Body slams were the defiant answer to terrorists Sunday night, as a major WWE wrestling event at Atlanta’s Philips Arena got underway without incident following the FBI’s confirmation that it was aware of an alleged threat by the Islamic group ISIS to attack it.
On Saturday, the hacker group Anonymous said that it had uncovered information about Islamic State group plans for additional terror attacks in Paris as well as locations in the U.S., according to the International Business Times. An FBI said that while the bureau was aware of the threat, it did not have “specific or credible information of an attack.
“The FBI is aware of reports of an alleged threat that includes an Atlanta, Georgia venue and event,” FBI Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the Atlanta office said on Saturday. “While we take all threats seriously, we do not have specific or credible information of an attack at this time. We have, however, made the proper notifications as we continue to work closely with our law enforcement and private sector partners to keep our community safe.”
On Sunday afternoon while he was ending a trip to Asia, President Barack Obama said the Islamic State group “cannot strike a mortal blow” against the U.S., and he warned that overreacting to the Paris attacks would play into extremists’ hands.
“We do not succumb to fear,” Obama said in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “The most powerful tool we have to fight ISI is to say that we’re not afraid, to not elevate them, to somehow buy into their fantasy that they’re doing something important,” Obama said.
According to Anonymous, ISIS was planning an assault at an WWE Survivor Series event, which was to recognize the 25th anniversary of one of its star wrestlers, the Undertaker.
The WWE, Atlanta Hawks and Phillips Arena released this joint statement in response to the terror threats:
“Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities have confirmed there is no specific or credible information involving a threat against tomorrow’s WWE Survivor Series at Philips Arena. However, WWE and Philips Arena have coordinated with the appropriate agencies and law enforcement, and significantly increased security measures to ensure the safety of all those in attendance, which is our highest priority.”
The WWE and arena also announced that bags will not be permitted in the arena and indicated that the venue’s doors will open earlier to allow time for additional security procedures.
Philips Arena is located just across the street from the Georgie Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons-Indianapolis Colts game was held without a hitch Sunday afternoon.