Category Archive: Active shooter

Focus on resources: DHS Protective Security Advisors

Posted on August 03, 2015

PSA imageRecently, we received an inquiry from an out-of-state colleague. Some of his questions could be answered over the phone, but it was clear that an on-site consultation was in order.

I asked my colleague, “Do you know your Protective Security Advisor (PSA)?” He replied, “What?”

DHS employs PSA’s in all 50 states and many states have multiple regions. Our experience here in NY is that our PSA’s are a wonderful resource. They are hard-working, knowledgeable and professional.

  • Security surveys. Subject to time constraints you can ask your PSA to conduct security surveys and assessments of your facilities. We’ve joined our PSA’s during some of these sessions and their suggestions are both sound and pragmatic.
  • Training. PSA’s have access to a wide variety of training options, e.g. active shooters, suspicious packages, severe weather. Even if you don’t know your exact need, talk to them. They can open up a variety of resources for you.
  • Special events planning. Let them know if you are planning a high profile event. They can advise you on security and logistical issues.
  • Outreach. Get on their radar. They will invite you to various trainings and events.

Click here for more information on Protective Security Advisors. To contact your local PSA, please contact PSCDOperations@hq.dhs.gov. To contact NY PSA’s or if you have questions or need other assistance please complete the form below.

July 1 FEMA Webinar – Houses of Worship

Posted on June 29, 2015

Webinar:
Resources to help houses of worship prepare for emergencies  

This webinar is a collaborative effort between the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, a center of the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help connect faith-based and community organizations with tools, resources, and partners to help prepare their houses of worship for all hazards, including active shooter incidents.

 Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015   Time:  2:00 – 3:15 p.m. (EDT)

How to Join the Webinar:

 

Posted in Active shooter

Horror on Har Nof, Increased Vigilance in NY Area

Update – 19 November: U.S. Department of State security bulletin re Israel | As tensions remain high, isolated acts of violence in the form of vehicular attacks and stabbings may continue, particularly in Jerusalem where frustration is particularly acute. It remains unlikely that large-scale or complex attacks will occur in Israel due to the increased security measures that have been put in place over the past several years, such as the Israeli West Bank barrier, and the increased capabilities of Israeli authorities. However, it is unclear whether Israeli interests within the West Bank could potentially pose a more feasible target for more complex attacks.
The expected difficulty of Palestinian terrorist groups to carry out successful, sophisticated, complex attacks in Green Line Israel (the generally recognized border between Israel and the West Bank) suggests that isolated, low-level acts of aggression are likely to continue. The challenge of detecting and containing attempted stabbings or vehicular attacks indicates these tactics will likely continue to be successful.

The success of the November 18 synagogue attack may lead to an increase in planning and coordination between potential terrorists in relatively unsophisticated attacks that are likely to bypass security. In turn, possible soft targets are likely to remain an area of concern for OSAC constituents as tensions remain high. The State Department considers soft targets to include places where people live, congregate, shop or visit, including hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, identifiable Western businesses, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or public recreation events, often with little or no security presence.

The Consulate General in Jerusalem has issued several Security Messages highlighting continued tensions in Jerusalem and restrictions on consulate staff. U.S. government personnel are restricted from using the Light Rail north of French Hill in light of the repeated acts of violence against train cars transiting through Light Rail Stations in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have also placed concrete barriers at Light Rail stations to help prevent additional attacks. The Consulate General has also advised against entering neighborhoods restricted by INP and suggests avoiding areas where clashes have been ongoing. Post also recommends exercising caution when transiting through neighborhoods where protest activity has been ongoing, such as Silwan, Abu Tor, Shuafat, Issawiya, and those immediately surrounding the Old City. OSAC constituents can also monitor local news for events that might spur additional unrest beyond these neighborhoods, such as announcements of new settlements, tensions surrounding the HAS/TM, funerals for those killed in protests and clashes with police.


Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this morning’s terror attack on Har Nof in Jerusalem: Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Aryeh Kupinsky and Rabbi Moshe Twersky. Rabbi Twersky’s brother, Mayer Twersky, is on the faculty of REITS at Yeshiva University. His sister Tzipporah and brother-in-law Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt are Rebbitzen and Rabbi of the Riverdale Jewish Center. He was a grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l.

We urge you to pray for the full recovery of those injured in the attacks. The following are their Hebrew names:

חיים יחיאל בן מלכה
איתן בן שרה
שמואל ירוחם בן ביילה
אברהם שמואל בן שיינה
אריה בן ברכה 


NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stated: “I am horrified and heartbroken by today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, which took the innocent lives of four people. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families. New York City stands in solidarity with Israel at this difficult time, and we hope and pray for a peaceful and secure future for all of its people.‎

Police Commissioner Bratton announced: “The NYPD is following developments in Jerusalem closelyand working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor any further developments. As of now, there is no specific credible threat to New York City.  The NYPD has increased its attention to Synagogues and other symbolic locations around the city.  Once again, we asked the public to be vigilant and if you see something, say something.”

“The NYPD is in close contact with its liaison post in Israel. We have increased our police presence at synagogues and other key locations around the city. As always, we ask New Yorkers to stay alert and immediately report any suspicious activity.”

Nassau County – Community Advisory      Suffolk CountyCommunity Advisory 

Officials’ & Religious Leaders’ Statements – LINK


Recommendations

There are no known, credible threats to the Jewish community here in the NY area, but we recommend all Jewish institutions to be extra vigilant. JCRC-NY suggests the following steps:

  1. Remember, one of the most important recommendations is to establish a close, working relationship with your local police authorities. They should know about your services, school schedules, special meetings, etc. Be in contact with the community affairs officer of your local precinct and let him/her know about the times of daily services and school arrival and dismissal times.
  2. DHS just published: Potential Indicators, Common Vulnerabilities, and Protective Measures: Religious Facilities. This is an new (April 2014) and excellent overview of facility security and emergency planning. Ie used as the agenda for your security/building committee work to plan for the unexpected. There is also a good table with indicators of suspicious activity. Please review the document and act accordingly. 
  3. Law enforcement and Homeland Security leaders recommend that organizations train their staffs and constituencies in security awareness, especially the signs of suspicious behavior — i.e., it just doesn’t look right. If you see something, say something: in New York City-1 (888) NYC-SAFE or elsewhere in NY
  4. Click here for more information on active shooters and armed intruders.

Signs of suspicious behavior:

  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in or unusual questions about security procedures, or engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by security or law enforcement officers;
  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in entry points, peak days and hours of operation, security personnel, surveillance assets (including cameras), and access controls such as alarms, barriers, doors, gates, or locks;
  • Demonstrating an unusual interest in security reaction drills or procedures;
  • multiple false alarms or fictitious emergency calls to same locations or similar venues;
  • Loitering, parking, or standing in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation;
  • Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel or security guards;
  • Attention to or avoidance of surveillance cameras;
  • Interest without justification in obtaining site plans, ingress and egress routes, and information on employees or the public; and
  • Garments not appropriate for the weather or season without a reasonable explanation.

Suggested Protective Measures

  •  Increase visibility of armed security and law enforcement personnel in areas adjacent to and in front of security checkpoints to deter unwanted activity; 
  • Raise awareness among employees by conducting “all hazards” awareness training;
  • Establish liaison and regular communications with local, state, and federal law enforcement, emergency responders, and public health organizations to enhance information exchange or clarify emergency responses;
  • Report missing or stolen equipment, to include weapons, to the proper authorities; 
  • Raise community awareness of potential threats and vulnerabilities; and
  • Encourage employees, tenants, and visitors to report anything that appears to be odd or suspicious.
 If you have any questions you can contact the  JCRC here.

Protecting religious facilities and the current analysis re the fatal shootings at Kansas Jewish Centers

Posted on April 18, 2014

Indicators screenshot

The shootings last week remind us that we are vulnerable on a number of fronts. We thank our partners at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for keeping us informed, with first rate analyses and guidance.

  1. Remember, one of the most important recommendations is to establish a close, working relationship with your local police authorities. They should know about your services, school schedules, special meetings, etc. 
  2. DHS just published: Potential Indicators, Common Vulnerabilities, and Protective Measures: Religious Facilities. This is an new (April 2014) and excellent overview of facility security and emergency planning. It can be used as the agenda for your security/building committee work to plan for the unexpected. There is also a good table with indicators of suspicious activity. Please review it and act accordingly. 
  3. Law enforcement and Homeland Security leaders recommend that organizations train their staffs and constituencies in security awareness, especially the signs of suspicious behavior — i.e., it just doesn’t look right. If you see something, say something: in New York City-1 (888) NYC-SAFE or elsewhere in NY
  4. If you have any questions you can contact the  JCRC here.
  5. Re the shootings. Experts continue to analyze the the 13 April 2014 shootings at Overland Park, Kansas Jewish Community and Retirement Centers, allegedly by white supremacist extremist Frazier Glen Miller, Jr. The FBI and DHS have medium confidence that Miller acted alone. There were no known indicators of imminent violence on the day of the shooting, and there are no suspected co-conspirators at this time. The FBI and DHS continue to assess violence by lone offenders and small cells likely will remain the primary domestic terrorist threat due to the greater potential for operational security afforded to those who act independently of larger groups.
  6. Signs of suspicious behavior:
      • Demonstrating an unusual interest in or unusual questions about security procedures, or engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by security or law enforcement officers;
      • Demonstrating an unusual interest in entry points, peak days and hours of operation, security personnel, surveillance assets (including cameras), and access controls such as alarms, barriers, doors, gates, or locks;
      • Demonstrating an unusual interest in security reaction drills or procedures;
      • multiple false alarms or fictitious emergency calls to same locations or similar venues;
      • Loitering, parking, or standing in the same area over multiple days with no reasonable explanation;
      • Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel or security guards;
      • Attention to or avoidance of surveillance cameras;
      • Interest without justification in obtaining site plans, ingress and egress routes, and information on employees or the public; and
      • Garments not appropriate for the weather or season without a reasonable explanation.

7. Suggested Protective Measures

      •  Increase visibility of armed security and law enforcement personnel in areas adjacent to and in front of security checkpoints to deter unwanted activity; 
      • Raise awareness among employees by conducting “all hazards” awareness training;
      • Establish liaison and regular communications with local, state, and federal law enforcement, emergency responders, and public health organizations to enhance information exchange or clarify emergency responses;
      • Report missing or stolen equipment, to include weapons, to the proper authorities; 
      • Raise community awareness of potential threats and vulnerabilities; and
      • Encourage employees, tenants, and visitors to report anything that appears to be odd or suspicious.

Resources and ADL backgrounder on shooter

Posted on April 14, 2014

As of now, all indications are that the gunman acted alone. However, any time that there is such an attack, analysts are concerned about copycat incidents. Out of an abundance of caution, the NYPD, and all of the police departments in the metropolitan area, are going to be giving Jewish institutions extra attention over the holidays.

ADL RELEASES BACKGROUNDER ON WHITE SUPREMACIST KANSAS JEWISH
COMMUNITY SHOOTER FRAZIER GLENN MILLER

New York, NY, April 14, 2014 …The shooter arrested in the killing of three individuals outside the Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas is a white supremacist with a long history of promoting anti-Semitism and racism, according to a backgrounder released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The suspect, identified by police as Frazier Cross, but who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller (or simply Glenn Miller), is a white supremacist from southwest Missouri with a career in hatred and white supremacy that has spanned more than three decades. In the early 1980s, Glenn Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S., but he eventually ran afoul of both the federal government and members of his own movement and has spent the last decade at the periphery of the white supremacist movement.

“The shooting at the Kansas Jewish community centers is a sad and tragic event which reminds us where the spread of anti-Semitism and racism can lead,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We recently issued a report which indicated that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States had fallen precipitously over the past few years. So the statistics are good, and then you wake up in the morning and three people are dead because someone believed them to be Jews.”

ADL has reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the United States urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown tonight.

Backgrounder: Frazier Glenn Miller

 

Originally from North Carolina, Frazier Glenn Miller began his career as a neo-Nazi in the mid-1970s, but soon switched to the Ku Klux Klan. He was present at an infamous shooting of left-wing activists by white supremacists in Greensboro in 1979 that left five dead, but was never charged with a crime.

By 1980, Miller had formed his own Klan group, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (later changed to the White Patriot Party), a large regional Klan group that drew notoriety for its paramilitary training exercises. Members of the group committed several hate crimes against African-Americans during the decade, while its second-in-command was convicted of a plot to purchase stolen weapons, ostensibly to target a civil rights organization. During this period, Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S.

The activities of Miller and his group eventually led to a federal court order prohibiting its paramilitary training. Rather than obey the order, Miller went underground with several followers in 1987 after issuing a “Declaration of War” that called for the “blood of our enemies [to] flood the streets.” Federal agents soon arrested Miller hiding out in the Ozarks in Missouri on charges related to his “Declaration” and explosives violations.

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a hand grenade and received a five-year sentence. He also agreed to testify against other prominent white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988—this latter decision earned him the enmity of the majority of the white supremacist movement, which now considered him a traitor to the movement.

After getting out of prison in 1990, Miller moved to Iowa (later to Missouri) and became a truck driver. Largely ostracized by white supremacists, he laid low until the end of the decade, when he self-published his autobiography (A White Man Speaks Out). This marked a return to activism; by the early 2000s, Miller began purchasing advertising space in local newspapers in Missouri for racist and anti-Semitic screeds, followed by his own attempts to publish a “white-friendly” newspaper called The European-American.

In 2004, Miller allied with fellow Missouri white supremacist Alex Linder to produce a more grandiose white supremacist newspaper that they dubbed The Aryan Alternative. Only a couple of issues were published, but they were printed in large numbers, which were distributed by various white supremacists for years. Miller also tried running for office, receiving only two votes in his 2010 attempt at a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Throughout the 2000s, Miller actively promoted his racist and anti-Semitic views online, but remained hampered by the hostility with which most of the white supremacist movement continued to view him. In the years prior to the Overland Park attacks, Miller was a perennial but peripheral figure within the world of white supremacy.