In a Tuesday Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray said “the gaps in our intelligence are real,” and said that there was a possibility of a foreign terrorist attack on American soil.
“On top of the homegrown violent extremists and domestic violent extremist threat, we also cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here on our own soil,” Wray told the committee.
“We have kept our sights on Hamas and have multiple ongoing investigations into individuals affiliated with that foreign terrorist organization.”
During questioning from Senator Rick Scott, Wray revealed that the FBI and partnering agencies are good with the “known known,” but he added “it’s the unknown unknown that I worry about quite a bit.”
Wray said that the FBI was “not tracking” terror cells or individual foreign terrorists operating within the United States, but added that “the gaps in our intelligence are real and it’s something that we have concerns about.”
This comes as the war in the Middle East continues, with Hamas launching a terror attack against Israel on October 7, killing at least 1,400 Israelis and taking over 200 people hostage.
The US’ borders saw 172 people on the terror watch list attempt to cross into the country illegally in fiscal year 2023, which runs from October 2022 through September 2023. 169 of these people were encountered along the southern border, while three were encountered by authorities along the northern border, according to CBP statistics.
An additional 564 people on the watchlist attempted to cross into the US through ports of entry on the southern and northern borders.
Both these numbers represent a skyrocketing increase over previous fiscal years.
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy warned last week that terrorist cells could be in the US already as a result of Biden’s border policies that allowed a record number of illegal immigrants into the US in fiscal year 2023.
“What's the chaos right now? A wide open southern border,” McCarthy said. “I'm concerned about a [terrorist] cell sitting inside America today.”
“When we're looking around the Middle East and the uprisings popping up around Europe and others,” McCarthy added. “There could be sleeper cells right here in America, but this administration has done nothing to change what's happening on the southern border.”
Senator Josh Hawley expressed similar concerns in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, demanding answers regarding an “uptick in potential terrorist-linked illegal aliens” encountered at the southern border.
During Tuesday’s White House press conference, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby if it is “possible that somebody who wants to commit a terrorist attack, during a time of elevated threat, crossed the southern border into the United States already?”
Kirby responded, “I couldn’t possibly answer that question.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.