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Video: National security threats ‘elevated,’ FBI director warns

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray. (Graeme Jennings/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
April 11, 2024

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that the United States faces an “elevated threat” with regard to national security and public safety as he urged Congress to provide the agency with additional funding.

Fox News reported that Wray’s House appearance before the Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday afternoon was expected to focus heavily on Wray’s requests for more funding and for Congress to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows the agency to monitor foreign nationals.

“As I look back over my career in law enforcement, I would 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 said. “But that is the case as I sit here today. This is not a point when we can let up.”

“This is by no means a time to let up or dial back,” Wray added. “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 urged Congress to reauthorize FISA, describing it as an “absolutely indispensable tool” that Congress could continue to allow the agency to use to “fight against foreign adversaries.”

With the FISA provision currently scheduled to expire on April 19, Wray said, “It is critical in securing our nation, and we are in crunch time.”

Prior to Thursday’s meeting with Congress, Fox News obtained a copy of the FBI’s prepared remarks for the hearing. According to Fox News, the FBI director’s remarks included calls for increased federal funding to address a variety of threats and provide additional security for the American people.

READ MORE: Video: Terror threats are ‘blinking red lights everywhere,’ FBI director says

Fox News reported that Wray was planning to warn Congress that the FBI’s “immediate concern” was people being inspired to launch terrorist attacks in the United States by observing the current situation between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East. The FBI director was also expected to reference the recent terrorist attack in Russia that left 144 people dead.

Wray planned to say, “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.”