FBI Director Wray says Hamas poses greatest terror threat to US since ISIS
"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," Wray said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday warned that Hamas poses the greatest terrorism threat to the United States since the height of the Islamic State.
"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 told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
"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 2014, the Islamic State declared itself a caliphate, the term used for political-religious states following the death of the Muslim prophet Mohammad. The caliphate fell in 2019 following an aggressive campaign led by the United States and its allies.
Hamas is not the only threat facing the United States, Wray said. After the terrorist group, which governs the Gaza Strip, invaded Israel and killed more than 1,400 people, including at least 31 U.S. citizens, officials reportedly have flagged calls for attacks against Americans coming from Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hezbollah.
The FBI's "most immediate concern" in the U.S. is that people will be inspired by the events in the Middle East to target average Americans, Wray said.
"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 also said.
Wray warned last month that the terror environment was "heightened" due to the attacks in Israel. The agency said two days after the attacks that it "does not have specific and credible intelligence indicating a threat to the United States," and it has not updated its assessment since.