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FBI evaluates US election eve terror warning

The states of New York, Texas and Virginia have been warned of possible terrorist attacks from al Qaeda around the US election. Intelligence officials say they are investigating the credibility of the threats.

The FBI and New York Police Department said on Friday they were assessing the information they'd received about the possibility of a terror attack against the US next Monday, the eve of the presidential election.

It wasn't immediately clear how the intelligence came to federal investigators' attention but the three states - New York, Texas and Virginia - had been mentioned specifically.

The FBI said in a statement that counterterrorism and intelligence officials "remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States."

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security were working with local law enforcement authorities to "identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety," it added.

US states on alert

The governors of Texas and Virginia also confirmed state authorities were investigating the threats.

Brian Coy, a spokesman for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, said: "We are doing everything we can to keep Virginians safe, and we're confident they are going to be able to vote safely on Election Day."

Officials said they regularly assess all possible security threats ahead of major events and public holidays.

Although attention has shifted to attacks inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" in recent years, US intelligence agencies still view al Qaeda and its affiliates as a top counterterrorism priority.

The White House said it was aware of the reported al Qaeda threats and mindful of increased risk of attacks during events such as Election Day.

Election Day is Tuesday, and both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump are holding their Election Day parties in New York City.

The presidential race has been one of the most divisive in US history, and some analysts have warned that Russia or other state actors could spread political misinformation online or tamper with voting.

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The US election from a German perspective

mm/kl (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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