Oct. 3, 2014 – Defense News
Soldiers and their families should be warned the Islamic State is calling on its followers in the United States to use social media sites to “find the addresses of service members, show up [at their homes] and slaughter them,” according to the Army Threat Integration Center.
“ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] has called on lone offenders in the U.S. to use the “yellow pages,” social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to find the addresses,” states the ARTIC special assessment published Sept. 25.
The warning is “based on a law enforcement bulletin citing a jihadist tweet,” ARTIC states.
After U.S. began air strikes in Iraq in August and Syria in late September, IS supporters launched a Twitter campaign threatening to retaliate with violence in the U.S., according to the report.
“A recent audio message from an ISIL spokesman called, for the first time, for lone offender attacks in the Homeland in retaliation for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria,” the ARTIC report states. “According to the U.S. Government as many as 300 Americans are fighting with ISIL. ... There is concern that these Americans could return to the U.S. and commit attacks using the skills they learned overseas.”
Even before the U.S. airstrikes began, ARTIC said, Twitter posts showed Islamic State supporters in front of the White House and other spots in the U.S. states with the message “We are in your state, We are in your cities, We are in your streets” and “we are here #america near our #target…sooooooooooooon.”
The attacks may be “small scale” and targeting individuals with little advance planning or advance warning, rather than large-scale terrorist events, the report cautioned.
That means it’s important to watch out for any signs of surveillance or planned attack, and to take precautions online and particularly on social media, according to ARTIC, which advises taking these steps:
Social media precautions
■Think before you post and assume everyone in the world will be able to see what you are posting, or tweeting, even if the site limits your posts to your friends and family.
■Limit who can view your social media sites; but do not trust these settings as absolute.
■Avoid posting your home or work address and phone numbers; and any government or military affiliation.
■Avoid providing detailed accounts of your day (e.g., when you leave for or return from work).
■Never allow applications to geolocate your location.
■Always lock doors, windows and garages.
■Make sure home entrances are well-lighted, and minimize bushes where intruders can hide before their ambush.
■Use the peephole before opening the door to anyone. Don’t use the chain latch to open the door part-way. Don’t open the door to solicitors or strangers.
■Install solid-core doors, heavy-duty locks and window security systems.
■Establish a safe haven.
■Hold a family meeting to work out home security plans.
What to watch for
■Unusual interest in sensitive information about security measures, personnel, entry points, peak days/hours of operation, and access controls such as alarms or locks.
■Someone engaging in overtly suspicious actions to provoke and observe responses by public safety personnel.
■Discreet use of cameras or video recorders, sketching, or note-taking consistent with surveillance.
■Observation of, or questions about facility air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems.
■Repeated visits by the same subjects, including attempts to disguise appearance from visit to visit.
■Attempted or unauthorized access to rooftops or other sensitive areas.
■Observation of or unusual questions about security measures, such as staffing, barriers, restricted areas, cameras, and intrusion detection systems.
■Multiple false alarms or fictitious emergency calls to the same locations or similar venues.
■Unusual interest in speaking with building maintenance personnel.
■Observation of security reaction drills or procedures.
■Attention to or avoidance of surveillance cameras.
■Garments not appropriate for weather/seasons.
If you notice suspicious activity, report it to the appropriate authorities, ARTIC says. Report criminal threat information and suspicious activity to local law enforcement authorities and your chain of command.
According to ARTIC, its special assessment was a collaborative effort with Army CID Command Intelligence Operation Center (CIOC), and the Army CI Center (ACIC), and “does not represent the coordinated views of the U.S. Army.”