On October 31, 2023, in Washington, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
[The Epoch Times, November 4, 2023](Reported by English Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek/Compiled by Qiusheng) The FBI revealed that its biggest concern is that violent extremists draw inspiration from Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel. Attack on U.S. soil. Later, the top federal law enforcement official revealed that Iran had tried to hire hitmen to assassinate U.S. government officials.
Testifying before Congress this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers that since the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began in early October, multiple foreign terrorist groups have called for attacks against Americans and Western countries. attack.
He said on Tuesday (October 30), “The reality is that throughout 2023, the threat of terrorism has been rising, but the ongoing war in the Middle East has elevated the threat of attacks against Americans in the United States to a whole new level. high.”
Wray said the FBI’s most pressing concern is that domestic violent extremists will draw inspiration from events in the Middle East to launch attacks on everyday Americans.
In addition, Wray said the risk of attacks by foreign Hamas terrorists on U.S. soil is also increasing as the United States declares its unwavering support for Israel after Hamas operatives launched brutal attacks on Israeli communities on October 7.
He said it was “not just Hamas” who posed a danger and revealed that Iran had been targeted by U.S. law enforcement for its involvement in assassination plots.
“As the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, directly or through hired criminals, has carried out assassination attempts against political dissidents and current and former senior U.S. government officials, including on U.S. soil,” he said.
Wray did not provide further details on who might have been targeted in the assassination attempts or when the plots were hatched.
However, the Justice Department said last summer that it had uncovered a plot by Iranians to try to hire a hitman to kill a senior Trump administration official, and that U.S. law enforcement was aware of other similar plots.
In August 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice charged an Iranian with hiring a murderer to kill John Bolton, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump.
The 45-year-old suspect, Shahram Poursafi, is said to be a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an organization designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.
He allegedly tried to pay $300,000 to some people in the United States to carry out the attack on Bolton, but ultimately failed. Pursafi also allegedly offered another “job” and claimed to be willing to pay $1 million for it.
When the plot to kill Bolton came to light, Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for the national security division, said there were other assassination attempts linked to Iran.
“This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to retaliate against individuals on U.S. soil; we will work tirelessly to expose and thwart all of these plots,” he said.
Larissa Knapp, assistant director of the FBI’s National Security Division, said at the time that Iran “has a history of conspiring to assassinate individuals within the United States that it believes pose a threat.”
The Justice Department said the plot to assassinate Bolton may have been in retaliation for a U.S.-ordered strike in January 2020 that killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
Iranian officials have denied the accusations of a plot to assassinate Bolton, calling them “completely false” and issuing veiled threats.
According to the Times of Israel, Iranian officials said, “The Islamic Republic warned against taking any action against Iranian citizens and not to resort to absurd accusations.”
U.S. lawmakers have renewed calls for action as accusations that Iran plotted assassinations on U.S. soil have returned to the spotlight.
End the “appeasement policy” towards Iran?
Responding to the FBI director’s remarks, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said on the “appeasement policy”.
Ms. Ernst wrote that Wray “acknowledges that Iran has attempted to assassinate U.S. government officials ‘right here on U.S. soil,’ but the Biden administration has failed to take action; my PUNISH Act would end this appeasement policy, Make sure Iran feels the maximum repercussions.”
In September, Ms. Ernst introduced the Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides (PUNISH) Act, which seeks to prevent the Biden administration from rejoining the Iran Nuclear Deal. Nuclear Agreement) until U.S. officials can prove that Iran does not have any assassination plans against Americans for five years.
Ms. Ernst said in a statement, “It is difficult to understand that, after numerous attacks against Americans and multiple confirmed plots against American officials, the Biden administration continues to show its support for Iran. Well, hopefully a mythical so-called nuclear deal.”
“President Biden should not offer a dime in sanctions relief to the largest state sponsor of terrorism, which is actively seeking to kill American officials and citizens at home and abroad,” she continued, adding that the PENALTY Act will “ensure that Iran continues to feel maximum pressure from the United States.”
Other U.S. lawmakers have also called for a formal freeze on $6 billion in Iranian funds that the Biden administration had unfrozen in exchange for hostages.
original:FBI Says Iran Tried to Hire Hit Men to Assassinate US Government OfficialsPublished in the English Epoch Times.
Editor in charge: Li Lin#