FBI Director Christopher Wray warned of a rise in violent extremism in a Saturday speech amid fighting between the militant group Hamas and Israel.
“History has been witness to antisemitic and other forms of violent extremism for far too long. Whether that be from foreign terrorist organizations, or those inspired by them, or domestic violent extremists motivated by their own racial animus, the targeting of a community because of their faith is totally unacceptable,” Wray said in a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in San Diego, according to the FBI website.
Wray said there’s “no question” that threats are on the rise.
“We remain committed to continue confronting those threats—both here in the United States and overseas. 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 continued.
Over 3,200 people have died on both sides since fighting between Israel and Hamas began a week ago. Twenty-nine Americans have died in the conflict as well, with 15 Americans and one lawful permanent resident unaccounted for. Many U.S. politicians, including President Biden, have backed Israel in the conflict.
“In this moment we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel,” Biden said in remarks Tuesday. “And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack. There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse.”
“It’s abhorrent,” Biden later continued. “The brutality of Hamas … brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism. But sadly, for the Jewish people, it’s not new.”
Source: The Hill