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DHS and FBI Release PSA Advising Vigilance During the Holiday Season

"If you see something, say something

If You See Something, Say Something

December 26,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WASHINGTON DC, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement urging the public to remain vigilant during the holidays:

“As you travel, shop, and gather together to celebrate the holiday season, we ask you to stay alert. While we are not aware of any specific, credible threats at this time, the recent attempted attack in New York is a reminder that we must remain vigilant.

“You play a critical role in keeping our nation and our neighborhoods safe. So if you see something suspicious, or notice behavior that doesn’t seem quite right, say something. Contact local law enforcement. Tell them who and what you saw, where and when you saw it, and why it seemed suspicious.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing. But maybe, it could save your life. Help us make the holidays safer. If you see something, say something.”

Watch the PSA featuring Christopher Krebs, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate; Nikki Floris, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division; and David Glawe, the DHS Counterterrorism Coordinator.

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Sen. Cory Booker Receives Death Threats

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file photo by Boyd Loving

December 18,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Newark police have deployed extra security to protect Sen. Cory Booker in response to a death threat against the former mayor, officials said Saturday.

In a statement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said police were working with U.S. Capitol Police to protect the New Jersey Democrat.

“The Newark Police Division has been notified by the United States Capitol Police (USCP) regarding a threat on the life of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and his family members,” Baraka said. Members of the police division’s executive protection unit were assigned to provide security.

NJ Senator Cory Booker had slammed the ‘repugnant’ call for killing of Jews by Imam of Jersey City Mosque. In his letter to Ahmed Shedeed — the president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, Booker excoriated Elkasaby’s remarks as “repugnant,” “dangerous,” and “unconscionable.” Death threats followed, a fatwa in the opinion of some experts .

The media has speculated on everything from the Alabama special election , Net Neutrality to grandstanding .

Representatives for Booker’s office and the U.S. Capitol Police would not comment on the threat.

Officials did not disclose more details on the nature of the threat or say if there were any arrests.

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Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office wants to remind you that in this Holiday season , “If you see something, say something.”

"If you see something, say something

photo courtesy of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

December 17,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office wants to remind you that in this Holiday season , “If you see something, say something.”

The RDT is on patrol again this weekend, adding a specialized uniformed presence at the busy shopping malls in the Paramus area, as well as Van Saun County Park’s Winter Wonderland.

The RDT serves Bergen County and its 70 municipalities (the largest county in NJ with almost 1 million residents) to mobilize special resources as needed, or in proactive ways. RDT is a Shared Services project by the BCPO, select municipal police departments, and the State of New Jersey to multiply resources. BCPO detectives assigned to RDT are specially trained in community policing, patrol, and counter-terrorism, as well as other backgrounds that make them highly useful and very effective.

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Friday Sermon at Jersey City, NJ: Imam Aymen Elkasaby Prays to Be Martyred on the Threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Which Is “Under the Feet of the Apes and Pigs”

jersey city islamic center

December 14,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Jersey City NJ , Friday Sermon at Jersey City, NJ: Imam Aymen Elkasaby Prays to Be Martyred on the Threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Which Is “Under the Feet of the Apes and Pigs”

Sheikh Aymen Elkasaby, imam of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, dedicated his Friday sermon on December 8 to U.S. President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Imam Elkasaby challenged the assumption that Israel is invincible, quoting from the Quran to demonstrate that the Jews “are the most cowardly of nations.” “So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains prisoner in the hands of the Jews… So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains under the feet of the apes and pigs, this nation will remain humiliated,” he said. Towards the end of the sermon, Imam Elkasaby prayed for Allah to grant him “martyrdom on the threshold of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and to annihilate “the plundering oppressors” down to the very last one. At the end of the sermon, a community member stood up and invited the congregation to a demonstration in Times Square to protest the decision by the “lunatic” U.S. president. The videos of Imam Elkasaby’s sermon was posted on the YouTube account of the Islamic Center of Jersey City.

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Port Authority Evacuated During Morning Rush Due to Explosion

suicide bomb port authority

December 11,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New York, New York , according to New York Police sources a would-be suicide bomber detonated an explosive device underground near the bustling Port Authority Bus Terminal is a former New York City cab driver who told investigators he carried out the attack for revenge, law enforcement sources said. Subways were rerouted this morning and the Port Authority Bus Station was evacuated during the morning rush.

There were also disruptions on the Seventh and Eighth Avenue lines, as well as the shuttle between Grand Central Station and Times Square. Service should return to normal before evening rush hour, transit officials said.

The bomber Akayed Ullah, 27, is believed to be from Bangladesh and was living in Brooklyn, told authorities in sum and substance from his hospital bed: “They’ve been bombing in my country and I wanted to do damage here,” sources said.

Ullah, who officials say is a former city cab driver whose license has lapsed, set off a “low-tech” what some have described as a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his midsection around 7:20 a.m. inside the subway passageway between West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue.

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Bergen County Native Among those Killed in the Lower Manhattan Terror Attack on Tuesday

Darren Drake

November 2,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New Milford NJ, we are sorry to report that  Darren Drake, a New Milford native and former school board president, was among those killed in Tuesday’s terror attack in Lower Manhattan. Drake, 33, was a project manager at Moody’s Investors Service at Seven World Trade Center.

Assemblymen Bob Auth District 39 issued the following statement , “I am deeply saddened by the attack of our fellow neighbors in New York City yesterday afternoon. My prayers, and the prayers of my family, go out to the victims and their families. I am especially saddened to hear that New Milford council candidate, Darren Drake, was among those who succumbed to his injuries. He had been elected to the New Milford school board and eventually became president of body. He will be missed by many. ”

Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi District 39 said , “I just heard that one of those killed in yesterday’s terrorist attack was a Bergen County resident. I am someone who is a realist on immigration issues. I believe in a pathway to citizenship for people who have built their lives in the US while working, paying taxes and providing for their children. However, if we turn NJ into a Sanctuary State, game over. We are literally advertising to every single person who comes into the US illegally, to every person who has a nefari…ous purpose for being here, that we as a State will not only welcome them but we will provide them with driver’s licenses and benefits, we will refuse to cooperate with Homeland Security and ICE and we will HARBOR TERRORISTS. As a legislator representing Bergen and Passaic counties, counties that the terrorist directly impacted and lived in, I say NO. If you care about the future of this State you must vote against us being a Sanctuary State and you must vote for representatives who pledge to fight against it. Make you voices heard on November 7th.”

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New Jersey: Family’s Report Thwarts Pressure-Cooker Bomb Plot

pressure cooker

June 12, 2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Point Pleasant NJ, A Point Pleasant (Ocean County) man faces federal terrorism charges after a family member notified law enforcement of his erratic behavior—underscoring the role friends, relatives, and close associates play in countering violence. According to authorities, Gregory Lepsky plotted to build a pressure-cooker bomb and detonate it in New York City to “kill as many people as possible” in support of ISIS.

On February 21, a relative notified local law enforcement that Lepsky had a weapon and was going to kill the family dog. Officers discovered the dog alive, but with a large wound, and subsequently arrested Lepsky. According to the criminal complaint, Lepsky stated that he had stabbed the dog because, in his view of Islam, dogs are “dirty.” He also said he planned to kill his mother and praised ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

During the investigation, officers found a pressure cooker in Lepsky’s closet, as well as several books on jihad and suicide bombing. On May 5, federal prosecutors charged Lepsky with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.

Family members, peers, and close contacts may be the first to notice radical shifts in behavior and attitude, as well as unusual Internet activity. According to Western media reports, Islamic extremists are 71 percent more likely to “leak” their violent intentions to friends, relatives, or other associates, compared to 53 percent of right-wing extremists, such as neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The family member who contacted Point Pleasant police first noticed a change in Lepsky’s behavior in December, stating he began expressing radical Islamic rhetoric in his text messages and social media posts. In one message, Lepsky stated, “Allah (the most exalted) commands us Muslims to fight against the desbelivers [sic] until there is none left!”

We encourage all partners to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement and to NJOHSP’s Counterterrorism Watch by calling 866-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) or e-mailing tips@njohsp.gov.

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New Jersey Man Plans 95th Terror Plot in US Since 9/11

ISIS_theridgewoodblog

May 09, 2017

Riley Walters

While the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is on the retreat in some parts of the Middle East, its reach in the Western world remains a serious threat.

A recent arrest in New Jersey shows just how vigilant the U.S. must remain.

Gregory Lepsky was arrested on Feb. 21 for attempting to provide material support to a known terrorist organization. He intended to build and detonate a pressure cooker bomb at an undetermined location in the Manhattan area of New York City.

This is the 95th Islamist-inspired terror plot or attack within the U.S. since 2001, and the second confirmed plot of 2017.

A 20-year-old native of New Jersey, Lepsky was initially arrested after a family member reported he was threating to kill the family dog. Lepsky was taken into custody at the family residence, after which he threatened to kill his mother who was not present.

During a lawful search of Lepsky’s room, local police discovered a bubble-wrapped pressure cooker and a book titled “Martyrdom in Jihad Versus Suicide Bombing.” Police also found the family dog—wounded, but alive.

Over the next several days, Lepsky confessed to police that he was working for ISIS, that he had communicated with ISIS through Facebook, and that he had planned to detonate a pressure cooker bomb at an area of mass gathering in New York City.

Through Facebook, Lapsky noted his aspiration to die as a martyr after converting to Islam. He also noted his affinity for ISIS through a number of direct text and Facebook messages.

During an investigation of Lepsky’s phone and internet search history, the FBI found approximately 3,340 internet searches for material relating to ISIS, terrorist attacks, beheadings, and bomb-making material between Jan. 14 and Feb. 4.

Lepsky’s terror plot is part of an ongoing trend of ISIS-inspired domestic terrorism. His is the 84th such plot or attack on U.S. soil that has had a homegrown element. Indeed, ISIS remains the most significant inspirer of Islamist-inspired domestic terror, and was behind many of the 29 other plots or attacks seen in 2015 and 2016.

While ISIS is losing ground in the Middle East, it remains a powerful and insidious force in the area of homegrown terror. The U.S. must remain vigilant in the face of extremists who seek to undermine free, prosperous societies such as our own.

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NJ Department of Homeland Security Issues Weaponized Drone Warning

drone-300x170

March 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in a March 6th warning the NJ Department of Homeland Security “ISIS: Weaponizing UAVs” warns over the possible use of  Weaponized Drones.

In the warning, NJDHS says, “The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will likely continue refining its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities and touting successes as proofs of concept for future operations. Since February, ISIS claims it has conducted approximately 80 UAV attacks in Iraq and Syria, killing approximately 40 and injuring 100. The UAVs are primarily quadcopters, which can be easily purchased online and customized to drop small explosive munitions.

ISIS has conducted surveillance with commercial drones since 2014, according to West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, and the group has advanced its UAV program by experimenting with weaponization in 2015-16 and industrializing the drone production this year.”

ISIS is posting videos ,on January 24, ISIS released the video “Knights of the Dawawin,” showing militants using a Chinese Skywalker X8 drone and dropping explosives on US-led coalition forces and armored vehicles.

And now instructions are in English. Recent ISIS English-language propaganda provides operational “how-to” guides intended to inspire homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) in the United States—an avenue the group will likely expand to weaponized drones. In November 2016, ISIS released a guide outlining effective methods for carrying out vehicular assaults, which resulted in HVE Mohammed Naji plotting to use a truck to target the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

On February 1, ISIS released an image called the “Islamic State Nightmare,” featuring fighters preparing to launch a UAV over an image of the Statue of Liberty.

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TERROR AT THE TERMINAL

Esteban Santiago

Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting suspect ‘had walked into FBI office claiming he was being forced to fight for ISIS’

Broward County’s Sheriff office confirmed the tragic news on Twitter and said one suspect is in custody

LATEST
BY ELLIE FLYNN

6th January 2017, 6:11 pm

He told officials he was hearing voices in his head, some of which were telling him to join ISIS and watch their videos, and was taken to hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Santiago, who also told the FBI the government controlled his mind, gunned down 13 people at Fort Lauderdale airport today, killing five and injuring eight.

The suspect’s aunt Maria Ruiz Rivera claimed the alleged shooter “lost his mind” while fighting in Iraq.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2554152/fort-lauderdale-airport-shooting-florida-latest-updates/