FBI Director Warns of Threats Vs. Americans

December 6, 2023

I see blinking lights everywhere I turn.

FBI Director Christopher Wray in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday expressing concern about increased threats to Americans amid the Israel-Hamas war. Wray said the FBI’s “top concern stems from lone offenders” who may be inspired by the ongoing conflict, noting that they present “the most likely threat to Americans, especially Jewish, Muslim and Arab-American communities in the United States.”

Why It Matters: Wray said “given the steady drumbeat of calls for attacks by foreign terrorist organizations since” Hamas’ October 7th terrorist attack in Israel, the FBI is “working around the clock to identify and disrupt potential attacks by those inspired by Hamas’ …” He also expressed concern about foreign terrorists’ “ability to exploit any point of entry [into the U.S.], including our southwest border,” noting an increase in known and suspected terrorists (“KSTs”) attempting to enter the U.S. through the southwest border over the past five years. (More about what’s happening at America’s borders – where in October there was more than 300,000 encounters of people attempting entry into the U.S. along both the southwest and northern border combined – in this week’s SCOOP.)

The FBI Director’s testimony comes as CBS News reports: “A new joint bulletin from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to local, state and federal law enforcement warns that groups like al Qaeda and ISIS will likely use the Israel-Hamas war ‘to increase calls for violence in the U.S. during the holiday season compared to prior years.’ It says the most likely ‘primary targets’ could include churches, synagogues and members of the Jewish community.”

Read More: Intelligence report warns of rising foreign terror threats in U.S. amid Israel-Hamas war (CBS News)

Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary)

Director Wray’s Opening Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee (FBI)

FBI chief makes fresh pitch for spy program renewal and says it’d be ‘devastating’ if it lapsed (The Associated Press)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas