Abilene, the not-so-small small town of West Texas, populated by about 120,000 people. Abilene, where students complain nothing ever happens, and, well, nothing ever happens.
Based on this perspective, it’s hard to think anyone would ever target Abilene for anything – concerts, fairs or malicious acts included, which is why it was so hard to believe an Abilene website had been breached by Team System Dz, a hacking group claiming to support ISIS.
The fact of the matter is, Abilene isn’t as insignificant as we’d all like to believe. It’s home to a 6,409-acre air force base with more than 13,000 military personnel and civilians.
Dyess Air Force Base is one of two bases in the nation with combat training for the Boeing B-1B Lancer bomber and is named the Air Force’s premier operational B-1B unit.
If that doesn’t put a city on a map, I don’t know what would. And that’s exactly how ISIS found out about our little town.
As you may have heard, ISIS released a “Kill List” Saturday with more than 100 names, addresses and photos of U.S. service members calling its supporters to take action against the named individuals. Seven of these named persons were stated to be airmen living in Abilene.
Though Dyess AFB wouldn’t confirm the airmen to be a part of the base, the threat remains local. Civilians’ names were released on a kill list, and seven of those are supposedly right here in Abilene.
And it’s not the first time Abilene has been involved in international crisis.
During the Cold War, as part of the Atlas D intercontinental ballistic missiles, 12 silos were set up in six counties within a 35-mile radius around Dyess AFB. The missiles were designed to send nuclear warheads into outer space to then launch back down to its intended target and essentially put Abilene on a Cold War hit list during the ’50s and ’60s.
Basically, we’re not as hidden as you might think. And while we cannot link the Abilene website Team System Dz breached to any of the names on the list, it’s still not too surprising that Abilene ended up being targeted.