U.S. troops and veterans are flooding social media with defiant messages in the wake of a new threat against military personnel from a self-proclaimed division of the Islamic State group.
But active-duty and former service members are not cowering in fear. Instead, many offered up their addresses, daring IS sympathizers to pay them a visit.
"I have two residences, I hope they do not come to the empty one," one Marine Corps Times reader wrote.
"Where do I sign up to give them my info?" another asked.
Troops and veterans took to social media over the weekend to post retaliatory messages to an alleged division of the Islamic State group. The self-described Islamic State Hacking Group posted a hit list against troops they say attacked IS overseas.
Photo Credit: Facebook
Others posted photos of themselves, some while holding pistols or other weapons.
"Come at me," one Army Times reader wrote, alongside a photo of himself holding a Glock pistol. "... You will encounter a Glock 22 .357, AR-15, M206 .38 Special, three years of wrist-breaking Aikido skills, and a K-bar in your throat."
"Links to the various articles are certainly being posted and commented on [on] Facebook, but it's more a reminder to lock down social media profiles," she wrote in an email. "No one seems to be taking the threat too seriously. It's been heard before and people [are] still taking precautions, but I don't believe that many think it's a credible threat."
Schellhaas has been critical of the Corps for outing its members and their families in public before. When officials first began exploring whether to remove outdated and largely unneeded personal vehicle decals last year, she urged them to drop the requirement. It identified troops and their families — all branches have different guidelines for how and when to use the stickers — when off-base, making them targets, she argued.
In recent years, military families and Defense Department employees have sought to downplay their affiliation. Officials even have offered suggestions on how to remain obscure when not on a secure facility.
"I've noticed an [uptick] in private Facebook groups where people are asking their non-friends to tell them what they can see on their page" Schellhaas said.
But she — and others — hold fewer concerns about this apparent use of intimidation.
"Others don't care and continue to show pride with a 'bring it' attitude towards anyone who wants to challenge America," Schellhaas said. "I don't think IS is seeing success with their scare tactics overall in the military community."
Still, others are urging caution following "lone-wolf" style attacks in other countries.
"Regardless of the bravado permeating this thread, this is still a very scary proposition," one Army Times reader wrote. "Especially for these folks with kids."