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FBI Director Christopher Wray Responds to Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s Questions About Foreign Support for Domestic Violent Extremism

April 16, 2021
Press Release
Intelligence officials were limited in what they could publicly disclose on potential foreign support of domestic extremists as well as a range of topics later covered in classified hearing

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi participated in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s World Wide Threat Hearing to discuss the threats the United States currently faces from China and potential foreign-financing of domestic violent extremists. Congressman Krishnamoorthi questioned the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines, on whether Chinese President Xi Jinping’s power has grown stronger. In response, Director Haines stated that “he has grown in power, I would say, over the term that he’s served.”

Congressman Krishnamoorthi also asked the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Gen. Paul Nakasone, whether China has the capability to disrupt infrastructure (i.e. electrical grids) in cities in the United States. Gen. Nakasone responded that “Our adversaries are getting much better. I’ve watched this now for well over a decade, moving from exploitation to disruption to destructive-like capabilities. So, I think as we take a look at our broader critical infrastructure, this is something that we are all focused on within the broader government.”

“I remain concerned by China and the threat it poses to the United States’ national security and economy,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “We need to prevent a situation such as China turning the lights out in an entire American city or siphoning data from us in a cybersecurity attack. Our infrastructure must be secure, and our intelligence agencies must have the resources they need to identify and respond to potential threats.”

“The hearing today with the House Intelligence Committee on World Wide Threats was also crucial in restoring the strong relationship and coordination between the Intelligence Community and Congress,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said.

Congressman Krishnamoorthi also asked the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher Wray, whether there is any evidence of financial linkages between foreign entities or foreign governments and domestic violent extremist groups. Director Wray cited concern with instances of “contributions in-kind” between non-state actors and domestic violent extremists in the United States and advised Congressman Krishnamoorthi follow up in the closed session.

The return to holding the World Wide Threat Hearings annually is a welcome change in the Biden Administration, given that the last public World Wide Threats Hearing with the House Intelligence Committee was in 2016.

Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s questioning during this House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing is available here.