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Aug 30, 2014
Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon
 
ISIS Terrorism Threat - ALLOW IMAGES
U.S. and Britain on High Alert for Terror Attack,
Possible ISIS Cell in Mexico
Aug 30, 2014
 
Between Aug 27-29, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

8/29 - DHS / FBI warning law enf nationwide of imminent terror threat involving car bombs. Threat focus is possible ISIS cell operating in Juarez, Mexico. Monitoring..

8/29 - Britain raises terror threat level to SEVERE, saying a terrorist attack is "highly likely." Threat related to Islamic State in Syria / Iraq. Monitoring..

8/27 - New online publication from Yemen al Qaeda branch hints at looming attack on US, urges lone wolf strikes on Vegas, NY Times Sq., AF Academy and military bases.

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the terrorism threat emanating from the Middle East.

On Wed, subscribers were notified of the release of a new online publication from al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate, also known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which strongly hinted at some form of a looming attack on the U.S., as well as encouraged lone wolf strikes on such targets as Las Vegas, New York's Times Sq., the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and other military bases and defense-related installations. The publication also provides instructions and shopping lists for the construction of car bombs. [For accuracy, it is important to note that the publication was first posted to the jihadi forums mid-month, but only became more widely known this week.]

CAUTION: AlertsUSA strongly recommends readers resist the urge to seek out and download copies of this publication. Just skip it. Multiple federal agencies closely monitor traffic to these sites. There is a good chance you will end up on a watch list. Here is one example.

The announcement of the release of the publication comes just days after the FBI and DHS issued a bulletin to local, state and federal agencies law enforcement agencies nationwide warning that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq could provoke retaliation by Islamic State sympathizers in the U.S. While the standard boiler-plate statement of there being no evidence of a credible plot was included, the bulletin specifically warns that the lone wolf attackers are difficult to thwart. Federal officials also report there is evidence foreign fighters have returned to their home countries and started Islamic State terror cells outside of the Middle East.

Further, unnamed federal officials are being quoted in mainstream news outlets that U.S. intelligence agencies are picking up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks as the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches.

We’ve noticed a significant increase in chatter among Islamic terrorist organizations overseas both on the Internet and phone lines. We did see this kind of increase in chatter before the September 11 attacks."

On Friday of this week, Britain's Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) raised the UK's terrorism threat level from SUBSTANTIAL to SEVERE, meaning that a terrorist attack is "highly likely."

This move by British officials is understandable considering the demographics of immigration in the region. Here in the U.S., a vast majority of our immigrant population comes from Mexico, Central and South America. In Europe, the vast majority of their immigrant population comes from the Middle East and N. Africa. Additionally, It is estimated that twice as many British Muslims are fighting for ISIS as with U.K. armed forces.

Early Friday afternoon AlertsUSA subscribers were also notified via text messages to their mobile devices that the Department of Homeland security and the FBI were warning law enforcement agencies nationwide of an imminent terror threat involving car bombs and the source of the threat is focused on a possible Islamic State terror cell operating in Juarez, Mexico, just over the border from El Paso, Texas.

Readers are reminded that just last week, following the resumption of airstrikes on Islamic State military positions, the organization posted a new internet video message warning the U.S. that it will attack Americans "in any place" if the raids continue. Additionally, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the same group who published the new online magazine mentioned earlier, also pledged their ‘solidarity’ With the Islamic State.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU

AlertsUSA cautions readers that despite a lack of any recent large scale terror attacks on the homeland, it is certainly not for a lack of trying. A friendly conversation with any federal agent or member of the special operations or intelligence communities on the topic will reveal that there is a near CONSTANT flow of individuals, organizations and foreign states attempting to do harm to this country and its citizens. To think this is all hype and fear mongering is both dangerously naive and near sighted.

Facts are stubborn things, and one which even the most diehard dove or conspiracy theorist cannot deny is that since 9/11 there have been more than 23,000 separate terrorist attacks committed by Muslims around the world, and only a small fraction of these are categorized as battlefield actions against U.S. or Western soldiers. The majority are incidents like attacks on schools and churches, suicide bombings on buses, car bombings in marketplaces, beheadings and crucifixions for either not being Muslim, or not being Muslim enough, and so on. And this number does not include other types of terror incidents, such as cyber attacks on financial institutions, physical attacks on critical infrastructure, or the many tens of thousands killed in Northern Mexico over the last few years as a result of the war between drug cartels.

While America has thus far been able to beat back a majority of those external aggressors who attempt to bring harm to the nation, it is only a matter of time before these types of incidents, and worse, reach our shores. From insane border security and immigration policies, to dramatic reductions in defense spending and the hollowing out of our military and national security infrastructure, to rising tensions with adversaries like China and Russia, it should be readily obvious to anyone even remotely paying attention that the days of a safe and secure American homeland are seriously threatened.

As has been the case for over 12 years,always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic 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, as events warrant.


AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK BUT
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

8/28 - State Dept: Russian invasion likely underway in Ukraine, armored columns + regular troops moving across border. NATO: Ukraine's forces in a "dire situation."

8/25 - Ongoing active shooter situation, Ft. Lee, Virginia. Base on lockdown. Few details being provided by DoD.

8/24 - 6.0-magnitude earthquake 6km NW of American Canyon, California (S. Napa Co.).

 
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Ebola Surveillance - ALLOW IMAGES
Ebola Spreads to 6th Country
Aug 30, 2014
 
Between Aug 24-29, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:

8/29 - WHO: Ebola spreading fast. Senegal confirms first case. More cases rptd in past week than any other since crisis began. 40% total cases rptd in past 3 weeks.

8/28 - State Dept warns of incr in screening of travelers from/thru Ebola affected regions. Implications incl no fly, forced quarantine and 21 day travel bans.

8/25 - Heads Up: The CDC has just issued formal guidance to U.S. hospitals and mortuaries nationwide on the safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients.

8/25 - WHO issues dire situation assessment re Ebola outbreak and "unprecedented" proportion of medical staff infected. Warns heavy toll will impede control efforts.

8/24 - WHO formally announces Ebola outbreak in Democratic Rep. of Congo. 5th country. Different strain than that circulating in current W. Africa outbreak.

What You Need to Know

On five occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding new warnings and actions by U.S. and world health authorities regarding the rapidly accelerating spread of the Ebola virus.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally announced a new Ebola outbreak in Democratic Rep. of Congo, the second largest country in Africa. This is reported to be a different strain of the virus than that currently spreading in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

On Monday, the WHO released a detailed situation assessment and warning statement, calling the outbreak in West Africa "unprecedented in many ways", including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected. To date, more than 240 health care workers have become infected and more than 120 have died.

According to the situation assessment:

"The fact that so many medical staff have developed the disease increases the level of anxiety: if doctors and nurses are getting infected, what chance does the general public have?"

Also on Monday, in preparation for the eventual arrival of Ebola cases here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control issued formal guidance to hospitals and mortuaries across the U.S. on the safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients. Given the highly infectious nature of the remains, the recommended methods of disposal are immediate cremation or placement within hermitically sealed containers. While not specifically spelled out in this document, it is highly unlikely that infected remains, in any form, would ever be released to families for normal funeral rites.

On Thursday, Senegal reported their first case of Ebola. By Saturday, another 20 cases were suspected.

Late this week the U.S. State department issued a cautionary statement warning U.S. citizens traveling abroad that they may be subject to increased screening procedures, travel restrictions, and reduced aviation transportation options in response to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. If you are traveling abroad either to or thru the affected region, or anywhere else really, you may be required to undergo health screenings, be forced into quarantine or even restricted from traveling for up to 21 days, depending on the nature of the immediate threat or the decision of the foreign health agency.

And the State Department rightfully makes clear that neither the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, nor the U.S. Embassies, have any authority over quarantine issues and cannot prevent a U.S. citizen from being quarantined should local health authorities require it.

Keep this in mind if traveling overseas. If you happen to be on a plane and a few of the passengers become ill such that foreign health authorities get involved, it is not unrealistic that you could be detained.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU

As reported over the last several weeks, AlertsUSA warns readers that the global spread of the Ebola virus is realistically just getting started and is expected to continue for many months to come. And as the director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden has warned, the arrival of Ebola infected individuals in the U.S. is "inevitable".

AlertsUSA again strongly recommends that airline travelers and those using public transportation become hyper sensitive about your proximity to those visibly ill during your trips.

While health authorities stress that Ebola is not airborne, it is transmissible, as with most other contagions, via airborne saliva particles and droplets, such as those released in coughs and sneezes. Additionally, the CDC now admits that casual contact, meaning anywhere within 3 feet of an infected person, does pose a risk of transmission. As such, your increased, polite vigilance can only be a benefit to your overall safety.

RESOURCES

EbolaReady Banner - ALLOW IMAGES

Previous AlertsUSA Threat Journal Coverage

August 23, 2014
August 16, 2014
August 9, 2014
August 2, 2014
July 26, 2014
March 29, 2014

As always, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments with the spread of this virus and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in its spread to different regions, important notices and warnings by government agencies or any other major changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant.


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

  08/29/2014
  08/28/2014
  04/10/2014
   
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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