Islamic State militants have expressed an “increased interest” on social media in exploiting the southern U.S. border to launch an attack on the U.S. homeland, a Texas law enforcement bulletin warned this week.
The three-page bulletin, obtained by Fox News, was titled “ISIS Interest on the US Southwest Border” and issued to law enforcement Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US, for terror attack,” the “situational awareness” bulletin said.
Islamic State Has Expressed Increased Interest in Exploiting Southern Border for Attack: Local Law Enforcement Bulletin
This undated image posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows a fighter of the Islamic State group waving their flag from inside a captured government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria on Sunday. (AP Photo/ Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group)
“Social media account holders believed to be ISIS militants and propagandists have called for unspecified border operations, or they have sought to raise awareness that illegal entry through Mexico is a viable option,” it added.
Islamic State militants have made similar threats against other U.S. cities in the past, taunting Americans by saying they have an “appointment in New York.”
The bulletin noted that no credible threats have been made against the U.S. and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jay Johnson reportedly said DHS and the FBI were “unaware of any specific, credible threat to the U.S. homeland” from the Islamic State.
A representative for the Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze Friday.
Nevertheless, a federal law enforcement official familiar with the report told TheBlaze there “has long been concern about Al Qaeda and other militants exploiting the border.”
“Chatter has certainly increased and there’s a need to be vigilant,” the official said. “Al Qaeda and groups like ISIL have been vocal about the southern border. ISIL is making direct threats now and the situation is changed.”
Judicial Watch, a citizen watchdog website, reported Friday that unidentified sources confirmed the Islamic State is operating in Juarez, Mexico. Their report was strongly denied by the DHS.
One Judicial Watch “high-level source” said intelligence officials have picked up chatter indicating militants are planning to “carry out an attack on the border” and that “it’s coming very soon.”
Islamic State Has Expressed Increased Interest in Exploiting Southern Border for Attack: Local Law Enforcement Bulletin
In this Wednesday, July 23, 2014 photo, a U.S. Border Patrol agent keeps watch in Roma, Texas, across the Rio Grande River from Ciudad Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner)
The report came on the heels of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron warning that his county is facing the “greatest terrorist threat” in history and as U.S. officials say there has been a “significant increase” in jihadi chatter leading up to the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
On Friday, President Barack Obama suggested, however, that the Islamic State does not pose a threat to the homeland.
“We have to be vigilant, but this doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland.”
“The good news is that we actually have a unprecedented military capacity, and since 9/11 have built up a security apparatus that makes us in the here and now pretty safe,” he said, after referencing “upheaval” in the Middle East. “We have to be vigilant, but this doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland.”
Earlier in the evening, the president said that things are safer today than they were in the previous three decades.
“[I] promise you things are much less dangerous now than they were 20 years ago, 25 years ago or 30 years ago,” Obama said.