Iran has threatened to attack Fort McNair, an Army base in Washington DC, and target the Army’s vice chief of staff, two senior US intelligence officials said in an AP report.
The sources stated that communications that were intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) at the beginning of the year revealed that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) spoke about waging a “USS Cole-style attacks” against the base. The USS Cole attack is in reference to the October 2000 suicide attack whereby small boat pulled up alongside the US Naval destroyer in the Yemenite port of Aden and exploded, killing 17 seamen.
The intelligence also included threats to assassinate General Joseph Martin as well as a plot to infiltrate and establish surveillance on the compound, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The base, which is among the oldest in the nation, also serves as Martin’s official residence.
The development is one reason the military has been pushing for greater security around the base, which is also adjacent to DC’s newly developed Waterfront District.
Washington DC officials have been opposing the military’s plan to expand a buffer zone of roughly 250 feet to 500 feet (75 meters to 150 meters) from the shore of the Washington Channel. This type of initiative would limit access to up to half the width of the bustling waterway that runs parallel to the Potomac River.
The NSA, National Security Council , and Pentagon either didn’t reply or declined to comment when contacted by The AP.