NEW YORK (NewsNation) — FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a warning Thursday regarding his concern about potential terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, saying the nation is facing “unimaginable challenges.”
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Wray expressed he’s worried about four major issues: potential terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, growing concerns about illegal immigration, crime in cities across the country and political violence following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Wray said there is concern that the Taliban and/or its supporters may target Americans around the world after the U.S. killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan via drone strike. But he says the greater concern is the threat within the U.S. with an uptick in escalating violence that’s targeting police officers and tearing communities apart.
“Violent crimes is the number one issue I hear about from our partners,” Wray said.
Wray said America’s violent crime problem is out of control, with an increase in gangs terrorizing neighborhoods, carjackings at an all-time high, robberies rising and police officers being targeted.
“This June, more officers were murdered in this country than in any single month in the past four years,” Wray said.
Another area of vulnerability is the U.S.-Mexico border, where illegal guns and drugs are being smuggled into the county by the drug cartels from Mexico. Violent gangs then sell and distribute guns and drugs throughout the country.
Wray pointed to three arrests that highlight how bad the problem is — 12 gang members were arrested in Arizona on gun and drug charges; in California, eight people were arrested with guns, meth and fentanyl; and in Texas, 18 people with suspected ties to Mexican drug cartels were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking.
Wray also noted that the recent reversal of Roe v. Wade triggered a surge of violence aimed at both the anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights communities.
Homegrown violent extremists are also on the FBI’s radar. Wray said racially motivated violent extremism accounts for some of the most lethal violence this country has seen in recent years, and on the question of political violence. He said the FBI is concerned that the U.S. may see a surge in that happening as we get closer to the midterm election.