After Destroying Utah High School's American Flag, Vandals Fly ISIS Flag Instead


One Utah community is on alert following a recent act of vandalism at a high school.

According to Fox News, an American flag was found destroyed at Hurricane High School Thursday. Authorities reported that it had been replaced with “what looked like a flag used by ISIS.”

The terror-themed destruction also included graffiti on one wall with an apparently incomplete message that read “ISIS is COMI.”

Investigators believe the perpetrator intended to write “ISIS is COMING.”

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As KUTV reported, the words were spray-painted on an exterior wall of the school.

A police statement later in the day confirmed the shredded American flag was replaced with a new one while the graffiti and the Islamic State group’s flag had been removed.

“The graffiti was removed by Washington County School District employees shortly after it was found,” the school said. “The ISIS flag was also removed and replaced with a new American flag.”

Classes at Hurricane High School resumed as normal Thursday, though additional police were stationed inside as an added precaution.

Local law enforcement officers sent photos of the vandalism to the FBI for further analysis, as KSTU reported. So far, they say there is no indication whether they are looking for a local suspect or someone passing through the small city.

“Officers have received tips this morning and they’re following those leads,” said Hurricane Police Department spokesperson Ken Thompson.

The leads received so far “haven’t generated a credible lead but tips can help us out a lot,” he added.

Thompson said the case can likely be solved by someone with knowledge of the crime stepping forward to share that information with police.

“Most likely somebody else knows … other than just the person who did it,” he said.

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A statement from the police department confirmed the investigation is ongoing as investigators continue following up on new information.

Though alarming, authorities at this point do not believe the act should be interpreted as a genuine threat of terrorism.

Based on feedback from local and federal investigators, police say they “do not believe this act was perpetrated by someone linked to the Islamic State.”

Nevertheless, many in the community are outraged anyone would consider defacing school property in such a way.

David Morse, who lives across the street from the school, expressed dismay over the act.

“That flag represents our country,” he said. “I just can’t imagine anybody wanting to do anything to that flag.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
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