US intelligence officials warn of possible Al-Qaeda attacks on New York, Texas and Virginia ahead of election

Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during their third and final presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas on Oct 19, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US intelligence officials have warned local authorities in New York, Texas and Virginia about possible attacks by Al-Qaeda on Monday (Nov 7), a day before the US presidential election, CBS News reported on Friday (Nov 4), citing unnamed sources.

No specific locations were mentioned, but US intelligence officials alerted joint terrorism task forces about the possible threat, CBS reported.

The FBI did not comment specifically on the report.

"The counter-terrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States," it said in a statement on Friday.

The bureau was working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement to identify and disrupt any potential threats, it said.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report, and officials at the US Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The potential for violent clashes is darkening an already rancorous presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, on top of the threat of computer hacking and fears that Russia or other state actors could spread political misinformation online or tamper with voting.

And while federal and state authorities are beefing up cyber defences against potential electronic attacks on voting systems ahead of Election Day, others are taking additional steps to guard against possible civil unrest or violence.

Local authorities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin and Florida told Reuters they were not boosting election-related law enforcement personnel or resources above 2012 levels.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.