DENVER —Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testified Tuesday the violence between Israel and Hamas has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the U.S. to a "whole other level."
Speaking to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Wray warned that the actions of Hamas will serve as inspiration to other bad actors. He said the threat of violence against Americans at home and abroad has not been this great since ISIS launched its caliphate nearly a decade ago.
"Here in the United States, our most immediate concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives," said Wray.
Wray pointed to the arrest in Texas earlier this month of a Palestinian asylum seeker who had been studying how to build bombs and posted about his support for killing Jewish people.
Denver7 reached out to the FBI's Denver office, which said agents have been in touch with "local communities around the states of Colorado and Wyoming to reassure them we are tracking closely the events in the Middle East. Hate crimes and violence against members of any community will not be tolerated. We remind the public to report any suspicious or threatening activity to tips.Fbi.Gov."
Though it may seem a tired refrain that has fallen out of our lexicon in the last few years, the FBI reminds that if you see something, say something.
"This is not a time for panic, but it is a time for vigilance. We shouldn't stop conducting our daily lives going to schools, houses of worship and so forth, but we should be vigilant," said Wray.