FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies in the Senate in Washington this Tuesday.Patrick Semansky / AP
The threat of violent extremism within the United States' own borders is growing rapidly, FBI Director Christopher Wray has warned in Congress, to the point that his agents are currently investigating nearly 2,000 cases of domestic terrorism.
They are more than twice as many cases as when he came to the Bureau's leadership in 2017, he explained, and the number has skyrocketed since the assault on the Capitol on January 6.
An episode that Wray has not hesitated to describe as "national terrorism", in his appearance this Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which investigates the police response to that insurrection of extremist followers of Donald Trump, who became strong in Congress to try to prevent the certification of the electoral victory of today's President Joe Biden.
"We have significantly increased the number of investigations and arrests," explained Wray, who has firmly rejected allegations by some Republicans that groups of left-wing activists organized the insurrection to harm Trump.
The director of the FBI has also defended the management by his agency of the intelligence report that warned of the possibility of a violent attack that January 6, which the police officers in charge of security in the Capitol that day assured, in their own appearance before the senators, which they had not read before.
Federal agents shared the information they had with the police through up to three different channels, Wray assured, but has announced that he will order a review of internal practices because the violence of January 6 is not an "acceptable result."
Senators have questioned Wray about these failures in communication between the agency and the police forces deployed on Capitol Hill, but also about the threat from far-right militias.
“January 6 was not an isolated event.
The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country for a long time and it is not going to go away anytime soon, "Wray warned.
The phenomenon that Wray warns about explains that the FBI, which directed its focus to international terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001, is in a process of adaptation to focus on the threat of racist and far-right groups.
President Biden himself has directed his director of national intelligence to work in that direction.