Federal Authorities in the United States have warned of an unspecific threat attacks by al Qaeda around Election Day.
The authorities issues a high threat alert on New York City, Texas and Virginia and have put local law enforcement on alert days before the vote.
According to Reuters, a U.S. government source in Washington said some federal agencies sent bulletins to local and state officials flagging the information but that the threat was relatively low level.
The White House said it was aware of the reported al Qaeda threats and mindful of increased risk of attacks during events such as Election Day.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement his office was monitoring the situation and urged Texans to remain vigilant. In Virginia, Brian Coy, a spokesman for Governor Terry McAuliffe, 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.”
Steve Coleman, spokesman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, says high level patrol has been implemented in airports, tunnels and bridges around New York City. Coleman declined to offer details on the warning, but the New York City Police Department said the threat report lacked specifics and was still being assessed.
“We are aware of the information,” the department said in a statement, adding that it was working with intelligence agencies and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Although some of the attention of U.S. authorities has shifted to Islamic State-inspired attacks, the al Qaeda network has shown resilience more than 15 years after it was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
Recall that the U.S. carries out attacks in Afghanistan in October which targeted two of al Qaeda’s senior leaders there.
Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence agencies still view al Qaeda and its affiliates as a top counter terrorism priority.