The United States Department of Defense has advised American troops to hide their identities and change routines to avoid being targeted by the ISIL terrorist group.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency issued the warning in a memo sent to members of the US military last week, the Washington Times reported on Wednesday.
“Recent threats, revealed through various intelligence and law enforcement sources, indicate that terrorists, directed or inspired by the Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), view members of US military members and law enforcement officers as legitimate targets for attacks,” the agency warned in the memo.
It stated that attacks could have no advanced warning, adding terrorists may use knives, guns or explosives to kill US troops.
“Attacks would most likely involve edged weapons, small arms, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and could be perpetrated with little-or-no advanced warning,” said the Oct. 24 two-page warning. “In light of these threats and recent attacks in the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, remaining vigilant is paramount.
“It is important that you ensure all members of your family are made aware of this valuable information so they not only protect themselves, but also become an integral part of the overall community antiterrorism effort.”
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since early August. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The Pentagon said last week the US and its allies had dropped more than 1,700 on ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
ISIL militants have released videos showing the beheadings of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning. ISIL has also threatened to kill Peter Kassig, the 26-year-old who served in the US Army and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.
Addressing US President Barack Obama, an ISIL militant said in one video, “Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment in Sham (Syria). So it’s only right we continue to strike the necks of your people.”