After the assassination attempt against the Michigan governor and the attack on the U.S. Capitol there has been a greater public focus on violent domestic extremism.
Appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI director Christopher Wray revealed two main reasons that Americans haven't been able to fully grasp the dangers coming from far-right groups. The first, he explained, that the format that previous public reports were in wasn't one that could be accessed by the general public.
"Certainly, as I understand it, some of the information requested — and this gets overly involved for this setting — involves information that at least wasn't maintained in earlier years in the form that would be I think most useful," Wray told committee chairman Rep. Benny Thompson (D-MS). "We're trying to work through that with your staff."
Thompson and other members had requested a report on the number of domestic extremist threats to the U.S. and threats from racist-motivated groups. Wray explained that another reason that it's been difficult to deliver a report is that the FBI has been inundated with terrorism threats.
"Certainly, I recognize that the earlier report took longer to get to you than it should have," Wray began. "Some of that, in all fairness, was in part due to the pandemic and the fact that the people that we needed to rely on for that work were both strained by the pandemic, but also working on the significant domestic terrorism caseload that as I testified a few minutes ago mushroomed last year."
He went on to note the over 600 people arrested from the Jan. 6 attack and about 180 from 2020.
Wray has been sounding the alarm for months about the increase in threats to the homeland. In February, Wray explained that racially motivated violent extremism had become so prevalent that it is now considered a "top-level priority for the FBI."
In March he said "warned of a rapidly growing threat of homegrown violent extremism that law enforcement is scrambling to confront through thousands of investigations," the AP reported. He even went so far as to say that the threat was "metastasizing" and that they were chasing 2,000 domestic terrorism cases at that time.
See the video below:
Chris Wray briefs on threats to the homeland www.youtube.com