ISIS name RAF Menwith Hill as a target
RAF Menwith Hill has reportedly been named as an ISIS target.
The terrorist organisation is said to have singled out the base along with RAF Alconbury, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath in the South of England for “lone wolf” style attacks, The Sunday Times reported.
A document leaked online, which has now been removed, is also said to include the names of a dozen personnel who have served at the four sites.
It is understood the dossier, seen by the Sunday Times, encouraged home-grown extremists to carry out attacks on the base.
The group calling themselves the ‘Islamic State hacking division’ published the names and details of dozens of military and diplomatic staff.
The list, which was thought to be out of date, apparently said: “We are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah who soon, with the permission of Allah, will strike at your necks in your own lands!”
A spokesperson for the RAF said that the force does not comment on matters of security, for obvious reasons.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Security arrangements at military establishments in North Yorkshire are regularly reviewed to ensure the appropriate safety and security of staff.”
According to British Security forces the current threat level from international terrorism in the UK is severe means an attack is highly likely. This threat level has been in place since August 2014.
The number of US staff working at the Menwith Hill has fallen dramatically in recent years. In March 2014 the US European Command announced that around 500 military and civilian jobs were to go at the base as the US scaled back its defence budget. The majority of staff were due to leave by October 2016.
In January 2015 the US Department of Defense quashed rumours of yet more cuts and made a commitment to RAF Menwith Hill in a review of requirements for bases for US forces in Europe.
Operations at the Nidderdale site were said to be unaffected by this latest review and it remains an important base for the United States, with American servicemen and women and their families.
RAF Menwith Hill was opened in 1960, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s the infrastructure and the number of personnel at the site continued to expand. The one-square-mile base is owned by the Ministry of Defence and made available to the US Department of Defense.
The site has long been controversial and it has been alleged that the site has been linked to drone attacks and the ECHELON Interception System.
Regular protests are held near the base and between 1984 and 1995 a number of peace camps were established in close proximity to the station.