Iran threatens US Army base, top general

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Washington

Iran has made threats against Fort McNair, an Army base in the nation’s capital, and against the Army’s vice chief of staff, two senior US intelligence officials said.

They said communications intercepted by the National Security Agency in January showed that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard discussed mounting “USS Cole-style attacks” against the base, referring to the October 2000 suicide attack in which a small boat pulled up alongside the Navy destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden and exploded, killing 17 sailors.

The intelligence also revealed threats to kill Gen. Joseph M. Martin and plans to infiltrate and surveil the base, according to the officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss national security matters and spoke on condition of anonymity. The base, one of the oldest in the country, is Martin’s official residence.

The threats are one reason the Army has been pushing for more security around Fort McNair, which sits alongside Washington’s bustling newly developed Waterfront District.

As District of Columbia officials have fought the enhanced security along the channel, the Army has offered only vague information about threats to the base.

At a virtual meeting in January to discuss the proposed restrictions, Army Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, commander of the Military District of Washington, cited “credible and specific” threats against military leaders who live on the base.—AP