Federal authorities have warned officials in three states that Al Qaeda could be planning to carry out terrorist attacks the day before the election. Local and state authorities in Texas, Virginia and New York City received a bulletin from federal agencies informing them of the potential attacks, although the notice specified that the threat level was relatively low. The NYPD confirmed to Reuters that it had received the notice, and noted that it lacked specific details.
"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,” said Brian Coy, a spokesman for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
It’s unclear precisely which federal agencies issued the alert — CBS said only that “U.S. intelligence” sent the warning to “joint terrorism task forces” in the states. Sources told CBS that the credibility of the threat still hasn’t been determined.
“We are still very much assessing the credibility,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on his weekly radio show. “It is not at all clear how credible this is. We are watching carefully.” He added that New Yorkers should prepare for “a high level of police presence” from the weekend through election day.
Every four years, pundits en masse hypothesize that a terrorist attack on American soil would benefit whoever the Republican presidential candidate is. As always, many have suggested that this would be the case in 2016, and yet there’s not much evidence to support that theory. Polls show that voters trust Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump to handle terrorism-related issues, and the several terror attacks that have occurred in the U.S. during this campaign haven’t swung the polls toward Trump in any meaningful way.
CBS said that no specific targets were named in the threat. “The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States,” the FBI said in a statement Friday.