A bulletin recently issued by Army intelligence officials warns families of U.S. military personnel to be aware of their surroundings, after social media posts from Islamic State militants threatened attacks on military families living in the U.S. and abroad.
Fox News reports that the Islamic State threats include encouragement for followers to review social media information to find home addresses for military personnel and “show up (at their homes) and slaughter them.”
The threat assessment bulletin came from the Army Threat Integration Center, or ARTIC, and was dated Sept. 23.
“Given the continued rhetoric being issued by ISIL's media services and supporters through various social media platforms the ARTIC is concerned of the possibility of an attack,” the bulletin reads. “Soldiers, Government Civilians and Family Members are reminded to be vigilant of their surroundings and report suspicious activities to their respective military or local law enforcement.”
ISIL, which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is an acronym commonly used by the U.S. government to refer to the Islamic State.
Unnamed intelligence officials told Bloomberg News the public social media threats, such as those acknowledged in the document, were not nearly as troubling as threats or information found hidden deep in jihadist websites.
Army spokesman Matthew Bourke said the Army was “not adjusting force protection levels” at bases at home or abroad in response to the bulletin.
The document, however, does suggest that families have some reason for concern. As many as 300 Americans have left the country to fight with the Islamic State, ARTIC claims, adding that all of those individuals can’t necessarily be tracked by law enforcement officials.
“There is a concern that these Americans could return to the U.S. and commit attacks using the skills they learned overseas,” the bulletin says. “Efforts are being made to track these foreign fighters, however those not being tracked by law enforcement may be able to re-enter the U.S. without raising suspicions.”
“Think before you post” the bulletin reads, reminding military personnel and their families to not leave information online that could reveal something like a home address. The document reminds families to take basic precautions like locking the doors and windows of their homes at night.
Bourke said the bulletin was “a reminder to stay vigilant, as the safety of Army personnel and families are a top priority.”