CBS News has learned about a potential terror threat for the day before the election.
Sources told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton that U.S. intelligence has alerted joint terrorism task forces that al Qaeda could be planning attacks in three states for Monday.
It is believed New York, Texas and Virginia are all possible targets, though no specific locations are mentioned. A U.S. law enforcement source briefed on the threat information told CBS News’ Milton that the threat is possibly legitimate and concerning.
The source said the threat may be aspirational and hence the lack of specificity. The source said there has been pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates AQAP and AQIS (al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent) to regain relevance with its mission. [CBS]
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates airports, tunnels and bridges around New York City, continues high levels of patrol it has had in place, spokesman Steve Coleman said.
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.
The White House also 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.” [REUTERS]