Law enforcement officials tell Congress that Hamas may be planning terrorist attack on the homeland

WASHINGTON, DC- In what should likely be a surprise to nobody, officials from within the Department of Homeland Security told a House committee this week that there is increasing concern about a possible terrorist attack from Hamas occurring in the United States, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee saw officials highlighting the growing global threat and possible consequences here in the homeland after Hamas launched a terrorist attack against Israel last month, resulting in over 1,400 deaths of Israeli men, women, and children. 

 Leading off the testimony was Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who has overseen the equivalent of a foreign invasion at the US southern border while doing nothing to stem the onslaught. 

“Already, in the weeks since the assessment publication, the world has changed after Hamas terrorists viciously attacked thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Israel on October 7, 2023, brutally murdering, wounding, and taking hostages of all ages,” Mayorkas said. 

While the attack took place in Israel, the ramifications of it have been felt throughout the world, including the United States. 

“Since this department’s inception, the threat landscape our department is charged with confronting continues to evolve,” Mayorkas said. “Although the terrorism threat in the United States has remained heightened throughout 2023, Hamas’s attack on Israel, along with other recent events, have sharpened the focus of potential attacks on targeted individuals and institutions perceived as symbolic of or tied to the conflict.” 

FBI Director Christopher Wray amplified Mayorkas’s concerns. 

“While we work to assist our Israeli colleagues and understand the global implications of the ongoing conflict in Israel, we are paying heightened attention to how the events abroad could directly affect and inspire people to commit violence here in the homeland,” Wray said. 

“Our top concern stems from lone offenders, inspired by, or reacting to, the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, as they pose the most likely threat to Americans, especially Jewish, Muslim, and Arab-American communities in the United States,” he continued. 

Meanwhile, Christine Abizaid, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, noted that the entity is actively monitoring, evaluating, and taking appropriate actions “with respect to potential threats to the United States in the wake of the 7 October Hamas attacks against Israel.” 

“Since 7 October, there have been increased threats to these communities worldwide, and some attacks and violent exploitation of protests, primarily driven by overall heightened tensions, and individuals engaging in violent extremist attacks,” she said. 

CBS News reported that while the FBI has launched “multiple investigations into individuals affiliated with Hamas,” Wray said they have not seen evidence of a specific credible threat.” 

“In a year where the terrorism threat was already elevated, the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level. Since Oct. 7, we’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies,” Wray said. “Given those calls for action, our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home.” 

Wray said that among the terrorist organizations issuing calls to action are Hamas, al Qaeda, and ISIS. 

Wray told lawmakers that typically, investigations into individuals with ties to Hamas have focused on their financial support to the organization; however, the FBI continues to examine intelligence “to assess how the threat may be evolving.” 

CBS reported that earlier this month, a 20-year-old Jordanian national living in Texas was indicted for several charges, including illegally obtaining firearms, and had trained with others of a “radical mindset” to possibly commit an attack.” He was arrested in Houston on Oct. 19 after investigators said he had been “conducting physical training,” and “trained with weapons to possibly commit an attack,” court documents said. 

The suspect has appealed not guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and was ordered detained pending trial, in part because the judge said the defendant allegedly “made statements to others that support the killing of individuals of particular religious faiths.” 

Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland and other law enforcement officials met with leaders of several sects, including the Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, South Asian, and Hindu communities, to discuss the “increased threat landscape” across the country. 

“The Justice Department is committed to protecting our communities from hate-fueled violence. The Department will continue bringing together stakeholders to support our shared goal of preventing, disrupting, and prosecuting illegal acts of hate fueled by antisemitism, Islamophobia, or anti-Arab bias,” Garland said. 

The DOJ, however, appears to be using selective enforcement of hate crime statutes against individuals engaging in bias-based crime. 

For example, the DOJ opened a federal hate crime investigation into a stabbing attack that occurred last month in a Chicago suburb, in which a 6-year-old Palestinian boy, Wadea Al-Fayoume, was killed. The suspect was arrested and charged, with authorities saying the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim hate. 

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a man who struck a 69-year-old Jewish man with a megaphone in the head, killing him, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, the Associated Press reports. The suspect, 50-year-old Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji, a college professor, was accused of causing “great bodily injury” to the victim during the confrontation. The US Department of Justice has not yet opened a federal hate crime investigation into Alnaji. 

The FBI has arrested several individuals over the past several weeks for hate-motivated threats, including a Florida man who allegedly threatened to kill members of a Jewish organization in New York, a Nevada man who was charged with threatening Sen. Jacky Rosen in antisemitic messages, and a student at Cornell who called for the death of Jewish people in unhinged social media posts. 

The FBI also appears to be using the terrorist threats to pressure Congress to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows federal agencies to collect, via telecommunications providers, electronic data–including phone calls, text messages and emails–of foreigners overseas, even if those communications involve US citizens. Those records can then be searched for information related to national security investigations. 

That provision is due to expire in December unless Congress takes action, however, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been critical of past misuses of the authority granted to federal law enforcement and have pressed for reforms. 

“With the fast-moving situation in the Middle East, just imagine if a foreign terrorist organization overseas shifts intentions and directs an operative here who’d been contingency planning to carry out an attack in our backyard. And imagine if we’re not able to disrupt that threat because the FBI’s 702 authorities have been so watered down,” Wray told lawmakers in his remarks. 

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If terrorists bring their attacks to U.S. Soil, I pray that the FBI, ATF, and all the other three letter agencies are ready for true Americans to be Locked, Loaded, and Ready to Rock anywhere and everywhere! I know I will not be standing by waiting for LEOs to respond to protect me and my family! The saying is so sadly true! "WHEN SECONDS MEAN LIFE OR DEATH, HELP IS ONLY MINUTES AWAY!"

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