Multiple sources on Monday confirmed Washington deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group to the Middle East after U.S. allies warned Iran was planning to attack Americans in the region, possibly through terrorist or Shiite militia proxies.
The first report along these lines came from Axios, which claimed Israel passed along the information of an Iranian plot.
According to Israeli officials who spoke to Axios, information about “possible Iranian plots against the U.S. or its allies in the Gulf were raised two weeks ago in talks held at the White House between an Israeli delegation headed by national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and a U.S. team led by [U.S. National Security Adviser John] Bolton.”
The possible targets and methods of attack contemplated by Iran were said to be “unclear” to Israeli intelligence, but they believed Iran wanted to lash out against the United States in response to the growing pressure from sanctions.
Shortly after Axios published its report, Fox News confirmed “a friendly intelligence service shared the intel with the US government that led to the decision to accelerate deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Gulf.”
A Defense Department official told CBS News the United States has detected “a number of preparations for possible attack” from Iran on U.S. targets on land or at sea.
“There is more than one avenue of attack or possible attack that we’re tracking,” the Defense Department official said. “We’ve seen indications for a number of days but they were coming together in the last several days.”
CNN quoted U.S. officials who said they have “specific and credible” intelligence that Iran and its proxy forces are targeting American troops in Syria and Iraq as well as at sea.
CNN’s sources said there were “multiple threads of intelligence about multiple locations.”