US Intelligence officials and security experts recently testified in Congress about the existence of Iranian terrorist “sleeper cells” operating within the United States.
The US Congressional Security Committee recently held a hearing focused on the threat of Iranian terrorist networks in the US just waiting to receive orders to act.
The experts warned that Iran is able to attack America, and American interests, at any time. Iran has sleeper cells in the United States. In addition, they have a proxy arm in Lebanon, the Hezbollah, with an active terror presence in Latin American countries.
Back in 2003, former CIA director George Tenet declared that there were 12 Hezbollah cells operating in the US. Since this was 15 years ago, it is very likely that many more have been established since then.
According to Ilan Berman, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council, Hezbollah is present in at least “fifteen metropolitan centers, stretching from New York to Los Angeles.” The council listed the following locations: New York, NY, Newark, NJ, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA, Louisville, KY, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Portland, OR, Atlanta, GA and Tampa, FL.
According to Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and chair of its subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, Iran poses “a direct threat to the homeland.”
A chief concern is “Iranian support for Hezbollah. They are “active in the Middle East, Latin America, and here in the U.S. That is where Hezbollah operatives have been arrested for activities conducted in our own country,” King said. He referred to the recent arrest of two individuals who plotted terror attacks in New York City and Michigan.
“Both individuals received significant weapons training from Hezbollah,” King said. “It is clear Hezbollah has the will and capability.”
“Better at Explosive Devices Than ISIS”
“They are as good or better at explosive devices than ISIS. They are better at assassinations and developing assassination cells,” said Michael Pregent. He is a former intelligence officer who worked to counter Iranian influence in the region. “They’re better at targeting, better at looking at things.” They can outsource attacks to Hezbollah.
“Hezbollah is smart,” Pregent said. “They’re very good at keeping their communications secure, and keeping their operational security secure. Again, from a high profile attack perspective, they’d be good at improvised explosive devices.”
Others testifying before Congress agreed with this assessment.
“The answer is absolutely. We do face a threat,” said Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who has long tracked Iran’s militant efforts. “Their networks are present in the United States.”
Hezbollah has been building up a network of sleeper cells in the Middle East, Americas and Europe for decades. Thanks to expert Iranian military training, it makes them a very formidable opponent.
At Iran’s IRGC Quds Force specialist camps, they train the sleepers. There, they master the art of how to penetrate civilian groups. They are also taught how to recruit volunteers to aid their cause. In their host countries, they would also have easy access to automatic weapons and explosives. They can get these via criminal gangs who deal with drug smuggling, people smuggling and arms trafficking operations.
Hizbullah is deeply entrenched in Latin America and the drug smuggling industry. Much of the money that finances Hizbullah comes from the drug smuggling.
Their deep presence in Latin American countries has allowed them to easily penetrate into US borders as illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.
They also have the assistance and aid of the Latin American drug smuggling rings. They help them with human trafficking as well as explosives and other materials they need.
Infiltrating the USA and Europe has been especially easy over the past few years. With millions of refugees fleeing Syria, Iraq and other places in the Middle East and North Africa, sneaking in terrorists has been a piece of cake.