Islamic State calls for attacks on Election Day voters

The Islamic State is calling for the "slaughter" of U.S. voters on Election Day and demanding Muslims not participate in the democratic process, according to a U.S.-based terrorist monitoring group.

Ritz Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, said Saturday on Twitter that the threats appear in an essay carried by the Islamic State's Al Hayat media center that declares militants "have come to slaughter you and smash your ballot boxes."

"May Allah make this year’s U.S. presidential election a dreadful calamity like no other to have struck America throughout its pathetic history," the seven-page manifesto, entitled "The Murtadd Vote," read. Murtadd is an apostate who turns his back on Islam.

The essay, which uses lengthy religious arguments in an effort to justify such attacks, also declares there is no difference between the Republican and Democratic parties in their “policies against Islam and Muslims”

Katz posted excerpts on Twitter, saying the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was inciting attacks on Election Day "in an attempt to disrupt the election process and gain media attention."

The full essay, in English, includes a photograph of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, as well as a photo Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in combat, holding a copy of the U.S. Constitution during his dramatic speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Regarding possible vote-related threats, federal authorities are reviewing information about al-Qaeda's potential interest in conducting attacks in the U.S. on the eve of Tuesday's elections, several federal and state law enforcement officials said Friday.

The credibility of the threat, which identified New York, Virginia and Texas as locations, has not been established, one official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, told USA TODAY.

Beyond the general locations, there was no specific information on the possible form or targets of attacks, the official said.

"The counterterrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States,'' the FBI said in a statement.


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