The New Age of Martyrdom: Suicide Attackers and Bombers Training

New Age of Martyrdom picture

Northern Virginia National Capital Region     August 21-23rd


WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Law Enforcement Officers, Supervisors, SWAT, Intel Analysts, Security Officials, Special Event Planners, EOD teams, Military Personnel, and Emergency Management Personnel. Registration is limited so sign up early.

Participants will learn first hand about the operational methodology of terrorists attacking special events, airport and transportation hub attacks, conducting targeted violence, vehicle ramming attacks, Inside the Bataclan Attack, Terrorists targeting Tourists, Hotels, Museums, Shopping Malls, Religious Institutions and other targets. Participants will explore the Evolution of Suicide Bombings and Attacks, Complex Attacks with Firearms, Ramming Vehicle Attacks, Knives, Axes and Hammers, Understanding the Ideology and Mindset, and Targets in Your Jurisdiction and a Protocol for Dealing with these Challenges.

TRC has always believed in conducting field research. One can’t gain a true understanding of these attacks without having been on the ground and at the sites of these attacks. TRC staff have been on the scene of bombings, interviewed victims, witnesses and first responders at these horrific attacks. The TRC maintains one of the largest databases on suicide bombings and attacks.
Each Participant will receive a copy of the Terrorism Research Center’s “The New Age of Martyrdom: Suicide Attacks and Bombings.”

For additional information about registration, course content and the program contact the Terrorism Research Center at





The Russian Threat Takes Many Forms: Cyber, Ricin, Polonium-210, Novichok and Putin

Putin's World

It should surprise no one that Russia seeks to gain an advantage over the United States. The Special Prosecutor’s Indictment of 12 Russians from the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (GRU) Units 26165 and 74455 for cyber operations during the last election should surprise no one. Recently, Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Armed Services Committee said that Russia wants to “disrupt the normal channels of communication and create an environment of misinformation and distrust.” Misinformation and distrust are just two initial steps that Russia seems to undertake besides a host of others in various information warfare campaigns undertaken. Misinformation followed by fear are all hallmarks of what President Putin knows best.

Russia is an adversary of the United States and has been for some time. For years, New England fishermen spoke of Russian trawlers off the coast. Don’t the Russians have fish off their own coasts? It’s one thing for fishing boats to venture out to the Georges Banks from Gloucester, New Bedford or Newport but to come to the coast of the US from Russia on a fishing trawler is another thing. But these Russian trawlers were “fishing” or collecting intelligence because the Navy had ships and submarines coming in and out of Newport and Groton. Russian ships have been lurking around underwater fiber-optic cables in California. In September 2015, the Russian ship Yantar, was off the coast of Kings Bay, Georgia just where the US has a submarine base collecting intelligence.

On August 31, 2018, the United States ordered the closure of Russia’s San Francisco Consulate. The San Francisco Consulate was the hub for all of Russia’s intelligence collection on the west coast. Military and economic espionage was the forte of the majority of those so-called Russian Diplomats assigned to the San Francisco Consulate. One day in particular, a Russian “diplomat” in a business suit traveled over the Golden Gate Bridge heading north and getting off on Rt. 1. The Russian passed by Muir Beach to finally be observed at Stinson Beach by the water’s edge with a device in his hands. After a few minutes the Russian Intelligence officer in a business suit left the beach.

While the activities of Russia have increased in the cyber domain, the Chinese, Iranians and others are all seeking an advantage against America. America must confront these cyber threats with vigor. We are just at the water’s edge when it comes to information warfare. Stealing information or manipulating it are two examples from Putin’s playbook. But he also has a sinister side that favors violence. This is an area that our government and others can’t overlook. The Russian government has undertaken a targeted assassination campaign against individuals using Ricin, Polonium-210, and Novichok among other weapons.

Forty years ago, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissent who escaped to England was working for the BBC and Radio Free Europe. On September 7, 1978, as Markov was at the Waterloo Bridge bus station, an assassin injected a Ricin capsule into his thigh. The assassin used an umbrella that fired a Ricin capsule into the target. The umbrella weapon was created by the technical staff of the KGB.

In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer was poisoned in the Millennium Hotel’s Piano Bar in London. Litvinenko had received political asylum and had been providing information on Russian mafia operations and ties to President Putin. Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi were sent to poison Litvinenko using Polonium-210 which they put in his tea. In 1997, Litvinenko was ordered to coordinate the assassination of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. Instead, he warned Berezovsky. In 1998, Litvinenko accused his FSB supervisors of seeking to kill Berezovsky. Berezovsky was an early supporter of President Putin but later was a fierce opponent. Putin took these actions by Litvinenko as an act of treason. Litvinenko and his family sought refuge in England.

Sir Robert Owen, who led a British inquiry into the poisoning of Litvinenko found “that the FSB operation to kill Mr. Litvinenko was probably approved by Patrushev (head of the Russian Security Service in 2006) and also by President Putin”

On March 4, 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, and his daughter Yulia were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in an assassination attempt. Novichok is a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Skripal and his daughter survived but there were other victims. Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were both contaminated. Dawn Sturgess died in Amesbury after coming in contact with the nerve agent. Years earlier, Skripal who acted as a double agent for MI-6 was traded for Russian spies held by England.

Russia has become emboldened with these attacks and will continue to push the envelope if nothing is done to reign them in. Russia has been an enemy of our freedom and is nothing short of an economic, military and political adversary. Whether with cyber operations against our elections, stealing economic secrets from Silicon Valley, or collecting intelligence the Russia Bear is very active on all fronts. With their targeted assassinations of so many individuals in England, Putin has shown a propensity towards violence that goes against all international laws and civilized norms. Expelling diplomats does not send the right signal or cause any discomfort to Putin or those decision makers around him. The US and the rest of the western world needs a comprehensive plan to contain the bear before it thinks this is the norm.

America’s 242nd Birthday-July 4th Celebration

John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail from Philadelphia after Congress declared the Colonies independent. “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. Church bells rang out, drums and cannons sounded, and bonfires were lit as the people of Philadelphia people celebrated their new independence. Copies of the Declaration were dispatched with riders on horseback to the 13 colonies. When the Declaration of Independence was read in New York City, a riot broke out and a statue of King George III was torn down.

On August 2, 1776, the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence took place. Fifty-six delegates signed the Declaration with John Hancock signing his name first and making his signature the largest. By putting their names on this Declaration, they were risking not only their freedom but their lives. This was an act of treason against the King. Ben Franklin said, “we must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately.” These men were willing to risk all for a free and independent country. Enjoy the Fourth of July and remember the sacrifices others made so that we could be free and independent. Happy Birthday America!

Communication Follies with a Supreme Leader

Taliban Leaders Omar and Current Ldr

Just because a Supreme Leader of a hostile government has contact with a US government official doesn’t mean everything will change. Historically, we have seen this in our past and things haven’t turned out how we thought they would. Though it can be better to be speaking to an enemy than just threatening one. One can be hopeful, but actions always speak louder than words.

On August 21, 1998, a supporter of the Taliban asked Michael Malinowski, the Director of the Office for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh at the State Department if he was willing to communicate with one of the Taliban’s top leader. Malinowski stated he was always open to such communication if it was serious.

Profound changes were being undertaken during that period by the supreme leader of Afghanistan, Mullah Omar and the Taliban. In July 1998, the Taliban closed all foreign NGOs in Afghanistan which resulted in food distribution and aid disappearing. On August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda attacked two US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda had been given sanctuary by Mullah Omar. Then on August 8, 1998, the Taliban captured the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Immediately the Hazaras were brutally singled out and according to Human Rights Watch over 2,000 individuals were indiscriminately killed by the Taliban fighters.
On August 22, 1998, Malinowski in the early morning was connected to a conference call with Taliban Headquarters in Kandahar. Mullah Omar came on the conference call and interacted with a representative of the United States for the first time. Malinowski spoke of the threat posed by Bin Laden and the continued presence of Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar replied that he was open to dialogue. Malinowski suggested that open telephone lines were inappropriate and stated that it would be best if representatives meet in person. Mullah Omar suggested that the US could engage with the Taliban’s representatives in Islamabad, Pakistan.

One of the most comical things was that the supreme leader of the Taliban suggested that Congress should force President Clinton to resign. Omar warned that US strikes would be counterproductive and rally the Islamic world to Afghanistan’s side. Malinowski urged Mullah Omar to take Bin Laden in custody or expel him from Afghanistan. Malinowski cable drafted after the interaction with Mullah Omar ends with “this is a long way, however, from the Taliban doing the right thing on Bin Laden. We are still a long way from getting North Korea, Iran, and even the Taliban from doing the right thing. Mullah Omar had numerous opportunities to give up Bin Laden but continued to take a hardline stance that Bin Laden should not be expelled or extradited.

Last week the current leader of the Taliban Hibatullah Akhundzada called for direct talks with the United States to end the fighting. The Taliban still doesn’t want to negotiate with the Afghan government. Akhundzada said in a statement that “If the American officials truly believe in a peaceful end to the Afghan imbroglio, then they must directly present themselves to the negotiation table so that this tragedy the destructive effects of which mainly harm the American and Afghan people can be resolved through talks. . ..” It is almost as if the current leader of the Taliban doesn’t know why the Americans invaded Afghanistan. Early in his career, Akhundzada was a member of the notorious Promotion of Virtue and Prevention Police in Farah Province. He returned to Kandahar to take a position as a religious instructor at the Jihadi Madrasa where he had numerous interactions with Mullah Omar. He was then appointed Chief Justice of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Shariah Courts. In 2015, Akhundzada was appointed Deputy Commander of the Taliban. Then on May 25, 2016, the United States targeted and killed Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the Supreme Leader of the Taliban. Akhundzada was elevated to lead the Taliban and Sirijuddin Haqqani and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, who is Mullah Omar’s son. These three are not going to be easy to negotiate with and will instead stake out their hardline position. Communications is just one of many steps on a much longer journey. And as President Reagan once said, “trust but verify.”

On Memorial Day Thank God Such Men Lived


General George Patton once said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” On May 5, 1868, General John Logan, the Commander of the Grand Army issued General Order 11, which stated that May 30th should be observed  as Decoration Day.  Decoration Day would become what we now know as Memorial Day. General Logan’s order stated that the day would be “for the purpose of strewing flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

Freedom has never been free. From our nation’s earliest days individuals have  volunteered to serve our nation and lost their lives. Individuals like Nathaniel Hale who  was hanged as a spy during the Revolutionary War stated, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Our nation owes so much to those brave service members who have lost their lives protecting our nation and our freedoms. We should remember all those brave military members like SFC.  Mihail Golin who was killed in Afghanistan and Master Sgt. Jonathan Dunbar who was killed in Syria. Remember Johnny Michael Spann, Navy SEAL Neil Roberts,  SFC Nathan Chapman, Marine Sgt. Wade Wilson, Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible,  Senior Airman Bradley Smith, and 3rd Class Nathan Bruckenthal among so many others who we owe so much for their sacrifice.

We should remember their families and all the families of those who have lost their lives to secure our freedom. God Bless our country and all those who serve in uniform!

Marine Warrior Retires After Upholding the Highest Traditions of the Marine Corps

Many heroes emerged from the fighting in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, but none more noteworthy than First Sergeant Brad Kasal. On November 13, 2004, First Sergeant Kasal heard enemy gunfire to his front and learned that Marines were pinned down inside a structure. He joined a squad of Marines entering the structure to rescue the Marines inside. He eliminated an insurgent fighter upon entering the first room. While moving towards a wounded Marine, First Sergeant Kasal and another Marine were severely wounded. The insurgents then threw hand grenades into the room attempting to kill the Marines. First Sergeant Kasal rolled on top of the other Marine to shield him from the shrapnel with his body.

When offered medical attention and extraction, Kasal refused until the other wounded Marines were taken care of first. He shouted encouragement to his fellow Marines as they cleared the structure of the insurgents. With seven bullet wounds, over 43 pieces of shrapnel and his leg nearly severed he was carried out of the structure by two Marines. Bleeding profusely, with his pistol in one hand and his Ka-Bar in his other hand, a freelance photographer, Lucian Read captured that moment in time with an iconic photograph. For his bravery, leadership and dedication to duty, First Sergeant Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross in 2006.

While Kasal was always an inspiration for his Marines he showed true grit returning to duty after undergoing numerous operations. When doctors recommended that he accept amputation of his leg and retire, Kasal showed his toughness and personal courage keeping his leg and returning to service within the Marine Corps.

Kasal was promoted to Sergeant Major and served in a number of positions to include his last command as Sergeant Major of I MEF. In 2012, Nathaniel Helms wrote, “My Men are My Heroes: The Brad Kasal Story” which provided insight into this hard charging grunt. The book follows Kasal’s days growing up in Afton, Iowa, to joining the Marine Corps, to Fallujah, and his fighting for life and recovery. One learns the character of this Marine.

My Men Are My Heroes The Brad Kasal Story

Sergeant Major Kasal is a Marine’s Marine. Humble, courageous and a leader of warriors. For thirty-four years he served his country until his retirement last week. Our country owes warriors like Sergeant Major Kasal so much for their service. There are so many silent but legendary leaders that the social media generation never learns about. In this age of self-adulation and “likes”  Sgt. Major Kasal is a leader who puts his men first and never worries about tweets, likes or recognition. He is a true Marine in the spirit of John Basilone, “Hashmark” Johnson, and Chesty Puller. We should all give thanks that our country has great leaders like Sgt. Major Brad Kasal who served their country and trained that next generation of leaders. And as Sgt. Major Kasal once said, “thank you for doing what many would not.” Semper Fidelis!

9/11 Mastermind Seeks to Interject into Gina Haspel’s Confirmation-“Forget about it”

WTC MemorialKhalid Sheikh Mohammed, the terrorist mastermind of the 9/11 attacks wants to dish some information on the nominee for Director of Central Intelligence, Gina Haspel. The New York Times has an article entitled “9/11 Planner, Tortured by C.I.A., Asks to Tell Senators About Gina Haspel.” Hopefully this doesn’t come to fruition. This honorable woman has spent 33 years in the service of her nation in numerous undercover positions for the CIA. Today in our hallowed halls of government Gina Haspel answered numerous barbed questions from Senators from one party. While that is part of the nomination process we don’t need to hear from a terrorist. Maybe the New York Times and certain Senators have forgotten who KSM is and the grief he caused.

KSM helped finance his nephew, Ramzi Yousef’s first attack on the World Trade Center and Operation Bojinka. Operation Bojinka was Yousef’s plan to detonate twelve aircraft flying to the US over the Pacific Ocean. KSM also beheaded Danny Pearl, a Wall Street journalist in Pakistan and videotaped this horrific murder. When asked if that was hard KSM stated no it wasn’t “I had very sharp knives. Just like slaughtering sheep.” KSM told his interrogators, “I cut Daniel’s throat with these blessed hands.” We shouldn’t have to see or hear anything written with those hands.

KSM has always thought himself to be very smart. “Call me Mukhtar,” which means the Brain. “I was the amir of the 9/11 attacks.” We should be smart enough to see what this terrorist is doing and not allow him the freedom to attempt to interject anything into the confirmation hearing of someone who has dedicated her life to service.

Because of KSM there are now 2,983 names of victims on memorials in New York City. There are memorials in Pennsylvania and outside of the Pentagon. There is a star on a wall at CIA HQ to honor Mike Spann, the first American killed in Afghanistan. For without KSM all these individuals would be alive today doing great things.

After the confirmation of Gina Haspel, the Congress needs to do something meaningful-see that all the detainees including KSM have a trial. Justice is being delayed and we are paying for it. We shouldn’t have to hear from the mastermind of 9/11.

Unveiled Courage in Iran: The Girls of Revolution Street

Unveiled in Tehran

On March 7, 1979, the leaders of the Iranian government imposed upon the women of Iran the mandatory wearing of the hijab. The next day to the dismay of the government thousands of women across Iran protested the mandatory wearing of the hijab. These brave women protested for their freedom then and this continues today.

On December 27, 2017, Vida Movahed, climbed onto a telephone box on Revolution Avenue, in the busy central area of Tehran and waved her white head scarf . For some this was an unveiled display of courage but in Iran this crime is called Disturbing Public Security.  After the Iranian Revolution swept across the country in 1979, the government passed a law requiring all women to wear a head scarf (hijab). Vida Movahed’s crime was that she wanted to silently protest the compulsory law requiring her to cover her head.

On January 29, 2018, Narges Hosseini also defied Iran’s hijab law and within ten minutes of uncovering her head and waving her head scarf she was arrested. She was released on $140,000 bail. Narges Hosseini’s trial began on Saturday, February 24th.  Hosseini is charged with:

1.  Encouraging Immorality or Prostitution

2.  Failing to Observe Hijab

3. Flagrant Commitment of a Forbidden Act.

The Iranians have arrested over thirty-five “girls of Revolution Street” as this spontaneous movement has been called.  But that has done little to stop other Iranian women from their  protest. On February 22, 2018, Tehran Police had a barrier welded on the top of the telephone box on Revolution Avenue to prevent these protests.  Instead other women moved down the street to another box, to a bench or other places to wage their protests. While the first couple women were released on bail, the Iranian government is using imprisonment in an attempt to quash these protests. Instead of releasing them on bail, Azam Jangroy, Maryam Shariatmadari, Shaparak Shajarizadeh and others have been imprisoned.

Shaparak Shajarizadeh is being held in solitary confinement in the appalling Shahr-e-Rey Prison as is Maryam Shariatmadari. Maryam Shariatmadari was standing on the top of the box when a police officer physically knocked her off the box. This resulted in a trip to the hospital before being jailed. Women’s human rights in Iran continue to be violated. Last year Dorsa Derakshani, an 18-year old chess grandmaster was banned from competing on the Iranian Chess Team after she competed in the Gilbraltar Chess Tournament with her hair uncovered.

I am reminded of another brave girl who didn’t want a government dictating how she dressed. Hala, was an Afghan teenager who witnessed the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Hala and her sister Sulima wrote a book entitled, “Behind the Burqa Our Life in Afghanistan and How We Escaped to Freedom.” In the book, Hala describes when she first heard on the radio that “Women are to wear hijab and burqa, by order of the  Ministry for the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.”

Hala and her sisters had enjoyed their fashion freedom and they were being required to wear a burqa. The Taliban also forbid them from wearing white socks, listening to music and attending school. Hala was a normal defiant teenager. She told me she liked wearing blue jeans, polo shirts and enjoyed school. Hala and her sisters began running a neighborhood school and initially declined to wear a burqa.  Soon the Taliban was alerted and Hala’s choices were bleak. She might face imprisoned, acid attacks, or could even be killed to make an example of her. Instead she was forced to flee her country and flew into New York by herself where she requested political asylum.

Today a new generation of women are speaking out and protesting for their rights. These brave mothers and daughters, should be given the freedom to dress without a government forcing them to wear a head covering. So tomorrow as the world celebrates International Women’s Day we should celebrate these women for their bravery and courage. The unveiled girls of Revolution Street have become a symbol of freedom and those being held should be immediately released. For as Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Tragedy at the Hands of an Illegal Alien, a Criminal, and a Drunk Driver

Convicted of DUI-Twice
Convicted of Drug Possession-Three Times
Convicted of Driving Without a License-Once
Illegally Entered the United States-Three Times
Removed (Deported) to Guatemala-Twice
Used a False Alias to Mask Identity
Charged With Driving with a BAC of .239
Charged With Failure to Remain on the Scene of an Accident
Charged with Drunk Driving Causing Two Deaths

Every day across the United States almost 29 people die due to alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. In 2016, there were 10,497 people who lost their lives due to people driving under the influence of alcohol. We recently learned that Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe were killed by an “alleged drunk driver.” Jackson, a young man in the prime of his life was better know because he was a linebacker (#53) with the Indianapolis Colts. Jackson previously attended Georgia Southern University where he played four seasons of football and received a degree in International Trade.

Jeffrey Monroe was a computer programmer with Allison Payment Systems. Monroe for years worked the midnight shift and worked part time as an Uber driver. He worked this part time job to be able to take his wife to the Tokyo Olympics. Both of these men’s lives were tragically cut short by an alleged drunk driver.

Manuel Orrego-Savala has been charged with two counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident and two counts of drunk driving causing a death. Orrego-Savala crashed a Ford F-150 pickup truck into the rear of Monroe’s vehicle which was pulled off I-70 in Indianapolis in the breakdown lane. Orrego-Savala fled the scene on foot but was quickly arrested. He had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .239, which was nearly three times the legal limit in Indiana. But this was not his first run-in with law enforcement.

Manuel Orrego-Savala from Guatemala illegally entered the United States in July 2004. Within thirteen months he had been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) twice. In June and August 2005, he was arrested in Redwood City, California for DUI. He plead no contest to both DUI charges and was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail.

In early 2006, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor drug possession. He plead no contest and was given probation. In September and October 2006, he was arrested again for drug possession. He was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail but given probation. In October 2006, he was arrested by ICE for being in the country illegally. On January 17, 2007, Manuel Orrego-Savala was removed (deported) to Guatemala.
Orrego-Savala didn’t stay in Guatemala long. Instead he returned illegally to the United States again. On March 26, 2009, he was arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Francisco. He was removed (deported) to Guatemala for a second time on May 12, 2009. But he would illegally return to the United States for a third time. But this time he would use an alias to mask his true identity.

Manuel Orrego-Savala used the alias Alex Cabrera-Gonsales, when he was stopped in Boone County, Indiana for driving without a license. He was convicted and sentenced to two days in jail and given credit for time served in August 2017. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department submitted fingerprints to both the Indiana State Police and the FBI. One might think that the fingerprints once entered into the system would alert someone that this person is not Alex Cabrera-Gonsales but Manuel Orrego-Savala.

Individuals like Manuel Orrego-Savala are a threat to the public safety of American. He should have never been in the United States. He had multiple convictions for driving under the influence, multiple convictions for drug possession, multiple deportations, driving without a license, and now causing the deaths of two individuals. Last April, the Attorney General ordered that all federal prosecutors should bringing charges against aliens who have illegally re-entered the country and have a criminal history and pose a risk to public safety.

At the end of the day two families have lost loved ones because an illegal alien was driving a vehicle with a BAC of .239. While Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) have made great inroads to working to reduce drunk drivers impaired driving is a huge problem. With certain states allowing the sale of marijuana, one has to wonder how many impaired drivers will injure others in the future.

With technology today, fingerprints should have instantly identified that Alex Cabrera-Gonsales was really Manuel Orrego-Savala. He should have been charged and sentenced for re-entry in the United States after being removed twice before when he was arrested in Boone County. Then maybe we would have had the opportunity to watch a linebacker develop into a great NFL player. Then maybe a husband might have taken his wife to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the end of the day this is just tragic and our systems are broken or not equipped to solve these problems.

Plot to Attack Pier 39 on Christmas Day

Pier 39

The Islamic State has been calling on its followers to launch attacks during the Christmas and Holiday season.  We have previously seen attacks on the Berlin Christmas Market and the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. But here in the United States as people prepared to celebrate Christmas, Everitt Jameson, a tow truck driver from Modesto, California was alleged to be making preparations to attack Pier 39 in San Francisco. Pier 39 is one of the most visited attractions in San Francisco. From the pier one can watch the Sea Lions that gather on the floating docks. Everitt Jameson, a former Marine and convert to Islam communicated with a number of undercover informants of the FBI about his desires to undertake a terrorist attack and his desire to support the Islamic State. Jameson stated that “whatever they need done here. Alhamudulillah. I know this very well. I have no doubt. I am ready. Give the word and it shall be done.

A handwritten letter recovered during the FBI’s search of Jameson’s residence sheds some light on what motivated him to want to kill on Christmas Day.

“I Abdallah abu Everitt ibn Gordon have committed these acts upon the Kuffar, in the name of Dar al Islam, Allahu Akbar! You all have brought this upon yourselves. There are no innocent Kuffar! Each and every Kuffar in this Nationalistic, Godless society has a hand in this. You’re Allowed Donald J Trump to give away Al Quds to the Jews. Both You and he are wrong, it belongs to the Muslemeen. We have penetrated and infiltrated your disgusting country. These Acts will continue until the Lions of Islam overtake you. Turn to Allah, make tawbah and fight with us, the soldiers who fight in the day and the night. Allah SWT is most forgiving, I am not. Long Live Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Allahu Akbar!

Abdallah abu Everitt ibnGordon al-Amriki”

Jameson told an undercover source that that we need something along the lines of New York or San Bernardino and he wanted to do a combination of the two. He wanted to do a vehicle attack combined with a firearms attack. Jameson had the perfect target to attack. He had been to Pier 39 in San Francisco and knew that it was a heavily crowded area. Jameson provided a photo map of Pier 39 along with two photos of the area. He told the undercover source that he also desired to use explosives. The explosives would funnel people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties. Jameson thought that Christmas was the perfect day to commit the attack.

For Jameson, this attack would be a martyrdom operation. He told the undercover that he did not have and did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die. On December 18, 2017, an FBI employee mistakenly called Jameson’s phone from an identifiable phone with a (202) area code. Jameson answered his phone in Arabic and the FBI employee quickly hung up. Jameson called the Washington, D.C. phone back and got the answering machine with the voice mail message for the person who called. Shortly after this Jameson seemed to have a change in heart. That same evening when the undercover source contacted Jameson to discuss meeting, Jameson told him that he had been “very busy tonight.” Jameson stated that “I also don’t think I can do this after all.” The next day the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed the warrant at Jameson’s residence.

Everitt Jameson was charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization -the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He is not the first person nor the last to plan or execute an attack during the Christmas. Terrorists hope to maximize the fear they might inflict by conducting an attack during the Christmas season. We have seen attacks of a Christmas Market in Berlin and the New Years Eve Nightclub attack in Istanbul, Turkey. The fact remains that terrorists are choosing to conduct their attacks during the Christmas and Holiday Season because of the numbers of people found in the target area and the importance that individuals place on the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. For these reasons we must all be ever more vigilant. Merry Christmas!