State, city officials confirm election terror threats
Federal offices are investigating the possibility of al Qaeda terror attacks on the U.S. the day before the election, according to CBS News.
The sources reportedly told the news outlet that U.S. intelligence has alerted joint terrorism task forces of the possible threat to come one day before Election Day. New York, Texas and Virginia are considered possible targets for the Monday attacks.
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The New York City Police Department and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey say they were alerted to the information.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliff is constantly monitoring state security, spokesman Brian Coy said. "We are doing everything we can to keep Virginians safe, and we're confident they are going to be able to vote safely on Election Day," Coy said in a phone interview with Reuters.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released the following statement in response to news that his state was listed as a possible location of attack.
"My office is working with law enforcement officials and we are continuing to monitor the situation in close coordination with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Texans should go about their daily lives as usual, but remain vigilant over the next several days and report any suspicious activity to state or local law enforcement. The State of Texas will continue to do everything it can to ensure the safety and security of its citizens."
Sources stressed that the credibility of this information has not yet been confirmed, and they are still in the assessment process. Intelligence surrounding planned attacks and potential threats increases during the holiday season.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8, and federal law enforcement is planning for worst-case scenarios across the country. Earlier this week, an alert was sent out to local officials noting polling places can be seen as attractive sites for lone-wolf attacks.
Amid the most contentious presidential election cycle in U.S. history, fears are growing around the potential for violence at the polls and election-oriented cyber attacks perpetuated by Russia and other state actors.In response to the terror attack intelligence, a senior official told CBS News the FBI "will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety."
Reuters reports that local authorities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Florida are not boosting election-related law enforcement personnel or resources above 2012 levels.
(Additional reporting by Reuters.)