FBI director warns senators he sees ‘blinking lights everywhere’ on threats against the US

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 5, in Washington, DC.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 5, in Washington, DC.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday he has never seen a time during his decades-long career when so many threats against the US were all as elevated as they are now, warning senators he sees “blinking lights everywhere.”

During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, ranking Republican member of the committee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, asked Wray if he saw “blinking red lights” — referring to warning signs the US missed before the attack of 9/11.

“I see blinking lights everywhere I turn,” Wray said.

Wray also said that the bureau is working “around the clock” to “identify and disrupt” potential attacks by individuals inspired by the Hamas attacks on October 7.

“Given the steady drumbeat of calls for attacks by foreign terrorist organizations since October 7th, we’re working around the clock to identify and disrupt potential attacks by those inspired by Hamas’s horrific terrorist attacks in Israel,” Wray said in his opening remarks before the committee.

Ad Feedback

There is currently no information to indicate that Hamas “has the intent or capability to conduct operations inside the US,” Wray said in a written statement separate from his opening remarks, “though we cannot, and do not, discount that possibility.”

Wray said in that statement that the FBI is “especially concerned about the possibility of Hamas supporters engaging in violence on the group’s behalf,” and the threat from a “terrorist organization who may exploit the attacks in Israel as a tool to mobilize their followers around the world.”

Wray also warned in his opening remarks of the increase in hate crimes, including the “troubling trend” of increased antisemitic threats in the months since October 7. His comments echo previous warnings of threats to the United States. He made similar remarks to other congressional committees.

In addition, Wray touted the work by the FBI, including that the FBI “disrupted over 40% more cyber operations and arrested over 60% more cyber criminals than the year before,” and that “over the past two years, we’ve seized enough fentanyl to kill 270 million people—that’s more than 80% of all Americans.”

The FBI director is pushing https://kamusgakjelas.com senators on reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is set to expire at the end of this year. The law enables the US government to obtain intelligence by targeting non-Americans overseas who are using US-based communications services.

Wray said, “702 is key to our ability to detect a foreign terrorist organization overseas directing an operative here to carry out an attack in our own backyard.”

“What are we going to say to the family whose loved one’s care was sabotaged when a hospital was taken offline by a foreign adversary and the FBI wasn’t able to stop the cyber attack,” Wray said.

Wray continued that allowing the law to lapse or amending it in any way that “undermines” its effectiveness “would be akin to laying bricks to rebuild another, pre-9/11-style wall [in intelligence gathering]. What could anyone possibly say to victims’ families if there was another attack that we could have prevented if we hadn’t given away the ability to effectively use a tool that courts have consistently deemed constitutional?”

This story and headline have been updated to reflect additional developments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *