Terror expert: NYC an attractive target for Iran

NYPD security and bomb-sniffing dogs posted outside the Israeli consulate in Manhattan. (CBS News/CBS 2)

This story originally appeared on CBS New York

NEW YORK - There are new concerns that Iran may be plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil and that New York City could be the number one target, according to an NYPD terrorism expert.

The latest alert comes from NYPD's director of intelligence analysis Mitchell Silber in an editorial appearing in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. It also comes on the heels of three coordinated bombings in the last two days in India, the nation of Georgia and Thailand -- all thought to be connected to Iranian terrorists.

This month, heavily armed police and bomb sniffing dogs have been posted outside the Israeli consulate on Manhattan's east side.

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Government buildings have been placed on high alert and so have Jewish synagogues and community centers.

In the article, Silber says "the NYPD must assume that New York City could be targeted by Iran or Hezbollah. Indeed, as the west's conflict with Iran over its nuclear program continues to heat up, New York City, especially with its large Jewish population, becomes an increasingly attractive target."

The article cites a number of foiled plots as evidence that Iranian terrorists have targeted New York City in the past and likely will in the future, including three separate occasions between 2002 and 2004 when suspected agents were caught conducting surveillance on city landmarks and on subways.

"Unfortunately, the Iranians don't like Israel and they don't like the United States, so we become right at the top of their list in terms of targets," said security expert Bob Strang. "They're capable of actually committing a crime here whether it be murder, whether it be activating some type of terrorist attack."

But while the warning is new, Silber says the threat is not.

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