Twice this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding the potential for anti-U.S. protests and violence against U.S. citizens and interests due to the release of declassified versions of a study by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program.
According to Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren, the Defense Department has directed U.S. combatant commands worldwide to brace for the possibility of violence directed at U.S. personnel and facilities and to take necessary force-protection measures.
Commanders in the Middle East and Africa stepped up security, including putting Marine crisis response teams on heightened alert.
At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the chiefs of all U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide have conducted security reviews “given the range of possible reactions overseas.”
Several U.S. embassies abroad including in Thailand, Egypt and other countries which reportedly hosted secret U.S. detention centers in the months immediately following the attack of 9/11 have issued emergency messages to U.S. citizens warning of the need to avoid demonstrations, confrontational situations and an overall increased level of vigilance.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers indicated that foreign leaders have told the United States the release of the report is likely to spark violence, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry has issued a similar warning.
The Embassies of Britain and Canada in Cairo, Egypt closed earlier this week due to a heightened threat of terrorist attacks. Thus far, the U.S. Embassy remains open.
FBI/DHS WARN DOMESTIC AGENCIES
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security Department this week also issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies nationwide related to the release of the report. While the bulletin cites no specific threats, it reemphasizes the need for law enforcement enforcement to remain vigilant to the underlying threat from terrorist organizations and lone-wolf type actors.
As has been the case for over 12 years, AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall domestic terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture, as events warrant.