Security/Emergency Information

The Islamic State and the Jews

Screen shot from Hebrew language Islamic State video.

Stratfor, the respected, global intelligence firm,  just published an insightful analytical report, The Islamic State Weighs in on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, with the following forecasts:

  • Lone wolf attacks against Jewish targets outside of Israel will increase in the coming weeks.
  • Anti-Semitic violence will provoke reprisal attacks and vigilantism. 
  • Mimicking a recent string of knife attacks in Israel, assailants elsewhere in the world who sympathize with the Palestinian cause may use similar tactics.

The Stratfor analysis follows Washington Post and Haaretz reports of a series of Islamic State videos praising the attacks in Israel and calling for more. One of the videos featured a Hebrew-speaking, knife-wielding Islamic State fighter who labeled the Jewish people the primary enemy and called for their deaths in Israel and throughout the world. Some of the videos made their way through social media outlets accompanied by the hashtag #BeheadtheJew. There is also an ADL document describing the videos.

See these free, online courses from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, University of Maryland, for a deeper understanding of rise of the Islamic State.

While the almost daily attacks in Israel are deeply disturbing, we should be mindful that on December 7, 2014,  NYC evidently experienced its own “lone wolf” knife attack at Chabad Headquarters in Crown Heights. Even though law enforcement sources did not find that the perpetrator had any terrorist connections, the incident is a haunting reminder of what could happen here.

While law enforcement authorities do not know of any specific threats, Jewish institutions should review their existing security precautions and take appropriate steps to safeguard their constituents.

Think about:

  • Police relationships. 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.
  • Protective measures. DHS just published: Potential Indicators, Common Vulnerabilities, and Protective Measures: Religious Facilities. This is an new (October 2015) and excellent overview of facility security and emergency planning. This can be used to set the agenda for your security/building committee to plan for the unexpected. There is also a good table with indicators of suspicious activity. Another new resource is Protective Measures for Enhanced Facility Security. Please review the documents and act accordingly. 
  • Security awareness. Law enforcement and Homeland Security leaders recommend that organizations train their staffs and constituencies in security awareness, especially the signs of suspicious behavior — in short, if it just doesn’t look right. If you see something, say something: in New York City (888) NYC-SAFE or elsewhere in NY: (866) SAFE-NYS.
  • Active Shooters. Click here for more information on active shooters and armed intruders.
  • Suggested Protective Measures
    •  Increase visibility of 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 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.
  • Click here to subscribe to the JCRC-NY Security and Emergency Preparedness Alert list. Review other JCRC-NY recommended resources here.
  •  If you want to arrange for trainings, access other resources or have any questions you can contact JCRC-NY here.
Alerts and information about security and emergency preparedness for Jewish organizations.
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