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EXPLOSIVE DEVICE IN CHECKED BAG IN PENNSYLVANIA AND TWEETS THREATENING JEWISH OFFICIALS IN MICHIGAN

March 2-8, 2023 | Issue 3 - NORTHCOM and Extremism Teams

Lydia Baccino, Emma McCusker, Giulia Provenza, and Michael Grimaldi

Álvaro Picón, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor


Pennsylvania, USA[1]


Date: March 2, 2023

Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Parties involved: USA; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Transportation Security Administration (TSA); accused Marc Muffley

The event: Muffley, was charged with possessing an explosive device in his checked bag at the Lehigh Valley International Airport. The checked bag was “bound for Orlando Sanford International Airport,” and security was alerted during screening that there was a “circular compound” in the bag.[2]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The TSA will almost certainly increase security measures relative to the concealment of an explosive on carry-on or checked baggage. The TSA and the FBI will very likely collaborate to share intelligence relative to combating potential attacks on airport security screening. The TSA and FBI will likely develop advanced screening technologies for intelligence purposes. The perpetrators will likely create mechanisms to go undetected and/or use other concealment methods to halt updated security screening.

  • It is almost certain that the FBI will investigate the personal and professional background of the attacker, his recurring activities in his city, and potential accomplices. It is likely that this will help the FBI to gain valuable information to uncover possible motives for the attempted attack and bring the perpetrator to justice. It’s very likely that FBI agents will use this event as an example to improve their security protocols and develop more effective strategies for prevention and detection.

  • It is very likely that law enforcement agencies will prioritize their investigative efforts and allocate resources effectively by recognizing the difficulty of tracing purchases and locating materials. To maintain anonymity and secrecy, it is likely that these easily accessible products will be purchased online. This will likely encourage the FBI and law enforcement agencies to develop new tools and technologies that can aid in investigations to detect the purchase of hazardous materials in a timely manner.


Date: March 2, 2023 Location: Michigan, USA

Parties involved: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel; US government; US government officials; Federal authorities; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); local law enforcement; Jewish community; Jewish officials; accused, Jack Eugene Carpenter III

The event: Nessel claims that she was targeted by Carpenter III, who has made Twitter threats “intending to cause injury and death to Jewish officials.”[3] The FBI reported that Carpenter, who has been charged, was “heavily armed” and a threat to “Jewish officials.”[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • It is very likely that the FBI and local law enforcement will prioritize hate crime investigations and prosecution in light of this event. Special priority and enhanced security procedures are likely to be implemented for government officials. Law enforcement agencies will likely prioritize these hate crime investigations because these incidents will very likely have a destabilizing impact on society and lead to a decline in the public's confidence in the government and its institutions.

  • It is very likely that social media will continue to be used to incite and commit hate crimes, spreading anti-semitic propaganda. It is very likely that the US government will focus on overseeing and managing social media content that targets the Jewish community, hoping this would prevent future hate crimes and the spread of anti-semitic propaganda. The government will very likely enhance its content moderation systems to safeguard particular users and groups.

 

[2] A man is charged for allegedly trying to bring explosives in his suitcase on a flight, NPR, March 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/03/02/1160564702/a-man-is-charged-for-allegedly-trying-to-bring-explosives-in-his-suitcase-on-a-f

[3] Michigan attorney general says she was target of plot to kill Jewish officials, Reuters, March 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/michigan-attorney-general-says-she-was-target-plot-kill-jewish-officials-2023-03-02/

[4] Ibid

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