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Napolitano: No Concrete Threat to U.S. Jewish Institutions

In wake of heightened alert, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security seeks to assure Jewish leaders there is no concrete threat.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/9/2012, 11:33 AM

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and other security officials assured leaders in the American Jewish community that there is no concrete threat to Jewish targets in the country, Army Radio reported on Thursday.

Last week it was reported that Israel has placed its consulates and embassies around the world on high alert, and has warned Jewish institutions in North America, South America, and Europe, to be on guard – because Iran may be planning terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets.

The report said that security levels have been raised at Israeli institutions in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and other cities as well. Israel Security Agency head Yoram Cohen recently said that Iran believed that Israel was behind the recent elimination of nuclear scientists in the country, and was seeking revenge. He added that Iranian-sponsored terrorists were “working ceaselessly” to carry out terror attacks against Israelis and Jews around the world.

However, U.S. defense officials are now saying that despite the increasing pressure in the Middle East, there is no immediate threat at a specific Jewish target in the U.S., according to the Army Radio report.

The station quoted an official statement by the Jewish Federations of North America which read, “Officials said the government and security agencies are tracking the intelligence reports regarding the increasing pressures in the Middle East. They confirmed that at this time, there are no immediate threats directed at specific targets in the United States.”

The security officials expressed their desire that the Jewish community continue about their normal activities. A senior official was quoted by Army Radio as having said Napolitano was very concerned about the high level of concern among members of the Jewish community. “She hoped to bring down some of the pressure,” the official explained.