Wray warned the Senate Judiciary Committee that there are ‘blinking red lights everywhere’ when asked to assess the ‘threat matrix’ faced by the U.S.
‘The threat level has gone to a whole ‘nother level since October 7,’ Wray said.
His comments come at a time when U.S. forces are being subjected to a barrage of strikes in the Middle East and with Jewish and Muslim communities being targeted at home.
FBI director Christopher Wray has warned that the United States is facing the highest risk of a terrorist in years in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel
Wray told Congress he sees ‘blinking red lights everywhere’
There have been at least 74 attacks on U.S. bases and troops since October 17.
The bureau is ‘moving quickly’ to stop threats against Jews and Muslims across the country, he insisted, and gave his dire analysis of the situation at the border.
He said enough fentanyl flooded in from Mexico to kill every American and admitted he was ‘concerned’ migrant crossings are adding to the terrorist risks.
Wray warned that ‘violent extremists’ in the U.S. and abroad could draw inspiration from the Hamas attack, and the FBI is ‘working around the clock’ to stop these potential attacks.
He said: ‘What I would say that is unique about the environment that we’re in right now, in my career, is that, while there may have been times over the years where individual threats could have been higher here or there than where they may be right now, I’ve never seen a time where all the threats, or so many of the threats, are all elevated, all at exactly the same time.’
Lindsey Graham asked Wray to compare the threat to that before 9/11
Republican senator Lindsey Graham asked him: ‘So, blinking red lights analogy about 9/11 – all the lights were blinking red before 9/11 apparently.
‘Obviously, all of us missed it. Would you say there’s multiple blinking red lights out there?’
Wray replied: ‘I see blinking red lights everywhere.’
He said the U.S. was facing threats from a a ‘veritable rogues’ gallery of terrorists’.
Wray used the hearing to make a fresh pitch for renewal of a key spy program and said it would be ‘devastating’ if it was allowed to lapse.
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is due to expire at the end of the year.
It allows the U.S. government to collect, without a warrant, the communications of targeted foreigners outside America.
The program was created in the aftermath of the September. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and will cease at the end of this month unless Congress votes to reauthorize it.
However, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have balked at renewing it .
Wray said: “702 allows us to stay a step ahead of foreign actors located outside the United States who pose a threat to national security.
“And the expiration of our 702 authorities would be devastating to the FBI’s ability to protect Americans from those threats.”