FBI Director Elevates Threat to anti-Semitic Violence to a “National Priority”
By Yehudit Garmaise
The American Jewish community “desperately” needs further support from the nation’s top federal law enforcement agency, Christopher Ray, the FBI’s Director, testified before the US House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.
“[The Jewish] community deserves and desperately needs our support because it’s getting hit from all sides,” added Wray, who said that he had elevated threats of hate crimes and domestic terrorism related to anti-Semitism to “a national threat priority.”
“Antisemitism and violence that comes out of it is a persistent and present fact,” said Ray, who pointed out that while Jews comprise 2.4% of the American population, Jews are targeted 63% of the time by perpetrators of religious hate crimes.
After US Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-D) asked Wray about the Nov. 3 threat made to New Jersey shuls by 18-year-old Omar Alkattoul, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the FBI was attempting to address the issue by raising the threat of anti-Semitic violence to a “national priority.”
Alkattoul, who pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State and researched past mass shootings and how to obtain firearm, had allegedly published a hateful manifesto online that read as though he had already carried out an anti-Semitic attack, according to the criminal complaint against him filed last week by the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
In 2021, the Anti-Defamation League reported the highest levels of anti-Semitic incidents in the US during 2021 since the organization started tracking such events in the 1970s.