NY Police on Alert After Warning of Terror Attack Before Election

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The Police Department will be on heightened alert in coming days in response to a warning about possible terrorist activity that could occur the day before the presidential election, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

He stressed that the information about the possible threat, passed on several days ago by federal authorities, was very vague, but that officials were nonetheless taking precautions.

“It’s not at all clear how credible this is, and it’s not overly specific information so far,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said during his weekly radio appearance on WNYC. “We are watching carefully. We are certainly in a vigilant position.”

The city was informed of the possible threat in a routine intelligence bulletin from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a federal law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The unclassified bulletin said that the terror group Al Qaeda might be planning attacks for Monday, the day before the election, in three states, New York, Texas and Virginia, the official said. He said that officials were skeptical about the credibility of the information.

The bulletin mentioned no specific cities or locations. Such bulletins are issued periodically, often before major events.

Mr. de Blasio said the department was already planning heightened security measures because of several high-profile events over the next several days.

The New York City Marathon is Sunday. On Tuesday, both the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, will hold their election-night gatherings in Manhattan.

“The simplest way for New Yorkers to understand this is we are going to be in a high state of readiness anyway the next few days,” Mr. de Blasio said, adding that security measures would run continuously from the weekend through the election.

In September, a bomb blew up in a Dumpster in Chelsea, injuring 31 people. A second bomb, built from a pressure cooker, was found unexploded nearby. Authorities later arrested a New Jersey man, Ahmad Khan Rahami, and charged him with several crimes related to planting the bombs, saying that he was inspired by extremist Islamic ideology.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, said on Friday that additional state police officers and National Guard soldiers would be on duty on Election Day.

“What they really want to do is disrupt the democracy in this country,” Mr. Cuomo said at an event in Brooklyn, referring to terror groups. “Election Day, the exercise of that democracy, the high holiday of that democracy, of course is going to present a target for them, and of course we’re going to be ready.”

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