tv FBI Director Wray on Domestic Terrorism CSPAN August 6, 2019 2:15am-2:28am EDT
the choice is ours and ours alone. it is not up to mentally ill monsters, it is up to us. if we are able to pass a great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain. may god bless the memory of those who perished in toledo, may god protect them, and may god protect all of those from texas to ohio. may god bless the victims and their families. may god bless america. thank you very much. thank you. [reporters shouting questions] announcer: during his address, president trump said, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy, and that he has --ected bf ei to find ways
the f.b.i. to find ways to deter domestic terrorism. sen. durbin: mr. ray, welcome. i would like to ask you a question. do you know what group was responsible for more homicides from 2000-2016, more than any other domestic extremist group? dir. wray: not sure, but i think you're about to tell me. >> not a trick question. i raise the question because your testimony that was submitted to the committee
talked a lot about home grown violent extremists. in an and classified f.b.i.-d.h.s. joint intelligence bulleting in may, 2017, it found that white supremacist extremism poses persistent threat of lethal violence. it went on to say that white supremacists are responsible for more homicides from 2000 to 2016 than any other domestic extremist movement. seven members of the committee joined me in writing a letter to you and attorney general barr explaining our concern about whether the f.b.i. and department of justice were taking adequate measures to combat white supremacist violence and minimizing the domestic terrorism threat. the term white supremacist, white nationalist is not included in your statement to the committee when you talk about threats to america. there's a reference to racism , which i think lovably was meant to include that, but nothing more specific. we live in a world where the neo-nazis and white supremacists are taking lives in many places. white supremacists murdered 51 muslim worshipers in new zealand. in 2017, a white supremacist murdered muslim worshipers in a quebec, canada.
it white supremacist protruded the shootings at the sikh temple shooting in oak creek wisconsin, the emmanuel african methodist episcopal church in charleston, south carolina, the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, pennsylvania, and the chabad of in power,gogue california. the reason i raise this is because there is concerned this is not being taken as seriously as it should be as one of the real threats in our country, and there is concern as well that the f ei has not changed its definition when it comes to -- that the f.b.i. has changed its definition when it comes to race-related crimes. they have created a new category for what you trump racially-motivated violent extremism. it used to be white supremacist incidents. could you explain to me why there was this change, whether you contribute a serious threat, youwhat you are -- whether
consider this a serious threat, and what you are doing about it? i ask you this in the context of a national conversation that is taking place every single day and this presidency about the issue of race and incitements to emotion and violence by the people who are using race as a motivator. wray: senator, let me unpack your question and little first bit. needless to say, we take domestic terrorism or hate crime regardless of ideology extremely seriously, i can assure you. and we are aggressively pursuing it using both counterterrorism resources and criminal investigative resources, and partnering closely with our state and local partners. in just the last little while we have had cases involving, for example, the coast guard lieutenant who was planning an attack on elected officials and here in this area -- sen. durbin: was that motivated by a white supremacist belief? dir. wray: i think it would be a version of that, certainly.
our focus, when you asked about the categorization, our focus is on the violence. we, the f.b.i., don't investigate ideology, no matter how repugnant. we investigate violence. any extremist ideology when it turns to violence, we're all over it. in fact, you don't have to just take my word for it, just in the first three quarters of this year, we had more domestic terrorism arrests than the prior year, and it is about the same number of arrests that we have on the international terrorism side. sen. durbin: i ask you to clarify that. i don't know if we're talking about the same thing. when you talk about home grown violent extremists, i talk about domestic violent extremists, are we talking about the same thing? dir. wray: no. so we use the term home grown violent extremism to refer to people already here in the united states who are inspired by different parts of the global jihadist movement to commit terrorist acts. >> ok.
i get that. dir. wray: we use domestic terrorism to refer to a broader array of threats ranging from anarchist extremism to different kinds of racially-motivated violent extremism, two different kinds of environmental extremism. sen. durbin: so the point i am getting to, the reason i quoted the unclassified report, if it is violence that motivates the f.b.i. investigation, what we have here is a statement in this unclassified joint intelligence report that between the years of 2000-2016, the white supremacist responsible for more homicides than any other domestic extremism movement. i see the distinction you're making, home grown versus domestic, but let me ask you, can you quantify either one of them for us? dir. wray: in terms of the number of arrests, we have through the third quarter of this fiscal year had about give
or take 100 arrests in the international terrorism side, which includes the home grown violent extremism. sen. durbin: this year? dir. wray: this year. but we also had just about the same number again, don't quote me to the exact digit, on the domestic terrorism side. and i will say that the majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we have investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence, but stage includes other things as well. sen. durbin: i think this is significant. i do not want to diminish the work you're doing when it comes to the home grown domestic terrorism, anyway, whatsoever. not at all. i understand that is a serious threat to the united states, and 9/11 is proof positive of that. but what you have just said is significant. if the number of people arrested this calendar year when it comes to this extremist conduct is
about equal between those who are inspired by foreign actors, isis, al qaeda, whatever it might be, and those inspired by white supremacy or at least some version of race -- that is the way i heard you say it. please clarify. dir. wray: let me clarify. what i just gave you were the number of arrests. that's not necessarily the same thing as number of investigations. that's an important distinction. sen. durbin: the fact that your department would make an arrest, it is with the belief that a crime has been committed. the point i am getting to, we are in a tense moment in american history on the issue of race. we're having a national conversation that we haven't had in a long time about racism and the reaction, what is acceptable and what is not. and what i am asking you, from the f.b.i. point of view, and what you've told me, is we ought to take care, as seriously as we take foreign-inspired terrorism, there is a domestic terrorism
underway in the name of race that is as threatening in some respects as the foreign terrorism. that's the way i hear it. dir. wray: yeah, i don't know that -- i think the greatest terrorist threat to the homeland is the homegrown violent extremist. i will say -- sen. durbin: foreign inspired? dir. wray: which is the jihadist-inspired violence. that does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that we don't take domestic terrorism, including hate crime committed on behalf of some kind of white supremacist ideology extremely seriously. and we've had a number of very significant arrests. i mentioned the coast guard one. but we had militia members in cleveland stockpiling explosives to build pipe bombs, we had cesar sayoc, involving the package ieds. we had the "rise above" movement where we arrested eight different people on federal rioting charges. one of them fled to el salvador and we got him back. we had the tree of life synagogue shooting case, which
you mentioned, and the shooting outside of san diego, the attack on the synagogue there, we got a 29-count conviction and life sentence related to the charlottesville matter. so make no mistake, our local and law enforcement partners are senator cornyn. up, at 1:00oming p.m. eastern tomorrow, the federal reserve back our same the was president on monetary policy and the economy, and at 2:00 p.m., father of a slain tv reporter in ronda, virginia talks about his concerns over immunity for internet service providers after a video of his daughter's death was posted and online.
on c-span two, the indian ambassador to the u.s. on the heritage foundation. and then at 12:30, the senate cyber security caucus holds a discussion on cyber risks and threats facing the health care industry. announcer: while congress stand in recess, house speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer are calling on the senate to take up gun legislation passed by the house earlier this year in response to the mass shootings in texas and ohio. it is possible that lawmakers may take the opportunity to speak on the issue tomorrow when both chambers meet for a brief performa session -- pro forma sessions which a car typically without vote or debate. as always, we will have coverage starting with the senate on c-span two and followed by the house on c-span.
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