Police Increase Security Following ISIS Threat In Northern Virginia

Police in Northern Virginia are on high alert this weekend after receiving information about a potential ISIS threat affecting malls and shopping centers outside of the D.C. area.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis spoke at a press conference Friday, saying “Yesterday, we received information concerning potential public safety impacts to malls and shopping centers across the region”.

“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 explained.

The police chief noted that his department is in contact with federal law enforcement but did not specify what information was given to them.

A spokesperson for the FBI said in a statement, “We have 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”.

“It’s 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,” Davis said during the conference.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, ISIS and al Qaeda have increased their activity. The Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence chief John Cohen said “Right now we’re seeing a dramatic increase — or an increase — in online activity by media operations associated with different al Qaeda elements and Islamic State”.