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A bulletin was released from the Army Threat Integration Center issuing a warning to military personnel and their families about the Islamic State, or ISIS, using social media to call on supporters to target military homes.
The bulletin recommends more than a dozen precautions for both home and online profile protection to military personnel, and cites a threatening tweet that calls on ISIS supporters to use the “yellow pages” and social media to find the addresses of military families, and to “show up [at their homes] and slaughter them.”
“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 says . “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.”
This development is further proof that ISIS and its supporters continue to use social media for recruiting purposes and to spread their message across the world.
The White House has responded to this digital threat by creating a social media campaign in December called “Think Again, Turn Away,” which responds quickly to any pro-ISIS arguments and uses YouTube videos to mock ISIS’ “fundamentalist intentions”.
Yet critics say the tactics “may have been effective with al-Qaeda operative”, but ISIS is a separate group, and this responsive program (run by the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications) is thought to be targeting “the wrong demographic”.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Wednesday that the terrorist group is recruiting as many as 3,400 people per month due to its social media efforts.
One such “call to action” came earlier in September , when ISIS used online chat rooms and video content to encourage “lone wolf” attacks in Times Square, and even guides the viewer through the process of making a bomb and gives tips on committing an act of terror.
Though these new social media threats have sparked concern, the Army maintains that protection levels “have not changed” and the recently-released bulletin aims to emphasize safety and security for military families.
“This document is a reminder to stay vigilant,” the Army said in a written statement. “It provides renewed emphasis on force protection measures to ensure the safety and security of our DOD components, defense critical infrastructure, personnel and communities.”
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