Middle East/North Africa

Iran discussed attack against Army base in Washington, DC: report

Iran reportedly threatened to attack Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., as well as the Army’s vice chief of staff, according to a report from The Associated Press published on Sunday.

Citing two unidentified senior U.S. intelligence officials, the AP reports that communications intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) showed that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) discussed carrying out a “USS Cole-style attacks” on Fort McNair in January, referencing the 2000 suicide attack against the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer in Yemen’s Aden harbor that left 17 sailors dead.

The IRGC communications also revealed threats to kill Gen. Joseph M. Martin, the AP reports, who lives at Fort McNair.

According to the AP, the threats are behind the Army’s recent push for heightened security around Fort McNair, which would include adding a buffer zone of 250 to 500 feet from the Washington Channel. Leaders in the nation’s capital have spoken out against the proposed changes, the news service notes, as they would reduce access to the waterway, which runs parallel to the Potomac River.

The Pentagon and the NSA declined to comment when reached by The Hill.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the district’s lone representative in Congress, told the AP that apart from a virtual meeting in January, the Pentagon has not given any further information that would justify the requested security measure.

“I have asked the Department of Defense to withdraw the rule because I’ve seen no evidence of a credible threat that would support the proposed restriction,” Norton said. “They have been trying to get their way, but their proposal is more restrictive than necessary.”

“I have a security clearance. And they have yet to show me any classified evidence,” she added.

— Updated 6:12 p.m.

Tags Associated Press Eleanor Holmes Norton Fort Lesley J. McNair Military of Iran U.S.-Iran relations Washington Channel
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