Threat Assessment

2019 Threat Assessment Series: Enemies in Cyberspace - Cyberterrorism And Terrorists' Use Of The Internet

The New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) assesses that cyber threat actors pose a moderate threat to New Jersey. The continued growth of IP-enabled devices for both personal and business uses will result in an increased attack surface for threat actors to target, impacting attached physical systems.

Tune in to the final installment of our 2019 Threat Assessment series as the NJCCIC analysts delve deeper into the cyber threats facing the State of New Jersey and its citizens.

2019 Threat Assessment Series: Domestic Terrorism - A Changing Environment

Domestic extremists’ wide-ranging ideologies pose unique challenges to New Jersey and the surrounding region, as they employ a variety of robust methods to conduct attacks, have varying motivations, and are often willing to engage in violence.

Tune in to the next installment of our 2019 Threat Assessment series as our analysts sit down and discuss the evolving tactics of domestic extremists in 2018 and what the threat landscape posed by these groups will look like this year.

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.

2019 Threat Assessment Series: Inspired Terrorists - A 2018 Review of Homegrown Violent Extremists

Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) are individuals inspired—as opposed to directed—by foreign terrorist organizations and radicalized in the countries in which they are born, raised, or reside. These organizations continue to call for attacks in the West, despite the groups’ inability to execute large-scale attacks in recent years. HVE support in the United States for foreign terrorist organizations will remain unremitting, despite a decline in HVE attacks and overall activity since 2015. In 2018, there were seven individuals involved in attacks and plots nationwide and eight others charged with material support.

Join us as we discuss why HVEs remain the highest threat to New Jersey due to their sustained support of foreign terrorist groups, the unpredictability of attacks, and their susceptibility to online propaganda.

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. 

Season's Tidings: NJOHSP's 2018 Holiday Threat Assessment

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.

Join us as our analysts discuss current terrorist tactics and trends, as well as threats to critical infrastructure associated with this time of year.

Mapping Terror Series: Domestic Terrorism in 2017

Last year, there were 45 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and instances of weapons stockpiling. NJOHSP defines domestic terrorism as violence committed by individuals or groups—including race-based, single-issue, anti-government, and religious extremist ideologies—associated primarily with US-based movements. 

Tune in to our discussion on the threat presented by domestic terrorists, NJOHSP’s process for tracking their activity in 2017, and some high-profile cases in New Jersey.

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: Enemies in Cyberspace - Cyberterrorism and Terrorists' Use of the Internet

According to our 2018 NJ Terrorism Threat Assessment and our partners at the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC), terrorists will increasingly use encryption, the dark web, and cryptocurrencies for recruitment and to spread propaganda. They will also use those items to encourage lone-wolf attacks, facilitate their operations, and acquire weapons to conduct physical attacks against targets. As such, we have seen social media companies remove extremist content and suspend accounts, forcing extremists to move their Internet activities to less active platforms, limiting their potential influence.

Join us as analysts from our office and the NJCCIC provide insight into terrorist groups’ current cyber capabilities and their predictions of what their future cyber operations may look like. Additionally, the analysts discuss the challenges for social media and web hosting companies in policing terrorists’ content on their sites.

2018 Threat Assessment Series: Domestic Terrorism - A Changing Environment

Throughout the last year, domestic extremist groups—particularly anarchists, militia members, and white supremacists—in New Jersey and neighboring states clashed, traveled across state lines, and were, at times, subject to foreign influence.

Join our intelligence analysts as they discuss trends presented in the 2018 NJOHSP Terrorism Threat Assessment, as well as their outlook for the domestic terrorism threat in 2018.

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.

2018 Threat Assessment Series: Inspired Terrorists - A 2017 Review of Homegrown Violent Extremists

Homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) are individuals inspired—as opposed to directed—by a foreign terrorist organization and radicalized in the countries in which they are born, raised, or reside. While international terrorist organizations have encouraged HVEs to carry out attacks, in many instances, personal grievances influence their ideology, target selection, and violent acts. HVEs can be radicalized using social media—including Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram—which encourages attacks in the West or support for terrorists overseas.

In the year ahead, HVEs will remain New Jersey's most compelling threat. Join us as we discuss how HVEs continue to demonstrate an ability to operate in New Jersey and throughout the region, while connecting with like-minded individuals online and acting independently from organized terrorist groups, making them difficult for law enforcement to detect and deter.

Episode 7: Anarchist Extremists - A National Perspective

Anarchists extremists believe that society should exist absent of “oppressive” governments, laws, police, or any other authority and they advocate violence in furtherance of sub movements such as anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-globalism, and environmental extremism. 

Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Intelligence Analyst Kristin McCormick sit down to explore what implications these recent events may have for the State of New Jersey. 

Episode 6: Foreign Fighters - America's Returning Jihadists

New Jersey faces a minimal threat from returning jihadists because of the comparatively small number of US citizens who traveled to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the likelihood individuals join other terrorist groups abroad.

This week, we explore the related trends our office has seen over the last few years and provide more insight into the current threat they pose. 

Episode 5: Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula - A Persistent Threat to the West

In November 2016, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cited the bombings in New Jersey as a model for future attacks in the United States, the first time the group has highlighted New Jersey in its English-language magazine Inspire.  AQAP uses Rahimi as an instructive case study on how to improve planning and execution in future terrorist operations. Join us as we explore recent developments in AQAP's tactics and their overall threat to the West. 

Episode 4: Sovereign Citizen Extremists - Circumventing State Law

Paper terrorism is a tactic sovereign citizen extremists use to intimidate public officials. Some seek relief from criminal charges, demand money, or protest government action. They flood courts, government offices, and law enforcement agencies with bulk fraudulent legal documents, file targeted liens to harass public officials, or submit fictitious paperwork to get unlawful judgments approved. In this episode, Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Preparedness Bureau Deputy Chief Allison Toll sit down to discuss how criminal penalties in New Jersey for filing false liens are unlikely to deter sovereign citizen extremists as they adopt new methods to circumvent laws.

Episode 3: ISIS Preparing for a Difficult 2017

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) suffered a steady stream of setbacks in 2016, to include territorial and leadership losses and a decrease in propaganda output. Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana and Intelligence Analyst Angie Gad sit down to address what these losses mean for the group and what 2017 could possibly look like for ISIS. 

Episode 2: Rise in Deadly Assaults Against Law Enforcement

In 2016, 12 extremist attacks resulted in nine officer fatalities, as compared to eight attacks that yielded no deaths in 2015. An NJOHSP review of extremist attacks against law enforcement officers nationwide reveals that in the last year, these incidents were more lethal and pre-planned than in the past.  Episode 2 kicks off our 2017 Terrorism Threat Assessment-related podcasts with Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana sitting down with Intelligence Analyst Paige Schilling to discuss the rise of deadly assaults against law enforcement this past year.