AQIM’s threat to New Jersey is low, as the group lacks the capability to direct attacks against the United States and continues to focus operations on Western interests in the Sahel region, as well as Libya and Tunisia.
Terrorist organizations in North Africa—namely al-Shabaab, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram—continue to kidnap Westerners for political leverage and fundraising, potentially
impacting business operations for New Jersey-based companies with locations in the region. At this time, NJOHSP has no specific or credible information that these groups are explicitly targeting New Jersey companies or their employees.
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.
AQIM lacks the capability and intent to plan and carry out an attack in the United States or New Jersey. AQIM’s operational focus is North and West Africa, and its membership includes few foreign fighters. While AQIM is hostile toward the West, the group’s efforts in targeting Western assets remain largely focused on Europe.
Terrorist organizations in North Africa and the Middle East continue to target beach resorts and boardwalks because they are publicly accessible and have limited security—and these operations can have long-term economic impacts on the tourism industry. Since 2015, there have been four terror attacks at beaches and boardwalks overseas, which resulted in 56 deaths.