FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a stark warning on Tuesday, informing lawmakers that the threat of a terror attack against Americans has reached a “whole other level” due to ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The director’s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee emphasized the heightened security concerns and the potential for attacks against Americans within the United States.
The recent terrorist attack initiated by Hamas against Israel on October 7, followed by a military response from the U.S. ally, has reignited concerns about potential terror attacks inspired by Hamas and other extremist groups. Wray underscored that the threat of an attack against Americans within the U.S. has been significantly raised due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
Wray further explained, “We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration, the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago. In just the past few weeks, multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West.”
The FBI director highlighted the most immediate concern, which is the potential for individuals or small groups to be inspired by recent events and carry out attacks on Americans. These attackers could include homegrown violent extremists influenced by foreign terrorist organizations or domestic violent extremists targeting Muslim or Jewish communities.
Wray cited specific incidents, such as the arrest of an individual in Houston who was found studying how to build bombs and expressing support for harming Jews. He also mentioned the tragic killing of a 6-year-old Muslim boy in Illinois, currently under investigation as a federal hate crime.
Additionally, Wray stressed the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization could exploit the ongoing conflict to conduct attacks within the United States.
Wray’s concerns extended to other threat actors, including Hezbollah and Iran, which supports both Hamas and Hezbollah. He noted their histories of supporting terrorism and criminal operations and emphasized the need to monitor their intentions in the wake of recent events.
These warnings from the FBI director align with concerns expressed by other agencies, including the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Recent events have seen an “alarming rise” in antisemitic incidents and threats against Jewish communities, and the U.S. remains in a heightened threat environment. The public is urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement as security agencies work to address and mitigate these emerging threats.
FBI Director Chris Wray warns Hamas terrorists may “conduct attacks here on our own soil.”
REMINDER: At least 172 individuals on the terror watchlist were encountered trying to enter the U.S. illegally in FY2023 — more than the previous six years combined. pic.twitter.com/XbKQyNCwGz
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 31, 2023