Isis threat: Police in Virginia on alert after warning of possible terror attack

Isis threat: Police in Virginia on alert after warning of possible terror attack
Police ask the public to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity in northern Virginia

Police are on high alert at shopping malls and transport hubs just outside of Washington DC this weekend after receiving intelligence that suggested Isis may be planning an attack.

Several law enforcement agencies in northern Virginia said they would be out in large numbers over the Halloween weekend at malls and other shopping areas to counter the threat.

Authorities are still assessing the intelligence and say they don’t believe there is any immediate danger to the public.

A statement from the Arlington County Police Department said they were aware of a “non-specific, unconfirmed threat to shopping centres”.

“As always, the public is encouraged to remain attentive as you go about your normal routine, particularly in areas where large crowds of people typically gather such as shopping centers, restaurant districts, religious services, and public transportation hubs to name a few.”

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said that they had increased police presence at major thoroughfares, transport hubs, shopping centers and malls and were taking the “potential public safety impacts” seriously.

The Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence chief John Cohen told CBS News they had seen a “dramatic increase” in online activity from elements of al Qaeda elements and Islamic State in recent weeks.

Voters in Virginia head to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new governor.