National Security

Wray warns Taliban takeover in Afghanistan could inspire US-based extremists

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to discuss security threats 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Greg Nash

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Tuesday that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan could inspire a new wave of extremism in the U.S.

Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that extremist groups have never stop plotting attacks on U.S. soil.

He also said that the domestic terrorism caseload has skyrocketed since the spring of 2020, from around 1,000 possible investigations to 2,700.

“We are concerned that, with developments in Afghanistan, among other things, that there will be more inspiration to the first bucket,” Wray told the committee. “So I think we anticipate, unfortunately, growth in both categories as we look ahead over the next couple of years.”

This comes as National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid also testified to the committee that the terrorism threat to the country is less “acute” than it was two decades ago.

Abizaid also said that U.S. officials have been monitoring how terror groups al Qaeda and ISIS could rebuild their forces and conduct an attack on the U.S. 

“In the wake of our withdrawal, the question is, at what point does that regional threat build to a capability and intent that is focused externally and particularly focused on the homeland?” Abizaid said.

“I would say from an intelligence community perspective, that’s one of our highest priorities, is just to monitor and assess the degree to which those groups actually present an external threat.”

Tags Christopher Wray Federal Bureau of Investigation Washigton D.C.

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