In the strongest warning to US Military to date, the FBI has issued a warning that homegrown terror is real as ISIS may be watching and attempting to identify active service members and veterans. In a bulletin released overnight, the FBI warns service members about the latest threat.
“The FBI and DHS recommend that current and former members of the military review their online social media accounts for any information that might serve to attract the attention of ISIL [ISIS] and its supporters. Individuals overseas are spotting and assessing individuals in the U.S., based on their social media postings in support of the group.”
ISIS and ISIS sympathizers in the US are growing, the FBI says. Any information that could attract the attention of extremists – military-related pictures, locations, identities of family members – should be removed in wake of the terrorist attacks in Canada by ISIS last month that targeted uniformed soldiers. Officials said they fear copycat attacks based on what happened in Canada, when the Canadian soldiers were killed in two separate incidents by young men who claimed they were ISIS followers.
Some members of the US military state that they have already deactivated their accounts to protect themselves and their families. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told ABC News the military isn’t saying service members should stop using social media altogether, but just to be careful when they do.
Many are claiming this is the “strongest warning” to US military, not typical of other US jihad warnings. While the FBI has not released any information that they know of an imminent threat, the warning released overnight is the most specific to date, telling military personnel that they and their families are at risk for homegrown terror from ISIS followers.
Military personnel are routinely warned to not post public “countdown to deployments” on Facebook, pictures of deployed personnel, photos that would identify the location of themselves, their spouses or children, or anything that may identify them as military members.
However, ISIS seems to be especially interested in social media and locating victims as well as ISIS sympathizers who may be willing to carry out attacks on US soil.
“We certainly do know that they [ISIS] monitor social media. I think there’s a general understanding here that this is an environment that this particular enemy has proven adept at using and we don’t want to give them any more advantage than they’re already trying to gain.”