June 17, 2020
We've all been through a very harrowing time and hopefully you and your family are healthy. As restrictions begin to relax, understand that we are not totally free of the very intrusive virus. PLEASE continue to practice social distancing and wearing your face masks. We've done a great job limiting our exposure, but medical experts are telling us if we let up our efforts we will see a reemergence and many more illnesses and deaths.
The Department of Justice has announced the indictment of Muhammad Masood, charging him with attempting to provide support to ISIS.. Masood, a licensed medical doctor was employed as a research coordinator for a medical clinic in Rochester, MN. The government alleges that Masood pledged his allegiance to ISIS and expressed his desire to travel overseas to fight with them in Syria. He also stated his intentions to carry out a lone offender attack in the United States. Masood purchased a plane ticket to travel to Amman, Jordan, but was hampered by the COVID-19 flight restrictions. Not to be deterred, Masood planned to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles where an individual would assist him in traveling by cargo ship to the ISIS held territory. Masood was arrested at the airport.
Federal authorities have announced the arrest of Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari, a US citizen. He is charged with providing material support to ISIS which included attempting to buy multiple weapons and identifying potential targets in the Tampa Bay, FL area. The complaint alleges Al-Azhari was recorded expressing his admiration for Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub shooter. He told an FBI source "that's how I want to die, to be honest" and said " I don't want to take four or five, no. I want to take at least 50. You know like, brother Omar Mateen in Orlando did. He took 49 with him." He negotiated with an undercover agent to purchase a variety of guns and silencers. He was arrested when he took possession of the weapons. Al- Azhari had previously been convicted in Saudia Arabia in 2015 of terror related charges. He served three years in a Saudi prison and was then deported to the United States. He faces 20 years of federal incarceration.
On May 21st, a lone gunman opened fire at the entrance gates to the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX, leaving one security guard injured. The gunman, Adam Alsahli of Corpus Christi was subsequently shot and killed by other security officers. Alsahli was a citizen of the United States who was born in Syria. At the gate, Alsahli shot a female guard in the chest but she was saved by her ballistic vest. As Alsahli sped through the check point, the injured guard heroically activated a vehicle barrier stopping his car. He then exited the car and opened fire on other security guards and was neutralized. In an investigation of Alsahli's social media postings he aligned himself with Salafi-jihadist extremist groups, including ISIS and al-Qa'ida
Ironically Alsahli's attack came three days after the FBI announced it had determined that a mass shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola was also terror inspired. The attack occurred on December 6, 2019. The assailant, Mohammed Saeed Alshmarani, an officer in the Royal Saudi Air Force, was an aviation student at the air station and had free reign of its facilities. Alshmarani, armed with a .9mm pistol and several magazines, opened fire in one of the classroom buildings. Three U.S. Navy sailors were killed and eight others were injured including two deputies who received leg wounds. The deputies had engaged Alshmarani in a exchange of gunfire which also left him dead. Alshmarani allegedly posted justification for the shooting on social media which referred to wars in Muslim countries and his hatred of the American people. He quoted lines from Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. On the eve of the shooting, Alshmarani hosted a dinner party where he and three other Saudi students watched videos of other mass shootings. .
During the investigation of Mohammed Alshmarani authorities were able to gain access to his cellphones. Information was uncovered that Alshmarani was in touch with Abdullah al-Maliki, a high ranking AQAP member of their media operations wing. al-Maliki announced the Pensacola attack and a claim of responsibility through their media channel "Abdullah al-Mjuahid". According to sources, al-Maliki was killed in a counter-terror operation in Yemen as a direct result of his contact with Alshmarani and the information recovered from his phone. His information network has been silent since his death.
The FBI has elevated its assessment of the threat posed by racially motivated violent extremists to a "national threat priority". The FBI is placing the risk of violence from these extremists on the same footing as threats posed by foreign terrorist organizations. Director Wray said "Not only is the terror threat diverse, it is unrelenting" . The majority of the attacks are "fueled by some type of white supremacy".
The Department of Justice has announced that Dennis Riggs of Pittsburgh, PA has plead guilty for knowingly possessing seven firearms and ammunition and being a convicted felon. Riggs was arrested in January, 2020 after a joint state and federal investigation. A search of Riggs' cellphone revealed a video of him wearing a Nazi uniform and offering Nazi salutes. He was also seen loading and unloading an AR-15 rifle and possessing a video of the Christchurch massacre . Riggs carried a photograph of Dylann Roof, the shooter at the Emanuel AME Church in North Charleston, who hoped to ignite a race war. Riggs faces up to ten years of federal incarceration.
FBI agents found rags, gasoline, aerosol cans and weapons along with booby traps, fireworks and handwritten notes of military and survival tactics while serving search warrants on three Nevada men who authorities say sought to spark violence during recent Las Vegas protests. Stephen Parshall, Andrew Lynam and William Loomis have ties to the Boogaloo Bois , a loose knit movement of right-wing extremists. It's alleged that the trio hoped to carry out a plan to create unrest by capitalizing on businesses being closed by COVID-19 and protests over the death of George Fowler. They were arrested as they prepared to attend a protest after filling gas cans in a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles. During a search of Loomis'a home, agents found handwritten notes of military tactics and potential scouting of protest routes. They are facing federal charges.
C alifornia resident Steven Carrilo, a US Air Force Staff Sergeant, was arrested for the murder of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, injuring a second deputy and throwing pipe bombs at Santa Cruz, CA police officers. He is also the primary suspect in the shootings of two Federal Protective Services officers in Oakland. While searching for Carrillo, authorities searched hs mountain compound and found it stocked with guns, bombs and ammunition. At the scene of his arrest, Carrillo wrote 'Boog" and "I became unreasonable" in blood on the hood of his car. Both expressions are closely tied to the Boogla Bois, a far-Right extremist movement. Boogaloos, although not all white supremacists, do believe they can speed up a racial war. Supporters can often be found wearing Hawaiian style shirts.
Drivers in several pickup trucks and individuals on bikes exchanged words at the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, VA, One of the trucks ran over a bicycle while fleeing the area. Officers stopped three of the vehicles and found multiple assault style rifles, handguns and body armor. Some of the guns were seized and one individual was arrested and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He has not been identified. The Lee statue has been the scene of recent protests and ordered removed by Virginia's governor.
Christopher Ledbetter of McCloud, OK has been charged with unlawfully possessing a fully automatic machine gun. He identifies as a member of the "Sons of Liberty, an anti-government militia. During a search FBI agents discovered possible grenades, dozens of weapons and the fully automatic AK-47 rifle in his vehicle. Agents had been monitoring Ledbetter's social media accounts and observed him multiple times shooting the AK-47. In one post, Ledbetter said "I like carrying a select fire and grenades just to make sure I'm always illegal." He faces ten years in federal custody.
Self proclaimed KKK leader Harry "Skip" Rogers is charged with malicious wounding after he drove his car into a group of peaceful protesters in Henrico County, VA. Rogers told officers he was the highest ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia and was coordinating with 20 other members defending monuments. A search of Rogers' vehicle revealed KKK memorabilia , patches, literature and a manifesto. At his home a green Grand Dragon robe was discovered.
On May 20th Armando Hernanez from Peoria, AZ opened fire at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, AZ wounding three people. Investigation determined that Hernandez had been planning to commit a mass shooting incident. When interviewed, Hernadez told investigators that he wanted to injure, but not kill, ten people, specifically couples, for being bullied in earlier life. Hernandez surveilled the target before retrieving his firearm and opening fire. Prosecutors allege that Hernandez identified himself as a member of the "incel movement", which involves young men who have been teased or bullied for being socially awkward. Most of its members have been involuntarily celibate and consider themselves "virgin shamed". Hernandez, who videotaped his attack, has been charged with sixteen felony counts.
Cole Carini, a suspected "incel" accidentally blew off his own hand. He arrived at a Richland, VA health clinic seeking medical attention. Carini tried to assert that his injuries were the result of a lawn mower accident, but it was apparent they were caused by an explosive blast. He also suffered severe damage to his other hand and numerous shrapnel wounds. Initial investigation has suggested that Carini may have been building an explosive device to target women. A crumpled letter was found outside of his residence which fantasized about attacking "hot cheerleaders" on a stage. A search of his home uncovered other explosives and evidence that a blast had occurred that injured Carini. He now faces federal charges.
Edward Kimpton of Columbia, SC has been charged with federal wire fraud and possession of a machine gun. Kimpton, a Midlands Technical College student, initially came to the attention of law enforcement after suspicious PayPal transactions were observed. He stands accused of purchasing firearms, ammunition and accessories from individuals and retail sellers using fictitious names. Kimpton would have the items shipped to legitimate federal firearms license holders where he would pick them up. He would then allege that someone else picked up the items and he never received them. A search warrant was executed on Kimpton's home and 90 firearms, including high-powered assault rifles, 23,000 rounds of ammunition, illegal bump stocks and tactical gear were recovered.
Federal investigators have arrested Bradley Bunn and charged him with possession of pipe bombs. During an investigation it was learned that Bunn was boasting on social media about bringing high powered weapons to a COVID-19 protest. A search warrant was executed on Bunn's home and investigators recovered four pipe bombs and two pounds of reloading gunpowder. Dunn told agents that he planned to use the bombs against people who might attempt to break into his home.
In late May, Joshua Blessed of Harrisonburg, VA led New York police on a two county pursuant of his tractor-trailer. During the chase Blessed rammed vehicles and fired at pursuing officers. He was eventually killed by officers. A subsequent search of his residence in Virginia revealed more than a dozen explosive devices and a "stockpile" of weapons. Investigators believe Blessed, who had a deep hatred of the government and police, was "likely planning a large scale attack." Blessed had been blocked twice from Facebook for his inflammatory postings. He posted a YouTube video showing snipers on the roof a building in Richmond, Va at a January Second Amendment Rally. Blessed also posted what he called called his "prophecy page" where he predicted civil wars in America and listed links for guerrilla warfare and urged people to be prepared.
A man showed up at the St. Claire Hospital in Lakewood, WA and met with his ex-wife and her boyfriend outside of the building. At some point the man produced a rifle and killed the boyfriend and then himself. The ex-wife was unharmed. The couple was undergoing a divorce. The ex-wife and the boyfriend were employees of the hospital. None involved have been identified as yet.
Bridgett Burriss had obtained a Domestic Violence Protective Order against Donald Hunter. As Burriss arrived for work in Butler, MO, Hunter forced her at gunpoint from her car and made her get into his car. Witnesses contacted the local Sheriff's Department and they were able to locate Hunter and pull him over. As they stopped, Burriss fled from the vehicle and was shot by Hunter. He then engaged officers and was killed. Burris sustained serious but not life threatening injuries.
Federal authorities have charged Nicholas Proffitt, also known as Nicholas Stearns of Cape Girardeau, MO, with setting fire to the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau. The center's security system captured Proffitt throwing objects to break a window and then tossing two containers of accelerant into the building. Once lit the fire spread rapidly throughout the building causing heavy damage. This is Proffitt's third arrest in the past fifteen years relating to property damage at Islamic Centers, his second at the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau.
Even though college students are not on campus, scammers are still trying to find them. Have you received an email from your college's "Financial Department" telling you to click on the attached link to get a message about your COVID-19 economic stimulus check. You are directed to a portal which requires the user to enter their university logon data. It is a phishing scam. If you click on the link and provide the information you will be compromising your personal data and possibly downloading malware on your computer.
  • Check it out - Contact your school directly
  • Check for misspellings or poor grammar in the message.
  • Watch for improper department names such as "Financial Department" instead of "Financial Aid Department".

Further examples of a "phishing scams".

Welcome to the new normal. Zoom and other online conferencing platforms are now the business of the day. It has allowed us to continue to hold productive meetings and keep the business world moving. Unfortunately there are those who are taking advantage of the meetings to "bomb" them with offensive comments, advertising and other inappropriate activities. Follow the link below on how to help protect your meetings and keep the unwanted out.
Adel El Zabayar, a former member of the Venezuelan National Assembly and an ally of disputed President Nicolas Maduro has been charged with narco-terrorism charges in New York. The complaint alleges that El Azbayar was part of Maduro's Cartel de Los Soles that sought support from FARC, Hezbollah and Hamas to achieve the objective of flooding the United States with cocaine. El Zabayar, of Syrian descent, was photographed in Syria in 2013 alongside of Bashar al-Assad loyalist troops. It is also alleged that Azabayar traded arms for cocaine and recruited extremists and acted as a go-between in an alliance between the drug runners and the Venezuelan military.
Congratulations to our special friend Mo Gabba on his graduation from Lindale Middle School. Ever the consummate beacon of light for us all.
The Anne Arundel County of Emergency Management utilizes CivicReady to contact citizens and businesses quickly in case of an emergency. This free service will alert you via your cell phone or text message. Citizens also have the option to receive NOAA Weather Alerts and other Anne Arundel County Department notifications. A link to register and further information is below:
1 (800) 492- TIPS (8477)