ISIS is urging its followers to help it expand its campaign of beheadings that it has conducted on such a big scale and with such brutality that it’s become the 21st century incarnation of the Nazis. According to Reuters, the Islamic State is calling on its backers to kill 100 U.. military personnel but military official suggest the info ISIS is giving out is available on the Internet anyway.
But that isn’t the point. It’s now urging its followers to pick up the knife or sword and start hacking, going after military people — and most likely their families as well — in the United States. It even uses the word “hacking.”
Islamic State has posted online what it says are the names, U.S. addresses and photos of 100 American military service members, and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them.
The Pentagon said after the information was posted on the Internet that it was investigating the matter. “I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday.
Yes, there is always a chance it is not “official,” but would someone who considers him/herself an ISIS supporter take time to verify it? And, to be sure, members of the military (and ex members as well) are on the alert these days:
“We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC (operations security) and force protection procedures,” the official added.
In the posting, a group referring to itself as the “Islamic State Hacking Division” wrote in English that it had hacked several military servers, databases and emails and made public the information on 100 members of the U.S. military so that “lone wolf” attackers can kill them.
The New York Times reported that it did not look like the information had been hacked from U.S. government servers and quoted an unnamed Defense Department official as saying most of the information could be found in public records, residential address search sites and social media.
The Times quoted officials as saying the list appeared to have been drawn from personnel mentioned in news articles about air strikes on Islamic State. The group’s forces control parts of Syria and Iraq and have been targeted in U.S.-led air strikes.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has issued a warning to its members to be careful:
The US Marine Corps on Sunday urged “vigilance” after a group claiming to be Islamic State hackers published what they said were the names and addresses of 100 military personnel and urged supporters to kill them.
The warning came after a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division posted information about members of the air force, army and navy, including photos and ranks, on the Internet, according to monitoring group SITE Intelligence.
The US Marine Corps said it was visiting all affected staff, and urged caution online.
“Vigilance and force protection considerations remain a priority for commanders and their personnel,” US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell said in a statement, adding that the threat remained “unverified”.
“It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information.”
The Pentagon regularly tells service members to be careful about what they post online.
….NATO commander Philip Breedlove called the publication an attempt by IS to divert attention from military setbacks.
“What we have seen across the last several months is that every time they take a defeat on the battlefield, or every time they are under great pressure on the battlefield, they come out with kind of some big splash like this,” he said at a conference in Brussels.
“This caliphate, I think, is under great pressure and so they try to divert attention from what is happening on the battlefield,” he added.
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.