Feb 28, 2015
Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
and Incident Notification Service for Mobile Devices
WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon
Between Feb. 22-25, 2015, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
2/22 – Somali terror group Al Shabaab calls for attacks on Mall of America (MN), W Edmonton Mall (AB) & London’s Oxford Street. DHS warns mall visitors to be vigilant.
2/23 – DHS reaffirms prev statement of need for vigilance at U.S. malls due to Al Shabaab terror threat. Security being incr at other large shopping ctrs nationwide.
2/25 – FBI and NYPD JTTF arrest 3 men attempting to join ISIS and plotting terrorist attacks in the US. One arrested at JFK en route to Turkey then Syria. Monitoring..
2/25 – US Embassy Jordan warning of credible risk of terrorist attack at high-end malls in Amman, warning employees and Americans in country to avoid these locations.
What You Need To Know
On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers have been notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding new terror threats both domestic and abroad. On Sunday the 22nd, the Somali terror organization Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahidin—commonly known as al-Shabaab, called on supporters in the West to carry out attacks on shopping malls in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Specifically identified were the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta and London’s Oxford Street. Each of these communities have large Somali populations.
During an interview with CNN, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson warned mall visitors to be vigilant:
“If anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they’ve got to be particularly careful,” Johnson said. “There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it’s the environment we’re in, frankly.”
DHS/FBI WARNING MALL OPERATORS NATIONWIDE
While the al-Shabaab video specifically referenced three malls, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI have been quietly warning mall operators across N. America of the need for increased vigilance and security measures, and in particular, near those communities with large Somali immigrant populations. At present, Minneapolis-St. Paul, home to 30 mosques and known within the international Somali community as “Little Mogadishu,” has the largest concentration, followed by Atlanta, Columbus, Washington, D.C., New York City, Buffalo, Seattle, Kansas City, San Diego, Lewiston, Maine and San Francisco.
In terms of the size of the Somali population in the U.S., according to the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, in the ten year span leading up to the end of 2013, there have been more than 68,000 Somali refugees resettled in the U.S.. In 2014, that number was increased by 9000. And these are just the figures for the primary refugee applicant. These numbers do not include spouses or children. According to Refugee Resettlement Watch and the State Department, more than 800 new refugees from Somalia arrive in the United States every month
SOMALI REFUGEES TO THE U.S. BEING RECRUITED
Readers are reminded that Somali refugees to the U.S. are coming out of a Muslim-dominated country torn apart by a civil war, terrorism, corruption, piracy for ransom and fraud. The refugees are then transplanted into communities such as Minneapolis-Saint Paul where most enter and remain on social welfare programs, with only a very small percentage actually assimilating into broader American culture. Many of the mosques in these communities contribute to the radicalization of the youth, with recruiters drawing them into foreign terrorist networks such as al-Shabaab in Somalia and ISIS in Syria. At least two Somali immigrants from Minneapolis-St. Paul recently died fighting for ISIS in the Middle East. The FBI openly states that dozens of Somali immigrants, both men and women, have left to fight with Islamic militants in the Middle East. And these are just the just the ones law enforcement has been able to track. Logic would dictate there are scores of others.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO YOU?
First we caution to readers of the need to be extra discerning when following mainstream news coverage of threats such as those from al Shabaab. First the story is hyped into the stratosphere. They then proceed to downplay the threat by saying that al-Shabaab is a backwater outfit, running out of money and their video was intended as a plea for additional financial support. Another popular angle is to dismiss the threat as a ploy to scare the public admist Congressional funding battles. The truth of the matter is that federal, state and local law enforcement are taking the threat very seriously, and for good reason.
Al Shabaab is one of the world’s most active Islamic terror organizations. The group and their followers have been responsible for dozens of attempted and successful terror attacks in such places as Somalia, Kenya, Denmark, Australia and many others. Then we have instances like Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a Somali immigrant to the U.S. who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to detonate a bomb at a holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, in November 2010.
Given the carnage of the Westagate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, the involvement of Somali-Americans in the attack, the effectiveness of radicalization efforts in Somali communities in the U.S. and the overall appearance of sympathy for Islamic extremism by the Obama Administration and liberal media, law enforcement and counter-terrorism professionals in the U.S., Canada and the UK are particularly concerned.
INCREASE YOUR SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
AlertsUSA also caution readers that soft targets such as shopping malls are given such a designation for a reason; they are difficult to protect and secure. If you or a family member are mall regulars, we strongly recommend you make it a point to be aware of your surroundings, know the locations of entrances and exits, and finally, remember that most individual stores have rear exits that are used to receive merchandise shipments. These can be handy if you need to exit quickly
ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE RESOURCES
For those who choose to explore this topic in more depth, DHS and FBI have assembled outstanding collections of resources to increase awareness and training for potential active shooter situations.
FBI: Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event Video
FBI: Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the U.S. (2000-2013)
FBI: Active Shooter Preparedness Portal
DHS: Options for Consideration – Active Shooter Video
DHS: Active Shooter Preparedness Portal
DHS: Active Shooter Response Reference
DHS: Active Shooter Webinar
U.S. Active Shooter Events (2000-2010)
Training and Equipment Implications (PDF)
FBI: ISIS SUPPORTERS IN ALL 50 STATES
On Wednesday of this week FBI Director James Comey revealed that his agency is investigating suspected supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in all 50 states.
DNI DELIVERS GRIM WORLDWIDE THREAT ASSESSMENT
On Thursday the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, gave particularly grim testimony during Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on Worldwide Threat Assessment.
Of particular note were his comments regarding global terrorism:
2014 saw the highest rate of political instability since 1992
Roughly half of the world’s currently stable countries at
some risk of instability over the next two years.
The Russian cyber threat is more severe than previously assessed.
Preliminary data for the first 9 months of 2014 reflect nearly 13,000 terror attacks killing 31,000.
When the final accounting is complete, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled.
Of the 13 terror attacks in the West since May 2014, 12 were conducted by individual extremists.
Homegrown violent extremists continue to pose continue to pose the most likely threat to the homeland.
Sunni terrorist groups (al Qaeda, al Shabaab, etc..) remain intent on striking the U.S. and the West, including aviation targets.
Watch a video of DNI Clapper’s testimony HERE http://www.armed-services.senate.gov/hearings/15-02-26-worldwide-threats.
Read his written testimony HERE (PDF).http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/2015%20WWTA%20As%20Delivered%20DNI%20Oral%20Statement.pdf
As has been the case for over 12 years, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic and international terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens, as events warrant.
OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK BUT
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
2/27 – Security being increased for numerous USGOV officials both domestic and abroad following assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow.
2/25 – Tension in Europe rise as UK PM announces Britain will join US in sending troops to UKR to train local forces. Warns Russia against moves on Baltic States.
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ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
USING THESE FREE REFERENCES
In order to help ground readers in the truth on Islam and enable you to crush liberal "Religion of Peace" arguments, AlertsUSA has compiled two free reports filled with passages from Islamic holy books covering some of the most controversial (and often denied) aspects of Islamic teachings, traditions and dogma. Now you can see them for yourself !
Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
Jordan Mall Alert
Ebola Travel Alert
See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.
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Ezekiel 33:3 – “Then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.”