Islamic 'Lone Wolves' are Creating Fake Facebook Accounts to Befriend Military and Police Family Members to Gather Information...
Authorities say they have caught a fake Facebook page possibly used by a terrorist organization such as ISIS to gather information on law enforcement in the United States.
An internal bulletin from Denver's Colorado Information Analysis Center seen by NBC News says that a fake account was made for a retired state trooper who was unaware that his identity was being used online.
The unidentified account had befriended other members of law enforcement and the center said that an international terrorist organizations may have been looking to use it as an intelligence tool.
The 'out of character' Facebook page was reported to the CIAC by someone 'who didn't think that the person whose name was on it would make that account,' the organization's communications director Micki Trost told Daily Mail Online.
The account was reported by someone who thought that it was 'out of character' for the former officer. Above, a file photo of someone signing into the Facebook iPhone app
'[We assess] with high confidence that it was designed under false pretenses to gather information regarding law enforcement members,' the bulletin said.
Beyond officers, the account was also friends with those who appear to be sympathizers with the terrorist organization Islamic State, or ISIS.
'Some individuals are possibly members with radical Islamic ideology and anti-Semitic beliefs who have gruesome pictures of beheadings and killings on this social media site,' the bulletin said.
Trost said that the fake account, which is no longer up, was limited to Facebook and was not on other social networks
CIAC, which is a 'Fusion Center' that includes FBI and National Guard members as well as Colorado officials, recommended that social media users vet any friend requests.
Internet groups linked to ISIS has previously released information including the names, photos and addresses of 100 US military personnel in May.
They called on potential terrorists in America to conduct lone wolf attacks and kill them.
The hackers said they had gotten the information through breaching military databases, though officials said that the leaked info was actually publicly available.
Reacting to the incident, US Central Command issued a statement saying that officers are operating in a 'new norm' online.
'Any CENTCOM teammate or family member could be targeted. To that end, we all should maintain a heightened sense of vigilance whether dealing with work or home computer usage, specifically as it relates to Social Media,' it said.
Facebook released a statement to Daily Mail Online on Friday saying: 'There is no place for terrorists on Facebook. We work aggressively to ensure that we do not have terrorists or terror groups using the site, and we also remove any content that praises or supports terrorism'.
'We also ask that people who use Facebook use their authentic names and identities. Claiming to be another person violates our community standards, and we remove profiles reported to us that impersonate other people'.