US warns of possible attacks on churches, holiday gatherings

Federal authorities warned law enforcement authorities Friday that Islamic State sympathizers are continuing to call for attacks on churches and other holiday gathering sites in the United States. This file photo shows police guarding a Christmas market after a truck ran into the crowd in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 | AP Photo/Michael Sohn, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. churches,” Ames said. “As with similar threats, the FBI is tracking this matter while we investigate its credibility.”

Written by DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • .... December 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Oh this won’t happen here. Mr Obama has assured us that his administration has done a magnificent job in protecting the home front so don’t worry about anything folks were in good hands !

  • Henry December 23, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    A correction to the article – the doctrinal term for people who plot violent, random attacks against innocents isn’t “militants”, it’s “terrorists”.

    • Real Life December 24, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Or maybe the word “Muslim”. Even though it’s the religion of “peace”.

  • Billy Madison December 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Is this a good enough reason to skip church?

    • Henry December 24, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Then you also need to avoid office complexes, public transportation, college campuses, military bases, night clubs, music concerts, beaches, office parties, and open air markets.

      • ladybugavenger December 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        I’ll just stay home ? and sleep ?

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