FBI Director Warns of ‘Elevated’ Threats to Public Safety, National Security

We live in dangerous times. That is the simple message FBI Director Christopher Wray will deliver Thursday when he warns of an “elevated threat” to U.S. public safety and national security while seeking a budget boost.

Wray is set to tell a House of Representatives panel of just how America can be threatened through the execution an organized terrorist attack similar to the one that killed scores of people at a Russian concert hall last month, FOX News reports.

“Looking back over my career in law enforcement, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a time where so many threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once,” Wray will say to the House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “But that is the case as I sit here today. This is not a point when we can let up.”

Wray will argue at the hearing the federal agency needs fiscal support to “tackle these threats” to keep American citizens safe at home as what we were once perceived as global dangers draw nearer.

A protester interrupts an open hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as leaders from the intelligence community, including FBI Directer Christopher Wray testify about global threats against the United States in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 11, 2024 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“This is by no means a time to let up or dial back. This is a time when we need your support the most — we need all the tools, all the people, and all the resources required to tackle these threats and to keep Americans safe,” Wray will say.

Wray will say the FBI’s “immediate concern” is individuals will draw inspiration from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East and carry out terrorist attacks in the U.S..

He will cite the Russia Concert Hall terrorist attack that left 144 people dead in the worst assault on Russian soil in two decades, Reuters reports.

“…Our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. But now increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall a couple weeks ago,” he will say.

Wray also plans to press lawmakers to renew a U.S. surveillance program set to expire this month, calling it an indispensable tool to counter domestic adversaries.

A planned overhaul of that program was blocked in the House on Wednesday amid concerns from members of both parties it failed to sufficiently curb the government’s surveillance powers, as Breitbart News reported.

A fight over the inclusion of a measure requiring federal agents to obtain a warrant to continue surveilling American citizens caught up in surveillance of foreigners will continue to be a sticking point.

“It’s critical in securing our nation, and we’re in crunch time,” Wray plans to tell lawmakers.

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