The Islamic State group has reportedly posted the names, photos and home addresses of 100 American troops, urging sympathizers inside the U.S. to carry out attacks against them.
A group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division posted the threat on a website Friday night, stating that the troops identified carried out bombings on IS targets in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.
The group called on the troops to be killed "in their own lands" as they "walk their own streets thinking they are safe," according to the Daily News. The list reportedly includes photos and personal data on Marines, sailors and airmen, many of whom are pilots.
Eileen Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said they have not yet confirmed the validity of the threat, but are "looking into it."
Lt. Col. John Caldwell, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, also called the threat "unverified," but said command leaders have been notified if Marines assigned to their units were identified in the list. Federal law enforcement authorities with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are also involved.
"NCIS is conducting in-person notifications to the affected Navy and Marine personnel regarding this presently unverified threat/data breach," Caldwell said.
An unnamed Defense Department official told The New York Times that the personal data released on the Marines, sailors and airmen appears to be information found in public records or online searches. It doesn't appear the information had been hacked from government servers, the Times reported.
Lainez and Caldwell both stressed that troops and their families should be mindful of personal information they post online.
"It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information," Caldwell said. "Vigilance and force protection considerations remain a priority for commanders and their personnel worldwide."
Additional social media guidelines for sharing personal and protecting information related to operational security can be found on DoD's website.