Police in Northern Virginia are ramping up security in public spaces such as malls and shopping centers this weekend after receiving information about a potential ISIS terrorist threat over Halloween weekend, officials said on Friday.
Law enforcement officials have not provided details about the exact nature of the threat. However, multiple outlets, including FOX 5 DC and CBS News, have reported the threat may be linked to the ISIS terror group. Rumors about the potential ISIS link circulated on social media but have yet to be publicly corroborated by law enforcement.
“Yesterday, we received information concerning potential public safety impacts to malls and shopping centers across the region,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said during a press conference. “As you all know, we take any and all information very seriously and as we work to corroborate it, we have increased our police presence throughout the county to include major thoroughfares, transit hubs, shopping plazas and shopping malls.”
Davis did not specify what information his department received, though he noted they were in regular contact with federal law enforcement partners. The police chief said the planned presence at major population centers would be consistent with security measures taken during other holiday weekends.
Fairfax County Police officials did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said it was “aware of information that is circulating in our region regarding potential threats to malls and shopping centers this weekend in the Washington, DC area.”
“This information is limited and there is nothing specific to Loudoun County,” the statement said. “As we work to corroborate the information with our local, state, and federal partners in the National Capital Region, the LCSO will increase patrols this weekend in high-visibility locations to include shopping centers, malls, and other commercial establishments.”
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The FBI’s Washington D.C. field office told local outlet Inside NoVa that it had no comment.
“However, we would remind you the FBI takes all potential threats to public safety seriously, and we take all appropriate steps to determine the credibility of any information we receive,” a spokesperson said.