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US authorities warn of terrorist attacks before elections

American intelligence agencies have warned about possible terror attacks planned by the al-Qaeda terrorist group for the day before the US presidential election, reports say. Federal officials told CBS News on Friday that the terrorist attacks may possibly target three US states of New York, Texas and Virginia before Election Day on November 7. “The counter-terrorism and homeland security communities remain vigilant and well-postured to defend against attacks here in the United States,” a senior FBI official told the news outlet.

“The FBI, working with our federal, state and local counterparts, shares and assesses intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” he added. Media reports said the US authorities are taking the threat seriously although its credibility has not been confirmed.

The US presidential election is to be held on November 8, with over a hundred million Americans expected to go to the polls.

According to the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News Poll, more than 80 percent of voters say the presidential campaign has left them repulsed rather than excited. US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, are both seen as dishonest and viewed unfavourably by a majority of voters, the poll found.

The survey shows that the former secretary of state has a narrow advantage over the New York businessman with a 45-percent support compared to Trump’s 42 percent. Support for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has slipped to 5 percent, and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, has 4 percent support. Majorities of voters also say that Trump is not qualified to be president and that he lacks the temperament to serve in the White House, while most voters believe Clinton is untrustworthy and dishonest, the survey found.

 The tightening of the polls comes after FBI Director James Comey dropped a bombshell on the Clinton campaign last week by announcing the revival of the investigation into thousands of new emails sent by Clinton as secretary of state.

Trump himself is also struggling to handle the fallout from the release of a 2005 tape, in which he was heard bragging about groping women. Since the video’s release, about a dozen women have accused Trump of groping or kissing without their consent, allegations that Trump has called “absolutely false.”

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