(USNewsMag.com) – Christopher Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said on Wednesday that the agency is greatly concerned about how many illegal immigrants are evading Border Patrol agents and making their way into the US.
Wray appeared before the House Homeland Security Committee and told lawyers on the committee that there are “worldwide threats” facing the US that are “consuming” the agency’s resources. Wray was questioned by Committee Chairman Mark Green about how many “gotaways” have occurred at the border.
Gotaways are illegals at the border who manage to evade Border Patrol agents. In fiscal year 2023, there will be more than 600,000. According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), more than 47,000 illegal immigrants have evaded Border Patrol agents since the new fiscal year began on October 1.
Green, who said possibly over two million gotaways have snuck into the country since President Joe Biden took office, asked Wray if the FBI could “guarantee” the public “that there are known or suspected terrorists” and not sneak in “amongst those gotaways.” Wray replied that potential terrorists, such as those who sympathize with the radical militant group Hamas, are a “source of great concern” for the agency and that this is why they are “aggressively using all 56” of the FBI’s “joint terrorism task forces.”
Later, Wray added that “any time” there’s “a group of people” in the US that the FBI doesn’t “know nearly enough about,” it’s “a source of concern” for the agency that is tasked with “protecting Americans.”
He also testified that the number of known or suspected terrorists trying to illegally cross the border has increased a lot over the last five years, hitting record numbers in 2023. The FBI director said he could not say why it’s happening, only that the “threats” from over the border are “consuming” all of their field offices and “not just in border states.”
Previously, Wray told the Senate that threats of terrorism against the US are rising to a “whole other level” after the latest conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas. He said the FBI is primarily concerned with homegrown terrorism inspired by foreign terrorist groups and also domestic extremists who may wish to target Jews or Muslims.
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