FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing that a Hamas attack on Israel could spark terrorist attacks in the United States.
“We believe the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as inspiration, the likes of which we have not seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago,” Wray said, testifying with the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other officials involved. on security issues.security, the hearing focused on the threats facing the United States.
Called for attacks against the United States
Wray explained that many foreign terrorist organizations have called to carry out attacks against Americans and the West in recent weeks.
“Here in the United States, our most immediate concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will be inspired by events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans who continue their everyday life,” Wray testified at the hearing.
The FBI director explained that not only “domestic violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization” could carry out attacks, but he was concerned about “domestic violent extremists who -attack on Jewish or Muslim communities,” recalled the brutal killing of a 6-year-old Muslim child. -old in Illinois earlier this month.
Wray said the FBI has “many ongoing investigations” into people affiliated with Hamas and mentioned the agency’s arrest last week of a Houston man who studied how to make bombs and posted online the his support for the killing of Jews.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people and support our partners in Israel,” he said. “Protecting the American people from the threat of terrorism is, and remains, our number one priority.”
Threats against the Jewish community in the United States
Wray said Jewish communities are under attack by extremists “from across the spectrum.”
According to the director of the FBI, American Jews are targeted by both domestic violent extremist groups and foreign terrorist organizations, and he emphasized that while they are the target of “about 60% of all religious crimes and incidents in hate” only They represent 2.4% of the American public.
It’s a problem that has been exacerbated on college campuses across the United States since the October 7 attacks by Hamas in Israel.
Wray said as an example that the FBI participated in the investigation of anti-Semitic threats of violence against Jewish students on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
While Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke before the Senate Appropriations Committee seeking funds to help Israel and Ukraine in the conflict they face.
On Monday, the White House unveiled the implementation of a series of actions aimed at addressing the “alarming” increase in anti-Semitic incidents reported at schools and college campuses following the Oct. -Hamas attack on Israel.
According to the White House, several federal government agencies such as the Department of Justice and Homeland Security are working with state and local authorities to directly provide support to college campuses.
Israel has confirmed the death of Shani Louk, the young German held hostage by Hamas