The last time Christopher Wray testified before a congressional committee, the FBI director warned of the domestic extremist threat.
“Trends may shift, but the underlying drivers of domestic violent extremism – such as perceptions of government or law enforcement violations, sociopolitical conditions, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny and responses to legislative action – remain constant,” Wray said in a written Declaration to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.
Six months later, the director returns to the Senate following the deadly attack on the Capitol in which some of the extremist classes named in Wray’s sharp warning in September were involved.
Wray is expected to be pushed by lawmakers Tuesday on a number of questions, from how law enforcement officials responded to the Jan 6 siege and how the office shared information prior to the attack, to his ability to communicate with Dealing with a domestic terrorist threat that is now obsolete the risk of international activists. Domestic right-wing extremists were responsible for nearly 70% of terrorist attacks and conspiracies in the United States in 2020, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on which Wray will appear, has expressed deep concern about the bureau’s efforts to combat the threat.
“Unfortunately, the FBI appears to have taken steps in recent years to minimize the threat of white supremacists and far-right violence,” Durbin said last week, adding that he had discussed the matter with Wray ahead of Tuesday’s hearing. “I have raised my concerns about whether the FBI is allocating resources to reflect the scale of this threat.”
Last week, federal officials said the threat to the Biden government remained The authorities are “very closely” monitoring the advance to the address of the president to a joint session of the Congress.
The assessment, given in a domestic terror briefing, followed a separate warning from incumbent U.S. Capitol Yogananda Pittman, who told lawmakers that “militia groups” that participated in the January 6 attack are attempting to enter the Capitol Blown Up and Possibly Targeted Address by President Joe Biden.
In the coming weeks, Biden is expected to give his first formal address to Congress – similar to a state of the Union address. The date of the speech has not yet been set.
“We were concerned that domestic violent extremists would react not only to the results of an election they may not see as favorable, but also to the transition of a government that they might question,” said a senior federal official.
Wray’s testimony comes from the fact that a separate joint Senate committee is continuing its investigation into the January 6 attack and the failed efforts of law enforcement to anticipate it and stave off the riot that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer.
Among the issues raised during the panel’s first hearing last week was the handling of a January 5 intelligence report prepared by the FBI warning that protesters were “preparing for war”.
Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund told the panel that the report, which was prepared by the Norfolk, Virginia office, had been received by the Police Department’s Intelligence Department but was never released to the command staff.
Since the January 6 attack, the FBI has launched an extensive criminal investigation that has led to charges against more than 300 suspects and the arrest of at least 280 other people.
Under the direction of Wray, the office examined tens of thousands of digital images that led to the identification of suspected rioters while seeking help from the public in identifying suspects who planted pipe bombs at the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees.
Investigators believe the live explosives were delivered to the locations between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. the evening before the attack.
In January the FBI released pictures of an unknown suspect wearing a gray hoodie and carrying a backpack. The FBI’s appeal highlighted the suspect’s footwear, dubbed the yellow, black and gray Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes.