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The Brief: Texas pre-election terror threat reportedly gets FBI's attention

According to a report released Friday morning, Texas, New York and Virginia are suspected targets of a potential attack on Monday, though officials have not confirmed the threats credibility.

The U.S. flag flies at half-mast over the Texas Capitol in Austin July 8, 2016 following overnight violence in Dallas that claimed the lives of five police officers.

The Big Story

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday night that the FBI was interviewing Muslims in North Texas over the weekend following an alleged pre-election terrorism threat. The North Texas branch of CAIR confirmed that three interviews took place over the weekend and that it received reports of five more, though a representative in the FBI's Dallas field office declined to comment on the reports. Here’s what we know so far:

•  According to a CBS News report released Friday morning, Texas, New York and Virginia are all suspected targets of a potential terrorist attack Monday, through intelligence officers have not confirmed the credibility of the threat. In a statement Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said his office is working with law enforcement and that Texans should “remain vigilant,” but a source told CBS News that the threat may be “aspirational” since it lacked specificity.

•  In a statement to the Tribune, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the "DPS is constantly in touch with fellow law enforcement and intelligence officials, including our Joint Terrorism Task Force partners." The spokesman added that the DPS adjusts its level of vigilance to meet any potential or emerging threats, and that it is taking this threat seriously.

•  In a video posted to Facebook and Twitter Saturday, Alia Salem, the director of the North Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations, warned the Muslim community about the interviews. "Muslims, along with fellow Americans, are committed to doing their job in helping to make our community safer. But for the Muslim community to be targeted as if we are guilty is inappropriate. If [law enforcement] wants to communicate with specific individuals, there should be no hindrance in doing that with an attorney,” Salem said.

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What We're Reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

GOP and Dem troops hit the streets to get out the vote, San Antonio Express-News

Win or lose, Donald Trump will leave his mark on the Texas GOP, Austin American-Statesman 

Can an anti-Trump surge of voters sway Texas?, The Washington Post 

Report takes the wind out of Texas' reputation as renewable powerhouse, KUT

Gov. Abbott girds for fresh fight against feds if Clinton wins, San Antonio Express-News

Today in TribTalk

"Those who endorse Donald Trump often rationalize it by invoking fear. Were Hillary Clinton to appoint a justice to replace Antonin Scalia, they argue, some of our most precious individual liberties — such as the freedom of religion — would be imperiled. This argument resonates here in Austin. Many are worried that the Supreme Court decision that allowed the Ten Commandments monument to remain on state Capitol grounds would be reversed."

— Anya BidwellAustin lawyer

"Donald Trump's repeated exhortations that the system is 'rigged,' including his repeated warnings at rallies that 'we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us,"' has set off alarm bells among political observers."

— Jim Henson and Joshua Blank, the Texas Politics Project

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   Live Post-Election TribCast on Nov. 9 at The Austin Club 

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

•   A Symposium Previewing the 85th Legislature on Nov. 29 at The University of Texas - Texas Union Ballroom

•   A Conversation with Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University on Dec. 1 at The Austin Club

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

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