November Terror Threat Snapshot

This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security released the November update of their monthly “Terror Threat Snapshot.” This monthly assessment addresses threats to the United States, the West, and the rest of the world posed by ISIS and other Islamist terrorists. Infographics and statistics are used to highlight updates on the terror campaign in Europe, ISIS-linked plots against Western nations, and homegrown terror threats to the United States. Also included are a number of brief synopses of recent attacks carried out by terrorist groups.

“Key points:

  • Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke stated that, ‘The threat is still severe. The terrorist organizations, be it ISIS or al-Qaeda or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that.’ She went on to explain that, ‘They are using small plots, and they are happy to have the small plots. Creating terror is their goal. A bladed weapon attack causes terror and continues to disrupt the world, but that does not mean they have given up on a major aviation plot.’
  • On October 31, 2017 Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, a native of Uzbekistan, drove a rented truck down a bicycle lane in New York City, killing eight and wounding 13. He then exited the vehicle holding a pellet gun and a paintball gun before being shot and arrested by police. A note written by the terrorist was found near the truck, claiming that he had committed the attack in the name of ISIS. Saipov entered the U.S. legally in 2010 under the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery system which allows immigrants from certain countries to attain permanent resident status.
  • The U.S.-led coalition continues to make progress in eliminating ISIS safe havens in Iraq and Syria. The most significant development in October was the liberation of Raqqa, which has served as the group’s de facto capital for the past three years. Despite these territorial losses, ISIS maintains robust propaganda and external operation capabilities, both of which represent a significant threat to the U.S. and our allies.
  • The U.S. has increased military and intelligence operations around the world to combat Islamist extremism. Airstrikes in Afghanistan have increased under a new strategy to ‘more proactively target’ terrorists in the region. Intelligence operations are also becoming more aggressive, and there has been a renewed focus on the Taliban, which has emerged as the primary threat in Afghanistan.”

The House Committee also has an interactive version of the “Terror Threat Snapshot” available here. The HSDL has many more related resources. Visit the Featured Topics for more information on Domestic (U.S.) Terrorism, Global Terrorism, Lone Wolf Terrorism, and Suicide Bombers.