New York City’s large Jewish population can make it a potential target for an Iranian-sponsored attack, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.
New York City’s police chief, Ray Kelly, warned that a possible conflict between Iran and Israel is a particular area of concern, given New York City’s large Jewish population, the New York Post newspaper quoted him as saying during an anti-terror conference called NYPD SHIELD.
While New York is a melting pot city, its metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside Israel.
“We’ve been concerned about Iran for a while, and I think the history of those events throughout the world since January give us cause for concern,” Kelly added.
Another NYPD official, Lt. Kevin Yorke of the Intelligence Division, warned of a potential retaliation attack on the city by Iran and its staunch group ally, Hezbollah.
“Within the last year, we’ve seen a worldwide increase in incidents involving the stockpiling of explosives, the surveillance of targets, and a number of very significant plots and attacks,” Yorke said.
He said these incidents have a direct relation to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program and the tension surrounding it.
“Obviously if there’s any action involving Israel and Iran we have to be very cognizant of the potential of retaliation here in New York City.”
The West suspects Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons capacity, despite repeated denials from Tehran.
While Israel has threatened military attacks on the Islamic Republic to prevent it gaining atomic weapons, the United States chose to exhaust diplomatic means before the use of any force.