U.S. intelligence has alerted joint terrorism task forces that al Qaeda could be planning terror attacks in three states for the day before the election, CBS News reports.
The attacks could potentially take place in New York, Texas, and Virginia, sources told CBS News, but specific sites were not mentioned.
"The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States," a senior FBI official told CBS News. "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."
Authorities are taking the threat seriously, but the intelligence community is still assessing its credibility. Counterterrorism officials were alerted about threat out of caution.
CBS News reported that federal law enforcement is planning for multiple worst-case scenarios as Election Day on Tuesday nears. The threat of terrorist attacks always increases during big events and the holiday season, officials noted.
Local police were warned that polling places might be seen as attractive targets for "lone wolf" attacks by individuals that might be motivated by extremist ideologies but not tied to a specific terrorist group.