On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding ongoing terrorism threats, and counter terrorism actions, both here in the U.S. as well as in Europe.
DHS/FBI WARNS LAW ENFORCEMENT NATIONWIDE
On Sunday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a joint DHS/FBI warning issued to law enforcement agencies nationwide regarding a renewed call by the Islamic State for Muslims to murder "intelligence officers, police officers soldiers and civilians in the U.S., France, Australia and Canada, all countries currently involved in military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The threat came in the form of a re-issued September 2014 video featuring ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al Adnani.
While the temptation may be there to blow off such threats, readers are reminded that since the original release of the video, there have in fact been ISIS-inspired attacks in the U.S. (see this and this), France (see this and this), Australia (see this and this) and Canada (see this and this). Considering the effectiveness of the fatwa the first time around, analysts believe the latest release may be an attempt to capitalize on the momentum of last week's attacks in Paris and to perhaps inspire others.
DODGING THE RELIGIOUS ANGLE
So as to drive home a point made in last week's update, we caution readers to that U.S. media outlets, most U.S. government agencies and in particular, those falling under the direct purview of the executive branch, are going to great lengths to scrub references to the religious angles of these threats and attacks. Foreign media outlets are far less fearful.
For instance, it is a rare U.S. media outlet reporting that the most recent video is entitled, "A Message to Muslims in Kuffar Lands." Kuffar is a highly derogatory Arabic term used to refer to non-Muslims. Additionally, most media outlets intentionally do not report the fact that the the speaker in the video repeatedly targets his threats at disbelievers.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian or a Canadian or any other disbelievers … including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah and kill him in any manner.… Do not ask for anyone's advice and do not seek anyone's verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military."
The video also goes on to say that Muslims need not be worried about spilling the blood of innocents who are infidels:
"Blood becomes legal to spill through disbelief."
WARNINGS AND REMINDERS ISSUED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
Given the recent series of attacks on New York City police officers, the NYPD and the Sergeants Benevolent Association issued specific reminders to officers that are well advised for all law enforcement:
“If you are assigned to a fixed post, do not sit together in the police vehicle. At least one officer must stand outside the vehicle at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings, approaching vehicles and people. Look for their hands.”
AL QAEDA IN N. AFRICA THREATENS MORE ATTACKS ON FRANCE
The North Africa arm of al Qaeda, formally known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, is threatening more attacks on France. According to a warning posted on jihadist websites:
"As long as its soldiers occupy countries such as Mali and Central Africa and bombard our people in Syria and Iraq, and as long as its lame media continues to undermine our Prophet (Mohammed), France will expose itself to the worst and more."
WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
As AlertsUSA has warned on multiple occasions over the past year, the tempo of terrorist attacks in Western countries, including in the U.S., will continue to rise. This will come about, in large part, from two major tracks.
ONE: The increasing effectiveness of al Qaeda and the Islamic State's use of the internet and social media for recruiting fighters, as well as inspiring lone wolf attacks.
TWO: The increasing exodus of western foreign fighters from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria back to their home countries. In this regard, the U.S. and other Western nations are having considerable difficulty stemming this flow.
AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES INCREASING
On Tuesday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of increasing security measures being implemented at airports across the U.S. and overseas. The steps are being taken in the wake of recent terror attacks in France, Australia and Canada, as well as the Christmas Eve release of al Qaeda's slick quarterly Internet magazine known as Inspire. This latest issue includes what counterterrorism experts say appears to be the most detailed, and potentially lethal, bomb recipe published by al Qaeda to date. In addition, instructions are also provided on getting the bomb through airport security and even where to sit on the plane.
Cover of Inspire #13
Readers are reminded that this publication is produced by al Qaeda in Yemen, also known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The group has amongst their ranks the master bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is believed responsible for multiple previous attempted attacks on commercial aircraft, including the failed Christmas 2009 attempt to bring down an airliner near Detroit by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as well as the October 2010 plot to bring down cargo aircraft using bombs built into printer toner cartridges.
Asiri is reported to be obsessive in his development of various types of explosives which are virtually undetectable. One such bomb was used in the August, 2009 attempt to assassinate Saudi Deputy Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Currently holding the prize for the most bizarre bomb attack on record, Ibrahim al-Asiri somehow convinced his younger brother, Abdullah, to pack 100 grams of the high explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (better known as PETN) inside his rectum. Once Abdullah was close to the prince after having passed through a metal detector, the device detonated, ripping Asiri's brother in half but only slightly injuring the Prince.
According to Matt Olsen, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, QUOTE “This group, AQAP, is absolutely determined to try and carry out an attack on a U.S.-bound airplane. The prospect of AQAP trying to get a bomb on an airplane has been, for the past several years, at the top of the list for concerns of the U.S. counterterrorism community.
According to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, while there is “no specific, credible threat” of an attack, the Paris incident, along with others in Canada and Australia, and “the recent public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on Western objectives, including aircraft, military personnel, and government installations and civilian personnel” made the need for increased security at American airports and elsewhere “self-evident.”
As has been the case for over 12 years, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic and international terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens, as events warrant.