Heightened security in US over Iran threat

Iran is allegedly striking out at Israeli citizens and Jewish targets around the world.

Updated: Feb 15, 2012, 15:21 PM IST

Washington: With Iran allegedly striking out at Israeli citizens and Jewish targets around the world, Israeli and American security officials in the US are on high alert.

According to ABC News, Israeli officials have told it that the level of personal security on high-ranking embassy officials as well as other, lower profile officials in the US is at its highest in at least five years, a response to what they called "a coordinated series of attacks”.

However, federal officials told ABC News that there is so far no specific intelligence of any threat to Israeli interests in the US.

They also noted that in cities like New York and Washington, DC, "the targets are much harder" than in countries like India, Georgia and Thailand, where Iran has allegedly attacked or attempted to attack in the past two days.

But they also said that Iran could be "belligerent”.

Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University in DC, agreed that the recent incidents in India, Georgia, Thailand and Azerbaijan have "all the hallmarks of a concerted campaign" that could extend to US soil.

Precautionary measures include routine sweeps of cars, residences, and consulates around the country, as well as the Israeli embassy in Washington.

In New York City, police posts have been set up at the Israeli consulate and additional sweeps of residences and cars are being performed in conjunction with New York City Police Department Bomb Squad members and members of other specialised police units.

In Philadelphia, police have issued awareness bulletins asking members of the patrol force to stay vigilant. That city also maintains a permanent presence at Israeli facilities.

In Los Angeles, officials said they have been watching Israeli facilities for weeks now and have stepped up their physical security and intelligence monitoring.

ANI

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