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Hamas could 'exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks' on US soil, says FBI director

'We are in a dangerous period. This is not a time for panic, but it is a time for vigilance,' says Christopher Wray

U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on threats to the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 31, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The war that the Hamas terror organization began with Israel on Oct. 7, when terrorists invaded and massacred civilians in southern Israel, has raised the terror threat in the United States to a level not seen since the days of ISIS, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned on 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 ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago. In just the past few weeks, multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West,” Wray told the Senate's Homeland Security Committee.

“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 'nother level,” Wray said.

He cautioned that these are dangerous times but that Americans should not panic.

“It is a time to be concerned. We are in a dangerous period. This is not a time for panic,” he added, "but it is a time for vigilance.”

“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.

Wray noted that the threat was particularly high against Jewish targets throughout the United States but also said that Muslim communities could be targeted, referencing the killing of a Muslim boy in the state of Illinois.

Jews make up just 2.4% of the U.S. population, Wray noted, but were targeted by 60% of religious-based hate crimes before the Middle East conflict began. 

“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.”

According to Wray, Al Qaeda issued “its most specific call to attack the United States in the last five years.”

ISIS has called for its followers to attack Jewish communities in the America, Europe and the rest of the world.

According to Newsweek, “issue 413 of Al-Naba, a weekly magazine by ISIS, contains an infographic titled, ‘Practical ways to support Muslims in Palestine,’ which encourages attacks on the Jewish community and Israel, with the goal of ‘returning its land to the House of Islam again.’”

Newsweek found that the ISIS terror group's suggestions to its followers included: “targeting Jewish neighborhoods in America, Europe and the rest of the world,” and “attacking the Jewish and Crusader embassies with burning and vandalism,” in addition to “targeting Jewish temples (synagogues) spread everywhere,” as well as attacking “Jewish economic interests spread throughout the world.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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