Navy finds no evidence of imminent threat on ISIS hit list
SAN DIEGO — The Navy announced Thursday that no evidence of an operational plan or imminent threat has been uncovered since a list of personnel — including four aboard a San Diego-based warship — was posted on a website believed to be friendly to the Islamic State.
The list that included names, photos and purported addresses came to light last weekend, and included four aviation officers on the USS Carl Vinson. The deployed aircraft carrier home-ported in San Diego has been conducting air strikes against ISIS targets in recent months.
“While Department of Defense and Naval Criminal Investigative Service have not found evidence of operational planning or an imminent threat, there is little doubt that this gesture has caused concern and anxiety specifically for those on the list, their families and shipmates and more generally to the force,” Vice Adm. Scott Swift, the director of Navy staff, wrote in a message to sailors.
He said it’s a reminder of the importance that needs to be placed on personal safety and operational security.
“The guidance shared with sailors in their sustained and cyclic training remains valid¦stay aware, stay vigilant and be prudent about the information you share,” wrote Swift, a San Diego State University alumnus.
He said current policies on Web pages and command social media accounts remain valid.
“Ongoing intelligence and law enforcement assessments continue to reinforce that sharing information smartly and with due caution remains safe — this includes dealings with vetted U.S. and international media,” he wrote.
The list included 100 military personnel in all, including 36 sailors, who purportedly have taken part in strikes against Islamic State targets. The Defense Department said the list was mistaken in some cases about who had taken part in the operation.
The Vinson left San Diego in August.