Twice this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding increasing terrorism threats here in the U.S. as well as Europe.
On Monday, subscribers were notified of an aviation security increase in run up to the Christmas holiday due to an evolving terror threat. Specifically, British media outlets are reporting, and AlertsUSA has confirmed, intelligence reports that the al Qaeda terror organization is plotting to blow up multiple European passenger jets before the end of the year and is thought to involve radical Muslims smuggling bombs onto planes bound for major EU destinations. So serious is the threat that aviation authorities are considering a ban on carry-on luggage.
While U.S. officials are oddly tight lipped on the European plot, readers will recall that it bears a striking similarity to a threat we reported on in September involving al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the al Nusra Front, as well as the Khorasan group, to bomb commercial airliners using explosive materials which can evade detection and be smuggled onboard aircraft hidden in electronic devices. It was also this plot which was said to be the impetus for U.S. air and cruise missile strikes against al Qaeda positions in Syria. Those strikes were subsequently reported as having failed.
DOMESTIC THREAT TO ARMED SERVICES MEMBERS
Also on Monday, subscribers were notified of an intelligence bulletin issued by the FBI warning current and former members of the military to review their social media presence for any information that might serve to attract the attention of ISIL and its supporters and to, overall, exercise “operational security” online to avoid tracking by the Islamic militants.
This is just the latest in a recent series of warnings and orders to U.S. and Canadian military personnel regarding individual protective measures at home. In October, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned about the Islamic State's calls for attacks on police, soldiers and government officials. Shortly thereafter, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency issued a security advisory to all members of the U.S. Armed Services warning of the threats, calling for an increased level of situational awareness, urging a low public profile and providing a list of individual protective measures.
And this was not just U.S.. Soldiers in Britain, the Netherlands, and Australia have also received similar guidance and directives.
DO NOT BECOME COMPLACENT
We strongly urge readers to not become complacent regarding the terrorism threat facing this country during the end of year holidays. This is a very dangerous time for the nation and despite a seeming lull in domestic terror attacks, it is important to realize this is not for lack of trying. There exist dozens of counter terrorism operations constantly underway in the U.S. and Europe, the details of which are rarely paraded. Doing so serves no public, tactical or strategic benefit and actually makes it more difficult for the intelligence, investigative or protective services to operate.
If you feel the need for additional insight, we encourage you to strike up a friendly conversation with any federal agent or member of the special operations community. If specifically asked, they will, without hesitation, reveal that there are a near constant stream of active threats facing the homeland, from lone individuals all the way through to well organized, state sponsored operations, and that their tempo is increasing.
Take your vacations this holiday as planned and have a great time, but keep in mind that the U.S. is still at war, the current battle is with Muslim fanatics and this conflict will, for sure, be expanding. The simple reality is that U.S. citizens and interests both at home and abroad are targets. You would do well to carefully read the full text of U.S. government's Worldwide Caution below to understand the scope of this threat.
On nine separate instances over the past 6 months, AlertsUSA and Threat Journal have reported on the growing terror threat facing the United States. These past newsletter issues provide extensive background information to help round out your understanding of the threat and are worth a few minuets of your attention.
Feds Warn of Domestic Terror Attacks (9/27/2014)
Multiple New Plots Against the U.S., Aviation Sector Targeted (9/20/14)
U.S. to Launch Airstrikes in Syria, Terror Threat Remains High (9/14/14)
Missing Planes Raise Additional 9/11 Terror Fears (9/6/14)
U.S. and Britain on High Alert, Possible ISIS Cell in Mexico (8/30/14)
FBI and DHS Warn Police To Be Alert (8/23/14)
ISIS Threatens Terror Attacks on U.S. (8/8/14)
SecDef: Islamic State Poses "Imminent" Threat to the U.S. (7/12/14)
Aviation Sector Targeted for Attacks (7/5/14)
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.