Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NYPD On Alert for Possible Iran Terror Attack.

NYPD chief: City on alert for Iran terror

Commissioner Raymond Kelly says New York City's police force placed on high alert as concerns mount over possible retaliation by Tehran, Hezbollah over tightening international sanctions
New York City's police commissioner said Wednesday that a potential retaliatory attack on New York City by Iran is an ongoing concern for the NYPD.

Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke at the NYPD Shield Anti-Terrorism Conference.
According to the New York Post, Kelly said that a possible conflict between Iran and Israel was of concern to the law enforcement agency due to the city's large Jewish population.

"We’ve been concerned about Iran for a while, and I think the history of those events throughout the world since January give us cause for concern," he said.

On high alert. NYPD (Photo: AP) 

"Obviously if there's any action involving Israel and Iran we have to be very cognizant of the potential of retaliation here in New York City," Kelly was quoted by the New York Post as saying.

Lt. Kevin Yorke of the NYPD's Intelligence Division also addressed the conference, saying that one of the issues the NYPD is mostly concerned about is the potential for a retaliation attack on New York City by Iran or Hezbollah.

source here

NYPD on alert for Iran terror

  • Last Updated: 3:44 AM, October 10, 2012
  • Posted: 2:32 AM, October 10, 2012
A terror attack sponsored by Iran is an ongoing concern for the NYPD, Commissioner Ray Kelly revealed yesterday.
“We’ve been concerned about Iran for a while, and I think the history of those events throughout the world since January give us cause for concern,” Kelly said during an anti-terror conference called NYPD SHIELD.
Kelly also said that a possible conflict between Iran and Israel is a particular area of concern, given New York City’s large Jewish population.
One issue is the potential for a retaliation attack on New York City by Iran and Hezbollah, said NYPD Lt. Kevin Yorke of the Intelligence Division.
“Within the last year, we’ve seen a worldwide increase in incidents involving the stockpiling of explosives, the surveillance of targets, and a number of very significant plots and attacks,” Yorke said.
That increase in activity is in direct relation to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program and the tension surrounding it, Yorke said.
“Obviously if there’s any action involving Israel and Iran we have to be very cognizant of the potential of retaliation here in New York City,” Kelly said.
NYPD SHIELD is a public-private partnership that provides counterterrorism training in an effort to protect New York City from terrorist attacks.

'Hezbollah has 300 operatives in NYC'

US officials debate virulence of Hezbollah's threat on US soil as NYPD says Hezbollah's infrastructure in the Big Apple substantial
Yitzhak Benhorin, Reuters
WASHINGTON – A recent report by the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security states that there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, people he described as "Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists" in the United States.

An alarming part of the officials' assessments focuses on the apparent surveillance missions that Iranian diplomats and possible Hezbollah operatives have been seen conducting at sensitive targets such as New York City's subways and bridges, and at nuclear power plants and tunnels elsewhere in the United States in the past 10 years

At the same time, US officials caution that Hezbollah, a Shiite militia based in Lebanon, has largely avoided attacking US targets since it carried out mass-casualty bombings in the 1980s against the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut. One reason may be that it does not want to endanger its lucrative North American fund-raising operations.

The renewed focus on Hezbollah – which US counter-terrorism officials regard as the most potent and disciplined of Islamic militant groups, even more so than al-Qaeda – comes amid a growing confrontation over Iran's nuclear program.

An Israeli or US strike on Iran's nuclear sites could prompt Hezbollah to change strategy, moving from surveillance and fund-raising in North America to launching retaliatory attacks on either country, several US officials said.

Israel, while acknowledging the likelihood of retaliation by Iran or its agents, has sometimes downplayed the risk of a broader conflict.

Iranian-inspired surveillance missions in the United States have been scattered over a period of years. But, when combined with a handful of recent attacks or plots around the world, they have contributed to an assessment within the US government that considerable violence directed against US targets – at overseas installations or businesses, or at American soil – could follow any strike on Iran's nuclear program.

הגשרים של ניו יורק - על הכוונת של חיזבאללה? (צילום: ענת לב אדלר)
Every NYC landmark a target? (Photo: Anat Lev-Adler)

US intelligence and law enforcement officials, along with private experts, say there is little doubt Hezbollah has an extensive network of supporters, fund-raisers and potential operatives in the United States.

'Thousands of sympathizers'

A law enforcement official said that the New York Police Department, whose monitoring of Muslim communities has prompted political controversy, believes that between 200 and 300 Hezbollah sympathizers live in New York City. Between 10 and 20 of those are relatives of Hezbollah leaders or fighters who were killed in action, said the official.

The NYPD's knowledge of Hezbollah's infrastructure is sufficiently detailed that it has identified three Lebanese towns, Bint Jbeil, Yanoun and Yatar, to which suspected sympathizers of the group have ties. At least a handful of people in New York connected with Hezbollah have also undergone military training in Lebanon, the official said.

A preliminary Homeland Security report said that pinpointing the number of Hezbollah operatives inside the United States was difficult because of the group's operational security. The report nonetheless cited the estimates of "some officials" that the group "likely" has "several thousand sympathetic donors" in the United States as well as "hundreds" of operatives.

כמה מהמתגוררים בניו יורק עברו אימונים צבאיים בלבנון (צילום: AP)
Ready and willing? (Photo: AP)

But other officials said there was a big difference between a Hezbollah "supporter" and someone who would be willing to engage in violent activity. The officials said such distinctions have been blurred in public discussions about the domestic threat the group allegedly poses.

Over the years, US federal authorities have brought numerous criminal cases against alleged Hezbollah operatives, most of them related to fund-raising or other support activity rather than plotting against US targets.

The access to potential funding sources is one reason why Hezbollah has avoided targeting the United States or its interests, experts say.
source: here

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