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Iran has threatened US Army base in Washington, officials say

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 say.

They say communications intercepted by the National Security Agency in January show 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 reveals 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.

City leaders have been fighting the Army’s plan to add a buffer zone of about 250 feet to 500 feet (75 meters to 150 meters) from the shore of the Washington Channel, which would limit access to as much as half the width of the busy waterway running parallel to the Potomac River.

The Pentagon, National Security Council and NSA either did not reply or declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

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.

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