Jan 4, 2020

U.S. law enforcement on guard for potential Iranian retaliation after Soleimani's killing

NYPD officers at Times Square on Jan. 3kp. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Security is tightening in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco in the aftermath of the U.S. killing Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran's most powerful figures.

The big picture: Iran largely stopped targeting the West after the Iran deal, but hacking re-emerged against the U.S. as tensions escalated, with activity that appears to be more for information gathering purposes than to cause harm. This could be the regime's tool of choice for retaliating against the U.S., according to multiple reports.

What's happening:

  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he ordered the deployment of the National Guard to city airports on Friday and called for "increased security at critical infrastructure points across the state." He noted the state has not received any direct threats.
  • The United States Park Police announced plans on Friday to step up patrols at landmarks in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, AP reports. The Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials are among icons the park police are responsible for protecting.
  • The LAPD said Friday it is "monitoring the events developing in Iran" and in communication "with state, local, federal and international law enforcement," although "there is no credible threat to Los Angeles."
  • The Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery for U.S. service members, said Friday it is implementing ID checks at all entrances.
  • Chicago's police force put out a Friday statement indicating it will continue standard patrols with Homeland Security to monitor "critical infrastructure."

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The latest: Iran general who replaced Soleimani vows revenge for death

Photo: Mohammed Sawaf/AFP via Getty Images

Iran's new top commander Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Gen. Qasem Soleimani after he died in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, pledged during a televised address Monday to avenge the general's killing, AP reports.

The latest: Ghaani‘s declaration that God "has promised to get his revenge" and that "certainly actions will be taken" came hours after Iran said it would no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment and Iraq's parliament voted to call on the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from the country over Friday's airstrike.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 6, 2020

Trump responds to missile strikes: "Iran appears to be standing down"

President Trump said in a White House address Wednesday that Americans should be "extremely grateful and happy" because Iranian strikes hours earlier resulted in no casualties, and Iran now "appears to be standing down."

Why it matters: Iran's strikes came in retaliation for the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a stunning event that led to immediate fears of war. Trump defended that decision and announced new sanctions on Iran, but did not signal new military escalation.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Iran's proxies in the Middle East

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Behrouz Mehri/Getty Staff, Anadolu Agency/Getty Contributor, Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Contributor

Iran has built up a vast network of proxies through which it wields influence across the Middle East, and which could take action to stoke tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Why it matters: The political parties and militias that are influenced by and act on behalf of Iran likely pose a more direct threat to U.S. targets than Iran itself, the Washington Post writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020 - World