At a Glance - September 12

9/11 Anniversary: Video From Al-Qa’ida Leader Threatens More Attacks, Cites US Racial Conflict

A video by al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks threatened further attacks against the United States and called attention to the racial conflict in the United States. He called the 9/11 attacks “a slap in the face” against the United States and its allies, and said to the United States, “As long as your crimes continue, then the events of September 11 will be repeated a thousand times.”

By implication, Zawahiri contrasts al-Qa’ida with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying that “real soldiers do not impose themselves on you as rulers without your acceptance or consultation.”

Regarding racial conflict in the United States, the video features a clip from a speech by Malcolm X (see photo), and Zawahiri saying blacks will not attain their rights through the law and constitution, because the law is in the hands of the white majority. He says nothing will rescue them but Islam. In a similar way, during the Ferguson protests, ISIS attempted to incite blacks to conduct attacks in the United States.

France: ISIS-Related Cell Disrupted After Botched Car-Bombing Attempt Near Notre Dame Cathedral

Four women have been detained and a terror cell has been disrupted after a failed car-bombing attempt near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on the weekend of September 3-4. One of the women, identified as Omella G., age 29, has been charged with association with a terrorist group and attempted murder by an organized group, after her fingerprints were found in the abandoned car. Five gas cylinders, three bottles of diesel fuel, a blanket with traces of fuel, and a burned-out cigarette were found in the car. No detonators were found. Omella G. told police that she and another suspect, Ines Madani, age 19, tried to set the car on fire but fled when they saw a man they believed to be a plain-clothes police officer.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said the women were directed by members of ISIS in Syria. Police found a handwritten pledge of allegiance to ISIS in Madani's purse. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the hunt for the women was "a race against time" before they could strike again. According to law enforcement officials, they were considering railway stations in Paris as potential targets.

San Bernardino: Critical Incident Review Provides New Details and Lessons Learned

A critical incident review of the San Bernardino terrorist attack on December 2, released last week by the Police Foundation and the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), provides new details that had not previously been made public, including information on the shootout between police and the attackers, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. It also discusses lessons learned. 

A theme of the report is the bravery and professionalism of the responding public safety organizations in the San Bernardino area (see photo). Their actions that day saved lives. The lessons learned will help agencies prepare for future mass-casualty events.

Police were on the scene within four minutes of the first 911 calls. Officers described a bloody, chaotic scene, with the first four officers having victims reach out to them for help, while they had to keep going, because their job was to locate the attackers and neutralize them. Random parking of emergency vehicles created problems, blocking entry and exit lanes. 

The Lessons Learned section of the report is organized around several themes, including: building relationships BEFORE a critical incident; planning and exercising unified command for complex incidents, on a regional basis; and conducting regional multiorganizational training. 

The entire report is available online on the Police Foundation's website, at

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