FBI Director Christopher Wray warned this week that the risk of a terrorist attack against American targets is at its highest point since the rise of the Islamic State a decade ago. The warning comes as the conflict in the Middle East appears to be expanding.
Wray said that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has “raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.”
“We also cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here on our own soil,” he said.
During testimony on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) asked the director if the threat of terrorism had changed since President Joe Biden took office in 2021.
Wray answered that “the terror threats have elevated.”
I asked FBI Director Wray a simple question: is the U.S. safer today than it was before @JoeBiden took office? After nearly 10 seconds of silence, he finally admitted what we all know…
“…the terror threats have elevated…” pic.twitter.com/w90YKhRrCf
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) October 31, 2023
Wray also told the senator that currently this is “not a time for panic” but added that people should be “vigilant.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) discussed the role of a former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization hired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
He said to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the employee was “posting these, frankly, pro-genocidal slogans and images on the day that Israelis are being slaughtered in their beds.”
Since the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 there have been multiple attacks on American targets in the Middle East. As of Tuesday, there had been at least 24 attacks on American troops across the region.
The rocket and drone attacks have left multiple American soldiers injured. The incidents have taken place in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon struck at Iran-linked militias in the region following the attack.
The United States is positioning a number of military assets in the region, including two aircraft carrier strike groups and warplanes. Several NATO allies, including France, have also positioned vessels near the fighting in the eastern Mediterranean.
Wray specifically mentioned efforts by groups supported by Iran to target Americans in the past. Tehran is the leading backer of groups such as Hamas and the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.