FBI director warns of increased risk of terror attacks in wake of Gaza war

AP , Wednesday 1 Nov 2023

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that multiple foreign extremist groups have called for attacks against Americans and the West in the past few weeks and suggested Hamas’ offensive on Israel could inspire threats like those motivated by the Islamic State group years ago.

FBI Director Christopher Wray
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the homeland, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP


“We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since IS group launched its so-called caliphate years ago,” Wray testified before a US Senate committee.

Wray said the FBI isn’t currently tracking an “organized threat” in the US, but law enforcement is concerned about the war unfolding in the Middle East inspiring individual people or small groups to attack Americans in their daily lives.

The FBI expects cyber targeting of American interests and infrastructure, as well as the threat of other attacks, to get worse as the conflict expands, he said.

“It is a time to be concerned. We are in a dangerous period,” Wray said. “We shouldn’t stop going out but should be vigilant.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, meanwhile, said his agency has responded to an increase in threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab American communities in the US since the war on Gaza began on Oct.7.

“Hate directed at Jewish students, communities and institutions add to a preexisting increase in the level of antisemitism in the United States and around the world,” he said.

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