Chabad emissaries warned to be on ‘high alert’ after Soleimani assassination

Chabad emissaries around the world warned to be on “high alert” in wake of elimination of top Iranian general.

Ben Ariel and JTA ,

Chabad emissaries
Chabad emissaries
Bentzi Sasson

Chabad emissaries around the world have been warned to be on “high alert” in the wake of the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, JTA reported on Monday.

The Chabad-Lubavitch Security Commission, in an email dated January 2, warned that Chabad centers could be targets of retaliation by the Islamic Republic, according to the report.

The email, published on a website for Chabad emissaries, was sent the same day as the US air strike that killed Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force, which supports a number of regional militias and is allied with terrorist groups targeting Israel, including Hezbollah and Hamas.

“Soleimani’s death will likely mark a major escalation in a simmering conflict between the US and Iran and there is a strong likelihood that Iran will retaliate whether directly or indirectly. Although there is no information at this time to suggest a direct threat to Chabad centers as a result of this escalation, as in past conflicts, there exists a concern that the current situation and tensions could contribute to a heightened risk and threat environment for Jewish facilities and Chabad centers,” the email said.

The risk of such attacks “may be exacerbated should military action escalate in coming days and weeks,” it added.

The message urges emissaries “to maintain a heightened awareness when out in public and in and around your Chabad House. Report any suspicious behavior or activity to the nearest law enforcement personnel.”

The Chabad security commission was established in the wake of the 2008 attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai, which left six dead, including Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg.

The Chabad House was among 12 targeted locations in coordinated attacks by the Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is based in Pakistan.

Some 4,900 Chabad-Lubavitch emissary families operate 3,500 Chabad institutions in 100 countries and territories.

Iran has vowed revenge on the US for eliminating Soleimani. Ali Fadavi, a commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said his forces are waiting for the order to avenge Soleimani’s death.

Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who was named the replacement of Soleimani as the Commander of the Quds Force of the IRGC, on Friday issued a warning to the US following the air strike in which Soleimani was eliminated.

In the wake of the elimination of Soleimani, Germany said on the weekend that its security services would take “appropriate security measures” to protect American and Jewish facilities.



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