WATCH | Federal and local law enforcement officials remain on high alert after information revealed that al-Qaeda is planning a possible attack in New York City to coincide with the United States presidential elections.
U.S. officials disclosed the al-Qaeda plot on Friday, after finding credible evidence to suggest the terrorist organization may target Texas, Virginia and Washington D.C., law enforcement officials said.
5,000 NYPD officers will be assigned to polling placed
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are both expected to be in New York on election night. Throughout Manhattan, security has visibly increased with police officers patrolling on almost every block.
On Election Day 5,000 officers will be reassigned to election duty, New York City officials announced at a press conference Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio asks citizens to report anything suspicious
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that uniformed officers will be at the polling sites.
"If anyone sees something tomorrow that doesn't look right or doesn't feel right, let one of our officers know about it," de Blasio said. "There will be no shortage of uniformed cops around to tell."
He added, "we have beefed up our ability to handle multiple sites simultaneously.”
Law enforcement looking for suspects in the United States
Federal law enforcement officials told Circa they take the threat seriously and as of Monday, law enforcement officials were trying to locate people within the country that may have information on specific persons involved or the planned attack itself. They believe the threat is being directed by al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.
Terror expert says take this threat seriously
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, author of the best-selling book "Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War," told Circa "you have to take it very seriously, when the U.S. government, its agencies, say they have intelligence that is pertaining to a specific date, a specific location."
Al Qaeda still trying to be number one terror group
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a top member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Jake Tapper the threat is concerning.
"There was a threat and I can't go into the specifics, but we often see around pivotal events, like an election, like July 4th, an increase in the threat to the country and here you have al-Qaeda that is still trying to prove that it is lethal," Schiff said.
Pakistani sources told Circa the threat was linked to Faruq al Qatani, who was a top al-Qaeda leader killed in eastern Afghanistan on Oct. 23 in a U.S. drone strike. The Pakistani source also said another terrorist group, linked to al-Qaeda, may have been involved in the terror plot. The group, known as Jundallah, has flip-flopped it's loyalties between al-Qaeda and ISIS over the past year.
Gorka says the significance of a major holiday or event is right out of an al-Qaeda playbook.
"Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jihadis in general, are very interested in specific symbolic dates. A U.S. presidential election would definitely count as a very symbolic target," Gorka said.