FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned that there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks as threats to the United States mount over its support of Israel in the war against Hamas. “We are in a dangerous period” as various terrorist groups look to leverage the conflict for their own causes, he claimed.
“The reality is that the terrorism threat has been elevated throughout 2023, but the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole other level,” Wray said in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, according to a report by NPR.
Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, which killed some 1,400 people, “will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago,” Wray said.
The threat of international terrorism in the U.S. has largely subsided in recent years, particularly since the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But if the Islamic State was defeated, why is the U.S. still bombing Syria?
But senior American officials say Hamas’ deadly October 7th attack on Israel has created a new dynamic with dangerous implications at home and abroad. Mostly, that attack gave the United States another reason to enter and financially support another war.
Christine Abizaid, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told lawmakers that the Israel-Hamas war has featured in messaging and propaganda since Oct. 7.
“We’ve seen it from al-Qaida affiliates, almost every single one of them,” she told lawmakers, referring to terrorist groups in the Mideast and Africa with ties to al-Qaida. “We’ve also seen it from ISIS, which isn’t ideologically aligned with a group like Hamas but is still leveraging this current conflict to try to sow the kind of violence, bring adherence to its cause in a kind of exploitative way.” -NPR