First Baptist Dallas Says It Won't Surrender to Fear of ISIS Threat - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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First Baptist Dallas Says It Won't Surrender to Fear of ISIS Threat

Law enforcement officials taking threat seriously, but say there is no immediate danger

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    An ISIS propaganda magazine has named First Baptist Church of Dallas as a potential target for attack. (Published Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017)

    An ISIS propaganda magazine has named First Baptist Church of Dallas as a potential target for attack.

    The ISIS publication posted earlier this month includes a photo of First Baptist’s church building in Dallas along with suggestions that ISIS followers carry out arson attacks.

    Federal law enforcement officials tell NBC 5 they are taking the threat seriously but there is no sign of any imminent danger.

    In a statement to NBC 5, First Baptist said it would not be deterred by the threat.

    "The Bible tells us the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear. If we surrender to fear, ISIS wins. We will continue doing what the lord has called us to do...” the statement said.

    A federal law enforcement official said the threat is considered credible in the sense that it's been put out there in publication viewed by people interested in carrying out attacks. Still, officials emphasize they have no evidence of an attack in the works.

    First Baptist is a 12,000 member mega-church located in downtown Dallas headed by pastor Robert Jeffress, who is well-known nationally, hosting radio and TV programs.

    He campaigned for President Donald Trump and recently delivered the sermon at Trump’s pre-inauguration church service.

    The threat against First Baptist was reported publicly by several websites earlier this month, and in recent days it's also been discussed in a notice sent to law enforcement discussing the potential for church attacks.

    First Baptist tells us the church has been in contact with the FBI and Dallas police for several weeks and have been reassured there is no reason for concern. The church says it is confident in its security and that safety is its highest priority.

    North Texas has already had one ISIS inspired attack, the 2015 shooting at an event in Garland featuring controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

    The FBI says the gunmen were motivated by ISIS propaganda even though ISIS did not direct the attack.