New York air traffic controllers received a message threatening to avenge the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
The warning came on Monday, just one day after the anniversary of the US drone attack ordered by President Donald Trump that killed Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
“We’re flying to the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani will be avenged,” said a voice on CBS News audio. It has not been reviewed by NBC News and it is not clear who broadcast the threat.
The Federal Aviation Administration said they had referred the matter to the FBI.
Government officials told NBC News they didn’t believe the attack warning was credible and said it wasn’t difficult for a person to gain access to the radios.
The threat stems from the fact that thousands of Iraqis chanting anti-American slogans gathered in the central square of Baghdad on Sunday to protest Soleimani’s assassination.
Download the NBC News App for breaking news and politics
The general, who killed Americans for more than a decade, was killed near an airport in Baghdad on January 3, 2020. During a meeting days after his death, Trump called Soleimani a “monster”.
“If you look at his past – he was called a ‘monster’ and he was a monster,” said the president. “And he’s not a monster anymore; he’s dead. And that’s good for a lot of countries. And he planned a very big attack and a very bad attack for us and other people. And we stopped him.”