Terrorist threats by ISIS against "The Oldest Fourth of July Parade West of the Mississippi" in Southern California's "Surf City", Huntington Beach, led to widespread fears that a very credible terrorist threat was aimed at the hundreds of thousands of people spending their Fourth of July in the popular beach town.
Across the U.S., going into the 2015 Fourth of July weekend, non-specific ISIS terrorist threats aimed at U.S. Fourth of July celebrations and events were widely reported, with officials urging all Americans to take the terrorist threats in stride, but at the same time to be vigilant and to report anything that just "didn't seem right."
And in the wake of the terrorist shootings in Tunisia, the threat of terrorist acts, particularly by "lone wolf" type terrorists inspired by ISIS to carry out terrorist attacks like that of the Tsarnaev brothers at the Boston Marathon, made any terrorist threats and the possibility of Fourth of July terrorist attacks all too real.
So when a text alleged to be from a Huntington Beach Fire Chief to his son began to circulate via social media, the terrorist threats against the parade contained therein became all too real as well.
Mirroring the type of terrorist threats that have been being widely reported throughout the media, the terrorist threats text from the supposed Huntington Beach Fire Chief to his son was further bolstered and made more authentic, by the message, such as that below, accompanying the forwarded "ISIS" terrorist threats text.
However, the Huntington Beach Police Department made clear in a post to their Facebook page that the rumors of terrorist threats weren't based on fact, and that Surf City's historical "Oldest Parade West of the Mississippi" had been tagged with the bogus terrorist threats by unknown people for unknown reasons.
At the same time, the Huntington Beach Police Department also acknowledged that potential terrorist activity and threats are today's reality and people should have a good time while also being "vigilant as always", and "(reporting) any suspicious activity."
"False Information spreading on Social Media... We are aware of the (text) and social media information currently being circulated. The information contained in them is not accurate. We do not have ANY threat on the Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade or activities. There is a heightened alert Nationwide because of recent terror activity around the World but nothing is specific to HB. We have been in contact with our Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners and have taken many precautions as we do with all significant events. We believe people should be vigilant as always, report any suspicious activity, and enjoy the holiday weekend."
[Images via HBPD Facebook and Google Images]