• 23 Jun, 2024

FBI chief alerts to the possibility of a Moscow-style terrorist attack in the US.

FBI chief alerts to the possibility of a Moscow-style terrorist attack in the US.

Christopher Wray informs lawmakers that jihadists could potentially target Americans in an attack reminiscent of the massacre at Crocus City Hall.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has alerted lawmakers in Washington to an increasing threat of coordinated jihadist attacks in the US, akin to the tragic incident that claimed 145 lives at Russia's Crocus City Hall. Wray delivered this warning during his testimony to a US Senate committee on Tuesday, stressing the urgent need for increased funding to bolster the FBI's efforts in safeguarding Americans from terrorism. Amid calls for budget cuts from some Republican lawmakers, the FBI has proposed a 6.2% budget increase to $11.3 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

Highlighting the March 22 attack at the Crocus concert venue near Moscow, which resulted in 145 fatalities and over 500 injuries, Wray underscored the gravity of the threat posed by such violent acts. He noted that the suspected gunmen, Tajikistan citizens, unleashed chaos by shooting concertgoers at close range and detonating smoke bombs and explosives, leading to a devastating fire that trapped some victims. The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia has alleged the involvement of Ukrainian military intelligence in the massacre, potentially utilizing Islamists as proxies.

Wray emphasized that terrorist threats in the US have surged since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October. He cited a rise in hate crimes, particularly targeting Jewish individuals, with a staggering 60% increase observed since the conflict's inception. Wray expressed grave concern over the possibility of individuals or small groups drawing inspiration from events in the Middle East to perpetrate attacks domestically. Additionally, he highlighted the potential for coordinated assaults on US soil, similar to the ISIS-K attack at the Russian concert hall.

The FBI director emphasized the urgent need for robust measures to counteract terrorism, underscoring the vital role of increased funding in bolstering national security efforts. He reassured lawmakers of the FBI's unwavering commitment to protecting all Americans, particularly those vulnerable to targeted attacks, and pledged to provide necessary assistance to communities affected by terrorist activities.