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FBI director concerned lone wolf or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from events in Middle East, Russia


FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to warn Congress on Thursday of his concerns over potential bad actors carrying out attacks on U.S. soil due to events overseas.

“Our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home,” Wray is set to tell the House Appropriations Committee, according to a transcript of his opening statement obtained by ABC News. “But now increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall a couple weeks ago.”

In his testimony, Wray will also urge Congress to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which lays the groundwork for the government to be able to collect the communications of non-Americans overseas on U.S.-based platforms without the use of a warrant.

The effort was torpedoed in the House by former President Donald Trump and his allies on Wednesday after Trump urged GOP members to “Kill FISA” in a post on his Truth Social platform.

Hard-line Republicans in the House, are opposed to reauthorizing FISA without an amendment that would require the intelligence community to obtain an additional warrant to access the data of Americans.

Some civil liberties groups, including the ACLU, have also pushed for similar reforms, with the ACLU saying Section 702 allows the government to engage in “mass, warrantless surveillance of Americans’ and foreigners’ phone calls, text messages, emails, and other electronic communications.”
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The bill voted on in Congress on Wednesday didn’t include the warrant amendment.

Wray is testifying Thursday afternoon to discuss the FBI’s budget, which is facing a $500 million decrease.

House Republicans said they’ve made cuts to the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies’ budget and the FBI Director is hoping Congress funds the agency through 2025.

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