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IMMINENT WARNING: BROAD THREAT TO SYNAGOGUES IN NEW JERSEY

November 04, 2022

Yannik Hunold, Martina Sclaverano, Isaiah Johnson, Weapons and Tactics,

Rhiannon Thomas, Jan Garcia, NORTHCOM

Valentina Topatigh, Justin Maurina, Editor; Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor



Map of New Jersey State, USA[1]


Event: On November 4, 2022, the FBI’s Newark office announced they received credible information regarding threats against New Jersey’s Jewish community, with synagogues advised to put security precautions into place.[2] Antisemitic posts on social media forums caused the FBI alert, as previous mass killing perpetrators made similar social media posts, such as the Pittsburgh synagogue attack in 2018.[3] Law enforcement identified and interviewed a suspect, but details on what prompted the warning remain unclear.[4] Local police forces increased patrol units around places of worship. New Jersey has a Jewish population of around 550,000.[5]


Significance: There is a roughly even chance that the identified suspect acted alone and used encrypted channels, such as Telegram, as radicalization sources. Other radicalized network members will likely attempt similar attacks on locations with higher Jewish populations, very likely increasing the potential for harm across New Jersey. New Jersey counties with predominantly Jewish populations, such as Bergen and Ocean, will very likely endure verbal harassment and attacks. Perpetrators will very likely target neighborhoods such as Lakewood Township and local Jewish schools. Increased law enforcement at New Jersey synagogues will very likely disrupt planned attacks and force perpetrators to change targets, likely resulting in improvised attacks against Jewish communities and buildings. Improvised attacks have a roughly even chance of being prevented by law enforcement as there are minimal plans and few warning signs that can likely increase casualties. There is a roughly even chance that the perpetrators will target nearby Jewish communities such as New York City. Law enforcement outside of New Jersey will likely be unprepared for potential attacks against the Jewish community due to the announced threat being within the region, likely increasing the potential number of casualties.

Recommendations

  • The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that New Jersey locals listen to authorities for safety directions, including remaining on alert for suspicious behaviors and reviewing security procedures.

  • It is recommended to report any pertinent information regarding threats towards Jewish community members to proper authorities through secure means such as universal emergency numbers.

  • Cooperation is recommended between local, state, and federal agencies, including sharing any tips and information regarding threats to ensure all parties are aware.

  • Major law enforcement deployment in other predominantly Jewish areas and buildings throughout New Jersey, such as Jewish schools and neighborhoods, is recommended. Additionally, an increased number of patrols in Jewish Communities outside of, but in close vicinity to New Jersey is recommended to respond to a potential target change by the attacker.

  • It is recommended that law enforcement monitor mainstream and encrypted online discussion boards and chats for discourse relating to threats and attacks to react quickly to potential violence.

  • Local gun stores should alert law enforcement of suspicious activities or persons attempting to purchase a firearm or deny the purchase of a weapon to persons with antisemitic beliefs.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone at 202-643-248 or by email at info@counterterrorismgroup.com

 

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)


[1] “New Jersey” by Google Maps

[2] FBI Newark, Twitter, November 2022, https://twitter.com/FBINewark/status/1588246302189838337?s=20&t=RU8uVluLsaZHnGcWca2YUA

[3] FBI says it has ‘credible information of a broad threat’ to synagogues in New Jersey, CNN, November 2022 https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/03/us/fbi-newark-threat-to-synagogues/index.html

[4] FBI Identifies Suspect in NJ Synagogues Threat Case, NBC New York, November 2022 https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/fbi-new-jersey-synagogue-threat-suspect-identified-newark-tweet-antisemitism-scare/3939452/

[5] Jewish Population by State 2022, World Population Review, November 2022 https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/jewish-population-by-state

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