At a Glance - December 27

Europe: Berlin Christmas Market Attacker Connected to ISIS Cell in Germany; Communications: Telegram Emerges as the “App of Choice” for Terrorist Organizations; Not What It Appeared: Black Parishoner Charged in Arson of African-American Church in Mississippi


Transportation Systems Sector: Passenger Rail

The Passenger Rail sub-sector is comprised of commuter and light rail lines, rail stations, and rail cars. Passenger rail systems in New Jersey include NJ Transit, Amtrak, Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). 

Commercial Facilities Sector: Casinos and Gaming

The Casino and Gaming sub-sector represents casinos and the associated convention centers, shopping arcades, lodging facilities, nightclubs, theaters, and performing arts centers that make up the entire gaming facility complex. The sub-sector overlaps with other assets in the Commercial Facilities Sector. 

Transportation Systems Sector: Aviation

The Aviation Sector is comprised of infrastructure owned and operated by public, private, and military entities. Aviation infrastructure includes airports, heliports, balloonports, and seaplane landing ports, which are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Anwar al-Aulaqi: Inspiring Jihadists Five Years After His Death

The attack on Monday at Ohio State University highlights the enduring influence of radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who was killed in a US airstrike in Yemen in 2011. Abdul Artan, who shortly before the Ohio State attack posted a statement on Facebook praising Aulaqi as “our hero,” drove his vehicle through a crowd and struck fellow students with a knife, injuring 11. Artan’s motives are still under investigation., and in the same Facebook post, he made references to ISIS and lone-wolf attacks.

Hotel Security: Lessons From Terrorist Attacks in Africa

Since 2015, foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qa’ida affiliates and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have directed and inspired attacks against the hotel industry in Africa, with the goal of depleting emergency responder resources and maximizing casualties. Hotels are often open to the public and host tourists, government officials, and entrepreneurs, as well as provide a conducive environment for meetings, conferences, and other special events.

Dams Sector

The Dams Sector comprises assets, systems, networks, and functions related to dam projects, navigation locks, levees, hurricane barriers, mine tailings impoundments, or other similar water retention and control facilities. It is a vital sector of infrastructure that provides a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including hydroelectric power, river navigation, water supply, wildlife habitat, waste management, flood control, and recreation. 

Chemical Sector

Chemical facilities in New Jersey manufacture, store, and transport chemicals to customers in multiple critical infrastructure sectors. The facilities are all privately owned and operated. According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, there are approximately 200 private sector chemical facilities in New Jersey. The State of New Jersey does not own any chemical facilities.

Communications Sector

The Communications Sector is an integral component of the US economy and the operations of all businesses, public safety organizations, and government agencies. It includes wireline, wireless, satellite, cable, and broadcasting capabilities, and the transport networks that support the Internet and other key information systems.

Transportation Systems Sector: Freight Rail

The Freight Rail sub-sector is one of seven modes that make up the Transportation System Sector and is comprised of railroads, about 143,000 miles of track, roughly 1.3 million freight cars, and some 20,000 locomotives in the United States. The sub-sector is responsible for roughly $55 billion per year in cargo transport.

ISIS: Redefining Success to Compensate for Losses

Since May, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has tried to maintain operational and strategic momentum in the face of setbacks by recasting its propaganda, downplaying territorial losses, and emphasizing its potential long-term impact on the global jihad. Since 2015, the group lost approximately 30 percent of its territory and 120 leaders. 

Transportation/Maritime: Ferries a Vulnerable Target

An NJOHSP review of the Transportation Sector found that ferries remain susceptible to terrorist attacks because they transport large volumes of people, have limited security, and offer minimal escape options during incidents. Although there has not been a recent plot or attack against ferries in the United States, authorities across the country, including in New Jersey, have increased security in this area. French authorities likewise hardened port security following a bomb scare at the Port of Marseille in July.