This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) highlights potential terrorist threats related to the 10-year anniversary of the 11 September 2001 (9/11) attacks. This JIB provides perspective on the threat to the Homeland and US interests overseas from al-Qa‘ida, al-Qa‘ida affiliates and allies, and al-Qa‘ida-inspired homegrown violent extremists (HVEs). FBI and DHS are providing this information to support their respective activities and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials, as well as first responders and private sector security officials, in effectively deterring, preventing, or disrupting terrorist attacks against the United States. Unless otherwise noted, this JIB uses the FBI’s definitions of terms, which may differ from the definitions used by DHS.
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This Joint Intelligence Bulletin (JIB) updates a DHS-FBI joint analytic product of the same title dated 3 September 2010 and is intended to provide warning and perspective regarding the scope of the potential terrorist threats to the United States, specifically towards US persons. This product is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to help federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks directed against the United States.
August 15, 2011 in News
Despite aggressive law enforcement efforts, stricter government regulations and tighter borrowing standards, mortgage fraud “remains elevated,” and may be getting worse, the FBI said Friday. While top officials admitted they didn’t want to sound “alarmist,” they acknowledged the distressed housing market, bleak unemployment picture and weak economy continue to provide fertile ground for fraud in the mortgage industry. “It could get worse,” said Deputy Assistant FBI Director David Cardona, who oversees the FBI’s financial crimes units. “There could be more victims,” he said.
“Body packing” is a well-documented concealment method criminals have used to smuggle drugs or other contraband. Body packing in humans and animals may involve several forms of concealment — including insertion into body orifices, ingestion, or possibly surgical implantation—of illicit items or material inside or hidden on the body to escape detection by security systems and personnel. Terrorists often assign high priority to concealment in planning attacks, and such methods—to include surgical implantation—offer potential means for suicide operatives to deliver improvised explosive devices to targets.
August 12, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI has been notified that ATX Global, an online marketing company, has mailed approximately 730 envelopes that include a marketing letter with an affixed live 9mm Luger PPU round. The ammo was used to catch the reader’s attention corresponding with the first line, “If you had just One Shot…” This mass mailing did not specifically target gun and ammo businesses.
August 9, 2011 in News
The Homeland Security Department’s plan to centralize and expand in-house access to the FBI’s database of suspected terrorists has prompted a letter of protest from a coalition of Washington privacy organizations. In public comments submitted Aug. 5, a coalition led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center challenged a proposed rule under which Homeland Security would duplicate an existing system of records to create the DHS Watchlist Service. It will contain individuals’ names, dates and places of birth, biometric and photographic data, passport information, driver’s license information and “other available identifying particulars.” Homeland Security during the past year has been reviewing the eight-year-old terrorist screening database used at airports and is preparing, as set out in the July 6 proposal, to widen employee access to a mirror copy of the records created by the FBI and Justice Department “in order to automate and simplify the current method for transmitting” the data to DHS component agencies including the Transportation Security Administration. TSA uses the terrorist watch list for the Secure Flight program, which allows it to instantly check passenger names that airlines were given by ticket purchasers against a consistent national watch list of suspected terrorists.
August 8, 2011 in News
You’re shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do? Now there’s a free new tool from the FBI that can help. Our just launched Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks.
July 29, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI New York case information indicates an identified street gang leader in the Bronx is suspected of using a prepaid Stored Value Card (SVC) to launder illicit proceeds from narcotics transactions. This individual is identified as loading over $20,000 dollars onto this prepaid SVC between November 2009 and March 2011.
FBI New York case information indicates that Bloods gang members in the Bronx, NY are utilizing PlayStation Network (PSN) to communicate each other while on house arrest. Identified Bloods will post their “PSN tag name”, a self-generated ID used to identify individual users, on social networking web-sites and invite others to connect with them using their PlayStation 3 gaming system. These individuals have been observed sharing “tag names” with each other and discussing intentions to communicate through PSN.
July 28, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
July 7, 2011 in News
The embattled head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration. Kenneth E. Melson, the ATF’s acting director, has been under pressure to resign after the agency allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes they would be traced to cartel leaders. Under the gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the guns, and many were found at the scenes of crimes in Mexico, as well as two that were recovered near Nogales, Ariz., where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed. In two days of meetings with congressional investigators over the weekend, Melson said the FBI and DEA kept the ATF “in the dark” about their relationships with the cartel informants. If ATF agents had known of the relationships, the agency might have ended the investigation much earlier, he said.
July 3, 2011 in News
For five decades, literary journalists, psychologists and biographers have tried to unravel why Ernest Hemingway took his own life, shooting himself at his Idaho home while his wife Mary slept. Some have blamed growing depression over the realisation that the best days of his writing career had come to an end. Others said he was suffering from a personality disorder. Now, however, Hemingway’s friend and collaborator over the last 13 years of his life has suggested another contributing factor, previously dismissed as a paranoid delusion of the Nobel prize-winning writer. It is that Hemingway was aware of his long surveillance by J Edgar Hoover’s FBI, who were suspicious of his links with Cuba, and that this may have helped push him to the brink.
Terrorists can acquire precursor materials legally through a variety of commercial transactions, secondhand from individuals with access to such substances, or through theft. Many precursors can be purchased legitimately and without special authorization from chemical supply stores. They also are available at retail stores that sell beauty supply products, hardware and home improvement materials, groceries, and swimming pool supplies, and are used widely in hospitals, universities, construction sites, industrial facilities, farms, and mining operations.
June 26, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
Barry Cooper operates a website: Never Get Busted.com were he sells self-produced videos titled “Never Get Busted Again,” “Never Get Raided” and a police training video on locating hidden compartments he made while still an interdiction officer. These videos show viewers how to “conceal their stash,” “avoid narcotics profiling” and “fool canines every time,” according to the website. Barry Cooper is a proponent for the legalization of marijuana and was a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress District 31 in Texas. Barry Cooper lives in Tyler, Texas and appears strongly motivated to prove his contention that marijuana should be decriminalized and enjoys the publicity generated by this ruse. He has stated an intention to operate again in Odessa, Texas and elsewhere. Barry Cooper and his associates at Kobusters.com have shown the technical ability to stage this type of action and the knowledge to hire “actors” to execute this type of ruse in order to further substantiate their false claims.
New Version of Domestic Investigations Manual Will Make it Easier for FBI Agents to Search Your Trash
June 13, 2011 in News
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention. The F.B.I. soon plans to issue a new edition of its manual, called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, according to an official who has worked on the draft document and several others who have been briefed on its contents. The new rules add to several measures taken over the past decade to give agents more latitude as they search for signs of criminal or terrorist activity.
June 9, 2011 in Congressional Research Service
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.
June 6, 2011 in News
The underground world of computer hackers has been so thoroughly infiltrated in the US by the FBI and secret service that it is now riddled with paranoia and mistrust, with an estimated one in four hackers secretly informing on their peers, a Guardian investigation has established. Cyber policing units have had such success in forcing online criminals to co-operate with their investigations through the threat of long prison sentences that they have managed to create an army of informants deep inside the hacking community. In some cases, popular illegal forums used by cyber criminals as marketplaces for stolen identities and credit card numbers have been run by hacker turncoats acting as FBI moles. In others, undercover FBI agents posing as “carders” – hackers specialising in ID theft – have themselves taken over the management of crime forums, using the intelligence gathered to put dozens of people behind bars.
May 16, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Technical Support Working Group’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures (CBRNC) Subgroup, in cooperation with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, conducts comprehensive assessments of chemical and biological materials, devices, and countermeasures. As part of their efforts, they evaluated the potential effectiveness of production methods found in the form of recipes from open-source improvised production handbooks that may be used by extremists groups. They assessed the skill level required to follow the instructions and determined the availability of the necessary equipment and ingredients.
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin provides law enforcement and public and private sector officials with information for consideration in the wake of the death of Usama bin Ladin. This information is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to help federal, state, and local government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks directed against the United States.
April 20, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
Kevin William Harpham was arrested in Colville, Washington by federal law enforcement on 9 March 2011 in connection with the improvised explosive device (IED) found along the route of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “MLK Unity March” in Spokane, Washington on 17 January 2011. On 17 January 2011, three sanitation workers in Spokane, Washington discovered a Swiss Army backpack containing an RCIED immediately prior to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “MLK Unity March.” The device was placed along the parade route. Based on preliminary forensic examinations, we assess with medium confidenceii that the IED was designed to fire directional fragmentation similar to a single shot shotgun with buckshot or cannon with a grapeshot round. We likewise assess that the device was viable and could have caused personal injury or death.
Terrorists remain interested in exploiting postal and commercial shipping companies to conduct or support attacks in the United States. Publicity surrounding the more than 40,000 incidents involving unknown or suspicious substances related to the U.S. Mail since 2001 likely reinforces violent extremists’ belief that the postal sector is a useful mechanism for conducting an attack, as it demonstrates that mail containing potentially harmful substances can be delivered without arousing suspicion or being discovered until the recipient opens the letter or package.
(U//FOUO) FBI Terrorist Training and Recruitment of CONUS Subjects: Lackawanna, Portland, and Northern Virginia
February 20, 2011 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
This assessment addresses the central role of terrorist training in three significant post-9/11 continental United States (CONUS) terrorism investigations: Lackawanna, Portland, and Northern Virginia. This assessment does not address other individuals who may have sought training independently, nor does it address groups of individuals who sought training in regions outside of South or Central Asia.