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Malls and retail complexes in Virginia are beefing up security in the face of the ISIS threat

Northern Virginia police are on high alert following the release of a new law enforcement notice warning of a potential danger to malls and retail centers just outside of Washington, D.C. According to CBS News, the threat originated with ISIS and is the reason for the alert.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said Friday that “we have boosted our police presence throughout the county to include key thoroughfares, transit hubs, shopping plazas, and shopping malls.”

The extra law enforcement presence will last through Halloween weekend and through the gubernatorial election in Virginia, according to police. Law enforcement authorities said they are acting out of an abundance of caution, and the extra law police presence might be prolonged through Tuesday’s election as they learn more about the danger.

“It’s simply our obligation to be more visible, more attentive, and to ask the community to keep an eye and ear out for unusual activity,” Davis said.

Since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in August, ISIS has been more aggressive. Threats from the international terrorist organization and al Qaeda, according to officials, are increasing.

Terrorist groups want individuals to act on their own — so-called lone-wolf strikes — both abroad and at home, according to the intelligence chief of the Department of Homeland Security, John Cohen.

“Right now, we’re witnessing a tremendous surge — or an uptick — in online activity by media operations linked to various al Qaeda components and the Islamic State,” Cohen said.

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