Threat to US Jewish population high as Iran tensions increase

“You can’t separate the terrorists from their motives any more than you can change the actual threat by avoiding the use of certain words or phrases. It’s this backward thinking that cost us lives on 9/11, and they’re not only going back to that thinking at bureaucratic levels,  they’re lying to themselves about it.”

4 April 2009: As tensions between Iran and Israel a half-world away rise over Iran’s nuclear arms, the threat to North American Jewish population centers rise proportionately. Factor in the sacred Jewish holiday of Passover that begins next week, the threat posed to synagogues, Jewish centers, and all Israeli religious, business and government centers in the US and Canada rises exponentially.  But don’t expect to hear any public warnings from federal agencies, according to one official tied to NYPD’s counter-terrorism team. “I doubt that there will be any warnings made on a federal level, at least not until after the fact,” referring to a terrorist “event.”

The threat of a “Mumbai style” terrorist attack against Jewish communities has never been higher, confided this intelligence official to Northeast Intelligence Network director and investigator Doug Hagmann on Friday. According to this official, Muslim terrorists, including Hezbollah operatives and those with close ties to Iran have been in the US “for years and have conducted surveillance of potential Jewish civilian, religious and diplomatic targets, many which have gone unreported to the public to avoid creating a ‘perception of mistrust’ of one particular group over another,” stated this official. “It’s idiotic at best and dishonest at worst,” referring to the lengths federal officials are downplaying the role that both geopolitical tensions and religious objectives play in the domestic threat level.

This official stated that while “significant post-9/11 differences” have existed between the New York City Police Department and federal agencies in their approach to counter-terrorism operations, the differences are becoming greater instead of improving.  The level of frustration among the ranks is increasing, especially with the changing rhetoric coming from federal levels.

“There is push to move away from specific language in official reports, much like we’ve seen publicly by dropping the phrase ‘war on terror,’ stated this source. “It’s more than semantics, especially when it diverts from the real issues that create or increase the actual potential for attacks against specific groups or targets. Although they [federal agencies] would never admit it, the push to sanitize intelligence reports by omitting certain language to avoid offending Islamic religious leaders and their watchdogs is unnecessarily endangering the lives of people,” he added.

“We know that Iran has Hezbollah terrorists here, and we also know that these terrorists could retaliate against Jewish assets in the US should the situation with Iran ‘go south.’ We are preparing for any number of potential scenarios before they happen and are trying to be as pro-active as possible. At least at this level, we are more concerned with doing our job than caring about possibly offending anyone,” stated this official. “And whose side are they on, anyway - these groups and these leaders - when they care more about us offending them than saving lives?

With regard to global politics, this official said that “you can’t separate the terrorists from their motives any more than you can change the actual threat by avoiding the use of certain words or phrases. It’s this backward thinking that cost us lives on 9/11, and they’re not only going back to that thinking at bureaucratic levels,  they’re lying to themselves about it.”

As such, all Jewish centers in the US are urged to increase vigilance and security during this Passover.