FBI warns ISIS trying to kidnap journalists abroad
posted at 8:01 pm on October 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman
Several weeks ago, unconfirmed reports began to surface that the terror group ISIS was plotting against targets in the United States. The dispatches indicated that reporters and journalists as well as police and sources of government authority were among the targets. On Thursday, the FBI confirmed that reporters were in ISIS’s sights.
“The FBI assesses, based on open source statements and postings, that [ISIL] members and supporters view members of the US media establishment as legitimate targets for retribution attacks as the US-led air campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria continues,” an FBI bulletin read.
In the bulletin, the FBI claims to have “recently obtained credible information indicating members of an ISIL-affiliated group are tasked with kidnapping journalists in the region and returning them to Syria. Members of this group might try to mask their affiliation with ISIL to gain access to journalists,” the bulletin reads.
The bulletin also noted the recent executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and cited an online post by an ISIL supporter titled “A Message to 2.6 Million Muslims in the United States: This Is How To Respond to Obama’s War on Islam.” The post’s author identified media personnel such as anchormen, field reporters, and talk show hosts as those who were “proved to be biased” and, as such, were prioritized targets for execution.
The bulletin, which the FBI supplied to news organizations so that they “may take appropriate steps to notify their journalists in the field,” was dated Oct. 22 but sent out Thursday by the Public Affairs department for the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Among the many reasons why the West is engaged in a military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria was the Islamic State’s capture and beheading of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. This development indicates that ISIS wants to continue to use reporters are hostages, or worse.
Breitbart Texas editor Branden Darby had posted an unclassified memo reportedly from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI warning that, while there is no indication that an attack is in the planning stages, anyone affiliated with law enforcement or the media should take precautions.
“The document alerts US law enforcement personnel, including FBI Special Agents, to be aware of their surroundings and to monitor their families’ use of social media to ‘avoid revealing FBI or law enforcement affiliation,’” Darby reported.