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NYPD Director Of Intelligence: 'Hezbollah And Its Supporters Also Have Presence In NYC'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Iran's proxy terror group, Hezbollah, has set up an outpost in New York City, an NYPD official said Wednesday.

The pronouncement was just one element of stunning testimony by the police department's intelligence guru, who also disclosed new attempts by the Iranians to develop potential terror targets here, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

It happened right here under the very nose of President Barack Obama and other world leaders who were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly in September 2010 -- a previously undisclosed attempt by the Iranians to find a potential target for a terror attack.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond With More On The Story


"Federal air marshals observed four individuals taking photos and video taping the water line and structural area of the helipad landing site near Wall Street, which they deemed suspicious," NYPD Director of Intelligence Analysis Mitchell Silber said.

Silber told Congress that the four men were Iranians, who claimed to work for the Iranian Broadcasting Corporation, and that this case was one of three previously undisclosed surveillance missions by Iranian nationals in New York reportedly developing intelligence for a   \terror attack.

But that's not all.

"Hezbollah and its supporters also have a presence in New York," Silber said. "Some of these individuals in New York are family members of Hezbollah political leaders or Hezbollah fighters that have been killed."

Hezbollah is Iran's proxy terror group. Officials have long worried that Iran would use Hezbollah to carry out attacks inside the United States, with New York a prime target because of its large Jewish population.

Officials said these concerns have grown in recent months as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated.

Meanwhile, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has decided to continue -- at least until the end of the week -- the stepped-up coverage of Jewish neighborhoods that was instituted after the attack in Toulouse, France.

Officials said they are concerned about a copycat attack here.

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