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NYPD on alert after Islamic State threat

The New York Police Department has issued an alert to its officers after intelligence agencies said that jihadist channels had redoubled calls for attacks against police, military personnel, officials and civilians in the U.S., Canada, France and Australia.

According to reports an NYPD memo police officers were asked to NYPD “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” especially in light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France last week”.

“Pay close attention to people as they approach and look for their hands as they approach you,” the internal safety memo added.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued similar bulletins to law enforcement nationwide, making it clear that the latest Islamic State (IS) message was consistent with previous threats that terror outfit had issued.

This week’s propaganda was linked to the reissuance of September a video in which IS spokesman Abu Mohamad Al-Adnani says, “Do not let the battle pass you by wherever you may be… Strike their police, security and intelligence members, as well as their treacherous agents.”

In the video Al-Adnani also reportedly called for lone wolf attacks, suggesting that would-be attackers who did not have weapons handy could “smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car.”

Speaking to media New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that the NYPD took these threats seriously, noting, “There are a number of people who are in the process of being radicalised. Something like this can be the last straw to move them forward.”

Commissioner Bratton said police were now conducting patrols in pairs and at fixed posts, and security was also being stepped up at key locations across the city, including Times Square, “where K-9 units and emergency service units are patrolling the pedestrian plazas”.

The heightened security comes even as the White House is planning a summit to counter violent extremism, which representatives from numerous nations are expected to attend.

CENTCOM account ‘hacked’

A group claiming links to Islamic State (IS) has apparently hacked into the Twitter accounts of the U.S. military’s Central Command, with the @CENTCOM handle, and subsequently posted a series of tweets including threats against U.S. soldiers and their families.

At approximately 12:30p.m. EST an unknown group of hackers appeared to post on the @CENTCOM account the contact details of numerous U.S. soldiers under the hashtag #CyberCaliphate.

The warnings on Monday included statements such as, “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back. ISIS CyberCaliphate,” and “ISIS is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.”

However 30 minutes later, the account appeared to be suspended, possibly indicating Twitter’s attempt to restore it.

Within the hour Pentagon officials were quoted saying that the agency was “taking appropriate measures.”


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 5:42:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/nypd-on-alert-after-islamic-state-threat/article6783656.ece

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