FBI Director Says White Supremacists On Par With ISIS As ‘Top Threat’
FBI Director Christopher Wray has elevated the threat from white supremacists to the same as that of ISIS.
Wray’s comments come in the wake of the Capitol riot that shook Washington DC in January, leading to the director to describe white supremacists as the ‘top threat’ currently facing Americans.
Since the riot, investigations into the country’s domestic terrorism have been ramped up. It’s reported that 2,000 cases are currently being looked at by the FBI, a number which has more than doubled from two years ago.
Wray made the comments as part of his testimony during the ongoing investigations into January’s riot to the Senate Judiciary Committee today, March 2.
Wray said, ‘The top threat we face from [domestic violent extremists] continues to be those we identify as Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs), specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,’ The Independent reports.
White supremacy groups have since formally been moved up to top priority of threats alongside the likes of ISIS, Wray added.
During his time on the stand, the 54-year-old was asked if he wished the FBI was better prepared for the riot, to which he replied that they’re now looking into getting better resources.
‘Any time there’s an attack, especially one as horrific as this one … you can be darn tootin’ that we are focused very very hard on how can we get better sources, better information, better analysis so that we can make sure something like what happened on Jan. 6 never happens again,’ Wray said, according to NBC News.
This was Wray’s first opportunity to speak about why the FBI hadn’t detected the riot before it happened.
Democratic Chairman Dick Durbin of Illinois further emphasised the threat that white supremacists pose against the US. He said, ‘We need to be abundantly clear that the white supremacists and other extremists are the most significant domestic terrorism threat facing the United States today.’
Wray, who has been director of the FBI since 2017, was also asked if the Trump administration diverted FBI resources to focus on left-wing extremism instead of trying to combat right-wing violence.
Denying that this was the case, the director said, ‘We did not receive direction to nor did we separate or divert resources away from tackling racially motivated violent extremism — white — over to anarchist violent extremism or anything along those lines.’
‘In fact, I elevated racially motivated extremism, the vast majority of which is what you would call white supremacist violence, to our highest threat priority, where it has stayed,’ he continued.
At least 250 people have so far been arrested in connection to the riot that tragically left five people dead, CNN reported.
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