The NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) compiles a statewide list of special events that provides situational awareness to law enforcement, as well as to assist in local planning requirements. Special events include any event that attracts large numbers of participants and spectators in both a public or private venue. Examples include concerts, marathons, firework displays, community celebrations, visits by VIPs, sporting events, holiday gatherings, etc.
The FBI San Antonio Division recently reported that groups of young individuals in Texas, and possibly other states, were attempting to elicit information regarding residences of firefighters, military personnel, police officers, etc. The subjects knocked on neighborhood doors, telling residents they worked for an organization that helps young people with public speaking by sending them out to contact random people at their homes and ask about their professions. The youths reportedly received points based on the professions they located, with the potential of winning a college scholarship and a large sum of money. Police officer had the highest point value.
The anti-government sovereign citizen movement has been catapulted into the forefront of public attention due to an increase in criminal activity by sovereign citizens nationwide. The movement consists of individuals and small groups throughout the United States, guided and supported by adherents who share the core belief that Federal, state, and local governments are all illegitimate entities.
(U//FOUO) New Jersey Fusion Center Bulletin: Suspicious Activity Regarding the Electrical Grid in New Jersey
In the past year, the NJ Suspicious Activity Reporting System (NJ SARS) has received multiple reports of intrusions at electrical grid facilities in New Jersey. The NJ ROIC currently has no indication of any specific threats associated with these incidents, but provides this information for situational awareness and requests information on any similar, previously unreported incidents in New Jersey.
In the year since Sandy Hook, there have been a combined total of 22 actual school attacks and disrupted plots nationwide with some of the attacks resulting in the deaths of students and school personnel. The New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) has examined recent reporting on the Sandy Hook attack and the incidents over the last year and provides the following analysis to law enforcement, school resource officers (SROs), and administrators to assist in school security planning efforts.
One of the most serious threats facing New Jersey and the entire U.S. Homeland continues to be that of the active shooter, regardless of motivation, who by the very nature of their associated tactics, techniques, and procedures, pose a serious challenge to security personnel based on their ability to operate independently, making them extremely difficult to detect and disrupt before conducting an attack.
The New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (NJ ROIC) provides the following updated analysis of mass shootings in the last year (December 2012 to October 2013) in order to provide law enforcement personnel, security managers and emergency personnel with identified commonalities and trends, as well as indicators of potential violence.
(U//FOUO) New Jersey Fusion Center: Boston Marathon Bombing Used to Disseminate Malware and Conduct Fraud
Websites and emails referencing the Boston Marathon bombing should be viewed with caution, as malicious actors are using the incident to disseminate malware and conduct fraud. While other agencies investigate the frauds, the NJ ROIC provides this information for situational awareness.
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 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.
This report examines the 29 deadliest mass shootings in the past 13 years, starting with the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, to identify commonalities and trends. These 29 incidents include shooting incidents in which at least five people were killed.
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.”
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness is pleased to present this opportunity for you to learn more about terrorism awareness and prevention. This program is designed to raise the awareness of New Jersey citizens and workers so they can assist in combating terrorism by enhancing powers of observation and encouraging mutual assistance and concern. It involves the joint efforts of the federal, state and local agencies along with the residents of New Jersey. While our country tells us to be more aware no one is telling is how and for what. This leaves the possibility for misunderstanding, abuses, and prejudices to surface. This program will inform citizens of what to look for and that their observations should rely on the unusual or suspicious activities and behaviors. Citizens should never use race or religion as factors for reporting suspicious activity. You, the residents and workers of New Jersey, are our partners.
On January 25, 2012, police officers in Utah arrested two teenagers after discovering that they planned to bomb their high school. The plot was foiled because another student received suspicious text messages from one of the boys and notified school administrators. During the subsequent investigation, police were able to corroborate the initial tip. The two suspects had blueprints of the school and planned to steal a plane at a nearby airport after their attack. They told police they were learning to fly on a flight-simulator program on their home computers.
As of June 2010, MS-13 members in Los Angeles have directed operational activities of new MS-13 members in Birmingham, United Kingdom, using gaming consoles such as Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox 360. The MS-13 leaders appear to be taking advantage of the devices’ voice over internet protocol (VOIP), text chat, virtual world, and video teleconferencing features, which allow them to communicate with fellow gang members overseas.
“Designer drugs,” substances that have been developed especially to avoid existing drug control measures, are becoming a major concern across the nation and in New Jersey. One widely publicized “designer drug,” mephedrone, has been reported in an increasing number of countries and regions, and many countries have placed it under national control.
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania Regional Catastrophic Planning Team Regional Mass Fatality Response System Planning Brief, September 21st, 2010.
This device, which is a “bangstick,” measuring 4 5/8” in length with a 1 ¾” barrel and capable of firing either a single .38 cal. short Colt, .38 special or .357 magnum cartridge, is intended for use by fishermen and scuba divers to kill sharks and alligators. When used in such a way it is attached to a threaded pole and then used as a prod to hit the target. A very slight tap at the end of the barrel will cause the device to discharge. The “bangstick” is considered a firearm. ATF has classified this device as an “any other weapon” that is prosecutable by 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines under Title 26, Section 5871. These devices can be found at almost any scuba or diving accessories shop.
FOUO New Jersey Suspicious Activity Reporting Brief, January 28, 2010.
Cyberterrorism is an attractive option for foreign-born and domestic terrorists who value its anonymity, potential to inflict massive damage, psychological impact and media appeal. As a new, more computer-savvy generation of terrorists comes of age, the threat of cyber-terror attack is likely to increase.
The NJ ROIC has been monitoring two incidents involving reactionary devices on this date, 06/27/10, one that occurred at 0100 Hours in Lakewood Twp., Ocean Co., and another that occurred at 1145 Hours in Neptune Twp., Monmouth Co. Both incidents involved reactionary devices that are being described as soda bottles (12 oz. to 2 liters) containing a strong acid or base, aluminum foil inside the container, and tape securing the bottle cap. The substances inside these bottles create a chemical reaction, which results in pressure building in the bottle. Eventually, these containers explode creating a risk to law enforcement officers and first responders. First responders should keep a distance of at least 100 feet from any of these devices as a precautionary measure.
(U//FOUO) The NJ ROIC Analysis Element has no information regarding any specific, credible threat to New Jersey or the U.S. Homeland at this time. Due to an active, federal counterterror investigation, the NJ ROIC Analysis Element produced this overview of potential targets of terrorist activity and the tactics, techniques, and procedures that extremists may use. It was produced with information from FBI and DHS, based on analysis of police investigations, thwarted plots, and past terrorist attacks.