SEATTLE – The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan, allegedly at the hands of a soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, could trigger extremists to retaliate here in the U.S.
The unclassified bulletin, obtained by KING 5 News, says there is no credible or specific threat from what the agencies call "Homegrown Violent Extremists" in relation to Sunday’s shootings.
The FBI and DHS said some websites circulated graphic pictures of Sunday's massacre and called for revenge against the U.S. military. The websites suggested that the military planned the killings and that there were more deaths than what was reported.
In the bulletin, the agencies also cited the actions of Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif as a reason for concern. He’s awaiting trial for allegedly plotting to attack a military recruiting center in Seattle last year. The FBI and DHS say Abdul-Latif initially wanted to attack JBLM in retaliation for the actions of soldiers who had been stationed there, but determined the recruiting center was a softer target.
The burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers last month and video of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters were other reasons cited for possible extremist retaliation.
The FBI and DHS warn that the incidents could incite an individual to violence, but that there is no current credible threat.
A spokesperson for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in Washington, D.C. said that office has not heard about any threats.
The soldier was moved from Afghanistan to Kuwait, which has drawn the ire of Afghan citizens who want him tried in their country.