Exclusive: A Threat To British Jews

Scotland Yard has warned Britain's Jewish community of the threat of imminent terrorist attacks. British security officers say that while they can't predict specific attacks, urgent measures are needed to protect potential targets such as synagogues and community centers. Some State Department officials are considering issuing an official warning to U.S. travelers to Britain. U.S. officials say that no comparable intelligence has recently surfaced about threats to Jewish targets in America.

Some of the terrorism concern in Britain appears to relate to suspicious Iranian activities. Security sources tell NEWSWEEK that in recent weeks police questioned a carload of Iranian "tourists" after they were spotted covertly taking video pictures of obscure Jewish-community buildings in London. Sources said that about a year ago, Swiss authorities traced a similar apparent attempt to surveil a Jewish target in Geneva to an Iranian diplomatic mission. Some U.S. officials say that recent intelligence indicates backsliding in official Iranian attitudes toward Islamic terrorism and Al Qaeda. Earlier this year Tehran claimed to have arrested significant Qaeda suspects; U.S. officials believed that Qaeda operatives then in Iranian custody were top aides to Osama bin Laden, including his son Saad and Qaeda military chief Saif al-Adil. But recent intelligence suggests these suspects have been released and have returned to hideouts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.