While Americans set out to enjoy Fourth of July events this week, local and state law enforcement will be working to ensure fireworks are the only "booms" residents encounter.
Authorities are stepping up security in major U.S. cities for the holiday, although no specific terror threats have been identified.
Officials believe al Qaeda continues to plot against the United States and is only waiting for a target.
"There's always a concern during national holidays in the United States for the following reasons. It's symbolic to extremists groups to launch an attack and in particular to be successful on that date would be a big deal for them," explained former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett.
As a result, populous cities like New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia will be on high alert for the holiday.
Law enforcement officials have been advised to be extra vigilant. Authorities are especially concerned about lone wolves like the Underwear Bomber, whose 2009 Christmas Day terrorism plot was foiled.