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FBI Director Wray makes surprise Israel stop amid ‘elevated threat picture’

FBI Director Christopher Wray made an unannounced trip to Israel, where he sat in on intelligence meetings before speaking to Fox News.

Wray’s visit was his first time on the ground in Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. 

The FBI director met with his counterparts in Israel’s Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence) and others. He spoke to Fox News before boarding a plane to leave the country for Germany for the Munich Security Conference, where he’ll speak Thursday. 

“We’ve seen a rogues’ gallery of foreign terrorist organizations both express support and praise for the Hamas attacks and threaten to attack U.S. interests at home and abroad,” Wray said. “We’re working with all our partners to confront the elevated threat picture, which includes, I should add, the threats posed by Iran and Hezbollah, both in terms of the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, and more broadly.” 

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FBI Director Christopher Wray holds meetings in Israel

“We have learned a lot,” Wray added of the information gathered by the FBI in the wake of Oct. 7. “The information exchange between our two countries has been terrific as well. As with a number of our other close allies who are all collaborating out of a shared commitment to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

Wray also spoke about the FBI’s role in protecting Americans in Israel and Gaza. 

“The FBI has been working side by side, really around the clock, to aid in investigative and recovery efforts to provide support and services to U.S. victims of the attack and their families, and to identify and disrupt additional threats that we’re seeing emanating from the conflict,” he said. 

Wray said he felt it was important to travel to meet with Israeli law enforcement and intelligence partners on Israeli soil “to show our unwavering support and commitment to these partners in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas against innocent civilians on Oct. 7, and second, because we are closely working — again, I cannot overstate this — closely working with our partners in Israel and others around the world to investigate these attacks.”

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“Some of our FBI folks here in Israel have literally not taken a day off since Oct. 7, and I’m proud of the incredible support the team has provided to our partners during this dark time. The FBI’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is long-standing, close and robust,” he said. “Whenever we meet and talk — which we do all the time — these are deeply substantive conversations across a whole range of common threats between countries with shared values and shared commitment to the rule of law.”

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“I’m confident the closeness of our agencies contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks and to ensure our support is as seamless as possible,” he said. “My hope is that today’s meetings with Israeli intelligence and law enforcement partners, as well as our FBI personnel and officials at the U.S. Embassy, are demonstrative of the bureau’s continued commitment to these partners and helped identify even more ways that we can work together to keep people around the world safe from terrorism.”  

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