Over 15,000 Americans are on Islamic State kill lists, a terrifying fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation are well aware of, but have chosen to not to tell the people involved, a lawmaker revealed Tuesday. The lawmaker called on the FBI to explain its procedures and obligations towards contacting potential targets, Fox News is reporting.
Several hit lists have appeared online that include home addresses and phone numbers.
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, in a letter to the Director of the FBI James Comey, expressed his concerns.
“There shouldn’t be any questions in the minds of FBI officials that Americans deserve to know if they are on an ISIS hit list.”
— Roll Call (@rollcall) June 17, 2016
In April, media reports revealed that thousands of New Yorkers had appeared on a list of “potential targets” and were contacted by the NYPD. A woman who was contacted by police said that she was surprised that her name was on a list and had been told by police to report anything out of the ordinary, including credit card and banking irregularities, according to WABC (New York).
However, Grassley has argued that other police departments around the country have not followed suit, and an overwhelming majority of Americans have no idea their personal information is being circulated by ISIS.
He criticized the efforts of the FBI, saying, “These alleged failures are alarming, given the FBI’s stated commitment to “work closely with federal, state and local partners to keep the public informed of potential threats.”
Instead of commenting on the report, the FBI released a general statement saying it “routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) June 30, 2016
John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security and presently a professor at Rutgers University, said the task of informing thousands of people that they were on ISIS’ radar was simply too much for the resources available to the agency. Cohen added that because of this, it was ultimately up to the agency to determine who was really at risk and use their limited resources to thwart the threat.
In October 2014, U.S. military personnel were sent a circulated bulletin warning that Islamic State hackers were scraping social media information on their families and telling their supporters to “show up and slaughter them,” according to the Daily Mail. ISIS has been publishing numerous kill lists on encrypted websites calling for so-called “lone wolf terrorists,” radicalized followers, and sleeper cells to attack Americans.
According to reports, ISIS hackers between March and May have released not more than eight kill lists. Four days before the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, another 8,300 names were released, according to the Daily Caller.
After obtaining copies of the hit lists, Circa News decided to investigate how many people were notified about the impending threats. In Texas, 24 people were called on the phone, and 22 of them had no idea that their lives might be in danger. A Jewish woman living in Austin was upset by the news, saying that “we live in a different world and the Jewish community is the number one target of these radicals.” Those who said they were informed that their lives might be in danger still faulted the revelation, saying that they were not given further details on how to protect themselves.
When ISIS began releasing these hit lists, they were mainly targeting military personnel and their families — now they include just about anyone. A source at the FBI has said it was crucial not to cause panic and that the agency was on top of the situation, adding that no one on the list had been attacked. But this has done little to comfort those who now live in fear that they might be the next victim of the dreaded terror group.
Do you think the FBI should warn all Americans who are on ISIS kill lists?
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