The United States is facing the highest number of terrorist threats in over a decade, with the Biden administration’s lax policies contributing to the problem, according to Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio).
Mr. Turner, who is the House Intelligence Committee chairman, pointed out that it was “very unusual for the FBI director to so publicly make these statements and certainly in these conversations with the Intelligence Committee. The disclosure “certainly shows the extent to which these threats are troubling the director.”
“And he cites the chaotic withdrawal of Afghanistan and our loss of intelligence gathering there. He cites the southern border and individuals who are allied with international terrorist organizations that have crossed the border. You know, those are two Biden administration policies.”
“In just the past few weeks, multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West. Al-Qaeda issued its most specific call to attack the United States in the last five years. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the United States and Europe,” Mr. Wray stated.
Hezbollah, a Lebanese terror group, “has publicly expressed its support for Hamas and threatened to attack U.S. interests in the Middle East. And we’ve seen an increase in attacks on U.S. military bases overseas carried out by militia groups backed by Iran,” he added.
Mr. Wray expressed worries that violent extremists will be inspired by events in the Middle East to carry out attacks within the United States.
Illegal Immigrant Terror ThreatDuring a Nov. 15 House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Mr. Wray said that illegal immigrants who have not been apprehended by border officials are a “great concern” for the FBI.
He was responding to a question about whether suspected terrorists are among those who were not taken into custody at the border.
“Any time you have a group of people in the United States that we don't know nearly enough about [it is a] source of concern for us from a perspective in our lane of protecting Americans,” he said, adding that the FBI is “aggressively using all 56 of our joint terrorism task forces” to tackle the issue.
Over the past five years, there have been increasing attempts by suspected terrorists to cross the southern border, with the number reaching record levels in fiscal 2023, he said. Such threats are “very much consuming” all of the agency’s field offices in the country.
While 90 percent of conservatives agreed to it, this number fell to 77 percent among moderates and 56 percent among liberals.
Iran’s Terror BackingAccording to the 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment report by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the threat of violence from extremists radicalized in the United States will “remain high” next year.
In recent times, both domestic violent extremists and homegrown violent extremists inspired by foreign terrorist organizations have engaged in violence in the United States as a reaction to sociopolitical events, it said.
“These actors will continue to be inspired and motivated by a mix of conspiracy theories; personalized grievances; and enduring racial, ethnic, religious, and anti-government ideologies, often shared online.”
The report cited Iran as the “primary sponsor of terrorism” among state actors next year as it continues to “advance plots against individuals in the United States.”
Since the United States killed top Iranian commander and designated foreign terrorist Qassem Soleimani in 2020, Iran maintains its “intent to plot attacks against current and former US government officials,” the report said.
“Iran relies on individuals with pre-existing access to the United States for surveillance and lethal plotting—using dual nationals, members of criminal networks, and private investigators—and has attempted plots that do not require international travel for operatives.”
In his Oct. 31 testimony, Mr. Wray called Iran “the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism,” confirming that the country has “directly, or by hiring criminals, mounted assassination attempts against dissidents and high-ranking current and former U.S. government officials, including right here on American soil.”
“And, along those lines, Hezbollah, Iran’s primary strategic partner, has a history of seeding operatives and infrastructure, obtaining money and weapons, and spying in this country going back years.”