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US bases on heightened security alert following Soleimani killing

Top Iranian general killed in airstrike | Newsbreak

Iran's top intelligence and security commander was killed in a American drone strike on the orders of President Trump, as tensions escalated between the U.S and Iran and its proxy forces in the region.

Troops heading to work on Monday morning experienced longer-than-normal wait times at base gates as installations shore up security following strikes and heated rhetoric between the U.S. and Iran over the past week.

Following the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 2, military leadership is preparing for retaliation both abroad and at home.

“While we will not discuss specifics, U.S. Northern Command is implementing additional force protection condition measures to increase security and awareness for all installations in the U.S. NORTHCOM area of responsibility,” according to a statement.

MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, began 100-percent identification checks on Saturday, according to a Facebook post. The base houses U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command Central and Marine Forces Central Command among other base tenants.

Depending on individual base commanders’ policies, some installations usually allow cars to pass through entry gates with checking only one occupant’s ID, assuming that person is vouching for any other passengers.

The new policy will require checks for all, in addition to standard screening if no one in the car has a common access card.

As of Monday morning, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Fort Carson, Colorado, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Meade, Maryland, had all posted to their Facebook accounts advising personnel that waits would be longer than normal.

Higher alert

Bases have also announced upgrades of their force protection condition from “Alpha" to “Bravo," which indicates “an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists.”

All U.S. military bases were last ordered to FPCON Bravo in 2015, when the rise of ISIS prompted the change.

Also on Saturday, the Homeland Security Department issued a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin lasting until Jan. 18.

“At this time we have no information indicating a specific, credible threat to the Homeland. Iran and its partners, such as Hizballah, have demonstrated the intent and capability to conduct operations in the United States,” it said.

However, past plots have included planning physical attacks on infrastructure, as well as cyber threats.

“Be prepared for cyber disruptions, suspicious emails, and network delays,” according to the bulletin.

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