NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has stepped up security precautions here to combat a potential terror attack by Iran.
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has learned the Iranians may already have drawn up an attack blueprint.
Officials are on the alert for what they are calling an “off the shelf” terror attack by Iran, a plot the nation’s spies may have already developed for use when the timing is right.
The fear is Iran may think the right time is now.
Anti-terror cops pulled over a rental truck in Times Square on Wednesday, searching its undercarriage for a bomb. The NYPD is also on the alert for motorcycle riders armed with so called “sticky bombs” that can be attached to a car in the blink of an eye. It’s part of a stepped up security alert by law enforcement officials who fear the increasing international belligerence of Iran could lead to a terror attack here in New York City sometime soon.
“It’s not surprising that they may have the capability and have some planning already in place to carry out these acts,” former FBI agent and current security expert William Daly told Kramer.
The NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis, Mitchell Silber, echoed a similar sentiment in an editorial appearing in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. It came on the heels of three coordinated bombings in the last two days in India, the nation of Georgia and Thailand — all thought to be connected to Iranian terrorists.
In the article, Silber says “the NYPD must assume that New York City could be targeted by Iran or Hezbollah. 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.”
“Unfortunately, the Iranians don’t like Israel and they don’t like the United States, so we become right at the top of their list in terms of targets,” added security expert Bob Strang. “They’re capable of actually committing a crime here whether it be murder, whether it be activating some type of terrorist attack.”
Sources told Kramer that for nearly three weeks the NYPD has stepped up security at the Israeli consulate, landmarks, subways and dozens and dozens of potential targets in the Jewish community, not only synagogues but any place Jews live, work or congregate. The biggest fear is that the Iranians may already have developed plans for an attack though years of espionage.
“We’ve seen here in New York there have been examples where the Iranians have been identified as looking at potential targets in the United States through their people who have diplomatic cover and are acting as intelligence operatives.
Three times in the past decade Iranian spy teams posing as United Nations diplomats have been caught doing surveillance on potential targets, including the number 7 subway line. And officials are so worried that teams of detectives were recently sent to Argentina to study the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Israeli and Jewish targets that are believed to also have been so called “off the shelf attacks” developed for use when the time seemed ripe.
“It’s always important to look at past incidents and how they’re carried out and predict what might happen in the future,” Daly said. “You’d want to know what did they do? How did they accomplish what they did in Buenos Aires or other places around the world?”
New York Sen. Charles Schumer said the time is now to find and expel all Iranian spies from the country.
“What we need to do is first give a thorough, complete check using all intelligence means on every member of the embassies and the consulates and if there’s even a scintilla of doubt about these people they should be kicked out,” Schumer said.
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