Israelis fear an attack from Iran, but there is a heated debate over what should be done about it. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.
Amid Israeli accusations that Iran is striking out at Jewish targets around the world, U.S. officials say they are concerned but haven’t ramped up security to “high alert” as a result.
That news comes after several Iranians were blamed for three explosions in Bangkok on Tuesday. Those blasts followed bomb attacks on Monday that targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia. Israel has accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of being behind the attacks.
Iran has denied any involvement.
On Wednesday, FBI, Homeland Security, and local police officials told NBC News' Pete Williams that it was misleading to describe the security establishment as "on high alert" as a result of the overseas bombing incidents.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a budget hearing Wednesday that "the U.S. is constantly monitoring Hezbollah activities around the world. We are reaching out to particularly the Jewish community .... Just last week, we had a conference call with leaders of the Jewish community and we remain in constant touch. Right now, we know of no specific or credible threat, but it bears watching."
Last week, the FBI and Homeland Security sent an advisory to local law enforcement noting that the tensions between Iran and Israel have contributed "to the perception of an increased threat to the Jewish community worldwide from Iran or its surrogates." But it says there's nothing specific to indicate that "Iran or its surrogates are targeting Jewish organizations, facilities, or personnel in the United States."
A spokesman for the New York Police Department told WNBC's Jonathan Dienst that police are maintaining the "same focus over the last several weeks" and that they know of "nothing specific but are paying close attention to Israeli facilities and synagogues."
And the Anti-Defamation League says it is not aware of "any immediate threats to Jewish institutions in the United States at this time. However, we are recommending that Jewish institutions operate with increased vigilance and urge you to take the following action steps," ADL says.
This article includes reporting from NBC News Pentagon correspondent Pete Williams, WNBC senior investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst and msnbc.com staff.
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