare audio statement, AQAP leader Qasim al-Rimi mocked the US President for the operation.

Extremists Poised to Continue Using Vehicles in Operations

Extremists Poised to Continue Using Vehicles in Operations

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.

Al-Qa’ida Deputy’s Death Weakens Group in Syria

Al-Qa’ida Deputy’s Death Weakens Group in Syria

On February 26, US military forces killed al-Qa’ida deputy leader Abu Khayr al-Masri in northwestern Syria, further undermining the organization’s command structure in Syria. Masri, the global deputy to al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was a member of the Khorasan Group—a network of senior al-Qa’ida extremists in Syria dedicated to planning operations against the United States and Europe and advising the Nusrah Front, al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in the country.

Ransomware: Lessons Learned From Attack on Texas Police

Ransomware: Lessons Learned From Attack on Texas Police

The ransomware infection of Cockrell Hill Police Department’s (CHPD) servers in Texas on December 12, 2016 revealed cyber vulnerabilities that can be mitigated. The hacker behind the attack demanded $4,000 in bitcoins to decrypt CHPD’s files. After consulting with the FBI Cyber Crime Unit, CHPD decided not to pay the ransom and wiped its server to remove the virus. The wipe caused the loss of some body camera, dash camera, and surveillance videos, as well as photos that were not properly backed up.

Proposed Energy Pipelines: Minimal Impact to New Jersey

The proposed Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines pose little impact to New Jersey due to the State’s robust, independent infrastructure and the lack of credible threats from anarchist or environmental extremist groups. The Dakota Access Pipeline will transport crude oil from the Bakken shale oil fields in northwest North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it will travel to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico and the Midwest. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed project awaiting US State Department approval, which will provide a more direct route to transport crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska.

New Jersey: Grid Redundancy Prevents Large-Scale Power Outages

Large-scale power outages are unlikely in New Jersey because of safeguards built into the electric grid, safety measures implemented following major weather events, and regular tests of grid resiliency. Last Thursday, an explosion at a high voltage substation near Brussels, Belgium damaged a physical connection between electrical grid components—causing a widespread power outage. Technicians restored power within three hours and reported a technical issue still under investigation caused the explosion.

Support to Religious Facilities in Face of Threats

NJOHSP continues to offer resources to religious facilities in New Jersey, especially following recent bomb scares against Jewish centers across the United States and Canada. Since January, approximately 60 Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and day schools in 30 states have received roughly 100 bomb threats. The FBI is coordinating all investigative activity with state and local law enforcement partners.

Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) in the US, 2016

Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) in the US, 2016

Homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) are individuals inspired—as opposed to directed—by a foreign terrorist organization and radicalized in the countries in which they are born, raised, or reside.

HVEs pose the greatest threat to New Jersey and will likely remain so this year.

Blind Sheikh’s Death Sparks Calls for Revenge

Blind Sheikh’s Death Sparks Calls for Revenge

Al-Qa’ida affiliates, specifically al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), are calling for retaliatory attacks in response to the death of Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman—often referred to as “the Blind Sheikh.” On Saturday, Rahman died at a federal prison in North Carolina where he was serving a life sentence for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured about 1,000.