US warns of possible attacks on Christmas and new year gatherings in the country | world-news | Hindustan Times
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US warns of possible attacks on Christmas and new year gatherings in the country

world Updated: Dec 24, 2016 09:58 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Washington
US warns of attacks

The warning was issued after a publicly available list of US churches was posted on a militants’ social media site. It also came just days after Monday’s attack at a Christmas market in Berlin(Agency File Photo)

Federal authorities warned law enforcement authorities across the nation Friday that Islamic State sympathizers are continuing to call for attacks on churches and other holiday gathering sites.

The warning was issued after a publicly available list of US churches was posted on a militants’ social media site. It also came just days after Monday’s attack at a Christmas market in Berlin that left 12 dead and 56 injured.

Separately on Friday, police in Australia detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day attacks using explosives, knives and a gun in the heart of Melbourne.

FBI spokesman Andrew Ames said US citizens are advised to maintain awareness of their surroundings and report suspicious activity. He said the FBI will work closely with federal, state and local law enforcement should there be any potential threat to public safety.

“The FBI is aware of the recent link published online that urges attacks against US churches,” Ames said. “As with similar threats, the FBI is tracking this matter while we investigate its credibility.”

Islamic State sympathizers “continue aspirational calls for attacks on holiday gatherings, including targeting churches,” CNN quoted the bulletin as saying. The notice describes different signs of suspicious activity for which police should be alert, it said.

Read | Security stepped up at Christmas markets across Europe, Canada