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 Volume 1 Issue 13                                                                                   March 30, 2012
 
Weekly Recap

Following the murder of a Rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France last week, the Jewish School where the attack occurred began receiving anti-Semitic hate mail and phone calls. Mohammed Merah, who claimed responsibility for the attack before being gunned down by French Anti-Terror Police was buried Thursday in a Toulouse cemetary. France has also filed charges against Abdelkader Merah, the killer's brother, who is suspected of complicity in the murders and involvement in terrorist activity.

This week,  SCN has conducted an Execurity Security Briefing at The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, which included a security training program for Jewish Organizations. SCN also conducted a security briefing at The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. We are continously working with Jewish organizations across the nation, conducting security briefings and trainings as well as rolling out the "If you See Something, Say Something" campaign.  Please visit the SCN website for more information.

At this time, SCN advises communities and institutions to remain vigilant, however, according to national law enforcement agencies, there is no imminent or specific threat concerning the American Jewish community.  Nevertheless, there remains a concern about lone-wolves and those that are influenced and/or inspired by extremist ideology. As always, SCN continues to monitor domestic and global events and will issue notifications as warranted.

Paul Goldenberg
National Director
Secure Community Network
 Homeland Security
March 30, 2012
Canada’s Jewish Community Establishes Citizen Security Service to Thwart anti-Semitic Threats

The Canadian Jewish community has decided to establish a citizen security service, for the first time in the country’s history, in light of the growing anti-Semitism in the country and around the world.  The security service will be run by the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, a Canadian Jewish lobby, to protect Jewish citizens and locations frequented by members of the community. The program, called “Community Security Network,” will operate parallel to, and in coordination with, local security services. The pilot program will take place in Toronto, home to the largest Jewish community in Canada of about 200,000 people. Following that, the program will be replicated in all Jewish communities around the country.
March 23, 2012
‘Iran May Activate U.S. Hezbollah Cells After Strike’

A congressional report finds that Hezbollah fundraising cells are rampant across the United States and that the Lebanese organization could activate these cells to carry out lethal terrorist attacks.  The report, compiled under the aegis of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, estimates that there are several thousand sympathetic Hezbollah donors in the country, with operatives probably in the hundreds. 
(Source: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?ID=263098&R=R1)
March 22, 2012
Homeland Security Official Briefs Jewish Leaders After Toulouse

A top U.S. Homeland Security official briefed Jewish groups in the wake of the deadly attack in Toulouse, France.  Bill Flynn, an assistant undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security, spoke to more than 120 leaders in a phone call on March 21, two days after a lone gunman believed to be an Islamist extremist killed a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in the southern French city.  Paul Goldenberg, who heads the Security Communication Network, the group affiliated with the Jewish Federations of North America that organized the call, said he and Flynn reviewed security procedures, resources and protocols. "The most important element here is that Jewish communities are very much remaining open for business, we will do so in a much more vigilant matter," Goldenberg told JTA.
Middle East
March 30, 2012
Mass Rallies in Jordan and Lebanon

Arab countries mark Land Day – Jordanian news sites have reported Friday afternoon that some 20,000 people are participating in a mass procession in Jordan.   The protesters gathered at Jesus's baptism site, and are planning to march towards the border with Israel. Increased security presence was reported in the area.According to reports, participants were yelling "where is the Arab League on Jerusalem?" and waving Jordanian and Palestinian flags alongside signs with anti-Israeli slogans.
(Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4210239,00.html)
March 27, 2012
Beware Land Day

An international array of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, rogue states such as Iran and radical left-wing organizations such as Code Pink have joined forces to make the 36th Land Day potentially the biggest – and most violent – ever.  There will be the usual processions on Friday within the triangle of Lower Galilee towns – Sakhnin, Arrabe and Deir Hanna – which were at the center of the March 30, 1976, riots and clashes between Arab Israelis and security forces that left six Arabs dead and about a hundred injured. The violence was sparked by government plans to build Jewish towns in the Galilee and to expand existing ones such as Karmiel. The protests spread to the Negev, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.  It was the first time Arab Israelis initiated violent political activity at the national level.
(Source: http://http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=263705)
March 27, 2012
Italy: Suicide Attack Plot Thwarted in Afghanistan

The Italian military says it has thwarted plans for suicide bombings against its forces and local authorities in Afghanistan.  Col. Vincenzo Lauro, spokesman for the Italian contingent in the NATO force in Afghanistan, says 10 Afghan suspects were arrested Sunday by Afghan security forces following months of Italian intelligence work.  Lauro says authorities seized explosives meant for car bombs as well as vests and belts packed with explosives for suicide attacks. He says the suspects were believed to be "ready" to attack in various areas.
March 26, 2012
Are we Nearer to an Unconventional Terrorism Attack?

Present events in the Greater Middle East and Pakistan have raised the specter of a far greater and more present danger. After the fall of the Gaddafi regime it became known that he had secretly kept some of his chemical weapons arsenal, in spite of his international obligations. Two sites containing chemical weapons were found in Libya and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United States were notified. In light of the revolutionary events and the growing instability in much of the Greater Middle East and South Asia and the growing threat of failing states losing control on their chemical, biological and nuclear assets, an international effort to monitor, control and foil CBRN terrorist attacks is vital for the security of the international community.
(Source: http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=263536)
March 26, 2012
IDF Girds for Land Day Disturbances

The army is making preparations to deal with demonstrations along Israel's borders in advance of Land Day on Friday. The day commemorates the deaths of six Israeli Arabs on March 30, 1976, in protest of Israeli government land policies.  Over the past several days, the Israel Defense Forces has finalized its instructions concerning circumstances under which soldiers can open fire along the borders and in the territories. It has also been decided that forces will be reinforced to a limited extent in some areas.
(Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-girds-for-land-day-disturbances-1.420685)
March 26, 2012
Shin Bet Security Service Confirms Toulouse Gunman Spent Time in Israel

An investigation by Israeli intelligence revealed on Monday that Mohamed Merah, the gunmen responsible for last week’s Toulouse shootings, spent time in Israel and Palestinian territories over a year and a half ago.  According to the Shin Bet, Merah entered Israel after crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan in September 2010. He was investigated by the Shin Bet. The investigation did not bring up any suspicious information, and he was allowed to enter the country.
(Source:http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/shin-bet-security-service-confirms-toulouse-gunman-spent-time-in-israel-1.420810)
March 24, 2012
‘Iran Plotted Terror Attack on Israeli Ship in Suez’

Iran plotted to carry out a terror attack on an Israeli ship as it passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal, a report in the Egyptian Al-Ahram weekly claimed on Friday.  According to the report, the Egyptian terror operatives received instructions and funds from Iranian handlers ahead of the planned attack.  Egyptian authorities made no official comment on the report by Saturday night.  The suspects allegedly planned to recruit a third member to their cell, and were supposed to receive 50 million Egyptian pounds to carry out the plan.  If confirmed, the plot could strain ties between Iran and Egypt, which is in the midst of a political transformation.
(Source: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=263219)
March 26, 2012
Poll: Most Jewish Israelis say Iran Strike Less risky than Nuclear Threat

Nearly two-thirds of Jewish Israelis believe that attacking Iran to stop its nuclear program would be less harmful to Israel than living under the shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb, a new survey shows.  The poll, conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, showed that 65 percent of those asked agreed with the claim that the price Israel would have to pay for living with the threat of an Iranian bomb would be greater than the price it would pay for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. Only 26 percent disagreed with this claim, with nine percent saying they weren't sure.
 International News
March 30, 2012
Toulouse School Receiving Hate Mail Since Attack

The Jewish school in France where a gunman killed three children and a teacher has received a rash of anti-Semitic hate mail and phone calls since the attack. The Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse complained to the local prosecutor about the harassing mail and phone calls, the French news agency AFP reported. Prosecutor Michel Valet said March 28 that he had ordered a police investigation into the incidents. The school's e-mail system reportedly filled up with messages calling for the murder of Jews and linking the attack to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to AFP.
(Source: http://www.jewishaz.com/issues/story.mv?120330+roundup)
March 29, 2012
Mohammed Merah, Toulouse Shooter, Buried

The gunman who claimed responsibility for France's worst terror attacks in years was buried Thursday in a Toulouse cemetery, ending a tortured debate over what to do with the body of a man the president called a "monster."  Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman, was buried Thursday in the Muslim section of a cemetery in the Toulouse neighborhood of Cornebarrieu. About 20 men attended the ceremony, hiding their faces from reporters gathered outside.
(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/mohammed-merah-buried_n_1388309.html)
March 28, 2012
Vigilance Call after French Jews Hit by new Attacks

Teenagers punched the boy, 12, in the back of the head and beat him, calling him a "dirty Jew" in the attack near a Jewish school in south-eastern Paris.  Jean-Paul Amoyelle, head of the Ozar Hatorah network of Jewish schools in France, said he feared further attacks.  The Jewish school attacked in Toulouse has reportedly received hate mail. The French authorities are investigating after anti-Semitic emails were sent to the school after the massacre on 19 March, when Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead three small children and a teacher, as well as seriously wounding a schoolboy.
(Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17534308)
See Also: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/youths-reciting-anti-semitic-slogans-attack-jewish-boy-near-paris-school-1.421125
March 27, 2012
Jewish Man Hammered to Death in Morocco

Police are investigating whether the murder of a Jewish man in Morocco was nationalistic or criminally motivated.  The victim, identified as Benjamin, was struck in the head repeatedly by a hammer on Monday in the northern city of Fez, according to reports citing Moroccan media. The attacker fled the scene and has not been captured, according to reports.
March 27, 2012
Source: Killer Didn’t Send French Attacks Video

A video apparently showing a Muslim gunman's attacks on soldiers and a Jewish school was sent to the Al-Jazeera news network — but not by him, French police said Tuesday, raising the specter of a possible accomplice.  Al-Jazeera on Tuesday decided not to air a video that seems to have been filmed from the killer's point of view and includes the cries of his victims. The decision came after President Nicolas Sarkozy asked the network not to broadcast it.
(Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/source-killer-didnt-send-1399443.html)
March 27, 2012
Summit Seeks to Deter Nuclear-Armed Terrorism

Material that can be used to make nuclear bombs is stored in scores of buildings spread across dozens of countries. If even a fraction of it fell into the hands of terrorists, it could be disastrous.  Nearly 60 world leaders who gathered Tuesday in Seoul for a nuclear security summit agreed to work on securing and accounting for all nuclear material by 2014. But widespread fear lingers about the safety of nuclear material in countries including former Soviet states, Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and India.
March 26, 2012
Terrorists Linked to Al Qaeda ‘Plotting Cyanide Hand-Cream Attack’ as MI5 Mounts Biggest Operation Since Second World War

Terrorists linked to Al Qaeda are plotting a cyanide attack during the London Olympics it has been claimed.  It comes as it has emerged every single MI5 agent will be deployed during the event to keep the public safe.  Details of the alleged lethal plot were posted on a website with links to six terrorists involved in the infamous terror group.
March 25, 2012
France Files Charges against Jewish School Gunman’s Brother

An official from the prosecutor's office says the preliminary charges were handed to Abdelkader Merah on Sunday. He is suspected of complicity to murders and thefts and involvement in a terrorist enterprise.  Preliminary charges under French law mean there is strong reason to suspect a crime was committed but allow magistrates more time to investigate.
March 25, 2012
Official: No Sign French Suspect had Al-Qaeda Ties

Investigators have found no signs the suspected gunman behind a deadly string of attacks in southern France was under orders from al-Qaida or any militant group, a top French official said Friday — disputing Mohamed Merah's claim of terrorist ties before he died in a shootout with commandos.  France's prime minister and other officials have been fending off suggestions that anti-terrorism authorities failed to adequately monitor the 23-year-old Merah, who had been known to them for years before he carried out three deadly shooting attacks this month.
March 22, 2012
Mohammed Merah, Face of the New Terrorism

Mathieu Guidere, an Islamic studies professor at the University of Toulouse II, warned in a recent book, “The New Terrorists,” that unfocused youths such as Merah have become a more immediate terrorist threat in recent years than known groups such as al-Qaeda. They can more easily stay under the radar, Guidere argued, absorbing jihadist motivation and techniques on the Internet without heeding a chain of command.
In hours of negotiations during the standoff at his apartment, Merah followed the pattern: He invoked al-Qaeda as his inspiration, police said, but gave no indication he was following anybody’s orders or working as part of a larger group. At the same time, said Molins, the prosecutor, police were seeking clues to how the unemployed Merah could afford his rented car, his two automatic rifles, his several pistols and his trips to Afghanistan.
 Risk Management
March 24, 2012
UK Warns of Nuclear Risk Ahead of Seoul Summit

The British government released its first comprehensive National Counter-Proliferation Strategy, detailing the risks from the spread such weapons and what Britain and other countries can do to stop it. It came out days before leaders from more than 50 countries, including U.S. President Barack Obama, gather in Seoul, South Korea, for a March 26-27 nuclear security summit focusing on measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities and to prevent illicit trafficking.
(Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/nuclear-britain-idINDEE82M0N320120323)
 Crime and Safety
March 28, 2012
Anti-Semitic Graffiti Outside Synagogue

A local Jewish leader calls the spray-painting of the words “Jews murder” outside a synagogue in the Lake View neighborhood “a sad reminder of the persistence of anti-Semitism.”  Police said they were notified of the graffiti on the Anshe Emet synagogue in the 3700 block of North Broadway about 6 a.m. Wednesday.
March 27, 2012
Cops Probe Swastika Hate Crime in Oceanside

Detectives are looking for whoever scratched a swastika into a car parked at an Oceanside school, Nassau police said Tuesday.  The criminal mischief incident is being treated as a bias crime, and it happened 7:30 a.m. Monday at the Oceanside School #5 on Oceanside Road, police said.
March 24, 2012
France: Dozens of Jewish Graves Desecrated

Over 30 Jewish graves were vandalized in a cemetery in the city of Nice in southern France, media outlets reported Saturday, five days after three schoolchildren and a rabbi were murdered in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse.  According to reports, the vandals tore off 22 Stars of David that were affixed on candle lamps built into the tombstones. They also tried to tear out nine other Stars of David, but only managed to twist them. In addition, four candle lamps were missing.
(Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4207206,00.html)
March 24, 2012
Man Arrested at Sacramento Airport with 4 Loaded Guns

A Montana man was arrested after he tried to bring four loaded guns through a security checkpoint at a Sacramento, California, airport and is being held without bail, the sheriff's office said on Saturday.  The suspect, Harold Waller, 45, was arrested on Thursday afternoon at Sacramento International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers at a checkpoint found a firearm inside a carry-on bag, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.  Further checks showed Waller was carrying a loaded handgun and had three loaded firearms in his carry-on bags, it said.  Sheriff's deputies searched his car at an off-site parking lot and turned up eight more firearms, several of them loaded.
(Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46843472/ns/travel-news/#.T3CGaMUV2c8)
March 22, 2012
New Version Emerges of NJ Synagogue Attack Suspect

A southern New Jersey prosecutor says an elementary school wasn't in danger from a teenager charged with firebomb attacks on synagogues in northern New Jersey.  Nineteen-year-old Aakash Dalal faces arson, bias intimidation and other charges in the synagogue attacks he allegedly planned with another teen in Bergen County.  Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said Thursday the investigation revealed Dalal found the plans in a dumpster near his home and "had no intentions to target the school."
(Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/new-version-emerges-of-nj-synagogue-attack-suspect/article_61932c09-3ee7-5dbe-be8c-c2d92592a177.html#ixzz1qEYWbEIr)
Travel and Personal Security
March 29, 2012
State Department Issues Travel Alert for Egypt

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel alert on Thursday warning Americans traveling to and living in Egypt of  "the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest."  The alert comes in advance of Egypt's first round of presidential elections May 23 and 24, with a possible second round in mid June. Egypt's next president is scheduled to take office by June 30, at the latest. The warning says "political rallies and demonstrations are likely to occur in the period leading up to and following the elections and during the drafting of a new constitution."
March 28, 2012
U.S. Warns Its Citizens Against Travel To Yemen

The U.S. State Department has urged American citizens not to travel to Yemen in the wake of the high security threat level in that country due to terrorist activities and civil unrest.  In a Travel Warning update issued on Tuesday, U.S. citizens currently in Yemen have been advised to depart. Since September last year, the number of U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa has been reduced. The State Department said its ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.
 Cybersecurity
March 27, 2012
U.S. Outgunned in Hacker War

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation's efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: "We're not winning," he said.  Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is "unsustainable.'' Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them, he said.
Security Tip of the Week
School Safety
Tragic school shootings in which multiple students or faculty have been killed or injured in a single event have heightened the need for crisis and emergency preparedness. As demonstrated by the recent event in Toulouse, France tragedy can strike any school in any location and remind us that although these incidents are isolated events, schools remain vulnerable and are often the target of violent attacks. Therefore, all schools should embrace the positive impact that effective comprehensive school safety plans, training and exercises can have on their efforts to provide safe school environments that are conducive to learning and which positively affect student performance.  The SCN website has a section dedicated t
o School Safety which includes a plethora of information on effective preventive strategies, preparedness, and recovery measures.  Safety is not a matter of whether you are going to face a crisis, but how you are going to handle the crisis when it occurs.
Link of the Week
Homeland Security Official Briefs Jewish Leaders After Toulouse
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/03/22/3092298/homeland-security-official-briefs-jewish-leaders-after-toulouse
 
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 Secure Community Network (SCN) is the national non-profit homeland security initiative of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

 




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