NORTH HAVEN -- It's America's birthday this week, but it's ISIS's too--it's been one year since the founding of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Connecticut-based intelligence analyst Lew Nescott Jr. said that coincidence is one of a few factors that leads him to believe the threat of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil this holiday weekend is different than past ones.
"This is a very serious time," he said. "It makes perfect sense,"
Nescott also pointed to the timing of July 4th, and the attack history of past terror groups.
"We're celebrating the Fourth of July [on] Friday and Saturday," he said. "It would seem that during my time at the embassy, that Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays, especially during Ramadan, the holiest of seasons, were attack days for what was then Al Qaeda and the branch that ultimately became ISIS or ISIL."
The terrorism expert added that large gatherings, like ones seen at fireworks shows or sporting events, could be prime targets.
"The kinds of attacks that I would envision would be primarily mass casualty. Again, high profile venues, major cities, tunnels, bridges," said Nescott.
The perceived threat is high enough that the FBI is said to be assembling command centers ahead of Independence Day. The New York and Los Angeles police departments said their planned security measures for the holiday are greater than in years past.
Even so, some Connecticut residents are not worried.
"It is what it is. I'm not going to let them stop what I'm going to do, just for the threat of it," said Frank Giordano.
Nathan Pirovane agreed. "Just gonna celebrate the birth of our country and no enemy is going to change that," he said.
Nescott won't be cancelling his plans either. "Oh, I'll go to a fireworks display in Cheshire," he said. "You shouldn't get hysterical when you see these threats."
But he and the authorities suggest keeping an eye out for anything suspicious over the next few days.
"I would take it very seriously, I would be aware of it and be aware of my surroundings," Nescott Jr. said.
CNN reports that nearly 50 ISIS supporters have been charged by U.S. authorities since the start of 2015, and more arrests are expected this week.