Holiday terror advisory issued in Virginia

Holiday terror advisory issued in Virginia

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia law enforcement are on alert for possible homegrown terror threats over the holiday season. The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is issuing a holiday advisory.

This comes as the local Islamic community pledges to stand with law enforcement in the fight against extremists.

Police say this advisory is not meant to alarm anyone. They simply want you to be vigilant this holiday season.

As police investigate yet another case of possible domestic terrorism, reportedly involving a Muslim suspect, this time at Ohio State University campus, the local Islamic community is speaking out.

"There is no room in our community for those people, and we have zero tolerance for that kind of idea," said Ammar Amonette, Islamic Center of Virginia Imam.

Amonette condemns those who promote hatred and violence.

"We would report them to law enforcement immediately. They are more dangerous to us than they are to anyone else," said Amonette.

Just recently, letters were sent to Mosques in California and Georgia...calling Muslims "the children of Satan" and saying that president-elect Donald Trump would do to Muslims "what Hitler did to the Jews."

"It's wrong to use that kind of rhetoric towards anyone. That is very frightening," said Amonette.

It's a different story at the Islamic Center in RVA, where a large thank you sign is posted out front and a table full of letters inside.

"They are cards and letters expressing love and support. People are saying they want to stand with us and support our rights," said Amonette.

This outpouring of love comes as police issue an advisory saying - during the holiday season, law enforcement is on the lookout for possible threats of violence and terrorism, and asks the public to be alert to anything that seems unusual or threatening. If you see something, say something to a law enforcement officer.

"If you have one or two bad apples that is not a good thing, but we shouldn't panic," said Amonette.

And the Imam says he plans to do his part to reach out to the community - he is holding an Open House for people to see for themselves what a mosque is. He is hoping to stress love and unity in the face of hatred and violence.

The Imam has not set a date for the Open House. We'll keep you posted on the date and time.

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