U.S. cities tighten security for 'day of rage' as experts warn Hamas-like terror may head West
Anti-Israel protesters chanted hate to America and its closest Mideast ally from Iran and Yemen to Europe, while Palestinians set fire to tires in the West Bank.
From synagogues to shopping malls, cities across America heightened security on Friday the 13th as Palestinian leaders declared a "day of rage" to protest Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza while security experts warned that Iranian-inspired, Hamas-like terror could soon migrate West.
"If the the propagandists from Tehran and from Hamas and Hezbollah do their work effectively, there could be trouble all across the Middle East and spreading into Europe as well as the United States," former United Nations Ambassador and National Security Adviser John Bolton told Just the News,
"They call Israel the 'little Satan,' they call us the 'great Satan,'" he added during an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast. "It may not happen this weekend, but it's coming. I mean, I think there's a we'll have to watch very carefully of attacks inside the Arab world. I think the situation for Americans in the immediate neighborhood of these attacks is dangerous."
Security officials across the United States were acting accordingly, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered increased security at synagogues across the state while the NYPD canceled leave and organized a full complement of officers.
In Washington, officials from President Joe Biden to the FBI said they were implementing heightened vigilance though they did not have any intelligence of a specific threat or target.
As night fell Friday across the world, protesters raged from Iran to Yemen and on the streets of Europe. In France, a Chechen immigrant on France's extremist watchlist stabbed a teacher to death Friday and wounded two others north of Paris while another similar attack was thwarted by authorities, French President Emmanuel Macron announced.
The stabbing illustrates "the barbarism of Islamic terrorism," Macro declared.
As Israel ordered Palestinians to flee northern Gaza ahead of an expected ground assault for last weekend's deadly Hamas-led terror strikes, Palestinian protesters set tires on fire in the West Bank. Israel's National Security Council urged all Israelis abroad to "be alert, keep away from the demonstrations and protests and – if necessary – check with local security forces regarding possible protests and disturbances in the area."
The protests and violence were exhorted on Wednesday by former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who called in a video statement for a "day of rage" to protest Israel and to support Palestinians.
"Head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday," Meshaal declared in a statement translated by Reuters.
Former Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates said the Hamas warning amounted to a "veiled threat" to Americans that needed to be taken seriously given that millions have streamed across the southern U.S. border under President Joe Biden.
"We are horribly concerned. And maybe the biggest threat from that particular alphabet soup of terrorism is Hezbollah," Coates told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. "Because we know Hezbollah has been active in Latin America, they've carried out attacks against Jewish targets in Argentina, for example. So they're here. And the notion that they haven't tried to cross the border in the last two-and-a-half years, is pretty disingenuous.
"All of these nasty little protests in solidarity with the Palestinians that have been happening ... is literally Palestinian supporters, showing us, as the United States, that they are here. And you can only imagine what else has crept across the border if these are the folks who are coming out publicly and protesting, and so it's kind of a veiled threat. If you think about it, that we're here. And if you guys step up, support too much for Israel, we're going to attack you."
Bolton said Iran was behind much of the violence in Israel and also wants revenge for President Donald Trump's strike in 2020 that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the lead of the Iranian military wing that promotes terrorism around the globe.
"The fundamental strategic reality this was an Iranian attack on Israel through the surrogate of Hamas," Bolton said about this past weekend. "So obviously, people are focused on the Gaza Strip right now, I understand that it's entirely appropriate. But thinking long term, as [former Secretary of State] Al Haig used to say, you know, go to the source. If you want to stop the terrorist threat to Israel, enter the United States from Hamas and Hezbollah. Ultimately, you've got to deal with the regime in Tehran."