Oct 10, 2018, 9:54 AM ET

FBI director says bureau is investigating 5,000 terrorism cases across the world

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In a startling disclosure, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday that agents are conducting thousands of terror investigations around the world.

"Right now, as I sit here, we're currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about a thousand of those cases are homegrown violent extremists and they are in all 50 states," Wray said in his prepared testimony.

He said the threat of a large scale, big city attack still exists from groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS but homegrown violence is as prevalent as ever.

"National security remains the FBI's top priority and counterterrorism is still a paramount concern but that threat has changed significantly since 9/11," Wray said.

Wray said that homegrown terrorists (HVE) "self radicalize" at home and are influenced on social media by the global jihadist movement. They can also attack at a moment's notice.

"This HVE threat has created a whole new set of challenges with a much greater number, much greater volume of threats and each one of them with far fewer dots to connect and much less time to interrupt an attack," Wray continued.

Russell Travers, the acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, also testified at the hearing, saying the U.S. has "almost 20 ISIS branches of networks ranging from hundreds to thousands of individuals around the globe."

"Our terrorist identities database has expanded by well over an order of magnitude since 2003," he added.

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  • abcdefgqwerty

    Yeah drones are a bad thing just waiting to happen. Someone really needs to be on top of ways to prevent this, or drones need to have real requirements to get them. Its got bad written all over it, and its not an easy thing to fix.

  • abcdefgqwerty

    Thank goodness for the FBI. Imagine how many of these they prevent. These guys are worth what they get paid, and they do real work. They cant stop everything though. We really need to take the attack over seas, and most importantly try to convince other countries that we are not bad. Win the hearts and minds of their people is the only way to win not through violence or force.

  • DuelingDogmas

    "This HVE threat has created a whole new set of challenges with a much greater number, much greater volume of threats and each one of them with far fewer dots to connect and much less time to interrupt an attack," Wray continued."

    So many White folk, so little time.

  • BobMex

    And believe it or not, most of the terrorists are right wing white supremacist terrorists.

  • logical

    I wonder how many new cases have come up since 2015. If anybody saw Rand Paul's statement, it rings very true about politicians needing to dial back their rhetoric before someone gets violent.

  • The Outlier

    This is fear mongering, propaganda and distortion, pure and simple. Again, Wray proves that his FBI is absolutely not to be trusted with a media stunt designed to fuel the hatred of the far right. Without ANY doubt, our biggest domestic terrorist threat comes from the alt-right and their continued war of violence against anyone and everyone. I want to hear Wray talk about that.

  • Anthony Allen

    Now this story makes more sense. Turns out that the owner of the limo company involved in the crash in NY that killed 20 people, Shahed Hussain, is an FBI informant who was working with them in order to get out of a charge of aiding people in cheating on driver exams. As an informant, Hussain went to local mosques to pick-up information & has provided testimony in several terror "sting" operations, whereby the FBI, via an undercover agent, got young men to plan to commit an act of terror but all the resources & money to do so was provided by the FBI. The question is, did officials let his limo company skate on vehicle inspection violations that should have shut-down his company?

  • bb1040

    I remember when investigations like these were classified ...not anymore......

  • American Made

    They could clear this up with their standard one week investigation can't they?

  • American Made

    That must be why they hid from all those people who had seen Kavanaugh lying during the hearing.

  • Smedley D Butler

    Mmmmmm, 5000 cases, and the current administration is doing everything possible to cripple the FBI. Yet, Republican's claim to be patriots and the Party of Law and Order.

  • Nearl56 12

    It doesn’t appear that alienating classes of people is really a workable argument for combatting terrorism from a “winning message” perspective.

    If we have a robust economy and lowest unemployment ever, people will mostly will be happy making money. We should have lots of fat, happy, occupied, and advancing people in this Country. Not disgruntled people.

    What message are we sending?

  • Dukedaddy

    Is the FBI restricted to a one week investigation for each case and limited to who they are allowed to question?

  • TB

    I'm willing to bet those 1000 (you know..."very fine people") across all 50 states voted for this guys boss.

  • Lance

    (HVE) = Homegrown Violent Extremism. I had to look it up.

  • concernedvoter

    So they can investigate 5000 Terrorism Cases around the world but only could spare 5 days to barely look into the Ford Kavanagh Allegations??? LOL

  • Tstruck

    I'm confused ... the other day a Trumper told me that Trump had completely eliminated ISIS.

  • Prophet With Honor

    It seems the message of the day from DHS and FBI is "we're working hard to keep you safe, but...".

  • reality25

    Meanwhile in recent U.S news-

    "Neo-Nazi Convicted Of Domestic Terrorism Was Among 'Very Fine People' At Unite The Right: Photos place Taylor Michael Wilson in Charlottesville two months before his armed takeover of an Amtrak train."-(10/9/18)

  • Boxingwithangels

    This smells to me like midterm interference. Adding to the fear mongering message that Republicans are putting out. Considering Wray is a Federalist Society republican, I don't trust him fully.

  • think before you type

    Why would he even say this?

  • Anthony Allen

    Meanwhile, heavily armed domestic terrorists block a U.S. highway, point weapons at law enforcement officers (two of whom later go on to murder two cops) in support of local grazing payment scofflaws, while others seize Federal property at gunpoint, are hailed as "heroes" & feted by the local sheriff. So yeah, I'm gonna really worry about the FBI report of 5k "terror" investigations.

  • Your Worst Nightmare

    It appears that Trump has ordered some of his departments to start making announcements just before the elections. Somehow I'm not very impressed by announcements that could and should have been made a year ago like the one about "a pandemic" in election interference.

    Telling us about election interference 3 weeks before is like finally sending a warning to Floridians that Michael is coming today.

  • davidfarrar

    Speaking of home-grown terrorist, I wonder what this UPI story is all about: "U.S. Marshals: 123 missing kids found during 1-day operation in Michigan?"

    "Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Law enforcement agencies in Michigan located 123 missing children during a one-day operation, the U.S. Marshals Service announced.

    Operation MISafeKid took place on Sept. 26 throughout Wayne County "to identify and recover missing children from the area with an emphasis on locating victims of sex trafficking," the USMS said in a news release.

    In coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police and other local agencies, 123 out of 301 missing children on file were identified and recovered safely during the operation."
  • Your Worst Nightmare

    "Wray said that homegrown terrorists (HVE) "self radicalize" at home and are influenced on social media by the global jihadist movement. They can also attack at a moment's notice."

    5,000 cases? Many of them homegrown? And our beloved president believes a useless wall will protect us? His hateful rhetoric is what poses the most danger as he provides daily motivation to many of these maniacs. We most likely now spend half of our country's resources on security and growing. Military, DHS, police, TSA, on and on. It is unsustainable.

  • American Made

    Another official admits Russia is a real problem. Wonder when he will have to leave?