FBI Director: Border Crisis Has Created ‘Wide Array of Very Dangerous Threats’

FBI Director: Border Crisis Has Created ‘Wide Array of Very Dangerous Threats’
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the "Annual Worldwide Threats Assessment" in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 11, 2024. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The surge of illegal immigrants across the southern border has yielded “very dangerous threats” for the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on March 11.

While being questioned by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Wray confirmed that a variety of “dangerous individuals” had entered the United States via the U.S.–Mexico border.

When asked by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the committee’s vice chair, if those individuals were committing crimes, the director elaborated.

“From an FBI perspective, we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border,” including the cross-border trafficking of drugs such as fentanyl, he said. “And an awful lot of the violent crime in the United States is at the hands of gangs who are themselves involved in the distribution of that fentanyl.”

And when pressed on whether members of violent gangs and other criminal organizations had entered the country and were now committing crimes, Mr. Wray acknowledged that they were.

Without revealing specifics, the director also disclosed that the FBI is “very concerned” about a particular human smuggling network whose overseas facilitators have ties to ISIS. The bureau, he said, is currently working with foreign partners to investigate the group.

Recent Violent Crime

Mr. Wray appeared on Capitol Hill to testify on worldwide threats alongside a panel of other intelligence chiefs. His comments come on the heels of multiple violent crimes that were allegedly committed by illegal immigrants. One such crime was the Jan. 27 attack on two New York Police Department officers in Times Square by a group of illegal immigrants. At least two of the suspects charged with the assault are confirmed members of the violent Venezuelan Tren de Aragua gang.

That event was followed weeks later by the brutal slaying of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student, on the University of Georgia campus.

Ms. Riley went out for a jog on Feb. 22 and never returned home. Her body, which was disfigured by blunt force trauma to her skull, was found later that day in a wooded area near the school’s intramural fields. Police arrested suspect Jose Ibarra the next day. Mr. Ibarra is a 26-year-old Venezuelan national who entered the United States illegally in 2022.

The case has taken center stage in the recent political discourse over illegal immigration, as many blame President Joe Biden and his immigration policies for Ms. Riley’s death.

After weeks of silence on the tragedy, the president finally mentioned Ms. Riley—although he used the wrong name—during his State of the Union address on March 7 at the prompting of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

“Lincoln Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal, that’s right,” he said. “But how many thousands of people are being killed by illegals?”

The comment appeared to be downplaying Ms. Riley’s death while also acknowledging that people were being killed by illegal immigrants. He added, however, that his “heart goes out to” Ms. Riley’s parents for their loss.

Days later, President Biden walked back his use of the term “illegal” to refer to Mr. Ibarra in an interview with MSNBC, stating that he should have called him “undocumented.”

NTD Photo
Trump supporters hold up signs featuring Laken Riley at a rally in Rome, Ga., on March 9, 2024. (T.J. Muscaro/The Epoch Times)

Citing that apology at a March 9 rally in Rome, Georgia, former President Donald Trump said his successor lacked empathy for Ms. Riley’s grieving loved ones.

“He’s got no regret, no empathy, no compassion, and worst of all, he has no intention of stopping the deadly invasion that stole precious Laken’s beautiful American life,” he said, holding that the crime never would have happened under his administration.

Thanking Ms. Riley’s family for being in attendance, the former president promised to keep her memory alive as thousands of his supporters waved signs featuring her face.

“I will fight like no one has ever fought before to ensure that what happened to this American daughter—this incredible, incredible American—that this never happens to any other daughter or anyone else ever again,” he said.

T.J. Muscaro contributed to this report.

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