FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on "Threats to the homeland" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2017. .
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
Top federal officials confirmed to the Senate that the FBI is conducting 1,000 domestic terrorism investigations, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
In his address, FBI director Christopher A. Wray pointed to the relative success of radical Islamic groups like Islamic State in the Levant and Iraq to exploit social media to attract recruits and supporters.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked director Wray to confirm the figure and explain how the bureau deals with white supremacist domestic terrorism and radical Islamic terrorism.
Director Wray stated that the FBI deals with both brands of domestic terrorism equally, but different criminal laws apply. For example, while it is a crime to provide material aid to a foreign spy or agent of a terrorist group, there is no similar prohibition for an American citizen serving an American group.
He added that in the case of non-Americans who are living in the US, it is possible to gather intelligence by means not deemed constitutional in the case of American citizens.
Director Wray did not address the issue of whether or not American law should be changed to address this issue.
Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill stated that the death toll for Islamic terrorism in the US and domestic terrorism since Sept 11, 2001 is about the same - 119 victims of Islamic radicalism and 106 victims of home-grown terrorism, reported The Washington Times
“I don’t think Americans understand the level of threat we have in this country from white supremacists
,” said the senator.