New York City Vehicle-Ramming Attack

Yesterday, an ISIS-inspired individual carried out an attack in Lower Manhattan, killing eight and injuring 12, according to initial reports. This is the first vehicle-ramming incident a homegrown violent extremist has conducted in the United States since November 2016, when Abdul Artan drove his car into pedestrians on Ohio State University’s campus, injuring 11.

Terrorist Organizations Continue Kidnapping Operations in Africa

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.

White Supremacist Extremist Imagery

White supremacist extremists often use imagery that can be broken down into four categories—traditional, religious, Nazi-related, and Internet-based—to convey their ideology, show support for a specific group, or intimidate minority populations. These symbols should not automatically be assumed to be hate-related, but should be evaluated in the context in which they are used. 

Hizballah: Recent Arrests Reveal Pre-Operational Planning

On June 1, federal authorities arrested two individuals tied to Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO)—which is responsible for planning intelligence-gathering, counterintelligence, and terrorist activities on behalf of the group internationally—for attempting to provide material support, among other charges. Ali Mohamad Kourani conducted surveillance on a variety of targets in New York City, including FBI offices, an Army National Guard facility, a US Secret Service facility, a US Army armory, and John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

Extremists Poised to Continue Using Vehicles in Operations (UPDATED)

Extremists Poised to Continue Using Vehicles in Operations (UPDATED)

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: Rise of Hamza Bin Ladin

NJOHSP assesses the recent uptick in propaganda from Hamza bin Ladin is an attempt to inspire sympathizers to execute attacks in the West, secure his position as a future al-Qa’ida leader, and attract supporters. Since Hamza’s public introduction in 2015, he has produced six audio messages—two were released in the past month.

Al-Qa’ida: Rebuilding Capabilities in Syria

Al-Qa’ida: Rebuilding Capabilities in Syria

NJOHSP assesses al-Qa’ida is attempting to reform its operations in Syria following a split with its affiliate, the Nusrah Front. Since 2012, al-Qa’ida has maintained an active presence in Syria, taking advantage of the multi-faceted conflict; however, in 2016, the Nusrah Front broke with al-Qa’ida and is focusing its efforts on the Syrian conflict. 

ISIS: Magazine Suggests Hostage Taking as a Tactic

ISIS: Magazine Suggests Hostage Taking as a Tactic

On May 4, ISIS released the ninth edition of its online magazine, Rumiyah, which featured an article on detaining people during an attack—stating the purpose is “not to hold large numbers of the [disbelievers] hostage in order to negotiate demands…the objective is to create as much carnage and terror as possible.” The article also praises the attacks at the Bataclan theater in Paris and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as examples for sympathizers to emulate. 

New Jersey: Family’s Report Thwarts Pressure-Cooker Bomb Plot

New Jersey: Family’s Report Thwarts Pressure-Cooker Bomb Plot

A Point Pleasant (Ocean County) man faces federal terrorism charges after a family member notified law enforcement of his erratic behavior—underscoring the role friends, relatives, and close associates play in countering violence. According to authorities, Gregory Lepsky plotted to build a pressure-cooker bomb and detonate it in New York City to “kill as many people as possible” in support of ISIS.