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August 19, 2017
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al Qaeda Calls for Attacks on Rail Transport in the West
Europe Rocked by Multiple Terror Attacks

August 19, 2017
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Between August 12th and 18th, the following related Flash messages
were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

8/18 - State Dept warns Spanish authorities still conducting manhunt for missing Barcelona attacker. Again urges vigilance & increased security awareness.

8/18 - Several people stabbed in Turku, Finland by at least 1 attacker screaming "Allahu Akbar". One assailant shot and in custody. Add'l alerts as warranted.

8/17 - AlertsUSA reminds subscribers of USGOV Europe Travel Alert issued 5/1 warning of cont threat of terror attacks throughout Europe. Caution and vigilance urged.

8/17 - 4 members of terror cell killed in Cambrils, Spain CT op. Local police warn 1 indiv at large w/ possible explosive vest. Cont to order locals off streets.

8/17 - AlertsUSA monitoring reports of fire fight w/police, Cambrils, Spain. Possibly related to earlier incident in Barcelona. Police advising people to seek shelter.

8/17 - Spanish authorities activate call center for relatives of people that could be affected by Barcelona incident: +34 900400012 .

8/17 - Islamic State Amaq News Agency formally claims responsibility for Barcelona attack.

8/17 - Security increasing in public areas, tourist destinations & transport hubs in Britain, France and Belgium on concern of follow-on attacks. Vigilance urged.

8/17 - US Embassy Barcelona urging Americans in Spain to increase vigilance and security awareness following Barcelona incident. 13 dead, 50 wounded.

8/14 - Car intentionally driven into pizzeria in Seine-et-Marne, France (East Paris). At least 8 injured, 6 seriously, 1 dead. Driver arrested. AlertsUSA monitoring.

8/13 - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula rel 'Inspire' mag #17. Focus on derailing trains, design of derail tool, routes, economic impact. U.S. emphasis.

8/12 - Car plows into protesters in Charlottesville, VA event. Early reports of at least 10 injured. AlertsUSA monitoring..

8/12 - AlertsUSA monitoring increasingly tense political demonstrations in downtown Charlottesville, VA. Local police urging avoidance of the area.

What You Need To Know

On 16 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security matters. Most pressing for this report, early in the week, subscribers were informed of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's release of the 17th issue of the online news and fieldcraft magazine known as 'Inspire' (clean PDF), in which a majority of this issue is devoted to attacking different means of commercial and civilian transportation in the U.S. and Europe. Three modes of attack are explored, including strikes on the actual transport mechanism such as planes and trains, strikes on airports and train stations when they are full of people, as well as on the transport lines and pathways.

Of particular importance, and which has raised significant concern within local, state and federal agencies in the past week, is the emphasis on planning and staging train derailments, including step-by-step guidance on how to fabricate a steel-reinforced concrete derailing tool which attaches to individual tracks to force the wheels up and out of alignment. In addition to the hand's on guidance, the issue also explores rail system vulnerabilities and even references testimony on the difficulty of protecting the national railroad infrastructure by the General Accountability Office before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Inspire #17 Cover - ALLOW IMAGES

This is a must-read publication for local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as rail transportation stakeholders and workers so you are up to speed on tactics in what is likely to become an increasingly popular jihadist target.

Multiple Attacks in Europe

Europe was shaken this week by multiple terror attacks, each bearing the hallmarks of previously published guidance and fieldcraft from the Islamic State and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Starting on Monday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an incident in Sept-Sorts, France, located northeast of Paris, within which a lone male intentionally drove his car across a dining patio and into a pizzeria, killing one and seriously injuring eight others.

On Thursday 14 people were killed and more than 100 injured when a rented Fiat van was intentionally driven into revelers along a 500-meter stretch of Las Ramblas pedestrian boulevard in Barcelona, Spain. The 17 year old driver of the van, Moussa Oukabir, fled on foot after the van crashed, and several hours later, turned up in the coastal resort town of Cambrils. There, Moussa and four others carried out yet another vehicular assault on pedestrians before smashing their Audi A3 into a police car stationed at a checkpoint. Seeing the attackers emerging from the car with knives, machetes and axes, a single officer immediately shot and killed four. The fifth attacker escaped and stabbed a pedestrian in the face before being shot dead by a second officer.

Individuals killed and injured in the Barcelona attack came from 18 different nation, including one American.

Spanish police believe the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks are also related to an explosion one night earlier at a house in the small town of Alcanar, 120 miles southwest of Barcelona, which killed one person and injured 16. Police initially thought the explosion was caused by a buildup of natural gas inside of the home. Upon a second inspection, police report finiding a large supply of LP gas bottles and traces of the explosive compound TATP ( triactetone triperoxide), leading them to conclude the explosion was likely caused by error during the construction of bombs.

On Friday AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of a warning issued by the State Department that Spanish officials were still hunting for at least one suspect in this terror cell.

The Islamic State Amaq News Agency has issued a formal claim of responsibility for Spain attacks.

Readers may find it interesting that Cambrils, Spain is located less than 3 miles from the town of Salou. Well known in intelligence circles, Salou is the location where Mohamed Atta, the pilot of 1st plane to fly into the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks, held a key planning meeting with an al Qaeda figure earlier in 2001.

Also on Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an incident in Turku, Finland within which an individual carried out a knife attack in a market square while screaming "Allahu Akbar," killing two and injuring several others before being shot in the leg by a police officer. According to news reports, the suspect, who intentionally targeted women in the attack, arrived in Finland in 2016 and had been “part of the asylum process.”

Charlottesville Attack

Last Saturday AlertsUSA subscribers were informed of an increasingly tense political demonstration in downtown Charlottesville, VA and a police recommendation to avoid the area. Soon after that alert was issued, a speeding car was intentionally driven into a crowd of protesters, kill one individual and injuring at least 19 others.

Since this attack, racial and political tensions have dramatically increased across the U.S., with more expected in the coming days and weeks as various groups plan more demonstrations for an assortment of causes, the most prominent of which are anti-white supremacy / racism and the removal of Confederate civil war monuments and symbols. .


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION...

It is curious that with all of the rage and indignance being shown towards any symbol even remotely related to the Confederacy, and thus, African slavery, why has none of this anger been expressed towards Islam?

Among the LAST states to abolish slavery (principally African slavery) were Saudi Arabia and Yemen (in 1962), Oman (in 1970), and Mauritania (in 1905, 1981, and again in August 2007).

The Prophet Muhammad owned many black slaves and referred to Ethiopians as 'raisin heads' (VIDEO).

African slavery in the Middle East was more widespread & brutal than the American counterpart.

The Myth: Muhammad was an Abolitionist

As the personal goal of every devout Muslim is to emulate Muhammad and to follow the teachings of the Koran, why are there no efforts focused on the closure or tearing down of mosques across America? Despite their history with African slavery, why is Islam celebrated, embraced and even protected by Progressives and the Left? Where is the equivalent outrage? Or could it be that the anger and indignance is feigned and something else is in play?

North Korea Update

Readers should not forget the overarching threat still posed by N. Korea. Beginning Monday August 21, tens of thousands of military soldiers from S. Korea, the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark will participate in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military drills in S. Korea and in the waters surrounding the peninsula. The training exercise, held yearly, invariably causes N. Korea to lash out with threats frequent demonstrations of force. The Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise on will continued through August 31.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international 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.


AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

8/18 - KKK rally @ 4:00PM in downtown Durham, NC. Counter-protesters gathering. Main Street closed, tensions high. Caution if in the area. Add'l alerts if warranted.

8/13 - AlertsUSA monitoring increasingly tense political rally and protest in downtown Seattle. Caution urged if in the area. Add'l alerts as warranted.

8/12 - Via state-run newspaper, N. Korea again taunts POTUS saying armed forces of DPRK now “on the standby to launch fire into its mainland" (referring to the U.S.).

 
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An airman checks the conditions for a high altitude, low opening jump during exercise Mobility Guardian while flying over Washington state, Aug. 7, 2017. The exercise aims to sharpen airmenís skills to support combatant commander requirements. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clayton Cupit.  - ALLOW IMAGES
 
World News Roundup
August 19, 2017

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

Targeting American Diplomats, Cuba Is Up to its Dirty Old Tricks
Trump, Security Team Mulling Strategic Options on Afghanistan
President Trump announces move to elevate Cyber Command
U.S. Navy Turns Civilian-Operated USNS Puller Into Commissioned Warship
Venezuela's Maduro Regime Steps Up Crackdown on Dissidents
USS Fitzgerald's leadership to be removed from duties over June collision
Confederate monuments removed in Baltimore, other cities
Powerful Venezuelan lawmaker may have issued death order against Rubio
The specter of civil war in Venezuela

EUROPE

NATO Troops Can't Fight If They're Stuck at Customs
As Confederate statues fall, Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin
Britain seeks Brexit without borders for Northern Ireland
Amateur Drone Lands on the U.K.'s New Aircraft Carrier, No One Even Notices
Britain's new $3.86B aircraft carrier arrives at home port
Russia unveils new fleet of 'invisible' supersonic fighter jets

MIDDLE EAST

Pentagon says captured Islamic State fighters hooked on drugs
U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies
Iran Sending Warships to Atlantic Ocean Amid Massive New Military Buildup
Syrian army comes closer to encircling Islamic State in central Syria desert
In Iran, Islamic State seeks to fan militancy among minorities
At least 18 killed in attack on restaurant in Burkina Faso
Iran threatens to back out of nuclear deal over Trump sanctions.
Saudi Arabia, Iraq look to reopen border after 27 years.
ISIS poses one of the biggest threats to religious freedom
Jihadists strike across West Africa

ASIA

India, China soldiers involved in border altercation
Beijing is using underwater drones in the South China Sea to show off its might
N. Korea shows the U.S. Capitol being destroyed in propaganda posters
South Korea gave Kim Jong-un a 'red line'
What will Kim do next? Sixth nuclear test seen critical for North Korea
Has China Finished Its Island Building Campaign In The South China Sea?
A Global Fish War is Coming
The US Is Headed Toward Another Cuban Missile Crisis


Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

Iran   08/15/2017
N. Korea   08/10/2017
Somalia   08/03/2017
N. Korea   08/02/2017
Venezuela   07/27/2017
Jordan   07/20/2017
S. Sudan   07/20/2017
Egypt   07/19/2017
Philippines   07/17/2017
Hurricane Season   06/05/2017
Europe   05/01/2017
  03/06/2017
   

Additional Sources of Travel Guidance

 
 
 

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