Law enforcement officials in New York and at the federal-level are gearing up for heightened security threats as the day of the election grows near.
Recently, authorities’ intercepted a conversation between what is believed to be members of al Qaeda plotting to target New York, Texas, and Virginia, according to a local and a federal law enforcement officials.
Although alarming, officials state that these threats were not specific and could just be overseas banter, and is not viewed as being a sure thing.
But this is just one of many threats to security that law enforcement officials are monitoring in New York leading up to the elections.
Officials have already been increasing security in the city leading up to the New York Marathon that brings in large crowds, and on Tuesday, both candidates will be having their campaign parties in Manhattan.
“You can assume there will be considerable security around Election Night, particularly given, as I understand it, that the two major party candidates will be having events in New York City,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday. “And so there will be considerable security contributions by the federal government, by the NYPD state and local law enforcement.”
“We have these concerns around every election, but I have to say that I think there is more of a concern this time than I’ve seen in the past,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
“There is a threat and I can’t go into specifics,” he said. “But we often see around pivotal events, like an election, like July 4, an increase in the threat to the country and here you have al Qaeda that is still trying to prove that it’s lethal, still trying to compete with ISIS, ISIS losing its caliphate, trying to lash out.”
A police spokesman in New York told news reporters that law enforcement are aware of the threats and are working with the FBI to ensure that everything that can possibly be done to insure people’s safety is performed.
“We take any intelligence reports regarding New York City seriously,” said J. Peter Donald, NYPD spokesman. “In this case, I would point out that the credibility of those reports is still being assessed and the information lacks specificity.”
A law enforcement officer in Texas told CNN that there is no information that they have that is specific or credible that suggests a threat to the election in the state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott put out a statement that his office was working with state law enforcement to monitor the situation.
“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,” he said. “The State of Texas will continue to do everything it can to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.”
Virginia State Police officials offered a statement that told residents that they are going to be implementing safety precautions for any threat received to make sure that everyone is safe on Election Day.
Federal authorities will continue to work with state law enforcement officers until they are sure the threats were not accurate.
“The FBI, working with our federal, state and local counterparts, shares and assesses intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” according to a statement from the FBI’s New York field office.