Pentagon warns employees about Islamic State threats

The Pentagon January 2008. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Military personnel and civilians who work in the Pentagon could be targeted by the Islamic State group or other terrorists, the building’s internal security agency is warning employees in a new memo distributed late last week.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency directed security managers to remind Pentagon employees about how they can avoid standing out to terrorists, said agency spokesman Christopher Layman.

“We disseminated this advisory, not because of a specific threat, but as a reminder for Pentagon employees to be vigilant at home, at work, during travel and in their communities, by using individual protective measures,” Layman told Military Times on Wednesday.

However, the Oct. 24 memo comes on the heels of recent attacks in other countries, including Canada, where two soldiers were killed in separate incidents within a week.

“Recent threats, revealed through various intelligence and law enforcement sources, indicate that terrorists, directed or inspired by the Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), view U.S. military members and law enforcement officers as legitimate targets for attacks,” according to the memo, which was provided to Military Times. “Targets in recent ISIL-linked terrorist plots included places of public gatherings, government entities, mass transit nodes, and religious facilities. Attacks would most likely involve edged weapons, small arms, or improvised explosive devices, and could be perpetrated with little-or-no advanced warning. In light of these threats and recent attacks in the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, remaining vigilant is paramount.”

The memo advises against posting “anything on social media opposing terrorist groups or organizations.” It also calls on Pentagon employees to be careful about sharing personal information on social media, to lock down their social media accounts and change passwords regularly; and not to post anything online that affiliates them with the military or law enforcement.

The memo reminds Pentagon employees to conceal any Defense Department, military or law enforcement badges, vehicle decals and other forms of identification while in public, to take different routes to work and to be on guard when in crowds.

“These are all things that Pentagon employees get throughout the year in different training anyway,” Layman said. “So really, it’s just a reminder of those things.”

The Washington Times first reported about the memo on Wednesday

By Jeff Schogol (Air Force Times)


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