Homegrown Violent Extremism

Fueling the Flames: Extremists’ Response to New Zealand Attacks

On March 15, suspected white supremacist extremist Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, attacked two mosques, killing 50 and injuring 50 others in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the immediate days following the attacks, various international terrorist groups and other white supremacist extremists commented on the attack, either condemning and calling for revenge or showing their support.

In today’s podcast, our analysts will discuss how these various extremist groups have responded to this attack and implications for future threats.

2019 Threat Assessment Series: Persistent Threat - Evolving Strategies of International Terror Groups

Although overseas, foreign terrorist organizations pose unique challenges to homeland security professionals and law enforcement. These groups attempt to conduct attacks within the United States and have plotted to target US infrastructure as well as overseas US interests. In 2019, ISIS will maintain its insurgency in Iraq and Syria, support its global affiliates, and attempt to inspire attacks through propaganda dissemination, while al-Qa’ida and its affiliates will focus on targeting Western interests abroad, also disseminating propaganda to its followers, and attempting to expand its operations in West Africa.

In this episode, our analysts discuss what 2018 looked like for these foreign terrorist groups, how they have evolved over the years, and what threat they may present to the State of New Jersey.

An Overview of the 2019 NJOHSP Terrorism Threat Assessment

In October, Robert Bowers targeted members of the Jewish community when he entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire, killing 11 people and injuring six. It was an attack not only toward members of that congregation, but also against all citizens throughout the United States who should be able to go about their daily lives without fearing for their safety at any event or venue.

The threat from individuals who similarly wish to do harm has hit home in New Jersey as well. In May, NJOHSP detectives arrested and charged a sovereign citizen extremist for the first time under a new State statute for filing fraudulent liens. In October, an anti-government extremist transported explosive materials through our State with the goal of conducting an attack on Election Day in Washington, DC. That same month, Cesar Sayoc Jr. mailed Cory Booker and 15 other Democratic figureheads packages that contained improvised explosive devices.

These incidents further demonstrate the wide-ranging ideologies associated with domestic terrorism and have only further strengthened our Office’s resolve to protect the diversity that makes New Jersey so unique. Join us as we discuss the upcoming release of NJOHSP's 2019 Terrorism Threat Assessment and the threat extremist groups pose to New Jersey in 2019. 

Women and Terrorism: A Review of the Roles of Females in Homegrown Violent Extremism

Women have played significant roles in terrorism throughout the modern age of political violence. Indeed, both ISIS and Al-Qa’ida continue to produce and disseminate propaganda targeting women amid their respective losses. There is a push to appeal to Arabic-speaking women in order to stay relevant and further their operations.

Tune in as our analysts discuss the recent arrests of female sympathizers and how these female homegrown violent extremists and these terrorist groups target their propaganda efforts to continue to encourage supporters to conduct attacks on the groups’ behalf, provide guidance on behavior, fundraise for overseas operations, and issue threatening rhetoric online.

Mapping Terror Series: Homegrown Violent Extremists in the US, 2017

Last year, a total of 34 homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) conducted acts of terrorism across the United States. Overall, there were 13 attacks and plots nationwide—two involving New Jersey residents—and 22 individuals were charged with material support or other related offenses nationwide.

Tune in to our discussion on the HVE threat, including a look at their continued ability to operate in New Jersey and throughout the United States while connecting with like-minded individuals online and acting independently from organized terrorist groups. Learn what resources are available as our communities try to detect and deter this threat.

2018 Threat Assessment Series: Persistent Threat - Evolving Strategies of International Terror Groups

Over the last year, ISIS has lost a significant amount of territory, but the group will continue to spread its influence. Al-Qa'ida in 2018 will rely on its affiliates to act autonomously as the group becomes more decentralized. NJOHSP places ISIS and al-Qa'ida as moderate threats to New Jersey in 2018.

In today's episode, our analysts discuss what 2017 looked like for these international terrorist groups and what the 2018 threat landscape posed by these groups looks like.

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.