National Security

Wray: FBI deemed Jan. 6 attack domestic terrorism

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that officials have classified the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by former President Trump’s supporters as domestic terrorism.

“That attack, that siege, was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and it’s behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism,” Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Wray said the FBI has received more than 270,000 tips from Americans that have helped the bureau identify the numerous people who allegedly participated in the attack.

“Citizens from around the country have sent us more than 270,000 digital media tips. Some have even taken the painful step of turning in their friends or their family members,” he said.

But under questioning from lawmakers, Wray resisted pinning the Capitol breach on a single extremist ideology, saying the group of attackers “included a variety of backgrounds.” 

“The attackers on Jan. 6 included a number  and the number keeps growing as we build out our investigations  of what we would call militia violent extremism. And we have had some already arrested who we would put in the category of racially motivated violent extremism, white as well. Those would be the categories so far that we’re seeing as far as Jan. 6.”

The FBI has arrested at least 280 people allegedly involved in the Capitol attack and have charged more than 300.

Wray also said the number of domestic terrorism cases investigated by the FBI has doubled during his tenure as FBI director, from about 1,000 cases in 2017 to 2,000 by the end of 2020.

Updated at 11:06 a.m.

Tags Capitol breach Christopher Wray Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation jan. 6

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