Report: U.S. intelligence warns of possible al Qaeda attack in Texas, two other states


Texas Capitol building in Austin.
Texas Capitol building in Austin. Star-Telegram

U.S. intelligence officials have alerted counterterrorism task forces that al Qaeda could be planning attacks in the United States — possibly in Texas, New York and Virginia — the day before the U.S. presidential election, CBS News reports.

The FBI and New York Police Department told The Associated Press they are assessing the credibility of the information. It wasn't immediately clear how the intelligence came to investigators' attention, AP reported. An NYPD spokesman says in a statement the information "lacks specificity."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his office was monitoring the situation and is in close coordination with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"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 in a statement. "The state of Texas will continue to do everything it can to ensure the safety and security of its citizens."

CBS said sources told senior investigative producer Pat Milton about the threat, saying the three states are all possible targets though no specific locations are mentioned.

The sources noted that the intelligence is still being assessed but that U.S. authorities are taking the threat seriously.

“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.

The FBI said it is working with federal, state and local law enforcement and the intelligence community “to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety.”

The British news agency Reuters also reported on the threat, citing the CBS News report and saying it could not immediately verify it. It said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump are holding their Election Day parties in New York City.

Federal and state officials have warned of possible cyber attacks on voting systems ahead of the election, and the United States has publicly accused the Russian government of election-year hacking to interfere with the election process.

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh