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An “Active Shooter” is an individual actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active Shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of Law Enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because Active Shooter incidents are often over within 5-15 minutes, before Law Enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
During recent weeks, various sources in law enforcement and media outlets have been reporting phone kidnapping scams occurring in Central and Northern New Jersey and New York. In most incidents, scammers have alleged that a member of the phone scam victim’s family had been involved in a car accident and claimed to have taken the victim’s family member hostage. The scammers then claim they will drop their hostage at a hospital after a certain amount of money (usually $1500‐2000) is wired via Western Union to the scammers, as restitution for damage to the scammer’s vehicle. In addition, the scammers state that they have the hostage’s cell phone and any attempts to call the cell phone or disengage from the conversation will result in the murder or beating of the hostage.
This product analyzes major terror attacks on hotels and provides a strategic-level assessment of the groups, tactics, and frequency of global terror attacks against hotels from 2002 – 2011. Additionally, the product identifies the deadliest types of attacks, comparing casualty counts and attack methods. The product was derived from media reporting and unclassified, for official use only sources.
This report attempts to analyze the indicators and commonalities of recent school shootings in an effort to inform public safety officials and assist in the detection and prevention of potential school shooter plots or attacks. All incidents included in this assessment occurred in the United States while classes were in session. Domestic violence shootings and gang violence were not included in an effort to differentiate between “active shooter” incidents and other acts of violence. DHS defines an “active shooter” as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
The Central California Intelligence Center (CCIC)/Sacramento Regional Threat Assessment Center (RTAC) has prepared the following Situational Information Report on exploding targets, a commercially available binary explosive agent, to provide law enforcement and public safety officials with a better understanding of the potential public safety risks involving its use. While exploding targets are legally permissible depending on state and local regulations, the CCIC is concerned that the mixture may be more dangerous than what is stated on the manufacturer’s website especially if mishandled by individuals with novice experience in handling explosive components or when used in large quantities to detonate bigger targets and, in essence, creating an explosives or incendiary device.
The Central Florida Intelligence eXchange (CFIX) recently received a brief from the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC – TLO Program) that included a report of a stolen ambulance in Phoenix, AZ. At the request of an Intelligence Liaison Officer (ILO) in the Central Florida region (R-5 Hospital/Medical Sector), CFIX was asked to collect, research, analyze and develop a ‘Situation Brief’ based on this report to determine if this was a significant trend that could cause concern for Region 5 partners.
In light of the upcoming 2012 US presidential election, NYSIC is providing a snapshot of four historical cases where terrorists conducted attacks in conjunction with upcoming local or national elections, including the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) used and how the attacks met or failed to meet the terrorists’ goals of altering the outcome of the election.
Within the past year, first responders and members of the public have died of asphyxiation, or fallen ill, following accidental inhalation of concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in public locations. At least two recent incidents are connected with significant gas leaks caused by the failure of liquid CO2 lines connected to beverage dispensers in commercial facilities. Emergency personnel responding to medical or service calls can use signs and symptoms to determine possible CO2 exposure and correspondent risks to first responders.
James Eagan Holmes, a 24-year-old male, allegedly shot and killed12 people and wounded approximately 38 more after opening fire in a crowded movie theater during a showing of the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” The shooting erupted during the midnight showing at the multiplex in Aurora, Colorado, not far from Denver, where a large crowd had gathered, some dressed as characters from the highly anticipated Batman sequel. Holmes began the attack by throwing two gas canisters into the theater after entering through an exit door that had been propped open. Witnesses stated many assumed it was a promotional stunt related to the movie and did not initially react. After both canisters had deployed, Holmes commenced shooting into the crowd.
A recent terrorist attack on a resort hotel in Afghanistan demonstrates the vulnerability of hotels and other “soft” targets to these types of assaults. On June 22, 2012, Afghan forces retook a lakeside hotel outside of Kabul from a Taliban suicide assault team that was holding dozens of civilian hostages. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack, calling the hotel and others near it a “hub of obscenity and vulgarity.”
Past statements from al‐Qa’ida Central, as well as their franchise groups, highlight the importance of targeting the U.S. economy as part of their strategy of confronting the West. Most recently, militant propagandists, such as Adam Gadahn, American mouthpiece for Al‐Qa’ida in Pakistan, have made statements advising Muslims in the West to “…undermine the West’s already struggling economies with…targeted attacks on symbols of capitalism which will shake consumer confidence and stifle spending”. Additionally, in November 2010, al‐Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula introduced the “strategy of a thousand cuts”, where they encouraged their mujahideen brothers to “attack the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations…the aim is to bleed the enemy to death”.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Criminal Intelligence Unit recently partnered with the Ohio Strategic Analysis and Information Center (SAIC) and gathered information regarding bath salts via a survey. The objective of the study was to assist Law Enforcement by creating an officer safety awareness product relating to the dangers of encountering people on bath salts.
(U//FOUO) New York Fusion Center Bulletin: Use of Cloned Vehicles in Terrorist or Criminal Operations
Criminals and terrorists have long used official vehicles, “cloned” vehicles (those painted/decorated to appear official), or seemingly legitimate vehicles (e.g. livery, maintenance or delivery) to circumvent security measures at targets of interest. There have been numerous terrorist attacks overseas wherein operatives used police vehicles or ambulances (or vehicles painted to resemble same) to conceal improvised explosive devices. Within the US Homeland, the most common use of cloned official vehicles by criminals is for drug smuggling; however, at least one terrorist targeting New York envisioned misusing vehicles that would appear to be legitimate, in order to conduct an attack. Dhiren Barot, an al Qaeda operative involved in the 2004 Financial Centers Plot, allegedly plotted to detonate three limousines packed with explosives and gas cylinders in underground parking lots in Manhattan. While the limousines would not have masqueraded as “official vehicles” per se they would have appeared to be legitimately entering those parking structures.
International terrorist groups and violent extremists have long shown interest in using fire as a weapon due to the low cost and limited technical expertise required, the potential for causing large-scale damage, and the low risk of apprehension. Recent encouragement of use of this tactic by terrorist groups and violent extremists in propaganda materials and extremist Web forums is directed at Western audiences and supports Homeland attacks.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released issue 9 of its English-language “Inspire” Magazine. There is a portion of the magazine dedicated to attacking the United States by starting wildfires. The article instructs the audience to look for two necessary factors for a successful wildfire, which are dryness and high winds to help spread the fire. Specific fire conditions that are likely to spread fire quickly are Pinewood, crownfires (where the trees and branches are close together), and steep slope fires (fire spreads faster going up a slope).
A new stock is being produced by Slide Solutions as a product named the SSAR-15. The product, a bump fire stock, is being sold over the internet and at local gun stores which easily converts special models of the AR to a fully automatic weapon. Information has been received that a Louisiana gun store in Lafayette has ten of them in stock and are selling them for around $380.00 a piece.
Over the last week, approximately 10 Energy Sector substations in the Marshall and Battle Creek area have been the victims of copper theft. Because the current street value for scrap copper is over $4.00 per pound, electric substations have become lucrative targets. The targeting of substations for copper has been an issue for over a year. The recent thefts from substations in the greater Flint area caused significant power outages to the area and safety issues for first responders. The suspects are stealing the grounding system conductors and other wires stored at the substation at night. This is accomplished by digging up sections of the grounding system conductors and cutting it off from the power units. The process is time-consuming and requires the suspects to go inside the substation perimeter fence. A few sites have experienced repeated offenses of copper theft.
Group logos, flags, and other extremist imagery are prevalent throughout most terrorist and extremist groups. Imagery provides a means of evoking existing emotional and historical memories in addition to communicating ideas to potential recruits. Logos and symbols are often used as visual representation of groups and/or their ideology. Print, internet propaganda, tattoos, clothing and accessories, stickers, and other graphic media are the most common representations of extremist imagery. First responders need to be aware of common extremist imagery as it may indicate involvement or support for a particular domestic extremist organization or international terrorist group.
Cop Block, based on the description on their Facebook page, is a “decentralized project supported by a diverse group of individuals united by their shared goals of police accountability, education of individual rights and the dissemination of effective tactics to utilize while filming police.” The project was founded in 2010 by an individual who started Cop Block due to his personal experiences with law enforcement when he was “a victim of the war on drugs, twice”.
Two Massachusetts schools received letters postmarked from Dallas, TX today, March 6, 2012, which contained a white powder. The letters were received at the Memorial Elementary School in Milford, MA and the Dedham Middle School in Dedham, MA. The incidents are being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Fire Services Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Division. Additionally, a letter was also received at a school in Warwick, Rhode Island, one at a school in Fort Kent, Maine and one at a school in Goffstown, NH. On 3/5/2012, a school in CT received a white powder letter. A photo of one of the envelopes is shown below as well as maps of the affected MA schools.
Since 2007 an unknown subject has sent more than 360 letters containing a white, powder substance to various government officials, public schools and other locations. In May, 2011 20 letters were delivered to public schools in Washington, DC. Over the past two days similar letters have been received in Washington, DC; New York, New York; Dallas, Texas and Enfield, Connecticut.
Firefighters’ roles as a first responder and an emergency medical service allow for unique access to people and information, which can generate invaluable tips and leads. Because the presence and effectiveness of firefighters mitigate the impact of a terrorist incident involving massive human casualties, terrorists have historically conducted preoperational planning that target firefighting agencies in order to limit the effectiveness of their reaction capabilities.