International Terrorism

Looking Into the Future: Potential Scenarios for ISIS and Al-Qa'ida

NJOHSP recently highlighted potential ISIS and Al-Qa’ida threat scenarios by identifying plausible indicators and corresponding outcomes.

Tune in as our analysts discuss how significant indicators were selected to determine what the future may hold for these two foreign terrorist organizations.

Shifting Allegiances: Domestic Extremists Embrace Foreign Terrorist Ideologies

Some domestic extremists are likely willing to shift to foreign terrorist ideologies as a way to justify violence due to their susceptibility to radicalization, existing violent tendencies, and willingness to support extremist groups. An NJOHSP review found that many domestic extremist and foreign terrorist ideologies share similar viewpoints typically rooted in hatred and intolerance.

Tune in to today’s episode as our analysts review these recent cases and explore possible causes for their ideological shifts.

Terrorist Release Announcements to Counter Extremist Recidivism Act

The Federal Bureau of Prisons estimates it will release 112 inmates with convictions relating to international terrorism between 2015 and 2020, with an additional 100 releases between 2021 and 2031. NJOHSP assesses that the threat from terrorists recently released from prison is moderate given the small number of releases in connection with terrorism-related offenses over the past five years, supervision upon release, and public scrutiny.

 In this episode, we explore the upcoming release of the “American Taliban,” John Walker Lindh, and others who said they will continue to harbor extremist ideologies.  

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.

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.

2018 Holiday Threat Assessment Webinar

2018 Holiday Threat Assessment Webinar

While there are no known or credible threats to New Jersey, the holiday season is marked with numerous festivals, outdoor gatherings, and large-scale events that offer attractive targets for terrorist organizations and extremists. During this presentation, we will discuss current terrorist tactics and trends, as well as threats to critical infrastructure associated with this time of year.

#HateHasNoPlaceInNJ - The NJOHSP Interfaith Advisory Council

Created in 2012, the Interfaith Advisory Council (IAC) provides a venue for government officials and members of law enforcement to maintain an open dialogue with hundreds of Christian, Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish faith-based leaders throughout New Jersey. Open communication at these quarterly meetings has strengthened the goodwill between law enforcement and faith-based groups that is crucial toward keeping religious communities safe and secure in one of the most diverse states in the nation.   

Join NJOHSP Director Jared Maples, Chief of Staff Patrick Rigby, and Detective Ehtasham Chaudhry as they discuss the importance of the IAC, provide examples of what occurs at meetings, and highlight the many valuable resources available to New Jersey’s faith-based communities.

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. 

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.”

Special Edition Episode: Analyst Roundtable Series - New Terrorist Propaganda

Tune-in to this special edition of Intelligence. Unclassified. as Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta and Intelligence Analysts Alyssa Potter and Angie Gad cover the recent editions of Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) Inspire and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) Rumiyah, particularly in the aftermath of recent global terrorist attacks.

Episode 11: ISIS Expands Weaponized Drone Program

An NJOHSP review of terrorist attacks and plots in the United States since 2015 reveals HVEs have primarily used simple weapons such as firearms, vehicles, and knives, although we cannot rule out the possibility HVEs will learn how to construct and weaponize UAVs based on future ISIS propaganda. In this episode, Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta asks Intelligence Analyst Travis to delve further into his insights regarding weaponized drones being utilized by ISIS.

Episode 33: Pro-ISIS Hacking Group Kill Lists and Duty to Warn

Beginning in March 2015, pro-ISIS hacking groups have been releasing ‘kill lists’ on social media messaging apps, primarily Telegram. They are relatively unsophisticated, employ common and low-level hacking techniques, and act independently with no association or direction from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. To date, they have released 23 ‘kill lists’ that included US persons. 

Episode 10: Battle of the Brands - ISIS vs Al-Qa'ida

Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced the creation of their self-proclaimed Caliphate in June of 2014, they have been in open competition with al-Qa'ida for leadership within the global jihadi Salafist movement. This competition has taken place on the Internet, the battlefield, and in cities around the world as both groups grapple for legitimacy.