Northern Virginia authorities investigated a possible Islamic State threat on Oct. 29.
Fairfax County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and other jurisdictions beefed-up police presence at malls and retail centers this Halloween weekend.
“We have increased our police presence throughout the county to include major thoroughfares, transit hubs, shopping plazas, and shopping malls,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said according to the New York Post.
Davis has limited information on the suspected terrorist threat, and vowed to carefully examine it.
“We receive information, sometimes the information we receive is not with great specificity,” he said according to The Hill. “We have to respond to it nonetheless.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) separately speculated the terrorist group in question encourages lone wolves to attack targets.
“Right now we are seeing a dramatic increase–or an increase–in online activity by media operations, associated with different al-Qaeda elements and Islamic State,” DHS intelligence chief John Cohen said according to the New York Post. “It is just our responsibility to have a greater presence, to be more aware, and to ask the community to have their eyes and ears peeled for suspicious activities.”
The FBI gave no comment about the suspected public safety threat, and stressed all threats are taken “seriously.”
MESSAGE FROM THE ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT REGARDING POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY THREAT. pic.twitter.com/O9AcOLzy5r— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) October 29, 2021