February 15th, 2012
04:25 PM ET

Worries that Iran could target U.S. Jewish groups

By Carol Cratty, with reporting from Ross Levitt and Dugald McConnell

With tensions between Iran and the West running high, law enforcement officials are concerned Iran or its surrogates could mount attacks against Jewish targets inside the United States - but there is no specific information that any plots are in the works, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by CNN.

On February 8, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI sent state and local law enforcement partners a memo titled "No Specific Threat to American Jewish Community, Despite Recent World Events.""We have no specific information that Iran or its surrogates are targeting Jewish organizations, facilities, or personnel in the United States," the intelligence document says. "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."

During a budget hearing, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked about the threat posed to the United States by Hezbollah, the terrorist group based in Lebanon that has close connections with Iran.

"We are constantly monitoring their activities around the world," said Napolitano. "Right now we have no specific or credible threat against any organization or target in the United States, but this is certainly a situation that bears watching."

Napolitano had a 45-minute conference call with Jewish groups on the same day the bulletin was issued, according to Paul Goldenberg with Secure Community Network, an organization that serves as a liaison between DHS and 200 Jewish organizations.  Goldenberg said Napolitano told the Jewish leaders there is no threat information against Jewish targets in the United States, but she went over recent world events and urged the groups to be vigilant.

Goldenberg said DHS recently rolled out a version of its See Something, Say Something campaign tailored specifically for the Jewish community.

During her budget hearing, Napolitano confirmed the outreach to Jewish leaders and said DHS remains in constant touch with them.

"There is no call for panic," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Hoenlein said there is heightened concern because of recent world events. "We are working with local communities and law enforcement at local and federal levels to boost security around Jewish institutions and educate the community."

A homeland security official said there has been no change in security posture since the intelligence bulletin was issued.

Other law enforcement officials said initial reporting by another news organization about the existence of the FBI bulletin mentioning a potential threat from Iran were overblown.

The bulletin mentions heightened tensions with Iran, Israel and the United States and "press reporting of Israel's possible intent to attack Iran's nuclear facilities." It says there is a "perception of an increased threat to the Jewish community worldwide from Iran or its surrogates" including Hezbollah, and that an alleged Hezbollah plot was disrupted in Thailand last month involving Israeli or Jewish targets in Asia, though the targets and timing of planned attacks were not clear.

The FBI and DHS routinely issue intelligence memos to update local law enforcement on world events and urge preparedness. The February 8 memo includes an extremely detailed list of suggested protective measures, and a warning for people to vary their daily routines and never post their daily schedules on publicly accessible websites or social media.


soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Linn Radar

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    March 6, 2021 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  2. Osama

    Remember V for Vendetta? When the news woman kept blinking?

    June 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  3. kingkong

    get rid of the burkas....let em pork....lower the testostorone level.....welcome peace.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
  4. What Is

    Quite interesting in fact. In spite of the 10s of billions of dollars of military equipment the USA has given to Israel, there is little or nothing they can do to stop attacks upon Israeli interests by individuals or small teams who use small arms.

    Israel may have successfully occupied Palestine for a long period of time with their conventional weaponry, but it is all of little or not use against these attacks, such as in France, which can happen anytime and anywhere.

    March 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  5. Txjack

    So if you let Israel as the aggressor attack Iran for having have Nuclear capability.
    What do you think will happen to the USA as their supporter.

    All Arabs will unite and Americans will not be safe anywhere in the world..
    Because Israel is making it out as Arabs against the Israelis not us..

    And dragging the USA into it.
    We need to end our relationship with Israel NOW.

    “We have NO friends in the Middle East”

    March 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  6. StardustNectar

    Shame to all employees of major news agencies, for selling their souls and giving up truthful and honest journalism!!! The good news is that i meet less and less people, who believes in your lies anymore... FEAR it's biggest enemy of true happiness... Love and peace its on a way to Earth... Enjoy!

    March 6, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  7. jeff


    February 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • kingkong

      who's the pepper??

      March 29, 2012 at 12:22 am | Reply
  8. Dixie Normus

    Dixie Normus

    Drew is right–I am watching CNN right now and they are saying that there is NO Economic recovery in sight–it is merely and Economy that is bouncing off the bottom. Wonder if Iran is planning their BS to drive price of oil up in order to further hurt the economies of Europe and USA?? How high will the price of OIL go to ?? Anyone??

    Montgomery is awesome!!

    February 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Asrul

      . Qo Ekamutn Internetum internet benisuss dproc@ iskapes bacarik hnaravorutun er boloris hamar . Ays mi qani shabatva @ntacqum mez aynqan proffesional ev kazmakerpvac kerpov matucvec nor informacian ,vor Internet benisuss ashxarh@ darcav miangamamayn harazat vayr indz hamar ev es patrastvum em hastatvel ev sharunakel aystex. Bolor nranq ovqer derevs tarakusum en masnakcel nor sksvox daserin te voch ,es mecaguin patasxanatvutiamb ev vstahutiamb erashxavorum em ,masnakceq ev dzer arjev kbacven nor drner ,hnaravorutunner ev iharke amboxjovin nor giteliqner Da dzezanic shat ban chi xli,ev ardunqum inch kunennaq anhamemateli e linelu !!! Mi hapaxeq !!!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • Alexsandro

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      April 6, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  9. Jeff

    Yes only the Jews should be worried about attacks, despite no credible threats. Why aren't they saying the same for Iranian's considering there have been terrorist attacks against them lately.

    February 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  10. michaelfury

    בתחבולות תעשה לך מלחמה


    February 16, 2012 at 7:34 am | Reply
  11. 61unsoc

    Just the spread of more fear...Iran has every right to protect itself! If they want a nuclear free zone there...have Israel give up its nukes! If Israel won't do that...then don't say after 30 years of sanctions that Iran can't develop the technology it needs and wants.
    If the US government powers to be are foolish enough to 'blindly' contribute to the continued hatred in the 'sandbox'...then so be it and you deserve what ever happens!
    Israel knows that the US is in their back pocket...the US is like their 'mommy'...still with the apron strings hanging for security...

    February 16, 2012 at 6:23 am | Reply
    • Lorenzogionni

      Very well said... only peace brings peace...Jews with their own Nukes should better be honest if they really are honest Jews..but they are not...so thats why they make all the propaganda about Iran. Why they object to Iran having a nuke while the Jews themselves have many and their Mommy USA has thousands...!!! Who is Crook Satan in reality..?

      February 16, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  12. Truely Garbage

    This is truly CNN at its worst. Why don't you come up clean and call it Israel News Network (INN)?

    February 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • Gilda

      CNN's parent company, Time Warner, invests 30% of its revenue in Israel. CNN is serving its master by betraying the people. Spreading lies, fear, garbage, and of course, promoting the "Arab Spring" in select countries is its new agenda. Good to see not everyone is taken in by their malicious lies.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
      • Mayra

        Kayqi ev dasintaci amizakannzn ev hatkapes *Paron Armanic vor hnaravorutyun tvecin sat karc jamanakamicocum stercel sepakan kayq..ev zerq berel giteliqner hetagayum *inqnuruyn asxatelu hamarEv ays amen@ liovin **ANVCAR** himunqnerov,vor clsvac depq e HayastanumEs konkret derevs 3 sabat arac *Vocinc cgiteyi Kayq stercelu veraberyal ,isk aysor erb der dasintacin ka evs mek parapunq ,.unem Sepakan Kayq ev karoranum em asxatelDran hasel em urraki ayn bani snorhiv ,vor bac cem torel dasintacner@,..cnayac vor bac tornelu depqum karor eyi stanal Dasintaci Vidyo tarberak@, ev iharke ansahmanapak namakagrakan kapi snorhiv anmicapes dproci rekavari het..( nran urrelov ayn bolor harcer@ voroncum djvaracel em hanznararutyunner katarelu jamanak) Dasintacnyr@ iroq hamarum em SAT* Vorakyal,..*Ogtakar*Ardyunavet*Harmar.(Tanic linelu snorhiv)*Barexirc ..ev mi sarq ayl aranznahatkuyunneri snorhivIm @nkyrnyric sater@ hytaqrqrve l en ays dasintacov indzanic hetoEs mec Hacuyqov kmasnakceyi Dasintaci aveli barzr hetaga pulerin Noric ev Noric sat sat snorhakaluyun "Qo ekamut@ internetum " kayqin Amen Amen inci Hamar..aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaancaaaaaaap snorhaaaaakaaalutyuuuuuuuuuuun Anznakazmiiic .*********************************************************************************************

        April 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  13. Down with Iran/Israel Combo

    booo hoooo. Jews are drama queens and we know why!

    February 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  14. Beelzabubba

    Fear mongering at it's finest. Good one, CNN.

    February 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  15. robroy

    just remember folks,Israel is like the bully in the school yard.Doing a little mouth work to see what kind of back up it can muster up before the scrap.If Israel fires the first shot,does this not give Iran the right to defend itself?Remember every nation has the right to defend itself like North Vietnam,North Korea,Serbia and even Cuba,ole Fidel outlasted how many U.S. administrations?

    February 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply

    that should be our least wories, cos they can bak, but hv gat zero teeth 4 bitin.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  17. MrHilter

    So what's the problem?

    February 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Alina

      I just can't watch him, it's painful. Really, I could watch eenldss primary commercials up here in NH , oh, that's right, I do...but anyways, you get the point.How about them Pats? Nailbiter last night, with announcers like that, no wonder everyone loves to hate them right now.

      April 7, 2012 at 3:14 am | Reply
  18. Hahahahahahahaha

    No it can't. Hahahahahahahahaha

    February 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  19. brother in america

    this is isreal hype. iran would not attack any jew on american soil because american idiots then iran would be at war with the u.s. that would completely wipe out their nuke program and their country. they can only fight a indirect war with the u.s. that means the jews on the frontline and america in the background with the big bombs. which is why the jews need to pull the u.s.in because if isreal attacks on their own it will be their doom. dont believe the hype the world knows how easily american public fooled into bombing people.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  20. mipolitic

    so what if iran had nukes and we were getting these same threats from iran ? iran conducts terrorist attacks and i am amazed by the attacks in the many post in all media against israel or anything that suggest the iranian nuke sites must be removed. wow nothing like setting our selves up for another pearl harbour or hitler.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Beelzabubba

      FDR set us up for Pearl Harbor.

      February 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  21. Spelunker4Plato

    Perish the thought that Zionist groups are already targeting Iran! Seriously, just bring back that color coded terror threat. Jus the thought of it gives me the heebie jeebies. Only after the state has made announcements of imminent danger can the state save us and make us feel safe again.

    "A homeland security official said there has been no change in security posture in the last couple of days and there is still no specific information indicating any attacks are planned."

    Chance of rain, 30%. We're clueless.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply

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