More than 15,000 Americans are on the Islamic State’s hit list, a frightening fact which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has known for some time, yet somehow neglected to notify many of the relevant people to the potential dangers they might be facing.
To date, ISIS has published numerous hit lists- on encrypted web sites- naming thousands of people the terror group wants to see killed, as well as their home address and phone numbers. The jihadist group has instructed lone wolf terrorists, radicalized followers and members of sleeper cells in Texas, Florida, New York and California to distribute the lists and target these citizens for immediate death.
Making the situation even more shocking is that FBI officials have known the identities of ISIS’s targets for quite awhile, ever since the hit lists began frequently emerging earlier this year. Between March and May, ISIS hacking groups released no less than eight kill lists. Four days prior to the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a further 8,300 names wanted by the radical Islamic group were exposed.
Though the bureau said they intended to notify all US citizens facing ISIS threats, and planned to work with local police departments to do so, all too many could-be victims were left in the dark, unaware of their perilous situation.
After obtaining copies of some of the lists, Circa News decided to investigate just how many people had yet to be notified. The news agency made some sample calls to people throughout the country to inform them of their victimhood and then proceeded to ask if they were even aware of their role under the terror group’s watchful eye.
In a group of 24 Texans Circa telephoned, a whopping 22 of them had received no prior information their lives might be in jeopardy. Upon receiving the frightening news from Circa, one Jewish woman living in Austin told the online news agency, “I’m very upset that I was not notified by the FBI or local law enforcement…We live in a different world and the Jewish community is a number one target of these radicals.”
Admittedly, the task of calling such a large number of people is quite daunting, which is why the FBI also relied on army officials and local police officers to relay the message. Yet the bureau’s responsibility to delegate fellow law enforcement officers to handle the crucial responsibility has resulted in individuals slipping through the cracks, leaving them completely unaware.
In some instances, the crucial information never left the FBI offices, leaving even police departments uninformed. Police spokesman Chris Hooper of Corpus Christi, Texas had no idea one of its citizens was on the ISIS hit list until Circa’s call. “We were not contacted by the Army or the FBI referencing the threat to [one of] our citizen[s],” Christi said.
Others, meanwhile, were told their lives might be in danger but were given no further details. “The army didn’t give me any detailed information. I didn’t even get advice on how to protect myself,” said Amelia, an army wife who asked Circa to use a pseudonym during her interview to protect her identity. “I had no idea I was on an ISIS hit list until you called me,” she said, referring to a telephone call Circa made to her residence earlier in June.
The FBI didn’t voice alarm at the prospect that dozens of people were uninformed of their predicament, and even seemed confident that the fact that no one on the list has actually been attacked has boded well. But that’s cold comfort for those now living in fear they might be the next victim of ISIS terror.
Neglecting to admit their blunder, the bureau said, “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information. We perform these notifications so potential victims are aware of possible threats and take appropriate steps.”
Said Amelia in response to the FBI’s lack of effort to inform her of the credible threat to her life: “If we don’t have that ability to count on the government to [protect us], then they need to share the information with us so that we can protect ourselves,” she told Circa.
The vast group of people ISIS is targeting isn’t limited to military personnel and their families. Anyone from college professors, to art collectors, to simple homemakers can be a victim of the terror group.
To find out if you are on one of the ISIS hit lists obtained by Circa News, click here.