FBI chief warns of growing terror threats in US, amid Hamas situation - Hindustan Times
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‘We’ve got to be on the lookout,’ FBI Chief warns of growing lone wolf terror threats on US soil amid Hamas situation

Oct 16, 2023 07:13 AM IST

FBI Director Christopher Wray urges vigilance against lone actors who may be inspired by recent events. US faces increase in reported threats.

The US is facing a growing number of terror threats, especially from lone wolves who may be inspired by the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the FBI chief warned on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on "oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" and alleged politicization of law enforcement, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on "oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation" and alleged politicization of law enforcement, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo(REUTERS)

Speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in San Diego, FBI Director Christopher Wray, 56, said that the recent events in the Middle East have created a “heightened environment” for potential violence in the US.

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“We remain committed to continue confronting those threats. History has been witness to antisemitic and other forms of violent extremism for far too long,” he said, according to an FBI transcript.

“In this heightened environment, there’s no question we’re seeing an increase in reported threats, and we’ve got to be on the lookout, especially for lone actors who may take inspiration from recent events to commit violence of their own.”

Wray did not provide any specific details about the domestic threats that the bureau is dealing with, but he urged law enforcement officials to share any intelligence or observations they may have and assured them that the FBI will do the same.

The FBI chief's warning came a day after former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal declared Oct. 13 as a 'Day of Jihad' against Israel.

Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist group by the US and most Western countries, launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, sparking a war that has killed more than 1,300 Israelis and 2,400 Palestinians, according to local authorities.

Among the casualties are at least 29 Americans who have died in the conflict, and 15 who are missing, some of whom may be held hostage by Hamas, according to the US State Department.

Israel has responded to the Hamas attack by bombing the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based, and has asked hundreds of thousands of people living near Gaza City to evacuate as it prepares for a possible ground invasion.

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Iran, which supports Hamas and other militant groups in the region, has threatened to intervene if Israel invades Gaza, while the US has tried to prevent Tehran from interfering in the conflict.

The Biden administration has expressed its strong support for Israel as it defends itself from the terrorist attacks.

“There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse,” President Biden said last week.

“We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack.”

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