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Tag: christopher wray

28 People Accused of Threatening Mass Shootings Since El Paso, Dayton Massacres

Photo via ATF.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

At least 28 people have been arrested on allegations of threatening to commit mass shootings since 31 people were killed in massacres in Texas and Ohio about a month ago.

In the wake of the attacks, FBI Director Christopher Wray urged law enforcement agencies across the country to become more vigilant in their search for potential mass shooters.

The targets of the threats ranged from schools and Walmart to a health clinic and Army recruitment center, according to CNN.

Some of the suspects were white nationalists, including an 18-year-old man accused of threatening a mass shooting at a Jewish community center in Youngstown, Oh. A 35-year-old Maryland man was charged after calling for the “extermination” of Hispanics.

In July, the FBI director said that white supremacy is behind an increase in domestic terrorism cases. In the past nine months, the FBI has recorded about 100 domestic terrorism arrests, which is an increase over previous years.

“A majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

President Trump initially said he was exploring gun control measures, such as more background checks, but it appears he has distanced himself from taking any action.

How FBI Is Handling Mass Shooting Threats After Bloody Weekend

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About a week ago, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate that white supremacy is responsible for most domestic terrorism cases so far in 2019.

Then came Saturday, when a gunman who pledged to attack “as many Mexicans as possible” opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Early Sunday morning, another gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 others in just 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio. The motive of that shooting remains unclear.

The bureau is worried the attacks will inspire more acts of violence.

“The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence,” the bureau said in a news release. “The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online.”

So what’s the FBI doing about the threat of domestic terrorism? According to CNN, Wray has ordered a new threat assessment at the bureau’s offices nationwide in an attempt to stave off future attacks.

A command group at the FBI’s Washington headquarters will lead an effort to get field offices to identify threats of mass shootings.

The bureau also is assisting in the investigations of the shootings in Texas and Ohio.

“On behalf of the FBI, I offer sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence, and we stand by them during this difficult time. We will bring the full resources of the FBI to bear in the pursuit of justice for the victims of these crimes.” Wray said in a statement. “I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them. I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”

FBI Director: White Supremacy Behind Rise in Domestic Terrorism Cases

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that white supremacy is behind an increase in domestic terrorism cases this fiscal year.

In the past nine months, the FBI has recorded about 100 domestic terrorism arrests, which is an increase over previous years.

“A majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The number of domestic terrorism cases now rivals the number of international terrorism cases, Wray said, contradicting President Trump’s claims that white nationalism was not on the rise.

The increase comes amid concerns that President Trump’s rhetoric is fueling white supremacy.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Wray whether the bureau is taking the domestic terror threat seriously in light of Trump’s rhetoric.

“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 told Wray.

“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 responded.

Another concern is that a vast majority of the domestic cases are not leading to terrorism charges.

Trump Won’t Say If He Has Confidence in FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump would not say whether he has confidence in his FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with The Hill.

The president also emphasized that he disagrees with Wray’s opinion that FBI agents didn’t spy on his 2016 campaign.

Wray told Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying” when asked about Attorney General Bill Bar’s assertion that federal law enforcement officials “spied” on the Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing,” Trump told The Hill. “You may even disagree with him on that.”

When asked about his level of confidence in his FBI director, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

Trump’s response raised eyebrows because he fired then-FBI Director James Comey in April 2017, a decision that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Later, Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, fired then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

FBI Director Wray May Be Subpoenaed over Trump Investigation

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray may be the next high-ranking federal law enforcement officials to be hit with a subpoena for failing to be transparent.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said Wednesday he’s considering subpoenaing Wray to learn the status of counterintelligence investigations into President Trump and Russia, CNN reports.

The investigation began in June 2016, but it remains unclear whether the probe has ended or “mushroomed into a set of other counterintelligence investigations,” Schiff said.

“We are determined to get answers, and we are running out of patience. If necessary, we’ll subpoena the director and require him to come in and provide those answers under oath,” the California Democrat said.

FBI Director Wray Defends Bureau, Says No Evidence ‘Spying’ Occurred

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray distanced himself from Attorney General William Barr, saying Tuesday he’s unaware of any illegal surveillance and that he doesn’t use the politically charged term “spying.”

“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told senators at a budget hearing when asked about Barr’s allegations that the bureau may have abused their powers in investigating Trump’s campaign.

The question came from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who said he “was very concerned by” Barr’s “use of the word spying, which I think is a loaded word.”

Wray also was asked if he had “any evidence that any illegal surveillance” of Trump’s campaign occurred.

“I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort,” Wray said.

The FBI director also offered to help explain to Barr how the Russia investigation began.

Wray: FBI Arrested Hundreds of Terrorism Suspects in Past Year

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating thousands of terrorism cases and arrested hundreds of terrorism suspects in the past year, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

“Right now as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world and about 1,000 of those cases are homegrown violent extremists, and they’re in all 50 states,” Wray said at a hearing about security threats before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“In the last year or so we’ve made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects,” Wray added.

Wray is expected to be questioned about the FBI’s controversial investigation of sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

FBI Director Wray’s Low-Key Approach May Be What the Doctor Ordered

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday in Orlando. (ticklethewire.com photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO —  FBI Director Christopher Wray delivered a serviceable, but unimpressive speech to thousands of members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community on Sunday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He talked about terrorism, the need for the FBI to work closer with local law enforcement, active shooters, officer deaths and the difficulties, but great rewards of working in the field.

Then, after 35 minutes, he was done and walked off stage to an obligatory round of applause. No questions. No schmoozing. No truly inspiring words. It wasn’t a very meaty speech.

Wray is a nice guy. Low key. Serious about the job. But he’s no rock star like his predecessor James Comey, or for that matter, Robert Mueller, a stoic man who looked and acted like an FBI director plucked out of central casting.

But in these challenging times for the bureau, he may be just what the agency needs. He’s flying under the radar in Washington and he’s not a regular fixture on the nightly news. Being a federal law enforcement official,  and flying too high inside the Beltway can lead to a public beheading from the president.

President Donald Trump has been on a jihad to discredit the bureau and the Justice Department as Mueller moves forward like a heat missile in the Russia probe, flipping one Trump insider after another.    

Not since the Nixonian years, has a president displayed such naked hostility toward the bureau.

The bureau has caught hell from Trump for not indicting Hillary Clinton and for investigating Russia ties to his campaign. To top that off, the FBI was put in an untenable situation when it was asked to do a background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but was then handcuffed and prevented from doing a first-rate job. Critics called the investigation a sham. And to some degree, considering agents weren’t allowed to do a full-court press, it was.

Federal agents are divided. Some think Trump is doing a good job. Some think he’s doing a good job, but think he’s a jerk. And some are simply appalled by his behavior and actions, including his free-flowing tweets. Comey never liked Trump, even before the firing.

Wray’s low key approach may not be publicly inspiring, but it may be just what Washington needs at a time like this.

And with all that’s going on, from the Russia probe, to the Trump attacks to the Brett Kavanaugh mess,  it may explain why he kept his head low on Sunday and walked away without allowing questions.