Biden’s State Department overlooks Iranian plots to kill Americans on US soil
The “2021 Country Reports on Terrorism” fails to include Iran’s death threats against several prominent US citizens
When the U.S. State Department released its 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism in early March, some Middle East experts were astounded to discover the report left out death threats made by the Iranian regime against American citizens.
The report covers nations that experienced terrorist attacks in that year, as well as countries which sponsored terrorism. It also includes information on entities “responsible for the death, kidnapping, or injury of Americans.”
“The analysis never includes a focus on the threat environment in the United States itself,” according to an op-ed in the New York Post earlier this week.
“But given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s alarming surge in attempts on the lives of American citizens in America, perhaps it’s time to do so,” wrote Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Middle East research analyst Natalie Ecanow.
Following the U.S. assassination of Iran’s elite Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020, Tehran sought retaliation and began plotting against prominent American figures, such as John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Masih Alinejad.
John Bolton, who served as national security advisor for former U.S. President Donald Trump, was considered the main strategist behind the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and pushed for the U.S. to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against an Iranian national for plotting to assassinate Bolton.
According to court documents, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) based in Tehran, contacted a U.S.-based individual – an undercover operative for the FBI – and offered him $300,000 to arrange Bolton’s murder.
The U.S. State Department also revealed last year it has been spending $2 million every month to protect former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against threats from Iran. Brian Hook, former Trump administration envoy for Iran, is also under tight security at a cost of about $175,000 per month.
Iranian-American journalist and activist Masih Alinejad has been the target of several Iranian kidnapping and assassination attempts. In August 2022, the FBI informed her that a man with a loaded AK-47 was caught near her Brooklyn apartment. Only last month, the justice department announced two additional arrests in her case.
Inspired by Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa, British-American author Salman Rushdie was attacked in Chautauqua, New York, last year.
“While these threats are recent, the Iranian regime has been operating here for years,” Schanzer and Ecanow wrote. They commended the FBI’s success in thwarting most of these plots.
“Perhaps the State Department, in next year’s Country Reports on Terrorism, should carve out a section on the threat level in this country, thanks to the Islamic Republic,” they concluded.