FBI Director Warns of Surge in Domestic Terrorism 

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Scene from Jan 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Greenpeace USA via Flickr.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has testified before a Senate committee that the agency’s domestic terrorism caseload has “exploded” in size since spring of 2020, report Axios and Reuters.

“The domestic terrorism caseload has exploded,” Wray told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday.

The bureau now has about 2,700 domestic terror investigations open, up sharply form about 1,000 in the spring of 2020, Wray said.

Wray’s testimony points to a trend that pre-dates the insurrection and explained that there are two primary groups of threats the bureau focuses on – homegrown violent extremists radicalized by foreign terrorist organizations and ideologies, and domestic violent extremists, who are radicalized by racial hatred or anti-government sentiments.

Wray said that while the amount of homegrown violent extremists has remained fairly steady over the past few years, the number of domestic violent extremists has been rising exponentially since the spring of 2020.

“For the past 16, 18 months or so, we have more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload from about 1,000 to around 2,700 investigations,” Wray said, adding that “we have surged personnel to match, more than doubling the amount of people working that threat than the year before.”

“To meet that evolving threat, the FBI has surged resources to our domestic terrorism investigations in the last year, increasing personnel by 260 percent,” Wray said.

Domestic terrorism took on new urgency after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

A 30-page plan released in June by the Joe Biden Administration called called for increased information sharing between federal and local officials and social media companies, additional resources to identify and prosecute threats and new deterrents to prevent Americans from joining dangerous groups.

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