President Joe Biden attracted some backlash earlier this year when he promulgated the theory that white supremacy is the most pressing threat currently facing the homeland.
During a recent congressional hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray added to that narrative by insisting that domestic terrorism tracking has “exploded” recently, attributing most of it to a rise in “white supremacy.”
“The international terrorism caseload hasn’t subsided”
He testified on Tuesday before the Senate Homeland Security Committee regarding the nation’s current threats shortly after the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Over the past year and a half, Wray said that federal investigators “have more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload from about 1,000 to around 2,700 investigations” while adding on new personnel to handle the extra work.
“Certainly, the domestic terrorism caseload has exploded, and meanwhile the international terrorism caseload hasn’t subsided,” he said in response to subsequent questioning from lawmakers on the panel.
Expounding on the nature of the threats being investigated, Wray said that the “biggest chunk” of violent extremisms is “favoring white supremacy.”
In addition to merely collecting data related to such concerns, he indicated that the bureau has “prioritized that threat at a national threat priority level.”
“Hard at work gathering evidence”
Particularly in the months since the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, the FBI director said that agents have worked toward prosecuting those involved as well as suspects in illegal activities with a similar motive.
“FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff have been hard at work gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges against the individuals involved,” Wray explained. “As we have said consistently, we do not and will not tolerate violent extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to engage in violent criminal activity.”
Among the charges being pursued against “hundreds of individuals” are counts of “rioting, assault on a federal officer, property crimes violations, and conspiracy charges,” he added.
Wray’s assessment appears to be in line with Biden’s talking points, as expressed during remarks to Congress in April.
At that time, the president referred to “terrorism” related to “white supremacy” in vowing that his administration “won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to our homeland today.”