FBI agent (illustrative)
FBI agent (illustrative)iStock

FBI Director Christopher Wray pledged to Congress that he would increase the agency's support for the American Jewish community as it struggles to cope with historic levels of antisemitism.

Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee that the Jewish community was in a desperate situation, and needed more help from the FBI to stem the tide of antisemitic attacks.

He testified that the FBI would make it a “national priority” to combat antisemitism, especially in light of recent incidents.

Wray’s testimony last week was noteworthy given that on Saturday morning, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that a direct threat to the Jewish community had been foiled by the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to ABC7.

MTA officers on Saturday morning arrested two men entering Manhattan's Penn Station. The arrests led to the confiscation of an illegal Glock 17 firearm, a 30-round magazine, a large hunting knife, and several other items.

The two suspects were charged with making terroristic threats, aggravated harassment, and criminal possession of a weapon. Police sources added that one of the suspects made a series of increasingly concerning statements about attacking a synagogue in New York City.

Wray told the committee: “Antisemitism and the violence that comes out of it is a persistent and present fact.”

He added that “63 percent of religious hate crimes were targeting Jews. It's targeting a group that makes up about 2.4 percent of the American population.”

With the FBI having foiled multiple plots against synagogues in the US in 2022, but with attacks still taking place, he noted that the Jewish community was being targeted in multiple ways.

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

According to the ADL, antisemitic incidents in the US are at the highest recorded levels since the group began keeping track of statistics in the 1970s. The organization said there were approximately 3,000 recorded antisemitic incidents in the US in 2021.