Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness
- 2 pages
- For Official Use Only
- May 21, 2009
Homegrown Plots: New York 2009 and Fort Dix
- The arrest May 20 of four men accused of plotting to bomb a Bronx synagogue and shoot missiles at military planes in New York reminds us that homegrown extremists pose a serious and persistent threat to the United States.
- Homegrown plots have included the conspiracy against soldiers at Fort Dix, as well as plots targeting military infrastructure or Jewish institutions.
- Currently there is no intelligence indicating a related or specific terrorist plot against targets in New Jersey or nationwide. Nevertheless, the nature of the threat merits ongoing awareness within law enforcement and the private sector. The arrest of four accused terrorists in the Bronx on May 20 illustrates the need for vigilance regarding homegrown plots in the United States. Such plots include the Fort Dix conspiracy, the 2005 Jam’iyyat Ul-IslamIs-Saheeh (JIS) prison plot to attack Jewish establishments and military facilities in California, and the 2004 Herald Square plot.
Trends in Homegrown Plots
- The involvement of radicalized Muslim converts, such as the JIS conspirators or one of the terrorists in the 2005 London attacks.
- Rhetoric indicating perceived grievances with the United States, reflecting al-Qaida ideology, is a signature evident in the radicalization process of homegrown extremists.
- A desire to attack US military infrastructure is likely due to its symbolic value and involvement in Muslim countries. For example, the Fort Dix plotters and the JIS plotters selected military targets inside the United States. In those cases, the US-based plotters had no direct foreign links or ability to travel to conflict zones to fight, and consequently selected military targets inside the Homeland. (For additional information regarding the Fort Dix plot, see the 2008 OHSP product entitled Guilty Verdict in the Fort Dix Plot, available on the OHSP secure Web site at www.state.nj.us.)
- A desire to attack Jewish targets with improvised explosive devices is also consistent with homegrown terrorist conspiracies, including the JIS plot and the Herald Square plotters, who discussed bombing trains likely to contain a large number of Jewish people.
- New York City continues to be a highly popular terrorist target, even for extremists residing outside the city limits.
Past cases support the assertion that US-based homegrown extremists likely present a more imminent threat to the region than foreign terrorist groups. Terrorists have a continuing interest in targeting military infrastructure and Jewish institutions. (For additional information regarding these trends, see the 2009 State of New Jersey Terrorism Threat Assessment, available on the OHSP secure Web site at www.state.nj.us.)
While no intelligence indicates a related or specific terrorist plot against targets in New Jersey or nationwide, the nature of the threat merits ongoing awareness within law enforcement and the private sector.
We welcome your comments concerning this document. Please complete the attached survey so that we can continue to serve your needs.
For further information on this or other OHSP analytical products, please contact the OHSP Intelligence Bureau at OHSPINTEL@ohsp.state.nj.us or 609-584-4000, ext. 7