Iran 'carried out surveillance of New York City'

Suspects linked to Iran have been spotted allegedly posing as tourists in order to stakeout potential terror targets in New York City.

The Telegraph

A senior New York police official disclosed that at least 13 suspects with ties to the Iranian government had been questioned by authorities in the last seven years after conducting surveillance of possible attack sites.

Mitchell Silber, the New York Police Department's director of intelligence analysis, said the city's large Jewish population and international significance as a terror target made it ripe for a strike by either Iran or Hizbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group it sometimes uses as a proxy.
Testifying before the House of Representative's Homeland Security Committee, he said the suspects included six people on a sightseeing cruise who were taking photographs and film of well-known New York landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge in 2005.
And in September 2010, federal air marshals detained four people taking pictures and films at a heliport in the city.
During questioning, all 13 people admitted that they were associated with the Iranian government, but they were ultimately released without charge.
Congress is examining the threat from Iranian-linked terrorism as tensions between Washington DC and Tehran have escalated in recent weeks.
Last year, Iran was accused of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and officials have long feared that Hizbollah operatives could be deployed to carry out attacks in America.
Last month, in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal, Mr Silber warned that Iran currently posed the greatest terror threat to New York.
He said: "Iran is the subject of the vast majority of our discussions right now. This, right now, is a front-burner issue. I hesitate to say it's number one, because we don't want to ignore the other threats, but right now, it's essentially number one."
"The NYPD must remain vigilant in attempting to detect and disrupt any attack by Iran or its proxies. Anything less would be abdicating our duty to protect New York City and its residents."

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