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Social media-savvy Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and propagandists are overwhelming U.S. investigators trying to keep up with the jihadist plots and threats that, according to an ominous bulletin, suggest “military bases, locations, and events could be targeted in the near-term,” Fox News reports.
The six-page bulletin obtained by Fox News warns that law enforcement and military personnel should be wary at upcoming national holidays and military events due to the “heightened threat of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
ISIL is another name used to describe the ISIS militants.
The bulletin was sent from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center one day before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Fox News reports.
And though the bulletin noted there had been no “credible” information on attacks coordinated to occur on federal holidays, it warned: “We are aware of recent information suggesting U.S. military bases, locations, and events could be targeted in the near-term,” Fox News reports.
Fox News also reports a list of “observable behaviors” and also points to “insider threats,” and warns against people asking “unusual questions” about building maintenance or security procedures.
But most chillingly, the bulletin talks about the crush of social media posts by pro-ISIS users and its challenge to analysts and investigators.
“The large number of social media postings by U.S.-based ISIL supporters is challenging for investigators in differentiating those supporters focused only on promoting pro-ISIL rhetoric, which may be protected speech, [versus] detecting those prepared to engage in violence on the group’s behalf,” the bulletin said, Fox News reports.
The bulletin additionally cautions that the “reach and popularity” of social media platforms has made it easier for U.S.-based extremists to “identify and connect” with foreign terrorist organizations, which can “potentially direct” them, Fox News reports.
According to the bulletin, the FBI estimates there are “hundreds, possibly thousands” of people in the United States getting “recruitment overtures or directives to attack the United States,” and ISIS is using social media in “unprecedented ways” to encourage attacks in the United States, Fox News reports.
“Given the recent uptick in social media usage by violent extremists, we continue to advise current and former U.S. government employees and military personnel to actively review their online social media accounts for any information that could attract the attention of violent extremists and routinely exercise operational security in their interactions online,” the bulletin warns.