Religion

Escaped ISIS Fighters To Attack UK, Mainland Europe During The Holidays?

I hope readers had a nice Thanksgiving. Emerging from my food coma, I intended to restart the discussion about money/investing when I saw this headline over on the Daily Express (UK) website Sunday:

“War-trained Islamic State fighters plan to strike in UK”

Marco Giannangeli reported yesterday morning:

HUNDREDS of Islamic State fighters have fled Syria and are heading for the UK and Europe to mount a series of Christmas attacks in revenge for their defeat at Raqqa.

The warning, from Turkish intelligence officers, follows concerns that the head of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, escaped Raqqa with thousands of armed extremist fighters- including many British jihadis- in a secret peace deal five weeks ago.

Last night a British military source who attended the briefing said it left no room for doubt.

“Their [Turkish] intelligence service briefed that IS have been smuggled into Turkey in numbers and are heading to Europe and the UK,” he said.

“The threat level is very high and it is evident the Turkish authorities have detained a number of people and are confident the information is accurate.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Giannangeli, “More than 4,000 IS fighters, still carrying weapons and ammunition, their families and hostages,” managed to escape as part of this alleged deal.

Now, if the mention of an arrangement with ISIS rings a bell with regular readers of the blog that’s because a week-and-a-half ago I brought up a November 13 BBC News article mentioning that same “secret peace deal.” I wrote:

Finally, there’s the following from Riam Dalati and Quentin Sommerville on the BBC News website on November 13. They penned a piece in which “The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city. A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters…”:

The number of Islamic State escapees floated by the Daily Express and BBC differ, but this particular terror threat to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe remains should there be some truth to these reports.

Time will tell, as usual.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Giannangeli, Marco. “War-trained Islamic State fighters plan to strike in UK.” Daily Express. 26 Nov. 2017. (https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/884412/War-trained-Islamic-State-fighters-trained-strike-UK-Syria-Abu-Bakr-al-Baghdadi). 26 Nov. 2017.

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‘Best Articles’ About Surviving A Terrorist Attack

I know I’ve been blogging a lot lately about the subject of terrorism, but before I switch gears and tackle other topics I thought readers might like to know about a good jumping-off point for useful information about surviving a terrorist attack.

Back on November 18, 2015, Greg Ellifritz, President and Primary Instructor of Ohio-based Active Response Training, penned an article (portal, really) entitled “The Six Best Resources for Surviving a Terrorist Attack.” This was compiled two days after the carnage carried out by jihadists in Paris that claimed the lives of 130 people (with another 413 injured). The Ohio law enforcement officer wrote:

Since the multi-pronged terrorist attack on Paris last Friday, lots of experts have written articles about how to survive such an event. Some are great. Others are worthless.

I’ve been reading everything I can find about the attacks… Here are the best articles I’ve found on the topic (in no particular order). All are worth a read.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“All are worth a read.”

They pretty much are, considering the material comes from “some of the smartest, most seasoned and dangerous dudes in the world.” The articles included:

• “Perspectives: Wishful Thinking & Playing Dead Is Not a Plan,” by David Reeder with Steve Tarani, Frankie McRae, Kyle Lamb, Greg Ellifritz, Derrick Van Orden, Charles K. Redlinger, Mike Pannone, and Danny “Gator” Pritbor (four parts)
• “Think like a Veteran: Surviving a violent attack,” by Scott Witner
• “Paris, France Attacks” by “Someone You Know”
• “Ten Ways To Avoid Being Killed During A Terrorist Attack” by Brent Wheat
• “Thoughts On Paris” by Larry Correia
• “‘Run-Hide-Fight’: Former Navy SEAL Reveals How You Can Survive a Terrorist Attack” by Clinton Emerson

Ellifritz’s effort here is much appreciated, and readers can access the piece on the Active Response Training website here.

Do readers know of any other decent articles about surviving terrorist attacks? If so, please feel free to share them via this post’s “Comments” section.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Russians Issue Terrorism Warning For Citizens Traveling To U.S.

Right before the weekend I blogged about the State Department issuing a “Europe Travel Alert” Thursday warning Americans about a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”

This morning, I came across the following on the website of Russian international TV network RT:

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to citizens, urging those traveling to European and US cities in the coming months to exercise caution, as the holiday season may prompt terrorist attacks in popular destinations.

In a brief message posted online, the Situational-Crisis Center said there was an increased probability of terrorist attacks during Christmas and the New Year, between December 20 and January 20. It added the hashtags #Europe and #USA.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Russians merely having a go at America? Or does Moscow actually possess some information about a potential terror threat directed against the United States- and in particular, American cities- during this timeframe?

No mention in the RT piece about specific intel which may have led to the Russian government issuing the warning.

Still, considering we live in a time of war, it pays to be vigilant.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Major ISIS Terror Attack On France Soon?

As the “War on Terror” drags on, France could be targeted (again) by ISIS. And soon.

Consider some developments I’ve come across in my research the past several days. First, Henry Samuel reported on The Telegraph (UK) website on November 6:

French police are investigating death threats against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo over a cartoon of Oxford scholar Tariq Ramadan, who is facing rape allegations.

The provocative magazine, which suffered a deadly jihadist attack in January 2015 after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, depicted Ramadan its edition last Wednesday in an explicit pose, with the caption: “I am the sixth pillar of Islam.”

The five pillars of Islam are the five basic practices obligatory for believers: faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

A minority of Sunni scholars considers jihad, or holy struggle – which can have different meanings – to be the sixth pillar of Islam.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Next, Simon Osborne wrote on the Daily Express (UK) website on November 9:

A sick propaganda poster released by the ISIS-linked Wafa Media Foundation warns of another massacre in the French capital.

The chilling poster features an image of the Eiffel Tower merged with a rifle and declares children will be targeted in a new onslaught.

It carries messages in Arabic and English saying France “will pay very expensive price for your war on Islam”.

The poster says: “We will take revenge for the blood of Muslims on your land. We will kill the young before the older watch this.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, there’s the following from Riam Dalati and Quentin Sommerville on the BBC News website on November 13. They penned a piece in which “The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city. A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters…”:

Abu Basir al-Faransy, a young Frenchman, left before the going got really tough in Raqqa. He’s now in Idlib, where he says he wants to stay.

The fighting in Raqqa was intense, even back then, he says.

“We were front-line fighters, waging war almost constantly [against the Kurds], living a hard life. We didn’t know Raqqa was about to be besieged.”

Disillusioned, weary of the constant fighting and fearing for his life, Abu Basir decided to leave for the safety of Idlib. He now lives in the city.

He was part of an almost exclusively French group within IS, and before he left some of his fellow fighters were given a new mission.

There are some French brothers from our group who left for France to carry out attacks in what would be called a ‘day of reckoning.’

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Day of reckoning.” Not good, should Abu’s claims have any credibility.

According to Reuters on November 12:

The French secret services estimate that about 690 French nationals are now in Iraq and Syria, including some 295 women. Estimates from late 2015 suggested about 2,000 French citizens had gone to fight with Islamic State.

Hopefully, all the above is just bluster. Time will tell.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Samuel, Henry. “Charlie Hebdo receives death threats over Tariq Ramadan front page.” The Telegraph. 6 Nov. 2017. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/06/charlie-hebdo-reports-death-threats-tariq-ramadan-sixth-pillar/). 15 Nov. 2017.

Osborne, Simon. “ISIS terror warning: Jihadis threaten CHILDREN ahead of Paris attacks anniversary.” Daily Express. 9 Nov. 2017. (https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/877704/ISIS-jihadis-threaten-CHILDREN-Paris-attacks-anniversary-bataclan-massacre). 15 Nov. 2017.

Dalati, Riam and Sommerville, Quentin. “Raqqa’s Dirty Secret.” BBC News. 13 Nov. 2017. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/raqqas_dirty_secret). 15 Nov. 2017.

“Terrorist threat in France unprecedented, officials say.” Reuters. 12 Nov. 2017. (https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/terrorist-threat-in-france-unprecedented-officials-say-1.3289328). 15 Nov. 2017.

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DHS Provides Resources, Training To Combat Church Active Shooters

In the wake of the Texas church shooting, houses of worship may be wondering how their congregation might prepare for and respond to an “active shooter.” One resource worth exploring is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, specifically “Active Shooter Preparedness.” From that section:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage. Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident…

Visitors can obtain active shooter preparedness resources as a private citizen, human resources or security professional, active shooter workshop participant, and first responder. Key resources available to the “private citzen” include:

-“How to Respond” Resource Materials: “A series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter” like a booklet, pamphlet, poster, pocket card, and more (translated into other languages too)
-“Options for Consideration” Active Shooter Preparedness Video: Almost 8-minute video which “demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.”
-Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video: 1-hour 36-minute video that “describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario…”

According to TIME magazine, under the Trump Administration DHS has actually been ahead of the curve with training places of worship to deal with active shooter incidents. Elizabeth Dias reported Sunday:

Even before Sunday’s shooting at a small Baptist church in Texas, the Trump Administration was moving ahead with efforts to train houses of worship on emergency security procedures, including active shooter situations.

Now, an Administration official says he’ll be working even harder to train religious leaders on how to secure their members and property.

In the past four months, [director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships office Jamie] Johnson the said his team has collaborated with religious groups on more than a dozen efforts to improve security, but he has plans for more.

“We are going to be a whole lot busier in the months and years to come when it comes to safety and security for houses of worship,” he says. “This issue will now come to the forefront of the religious conversation in America.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good to know. One more thing. Religious institutions might want to investigate if any local resources are available to help prepare for/respond to an active shooter if they haven’t done so already. I’ve stumbled upon a few articles on the Internet these past few days where local law enforcement are offering assistance to churches and such.

DHS’ Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage can be accessed here. And readers can keep abreast of what’s new out of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships here.

Know of any religious facilities that might benefit from this information? Pass it on!

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Dias, Elizabeth. “Trump Administration Might Ramp Up Security Training for Houses of Worship After Texas Shooting.” TIME. 5 Nov. 2017. (http://time.com/5011069/texas-church-shooting-trump-security-training/). 7 Nov. 2017.

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‘We Live In A Time Of War’

Last Friday on the blog I noted three articles I came across on the Internet that contained strategies for surviving vehicular terorrism.

I’d like to add one more to the list.

Gabe Suarez, a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement and president of the personal safety training outfit Suarez International, published “Defeating Vehicle Jihadist Attacks” Thursday on his blog. As with the other pieces, there’s overlap but “new” ideas as well. For example, Suarez penned:

If you have the need to stop a moving vehicle understand that once it is moving, a mere small arms projectile will not stop it. But you may get an opportunity to kill the driver. Killing the driver by penetrating the windshield can be done, but if the car is moving toward you, you are better served by moving out of its path rather than shooting at it. From the side however, it is a different matter. Shooting a driver through the side window is easy, and easier than shooting him through the windshield. Trust me…it is very easy to do this.

It’s worth a read, along with many other of his “Counter Terrorism” posts.

And while we’re on the topic of Gabe Suarez, his latest blog post happens to be about the mass shooting down in Texas. It included the following reminder to readers:

In the last month we have seen a rifleman in an hotel room pulling off the greatest mass murder in recent history, a jihadist running a truck into a crowd, and now a mass murder inside a church.

This is not fantasy, it is real.

We live in a time of war…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“We live in a time of war”

A real “inconvenient truth” many Americans just can’t (won’t) wrap their minds around.

Still, some are waking up to the threat and have prepared/are preparing accordingly.

“Defeating Vehicle Jihadist Attacks” can be found on The Gabe Suarez Blog here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Suarez, Gabe. “Lambs Into Lions- Is It Real For You?” The Gabe Suarez Blog. 6 Nov. 2017. (http://blog.suarezinternational.com/2017/11/lambs-into-lions-is-it-real-for-you.html). 6 Nov. 2017.

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Surviving The Vehicle Terror Attack

“A truck-driving terrorist carved a mile-long path of carnage through lower Manhattan, killing eight innocents Tuesday as he plowed down helpless victims on a bike path. The rented white pickup hopped the curb at W. Houston with ISIS-inspired suspect Sayfullo Saipov drawing a bead on bicyclists as screams filled the Halloween skies and blood stained the pavement…”

New York Daily News website, November 1, 2017

Continuing on the topic of vehicles from last night night, have any readers thought about how you might try to survive a vehicle terror attack like the one that took place in New York City earlier this week? A legitimate concern, I think, for those who live/work in and visit the “big city” (not saying “Main Street” couldn’t be in the bad guys’ crosshairs too). Consider the following from Alex Nowrasteh on the Cato Institute’s blog Halloween evening:

Vehicle attacks are not the norm in the United States where firearms are more readily available, but they are rising in frequency, as we saw in Charlottesville earlier this year. ISIS recently encouraged its followers to use trucks in lone wolf terrorist attacks and Saipov allegedly left a note declaring allegiance to that wannabe-Caliphate.

RAND Corporation terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins remarked that airplane hijackings were the norm for 1970s terrorist attacks while suicide bombers were the norm for the 1980s. Today, vehicle attacks are increasingly common around the world. Jenkins identified approximately 40 vehicle attacks around the world from 2000 through 2016 that resulted in 167 deaths, approximately four per attack. That total also includes the terrorists who died carrying them out…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As vehicular terrorism shouldn’t be taken lightly, I scoured the Internet for strategies to avoid falling victim to such violence. Three articles grabbed my attention:

“Five Ways to Survive a Terror Truck Attack” by Bob Owens, Editor of BearingArms.com

“Vehicular Terrorist Attacks: Strategies For Safety And Survival” by Steven Crimando for RECOIL OFFGRID magazine

“10 Tips for Surviving a Terrorist Vehicle Attack” by Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training

While there’s some overlap, each piece brings different yet complimentary ideas to the table. I’m thinking a decent plan to counter the car or truck terror attack could be developed from these resources. But that’s something readers can decide for themselves.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Nowrasteh, Alex. “The Halloween Terror Attack in New York: The Threat from Foreign-Born Terrorists.” Cato At Liberty. 31 Oct. 2017. https://www.cato.org/blog/halloween-terror-attack-new-york-threat-foreign-born-terrorists. 2 Nov. 2017.

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