FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed on Tuesday that the agency has made about 100 domestic terrorism-related arrests since October, and the majority were related to white supremacy.
”I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but it does include other things as well,” Wray said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, referring to cases in fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1.
“In terms of number of arrests, we have through the third quarter of this fiscal year had about give or take 100 arrests on the international terrorism side, which includes the homegrown violent extremism,” Wray told Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) at the hearing.
“We’ve also had just about the same number – again, don’t quote me to the exact digit – on the domestic terrorism side,” he added.
Durbin said he was concerned that the Trump administration is not prioritizing the threat from white nationalists.
President Trump earlier this year said that he did not believe white nationalism was on the rise following two deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand.
“There is a concern that this is not being taken as seriously as it should be as one of the real threats in our country,” Durbin said while raising questions about the FBI’s shift to using the new category of “racially-motivated violent extremism” to describe race-related crimes.
“We take domestic terrorism or hate crime – regardless of ideology – extremely seriously, I can assure you, and we are aggressively pursuing it using both counterterrorism resources and criminal investigative resources and partnering closely with our state and local partners,” Wray said.
“Our focus is on the violence,” Wray added. “We the FBI don’t investigate the ideology, no matter how repugnant. We investigate violence. And any extremist ideology, when it turns to violence, we’re all over it.”
Director Wray says the FBI has made "about the same number" of domestic terrorism arrests as international terrorism arrests so far this year. pic.twitter.com/dtQu0vLkeN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 23, 2019