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.
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May 23, 2012 in Featured
Though the United States has been engaged in a Global War on Terror for more than a decade, the U.S. Government surprisingly does not have a standardized definition of terrorism that is agreed upon by all agencies. The State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and a number of other government agencies all utilize differing definitions of what constitutes an act of terrorism. This lack of agreement has allowed individual agencies to present vastly different and, in some cases, far more inclusive definitions of terrorist acts enabling the use of expanded law enforcement and investigative procedures that might not be applicable in other agencies. In fact, some agencies have presented a definition of terrorism so expansive as to include a number of activities that are not traditionally associated with terrorism or terrorist organizations.
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.
March 20, 2012 in New Jersey
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.
March 10, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security
The DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center produced this threat assessment to support implementation of 6 Code of Federal Regulations Part 27, “Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).” This assessment describes the potential terrorist threat to the chemical and petroleum facilities regulated under CFATS and determined to be high risk by the Secretary of Homeland Security. It does not address facilities that may hold threshold quantities of the chemicals listed in CFATS that fall outside its scope, such as public water facilities or facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. Nor does it address the transportation of chemicals, which is regulated under other authorities. Potential terrorist tactics against such facilities—based on DHS’ knowledge of terrorist intentions and capabilities—are included to aid industry security personnel in implementing security measures at their facilities.
Director of National Intelligence 2012 Report on Reengagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay
March 7, 2012 in Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Based on trends identified during the past 9 years, we assess that if additional detainees are transferred without conditions from GTMO, some will reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities. Posing a particular problem are transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as active recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations.
February 23, 2012 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
The release of a toxic industrial chemical (TIC) by a terrorist group or lone actor represents a significant threat. TICs are readily available in large quantities, routinely shipped by commercial carriers, and often stored in bulk containers. Most TICs are generally less toxic than chemical warfare (CW) agents, but a large volume of TICs can be equally dangerous. The release of a TIC in a populated area is capable of generating numerous casualties and deaths; the toxic effects would be more dangerous if release occurred in an enclosed space.
February 21, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security
The Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) produces Infrastructure Protection Notes to address issues impacting the infrastructure protection community’s risk environment from terrorist threats and attacks, natural hazards, and other events. Based on the analysis within the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis product Evolution of the Terrorist Threat to the United States this IP Note outlines the evolution of terrorist threats and impacts to the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
February 20, 2012 in Virginia
(U//FOUO) DHS Mass Transit and Passenger Railroad Systems Terrorist Attack Preparedness Info Regarding a Realistic Threat
Terrorist attack tactics used against mass transit and passenger railroad systems abroad provide insights that can assist law enforcement officers in securing these critical infrastructure assets. The chart below highlights common tactics noted in attempted or successful use of explosive or incendiary devices against mass transit or passenger railroad systems in attacks conducted between March 2004 and November 2009. The information about these attacks provides insights into device type, selection, and construction and can help law enforcement identify patterns and develop protective measures. Analysis shows terrorists have timed attacks during periods of peak ridership; used multiple, coordinated, drop-and-leave devices in identical or similar baggage; and placed devices inside rail cars to cause casualties among passengers.
DHS-University of Maryland Study: Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States 1970 to 2008
While efforts are increasingly aimed at understanding and identifying “hot spots” of ordinary crime, little is known about the geographic concentration of terrorist attacks. What areas are most prone to terrorism? Does the geographic concentration of attacks change over time? Do specific ideologies motivate and concentrate terrorist attacks? Moreover, what factors increase the risk that an attack will occur in a particular area? Using recently released data from the Global Terrorism Database, we address these gaps in our knowledge by examining county-level trends in terrorist attacks in the United States from 1970 through 2008.
February 6, 2012 in Featured
Internet service providers should clamp down on websites used by violent extremists, both Islamists and increasingly the far right, British lawmakers said in a report Monday. The Internet is a more significant vehicle for promoting radicalism than prisons, universities or places of worship, and is involved in almost all cases of extremism, parliament’s home affairs committee said. Law enforcement agencies can already order illegal material to be removed from the Internet, but “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host,” the report said. The MPs recommended that the government work with Internet service providers (ISPs) to develop a code of practice on removing extremist material, but acknowledged international co-operation would also be needed.
February 1, 2012 in News
A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using “software to hide encrypted data in digital photos” or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone “overly concerned about privacy” or attempting to “shield the screen from view of others” should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.
February 1, 2012 in Federal Bureau of Investigation
A collection of 25 flyers produced by the FBI and the Department of Justice are distributed to local businesses in a variety of industries to promote suspicious activity reporting. The fliers are not released publicly, though several have been published in the past by news media and various law enforcement agencies around the country. We have compiled this collection from a number of online sources.
January 20, 2012 in Transportation Security Administration
TSA’s Office of Intelligence (TSA-OI) assesses that although counterterrorism pressure has weakened al-Qa’ida (AQ) and al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), both organizations represent an enduring and evolving threat and remain committed to attacking the Homeland, including the transportation sector. Both organizations have targeted commercial aviation and AQ has repeatedly plotted to attack mass transit. We also remain concerned about the threat posed by homegrown violent extremists (HVE) or lone offenders inspired by AQ’s violent extremist ideology to launch attacks against less secure targets, such as mass transit and passenger bus systems.
January 14, 2012 in News
Leaders of a congressional subcommittee are urging the Department of Homeland Security to extensively monitor social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to detect “current or emerging threats.” The top Republican and Democrat on a House counter-terrorism subcommittee last month sent a letter to Homeland Security’s intelligence chief encouraging department analysts to pore over huge streams of social media traffic. Representatives Patrick Meehan and Jackie Speier said in the letter to Caryn Wagner, undersecretary of homeland security for intelligence and analysis, that they “believe it would be advantageous for DHS and the broader Intelligence Community to carefully parse the massive streams of data from various social media outlets to identify current or emerging threats to our homeland security.”
This Joint Intelligence Bulletin provides law enforcement, public, and private sector safety officials with an evaluation of potential terrorist threats during the 2011 US holiday season, extending from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. This information is provided to support the activities of DHS and FBI and to assist federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government counterterrorism and first responder officials in deterring, preventing, preempting, or responding to terrorist attacks within the United States.
December 6, 2011 in United Kingdom
November 19, 2011 in Joint Chiefs of Staff
This handbook provides an understanding of the processes and procedures being employed by joint force commanders (JFCs) and their staffs to plan, execute, and assess counter threat finance (CTF) activities and integrate them into their joint operation/campaign plans. It provides fundamental principles, techniques, and considerations related to CTF that are being employed in the field and are evolving toward incorporation in joint doctrine.
October 29, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
October 24, 2011 in Department of Homeland Security
Backpressure, the reverse flow of contaminated water into a potable water distribution system, has the potential to affect the public health of a community by using residential, commercial, or industrial connections in water distribution systems as a pathway for contamination. A water contamination incident using an effective contaminant and delivery method would cause immediate public health effects, require costly cleanup, and cause lasting economic and psychological impact. The amount of toxicity depends on many factors, including the type of contaminant, dilution and solubility of the contaminant, and the proximity of the consumer to the point of entry.
October 19, 2011 in News
A U.S. military training program designed to enhance soldiers’ abilities to operate in irregular conflicts includes exercises which encourage soldiers to think like terrorists in order to examine opposing ideologies. The exercises are part of a course designed to help trainees with practical decision-making skills in “irregular conflicts” and counterinsurgency called Combat Observation and Decision-making in Irregular and Ambiguous Conflicts (CODIAC). The course was initially created in 2010 as a way of enhancing the “ability of individuals and small teams to address irregular challenges by training enhanced observation, battlefield sensemaking, human terrain pattern recognition, and environmental analysis (including knowledge of combat tracking).” The CODIAC course incorporates curriculum from a number of other military programs, including the U.S. Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program, and it is designed to primarily for military personnel as well as “interagency paramilitary personnel, such as Border Patrol or Police Officers, as well as multinational allies.” The course focuses on a number of core subject areas related to decision making, intelligence and observation, physical tracking and “human terrain” analysis.
(U//FOUO) USJFCOM Combat Observation and Decision-Making in Irregular and Ambiguous Conflicts (CODIAC)
October 19, 2011 in U.S. Joint Forces Command
This curriculum was directly inspired by the US Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter program. Created in 2007, in response to a dramatic increase in precision fire causalities in Baghdad, Combat Hunter is systematic training designed to improve cognitive skills, showing personnel how to read the human terrain, establish a baseline, detect an anomaly, and make decisions “left of bang.” In other words, Combat Hunter was designed to train personnel to anticipate danger and meet it proactively. In an irregular conflict, this enables personnel to be the “hunters”—not the “hunted.” CODIAC integrates the USMC Combat Hunter principles, along with proven battlefield decision-making and irregular warfare instruction from across the Joint services. The goal of CODIAC is to enhance the ability of individuals and small teams to address irregular challenges by training enhanced observation, battlefield sensemaking, human terrain pattern recognition, and environmental analysis (including knowledge of combat tracking).
October 11, 2011 in United States