FBI Urges Vigilance for Muslim Holy Month

WASHINGTON – The FBI is urging extra vigilance for possible terror attacks and violence against Muslims during the upcoming Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In its weekly bulletin to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies, the FBI says it has no credible information that an attack is planned by al-Qaida or any other terror group during the period of fasting and reflection that begins next week.

But attacks overseas have been timed in the past to coincide with symbolic dates, the FBI says, adding that “the possibility of such an attack in the United States cannot be discounted.”

At the same time, the bulletin says local police should step up outreach efforts to Muslim communities to guard against potential violence or hate crimes. Of special concern are Islamic sites, such as mosques, businesses or offices.

Ramadan begins with the sighting of a new moon, expected Sunday, and lasts for four weeks.

Last year, the FBI issued a more pointed warning about possible al-Qaida attacks during Ramadan but none occurred.

Officials say there are no plans to raise the government’s terror warning level, currently at yellow or elevated, during the holy month.

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