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FBI Says White Supremacists Are On Par With ISIS As Top Threat

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FBI Says White Supremacists Are On Par With ISIS As Top Threat

The director of the FBI has revealed that white supremacist groups - along with other racially motivated extremists - are considered to be America's 'top threat'.

Christopher Wray testified before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and revealed people on the far-right are much more dangerous than many realise.

"The top threat we face from [domestic violent extremists] continues to be those we identify as Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs), specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race," he said.

The Proud Boys flag. Credit: PA
The Proud Boys flag. Credit: PA
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The FBI has since elevated the threat of white supremacist groups to be its highest priority - which now puts them on par with international terrorist organisations such as ISIS, as well as homegrown terrorist groups.

During his testimony, Wray vehemently condemned the riots on the US Capitol building on January 6, which saw five people lose their lives in the chaos.

"I was appalled that you, our country's elected leaders, were victimised right here in these very halls," he said.

"That siege was criminal behaviour, pure and simple. It's behaviour that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism.

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"It's got no place in our democracy. And tolerating it would make a mockery of our nation's rule of law."

The Department of Homeland Security has also labelled white supremacist violence as the biggest domestic terrorism threat facing the country.

The Justice Department has since charged more than 300 people on criminal counts ranging from conspiracy to attacking police following the Capitol riots.

At least 18 of those charged are associated with the far-right Proud Boys group and nine are tied to the anti-government militia Oath Keepers.

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FBI Director Wray went on to slam allegations that those who stormed the US Capitol were 'fake' Trump supporters or Antifa, calling it a 'false narrative'.

"We have not to date seen any evidence of any anarchist violence extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the 6th," he said.

"That doesn't mean we're not looking and we'll continue to look, but at the moment, we have not seen that."

The riots taking place at the US Capitol on Jan 6. Credit: PA
The riots taking place at the US Capitol on Jan 6. Credit: PA
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Among those who lost their lives as a result of the January 6 insurgence in a failed bid to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's November election victory included police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died the day after the attack after reportedly being bludgeoned over the head with a fire extinguisher.

Two other officers who responded to the violent scenes - Howard Liebengood and 12-year veteran Jeffrey Smith - died by suicide in the days following the riots.

According to Forbes, the union representing the US Capitol Police said in a letter that nearly 140 officers were injured during the attack.

"I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries," said union chairman Gus Papathanasiou.

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"One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. One officer is going to lose his eye and another was stabbed with a metal fence."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: US News, Politics

Jessica Lynch
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