CBP chief Ralph Basham downplays Iranian sleeper cells in U.S.
Posted Mon, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:40 pm
According to this, U.S. Customs and Border Protection chief Ralph Basham said this in a radio interview:
'If Iran has sleeper cells here, "we'd be doing something about it," ...I don't think we can sit here and give you a definition of exactly where the threat would come, what the assets are...'As the article points out, that contradicts warnings from others:
U.S. intelligence officials have said that Iran-backed Hezbollah "retains the capability to strike in the U.S." as FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told Congress in 2005, or that it might launch attacks on U.S. targets "if it feels its Iranian patron is threatened," as John D. Negroponte put it when he was Director of National Intelligence in 2006.Whether Basham is speaking honestly, covering for George Bush, trying to give false comfort to Iran, or something else isn't known. Note that in 2006 - shortly after becoming the head of CBP - he came out against the border fence presumably under orders from Bush.
But evidence that Iran has anything more than fundraising efforts remains scant.
The Iranian sleeper agents idea got another bounce this month with the publication of The Secret War With Iran, by the respected Israeli investigative reporter Ronen Bergman, who says that Iran has deployed underground cells in New York and elsewhere.