FBI Director Wray Raises Alarm About Terror Threat; Warns About TikTok; Raises Eyebrows On Protest Remarks
UNITED STATES - MARCH 8: FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, testify during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats in Hart Building on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. CIA Director William J.Burns, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott D.Berrier, also testified.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned in an interview this week that the United States is facing an unprecedented threat environment across the board.

Wray made the remarks during a wide reaching interview with NBC News that aired on Tuesday in which he urged Americans who use TikTok to quit using the app and made remarks about the anti-Semitic protests across college campuses.

Wray told NBC News’ Lester Holt: “As I look back over my career in law enforcement, I’m hard pressed to come up with a time where I’ve seen so many different threats all elevated all at the same time, whether it’s the threats from China, Russia, Iran, the terrorism threats, both foreign terrorist threats and domestic terrorist threats.”

“So we thought that even before October 7, if you and I were having this conversation then, we would have said that the terrorism threat was already elevated,” he continued. “But post October 7, it’s gone to a whole other level.”

When asked about the protests that have erupted on college campuses across the U.S. in recent days, Wray said that the FBI has seen a “significant increase, especially in anti-Semitic threats and anti-Semitic violence.”

He said that the FBI typically does not get involved in the protests.

“We don’t monitor protests,” he said. “But we do share intelligence about specific threats of violence.”

Wray later warned Americans about using TikTok, the popular social media app that is controlled by China’s communist government.


“Congress is on the verge of passing legislation that would essentially ban TikTok if it’s not sold,” Holt noted. “You’ve talked about this, many in the government have talked about the threat of TikTok, can you be specific about what your fear is?”

“TikTok, for us, represents a national security concern,” Wray responded. “And the reason I say that is that TikTok’s parent company is beholden to the Chinese government. So that for us manifests itself in three specific ways: it has to do with the data, it has to do with the recommendation algorithm, it has to deal with the software. The data, that we’re talking about the ability to control or collect data on millions and millions of users and to use it for all sorts of influence operations, like driving their AI efforts, which are not remotely constrained by the rule of law.”

“Are they doing that now or that’s simply, they have the capability to do that?” Holt asked.

“What I would say to you is that they are currently attempting to steal our AI and hack American technology every day,” Wray said. “My message is you need to take into account who the Chinese government is, who the Chinese Communist Party is, even if for some reason, you don’t care about that, which I would argue you should,” he said. “What about all of your friends, family members, classmates, co-workers, neighbors, etc, who are also participating and are connected to you through all those same things? Maybe they would care about the ability of the Chinese government and the Chinese intelligence services to access all that.”


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