Church Security Becomes Top Priority Following Texas Mass Shooting Incident
November 11, 2017
On Nov 5th, the following related Flash SMS messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:
11/5 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of mass casualty shooting incident, First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, TX (E of San Antonio). Add’l alerts as warranted.
11/5 – TX Dept of Public Safety: 27 dead (incl suspect), 20 injured in church shooting earlier today.
What You Need To Know
Last Sunday, AlertsUSA subscribers were some of the first in the nation to learn of reports of a mass casualty shooting incident at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, located about about 30 miles east of the city of San Antonio. In what would turn out to be the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in Texas, one of the deadliest in the United States, as well as the deadliest shooting in an American place of worship in modern history, the gunman, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, methodically killed 26 and injured 20. Kelly was himself shot twice by a civilian as he exited the church. Fleeing in his SUV, the suspect crashed after a high-speed chase and was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
As would be expected, large churches and small-town houses of worship across the U.S. are organizing security teams, practicing active shooter drills and beefing up physical security measures to counter a growing threat from crazed individuals as well as calls for attack on churches and other holiday gathering sites by groups such as the Islamic State.
Readers are reminded that less than one year ago, Islamic State sympathizers circulated a list of US churches via a militant social media site and called on supporters to attack them during the holiday season. At that time, the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and National Counterterrorism Center issued a joint intelligence bulletin “intended to remind security planners and first responders to remain vigilant for indications of nefarious operational planning this holiday season.”
Readers are also reminded that early last year, knife wielding Islamists’ stormed into a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray France, forced the priest to his knees, slit his throat and filmed themselves appearing to preach in Arabic at the altar. The two hostage-takers were shot dead by police as they came out of the church shouting “Allahu akbar.”
AlertsUSA encourages responsible gun owners of faith to reach out to their church leadership and offer to help secure the premises during services and other gatherings. In addition to local police departments who are always willing to perform security reviews and to step up patrols, there are also dozens of private sector organization offering courses and guidance to groups taking on these responsibilities.
While it is rare that AlertsUSA engages in editorializing, we feel it is important to point out that if guns are responsible for killing people, then pencils are responsible for spelling errors. The problem is not the guns. The problem is the rapidly changing morality and sanctity for life in our culture, and as such, increased vigilance and security awareness is paramount.
ACTIVE SHOOTER PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE RESOURCES
The links below lead to official preparedness and response resources provided by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI. A simple Internet search will produce thousands of others. Consider sharing these resources with church leaders, facility managers and others in related leadership positions.
DHS Active Shooter Response Resources
Countering Violent Extremism and Active Shooter Web Portal
Resources for Human Resource or Security Professionals
Resources for First Responders
Resources for Private Citizens
Developing Emergency Plans for Houses of Worship
Developing Emergency Operations Plans for Schools
Developing Emergency Plans for Institutions of Higher Learning
Identifying, Assessing, and Managing the Threat of Targeted Attacks
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment, and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages 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
11/9 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of an active shooter near Pecan Park in Floresville, TX. VPOTUS to make visit to area this evening. Add’l alerts as warranted.
11/6 – Numerous intel sources rpt activity at DPRK nuclear test site + prep for possible ballistic missile launch. POTUS due in ROK within hours. Monitoring..
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New DHS Bulletin Warns of Terrorist Use of Drones, Chemicals and Ongoing Threats to Aviation
November 11, 2017
Between Nov. 7-9, the following related Flash SMS messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:
11/9 – DHS updates and extends National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin due to continuing threat of terrorists focused on striking the US. See your email for add’l info.
11/7 – New audio recording from Hamza Bin Laden, son of UBL, calls on Muslims to target Americans worldwide to avenge death of father. See email for more info.
What You Need To Know
On Thursday AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of the release of an updated National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin by the Department of Homeland Securitywarning of the continuing terror threat to the U.S.. According to the bulletin, the U.S. continues to face one of the most challenging terrorism 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.
The bulletin explains that individual terrorists and groups increasingly rely on technology, such as end-to-end encrypted social media applications, to avoid detection, and via these methods, urge groups to adopt easy-to-use tools to target public places and events. Specific tactics have included the use of vehicle ramming, small arms, straight-edged blades or knives, homemade explosives, and poisons or toxins.
Readers are cautioned that violent extremist media regularly encourages individuals worldwide to launch attacks using all means possible, and ongoing battlefield losses for the Islamic State may encourage homegrown terrorists to carry out acts of violence in the homeland instead of attempting to travel overseas to fight. Additionally, such attacks may also be carried out by foreign fighters who have acquired training and battle-tested experience with a desire to conduct attacks elsewhere, including within the United States.
Ongoing Aviation Sector Threat
Of particular importance is the ongoing threat to the aviation sector, including through the use of concealed explosives. It is important to note that on the 2017 anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s master bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, issued an audio message within which he vows to continue targeting America for attacks.
Asiri is direcly credited with multiple previous attempted attacks on commercial aircraft, including the failed Christmas 2009 attempt to bring down an airliner near Detroit by underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, as well as the October 2010 attempt to bring down cargo aircraft using bombs built into printer toner cartridges. While Asiri is most well known by the public in the West for his bomb failures, he is in fact responsible for a host of highly successful attacks using innovative explosive device designs across the Middle East which have claimed hundreds of lives, including his own brother. In this incident, Asiri somehow managed to talk his brother into packing his rectum with explosive material in an attempt to kill a Saudi government official.
World News Roundup
November 11, 2017
Other Developments We Are Following
Can Two Nuclear Powers Fight a Conventional War?
Villagers say US soldier in Niger was bound, apparently executed
Marine who pissed on dead Taliban wins in court
Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons Are Worth a New Look
Only one-third of Super Hornets ready to ‘fight tonight’, admiral says
DPRK Threat Likely To Spur Big Increase In Spending On Aegis Missile Shield
Boeing books order for two new Air Force One jets
Air Force secretary warns pilot shortage just got worse, people ‘burning out’
Army aviation leaders: If we don’t modernize, we risk more crashes
Ex- Trump aide Flynn investigated over plot to kidnap Turkish dissident
Trump says US will no longer be taken advantage of on trade.
Mexico drug cartel’s grip on politicians and police revealed in Texas court files.
Ex-Prez: Facebook exploits human weakness and is intentionally addictive
Nuclear authorities: Traces of radioactivity in Europe traced to Russia
World War III: How Russia and Its Allies Planned to Crush NATO
Brexit: EU tightens deadline for UK to clarify EU divorce bill
ISIS Issues Threat Before Paris Attack Anniversary, Vows to Kill Kids
NATO to beef up in face of ‘assertive’ Russia
US and Europe Are Developing Nuclear Use Procedures for Russian Border
How Romania and Poland Can Strengthen NATO and the EU
Catalonia general strike: Protesters disrupt roads, trains
Russia prepares to label US media as ‘foreign agents’
Putin: Doping allegations ‘US plot against Russian election’
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait warn citizens to leave Lebanon immediately
5 Ways Saudi Arabia Could Crush Iran (or Any Enemy) in a War
US official: Yemen fired Iranian missile at Saudis
How Saudi Crown Prince purged royal family rivals
How the Saudi Arabia corruption crackdown will play out
Saudi Arabia has united with Israel against Iran – and a desert storm is brewing
Russia, Oman size each other up as potential Mideast allies
After IS collapse, Syria government faces US-backed Kurds
Militant threat hangs over Islamic State’s former Libyan stronghold
Police SEIZE the contagious dead bodies of plague victims in Madagascar
Little hope of peace talks as renewed fighting looms in South Sudan
Experts Estimates 50/50 Chance of War With North Korea in 2018
North Korea orders workers in China, Russia to return home
Japan to send largest warship to US military exercise near Korean peninsula
North Korea tells Europe to relax, as Kim’s nuclear missiles target only US
China’s 7,680mph hypersonic strike aircraft unveiled on state TV
China claims breakthrough in electromagnetic launch system for aircraft carrier
India’s Mighty Nuclear Arsenal Could Kill Millions of People in a War
We’ll buy arms from Russia, Philippines’ Duterte tells Putin
Abe says agreed with Putin to implement U.N. sanctions on North Korea
Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on 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 well prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
SoPac Cyclone Season
Additional Sources of Travel Guidance
Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.