WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP
DHS Warns Terror Threat Remains Terrorists Continue to Target Aviation Sector
Airlines Cancel Flights to Cairo Over Security Concerns
July 27, 2019
On July 20, the following related Flash SMS messages
were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:
7/20 – UK Foreign Office warns of a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation in Egypt. Add’l security measures implemented for flights between Egypt and the UK.
7/20 – Unspecified security concerns prompt British Airways to suspend all flights to Cairo, Egypt for at least 7 days. AlertsUSA monitoring..
What You Need To Know
Shortly after publishing last week’s update, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, reminding American citizens of the continuing threat of terrorism to the U.S. homeland.
Quoting from the bulletin:
The U.S. continues to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the Internet to inspire, enable, or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts. Homegrown terror suspects increasingly rely on technology, such as end-to-end encrypted social media applications, to avoid detection.
Terrorist groups are urging recruits to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events. Specific attack tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, to include the use of rental vehicles, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives, homemade explosives, and poisons or toxins.
Some terrorist groups overseas are using battlefield experiences to pursue new technologies and tactics, such as unmanned aerial systems and chemical agents that could be used outside the conflict zones. Many of these technologies are readily available. Additionally, terrorists continue to target commercial aviation and air cargo, including with concealed explosives.
Violent extremist media encourages individuals worldwide to launch attacks using all means possible. Continued U.S. and partner successes in disrupting and defeating terrorists on the battlefield may encourage homegrown terrorists to carry out acts of violence in the homeland instead of attempting to travel overseas to fight, or in retaliation for apparent losses.
Additionally, foreign terrorist fighters who have acquired training and battle-tested terrorism experience may flee from terrorist-controlled territories with a desire to conduct attacks elsewhere, including the United States.
DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue to provide guidance to state, local, tribal and territorial partners related to the current threat environment. DHS continues to support the private sector to provide risk assessments and to coordinating security measures with business owners and operators. As such, the public may continue to observe law enforcement and security activity in and around public places and events.
British Airways Cancels All Cairo Flights
So as to highlight the relevance of the DHS bulletin, this past Saturday afternoon, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified that British Airways had canceled all flight service to and from Cairo, Egypt due to unspecified security concerns. This was followed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issuing a travel warning for Egypt citing a “heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.” Lufthansa later followed the British Airways move, but flights from both airlines have now resumed following reviews of security protocols and procedures. Few details have been provided about the specific threat prompting the flight cancellations.
The airline’s concerns are not unwarranted. Readers are reminded that on October 31st, 2015, Metrojet Flight 9268 flying from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport in Egypt to Saint Petersburg, Russia was destroyed by a bomb above the northern Sinai, killing all 224 passengers and crew who were on board. Shortly after the crash, the Islamic State’s Sinai Branch claimed responsibility for the incident in a written statement and on video, both of which were distributed globally via social media. The group also published photographs of what it said was the bomb in their online magazine known as Dabiq. That device was contained within a can of Schweppes Gold pineapple soda.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.
OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
7/27 – AlertsUSA monitoring heavily armed police presence, Tower One, University of Central Florida (Orlando). Shelter in place order given. Add’l alerts as warranted.
7/26 – AlertsUSA monitoring heavily armed police presence, Tower One, University of Central Florida (Orlando). Shelter in place order given. Add’l alerts as warranted.
7/22 – 22 of 23 states in Venezuela without electrical power. More than 90% of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure offline. AlertsUSA monitoring..
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July 27, 2019
Radicalization of Kids: A Global Threat
Radicalization is now easy for the extremists, thanks to technology, the new weapon being brandished by Islamist terrorists in accordance with the mandate of the Muslim Brotherhood to “weaken the West from within”. Kids today, as early as three years old, are on YouTube watching videos. Unfortunately, it has never been easier for extremists — from white supremacists to radical Islamists — to target vulnerable children and penetrate a child’s consciousness.
How the U.S. Could Lose a War With China
If a war broke out between the United States and China, the clash between two of the world’s most powerful militaries would be horrific. And the United States could very well lose. That’s a concern among current and former defense officials and military analysts, one of whom told Breaking Defense earlier this year that in war games simulating great-power conflict in which the United States fights Russia and China, the United States “gets its ass handed to it.”
From Daesh to Diaspora:
Tracing the Women and Minors of Islamic State
The self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) has been described as a hybrid terrorist organization and conventional army, a religious, millenarian group, an insurgency, and a pseudo-state, amongst others. It produced and disseminated propaganda at an unprecedented rate, and reached a wider global audience than any past terrorist organization in history. As it increasingly seized territory and resources, at its peak in late 2014 it was believed the group controlled over 100,000 km² of land and the 11 million residents therein. IS and those inspired by the group have thus far carried out over 4,300 attacks across at least 29 countries, demonstrating the group remains a significant and shared global concern.
USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker
July 27, 2019
These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of July 22, 2019based on Navy and public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.
World News Roundup
July 27, 2019
Other Developments We Are Following
Report: Serious Violence on Rise in Nation’s Public Schools
Mark Esper sworn in as new secretary of defense
Senate confirms Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs
16 US Marines arrested for alleged human smuggling and drug offenses
Pompeo says he’d go to Iran if needed as he asks allies to join maritime force
Puerto Ricans celebrate after governor says he will resign
B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber Scheduled To Make Its First Flight In Late 2021
Two-thirds of Canadians reject closer China ties, want Huawei banned from 5G
Homicides surged in Mexico during the first half of 2019
CENTCOM: U.S. may have downed more than one Iranian drone
Widespread blackout hits Venezuela, gov blames ‘electromagnetic attack’
US denounces Venezuela aircraft’s ‘unsafe approach’
In a naval confrontation with Iran, Britain can find neither ships nor friends
France plans to boost its self-defense posture in space
Ukraine seizes Russian tanker that helped Moscow win a 2018 naval skirmish
Britain wins early European support for Hormuz naval mission
The Royal Navy rushed to stop Iran seizing British tanker but was 10 min late
EU Calls For Release of Ukrainian Convicted By Russia of Promoting Terrorism
Money laundering and terrorism financing: Commission to boost security
How Controversial Is Britain’s Counterterrorism Strategy?
MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA
China: US ‘in pursuit of absolute military superiority’
Iran Test-Fires Medium Range Missile, US Says
More than 100 killed in Syria air raids in past 10 days, UN says
Russia and Syria step up airstrikes against civilians in Idlib
Syria’s Assad Is Deliberately Starving Thousands of Refugees
Iran observes all U.S. ships in Gulf region: Iran navy chief
Israeli minister boasts his country has been ‘killing Iranians’
Trump says it is getting harder for him to want to negotiate with Iran
Iranian Documentary Reveals How CIA Recruited Agents
Iran claims to have arrested 17 CIA spies
China Outlines Space War Plans
US Navy sails warship through contested waterway as Beijing warns Taiwan
North Korea fires ‘new short-range missile’ into sea, S Korea says
China-Russia joint exercise sends a message to Washington
Russia, South Korea trade conflicting claims over alleged airspace intrusion
China issues white paper on national defense in new era
Pakistan’s Imran Khan says to meet Taliban in peace push
Cambodia denies deal to allow armed Chinese forces at its naval base
Kim inspects new submarine, wants NKorean military bolstered
Warplanes from four countries face off in Asian confrontation
S. Korea fires warning shots at Russian military plane in its airspace
British Airways cancels all flights to Cairo due to security “precautions”
Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin to highlight the continuing terror threat to the U.S. Homeland.
CURRENTLY ACTIVE NTAS BULLETIN
PDF (1 pg, 186 KB)
The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning 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 at your destination well prior to departure.
Active USGOV Travel Notices
Active USGOV Travel Advisories
Other USGOV Travel Resources
Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)
Travelers with Special Considerations
Faith-Based Travel Information
Information for Women Travelers
Driving and Road Safety Abroad
The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.
Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance
Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.