EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah Poised to Strike?
Officials say "sleeper cells" activated in Canada.
June 19, 2008— -- Intelligence agencies in the United States and Canada are warning of mounting signs that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is poised to mount a terror attack against "Jewish targets" somewhere outside the Middle East.
Intelligence officials tell ABC News the group has activated suspected "sleeper cells" in Canada and key operatives have been tracked moving outside the group's Lebanon base to Canada, Europe and Africa.
Officials say Hezbollah is seeking revenge for the February assassination of Hezbollah's military commander, Imad Mugniyah, killed by a car bomb in Damascus, Syria.
The group's leaders blamed Israel, an allegation denied by Israeli officials.
There is no credible information on a specific target, according to the officials.
Suspected Hezbollah operatives have conducted recent surveillance on the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Canada and on several synagogues in Toronto, according to the officials.
Latin American is also considered a possible target by officials following Hezbollah's planning.
A senior US counter-terrorism official told ABC News, "There are concerns Hezbollah might be ready to do something along those lines."
Three US law enforcement agencies say they have been briefed on the developments by intelligence agencies.
A spokesperson for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the agency does not comment on the existence of ongoing intelligence operations.
Officials say the CIA, the NSA, and British and Canadian intelligence agencies began to pick up a steady stream of information - from electronic intercepts, human sources and surveillance - about a possible Hezbollah attack on Feb. 17, just days after the Beirut funeral of Mugniyah where Hezbollah leaders publicly declared they would seek revenge.
"They want to kill as many people as they can, they want it to be a big splash," said former CIA intelligence officer Bob Baer, who says he met with Hezbollah leaders in Beirut last month.