ISIS Threat Includes Michigan, National Guard Prepared To Help
“We are alone up here for the most part. If anything, it would make us a soft target. It could happen.”
A new ISIS threat targeting America.
This time, it includes Michigan.
For some, it’s a scary thought that is too close to home.
Today’s threat comes days after an attack in Garland, Texas at a prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.
The terrorist group claimed responsibility for that attack.
Then said more were to come.
The threat says there are more than 70 people in 15 states loyal to ISIS.
It specifically names five states that could be the next targets, including Michigan.
Northern Michigan’s News Leader talked to Daniel Roberts, retired assistant director of the FBI.
He says threats like this aren’t unusual, but are handled with extreme care.
“For there to be another threat to pop up anytime, it’s not unusual,” Roberts says. “Those threats get the top attention. That’s where all of their primary resources are focused on stopping another terrorist attack and so whatever resources they need, whatever law enforcement resources they need beyond just their FBI personnel, they will seek out and they do a good job.”
The ISIS threat is vague.
Michigan is a big state, and no specific targets are mentioned.
But we wanted to know how seriously we should take the threat and who’s prepared to protect us in the event of an attack.
National Guard soldiers at Camp Grayling in Crawford County say they are ready to respond if anything were to happen.
9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman learned more about the local impact of the threat.
Terror threats, no matter where they come from, are taken very seriously in Michigan.
Those at Camp Grayling have their ears to the ground.
“It could happen,” says Operations Sgt. Maj. Don Derryberry of Camp Grayling. “I don’t doubt that there are home cells in every state because of Al-Qaeda global war on terror that we have been engaging.”
Sgt. Maj. Don Derryberry says acts of terror rarely target Northern Michigan.
That doesn’t mean this new threat should be ignored.
“Not a lot of terrorist activities happen up in Northern Michigan,” Derryberry says. “We are not a large city like Detroit, Battle Creek, Chicago, or the Lansing areas where our joint forces headquarters are.”
The ISIS threats describe attacks similar to the one in Garland, Texas over the weekend.
The Sergeant Major says while the threat is vague, specific potential targets should be ready.
“If they do attack us, it’s going to probably be federal buildings, it’s going to be state buildings or it is going to be military installations,” Derryberry says.
He says even though the threat should be treated as a valid one, no one should worry just yet.
“I don’t think anyone should be worried up in Northern Michigan,” Derryberry says. “The U.S. has been engaged in a global war on terror for the last 14 years so we take every threat as a credible threat and we do look into it.”
If anything were to happen, he says the National Guard is ready to answer the call…
“Camp Grayling would be ready,” Derryberry says. “We have exercised our force protection plan multiple times in the two years I have been here. It’s something that is always under constant review. You have to remember that these groups, their primary focus is to incite fear and if we allow them to incite fear, then they win.”
State Police, the National Guard and the FBI all urge you to report any suspicious behavior you might see immediately.
Tomorrow, Roberts says the FBI is hosting a briefing with law enforcement to address the current situation.