FBI Director Chris Wray cautioned lawmakers on Tuesday during a congressional hearing in Washington.
The terror attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel.
This could potentially incite dangers comparable to the ones presented by…
In previous years, law enforcement evaluations have shown that there is no indication of Hamas planning or having the ability to carry out attacks in the United States. However, it was cautioned that this could change in the future.
During a hearing on global threats, Director Wray stated that Hamas and its allies’ actions are likely to inspire others in a similar manner to the launch of ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate a few years ago. In recent weeks, various foreign terrorist groups have issued calls for attacks against Americans and Western nations.
According to Wray, the truth is that the risk of terrorism has increased in 2023. However, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East has heightened the danger of an attack on Americans within the United States to a significantly higher level.
The director of the FBI has stated that the U.S. intelligence community is primarily worried about individual attackers using a lone-wolf approach to target Western countries in response to Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.
“In the US, our top priority is the potential for violent extremists, whether individuals or small groups, to use the events in the Middle East as motivation to target American civilians in their daily routines,” he reiterated during his testimony to Congress. In written statements submitted to Congress, the head of the FBI clarified that there is currently no evidence to suggest that Hamas has the intention or ability to carry out attacks within the US. However, the possibility cannot be completely ruled out.
After Hamas initiated their attacks in Israel, Wray informed the press that the danger continues to exist and is constantly changing. He stated that law enforcement must not dismiss the potential for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and its supporters, to take advantage of the conflict and incite attacks in the United States.
The head of the FBI stated that the danger to the United States is not limited to individuals influenced by Hamas. He also expressed concern about the potential harm from Iran and Hezbollah, as they could potentially launch cyber or physical attacks. Wray also mentioned that ISIS and al Qaeda have encouraged their followers to take action.
Wray stated that we are closely monitoring the potential impact of recent events on the intentions of these groups in the United States and how those intentions may change.
Authorities have not yet come across any concrete and believable plans of terrorist attacks targeting Americans within the United States. However, they continue to stay watchful and alert.
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and National Counterterrorism Center issued an intelligence bulletin warning law enforcement about potential attacks in the U.S. targeting individuals and institutions with perceived ties to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The government stated that the recent fighting has increased the likelihood of these attacks.
According to intelligence analysts, individuals acting alone and influenced by, or responding to, the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas present the greatest potential danger to Americans, particularly those in Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities within the United States. However, it should be noted that this assessment is specific to the current situation and subject to change as the situation continues to develop.
Wray informed legislators that the danger was, in certain aspects, escalating to “unprecedented levels.” In reply to a query from Senator Jacky Rosen, he stated:
Individuals who have been threatened with antisemitic intentions.
According to Wray, the Jewish community has been singled out by terrorists from various backgrounds. Despite making up only 2.4% of the U.S. population, Jews have been targeted in 60% of religiously-motivated hate crimes prior to the start of the conflict in the Middle East.
2020 FBI hate crime statistics.
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, there has been a recent rise in threats directed towards Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions. This increase is evident in the 2020 hate crime statistics reported by the FBI.
The death of a young Palestinian child who was 6 years old.
The child’s death, caused by his landlord who was driven by anti-Muslim hate, prompted the Justice Department to launch a federal hate crimes investigation. This occurred amid growing concerns about threats to Jewish communities on college campuses in Israel.
On Tuesday, Wray announced that the FBI had apprehended a man in Houston last week for allegedly conducting research on bomb-making and expressing online support for the murder of Jews.
The director of the FBI stated that law enforcement agencies nationwide handle every possible threat with a sense of urgency. He also emphasized that safeguarding Americans from the danger of terrorism is, and will continue to be, their top priority.
On Tuesday, Garland informed a team dedicated to preventing ransomware attacks that the Justice Department is willing to collaborate with Israel in order to impede Hamas’ financial resources following the attacks. This includes tracing the origin of financial backing for the terrorist group, including the use of cryptocurrency.