During an address in California on Saturday, FBI Director Chris Wray warned of an increase in domestic threats tied to Israel’s conflict against Hamas terrorists.
I’d like to take some time to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Israel and to express the outrage I know we all sense at the sheer violence and abandonment of innocent lives there, Wray said in prepared remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in San Diego.
For far too long, history has witnessed antisemitism and other types of violent fanaticism. Wray went on to say that whether it is from foreign terrorist organizations, those inspired by them, or homegrown violent extremists motivated by their own racial animus, targeting a community because of their faith is utterly unacceptable. We remain dedicated to combating these dangers, both domestically and internationally.
There’s no doubt we’re seeing a rise in reported threats in this elevated environment, and we have to be on the watchtower, particularly for lone actors who may take motivation from the latest incidents and engage in violence of their own, Wray added. And I want to remind you to remain watchful because, as the first line of defense in protecting our neighborhoods, you’re often the first to see signals that someone is planning to engage in violence. I’d also like to encourage you to continue providing any intelligence or insights you may have.
On our side, we’re dedicated to doing the same, so that we can all work together to protect our communities. Wray stated
Since hostilities between Israel and Hamas began a week ago, almost 3,200 people have been killed on both sides. In addition, 29 Americans have been killed in the conflict, with 15 Americans and one legal resident still missing. Many US officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have sided with Israel in the dispute.
In these circumstances, we must be clear: we support Israel, Biden said in comments on Tuesday. And we will ensure that Israel has everything it needs to care for its citizens, protect itself, and react to this attack. Terrorism can never be justified. There is no justification.
It’s awful, Biden added afterward. The cruelty of Hamas reminds me of ISIS’s worst rampages. Terrorism is what this is. But, tragically, it is not a new phenomenon for the Jewish people.
The warning came a day after major U.S. cities, including New York, were on high alert and enhanced police presence Friday due to concerns about conflict-related protests. A former Hamas leader also called for Muslims all around the world to come to the streets in solidarity with Palestinians on October 13th, declaring it a Day of Jihad.
Wray Recent Statment
The Wray FBI Director stated in its most recent statement on the Hamas assaults in Israel on October 9 that it does not have particular and trustworthy information suggesting an imminent danger to the United States.
We are actively following developments and will communicate relevant details with our state, local, federal, and international law-enforcing intelligence and homeland security partners to make sure they are ready for any public safety implications. We are prepared to change our security posture as needed to safeguard the American people, according to the Wray FBI Director.
We collaborate closely with our regional counterparts as well as other international partners, according to the statement. FBI officials are working with our colleagues on the ground to seek and identify any affected Americans through our Legal Attaché office in Israel. Reports of Americans who have died, been hurt, or are missing are being investigated as soon as possible. The FBI’s Victim Services Division is working with the Department of State to assist with family engagement as needed.