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Theater shooting highlights difficulties with lone offenders and ‘soft targets,’ said NJ fusion center

New Jersey ROIC

An incident assessment issued by the New Jersey intelligence fusion center in the hours after the mass shooting in Colorado showed that although law enforcement didn’t believe terrorism was involved, it illustrated the pernicious security difficulties with lone shooters and soft targets.

An incident assessment posted by the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) on July 20 following the attack, said the “greatest threat facing security officials today is that of the Lone Offender or Homegrown Violent Extremist,” because of their focus on simple plots with short operational cycles that give law enforcement little time to detect and disrupt them.

New Jersey's ROIC the state's hub for intelligence and receives information and personnel from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, regional partners like the NYPD and neighboring state police; state agencies; county, municipal, and non-governmental partners. It is the command center for all state-led emergency response operations, including natural disasters, chemical or nuclear emergencies, and terror alerts

The deadly Colorado attack, said the assessment, which was made available on the Public Intelligence Web site, “also shows the inherent vulnerability of traditionally ‘soft targets’ in the commercial sector which includes casinos/hotels, malls, shopping centers, sports and entertainment venues, schools (including Faith Based), and hospitals.”

“The potential terrorist threat to the commercial sector in New Jersey is high and an incident such as this illustrates the inherent vulnerability of soft targets throughout the state,” it said. It warned law enforcement for possible copycat attacks.