Internal government memo warns of enduring global terror threat from Iran

The government memo comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States in the Middle East as the Israel-Hamas war rages on and Iranian proxies target U.S. forces.

Published: January 11, 2024 1:59pm

A recent memo from the National Counterterrorism Center warns that Iran continues to possess the capabilities to “conduct terrorist operations against its perceived enemies worldwide.”

The agency was established in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to integrate, analyze and share information across the government to protect the country from terrorist threats.

The unclassified memo designated "for official use only” and reviewed by Just the News, highlights 21 disrupted terror plots on every continent, primarily targeting Jewish and Israeli interests and individuals as well as Iranian regime dissidents.

At least two disrupted plots were discovered in the United States against “anti-regime dissidents.”

“These operations underscore [Iran’s] ability to build operational infrastructure worldwide, including in the United States,” the memo concludes.

The NCTC warned despite attacks being thwarted Iran has not been deterred in its pursuit of operations against perceived threats abroad.

“Disruptions have not deterred Iran from pursuing lethal operations, although they may temporarily force the regime to alter the timing, locations, and tactics of specific plots,” NCTC concludes.

“Iran’s leaders probably believe that they have plausible deniability to sustain lethal operations worldwide,” the report continues.

Both of the incidents in the United States were Iranian attempts to target a regime dissident residing in the United States.

In 2023, three individuals associated with the Eastern European criminal organization Thieves-in-law were indicted by the Department of Justice for a plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident U.S. citizen in the United States. The charges from the DOJ alleged that the criminal organization has extensive ties to the Iranian regime.

Contemporaneous reporting indicates the target of the Iranian regime was Masih Alinejad, an outspoken critic of the regime and proponent of women’s rights in the country. Alinejad is a citizen of the United States.

Alinejad was previously targeted by the Iranian regime in a kidnapping plot by members network in New York led by an officer of Iranian intelligence. This kidnapping plot is likely the second disrupted plot in the United States referenced in the NCTC memo.

“US law enforcement disrupted a plot by Iranian intelligence operatives to kidnap a US person regime dissident and kidnap her to Iran,” the report says of the incident.

Outside of the U.S., the memo highlights foiled plots in Canada, Germany, Greece, India, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirate, among others. The planned operations range from attacks on Jewish restaurants and Israeli government buildings to plots to intimidate members of the Iranian diaspora. 

Tensions between the United States and Iran have grown amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and Iranian proxies have attacked American forces in the region, primarily in Iraq.

The U.S. and its allies have also intercepted missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen at commercial shipping in the Red Sea. These attacks have diverted approximately 80% of ships on the Suez Canal route around the African Cape of Good hope, according to Container News. 

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