U.S. intelligence indicates Iranian officials surprised by Hamas attack on Israel

09:42, Thursday, 12 October, 2023
U.S. intelligence indicates Iranian officials surprised by Hamas attack on Israel

The U.S. has intelligence indicating senior Iranian officials were surprised by the Hamas-led terror attack on Israel, according to multiple American officials familiar with the matter, preliminarily suggesting Tehran was not directly involved the launch of the deadly Oct. 7 assault.

While analysis and collection are continuing and additional information may arise to contradict the initial assessments, officials briefed on the intelligence say key Iranian officials who would normally be aware of operations in the region appeared to be unaware the attacks were taking place.

Officials declined to elaborate on the identities of the Iranian officials or on the nature of the intelligence that had been collected. U.S. lawmakers were briefed in a classified setting by multiple agencies on the situation in Israel and Iran's potential involvement on Wednesday morning. Senior U.S. intelligence official Morgan Muir also briefed a smaller group Tuesday. The New York Times first reported that the U.S. has intelligence that the assault by Hamas took senior Iranian officials by surprise.

"[W]e have said since the beginning that Iran is complicit in this attack in a broad sense because they have provided the lion's share of the funding for the military wing of Hamas, they have provided training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support, and they have had engagement and contact with Hamas over years and years," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday.

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