Episode 47: Staying Cyber Safe This Holiday Season

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American consumers are expected to spend an average of $967 during the 2017 holiday shopping season. This is an approximate 3.5 percent increase from last year’s projections, and a majority of these purchases are expected to take place online. The NRF Consumer Survey found that online shopping is the preferred method of purchase this year for the first time in the survey’s history. Last year, Adobe reported that approximately $5.27 billion was spent in online sales between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, with $1.2 billion spent in purchases made through the use of mobile devices.

As the popularity of online shopping continues to increase, so does the number of potential unsuspecting victims for cyber criminals to exploit. This week, one of our cyber threat analysts at the New Jersey Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Cell (NJCCIC) discusses proactive steps to reduce your risk and make it harder for cyber criminals to succeed this holiday season. 

Episode 46: Children of the Caliphate - Young ISIS Returnees and the Reintegration Challenge

In recent years, the world has been repeatedly shocked by the gruesome images and actions of ISIS, in particular the footage and stories of children as young as eight executing people. Children play an important role in the organization: the children of the caliphate are seen as "the future of ISIS," and therefore education and propaganda are an important form of indoctrination. ISIS uses minors for suicide attacks, executions and fighting. Research has shown that IS propaganda between in 2015 and 2016 included 89 eulogies of children and youthsa number that steadily increased each monthly, showing that ISIS has gradually opted for this tactic. The role of minors and their future causes international concern for a broad range of reasons. Growing up and potentially fighting in armed conflict will traumatize a large number of these children. Also, what will happen with these children if the Caliphate collapses? Human Rights Watch expressed concerns about the birth registrations that will most likely not be recognized by the international community – potentially leaving children stateless.

This week on Intelligence. Unclassified., Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta had an enlightening call with researcher Liesbeth van der Heide from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), where they talk about her recent paper, Children of the Caliphate. They will explore the findings she and her co-author provide on young or juvenile ISIS returnees, assessing what sets juvenile returnees apart from adult returnees or the broader population of young criminals, and scoping the potential venues and challenges in their rehabilitation and reintegration. 

Episode 45: VOX-Pol Training Academy - Topics in Violent Political Extremism, Terrorism, and the Internet

The VOX-Pol program’s second week-long Training Academy in the Netherlands is designed to provide policymakers, law enforcement, social media companies, and others professionally-tasked with responding to violent online extremism and terrorism with an introduction to the role of the Internet in contemporary violent political extremism(s), including the online strategies of violent jihadis and the extreme right; the role of the Internet in lone actor terrorism; the online behaviors of convicted terrorists; and online CVE (Countering Violent Extremism).

The Training Academy is composed of a mix of formal lectures and hands-on labs. The latter are dedicated to providing participants with an overview of tools and methods for research and analysis in this domain. This past summer, Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta and Intelligence Analyst Paige Schilling attended the academy as presenters and participants. Tune in to hear their insights on this unique and valuable experience.

Episode 44: Preparing for Multiple Mass Gatherings - A Local and County Perspective

Recent attacks, including those at the Boston Marathon, Seaside Park Semper 5K, concert in Manchester, England, and, most recently, the Las Vegas concert, demonstrate that large-scale events remain attractive targets for terrorists and active shooters.

On this episode of Intelligence. Unclassified., Point Pleasant Beach Police Chief Joseph Michigan and Agent Ron Jennings of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office joined us to discuss special events and mass gatherings. No strangers to handling multiple large events simultaneously, they shared their insights and best practices on how to better secure and plan for such gatherings. 

Episode 43: Displaying Hate - A Look at 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.

Recently, our office partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to produce a comprehensive resource on the current imagery we are seeing in the white supremacist movement. Tune in as our analysts explore these symbols and their meanings.  

Episode 42: Terrorism or Not? A Look at Labelling

In the wake of a tragedy, classification of an act of mass violence appears daunting. The key point, whether it is terrorism or not, depends on the intent of the person conducting the violence, not the method, timing or victims.

Join NJOHSP Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta as they discuss the inherent issues in first-to-report designations of terrorism, as well as a three criterion test that can help sniff out the difference between a mass violence incident and an act of terrorism.

Episode 41: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.

In the second week of NCSAM, we focus on cybersecurity in the workplace. Creating a culture of cybersecurity is critical for all organizations and must be a shared responsibility among all employees. Join one of our cyber intelligence analysts as she discusses how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats and the resources available to help strengthen cyber resilience.

Episode 40: The Rise of #Vanguard #America

In the past six months, Vanguard America—a white supremacist group—has expanded beyond Internet-based activity to attending violent protests nationwide, distributing propaganda, and intimidating minority populations. The leader of the group claims there are approximately 200 members in 20 states, including New Jersey. 

Join Intelligence Analyst Paige Schilling and Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta as they explore what this movement is all about and how their actions have impacted New Jersey.

Episode 39: National Preparedness Month Wrap-Up - A Look at Supply Chain Resilience

For the final week of National Preparedness Month, we take a look at supply chains, which are comprised of all the organizations and individuals involved in creating a product and getting it to a consumer. Understanding how supply chains work in New Jersey allows NJOHSP to work with private-sector partners on building supply chain resilience and ensure the products and services people rely on are accessible after a disruption. Join Senior Planners Charlie Ambio, Jim McDavitt, and Scott Gibson as they discuss supply chains and their importance to consumers, businesses, and government on the latest episode of Intelligence. Unclassified.

Episode 38: A Discussion with New Jersey’s Mental Health Experts on Disaster and Terrorism

One component of counterterrorism that we rarely talk about is the psychological impacts of terrorist attacks and other forms of mass violence. As the Disaster and Terrorism Branch (DTB) of the Department of Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services is the recognized mental health authority for disaster and mental health services in New Jersey, in this episode, Director of DTB, Dr. Adrienne Fessler Belli, and the Director of Training for DTB discuss how their mission fills this extremely important void.

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: From Radicalization to Reconciliation, One Man’s Experience with White Supremacy (Part Two)

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the last several weeks, you have heard from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

In the final episode of the 2017 Domestic Terrorism Conference series, former white supremacist Frank Meeink discusses his radicalization process to extremism. His story provides an insight into white supremacist ideology, recruitment strategies, and his efforts to help others leave the movement.

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: From Radicalization to Reconciliation, One Man’s Experience with White Supremacy (Part One)

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the last several weeks, you have heard from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

In the final episode of the 2017 Domestic Terrorism Conference series, former white supremacist Frank Meeink discusses his radicalization process to extremism. His story provides an insight into white supremacist ideology, recruitment strategies, and his efforts to help others leave the movement.

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: Counter-Jihad Movements and the European Far Right

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the next several weeks, you will hear from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

In this episode, Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta is joined by Dr. Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens to discuss the growth of right-wing movements in Europe. The two explore how far-right movements, such as the English Defence League, have been able to garner support.

Episode 34: Hizballah - Recent US Arrests Reveal Preoperational Planning

On June 1, federal authorities arrested two individuals tied to Hizballah’s Islamic Jihad Organization—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 International Airport.

Join Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Intelligence Analyst Paige Schilling as they explore how this case is unique compared to other Hizballah related arrests in the United States.

Episode 33: A Peek Inside the Caliphate - Examining Recent ISIS Propaganda

Each month, ISIS has issued an online, English language magazine called Rumiyah. It is designed to boast morale and provide tactical guidance to a global audience. Although this is the 12th edition of the Rumiyah series, ISIS has excelled in its propaganda efforts, which is evident in not only Rumiyah, but also its predecessor magazine, Dabiq, as well as their high-quality video messaging campaigns..

Tune in as we unpack the most recent edition of Rumiyah, published a day before the release of a new video detailing instructions for a new “terror tactics.”

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: Combating Domestic Terrorism with Thomas Brzozowski

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the next several weeks, you will hear from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

Intelligence Analyst Angie Gad sat down with Thomas E. Brzozowski, Counsel for Domestic Terrorism at the US Department of Justice (DOJ), to discuss the complexities of dealing with the domestic terrorism landscape in the United States. Mr. Brzozowski highlights the difficulties in defining domestic terrorism, ways the DOJ disrupts domestic terror plots, and how charges are levied against domestic terrorists.

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: Dangerous Discourse - Researching Violent Online Political Extremism

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the next several weeks, you will hear from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

In this episode, Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta sat down with Lisa McInerney of VOX-Pol, an academic research network focused on researching the prevalence, contours, functions, and impacts of violent online political extremism and responses to it. We explore their efforts on combating violent online political extremism and radicalization, as well as current strategies and lessons learned from prior incidents of radicalization. 

Domestic Terrorism Conference Series: Exploring the ARTIC with David Westerlind and Kevin Cunningham

In May 2017, NJOHSP hosted over 250 federal, state, and local intelligence and law enforcement, academic, and private-sector partners for the 2nd Annual Domestic Terrorism Conference. The event provided a forum to discuss the threat of extremists and groups aligned with race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious ideologies in the United States. Over the next several weeks, you will hear from some of the experts who shared their research and insights at the conference.

In this episode, Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta sat down with Kevin P. Cunningham and David Westerlind from the US Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC), to explore the evolving threat landscape against US service members. Tune in as they discuss how the ARTIC is able to provide force protection and situational awareness to the Army in order to deter various criminal and terrorist threats.