On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding new terror threats as well as calls for attacks by the Islamic State. On Sunday, British intelligence services revealed their investigation into a plot by Islamic State members to attack the Victory over Japan Day commemoration ceremonies in London this weekend, with the Queen of the England and other members of the Royal Family as the targets. The plot is alleged to involve at least three individuals and pressure cooker bombs similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
According to UK media outlets, the plot is also said to involve British-born Sally Jones, a western convert to Islam who moved to Syria in 2013 in order to marry a jihadist named Junaid Hussain, who also goes by the moniker Abu Hussain al-Britani. Previously suspected of being the infamous executioner "Jihadi John", Hussain is also believed to have played a role in the May, 2015 attack on a "Draw Mohammad" contest held in the Garland, Texas. Both Jones and Hussein are said to highly effective recruiters and online propagandists for the Islamic State (read more about Hussain further down).
British intelligence and law enforcement services are on high alert. The Metropolitan Police are encouraging people to continue with their plans take part in events as normal and the US Embassy is warning American citizens in country to remain vigilant.
ISLAMIC STATE PUBLISHES HIT LIST
On Wednesday AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of the Islamic State's release via Twitter of a spreadsheet w/ names, locations and email credentials and other information for 1400 US military and government workers & gov workers, along with a message urging Islamic State followers and supporters to “act and kill” those appearing on the list.. Those listed include members of the Marine Corps, Air Force, NASA, the State Department, FBI, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as well as numerous foreign service members and government officials.
Formally attributed to a group calling itself the "Islamic State Hacking Division," one of the first to post the spreadsheet was the hacker Junaid Hussain, the same individual mentioned above concerning the plot to attack VJ Day celebrations in London this weekend. Hussain, a British computer expert who was jailed in 2012 for hacking Tony Blair's email accounts and posting his personal information online, is also accused of hacking the CENTCOM Twitter account.
While the Islamic State indicates the information on the list had been obtained from military and government databases, not surprisingly, the Pentagon is playing down the release, calling the information outdated, disjointed and collected from multiple disparate sources.
As AlertsUSA has previously warned, it is standard practice in federal crisis management to downplay or otherwise intentionally misrepresent the severity of an incident in initial reports, then add detail after the first wave of news has normalized with the public.
We call to readers attention to the near weekly reports of Department of Defense and other government computers being hacked. In fact, just last week news broke that hackers managed to penetrate the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system. And back in June, AlertsUSA Threat Journal reported on the massive breach of computer systems at the Office of Personnel Management within which detailed personal information had been stolen for in excess of 21 MILLION individuals who had undergone background investigations for various types of security clearances over the past 20 years.
BIN LADEN'S SON CALLS FOR ATTACKS
Late this week, the al Qaeda terror organization released a new audio tape within which a man identified as Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, calls for Jihad against America and its allies. He specifically suggests London, Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv, as well as Jewish American interests globally as targets for attacks.
Amidst all of the various threats being made from various terror groups, AlertsUSA again warns law enforcement, members of the armed services and others connected with the defense and intelligence communities to maintain a high level of vigilance and situational awareness, as well as to observe operational security practices if you use social media. Minimize your digital footprint. These data breaches, the public disclosures of personal information and threats from different terror organizations are not going away any time soon.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.