AlertsUSA subscribers were notified this week via text messages to their mobile devices regarding new threats of terrorist attacks on the US and allied homelands if military action against the radical Muslim group known as the Islamic State continues. These threats are now appearing on a near daily basis and are coming from a variety of different groups, federal, state and local law enforcement officials are taking the threat quite serious.
MULTIPLE PLOTS - AVIATION SECTOR TARGETED
Most notable this week is the disclosure that al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the al Nursra Front, as well an emerging group known as Khorasan, are focused on violence toward the West and have been eyeing attacks on American airliners.
During testimony this week before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland," Director Tapper became the first U.S. intelligence official to publicly acknowledge the existence of Khorasan, their ties to and collaboration with Al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate, and their desire to target the U.S. aviation sector.
Officials say there are numerous plots emanating from Syria and likely under development for months.
On multiple occasions in the past (most recently here and here) AlertsUSA has reported on the very real threat posed by al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate, formally known as al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP). Far more than just tweets and YouTube video from faraway places, AQAP is responsible for multiple attempted attacks on commercial aircraft, including the failed Christmas 2009 attempt to bring down an airliner near Detroit by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as well as the October 2010 plot to bring down two cargo aircraft using bombs built into printer toner cartridges.
In addition, the group is also tied to the USS Cole bombing, a 2002 attack on a French supertanker in the Gulf of Aden, 2005 London bombings, the 2007 Fort Dix attack plot, the 2009 Little Rock military recruiting office shooting, the 2009 Fort Hood shooting and many more.
This is not to dismiss the threat posed by the Islamic State. According to Congressman Tim Bishop of NY, up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State are believed to have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat.
AUSTRALIA CT RAIDS
Counterterrorism raids were carried out in three Australian cities on Thursday following the development of solid intelligence that radical Muslims associated with the Islamic State movement were planning to behead at least one randomly selected member of the public in order to demonstrate the terror group's reach and to instill widespread fear.
In what is called the largest counter terrorism operation in Australian history, more than a dozen locations in Sydney, Brisbane and Logan were raided and 15 people detained. The arrests came just days after the country raised its terror warning to the second-highest level. AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of this threat level change last Friday afternoon.
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As has been the case for over 12 years, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic 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, as events warrant..