“Explosive” of domestic terrorist attacks in the United States
US national security and law enforcement agencies are combating what they describe as a “big leap” in threats from domestic terrorists. Many of them act independently, motivated by racial hostility or anti-government idealism.
Officials who testified before lawmakers on Tuesday said the deadliest threat to the United States came from their own country, with white supremacist ideologies and personal complaints increasing from so-called lonely actors. He repeated the warning that he was leading the action.
“Yes, the number of domestic terrorist attacks is skyrocketing,” FBI Secretary Christopher Ray told the Senate committee that preventing terrorist attacks was the agency’s top priority.
“We have doubled the number of domestic terrorist attacks from about 1,000 to about 2,700,” Ray said over the past 16 to 18 months. “We have increased staff to more than double the number of people attacking the threat from a year ago.”
Part of the jump resulted in an attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, killing five people and arresting more than 600.
However, in prepared testimony, Ray warned that the Capitol headquarters “shows a willingness to use violence against the government to advance its political and social goals.”
He also said that many lonely actors, whether motivated by national discontent or by foreign terrorist groups, rely heavily on the internet.
“These attackers leave a lot to connect with as they act on their own, quickly move from radicalization to action, and often use readily available weapons against easy targets. “Hmm,” Ray told lawmakers.
He also warned that in recent years the FBI had successfully stopped terrorist attacks on many major US cities, including New York, Las Vegas and Miami.
Foreign terrorist threat
Despite growing threats from domestic activists, U.S. officials have warned that threats from foreign terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have only slightly diminished.
“Foreign terrorist groups continue to focus on attacks against the United States,” said Christine Abizaid, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. No, ”he said. Terrorists launched the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in New York.
“For years [counterterror] The pressure has exacerbated the al-Qaida network, and the Group and its subsidiaries remain keen to use individuals with access to the United States to carry out attacks. ”
Besides groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, Aviside warned that counterterrorism officials were concerned about the efforts of Iran and its agent Hezbollah to attack the United States.
Specifically, she warned that Iranian leaders “would retaliate in the United States for killing former IRGC commander Kudforce Kasem Soleimani in January 2020”.
Aviside further cautioned in written testimony of Tehran’s continued efforts to “build operational capabilities against organizations and individuals based in the United States”.
But more than Iran, FBI Secretary Ray told lawmakers that no country poses a more serious threat to the United States than Beijing, forcing the agency to launch new defense investigations on average. every 12 hours. ..
“I don’t think any country poses as great a threat to our thinking on innovation, economic security and democracy as the People’s Republic of China. As a result, more than 2,000 active investigations in the 56 field offices have been carried out by the Chinese government. Is related to, ”he said. “This is a nearly 1,300% increase in economic espionage investigations linked to China over the past 10 years or so.”
US officials have also accused China of abusing the coronavirus pandemic to “profit from the production of fraudulent PPE.” [personal protective equipment] And medical supplies. ”
China “continues to threaten economic security through the use of intellectual property theft, exploitation of fragile supply chains and economic coercion,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas told lawmakers.
Wray and Mayorkas often cite ransomware attacks linked to Russia as a persistent threat.
“Last year, victims paid an estimated ransom of $ 350 million, an increase of 311% from the previous year, with average payments exceeding $ 300,000,” Mayorkas said.
“We are currently investigating over 100 types of ransomware, each claiming dozens of victims,” added FBI Ray.