On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding steps being taken by federal authorities to ramp up security in the international aviation sector due to an increasing threat of terrorism.
Travelers heading to the U.S. from Europe and the Middle East now face closer scrutiny due to fears that Muslim extremists are developing new explosives that could be slipped onto planes undetected. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the extra security measures on Wed. Despite the government saying that these increased security measures are focused on inbound international flights, AlertsUSA's law enforcement sources indicate domestic as well as outbound international flights will also experiencing increased security screenings.
As reported by AlertsUSA Threat Journal on multiple occasions in just the past few months (see this and this), Western defense and intelligence agencies are increasingly concerned that hundreds, if not thousands, of Islamic radicals travelling from Europe and the U.S to fight in the Middle East could pose a security risk upon their return. And as anyone who has traveled between the U.S. and Europe knows, you can freely do so without a visa. This leaves innumerable opportunities open to exploit the system. For example, citizens of the EU easily flying to America to carry out attacks and vice versa.
Analysts believe the new warnings are directly linked to concerns that Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is now passing on bomb making expertise to militants fighting in Syria and Iraq, many of whom, as we have also previously reported, have received extensive battlefield training from the U.S. in the fight to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
As AlertsUSA has warned on numerous occasions over the past decade, as the number of U.S. and European Muslims, be they life-long followers of Islam or western "clean skin" converts, embrace the radical mindset and either head off to the Middle East to join in the jihad, or simply access extremist websites and get their fill of hate and fieldcraft from the comfort of their parents basement, the problem only grows.
Readers are reminded that 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. But even a simple, friendly conversation with any federal agent or member of the special operations community, if specifically asked, will without hesitation reveal that there are a 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.
Just because they are not reported by the mainstream media does not mean they are not happening.
Politically Incorrect Truths
About Modern Terrorism
Despite well circulated claims that al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA, that 9/11 was an inside job, or that each terror incident taking place in the U.S. is some type of false flag operation, true or not, these side issues should not be allowed to cloud your understanding of some basic politically incorrect realities and facts:
1. The United States has been in a constant state of war, for whatever reason, for nearly 13 years. In that time, America has made many enemies, and most of these are Muslim.
2. While not all Muslims are terrorists, a vast majority of the terrorist acts committed in this world over the past 13 years have been carried out by Muslims. Not Christians, not Mormons, Protestants or the Amish, but Muslims. For many of the radical followers, they rationalize their actions based on the more than 150 verses within both the Quran and Hadith specifically calling on all Muslims to wage war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.
3. As of the time of this report's preparation on Friday, July 4th, in just one organization's count, since 9/11 there have been 23,311 separate Islamist terrorist attacks around the world. Only a small fraction of these attacks are categorized as battlefield actions against U.S. or Western soldiers. The majority are indicents like grenades and bombs tossed into schools and churches, suicide bombings in marketplaces, beheadings and crucifixions for not observing Islamic law and so on.
4. During the past week, Islamists have carried out 39 separate terrorist attacks and two suicide bombings resulting in 262 dead and 386 wounded. And lest we forget, this is just the first week in the Holy Month of Ramadan.
It is this trend reaching the U.S. that has law enforcement and national security-related departments and agencies growing more worried.
As American and European Muslims active on the battlefield acquire necessary fieldcraft and technical expertise then ultimately return home, it would be embarrassingly naive to think that such skills will not be employed against American targets as well as our citizens and interests abroad. And as the world has experienced on multiple occasions, this includes commercial aviation targets.
With just these few examples, it should be easy to see that the terrorist threat environment facing America is growing more serious by the day. And it behooves readers to be paying attention.
As AlertsUSA has done for over a decade, we continue to closely monitor the national threat picture and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment or related breaking incidents of national significance, as event warrant.