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FBI director warns of heightened threats in US from Israel-Hamas war

FBI director warns of heightened threats in US from Israel-Hamas war
Source: Video Screenshot

The Israel-Hamas war has raised the threat of attacks against Americans in the United States to a “whole ‘nother level,” FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday.

“We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since (the Islamic State group) launched its so-called caliphate several years ago,” Wray told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

“We also cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here on our own soil,” he said.

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the most significant threat was to Jewish and Muslim communities in the United States.

“Our most immediate concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will draw inspiration from the events of the Middle East and carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives,” he said.

“That includes not just homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization but also domestic violent extremists targeting Jewish or Muslim communities.”

Wray noted the arrest in Houston last week of a man who had been studying how to build bombs and posted online about “killing Jews” and the stabbing death of a six-year-old Muslim boy in Illinois by his landlord, a murder being investigated as a hate crime.

“The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level,” Wray said.

Wray said Al-Qaeda had issued “its most specific call to attack the United States in the last five years” and IS had urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the United States and Europe.

He said the Iranian-backed Hezbollah has also threatened to attack US interests in the Middle East and there had been an increase in strikes on US military bases overseas by militia groups supported by Iran.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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