The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, federal police) of the United States, Christopher Wray, has denounced the growing pressure on the institution as a result of the search that his agents carried out last Monday in the Florida mansion of former President Donald Trump. In a press conference held this Wednesday in Omaha (Nebraska), Wray, who was appointed to the position by the Republican, has asked for respect for the work of the agents.
“Violence against security forces is not the answer, regardless of the reason for the anger,” Wray declared in the first public reaction to the controversy generated by the search of the Mar-a-Lago mansion. Wray avoided any direct reference to the operation, relying on discretion due to ongoing cases. After the raid in search of secret documents that Trump supposedly took with him when he left the White House, the Republicans came out in a storm in defense of the former president, with a growing chorus of criticism of the intervention of the federal agency, which they consider a tool policy of the Joe Biden Administration.
Wray’s warning was soon confirmed by the attempted assault by an armed individual on an FBI headquarters in Cincinatti, Ohio, on Thursday. The man fled without achieving his purpose, but the agency described what happened as a “critical incident”. “At approximately 9:00 a.m., an armed individual attempted to break access control at the Cincinnati FBI. After an alarm and response from FBI special agents, the subject fled north on Interstate 71,” the field office wrote on Twitter. As he fled, there was an exchange of fire between members of the security forces and the assailant, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. After abandoning the vehicle in which he fled, the man took refuge in a cornfield and was surrounded by a large police deployment. After several hours of confrontation, the individual was killed by the agents.
Wray, who has headed the FBI since 2017, has said he is “always” “concerned” about the threats, which have allegedly increased after the Mar-a-Lago raid. Already last year, after the assault on the Capitol on January 6, he already warned of the increase in cases of internal or national terrorism. “In recent years, we have seen an alarming increase in violence against the security forces,” acknowledged the head of the institution. Sources from the security services quoted by the ABC network assure that the threats have increased and are directed not only against the top leadership of the FBI, but also against ordinary agents. This trend has also been confirmed by the Federal Law Enforcement Agents Association (FLEOA).
Following the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump sympathizers and supporters called for protests at the agency’s offices in Riverside, California, and Washington, according to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a group that monitors extremist groups and hate speech. According to the aforementioned body, Trump supporters are promoting the proposals, while, according to John Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security official, the authorities are also concerned to verify that certain public figures are adopting this extremist discourse.
Security forces are therefore preparing for possible violence on the occasion of the pro-Trump demonstrations that some supporters are encouraging, according to Cohen. The situation is highly flammable. This same week, various local media reported the gloomy diagnosis of analyst Richard Haass, who chairs the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), according to which the main threats to the US are not Russia, China, South Korea North or Iran, not even jihadist terrorism. “The most pressing and significant threat to the security and stability of the United States comes not from outside, but from within the country,” Haass writes in the foreword to his new book. “For the second time in US history, the threat of political divisions has raised questions about the future of American democracy and even the United States itself.”
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