Local authorities on alert after U.S. authorities warn of al Qae - KCTV5

Local authorities on alert after U.S. authorities warn of al Qaeda threat to election

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A threat from al Qaeda has added even more tension to next week's election. (AP) A threat from al Qaeda has added even more tension to next week's election. (AP)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A threat from al Qaeda has added even more tension to next week's election.

Federal officials warned authorities in New York, Texas and Virginia about an unspecific threat from the terrorist organization. Officials say the threat is "uncorroborated and relatively low level," but they still felt it warranted sounding the alarm.

While Kansas and Missouri were not mentioned in the warning, local authorities are still paying close attention to the situation as they get ready for the potential of records crowds at the booth Tuesday.

Election Day is the time most people will only be concerned with the candidates they're voting for. Meanwhile, local election boards are making sure you stay safe while you do it.

The lines were long Friday in Jackson County at an absentee polling site in Independence. However, those voters won't have to concern themselves with what will be even bigger crowds and even longer lines on Tuesday.

"We've got a pretty safe community here, but, of course, anything can happen in any community no matter how safe it has been in the past," said Robert Nichols, Jackson County Election Board director.

That is why they're preparing for any sign of trouble.

"We've made communications with all of the chiefs of police and the sheriff's department in eastern Jackson County to be apprised that if we would need them. They have a list of all the polling locations within their jurisdictions. So, that way, if we have to have a response, they'll know exactly where they're going to be going," Nichols said.

Security expert Michael Tabman says the real threat is not necessarily a group doing something en masse on Election Day but rather the lone wolf who can be difficult to identify.

"There's always someone looking for that message, They are waiting for this message that in their mind is going to be meant for them to take action. So, we take it seriously. They will ramp up physical security, maybe a little bit more cautious. Looking for strange people, strange events, strange packages that we always look for," Tabman said.

Tabman also says voters can do themselves a big favor by staying vigilant themselves. If you see something, say something.

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