Described as “an unsubstantiated, anonymous threat,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned authorities in Tennessee and Arkansas about a threat made by the Islamic State to blow up an expansion of the Mississippi River bridge that connects the two states.
As reported by Reuters, the warning was issued on Tuesday as a police bulletin, but a FBI spokesman, Chris Allen, did not give details about how or when the threat was received. The warning was reported by a local television station in Memphis and they quoted the FBI warning that said an anonymous tipster claimed the Islamic State had instructed someone in Memphis “to blow up the Memphis-Arkansas bridge on an unknown date, activating ISIS terror cells in the United States.”
Although a threat was issued, there isn’t actionable intelligence regarding the attack on the bridge. However, the FBI said they take every threat seriously and they always take all necessary steps to warn local authorities. The Memphis Division’s FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the ISIS threat.
According to a report by Fox 13 News, a spokesperson for the Memphis Police said they are aware of the threat and officers are patrolling the bridge looking for signs of suspicious activity. There also surveillance cameras linked to the police department’s Real Time Crime Center focused on the bridge 24 hours a day.
The stretch of bridge in question is a major thoroughfare connecting Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, approximately 56,000 cars and trucks cross that bridge on a daily basis. In addition, there is heavy barge traffic in the area that accounts for billions of dollars in trade for the U.S. economy.
ISIS threats concerning Americans or the U.S. have been reported by Homeland Security since this fall. The Inquisitr reported this fall about an ISIS threat to inject Americans with Ebola tainted needles. ISIS was encouraging its followers to inject American and other citizens in western countries. The threat included directions about how to use the Ebola virus as a chemical weapon.
This past August, the Inquisitr also reported that intelligence officials said there were indications that the Islamic State was planning large scale terrorist attacks in the U.S. and possibly in European cities as well. The FBI is asking everyone in the area to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity they see to the police.
[Image by the Tennessee Department of Transportation]