Published February 14, 2012
The U.S. intelligence community says there is no increased threat to Jewish personnel inside the United States, even as car bombs in two countries overseas targeted Israeli officials and the Israeli government blamed Iran for another series of blasts overnight Tuesday.
An FBI spokesman and a Department of Homeland Security official said their "posture" and analysis remains unchanged since their agencies last week issued a joint intelligence bulletin to local law enforcement across the country.
Threats against Israeli or Jewish targets in Asia and Europe, attacks on nuclear scientists in Iran, global economic sanctions against Iran, and reports of Israel's "possible intent to attack Iran's nuclear facilities" have "contributed to the perception of an increased threat to the Jewish community worldwide from Iran or its surrogates," reads the Feb. 8 bulletin obtained by Fox News.
But, the U.S. government has "no specific information that Iran or its surrogates are targeting Jewish organizations, facilities, or personnel in the United States," according to the bulletin.
"These recent events" and "recent heightened tensions with Iran" have not "significantly increased the threat" to Jewish personnel in the United States, the bulletin concludes.
That stance hasn't changed since last week, sources tell Fox News.
An intelligence source says he is aware of no information suggesting any current, credible threat to Jewish or Israeli institutions in the U.S., adding that Iran is "smart" and "they know that it's very tough to do stuff in the United States."
In Israel, police raised the state of alert Monday after a man on a motorcycle stuck a magnet bomb on an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi, India, wounding four people. In Georgia the same day, a bomb plot targeting an Israeli diplomatic car was foiled. In Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday, an Iranian man carrying grenades blew off his own legs and wounded four others, after an earlier blast shook his rented house, according to The Associated Press.
Israeli officials accused Iran of being behind the violence, and predicted the attacks were the start of a wave of assaults on Israeli targets worldwide by Iran and its proxy group in Lebanon, Hezbollah, The Associated Press said.
Despite the federal bulletin, on Tuesday, the director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department warned that, "Iran's next target could well be on American soil."
"Indeed, as the West's conflict with Iran over its nuclear program continues to heat up, New York City -- especially with its large Jewish population -- becomes an increasingly attractive target," Mitchell Silber wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Silber noted that in 2004, the U.S. State Department kicked out two security guards with the Iranian mission to the United Nations after they were caught conducting surveillance of city subways and landmarks.
The joint FBI-DHS bulletin issued last week cited several recent media reports of threats against Israeli targets, mostly overseas, including an alleged Hezbollah plot to attack Israeli or Jewish targets in Asia.
That plot was reportedly disrupted in Thailand last month, and while media reports "suggested a similar threat existed in Europe ... we have no information to indicate that similar plots were directed at the homeland," the bulletin reads.
The bulletin acknowledged that Jewish personnel inside the United States "have been a focus of violent extremists in the past" and they "will likely remain a target" in the future.
"Economic sanctions and the threat of military action against the Iranian nuclear program suggest tensions with Iran are likely to continue, and we remain concerned Iran would consider attacks in the United States, given last year's foiled plot to allegedly assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States (on U.S. soil)," reads the bulletin, which suggested a series of "protective measures" for local law enforcement to take.
This comes two weeks after the nation's top intelligence official cited the foiled U.S. plot as evidence that some Iranian officials 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."
"Iran's willingness to sponsor future attacks in the United States or against our interests abroad probably will be shaped by Tehran's evaluation of the costs it bears for the plot against the Ambassador as well as Iranian leaders' perceptions of U.S. threats against the regime,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in testimony to Congress.