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US posts across the world put on high alert

American posts - both diplomatic and military - across the globe have been put on high alert following the release of a US Senate committee report on its post 9/11 detention and interrogation program, officials said.



Washington: American posts - both diplomatic and military - across the globe have been put on high alert following the release of a US Senate committee report on its post 9/11 detention and interrogation program, officials said.

Released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the report said "enhanced interrogation" programs in many cases amounted to torture.

Following the release of the report, US has been in constant communication with several countries, which officials did not identify, to ensure the safety of US assets globally.

"All diplomatic missions abroad were directed to perform reviews of their security posture and to discuss potential threats in connection with the release of the report," a senior administration official said.

The Pentagon in concert with individual combatant commanders has issued a force protection guidance, and they are at the discretion of military commanders, adjusting their alert postures to best support diplomatic missions in their individual areas of responsibility, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Domestically too, federal law enforcement officials have engaged with their state and local counterparts, and working through joint terrorism task forces to coordinate community outreach as well and to take steps to be attentive to any reactions from homegrown extremists, the official said.

Ahead of the release of the report, the White House has led an interagency effort over the past over five months to mitigate and prepare for potential threats that might be generated by reactions to the release of the report.

"We undertook an effort, working through the intelligence community, working through our State Department colleagues, to identify those locations that might be most at risk and to address our protections and threat posture and security posture accordingly," the official said.

According to another senior administration official, the US prepared its embassies and foreign partners for the release of this report, to ensure that they have mitigated risks to the security of embassies and American citizens abroad and to explain to the foreign partners why the US decided to make the report public.

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry reviewed global security posture "in every single post around the world."

"We will pay close attention to any possible security threats resulting from the release of this report and take prudent steps to address any threats should they arise," the official said.

"We will also advise American communities abroad about changes in the security environment and any recommended precautions. This outreach to private American citizens is something we take very seriously," the official said.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a joint intelligence bulletin noting that the report could be exploited by violent groups at home and overseas.

"So we will be watching social media especially to see how terrorist groups might use this release for propaganda purposes or to threaten our people or Americans in general," the official said. PTI

 

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