The purpose of this podcast is to provide unclassified information about current trends in homeland security for the state of New Jersey, as well as educational information and resources for your awareness. Please feel free to add this podcast to your RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow NJOHSP on Twitter @NJOHSP and Facebook. All links can be found in the show notes and on our website www.njohsp.gov.
Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity: The FBI's Collaboration With NJOHSP and the ROIC
With the ever-evolving terrorism threat landscape, communication between law enforcement entities is more crucial than ever.
In today’s episode, Special Agent Scott Robinson joins us to discuss the FBI’s role in counterterrorism efforts and how its partnerships with NJOHSP and other law enforcement agencies help keep New Jersey safe.
High Threats: Activity of White Supremacist Extremists and HVEs
Homeland security and law enforcement professionals have taken notice of the rise in activity by white supremacist extremists. Individuals and groups following this ideology have cited the concept of accelerationism to justify their actions and evolved their tactics to include posting manifestos and livestreaming their attacks. The arrest of a Camden County man accused of directing others in a neo-Nazi network to vandalize synagogues, the sentencing of a Sussex County man obsessed with Nazis and mass shootings, and a doubling of recruitment efforts through flyering are examples of acts intended to intimidate, inspire, and network in New Jersey. NJOHSP increased the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, joining them with homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist organizations as the most persistent hostile actors across the State.
Join our analysts in the final episode of the 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment series as they break down what prompted the rise in threat level for white supremacist extremists and what to expect from them and HVEs this year in New Jersey and throughout the United States.
Undeterred: International Terror Groups Encourage Attacks Amid Losses
Despite experiencing significant organizational changes in 2019, terrorist groups overseas continued their calls for attacks against the United States and other Western interests abroad. Al-Qa’ida considers itself the de facto leader of the global jihadist movement while leaning heavily on the operations of its affiliates to motivate supporters. Despite the death of founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US Special Operations Forces raid in October, ISIS is expected to operate similarly with multiple affiliates pledging allegiance to new leadership.
In the third installment of our 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment series, our analysts discuss the activity of these foreign terrorist groups in 2019 and what impact it will have on their operations this year.
Based in Hate: Rising Threats From Domestic Extremists
Communities in New Jersey and throughout the United States have experienced incidents stemming from a variety of ideologies associated with domestic terrorism, including an increased threat posed by white supremacist extremists. In 2019, domestic extremists conducted nine attacks and were responsible for an additional 35 plots, threats of violence, and instances of weapons stockpiling, according to an NJOHSP nationwide review. In particular, race-based extremists were responsible for 57 percent of all domestic terrorism incidents, highlighting a new threat focus for law enforcement.
Join us in the next installment of our 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment series as our analysts discuss activity from domestic extremists in 2019 and what the threat landscape looks like for these groups this year.
Note: Some of the information discussed in this podcast describes First Amendment-protected activities. NJOHSP recognizes the constitutionally protected rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government. NJOHSP safeguards these rights and only reports on First Amendment-protected activities for situational awareness in the interest of assuring the safety and security of the demonstrators and the public.
An Overview of the 2020 NJOHSP Terrorism Threat Assessment
Communities across the United States and around the globe have suffered unimaginable tragedies over the past year at the hands of individuals driven by hate. New Jersey has also faced incidents supportive of extremist ideologies. In December, two individuals fatally shot a detective and three civilians in Jersey City in an attack rooted in anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement sentiment. A Camden County man was arrested in November on accusations he directed acts of vandalism against two synagogues in Midwestern states for the purpose of intimidating minorities. A Sussex County man accused of being obsessed with Nazis and mass shootings was charged in June with weapons offenses and bias intimidation. Recruiting efforts by various groups have been prevalent, with flyering incidents increasing since 2018.
Join us as we discuss the upcoming release of NJOHSP's 2020 Terrorism Threat Assessment, the major changes from our 2019 Terrorism Threat Assessment, and the threat extremist groups pose to New Jersey in 2020.
Unpacking the Relationship Between Mental Illness and Mass Violence
Mental illnesses are extremely common; mass violence is not. Despite the fear and public scrutiny, mass shootings are statistically rare events. But it is hard for most people to imagine that a mentally healthy person would deliberately commit an act of mass murder; thus, it is often assumed that the perpetrators of mass violence must be mentally ill. There is a tendency to overuse mental health problems as an explanation for violence, but the relationship is far more complex than typically presented. While there is a modest link between mental illness and violence, there is no basis for a generalized fear of people with mental illness. Having a mental illness does not predispose someone to violence of any type, and certainly not mass violence.
In our Season Four finale, Steve Crimando of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Disaster and Terrorism Branch joins us again to unpack this complicated relationship and offer insights into the programs and resources that address both mental health and mass violence in the State.