The head of the FBI is ominously warning there is a rising number of terror threats against the US — and that the biggest concern involves potential lone wolves pulling off Hamas copy-cat attacks here.
The head of the FBI is ominously warning there is a rising number of terror threats against the US — and that the biggest concern involves potential lone wolves pulling off Hamas copycat attacks here.
Agency chief Christopher Wray, 56, urged law enforcement to be extra cautious about ripple effects from the raging Israeli-Palestinian conflict during an address at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in San Diego on Saturday.
“History has been witness to antisemitic and other forms of violent extremism for far too long,” he said, according to an FBI transcript. “We remain committed to continue confronting those threats.
“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,” he added.
Wray’s warning came a day after former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for a “Day of Jihad” on Oct. 13.
The FBI director did not divulge any specific domestic threats that the bureau may be grappling with directly stemming from the war, but rather issued the broad warning.
He also implored law enforcement officials to keep up intelligence sharing and collaboration.
“I’d also ask you to continue sharing any intelligence or observations you may have,” Wray said. “On our end, we’re committed to doing the same, so that together, we can safeguard our communities.”
Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and most Western countries, triggered the war with a deadly Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel.
So far more than 1,300 Israelis and 2,400 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, according to local authorities.
At least 29 Americans have died, and 15 are unaccounted for, including at least some who are hostages of Hamas, according to the US State Department.
Israel, which has pummeled the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attack on its border, has urged hundreds of thousands of people living in and around Gaza City to evacuate the area as Israel prepares for a ground invasion there.
Iran has warned that it may intervene if Israel mounts a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, while US officials have sought to deter Tehran from meddling in the conflict, particularly through its proxies such as Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group designated a terrorist organization by the US.
The Biden administration has stood firmly behind Israel as it seeks to take down the terrorists who brutally attack its citizens.
“We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack,” President Biden said last week. “There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse.”