A man runs on a street as fire burns after a rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, Israel, October 7, 2023. Photo/REUTERS/Amir Cohen
WASHINGTON – FBI Director Christopher Wray told United States (US) lawmakers that he saw an increased risk of terrorist plots in America carried out by individuals or groups who may have been inspired by Hamas attacks on Israel.
“We think the actions of Hamas and its allies will be inspiring, something we have not seen since ISIS launched its caliphate several years ago,” Wray said on Tuesday (31/10/2023) at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.
He added, “In just the last few weeks, many foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against America and the West.”
Wray made his comments as Israeli forces stepped up their attacks on the Gaza Strip in response to a Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, which killed around 1,400 people and took hundreds more hostage.
More than 8,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, including 50 when an Israeli airstrike targeted a Hamas commander in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza.
At least some of the threats to US interests come from groups seeking to retaliate against Washington’s support for Israel.
In just the last two weeks, there have been 27 drone and rocket attacks on US military bases in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon blamed fighters sponsored by Iran, which is also a major backer of Hamas.
“Here in the United States, our most pressing concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will take inspiration from events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans in their everyday lives,” Wray told the Senate committee .