We have no specific intelligence to indicate near-term terrorist attacks in New Jersey following the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) statement on Tuesday that it has 71 “soldiers” in 15 states ready to launch operations. Although we cannot corroborate ISIS’s claims, the statement follows dozens of public threats the group has issued against US law enforcement and military personnel since the onset of the US-led counterterrorism campaign in Iraq and Syria in September.
- In the statement, ISIS specifically named five of the 15 states—Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan—and lauded the failed attack on Sunday in Garland, Texas. The group likely views the Garland attack as proof that it can inspire homegrown violent extremists to strike inside the United States.
ISIS’s continued focus on US law enforcement, military personnel, and facilities highlights the ongoing threat these communities face. Today, all four of New Jersey’s major military installations—Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County; the 177th Fighter Wing in Atlantic County; Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County; and Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County—were put on heightened alert, similar to all other bases across the country.
- Last month, an unnamed teenager from South Carolina plotted to attack a North Carolina-based military installation in retaliation for US air strikes on ISIS. In March, federal investigators discovered two plots against military bases in Kansas and Illinois.
- In March, ISIS’s so-called “Hacking Division” released the names and home addresses of 100 military personnel from 23 states, encouraging followers to kill them. Although no one from New Jersey was identified, the information was drawn from publicly available content on the Internet, including from social networking sites. As a result, we encourage military and law enforcement personnel to limit their online exposure.
- Any suspicious activity in New Jersey should be reported by calling (866)-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) or 2-1-1, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.