Elevated Threat Issued in Northern Virginia on Halloween Weekend Amid Daesh Attack Rumors
Officials with Northern Virginia police departments say they are “aware” of rumors circulating on social media about possible terrorist attacks at malls this Halloween, but noted that details are limited.
An “elevated, highly specific” threat against Northern Virginia this Halloween weekend will increase police presence at major shopping areas in the city, according to Mike Valerio, a journalist with WUSA9, who confirmed the news on Twitter Friday.
“We are told this is *not* a vague, run of the mill, usual Halloween elevated threat,” read the tweet shared by the reporter.
A spokesperson for the FBI Washington Field Office on Friday afternoon said the agency 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," the spokesperson said in an email shared by Valerio on Twitter
The rumors begin after an alleged screenshot of what appeared to be a law-enforcement email alerting the public of a “potential Daesh* attack by a cell in Northern Virginia” circulated on social media. The attack was said to potentially take place “within the next 72 hours,” specifically targeting a shopping mall center in the Alexandria or Woodbridge area.
The threat, according to federal officials, was received earlier in the week, causing a “high” degree of concern.
Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said Friday that his department is stepping up police presence over the weekend at malls, shopping centers and along major transportation hubs — as his detectives work to corroborate the information.
Prince William County Police Master Officer Renee Carr said the department is aware of the information circulating and will "provide additional information when we are able."
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying the information was limited about the possible threat and was not specific to the county.
*Terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries