Podcast

All Threats. All Crimes. All Hazards.: Exploring the ROIC

The Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) is New Jersey’s state fusion center, a joint interagency intelligence enterprise comprised of 175 personnel from various law enforcement and public safety agencies. The ROIC is the State’s hub for intelligence and includes input and personnel from agencies such as the FBI, US Department of Homeland Security, NJOHSP, and numerous state, county, and municipal agencies. Analysts from all partnering agencies collaboratively link data to create “actionable” intelligence that guides tactical investigations in real time. The ROIC is also the home for the Office of Emergency Management and State Emergency Operations Center, and it serves as the command center for all State-led emergency response operations, such as natural disasters, chemical/nuclear emergencies, and terror alerts. During emergency response missions, the ROIC serves as the gateway for situational information and requests for aid. It allows a coordinated and measured response by matching requests with resources and personnel run by federal, state, and local agencies. 

Join us as we explore the inner workings of the ROIC and its whole-of-government approach to providing intelligence and resources across all threats, all crimes, and all hazards.

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. 

Homeland Security Starts with Hometown Security: NJOHSP's Hometown Security Initiative

The whole community—our residents, visitors, business owners, places of worship, schools, and community leaders—all play a vital role in keeping our communities safe and secure. Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it calls for the involvement of everyone — not just the government.

NJOHSP developed the Hometown Security Initiative as a pathway to engage our local communities to enhance their level of preparedness, building a more secure and resilient New Jersey. Piloted in June of 2016, the Hometown Security Initiative allows federal, state, and local agencies to connect directly with the local community, its small businesses, faith-based organizations, and educational institutions. Since the program’s inception, we have held 10 Hometown Security seminars, attended by more than 500 residents.

In today’s podcast, we discuss New Jersey’s Hometown Security Initiative with our key partners at the Department of Homeland Security and the New Jersey State Police. We will share how this effort fosters a culture of preparedness and lays the foundation to build capabilities in our communities across New Jersey.

Hacking Your Holiday: How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Criminals This Holiday Season

During the holiday season, it is important to maintain awareness of the many threats posed by cyber criminals while shopping online and in stores. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will exceed last year’s holiday spending to total between $717-720 billion between November and December. As the popularity of online shopping continues to increase, so does the number of potential unsuspecting victims for cyber criminals to exploit. Scammers may target victims through a variety of methods, including via phone calls, text messages, emails, compromised websites, or unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

This week, one of our cyber threat analysts at the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) discusses proactive steps to reduce your risk and make it harder for cyber criminals to succeed this holiday season. 

Hate in Cyberspace: Online Platforms Provide Refuge for White Supremacist Extremists

Historically, white supremacist extremists have leveraged alternative social media platforms to promulgate their ideologies, interact with like-minded individuals online, and attempt to radicalize others. On October 27, Robert Bowers, a suspected white supremacist extremist who espoused anti-Semitic comments online, shot and killed 11 people and injured six at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Prior to the attack, Bowers posted on Gab, a social media website that claims it is a free-speech alternative to Facebook and Twitter, that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.” Additionally, Bowers shared other anti-Semitic and xenophobic content online, including a picture with the numbers “1488,” a numeric combination popular with white supremacists.

Join us as our analysts delve into how white supremacist extremists have used online platforms and how they leverage social media for various causes.

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.

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.

The Shore Secured: A Discussion with Cape May County CTC Aaron Sykes

Millions of tourists visited the Jersey Shore this summer as numerous large-scale events took place along our shoreline. With the right information and resources, New Jersey’s coastal towns ensured they had the ability to combat potential terror threats and kept beachgoers safe as they had fun in the sun.

Join Aaron Sykes, the Cape May County Counterterrorism Coordinator (CTC), and David Kanig, NJOHSP’s CTC Coordinator, as they discuss the success of the State’s Secure the Shore and Hometown Security initiatives, and how law enforcement, first responders, and other public and private partners deployed a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to inform and prepare our shore communities this past summer and into the fall and winter seasons.

#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: 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.

Secure the Shore: Keeping New Jersey’s Beaches and Boardwalks Safe

As millions of tourists prepare to head down to the Jersey Shore this summer, it is important to remember that our waterfront communities host hundreds of large-scale events every summer, attracting millions of visitors. With the right information and resources, New Jersey’s coastal towns can ensure they have the ability to combat potential terror threats and keep beachgoers safe as they have fun in the sun.

Join Guy McCormick, the Monmouth County Counterterrorism Coordinator (CTC), Joe McFadden, the Atlantic County Critical Infrastructure Coordinator (CIC), and Detective Paul Kwiecinski, NJOHSP, as they discuss the State’s Secure the Shore Initiative. Through this initiative, NJOHSP and its law enforcement partners deploy a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to inform and prepare shore communities for potential threats.

Active Shooter Threats - Response, Resources, and Resiliency

From Las Vegas to Parkland, Florida, the frequency of active shooter events across the United States has increased over the past few years. The various individuals, locations, and motives that make up these incidents highlight how they can take place anywhere and at any time. Understanding the best ways to respond to active shooter situations can help save lives.

Join Ed Moore, NJOHSP’s Active Shooter Trainer, and Ben Castillo, Director of the NJ Department of Education’s Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning, as they discuss the efforts being taken in New Jersey to prepare for such events, options available to those involved in active shooter situations, and available resources and trainings provided by the State and other agencies.

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 2: Extremists Exploiting Security Positions

An NJOHSP review of terrorism cases in 2016-17 demonstrates extremists in the West sought employment with private security firms in order to gain weapons experience and access to secure facilities. Although not all security personnel are given weapons training, the position affords credentials, uniforms, and access to otherwise restricted areas. For example, Dahir Adan from St. Cloud, Minnesota, wore his security uniform to enter a mall without suspicion and attack patrons in 2016. Khuram Butt from London sought employment at a security firm that specializes in working sporting events in June 2017 to potentially conduct attacks at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Join us on this episode of Intelligence. Unclassified. as we take a deeper dive into this emerging trend and how it has even affected our very own state.

Intelligence. Unclassified. Season Two Finale

This podcast marks not only the 100th episode of Intelligence. Unclassified., but also the end of Season Two. We hope you found value in the topics we covered this year, and enjoyed our speakers as they shared their insights and enthusiasm. To commemorate this occasion, our very own Director Jared Maples joins Director of Intelligence Rosemary Martorana in reviewing 2017 in homeland security and what the future holds for our office.