FBI director Wray: Capitol riot could have inspired international terrorists

Support building to remove security fence surrounding US Capitol

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FBI Director Christopher Wray expressed concern Tuesday that the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 could have inspired international terrorists.

During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Wray whether he believes “international terrorists groups may have found a way to get closer to the Capitol by integrating themselves into domestic political movements.”

Wray acknowledged worrying it could have served as “inspiration.”

“Well, certainly we think the events on January 6th have been at a minimum an inspiration to a number of terrorist extremists out there and may even have been worse than that,” the FBI director said.

FBI DIRECTOR WRAY TESTIFIES ON CAPITOL RIOT

Wray’s appearance Tuesday before the committee was his first testimony since Jan 6. It came as the FBI continues its investigations into multiple facets of the riots.

“One of my great concerns was that as people flowed into the Capitol with backpacks on, you had no idea who they were and what they were carrying,” Graham said. “So it would’ve been very easy for some international terrorists to infiltrate this crowd. Do you agree with that?” 

Wray replied: “I do think it would have been easy for that to happen. I don’t know that we’ve seen evidence that it did happen, but that’s certainly one of the specific things were looking for.”

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Another concern expressed by Wray on Tuesday was related to funding of the bureau. “We need more agents, we need more analysts, we need more data analytics, etc.,” he said. 

“Has the FBI grown dramatically since 9/11?” Graham asked. 

“Not as dramatically as the threat,” Wray answered.

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