An ISIS Twitter threat during the CENTCOM hack has military spouses and military families on high alert – especially when it comes to their online presence. The threat, “”AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING. WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS,” also warned that the terrorists knew, “everything about you, your wives and children.”
The ISIS Twitter threat during the CENTCOM hack wasn’t the first time military families have felt threatened. The FBI issued a warning in November to U.S. military members that ISIS was calling for attacks against them and were looking for individuals sympathetic to their cause in the United States to carry out those attacks. And even prior to that warning, emails to military families warned of ISIS threats and offered safety precautions they should take in light of the threats.
[tweetthis]ISIS Twitter Threat Aimed at #Soldiers and #Military Families #ISIS #CENTCOMhack[/tweetthis]
Military Spouses and Families React Differently to ISIS Twitter Threat
These threats from the Islamic State have many military service members and their families changing their way of life both offline and online. They are removing all military stickers from their vehicles, keeping their uniforms out of view in their vehicles after visiting the dry cleaners, and not letting their military IDs show when paying at stores.
According to a report on CNN.com, one spouse of a Special Forces soldier went on Facebook to erase all mentions of their children (photos, school locations, etc.) and used search engine Google to try and determine if her military family was leaving a digital footprint that was easy for terrorists to follow.
The military wife (who asked her name not be used) told CNN, “It’s hard because I am so proud of what my husband does, but lately so many spouses that I know are actually scared that they could be targets of ISIS or someone who sympathizes with ISIS.”
Others are not going as far as the military spouse mentioned above. Another spouse, who is married to a commanding officer, doesn’t feel like those who are making changes to their lives are running scared – just being cautious. She has reassured her children to help calm their fears, but she won’t have any part of making drastic changes to their offline and online lives due to an ISIS Twitter threat.
Others feel the same and say they won’t stop using social media or other online resources like blogs for support and to stay connected. As many told CNN, “Why should families bend to fear and stop sharing online when social media has helped many of them get through 14 years of nonstop war?”
Caution is Key Due to ISIS Twitter Threat and Recent Attacks
It is not just online threats from ISIS which have military members and military families on alert. From the murder of a British soldier in London in 2013, to the killing of a Canadian soldier in October, to the Muslim cleric who took hostages at an Australian cafe, and the recent terrorist attack in France, we are seeing how these terrorists are willing to attack random targets on a smaller scale.
Many think we are entering into a time when we will see more of these random, smaller scale attacks carried out by citizens who have become radicalized by these terror groups. After this recent ISIS Twitter threat, others think it is only a matter of time before we see an attack on our soldiers or military family members here at home.
Speaking of caution and terrorist threats to military members and military families, one Army wife told CNN, “Being a military family is a vulnerable experience, period. If you live in a military town, this is the norm,” she said. “Is there more cautiousness now? Sure, but that’s not a bad thing. (There won’t) be a victory for anyone who thinks they can frighten us.”