Pentagon boosts alert level at military bases following ISIS threats

American soldiers walk around at the Taji base complex which hosts Iraqi and US troops and is located thirty kilometres north of the capital Baghdad on December 29, 2014. (AFP Photo)
The US military has increased the security level at US military bases due to unspecific warnings involving the radical Islamic State terrorist group. The alert level is now at its highest since the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The order to boost the security level on US military bases to “Bravo” – the third of five levels of alert - was ordered by Admiral William Gortney, head of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which commands all military installations on American territory.

The move comes just hours after FBI Director James Comey spoke out on the increasing threat of jihadist attacks being carried out on US soil.

Comey said Thursday there are "hundreds, maybe thousands" of individuals in the United States who are being inspired via social media platforms to carry out acts of violence on American targets.

"It's like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying 'Kill, kill, kill,''' Comey told reporters Thursday.

"We have a general concern, obviously, that ISIL is focusing on the uniformed military and law enforcement."

The Pentagon has come around to the view that IS sympathizers residing in the United States present enough of a risk to warrant boosting the security level.


A statement released by the Department of Defense said they share the “same concern about the potential threat posed by homegrown violent extremists, as discussed publicly by Director Comey and others."

US military brass said the change is “not tied to a specific, credible threat,” though “recent events have led us to recognize the need to take prudent steps.”

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Although Davis refrained from outlining exactly what new security measures would be enforced, he said US military bases and recruitment centers “are going to have increased vigilance and force protection.”

He added: “We seek to be unpredictable."

A Pentagon statement described the heightened security level as a means of protecting US military personnel.

“The USNORTHCOM Commander raised the baseline Force Protection Condition as a prudent measure to remind installation commanders at all levels within the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility to ensure increased vigilance and safeguarding of all DOD personnel, installations and facilities,” the statement said. “This change, in addition to random drills or exercises, is a mean to ensure that we effectively execute our force protection mission."

In March, a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division allegedly posted the names, photos, and home addresses of 100 US military personnel, urging IS followers to kill them.

The US military members' personal data was apparently not obtained through hacks on government servers, despite claims by the Islamic State, a Defense Department official told the New York Times, because personal information allegedly collected by ISIS "could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media."

Nevertheless, it looks like the US military is taking the threats seriously.