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US government warns that terrorists want to target hospitals

In a joint intelligence alert issued on 8 February 2017, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) warned that ISIS and other terrorists are encouraging attacks on hospital and other healthcare facilities. According to the alert: “Recent calls over the past year for attacks on hospitals in the West by media outlets sympathetic to the Islamic State (ISIS) highlight terrorists’ perception of hospitals as viable targets for attack. Targeting hospitals and healthcare facilities is consistent with ISIS’s tactics in Iraq and Syria, its previous calls for attacks on hospitals in the West, and the group’s calls for attacks in the West using “all available means”. The pro-ISIS Nashir Media Foundation released a series of messages on 29 December 2016 encouraging long offenders in the West to conduct attacks on hospitals, cinemas, and malls. In early June 2016, ISIS called for a “month of calamity”, encouraging followers in Europe and the United States to attack schools and hospitals in an audio message released via Twitter. Additionally, in its January 2016 issue of Rumiyah magazine, ISIS provided tactical guidance and encouraged lone offenders to conduct arson attacks on hospitals.”

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