Podcast

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. 

Episode 49: Exploring the Center for Critical Intelligence Studies at Rutgers University

Rutgers became a federally-designated Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) through a grant award from the Defense Intelligence Agency in January 2015. Since that time, Rutgers University-New Brunswick has established a popular, new minor in Critical Intelligence Studies in collaboration with the SAS political science department; executed a number of certificate programs in intelligence/national security for undergraduate and graduate students across the University; hosted conferences on the most pressing issues in the field; and developed programs to prepare students for potential careers within the Intelligence Community. CCIS continues the work of managing and implementing all existing and new endeavors related to the IC CAE Program.

Join Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta as he discusses this novel program with its advisor Ava Mejlesi and how it leverages ties with a variety of agencies to conduct research, develop practical initiatives, and provide educational and career opportunities for Rutgers students through increased opportunities for interaction with law enforcement and intelligence professionals.

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.