Yesterday afternoon, 32-year-old Zale Thompson charged four NYPD officers with a hatchet as they were posing for a freelance photographer in Queens, New York. According to witnesses, he approached the officers silently, from behind, taking them by surprise. One officer was struck in the right arm, and another in the side of the head. The other two officers fired their weapons, killing Thompson and wounding a female bystander in the lower back. The officer that was struck in the head is currently in critical but stable condition, and the officer with the arm wound is expected to be released today.Read More
On Monday, 25-year-old Martin Couture-Rouleau killed one Canadian soldier and injured another, when he
struck them with his vehicle in a supermarket parking lot in Quebec. Although Rouleau was fatally shot by police, it was later discovered that he was an Islamic convert with links to terrorist organizations. Following the incident, Islamic State supporters posted messages on social media praising Rouleau for his actions and calling for “Muslims in Canada to follow the footsteps of our (sic) brave brother.” Less than 48 hours later, 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, fatally shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian National War Memorial, before charging into the Parliament building, where he was killed by a law enforcement official. Immediately after the attack, Islamic State supporters took to Twitter once again, praising the attack as retaliation for the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
A Message from Patrick J. Lynch, PBA President
Thanks to a great deal of hard work and lobbying by this union, today's cop-killers can be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Sadly, that wasn’t always the case and there are literally dozens of dangerous cop-killers who are regularly given a shot at freedom through parole. It has long been the PBA’s position that anyone who kills a police officer would not think twice about killing a civilian and that they should remain incarcerated for the rest of their lives. The system, however, allows them to argue for parole every two years once they’ve served their minimum sentence.
Protests in Hong Kong entered a fourth day today, despite a heavy response by riot police that resulted in over 40 injuries last night. Authorities fired tear gas and charged crowds with batons, but the response only further fueled residents to take part in protests today with thousands remaining at the main protest site. The demonstrations began on Friday near the government headquarters in the Admiralty district, with protesters, mainly students, demanding full democracy for the semi-autonomous territory and the resignation of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (CY Leung). Students organized the demonstrations to protest an August ruling in Beijing, which allows only pro-Beijing candidates to participate in the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive. Protesters say officials in China have gone back on their word to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong, promised to the city when China resumed its rule over the former British colony in 1997. The student-led boycotts have the support of Occupy Central with Love and Peace, which initially called for the shutdown of Hong Kong’s financial district after the August ruling that was set to begin at the start of October. However, the protests at the government headquarters prompted the start of the “occupation” there instead, announced by Occupy Central’s leader Benny Tai on Saturday.
The activity spread to other areas as well, with demonstrators blocking major streets in the Causeway Bay district and in the Mongkok neighborhood in Kowloon. The Chinese government urged demonstrators to end the sit-ins, stating it would not tolerate dissent. CY Leung also opposed the “unlawful occupation actions by Occupy Central” and urged protesters to go home. Officials in Beijing advised foreign governments to stay out of China’s internal affairs, after countries such as the U.S., UK and Taiwan issued statements and travel alerts regarding the situation. The government issued a statement saying is it “resolutely opposed to any country attempting in any way to support such illegal activities like Occupy Central.”Read More
According to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi intelligence has uncovered a plot to attack subway systems in the U.S. and Paris. He also indicated that the attacks were “imminent” and set to be carried out by foreign fighters for the Islamic State. Al-Abadi claimed the group is comprised of French and American citizens within Iraq. Additionally, when asked if the attacks had been thwarted, he responded “No.” The news of the threat came a day after the announcement by New York and New Jersey Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie of increased security measures on commuter rail lines, bridges and major transportation hubs in the two states.
While authorities are taking the announcement seriously, intelligence officials are speculating why a world leader would share this type of intelligence with the media and public rather than reporting such threats through typical protocol. This is particularly unusual as such a declaration could cause the alleged plotters to push up the timeline of the attack or hinder efforts by authorities to thwart one from occurring.
As the validity of the threat is investigated, it is important to note that this type of attack is consistent with what would be expected from foreign fighters linked to the Islamic State. They have made calls to their followers to attack western targets at home and abroad, including the transportation sector. Specifically, foreign fighters with experience fighting alongside the Islamic State or lone wolves inspired by the group are likely capable of a low tech, high impact attack similar to the 2005 London Metro Bombings. Regardless, New York City always operates at a heightened state of security. As the threat from the Islamic State against the west continues to evolve, especially with the recent U.S.-led air strikes in Syria, there is a greater potential for retaliatory attacks against western interests.
This morning, an unidentified, 45-year-old man entered a UPS facility at 4601 Inglenook Lane near
Birmingham, AL and opened fire, killing two people before taking his own life. No one else was injured in the shooting. According to police, the shooter was a former UPS employee, who may have been fired as recently as yesterday. It also appears that he was dressed in his work uniform when he carried out the attack. It is unclear why he was allegedly fired; however, several sources are reporting that the two victims were both supervisors and the intended targets of the shooting. The gunman was already deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police arrived at the scene.
According to officials, the executioner is believed to be the same British militant responsible for the other two killings. The militant, dubbed Jihadi John, reportedly has an East London accent and is one of a group of four Britons holding a number of western hostages in Syria. Several sources claim that authorities have identified him and are currently trying to locate the hostages near Islamic State headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. Additionally, a former Islamic State hostage claimed that Jihadi John is in charge of security and has moved the hostages several times to avoid potential rescue operations. Furthermore, he alleged the militants used beatings, tasers and waterboarding to punish the prisoners and forced them to participate in mock killings.
MSA's Research and Intelligence Analysis (RIA) Group has been monitoring this situation closely and has identified the following implications:
As the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks approaches, there are reportedly no known, credible plots against the U.S. homeland. Attacks against western interests overseas seem to be a more realistic threat at this time; however, the threat of homegrown terrorism remains. Below is an assessment of current terrorist threats to western interests at home and abroad.
The Somali-based al Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab named a new leader this weekend after a U.S. airstrike successfully targeted and killed its former chief, Ahmed Abdi Godane. The airstrike also reportedly killed several other senior al-Shabaab members at a rebel training camp 105 miles south of Mogadishu. Godane’s death was confirmed on Friday by U.S. officials, and prompted al-Shabaab to unanimously select Abu Ubeid Ahmed Omar as their new leader. Omar is believed to be operating under a nom de guerre, and U.S. officials are investigating his true identity. Rebel commander Abu Mohammed announced the leadership changes, while reiterating al-Shabaab’s alignment with al Qaeda. Mohammed also warned of revenge attacks following the airstrike.