FBI director says US Jews are under threat ‘from all sides’ amid rise in antisemitism

The director of the FBI has said the Jewish community in the United States is “getting hit from all sides” and “desperately” needs further support from the agency amid an apparent uptick in antisemitic attacks.

In response to a question by US Congressman Josh Gottheimer on a recently thwarted attack on synagogues in New Jersey, FBI director Christopher Wray said that the agency was attempting to address the issue by raising the threat of antisemitism to a “national priority.”

“Antisemitism and violence that comes out of it is a persistent and present fact,” Wray said.

He said that some 63 percent of religious hate crimes were motivated by antisemitism, “and that’s targeting a group that makes up about 2.4% of the American population.”

“It’s a community that deserves and desperately needs our support because it’s getting hit from all sides,” Wray added.

Wray said threats of hate crimes and domestic terrorism related to antisemitism had been “elevated to a national threat priority.”

He added that the FBI had also been working proactively, foiling a planned hate crime against a synagogue in Colorado. Noting the foiled attack in New Jersey, Wray said he was “pleased we were able to make an arrest.”

There have been multiple attacks on synagogues in the United States in recent years, including the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which killed 11 people — the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States.


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