Security patrols were increased at Los Angeles International Airport and other airports across Southern California after a possible ISIS threat was reported. Although no specific threat was cited, the FBI was investigating possible threats in both Los Angeles and cities across Southern California, as well as the rest of the country. It is currently unclear to investigators whether this is a new threat or part of a previous threat made by ISIS against Americans.
Officials were also investigating the possibility of “lone wolf” attacks against both police officers and military personnel. So far, 39 known American citizens have tried to join the fight with ISIS in Iraq and Syria and were detained by the government as part of the sweep to prevent possible terrorist attacks. Officials are concerned individuals who are sympathetic to ISIS may try to commit the attacks and target individual military personnel or police.
Although no specifics were given on measures taken to prevent any further attacks, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman stated the added security measures were part of an overall initiative to prevent possible future attacks throughout the U.S. from a possible ISIS threat, according to Daily Mail UK.
“Over the last few months, we have made a number of security adjustments, including enhanced screening at select overseas airports and increasing random searches of passengers and carry-on luggage on flights inbound to the US, reflecting an evolving threat picture.”
ISIS has made many threats in the past, including a threat to execute 150 Christian hostages if the air strikes in Syria didn’t stop. Information on the potential ISIS threat was gathered through intercepted chatter and other intelligence information agencies collected.
Due to the ongoing nature of the potential ISIS threat, security at federal facilities was beefed up in February, and the Department of Homeland Security official said additional layers of security had been added to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, the system used for online check in to flights, reported CNN.
“The department has conducted significant outreach efforts… with state and local law enforcement partners regarding these trends and engaging in a series of meetings and events with local community leaders across the country to counter violent extremism.”
The potential ISIS threat comes at a time when organizations like Boco Haram in Nigeria are promising to unite with ISIS to increase the number of terrorist attacks against the enemies of ISIS. Although Boco Haram successfully kidnapped over the 200 Chibok girls last year, they are currently on the run after being defeated by Chad, Niger and Nigerian troops and South African private security firms.
[Photo credit ABC News]