Today in Security - Terrorism Arrests by the FBI

Today in Security: Terrorism Arrests

​FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that the bureau has recorded close to 100 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects in the past nine months.

After the hearing, an FBI spokeswoman clarified to the Washington Post that the Bureau has recorded about 90 domestic terrorism arrests, compared with about 100 international terrorism arrests. The 90 domestic arrests represents an uptick compared with the prior year, according to the Post.​

"Needless to say, we take domestic terrorism or hate crime, regardless of ideology, extremely seriously," Wray said.

Wray revealed the data at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, as he told lawmakers that the Bureau was aggressively pursuing cases of racially motivated violence.

Wray told the lawmakers that a "majority of the domestic terrorism cases we've investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence."

However, the FBI spokeswoman later clarified that Wray meant only that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases involving a racial motive were believed to be spurred by white supremacy. She did not say how many of the 90 domestic cases had a racial motive.

At a congressional hearing last May, the head of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division testified that the Bureau was investigating 850 domestic terrorism cases and that of those, about 40 percent involved racially motivated violent extremists. Most in that group, he said, were white supremacists.

For more on extremist violent attacks, see "Extremist Attacks Rise as Polarization Increases" in last June's issue of Security Management.