U.S. intelligence officials have alerted to an increased risk of terror attacks, particularly in the wake of Israel's conflict with Hamas.
This concern has escalated due to Hezbollah's growing involvement in the situation, raising fears of potential attacks targeting Americans, both in the Middle East and potentially in the U.S. mainland, Politico reports.
"Hezbollah could draw on the capability they have … to put people [in] places to do something," one U.S. intelligence official told the outlet. "It is something to be worried about."
Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging threats of a broader conflict as the New Year unfolds. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that while Israel is not pursuing a war with Hezbollah, it is committed to taking any necessary measures to ensure the safety of Israel.
"Hezbollah made a serious mistake about us in 2006, and is doing so again now. It thinks that we are weak as a spiderweb, and now sees what kind of spider we are," Netanyahu said while the northern border. "It sees here enormous power, national unity, and determination to do whatever is necessary to bring security back to the north, and I tell you that this is my policy."
"We naturally prefer that there be no large scale conflict, but that will not stop us," he added. "We have given Hezbollah an example of what happened to its friends in the south, and that is what will happen here in the north. We will do anything to bring back security."
The Biden administration has been actively working to prevent the conflict between Israel and Hamas from escalating into a wider regional issue. However, despite these efforts, groups affiliated with Iran, recognized as proxy terrorist organizations, have conducted over 100 attacks against American and Israeli targets since October.
Following two attacks in Beirut last week that resulted in the deaths of senior members from both Hezbollah and Hamas, Hezbollah has intensified its rhetoric. While Israel has not acknowledged responsibility for the attack that led to the death of Hamas commander Saleh al-Arouri, the incidents have heightened tensions.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, speaking to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, stated that the Jewish state "will not succeed in achieving the war's goals," adding, "Whoever thinks of war with us, in one word, he will regret it.