“lone wolf” terrorists

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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German Intelligence Chief: ‘Repeatedly Seen That Terrorists… Have Slipped In Camouflaged Or Disguised As Refugees’

Taking advantage of economic migrants flooding into Europe, more terrorists may be slipping (back) into Western Europe these days. Caroline Copley reported on the Reuters website earlier today:

Islamic State militants have slipped into Europe disguised as refugees, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) said on Friday, a day after security forces thwarted a potential IS attack in Berlin.

Hans-Georg Maassen said the terrorist attacks in Paris last November had shown that Islamic State was deliberately planting terrorists among the refugees flowing into Europe.

“Then we have repeatedly seen that terrorists … have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees. This is a fact that the security agencies are facing,” Maassen told ZDF television.

“We are trying to recognize and identify whether there are still more IS fighters or terrorists from IS that have slipped in,” he added…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good luck with that. Yesterday, Lori Hinnant wrote on the Associated Press website:

The Belgian who led the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris bragged that he slipped into France with a group of 90 extremists from Europe and the Middle East, according to testimony from the woman who tipped police to his location.

In an interview aired Thursday by RMC television and confirmed by her lawyer, the woman identified only as Sonia… was with [Abdelhamid] Abaaoud’s female cousin on Nov. 15 when the younger woman got a call from a Belgian number. It was Abaaoud, asking for a hideout.

The two women drove to a deserted industrial road outside Paris and Abaaoud came out of a bush. It was at that moment she realized who he was, according to her testimony. What followed is Abaaoud’s only known conversation about the attacks and their aftermath…

She asked him whether he had come in with Syrian refugees and he told her he came in a group without any documents. “There are Syrians, Iraqis, French, Germans, British. We came in a group of 90 and we’re a little bit everywhere around Paris.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“French, Germans, British”

Great. Welcome home, right?

Just last Friday, I blogged about new warnings from Europol and the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee concerning the Islamic State preparing new terrorist attacks in that region of the world.

As for the United States? All eyes are on Super Bowl 50. Geneva Sands reported on the ABC News website yesterday:

The FBI and DHS said they have no information to indicate a specific, credible threat to the game or its surrounding events, according to a Joint Special Event Threat Assessment.

However, authorities are concerned about terrorists’ interest in targeting crowded venues, as well as lone wolf attackers and homegrown extremists…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Here’s to an “uneventful” Super Bowl Sunday…

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

Sources:

Copley, Caroline. “German spy agency says ISIS sending fighters disguised as refugees.” Reuters. 5 Feb. 2016. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-security-idUSKCN0VE0XL). 5 Feb. 2016.

Hinnant, Lori. “Paris Attack Leader Said He Slipped In With 90 Extremists.” Associated Press. 4 Feb. 2016. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_PARIS_ATTACKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-04-07-52-04). 5 Feb. 2016.

Sands, Geneva. “Law Enforcement On High Alert for Super Bowl 50.” ABC News. 4 Feb. 2016. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/law-enforcement-high-alert-super-bowl-50/story?id=36698694). 4 Feb. 2016.

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Gabe Suarez Pens Follow-Up To ‘Today, Every Man Is A Counter Terrorist’

Last Friday, I blogged about a Facebook post by Gabe Suarez, head of The Suarez Group and a decorated veteran of Southern California law enforcement, in which he talked about the recent terrorist events in Paris, France. Suarez called upon readers to take up arms and become counter-terrorists. On January 12, a follow-up was published on The Suarez Group’s Facebook page. Suarez made some observations about terrorist events in the past year and wrote:

At every terror event, whether motivated by insane religions, or simply a lack of fastidious medication, there have been plenty of everyday “people”. And I suspect there have been a few there whose initial reaction was not to cower and to shrink from the face of evil. I suspect their initial reaction was anger. Yet unarmed by their observance of social norms, they were without the effective means to act on their natural fighter’s inclinations. And they were forced by decree, into victimhood.

But dangerous times (such as those we live in today, exemplified most recently by France), call for dangerous measures. Normally those measures should be taken by those who govern, but, well…let’s not waste our time with that dead end.

I call for every man and woman that has been outraged by the events at Charlie Hebdo in Paris to take steps to be their own rescuer…their own counter terrorist. The skill of these self-motivated killers is not as high as the uninformed commentators on CNN would have us think. Are they practiced? Certainly, but they are not invulnerable. Witness how many photographs have been taken, not only of the Paris Terrorists, but of all terrorists and active shooters. A photograph is the same as a bullet…and those shots would not have been difficult to make.

I call for every capable man and woman in the west to arm themselves and carry weapons with them every single place they go where a Lone Wolf-Home Grown – Islamic Terrorist may strike. If you simply cannot obtain a firearm…at least get a knife. Sure it may be against regulations, but do you think the dead in Paris might have traded getting into trouble over getting killed for drawing a cartoon?

I challenge every man and woman who rails at the thought of hiding under a desk while a mad man roams freely, killing with an already illegal rifle, to train themselves to a level of skill suitable for killing that terrorist…for killing him with a knife from behind, or for shooting him right in his open mouth as he spews his first announcement of who he is and why he is there.

I challenge every citizen of every western nation who said, “Enough!”, or “I Am Charly”, to get off the couch and train. To become physically fit in strength and agility. To develop marksmanship skills. To develop the will and the aggression necessary to affect change in the opening moments of a planned mass slaughter. To develop the mind set and attitude to kill the terrorist, unannounced, from behind, from the darkness, from the most unexpected sector, and thereby saving his intended victims.

Only when this becomes the norm, when images of a dead terrorist flash across Facebook and Twitter…with a tight group of pistol bullets in his face, fired by a common man or woman who decided to not die quietly that day – rather than a police officer executed on the sidewalk…will the tide begin to change.

Do not fear the terrorist…the terrorist must learn to fear you.

Rather than “I am Charly”, let the unifying cry be this –

TODAY – EVERY MAN IS A COUNTER TERRORIST

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As the scourge of terrorism grows uglier in the coming years, Suarez’s call to arms will undoubtedly be echoed by others.

You can read the entire Facebook post on The Suarez Group’s page here.

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

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State Department Releases Annual Terrorism Report

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism just released its annual report on terrorism. In the 279-page Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, there are a number of findings that may be of surprise to many Americans (but probably not to regular readers of Survival And Prosperity). From “Chapter 1, Strategic Assessment,” by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism:

The loss of bin Ladin and these other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse. These successes are attributable, in large part, to global counterterrorism cooperation, which has put considerable pressure on the al-Qa’ida core leadership in Pakistan. But despite blows in western Pakistan, al-Qa’ida, its affiliates, and its adherents remain adaptable. They have shown resilience; retain the capability to conduct regional and transnational attacks; and, thus, constitute an enduring and serious threat to our national security.

As al-Qa’ida’s core has gotten weaker, we have seen the rise of affiliated groups around the world.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

While the core of Al-Qaeda has taken a beating, Al-Qaeda affiliates, such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), appear to be growing stronger.

Another finding of the report may help explain why this is happening. Also from chapter 1:

Despite the counterterrorism successes in disrupting and degrading the capabilities of al-Qa’ida and its affiliates, al-Qa’ida and violent extremist ideology and rhetoric continued to spread in some parts of the word.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The State Department still considers Al-Qaeda and its affiliates significant threats to the United States. The Bureau of Counterterrorism pointed out:

Although there were no terrorist attacks in the United States in 2011, we remain concerned about threats to the homeland. In the last several years, individuals who appear to have been trained by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates have operated within U.S. borders. Najibullah Zazi, a U.S. lawful permanent resident, obtained training in Pakistan and, in 2010, pled guilty to charges that he was planning to set off several bombs in the United States. And on October 14, 2011, Nigerian national Umar Abdulmutallab pled guilty to all charges against him in U.S. federal court in Michigan regarding his unsuccessful attempt on December 25, 2009, to detonate an explosive aboard a flight bound for Detroit, Michigan at the behest of AQAP. While these individuals had direct ties to international terrorist groups, separate incidents involving so-called “lone wolf” terrorists also pose a threat to the U.S. homeland – one that can be difficult to detect in advance.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Even though there were no terrorist attacks on American soil last year, a number of U.S. citizens fell victim to acts of terrorism around the world. According to the report, 17 citizens worldwide were killed, 14 citizens worldwide were injured, and 3 citizens worldwide were kidnapped as a result of incidents of terrorism.

You can read the entire report on the State Department website here, or download a .pdf copy of it from the site here.

(Editor’s note: Info added to “Resources” page)

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 Government, Middle East, Public Safety, Terrorism, War No Comments

Authorities Concerned About ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist Attacks On Anniversary Of Osama Bin Laden’s Death

On May 1, 2011, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs taking part in Operation Neptune Spear in Pakistan. With the one-year anniversary of his death fast approaching, intelligence agencies are concerned about a possible retaliatory strike(s) by Muslim extremists. Mike Levine wrote on the FOX News website this morning:

Just days before the one-year anniversary of Usama bin Laden’s death, federal authorities are telling partners around the country there is no specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland but they remain concerned “lone wolf” terrorists could use the date to avenge the former Al Qaeda leader’s death.

In an intelligence bulletin issued late Wednesday, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command note that terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Northern Africa’s Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Pakistani Taliban have called for revenge against the United States for killing bin Laden during the May 1, 2011, raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

The bulletin says Al Qaeda or its affiliates would view an attack “on this anniversary as a symbolic victory,” especially in the wake of losses suffered by Al Qaeda through U.S. drone attacks and other efforts overseas.

In addition, according to the bulletin, authorities remain concerned that so-called “lone-wolf” extremists not already identified “will execute attacks with little or no warning on or about the anniversary of bin Laden’s death.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Levine added that the intelligence bulletin cited Al-Qaeda’s emphasis on symbolic dates to launch terror attacks, and that Muslim extremists might be particularly motivated to carry out a strike in retaliation for recent controversies including Koran burnings and the desecration of corpses in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Steven Chase wrote about the concern over “lone wolf” terrorists on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website. From the article:

Richard Fadden, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, also acknowledged Monday that al-Qaeda’s switch to a sole-actor approach to inflicting damage is presenting a problem for Western anti-terrorist agencies…

Mr. Fadden predicted al-Qaeda’s recent embrace of smaller, leaderless acts of terror is a sign of things to come.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has as recently as last fall published an online magazine called Inspire that called for “open source jihad” and instructed readers to how to carry out their own attacks, he noted. “How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom” was the title of article in the Summer, 2010, issue.

“My colleagues in Britain, Australia and the United States are of the same opinion: We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are acting on their own,” he said.

“When there are a certain number of people involved, there is a possibility of intercepting communications; the chances of errors are far greater. But when there’s one person who’s not talking to anybody, [counterterrorism agencies] have to be really lucky.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

In addition, Fadden pointed out that the “lone wolf” approach not only attracts the ideologically-driven, but those with “serious personal problems” as well- making them more unpredictable.

It might not be a bad idea ratcheting up one’s vigilance in the coming days.

Sources:

Levine, Mike. “Feds urge vigilance 1 year after bin Laden’s death.” FOX News. 26 Apr. 2012. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/25/feds-urge-vigilance-1-year-after-bin-laden-death/). 26 Apr. 2012.

Chase, Steven. “Al-Qaeda switching tactics, CSIS warns.” The Globe and Mail. 23 Apr. 2012. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/al-qaeda-switching-tactics-csis-warns/article2411810/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Politics&utm_content=2411810). 26 Apr. 2012.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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