FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a stark warning before Congress, highlighting the increased risk of terrorist attacks in the United States amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Wray expressed concerns about the potential exploitation of the situation by various terrorist organizations. The director specifically cited Hezbollah’s support for Hamas, Al Qaeda’s explicit call to attack the U.S., and ISIS urging its followers to target Jewish communities.
The urgency of the situation was emphasized during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing titled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland.” Wray, along with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid, testified about the evolving threats faced by the United States.
Wray pointed out the heightened risk posed by individuals or small groups drawing inspiration from the Middle East conflict to carry out attacks within the country. The concerns extended beyond lone actors, with the FBI keeping a vigilant eye on foreign terrorist organizations, particularly Hamas. The director noted ongoing investigations into individuals affiliated with Hamas, underlining the evolving nature of the threat.
Key statements were made during the hearing, including Wray’s assertion that this is one of the most dangerous times in U.S. history. The border crisis, according to Rep. Mark Green, chairman of the committee, was presented as a contributing factor to the heightened threat level. Wray, responding to questions, acknowledged encounters with individuals on the terrorist watchlist at the southern border, adding complexity to the security situation.
Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, pressed Wray and Mayorkas on the potential vulnerabilities arising from the current border situation. With 169 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watchlist in fiscal year 2023, concerns were raised about the adequacy of detention policies.
How substantial a threat do the millions of illegal aliens allowed into the country under Secretary Mayorkas represent?
FBI Director Wray reminds the Committee it took just 19 terrorists to carry out the 9/11 attacks. pic.twitter.com/TbGfHP3ZAa
— House Homeland GOP (@HomelandGOP) November 15, 2023
Photo credit: Flickr
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