Pentagon raises threat level at US military bases

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The Pentagon on Friday raised protection levels for military bases around the country, officials announced Friday. 

The decision was taken in response to an overall "heightened threat environment," which included a recent shooting in Texas thought by some to have been connected to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — which claimed responsibility for the attack — at an event where contestants drew the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said. 

Warren said the move was not taken in response to any specific threat, but the "decision to do this now is informed by a generally heightened threat level." 

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"We've seen what happened in Texas, we've seen other social media and internet-based discussions and threats, and so we have detected a general increase in the overall environment that's caused us to want to do this," he said. "There is no known threat to any specific place." 

The level was raised from "Alpha" — with some elements of "Bravo" — to "Bravo," said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. "Alpha" is a "steady state," he said.

He said that meant "awareness" and "additional personnel providing security in some circumstances." 

The heightened level of security at bases would not be noticeable for most Americans, except for longer lines when entering military posts, camps and stations in specific areas, he said. 

It was also a reminder to military commanders in the U.S. to ensure "increased vigilance in safeguarding of all DOD personnel, installations, and facilities," Warren said. 

The decision was made by Adm. William Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command, the military command in charge of defending the homeland from threats.