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April 13, 2023
FBI Director Chris Wray has claimed that investigators have more than doubled the number of potential domestic terrorism cases, even while countering threats to the homeland from abroad.
“Since the spring of 2020 … we’ve more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload, from about 1,000 to around 2,700 investigations,” Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “We’ve surged personnel to match, more than doubling the amount of people working that threat from the year before,” he said. Wray said in prepared testimony the bureau had ‘surged’ resources to domestic terrorism cases. There are currently more than 600 active cases involving those who took part in the Jan. 6th Capitol riot.
Personnel have gone up 260 per cent, he said. “Importantly, however, our increased focus on domestic terrorism is not at the expense of our work on other terrorism threats. We continue to monitor potential threats by foreign terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and ISIS, which have never stopped expressing their intent to carry out large-scale attacks like 9/11 here in the United States. And we are also monitoring other dangerous groups like Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” he said.
He also warned that the US pullout from Afghanistan, which featured an ISIS-K attack that killed 13 US troops during the chaotic evacuation, could spark domestic terror at home. “We are concerned that, with developments in Afghanistan – among other things – that there will be more inspiration to the first bucket,” Wray said. “So I think we anticipate, unfortunately, growth in both categories as we look ahead over the next couple of years.”
The director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christine Abizaid added: “I think it is fair to assess that the development of those groups’ external operations capability, we’ve got to monitor and assess whether that’s going to happen faster than we had predicted otherwise.” She continued, “Afghanistan is a very dynamic environment right now.”
The FBI are also facing additional threats. “Ransomware incidents are on the rise. Last year victims paid an estimated $350 million in ransoms, a 311 per cent increase over the prior years, with the average payment exceeding $300,000,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who also took part in the hearing.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MERCURY NEWS