An Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) special assessment on potential threats by the ISLAMIC State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) says that the terrorist organization is urging its supporters to use seek out residences of U.S. service members and “show up [at their homes] and slaughter them.” The assessment advises military members and their families how to appropriately protect themselves in their homes and online.
While ARTIC states that the intel community has not found “any corroborative or definitive extremists plots” focused against U.S. military members, civilians, and their families, ARTIC is concerned that ISIL’s rhetoric on social media platforms like Twitter and FaceBook may trigger an attack.
“Additionally, a recent audio message from an ISIL spokesman called, for the first time, for lone offender attacks in the Homeland in retaliation for US military operations in Iraq and Syria,” the assessment says.
ISIL has threatened violence against the United States and US interests overseas in response to ongoing counter-terrorism pressure. Following the start of US air strikes in Iraq in early August 2014, and then Syria in late September 2014, ISIL supporters launched a Twitter campaign threatening retaliatory violence against the United States.
Federal authorities are investigating any terror links that could be connected to suspect Alton Nolen who was allegedly involved in the beheading of an Oklahoma woman. Additionally, the recent murder of New Jersey teenager Brandon Tevlin is also under investigation for any terrorist ties as well.
ARTIC points out that on September 22 an ISIL spokesman told followers to attack the U.S, France and other countries that joined the US-led coalition against the group. According to a law enforcement bulletin citing a jihadist tweet, ISIL has called on lone offenders in the US to use the “yellow pages,” social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to seek out addresses of service members and “show up [at their homes] and slaughter them.”
The US Government says as many as 300 Americans are fighting with ISIL. According to ARTIC, “This is an increase from an initial estimate of 100. There is concern that these Americans could return to the US and commit attacks using the skills they learned overseas.”
ARTIC adds, “Efforts are being made to track these foreign fighters, however, those not being tracked by law enforcement may be able to reenter the US without raising suspicions.”
Last Monday, a senior Obama Administration official said that some Americans that fought alongside ISIL have returned to the United States.
ARTIC notes, “Prior to the initiation of US airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq, Twitter posts were disseminated depicting ISIL supporters in front of the White House in Washington, DC and the Old Republic Building in Chicago,” the assessment remarks. “These tweets stated ‘We are in your state, We are in your cities, We are in your streets.’ Another tweet added “we are here #america near our #target…sooooooooooooon.”