Warnings of possible al Qaeda acts of terrorism in the U.S. on Monday have the Joint Terrorism Task Force worried, especially with the upcoming presidential election. U.S. intelligence alerted the Joint Terrorism Task Force to prepare also, for lone-wolf attacks.
Sources notified CBS News senior investigative producer, Pat Milton, about the impending attacks and more. The sources say that: Virginia, Texas, and New York are in al Qaeda’s bullseye, but they did not give detailed locations. CBS News said that a senior FBI official reported the following:
‘The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States.’
In order for activity to qualify as “domestic terrorism,” the FBI says it has to have three characteristics:
‘Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law.
‘Appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
‘occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.’
Authorities are still assessing the current intelligence, and they stress that the credibility of the alert has not yet been authenticated, according to CBS sources:
‘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.’
Potential threats are always on the rise around big events, such as the presidential election and holidays, a senior FBI official told CBS News. So federal law enforcement is preparing for a couple of worst-case scenarios.
One of those scenarios is of a lone-wolf type attack at polling places. An alert earlier this week warned local police that these are “attractive targets.” The attacker in this situation would be motivated by a number of reasons: “violent extremist ideologies, sovereign citizen, or other extremist activity,” according to CBS News.
The FBI considers combating terrorism its top investigative priority. It works, “with a range of partners” to “neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S.” It also works against extremist networks by cutting off their finances and other forms of support from terrorist sympathizers.
As the FBI says, it has to be right about all terrorism attempts. The attacker, need only be right once.
Check out this video showing how the Joint Terrorism Task Force prepares for political events: