Threat Journal, the Weekly Supplement to AlertsUSA National Threat and Incident Notification Service


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Feb 07, 2015 Threat Journal is a weekly supplement to the AlertsUSA National Threat
and Incident Notification Service for Mobile Devices Facebook Twitter

WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP
Now Published Each Saturday Afternoon

Female ISIS Militants – ALLOW IMAGES

FBI Warns on ISIS Recruitment of Teens
Feb 07, 2015

On Feb. 3, 2015, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
2/3 – FBI cautioning American parents re ISIS presence on social media and their persuasive propaganda appealing to teens. The gist: Proactively warn your kids.

What You Need To Know
On Tues AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices of a new push by the FBI to warn parents of the active efforts of the Islamic State to use social media in the recruitment of teens. These efforts span the gambit, from Jihadist rap music videos to preying on teen’s growing sense of rebellion and alluring messages of false hope and a sense of identity.

If you think these efforts just target boys and men, think again.

According to Michael Steinbach, head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division:

“The recruitment of women by ISIS is much more than we’ve ever seen by a terrorist organization. We have seen everything from a female fighter — dedicated groups of women fighters — and those who have come over to support foreign fighters by marrying them.”

Steinbach went on to say that the Bureau has seen teenagers as young as 13 in foreign countries, and 15 in the U.S., successfully influenced by Islamic State recruiters.

According to detailed case study published in December by the SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS is using female recruiters to prey on young women, has established a pipeline to assist Western women in traveling to Syria to contribute to the formation of their new society, and these online networks have been expanding in prominence and sophistication since the summer of 2014, suggesting that the Islamic State has already been successful in recruiting foreign women to leave their lives in the West, and are looking to build upon this strength.

NOT JUST N. AMERICA

And this threat is not just limited to N. America. According to Giles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, social media plays a “huge role” in recruiting.

There have already been numerous cases of U.S. teens successfully radicalized, some of whom boarded planes to fly to the Middle East, and others, such as Shannon Conley of Arvada, Colorado, a Muslim convert who was arrested April 8 at Denver International Airport after telling FBI agents she was traveling to Syria to use her American military training from the U.S. Army Explorers program to aid Islamic militants waging jihad even though she knew that it was illegal. She told investigators, “Legitimate targets of attack” included U.S. military bases, government employees and public officials.”

Conley planned to marry a Tunisian man fighting in Syria whom she met online and communicated with via Skype. Instead, she is now serving a 4 year stretch in federal prison after being convicted of lending material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

RESOURCE

WOMEN OF THE ISLAMIC STATE
A Manifesto on Women by the Al-Khanssaa Brigade

A semi-official manifesto on women, believed to be the first of its kind, has been published by the al-Khanssaa Brigade, an all-female militia set up by Islamic State. Translated into English by the London-based counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam Foundation, the document outlines women’s rights and what is expected of them living under their rule.

According to an introductory statement by the translator, the document “gives a lengthy rebuttal of “Western civilisation” and universal human rights such as gender equality. It allows us to look past that which is banded about on social media by Western supporters of IS, enabling us to get into the mind-set of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women who willingly join its ranks.”

It is important for readers to understand that since the formal declaration of the establishment of the Islamic State, last summer, complex, highly effective recruiting campaigns have been undertaken globally in a genuine effort at nation building. Make no mistake, while western media outlets portray the Islamic State as being comprised of a disparate collection of 30-40,000 unsophisticated, ragtag male fighters, the reality is very different. And one of the areas within which they excel is their global recruiting efforts which are growing in scope and sophistication.

AN APPEAL TO PARENTS

AlertsUSA urges parents of teens, both boys and girls, to get involved with their children’s social media activity. Just as you monitor the physical location of your children, the simple reality is that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Ask.fm, WhatsApp, Instagram and many others offer a multitude of evil influences, of which militant Islam propaganda specifically is just one. While it may seem like a daunting, impossible task, the dangers are far too great, and the ramification too far reaching, to simply blow it off and to trust the judgment of your children. They simply do not have the perspective, worldview and awareness necessary. Just as you would be unlikely to allow your teenage son or daughter to wander the streets of urban America after dark, it is imperative that you extend these protective efforts to their online presence. AlertsUSA would not be covering the topic, nor would the FBI be speaking up, unless the threat was form idable, and growing.

RESOURCE

Social Media Monitoring Tools for Parents

The following is a lilst of the most popular social media monitoring utilities for parents. There are many more. Considering the importance of this tool, your careful study of the options is essential. Each of the links below go directly to the vendor website. No affiliate links are included.

Net Nanny MamaBear
Norton Family Premier UKnowKids
McAfee SafeEyes MobiStealth

As has been the case for over 12 years, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic and international 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 for American citizens, as events warrant.

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AlertsUSA.com

OTHER ALERTS ISSUED THIS WEEK BUT
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

2/6 – Intel sources rpt ISIS intends to kidnap westerners in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, & Egypt. US citizens planning travel to the region warned to use caution.

2/1 – Hospitals, pub transport ctrs and other soft targets nationwide being warned to BOLO for poss pre-terrorism scouting activity. Mult reports in Western states.

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U.S. Soldier with Lithuanian Rocket Launcher – ALLOW IMAGES

SecState Warns Russia on Ukraine,
NATO to Deploy 30,000 Troops in Eastern Europe
Feb 07, 2015

On Feb 5, 2015, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
2/5 – Tensions incr in Europe. SecState warns Russia must withdraw heavy weapons & troops from Ukraine. Pub opinion being shaped for anncmt of lethal military aid.

What You Need To Know
On Tues AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices of fresh warnings issued by Secretary of State John Kerry to Russia over their growing military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Kerry warned that the Obama administration cannot ignore the latest Russian military thrust into the country's east.

"We live in a modern world of great technology. Everybody understands the ability to see things from high altitudes, whether it’s in space or lower. And the fact is, we have been tracing and we have seen exactly what they’re bringing over, when and how, and there’s no question about tanks flowing, rocket systems being transported, convoys of goods carrying people, weapons, and other instruments of battle."

“We cannot close our eyes to the tanks that are crossing the border coming into Ukraine. We cannot close our eyes to Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms coming across the border and leading troops into battle.”

SENATE CALLS FOR ARMING UKRAINE

Concurrent to Secretary Kerry's remarks in Ukraine, a bipartisan group of 12 senators, all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on President Obama to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. The White House (again) says the President is "considering" the move.

We remind readers that given the nature of the matter at hand, when you hear that the President of the United States is considering doing anything along the lines of sending weapons, or troops, to assist a foreign nation, it invariably means that the decision has already been made. Normally such deliberations and planning are carried out in the highest levels of secrecy.

On Thursday of this week, NATO Supreme Allied Command U.S. Air Force General Phillip Breedlove warned that any move to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons must take into account any possible angry reaction from Russia.

NATO TO DEPLOY 30,000 TROOPS IN E. EUROPE

Also this week, NATO defense ministers met in Brussels on Thursday during which they announced a significant military expansion in the Eastern-most region of the alliance and what NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calls “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War”. The move, known as Adaptation Measures, increases the NATO Response Force size from 13,000 troops to 30,000, or a full division, with elements spread between 6 bases located across Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in order to provide a visible and persistent NATO presence in these countries and to dissuade further Russian aggression in the region.

Additionally, another measure announced is the formation of a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force known as the Spearhead Force, a highly trained brigade of land forces numbering around 5,000. According to NATO Secretary Stoltenberg, the Spearhead Force "will be supported by air, sea and special operations forces. The lead element of this land brigade will be ready to move within as little as 48 hours, with the rest moving within a week.” Two brigades will back up the Spearhead Force as a rapid reinforcement capability in case of a major crisis.

RUSSIA PREVIOUSLY WARNED AGAINST SUCH A MOVE

Readers are reminded that late last year, Russia warned NATO against establishing a permanent military presence in Eastern Europe, saying it would view such a move as a threat. According to Mikhail Popov, deputy director of Russia's national security council, "The fact that the military infrastructure of NATO member states is getting closer to our borders, including via enlargement, will preserve its place as one of the external threats for the Russian Federation."

This statement was made when NATO was originally moving towards stationing just 5000 troops in eastern alliance member countries. Considering that NATO has announced this force would expand to 30,000, we await Russia's public response, though their military is already in motion. Earlier this week, Russia's Defense Ministry announced that the Kremlin has deployed Topol and Yars ICBM missile launchers on combat patrol in 6 Russian regions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the right to intervene on behalf of Russian speakers if Moscow believes their rights are under threat. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – all former Soviet republics that are now NATO members – have significant Russian minorities.

AlertsUSA continues to close monitor developments in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of major changes in the overall threat picture as it applies to U.S. citizens and interests, as events warrant.

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Crusades-vs-Jihad – ALLOW IMAGES

Get Your Facts Straight, Mr. President !
Feb 07, 2015
What You Need To Know
At the National Prayer Breakfast this week, President Obama told attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by “Christians” as well. Speaking on the tension between the compassionate and murderous undertaken in the name of religion, President Obama stated the following:

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

For the President to draw a moral equivalence between modern Islamic jihad and the Crusades is outrageous on many levels, not the least of which is the increased justification his words have given the Islamic State’s ongoing atrocities.

In the short but powerful video above, Dr. Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam lays out the facts.

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TJ Subscription Button – ALLOW IMAGES

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Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

Sierra Leone Travel 02/05/2015
Cameroon 02/04/2015
Nigeria 02/02/2015
Ebola Travel Alert 02/02/2015
Worldwide Caution 01/09/2015
Worldwide Alert 12/19/2014

See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

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Take Advantage of These Resources
Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation’s threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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