(USNewsMag.com) – FBI Director Christopher Wray warned on Tuesday that Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel could prompt threats in the United States similar to those posed by ISIS in previous years, CBS News reported.
While testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee in a hearing on worldwide threats, Director Wray said the FBI has assessed actions by Hamas and its allies that could “serve as an inspiration” similar to what the US saw from ISIS several years ago. He said since the October 7 terror attack in Israel, multiple terror groups have called for attacks on the West.
While Wray said the terrorism threat has been elevated throughout the year, the ongoing conflict in Gaza has raised the threat against the United States to another level.
However, Wray said that it was currently “not a time for panic” but instead a “time for vigilance.”
According to Wray, the intelligence community is particularly concerned about so-called “lone wolf” assailants who exploit the conflict to target Western nations. He said in the US, the primary concern is that violent individuals or groups drawing “inspiration” from the conflict will attempt attacks on “Americans going about their daily lives.”
Wray added that the threat is not just from Hamas-inspired extremists but also from Iran and Hezbollah, which could target the US with cyber and kinetic attacks. Additionally, there have been calls to action issued by both ISIS and al Qaeda, Wray said.
The FBI is “keeping a close eye” on how the recent events in the Middle East could impact the intentions of all of these groups, Wray added.
While law enforcement officials said that no specific credible terror threat on US soil has been encountered, they continue to remain vigilant, Wray said.
When asked about antisemitic threats, Director Wray noted that while Jews are only 2.4 percent of the US population, 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes before the October 7 terror attacks were directed at Jewish Americans.
Wray said that every potential threat is being treated with “urgency” by law enforcement throughout the country, adding that protecting Americans from terrorism remains the FBI’s “number one priority.”
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