This Reference Aid is intended to provide information on malicious terrorism hoaxes that will continue to challenge first responder resources throughout the Homeland and territories. This Reference Aid is provided by I&A, DIAC, NCRIC, NVRIC, and NJ-ROIC to support their respective activities, to provide situational awareness, and to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government counterterrorism and law enforcement officials and first responders with recognizing the indicators and implications of malicious terrorism hoaxes. The use of hoax calls may also be used as a technique to lure authorities to a particular location for the purpose of conducting a potential attack, but is not discussed in this article, as luring is viewed as its own distinct tactic.
The healthcare sector has been a desirable target for hackers due to the sensitive nature of patient information contained in their systems. The stakes are very high in the healthcare industry because any disruption in operations and care can have significant repercussions for patients. As such, this industry offers an ideal victim for ransomware, and these attacks are likely to continue—disrupting employee access to important documents and patient data and hampering the ability to provide critical services—creating a public safety concern.
(U//FOUO) Wisconsin Fusion Centers Bulletin: Threats Against Law Enforcement and Public Sector Personnel
The NJ ROIC currently has no specific indication of any credible specific threats to transportation facilities. However, with the rise in “self-radicalized” actor(s), and homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) influenced by ISIL and other terror groups, targeted violent attacks to any of these sectors could occur with little or no notice by an individual(s) who has not yet garnered law enforcement attention. This advisory highlights recent transportation concerns in the wake of the recent attacks in Belgium.
Several recent incidents underline the possibility that soft targets, including entertainment venues such as bars and restaurants, are increasingly chosen over hard targets that may hold more significance to the victims and the attacking person or group. Using analysis of recent events and data from the START Global Terrorism Database, the BRIC completed the following study to raise awareness regarding the targeting of entertainment venues by violent extremist groups.
Encounters in 2015 of unauthorized unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones, with public safety aircraft during emergency events underscore the potential threats UAS pose to response efforts—notably search-and-rescue, firefighting and police air assets—as well as the lives, property and natural resources already at risk.
(U//FOUO) Boston Regional Intelligence Center Suspicious Activity Behavior & Indicators For Public Sector Partners
This document is intended to highlight several suspicious activity behaviors and indicators that may be indicative of preoperational terrorist activity for business owners and private sector security personnel. This product focuses on behaviors and indicators that would be of interest prior to any major event. This proactive public safety strategy is an ongoing attempt to provide our private sector partners with some information on suspicious activity.
Recent events surrounding the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County Oregon, have culminated in the fatal confrontation of Northern Arizona rancher, LaVoy Finicum. His funeral services will be held on 05 FEB 2016, in Kanab, UT. Finicum will be buried on 06 FEB 2016, close to his Arizona ranch in Cane Beds, AZ. While no credible threats to law enforcement are present at this time, armed extremists are expected to travel through UT; some of which may see this event as a tipping point, and potentially shift toward more violent action. A number of individuals, several of whom were present at the Burns, OR occupation, are planning caravans from UT and NV to travel to the funeral in show of support.
In September 2014, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a propaganda video encouraging its followers to murder “intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers and civilians.” The video was re-released in January 2015 and specifically named the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets. Now, first responders have an additional threat: Impersonation and misrepresentation by terrorists as first responders. The impersonators main goals are to further their attack plan and do harm to unsuspecting citizens as well as members of the emergency services community.
The New Jersey 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 events that attracts large numbers of participants. Examples include concerts, marathons, parades, sporting events, holiday gatherings, etc.
SWATTING is the act of sending a SWAT team or some type of law enforcement response to a location by convincing law enforcement that an incident has occurred or is about to occur that requires immediate law enforcement response. Characteristics of swatting include, but are not limited to: Callers using internet-based phones such as Skype USBUS and Magic Jack USBUS, or callers using a legal Caller Identification (ID) masking service. Caller ID spoofing/masking services permit cell phones and landline phones to spoof the call’s origins through a service fee based software. Reports of bomb-threats and SWATTING incidents are coming from area elementary, middle, and high schools, along with universities as well. Federal, state, and local partners are working to identify where the calls are originating from.
(U//FOUO) Northern California Fusion Center Bulletin: Sabotage Against Electricity and Telecommunications Targets
The vision of the 2014–2017 National Strategy is to connect the geographic and public safety diversity of over 38,000 states, counties, cities, and towns together in a way that creates a national information sharing asset that is coordinated with and contributes to federal information sharing efforts. Federal efforts to connect the knowledge and capabilities of the Intelligence Community (IC) often involve state and local law enforcement joining federal efforts. The NNFC is the reversal and broadening of this framework, inviting federal partners to join state and local public safety information sharing efforts. In carrying out this strategy, IC professionals have an opportunity and avenue to bring their knowledge and capabilities to state and major urban area fusion centers, designated by governors and staffed by state and local professionals. As a unique national asset, this state and local network must work seamlessly with field-based intelligence and information sharing entities, providing geographic and interdisciplinary knowledge and perspective without interrupting or replicating federal efforts. The 2014–2017 National Strategy integrates with other criminal intelligence sharing efforts supported by the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council.
(U//FOUO) Virginia Fusion Center Bulletin: Malicious Activists May Promote Harm to Emergency Vehicles
The Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) has observed via open sources that actors affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivist movement released a video which purportedly identifies a Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) vehicle as a tool for law enforcement wiretapping efforts by police and fusion center personnel in Chicago, Illinois. The VFC is sharing this information for situational awareness, as emergency management vehicles operating near protest areas may be targeted by precipitating violent or malicious activity.
(U//FOUO) Colorado Fusion Center Bulletin: Law Enforcement Officers Should Minimize or Eliminate Social Media Footprint
The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) is disseminating this awareness bulletin to help law enforcement officers and military personnel to minimize their social media footprint and protect their identity and family. Recent calls for attacks against law enforcement officers by foreign terrorist organizations and recent reports released by the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s Detention Interrogation Program may exacerbate tensions or even spark violence against officers, intelligence personnel, government officials, and their families. This awareness bulletin seeks to make general recommendations to limit an individual’s digital footprint and diminish a violent actor’s targeting capability.
Propaganda providing guidance and/or encouraging “individual jihad” or small cell operations against the West continues to be a prevalent theme in jihadist messaging. This bulletin was created by the CFIX in order to address recent propaganda from the Islamic State and its supporters which provides guidance on targeting law enforcement officers. The CFIX bases its analysis in this bulletin from open source reporting and internet postings with varying degrees of reliability, especially in regards to the true intention and capabilities of terrorist organizations and their supporters. This information is intended to support local, state and federal government agencies along with other entities in developing / prioritizing protective and support measures relating to an existing or emerging threat to homeland security.
The purpose of this brief is to provide law enforcement, first responders, corrections officers, and other personnel who interact with the general public, with guidance and protective measures when coming in contact with individuals demonstrating symptoms of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Personnel who become familiar with the identification of possible exposure, proper response protocols and protective measures will be better prepared to respond, secure, transport and decontaminate to prevent further spread of this deadly disease.
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.
(U//LES) Northern California Fusion Center Bulletin: Recreational Drones Create Problems for Law Enforcement
The expansion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations for military purposes in the last decade has driven growth in the commercial UAV industry where. the casual enthusiast can now purchase a ready-to-fly system for less than $300. These UAVs can be accessorized for varied purposes such as cinematography, agricultural monitoring, wildlife tracking, site surveillance, and potentially even for kinetic attacks with a firearm or improvised explosive. This Advisory Bulletin addresses an observed increase in UAV use by ordinary citizens, outlining capabilities and implications for the law enforcement community. The NCRIC has not received any specific or credible UAV threats in our 15-county AOR and presents the following information for situational awareness purposes.
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.
Humming bird and Marilyn Monroe tattoos may have a nexus to the Mexican Mafia, while “G Shields” (Aztec warrior shields) and mariposas (butterflies) may be decreasing in popularity. As certain tattoos sported by Mexican Mafia members and supporters become mainstream, and because California Department of Corrections is known to use certain tattoos as validation points, Mexican Mafia members may introduce new tattoos to make it difficult for law enforcement and correctional officers to identify membership or affiliation with the group. Tattoos are also increasingly disguised within other tattoos, which can make them more difficult to easily identify.
(U//FOUO) Utah Fusion Center Bulletin: New Ransomware “CryptoWall” Rapidly Infecting Systems Across the U.S.
First responders, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), and firefighters, often arrive at incidents completely focused on the emergency at hand. Whether it is a fire, a chest pain complaint, or a vehicular accident, the first responders prepare for certain events to take place during emergency situations and personal safety is a priority throughout the response. Unfortunately, in the past few years there are have been several occurrences where first responders became the victims of ambushes while performing their duties to protect citizens and save lives.