The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has released a new terrorism threat assessment report.

“We’re really looking at the homegrown violent extremist as our No. 1 highest threat,” said Jared Maples, the state's Homeland Security director.

“One of the challenges with homegrown violent extremists and what makes them such a threat is they’re not affiliated directly with those groups they’re inspired by. It makes them very difficult to detect and deter.”

He said several domestic terror groups are also on their radar.

“Ideologies like anarchist extremists and militia extremists, sovereign citizens, white supremacists, anti-Semitic," he said. “A lot of those domestic terrorism issues have really risen to the forefront over the past calendar year and we anticipate continuing of being a threat.”

And there are concerns about overseas groups, including Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Maples would not discuss specific plots that posed a threat to the Garden State but said that “we have to be very cautious in New Jersey because we sit at kind of the crossroads of the world in between the New York and Philadelphia transportation and financial sector. We have a lot of responsibility.”

He said the being vigilant is important.

“We feel it’s vital to get this information out to the public and making them aware, to the best degree that we can possible, of what the threats are that we see them to New Jersey and reminding them that if they see something, say something.”

Maples said if any Jersey resident ever thinks something looks or seems odd, they should call 911, 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ, or you can email

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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