- Chad Wolf, acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement on Friday that there is “currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland.”
- His statement followed the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike in Iraq.
- President Donald Trump said he ordered the strike because of imminent planned attacks.
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Iran has vowed to avenge the death of top general Qassem Soleimani, after he was killed in an US airstrike on Friday. But the head of the Department of Homeland Security says there’s not active threat from the Middle Eastern nation.
Following Soleimani’s assassination, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said he had met twice with senior leadership within his department to “assess potential new threats and component actions to respond to the constantly evolving threat landscape.”
They determined that “there are currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland.”
Wolf added that DHS is continuing to monitor the situation, and is working with “Federal, State and local partners to ensure the safety of every American.”
President Donald Trump said he ordered Soleimani’s assassination “to stop a war” since the leader of Iran’s Quds Force was planning “imminent and sinister attacks.”
While the administration has not officially explained what these threats were, anonymous officials gave more details to NBC News.
Multiple officials told the outlet on Friday that Soleimani was planning attacks against American interests in the region.
These current and former officials said that the potential targets were US military outposts in eastern Syria, and diplomatic and financial targets in Lebanon.
Senior US officials said that in the day before he was killed, Soleimani traveled to Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq to finalize plans on these attacks.
However, a Congressional aide who was briefed on the intelligence told NBC News that he didn’t see a compelling case for why the US acted now, since Soleimani was up to the same business as usual.
In the wake of Soleimani’s assassination, Iranian officials have vowed revenge. US officials seem to be most concerned about the potential for cyber warfare.
Apart from Wolf’s statement on Friday, the only other message to come out of DHS was from its chief of cybersecurity, who warned the public that it was “time to brush up” on Iran’s hacking tactics.
“Pay close attention to your critical systems…make sure you’re also watching third party accesses!” Chris Krebs tweeted.
Here’s what other officials have said about the threat of attack following Soleimani’s assassination:
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared on MSNBC Friday and said that the NYPD is on “high alert” for threats after the airstrike. While there are “no credible and specific threats directed at New York City at this moment” he said that Iran proxies have scouted New York for potential attacks in the past. “No one has to be reminded that New York City is the number one terror target in the United States. We’re taking escalation in the Middle East seriously — and I have absolute faith in the NYPD to protect this city and keep every New Yorker safe,” he said in a news conference.
- The Los Angeles Police Department tweeted Friday: “While there is no credible threat to Los Angeles, the LAPD is monitoring the events developing in Iran. We will continue to communicate with state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners regarding any significant intel that may develop.”
- A Chicago Police Department spokesman told WLS that they are “in real time communication with federal partners and there is no threat to Chicago. The department does routine Homeland Security Patrols on critical infrastructure throughout the city and that will continue.”
- A spokesman for the Coast Guard told the New York Times that there are “no specific threats” to the nation’s ports.
- According to KABC, the Transportation Security Administration sent out a warning on Friday about about the threat against surface transportation — including trains, buses, boats, and pipelines.