FBI Director Christopher Wray expresses concern over potential attack on U.S. from Afghanistan

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked Ray, “Are you worried about attacks on your homeland from places like Afghanistan?”

“We are,” Ray replied. “Especially now that we’re out, I’m concerned that sources and (intelligence) gathering may be lost there.”

The FBI director added that he is concerned that American terrorists could be inspired by the potential growth of terrorist groups in Afghanistan. “I am concerned that we will see the possibility of a reorganization of al Qaeda, that ISIS-K may take advantage of the deteriorating security environment, and I am concerned that terrorists, including here in the United States, will be inspired by what they see there,” Ray said. Say.
His comments came days after the United States killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan in a drone strike. Announcing the operation on Monday, President Joe Biden said: “I promised the American people that we will continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We have done it.”

Biden promised that Zawahiri “will never make Afghanistan a safe haven for terrorists again because he’s gone and we’ll make sure nothing else happens.”

Still, when asked Thursday if he was surprised that Zawahiri was living in Afghanistan, Wray said he was “not surprised, but disappointed.”

Wray’s comments echoed a “global warning update” issued by the State Department earlier this week following Zawahiri’s death. “Given the death of Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31, 2022, the State Department believes that anti-U.S. violence is more likely,” the notice said.

“Current information indicates that terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions of the world,” it described.

“These attacks may employ a variety of tactics, including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.”

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.

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