Military downplays threat from Army recruit - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Military downplays threat from Army recruit

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Law enforcement officials say they interviewed a U.S. Army recruit about his Jihad sympathies and the FBI sent out an alert about him. 

But officials downplayed a report by Fox News that the FBI in Kansas City had sent out an alert that was entitled, "Fort Hood-inspired threats against U.S. soldiers by Army recruit." The network said the man was to report to basic training next week.

The report alarmed many area residents. Law enforcement and military officials said the Fox story was a bit of a stretch, but the FBI did confirm interviewing the recruit.

"An individual was contacted by the FBI and was interviewed by the FBI but at no time was it believed that the public was in any imminent threat," FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said.

Fox News indicated that there was an active manhunt for the man.

"There's not a manhunt. There has never been a manhunt for an individual," Patton said.

She went on to say that the FBI follows up on tips from all different kind of sources and often shares that information with other law enforcement agencies and the military.

George Wright, a spokesman for the U.S. Army in Washington, said the man in question never attended basic training and was released from the delayed entry program on March 24.

Wright said the Army was notified on March 21 by the federal agents about the recruit's "Jihad sympathies and worked jointly to prevent a potential threat." The man had enlisted on Feb. 7.

The man "never expressed any anti-American sentiment during the recruiting process," Wright said.

Because he never attended basic training, so he wasn't formally discharged from military service.

"If we thought that there was a threat to public safety, we would notify the public of that threat," Patton said.

The Topeka Police Department confirmed Wednesday that it was notified on March 20 about the recruit because the man is believed to have attended a Topeka high school.

Because the man was not been charged with a crime, KCTV5 is not naming him.

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