May 18, 2015
Due to the mounting threat of terrorist activity from the Islamic State, The Obama Administration has increased warnings of probable attacks within the United States.
Over 30 Americans have already been arrested and charged by the FBI this year for terrorist activities including unsuccessful ‘lone wolf’ plots and various other related charges. According to the FBI, almost all of these terrorist activities were Islamic State motivated.
Local police forces have been put on alert. Potential targets such as energy plants, shopping malls and airports have stepped up their surveillance and US military bases have heightened their defenses, according to U.S. authorities.
“Military bases across the nation increased security Friday on the orders of U.S. Northern Command in a bid to throw a curve-ball to terrorists,” reported Stars and Stripes.
Though this move isn’t tied to any particular threat, it is a strategic one. Command spokeswoman Maj. Jennifer Stadnyk commented,” That way, no one can anticipate our security posture at any given time.”
In order to incite violence across the globe, on Thursday, the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi, in an audio recording, urged “Muslims everywhere to migrate to the Islamic State or fight in his land, wherever that may be.”
Of 22,000 fighters drawn to fight for the Sunni Muslim group, about 3,700 from Western nations and 180 Americans have joined (or tried to join) the fight for Syria and Iraq.
In Texas, for example, “two would-be terrorists apparently prompted by Islamic State social media messages tried to shoot their way into a provocative contest for caricatures of the prophet Muhammad”, states Stars and Stripes. “Both gunmen were shot to death, and no one else was killed. Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the assault, the first time it has done so for an attack on U.S. soil.”
The military is taking these threats seriously and is stepping up security in all branches of our military. The Air Force academy, for example, has been closed to all visitors and will only be permitted on a ‘case-by-case’ basis.
The director of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, told MSMBC on Friday that the U.S. has begun a “new phase, in my view, in the global terrorist threat. We have to be concerned about the independent actor, and the independent actor who is here in the homeland who may strike with little or no warning. The nature of the global terrorist threat has evolved.”
With increased terrorist threats on American soil, the Obama Administration has also been evolving. Tighter security both civilly and militarily should not only be expected but it just may be the new norm.