U.S. Pentagon warns of possible IS attacks

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WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM - The Pentagon on Wednesday warned of possible attacks by supporters of the Islamic State (IS), the extremist group, in the United Statesover the federal holiday of Independence Day which coincides on Saturday.

While drawing a comparison between IS and al-Qaida, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told reporters at a news briefing held here Wednesday that lone-wolf attackers inspired by the IS posed threats to security of the coming holiday. "In the era of social media, a phenomenon like ISIL, unlike al- Qaida of the old days, there doesn't have to be and won't necessarily be a command-and-control relationship between somebody who instigates an incident and ISIL as an organization," Carter said at the briefing, referring to the extremist group's other acronym. Before the Pentagon's warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security had already sent a bulletin to local law enforcement to beef up security over the July 4 weekend, Xinhua reports. Though not mentioning a specific plot, the bulletin said that the vigilance should be elevated around Independence Day in case of an attack centered on the holiday. After a series of deadly attacks on Friday killed more than 60 people in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, with strong indication of the involvement of the IS in each incident, concerns were raised that the influence of the group had already reached beyond its strongholds inSyria and Iraq. Although U.S. intelligence officials initially said that no evidence indicated coordination among the three incidents, they noted that multiple factors may have inspired those attacks, including a recent statement by the IS, which called on followers to launch attacks at the group's enemies during the month of Ramadan.

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