Gov. Edwards says state is on higher alert over election terror concerns

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that the state is on higher alert given the new terror concerns surrounding the election. The homeland security chief for New Orleans said the city is very vigilant, and there are no credible threats against the area.

"We take it seriously," said Gov. Edwards.

"We're in constant communication with our federal and state partners. We've already talked to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security," said Aaron Miller, director of the City's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The FBI said it is assessing the credibility of information it has received about a possible al-Qaida terror attack on U.S. soil on Monday, the eve of the presidential election. Intelligence officials say New York, Texas and Virginia were mentioned as potential targets.

"But we're all on a higher alert because they don't always signal what their true intentions are," the governor said after taking part in a ceremony at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans.

"We've been assured, and we are aware that there are no specific and credible threat for the city of New Orleans," Miller said.

Louisiana is in position to get real-time information on helpful intelligence.

"I can assure the people of Louisiana that the Fusion Center in Baton Rouge is watching, monitoring this continually," said the governor.

Fearing hackers may try to disrupt the voting process, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security months ago offered to assist states with their election preparations.

"I've had conversations with Tom Schedler, secretary of state. The fact of the matter is, and it hasn't always been this case, but for a number of years now, Louisiana has the nation led the nation in terms of protecting our voting system," the governor stated.

Miller said he has alerted local elections officials about the concerns.

"We've shared the information available from our intelligence partners at the federal and state level we want them to be able to have that information, act accordingly and we are going to support them in whatever needs to happen in order to have a safe election," Miller stated.

And he said it is not unusual for there to be chatter around major events happening in the U.S. and holidays.

"Public safety is our top priority. We're always in a posture to make sure that we're providing the utmost in public safety, particularly in these election times or any times of special events," Miller stated.

"We're going to do everything we can to protect the people of Louisiana," said Gov. Edwards.

Both the governor and Miller urged the public to report any suspicious activity to police.

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