‘This is a time of important vigilance’: FBI agent discusses terror threats this holiday weekend

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(June 30, 2015) -- Federal and local law enforcement are on high alert for possible terrorist threats during the Fourth of July weekend.

The FBI is setting up command centers around the country to monitor any potential terrorist threats.

The Department of Homeland Security says increased talks by ISIS on the internet and recent attacks overseas are prompting new concerns about terror plots, even right here in Indiana.

"This is a time of important vigilance, especially as we get closer to an important holiday," explains Indiana Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott.

FOX59's Nicole Pence sat down exclusively with Abbott to talk about possible terror attacks targeting the holiday weekend.

"There is no specific, individual that has made threats of attacks within Indiana. But, the concern that we have because of the national threat stream is to just have a much more raised level of vigilance because the radicalization can happen so quickly," said Abbott.

Abbott met with the state's Joint Terrorism Task Force Executive Board last week.  Members of Indiana's military, state police, and local law enforcement talked about the national threat plan for this holiday weekend.

"There will be agents here at our office keeping a much closer tab on communicating with our law enforcement community," said Abbott.

The Special Agent in Charge says social media is his biggest concern for someone planning an attack on America's most patriotic holiday because groups like ISIS and ISIL target individuals, and they try to get them to turn on the United States.

"ISIS has 17,000 followers in the world on Twitter. You can imagine a good proportion of them are in our country and Indiana is not an exception to that," said Abbott.

Abbott says parents need to watch their children's social media communication and to look out for programs like surespot, which terror groups use to send encrypted messages.

Abbott says all Hoosiers should do their part to keep Indiana safe.

"The type of threat that we are facing now is very different than anything we faced before. The engagement and awareness of the public is key. If they see something, say something," said Abbott.

There are several big events in Indianapolis for the holiday, including the Rolling Stones concert at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Abbott says he will have extra agents ready to respond if local police need the help.

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