For the most part, the threat of extremist groups and militias has been minimized in the past. That changed after the January 6th insurrection. During the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senators the riot illuminated the threat of domestic terrorism as a pervasive and ever-growing problem.
He was the latest high-profile witness in the hearing — Wray testified before Congress on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The committee was convened to review the events of the riot and the seemingly failed response of law enforcement on that day.
In his testimony, Wray said the FBI is striving tirelessly to arrest individuals involved in the riot. The agency has already made nearly 300 cases. He added more people are identified and charged nearly every day.
He pointed out the number of domestic terrorism investigations the FBI has opened in the past few months is about 2,000. Wray added the bulk of the threats are from violent white extremists. He said they are like those who participated in the riot at the Capitol.
Wray explained what happened on January 6th was not an isolated event. The FBI sees the problem of domestic terrorism has metastasized across the U.S. for quite some time. He stated the FBI believes the threat is not going away any time in the near future.
The FBI has no legal designation for domestic terrorist groups. After Wray reminded the committee of this, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) responded that he did not know if having one was needed or not, but it was time to consider making that change.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin declared the government must take the threat seriously. They must stop ignoring the warnings of terrorist plans. He added his displeasure over the feds failing Americans.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Washington Post: FBI director says domestic terrorism ‘metastasizing’ throughout U.S. as cases soar; by Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky
ABC News: FBI director warns of increasing threat of white extremists; by Raquel Martin
U.S. Senate Committee and the Judiciary: Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: the January 6 Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Other Threats
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of FBI’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License
Inset Image Courtesy of Derek Simeone’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License