Top Biden Official Says Iran Involved In Stirring Up Protests Against Israel On U.S. Soil
Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Intelligence leaders are testifying publicly before the committee on worldwide threats, before moving to a closed session.
Ting Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines revealed on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been involved in stirring up protests on U.S. soil over Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists who carried out the October 7 massacre.

Haines previously warned during congressional testimony earlier this year that Iran was becoming “increasingly aggressive in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in the past, including in prior election cycles.”

The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism uses cyber and influence campaigns to carry out their malign activities, she said.

“In recent weeks, Iranian government actors have sought to opportunistically take advantage of ongoing protests regarding the war in Gaza, using a playbook we’ve seen other actors use over the years,” she said this week. “We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters.”

She said that Americans who participate in the protests “are, in good faith, expressing their views on the conflict in Gaza” — even though some law enforcement agencies have said that professional agitators stirred up campus protests earlier this year.

“Moreover, the freedom to express diverse views, when done peacefully, is essential to our democracy, but it is also important to warn of foreign actors who seek to exploit our debate for their own purposes,” she added. “Furthermore, Americans who are being targeted by this Iranian campaign may not be aware that they are interacting with or receiving support from a foreign government. We urge all Americans to remain vigilant as they engage online with accounts and actors they do not personally know.”

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