(JTA) – Jewish and Israeli institutions in the Unites States are on high alert over concerns that Iran or its proxy will target them, a U.S. news network reported.
The precautions were put into place by the institutions, ABC reported Feb. 3, citing an Israeli internal security document. The document was a letter from the head of security for the Israeli consul general for the Mid-Atlantic states, according to ABC, which stated that the security threat has increased on "guarded sites" such as Israeli embassies and consulates, and "soft sites" such as synagogues, as well as Jewish schools, restaurants and Jewish community centers.
ABC reported that local and regional law enforcement and intelligence officials in U.S. and Canadian cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Toronto have increased security at Israeli and Jewish institutions, and that federal officials also have increased vigilance in looking for imminent attacks.
"In the past few weeks, there has been an escalation in threats against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world," ABC quoted a U.S. regional intelligence document as saying. "Open source has reported many demonstrations against Israel are expected to be concentrated on Israeli embassies and consulates. Such demonstrations have occurred internationally as well as domestically. These demonstrations could potentially turn violent at local synagogues, restaurants, the Israeli Embassy and other Israeli sites."
The document said that "Law enforcement should be vigilant when making periodic checks at all Jewish facilities."
An Israeli intelligence report warned that forged Israeli passports might be used by potential terrorists to leave the Middle East and enter the United States and Canada.
The grave security assessment comes amid international fears that Israel will soon strike Iranian nuclear facilities in an attempt to stop the development of its nuclear program.
Iran could be attempting to retaliate against Israel for the assassination of several scientists working on the country’s nuclear program; Iran believes Israel’s Shin Bet security service was responsible for the murder of the scientists.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Feb. 3 that his country is prepared to assist those who would confront Israel and the United States.