Canadian Jewish officials are downplaying news reports that Hezbollah operatives are training near Toronto and plan to attack.
The American ABC News leaked details Thursday of an ongoing international intelligence investigation with allegations that up to 20 “sleeper cell” suspects from Hezbollah were activated, including a “weapons expert” spotted at a firing range south of Toronto.
Officials told ABC that suspected Hezbollah operatives have conducted surveillance recently on the Israeli embassy in Ottawa and on several synagogues in Toronto.
Bernie Farber, the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said there has been “chatter” since the assassination of a Hezbollah leader in February, but that authorities said there is nothing to lead them to believe the reports are true.
“Our belief is that our federal authorities have things in hand,” Farber told the Toronto Star. “They’ve known about this alleged threat for a while, they’ve investigated it, and they’ve told me categorically that while the chatter is out there, and it has been for a while, there is nothing to lead them to believe that there’s anything imminent or that in fact the chatter is real.”
Farber added, though, that it is always better to be on the safe side, “so we will ensure that our community institutions are alerted.”