Law enforcement agencies are on alert for an potential ISIS terror attack on shopping malls or shopping centers located in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia this weekend. The alert comes days before Virginians go to the polls in Tuesday’s closely watched election for governor between Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Northern Virginia is home to thousands of government employees, military and intelligence personnel.
…A law enforcement source told CBS News the recent threat against a mall in Northern Virginia this Halloween weekend originated from ISIS. It is the basis for a law enforcement-sensitive alert that was issued.
Out of an abundance of caution, Fairfax County’s police chief said his department is ready to respond if the threat materializes.
Chief Kevin Davis said he learned of the threat through regional intelligence partners in the last 24 hours. While he wouldn’t describe it in detail, Davis said his department is responding in-kind.
“We have ramped up our presence at places where people shop, at places where people recreate, gather, dine. It’s our responsibility to do that we routinely do this,” Davis said at a news conference Friday.
Fairfax County officers expect to be on high alert around holidays, he said, but there is more reason to be cautious going into next week.
“We have an election coming up next Tuesday where we’ll have increased patrols throughout the next several days out of an abundance of caution, because that’s what we do as a public safety agency,” Davis said.
CBS News Evening News reported on the threat:
ISIS TERROR THREAT: Security is being beefed up at malls and shopping centers across Northern Virginia over what authorities say is a “credible” threat of an ISIS attack – sometime in the next few days. pic.twitter.com/9yyx2DPzxc
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 29, 2021
CBS’ Catherine Herridge reported that the threat comes as al Qaeda and ISIS have ramped up calls for lone wolf attacks since the Biden administration’s retreat from Afghanistan in August.
Fox News host and Marine veteran Johnny “Joey” Jones posted a copy of an email from an undisclosed source that was sent out Friday warning of two ISIS operatives targeting shopping centers in the Alexandria and Woodbridge areas of Northern Virginia.
Several of my friends in the DC/NOVA area just received this email regarding an ISIS threat: pic.twitter.com/7KrJIk1zjs
— Joey Jones (@Johnny_Joey) October 29, 2021
Fairfax County police issued a statement earlier Friday asking people to call in any suspicious activity.
🚨Northern Virginia Halloween Weekend Mall Threat >> The threat, according to federal officials, was received earlier in the week, causing a *high* degree of concern.
Fairfax County’s police chief will speak at 1PM. The Department released the statement below: 2/ pic.twitter.com/4lqqEHOWup
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) October 29, 2021