Hamas attack will inspire greatest US terror threat since ISIS: FBI director

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WASHINGTON: The attack by Hamas on Israel will inspire the most significant terror threat to the US since the rise of ISIS nearly a decade ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday (Oct 30). Wray said that since the start of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza earlier this month, multiple foreign terrorist organisations have called for attacks against Americans and the West, significantly raising the threat posed by homegrown US violent extremists. “The actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven’t seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago,” Wray said. The remarks came during a hearing before the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee focused on threats to the United States. The US government has seen an increase in threats against Jews, Muslims and Arab Americans since fighting broke out in Gaza, officials have said. The number of attacks on US military bases overseas by Iran-backed militia groups have risen this month, Wray said. Cyber attacks against the US by Iran and non-state actors will likely worsen if the conflict expands, he said. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. During the hearing, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that hate directed at Jewish students in the US following the start of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza has added to an increase in antisemitism. The White House expressed alarm this week at reports of anti-Jewish incidents at US universities as tensions have prompted university officials to tighten security. At a ransomware summit organised by the White House on Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had directed the US Justice Department to assist Israeli investigators probing financial flows to Hamas, including those involving cryptocurrency.

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