New Intel Indicates Iran Preparing Attack On US Soil
U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies, the U.S. spy chief said Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said in prepared testimony that an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington that was uncovered last year reflects an aggressive new willingness within the upper ranks of the Islamist republic to authorize attacks against the United States.
That plot “shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime,” Clapper said in the testimony, which was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee in advance of a threat assessment hearing Tuesday. “We are also concerned about Iranian plotting against U.S. or allied interests overseas.”
The assessment signals a potentially dire new direction in the adversarial relationship between the United States and Iran, at a time when there are indications that a covert campaign is already underway to thwart Iran’s alleged ambition to develop a nuclear weapon.
Clapper’s warning about Iran was delivered as part of the U.S. intelligence community’s annual overview of the nation’s most serious national security concerns. As the hearing got underway, Clapper signaled that the United States is seeking to avoid a violent confrontation with Iran, instead pushing for more and more sanctions while also monitoring the possibility of a preemptive strike by Israel.
“Our hope is that the sanctions … would have the effect of inducing a change in Iranian policy toward their apparent pursuit of a nuclear capability,” Clapper said. “Obviously this is a very sensitive issue right now. We’re doing a lot with the Israelis.”
Clapper’s testimony also calls attention to a heightened concern over cyber-related threats, as well as the diminished but persistent danger to the United States posed by al-Qaeda.
This year’s assessment is the first to evaluate al-Qaeda’s capabilities since Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. commando raid in May. That blow, combined with the toll taken by subsequent strikes and raids, has destroyed al-Qaeda’s core.
As a result, Clapper said in the testimony, the United States is entering a “critical transitional phase for the terrorist threat,” in which smaller-bore strikes from regional nodes are more likely than elaborate, mass-casualty plots.
If the pressure on al-Qaeda can be maintained, “there is a better-than-even chance that decentralization will lead to fragmentation,” Clapper said. The terrorist group “will seek to execute smaller, simpler plots to demonstrate relevance to the global jihad.”
The group’s affiliate in Yemen continues to be seen as the most likely source of plots targeting the United States. But the death of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in a CIA drone strike in Yemen last year has at least temporarily eroded the affiliate’s ability to mount international attacks. source – Washington Post
|Print article||This entry was posted by NTEB News Desk on January 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm, and is filed under Islamic Terrorism, Middle East. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No trackbacks yet.
about 1 month ago - 54 comments
about 3 months ago - 75 comments
about 3 months ago - 34 comments
about 3 months ago - 21 comments
In wake of reported IAF attack on a military research center in Syria, Syrian ambassador to Lebanon says Damascus has option to respond as Iran threatens “serious consequences” for Tel Aviv; Hezbollah, Russia condemn strike. BEIRUT – Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon said on Thursday that Damascus had the option of a “surprise decision” to respond…
about 4 months ago - 67 comments
about 6 months ago - 15 comments
An Iranian 150-ton freighter departed Bandar Abbas port Sunday, Nov. 18, with a cargo of 220 short-range missiles and 50 improved long-range Fajr-5 rockets for the Gaza Strip, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report. The ship turned toward the Bab al-Mandeb Straits and the Red Sea.
about 6 months ago - 11 comments
about 6 months ago - 18 comments
about 6 months ago - 47 comments
Mr. Netanyahu, forget Obama, and as much as it hurts to say this, forget America as well. We voted yesterday to return to office a man of Muslim origin who hates you and hates Israel with every fiber of his being. You don’t need the support of the American president and you do not need American military might to defend you. You have the God of Abraham, the God of Issac and the God of Jacob to fight for you.
about 7 months ago - 14 comments
Israel shows Iran that distance is no object The Yarmouk Complex of military plants near Khartoum, which was bombed five minutes after midnight Wednesday, Oct. 24, by four fighter-bombers, recently went into manufacturing Iranian ballistic surface-to-surface Shehab missiles under license from Tehran, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources disclose. Western intelligence sources have not revealed what…