Wray Issues Warning After Attack In Israel
FBI Director Chris Wray issued a warning on Saturday, during a speech in California, about a potential spike in domestic threats connected to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas militants.
Speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in San Diego, Wray expressed his condolences to the people of Israel and condemned the "sheer brutality and disregard for innocent lives" in the region. He also acknowledged the history of anti-Semitic and other forms of violent extremism and emphasized the need to confront these threats both domestically and internationally.
Wray specifically cautioned about the potential for lone actors to be inspired by recent events and commit acts of violence. He urged law enforcement to remain vigilant and share any intelligence or observations they may have.
The FBI's concerns about potential domestic threats come amid heightened security measures in major U.S. cities, including New York, and a call from a former Hamas leader for Muslims around the world to take to the streets in support of Palestinians on Oct. 13.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the conflict has escalated with Hamas launching a surprise attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians, and took dozens of hostages back to Gaza. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that over 2,300 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting began.
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza would force Iran to intervene, likely expanding the war to other parts of the Middle East. Amirabdollahian made this statement during a meeting with the United Nations envoy to the Middle East Tor Wennesland in Beirut, according to diplomatic sources.
Amirabdollahian also stressed that Iran does not want the conflict to escalate beyond Gaza, but will have to respond if Israel continues its attacks. He warned that Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based terrorist group supported by Iran, has prepared for all scenarios and that any action they take will cause a "huge earthquake in the Zionist entity."
The Iranian foreign minister also revealed that he had met with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and discussed the situation in Gaza and the region with top Hamas officials in exile. He called on the international community to take action to stop the violence before it's too late.
President Biden has warned other players in the region not to join the conflict and has sent American warships to the Middle East while showing full support for Israel. The National Security Council has also stated that there is evidence of Iran's "broad complicity" with Hamas but has not yet found evidence of direct involvement in the recent attacks.
As the crisis in Israel and Gaza intensifies, the FBI remains committed to monitoring potential domestic threats and working closely with international partners. Wray's warning serves as a reminder to remain vigilant and united in the face of all forms of violent extremism.