During Congressional testimony this week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained that U.S. intelligence believes Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States in response to perceived threats from America and its allies. Is this a cry for military engagement or is something else taking place that is not being fully revealed to Congress? It could be both.
In the past week, undisclosed sources close to U.S. intelligence have revealed three separate accounts of Iranian terrorist assets attempting to infiltrate the United States and prepare to launch terrorist attacks. Most recently, information entailed two of the three scenarios comprising the U.S. southern border in which cells of Iranian assets were staged in Mexico patiently waiting the call to action. This report came 24 hours prior to Argentina’s anti-terrorist Federal Special Operations Group, known as T4, intercepting a three-man Hezbollah cell following information provided by Israel and American intelligence. They found documents and maps in the terrorists’ possession.
The earlier of the three scenarios which was received late last week entailed a cell of Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard operatives entering Canada in an attempt not to attack the United States home front, but rather our northern neighbor. Two types of targets were mentioned for either Toronto or Montreal–an Israeli Consulate or some form of transportation entity. The attacks would be meant to deliver a message to the United States–“our hand can reach long in America.”
With three scenarios coming from credible sources while only later hearing Director Clapper’s revelations, it should make a person wonder whether something much larger is taking place. Did Clapper spew everything known about Iranian assets attempting to execute terrorist attacks inside the United States to our Congress? The magic eight ball says “highly probable.”
News about Iranian assets entering the United States should not come with any alarm. For years, the United States has known about Iranian controlled assets attempting to enter the United States for terrorist operations. About thirty years ago, we heard of Syrian Social Nationalist Party members being intercepted in Vermont who had intentions of conducting a terrorist operation in D.C. Most recently, we heard of Hezbollah attempting to assassinate a Saudi diplomat.
The United States is in a unique predicament when it comes to Iran. With a plethora of terrorist assets, Iran can arguably be construed as the first enemy nation state of the United States that is actually capable of conducting terrorist activities within our borders yet place blame on terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. Because the U.S. along with the majority of the international community refuses to accept the fact that Hezbollah is an Iranian controlled asset, any attack within the U.S. by Nasrallah’s men would protect Iran.
Iran’s military is no match for the United States. They have known for years that conventionally, they could not last one second in the ring against us. They are smart though. For years, Iran has built their unconventional apparatus comprising of terrorist organizations and Shaheed (Martyr) training camps like the Gharar-gah-e Asheghan-e Shahadat (Congregation of the Lovers of Martyrdom).
Director Clapper didn’t lie about Iran being capable of attacking the United States. He was accurate when he stated that “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.” Was he holding back though when he stated that U.S. officials “have seen no intelligence to indicate that Iran is actively plotting attacks on U.S. soil?”
Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of IranWarMonitor.com. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children’s book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook.