A threat heard by multiple air traffic controllers in New York to fly a plane into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to “avenge” the death of Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani is being investigated, CBS News reported Wednesday.
Audio of the threat, which was obtained by CBS News, went as follows: “We are flying a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged.”
Soleimani was the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, and killed last year in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump. The threat heard by American air traffic controllers was made Monday, the one-year anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
“It’s unclear who sent the threat,” CBS reported Wednesday morning. “While the government does not believe the warning of an attack is credible, it is being investigated as a breach of aviation frequencies, CBS News has learned.”
Sources told the news station “that the Pentagon and other agencies were briefed Tuesday about the digitized voice recording,” the report said. “The sources said they believe the threat was designed to suggest hitting the Capitol on the same day Congress is set to count the Electoral College results.”
“Experts said the intrusion is concerning because it could affect the instructions pilots get about how and where planes fly,” the report noted, added, “Sources told CBS News a message was sent to air traffic controllers on Tuesday reminding them that any threat or a plane deviating from its flight path should be reported immediately.”
The FBI said it takes “all threats of violence to public safety seriously,” but did not directly comment on the threat.
The Daily Wire reported Monday on top Iranian officials suggesting they would attempt to assassinate Trump after he leaves office to avenge Soleimani.
“Videos of the remarks by Ebrahim Raisi, head of Iran’s judiciary, and IRGC General Esmail Qaani, commander of the Qods Force, were posted online and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which tracks Islamic extremism, anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiment around the world,” The Daily Wire reported.
“The (Americans) should wait for the hard revenge,” Raisi said on Friday. “The beloved resistance forces will determine the place and the time. The Islamic nation knows at what point in time and where this revenge will be exacted. The enemy should know that its life will be very difficult from now on. The resistance movement will make the enemy’s life much more difficult, in revenge for the blood of the martyr Soleimani. One of the aspects of hard revenge will be driving the Americans out of the region.”
“Punishing those who gave the order and those who committed the crime is another aspect of this hard revenge,” continued Raisi. “I am addressing the enemy. Let no one think that if someone holds the position of the U.S. President, yet he commits or orders a murder, he will be immune to the enforcement of law and justice and will remain on the sidelines. Never! Those who played a role in this assassination, in this crime, none of them will be safe anywhere on the globe. This is final. The steel willpower of the resistance movement will exact hard revenge from them.”
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