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The director of FBI Christopher Wray, on Wednesday, defended his teams’ handling of intelligence ahead of the January 6 US Capitol riot, while also telling lawmakers that the recent spike in domestic terrorism cases was alarming.
Wray faced tough interrogations from members of Congress for the first time since the deadly insurrection by supporters of then-president Donald Trump, particularly over whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation underestimated the danger or not.
In a bid to t to show the bureau was taking the threat seriously, he revealed his bureau has dramatically increased its probes of domestic extremist groups including those advocating white supremacy, and that his agents were now pursuing 2,000 extremism cases — double the number since he became FBI director in 2017.
An unfazed Wray stood strong by his agency’s handling of raw intelligence gathered on the eve of the Capitol unrest, after law enforcement personnel testified to Congress last month that they were not sufficiently briefed by the intelligence community of the January 6 threat.
‘The way in which it was handled at least as I understand it strikes me as consistent with our normal process,’ Wray told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Wray said police were also verbally briefed about the threat, and it was posted on a portal made available to law enforcement personnel in the national capital region and around the country.
He said the email went to multiple US Capitol Police task force officers.
When asked why the report did not flow up to police leadership ahead of the riot, Wray said ‘I don’t have a good answer for that‘ and acknowledged that he himself did not see the report until days after January 6.
‘We are focused very, very hard on how can we get better sources, better information, better analysis, so that we can make sure that something like what happened on January 6 never happens again,’ he concluded.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK