9/21/2018 to 10/17/2018
  • Cyber Security Summit - Oct. 16, 2018   This free one-day course provides practical advice regarding cyber-breach response plans and policies to protect your company. It is sponsored by the Sacramento InfraGard, US Davis, and the FBI   Events
  • 8/4/2018 to 8/17/2018
  • 3rd Quarterly Meeting - Aug. 16th   Plan to attend this quarterly training day. Agenda and registration on the Events page.    Events
  • 2nd Quarter Newsletter The latest quarterly newsletter has been issued. Be sure to check out the news, events and helpful tips found in this issue.    Newsletter

InfraGard Sacramento Members Alliance

President’s Message - July 2018

Brian Banning, President/CEO

The reasons for cyber security have never been stronger. Luckily, there is a lot of attention being paid to that. I want to remind us about our other concerns.

As of this writing there are 455 open cases directly linked to Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) That are being worked by the combined 4 FBI led Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) in California. These cases virtually all are inspired by Salafi Jihadist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State. That’s a ten-fold increase from when I supported the Eastern District’s JTTF as the Deputy Commander of what is now known as the Central California Intelligence Center.

From my more recent position in the State Threat Assessment Center, I have watched the Social Media messaging from those international groups increase by the same amount, and I conclude the two are linked. The Islamic State (IS) ‘caliphate’ has imploded over the past few years and they now control 4% of their prior territory. The Caliphate may be defunct but the idea behind, the movement, is not. It’s goal is powerful domination and it’s rhetoric and history directs it’s adherents to violence.

As IS suffered loss after loss on the battlefield, they’ve increased their messaging, both in volume and focus. Communications that once urged support of Jihad in any way now more specifically say to attack Western interests with bombs, guns, and vehicles.

The emphasis has also shifted from attacking infrastructure to attacking vast numbers of people. Following jihadi attacks, such as the one in Orlando, al Qaeda now publishes an Inspire Guide which is a short evaluation of how the attacker performed and suggestions on how someone could do the same operation, only better, in an effort to train “copy cat” attackers.

I have to praise the JTTF’s in this country. Because of the number of plots they are disrupting, actual attacks remain relatively low.

As InfraGard members, we need more than threat awareness, though. We need to have an understanding of the mental and emotional drivers of the behavior to know how to detect the motivation to attack.

First, realize that people committing terrorism acts in the US are not high capability folks. The myth of the super terrorist is well explored by Dr. Gary LaFree in the University of Maryland’s free online course, “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat.” I would urge anyone who wants a better understanding of this issue to take that course.

Remember that in their mind, it’s David and Goliath and we (the US) are Goliath. Goliath can’t use his all of abilities due to political correctness but David breaks all of the rules.

I’ve studied these folks academically for a long time and spoken with dozens face to face. They believe the following:

  • There is a great injustice in the world;
  • They have insider knowledge that the masses are unaware of;
  • Action must be taken to right the wrong;
  • Non violent means are ineffective, and;
  • They are the chosen one who must act.

According to analysis by the National Counterterrorism Center things that may indicate a need to see something, say something are:

  • Pursuing capabilities to attack;
  • Attempting to recruit others;
  • Seeking sympathy or approval for an attack;
  • Personality changes, especially becoming confrontational about religion;
  • Consumption of violent extremist literature;
  • Desire to travel to conflict zones;
  • Expressing support for Jihad;
  • Acquiring precursor or explosive materials, and;
  • Online postings expressing support for Jihad.

As InfraGard members, we are in the front line of the Countries interior defense, so see something, say something!

Brian Banning
President/CEO
InfraGard Sacramento Members Alliance
A FBI-affiliated 501(c)3 Organization

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