Lewis Griswold

Hanford remains vigilant after Islamic State ‘kill list’ posting

Lemoore Naval Air Station puts Hanford in a position of notoriety.
Lemoore Naval Air Station puts Hanford in a position of notoriety. Fresno Bee file

With the bloodshed in Paris still roiling the world, Hanford officials remain vigilant after the Islamic State terrorist group released a “kill list” that included Lemoore Naval Air Station personnel living in the city.

Published in March, the list reportedly included 100 military personnel in 55 cities in 23 states, all near military installations.

Police Chief Parker Sever said his department and the Lemoore air base security division “worked together to take care of the people.”

He said he couldn’t go into detail about what steps were taken.

Hanford, population 55,000, may appear to make an unlikely target for terrorists, but “when someone makes a threat, it’s important to take a look and take it seriously,” Sever said.

The list was posted on YouTube but was taken down at the Pentagon’s request. It contained names, photos and home addresses of U.S. armed forces personnel, according to CBS News.

The Pentagon said that the list appeared to be drawn from public sources such as Facebook pages, identifying people – sometimes incorrectly – involved in the war against the Islamic State, CBS News said.

The Islamic State Hacking Division said it released the names “so that our brothers in America can deal with you,” The New York Times reported.

The California list included people from Hanford (misspelled as “Manford,” according to the Lompoc Record), Solvang (near Vandenberg Air Force Base), San Ardo, Monterey (misspelled as Monterrey), Newbury Park (misspelled as Newberry) and Carlsbad.

Hanford City Council Member Gary Pannett, a Navy veteran who served on a high-security submarine base during the Vietnam War, said Hanford may be on the list, but “no city is spared the threat. It just reminds us terrorism is ongoing, we just need to stay aware.”

Lemoore Naval Air Station said it does not discuss “force protection measures.”

“However, on a continuous basis, we take the responsibility of securing our installation very seriously and work closely with local law enforcement, to include the city of Hanford, Calif.,” a statement said.

“We ask our sailors, families, and the public for their support in remaining vigilant and (to) report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. Remaining vigilant and reporting suspicious activity is a part of our everyday lives.”

MAN OF THE YEAR: Rob Isquierdo Jr., founder of the Library For London project, has been honored as Man of the Year 2015 by the Tulare Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Isquierdo grew up in the small town of London in Tulare County. He went off to college and became a teacher in Southern California.

But he never forgot his roots in the San Joaquin Valley, and two years ago started collecting books to start a library in his hometown.

The library is tentatively set to open in April. The Tulare County Library Foundation will buy a portable classroom-type module for use as the library, and the Tulare County Library will supply books and computers and will staff it twice a week initially.

Isquierdo now lives in Stratford in Kings County and is an English teacher at Sierra Pacific High in Hanford.

He also is the co-founder and vice president of Re-establishing Stratford, whose mission is “to bring positive events, resources and services for residents of Stratford.” The group’s to-do list includes building a community center.

EXPLORERS: The Explorer post at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department helped serve a pre-Thanksgiving Day meal in Earlimart.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, a half-dozen youths helped community volunteers and deputies serve 806 people at the Earlimart Veterans Memorial Building.

By setting up and taking down chairs, cleaning tables and assisting mothers with small children, Explorers get hands-on experience in community service.

Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he expects some of the Explorers someday will become deputies assigned to the communities they grew up in.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold