Western security agencies are on high alert following hacker attacks and renewed terror threats from ISIS.

Hackers claiming to be working on behalf of ISIS hacked and took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States Central Command on Monday.

They utilized the broadly followed accounts to spread their own propaganda. “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, the CyberCaliphate continues its CyberJihad,” one post on Twitter said. “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back,” said another. Some posts listed purported names and phone numbers of American military personnel, while another claimed that the CyberCaliphate is “already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.” The banner was replaced with a black-and-white image of a Kafiya-clad terrorist and an “I love you ISIS” slogan.

The Defense Department was forced to suspend the accounts’ activity, and a defense official told the New York Times that no classified material had been breached and that the military was taking steps to address the matter. The FBI was reportedly also involved in the investigation.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said the government was monitoring the extent of the hacking.

Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called the cyber attack “severely disturbing.”

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) and other law enforcement agencies are on high alert following a renewed threat by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) terror organization to “rise up and kill intelligence officers, police officers, soldiers and civilians,” CNN reports.

The threat, which was first released last September, names the United States, France, Australia and Canada as targets.

In late September, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani called on Muslims in the US and Europe to attack members of the military: “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers. Both of them are considered to be waging war.”

CNN quotes an internal NYPD memo in which employees were told to “remain alert and consider tactics at all times while on patrol,” especially in light of the terror attacks by Islamic terrorists in France last week, which claimed 17 lives.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Homeland Security issued a similar bulletin to law enforcement across the country, the CNN report revealed.

“I don’t think that we are under any more threat …or any less threat than we were the day before,” John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for counter-terrorism, said on CBS‘s Face the Nation in an attempt to assuage fears.

Miller said the department is on a “heightened security posture on a normal day compared to almost any other police department.” More than 1,000 police officers and civilian analysts are assigned to a counter-terrorism mission each day, and officers have studied the recent attacks in France, he said.

However, Miller did say that the video re-release shows that ISIS is “using the momentum from the Paris attacks in part of their messaging strategy to see: ‘Who can we get to follow this?’”

On Sunday, an update of an old ISIS video was released by an unidentified person or organization, adding scenes from the France terror attacks. The video was not issued by ISIS, and the warnings in the video are taken from an earlier one released in September.

“They are hoping that the attacks in Paris by a group which included a self-professed ISIS follower will inspire other attacks in the West,” CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.

Al Adnani’s “fatwa calling for lone-wolf attacks back in September was a game changer,” Cruickshank added. “Since then, we’ve seen ISIS-inspired attacks in all the Western countries he specifically mentioned: Canada, the United States, Australia and France. In October we also saw United Kingdom police break up a plot to target soldiers and police by extremists who British authorities say were deeply influenced by Adnani’s fatwa.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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