Hizballah has greater capability than Al Qaeda of staging a mass-casualty terrorist attack in the United States, according to a top New York Police Department (NYPD) official.
"Hizballah at the strategic level, with its state sponsors, more or less decided not to attack the United States' interest directly in the continental United States at all," NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism Richard Falkenrath said Tuesday. "But our assessment is, if they ever change their minds, they have the capacity to inflict terrible damage on the United States, and I worry about that a lot. We haven't seen it yet, but I don't like to be in a position where our defense lies in the strategic decision of a terrorist organization."
In remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Falkenrath added that he had seen strategic analyses of what could persuade Hizballah to alter its strategic decision not to attack the United States. Falkenrath said those would include "direct U.S. military operations against the Hizballah leadership" as well as attacks against Iran, the terror group's state sponsor.
Hizballah has focused its terrorist actions abroad because "they would have too much heat on them if they did attack the United States, and they can accomplish most of their interests without it," Falkenrath said.
Read more about Falkenrath's remarks here.