The FBI is currently looking into roughly 2,000 domestic terrorism cases following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said his agents are pursuing cases that involve domestic terrorism, highlighting that since 2017, the number of arrests and investigations by the FBI has grown substantially.
“We have significantly grown the number of investigations and arrests,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee, noting that the number of such cases has more than doubled since he became the FBI director in 2017. He had testified in September that the number of such cases was about 1,000. By the end of 2020, there were about 1,400 such cases, and after Jan. 6, the figure ballooned again.
Wray also mentioned that he supports how the agency handled the intelligence it received before the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. While he says all agents shared the information that they had with law enforcement agencies, he noted that the bureau would continue to review internal practices because Jan. 6 was not an “acceptable result,” The Washington Post reports.
The newspaper reports Wray’s testimony is just one part of the many congressional hearings that will be had in examining possible security and intelligence negligence and failures that ultimately led to Trump supporters, white supremacists, and other extremist groups taking hold of Capitol Hill.
The Washington Post reports FBI and military officials will be testifying at another hearing discussing the events on Jan. 6. In his opening statement, Wray said the U.S. Capitol attack was “criminal.” “I was appalled that you, our country’s elected leaders, were victimized right here in these very halls,” Wray said in his opening statement. “That attack, that siege was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and his behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism. It’s got no place in our democracy, and tolerating it would make a mockery of our nation’s rule of law.”
He also added no signs or indication of any Antifa members being a part of the riot or attack, despite what some Republicans have suggested. He says this was mainly the work of domestic terrorism. “The smallest group numerically, but by far and away the most serious group are those who…breached the Capitol grounds, who engaged in violence against law enforcement who attempted to disrupt the members of Congress in the conduct of their constitutional responsibilities and of those, some of those people, clearly came to Washington, we now know, with plans and intentions to engage in the worst kind of violence, we would consider domestic terrorism,” said Wray, per ABC News.