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Archive for September 22nd, 2021

Wray Says FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Caseload Has More Than Doubled

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in February 2020.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday told a U.S. Senate committee that the number of domestic terrorism cases has more than doubled in the past 18 months. 

The caseload increased to 2,700 current investigations from about 1,000 since the spring of 2020, Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. 

“Some of these same people before might have been stewing away in the basement or the attic in one part of the country and not communicating with each other, but today terrorism moves at the speed of social media,” Wray testified. “You have the ability of lone actors, disgruntled in one part of the country to spin up similar like-minded individuals in other parts of the country and urge them into action.”

Wray said that white supremacy represents the “biggest chunk” of racially motivated violent extremism tracked by the FBI. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who also testified, said social media is a “terrain that can so easily propagate misinformation, false information and allow communications to occur among closely affiliated individuals.”

To read Wray’s complete statement before the committee, click here.

FBI Confirms Body Found in Wyoming Is Gabby Petito As Search for Boyfriend Continues

Gabby Petito via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

The body found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming is Gabby Petito’s, a 22-year-old Florida woman who was reported missing earlier this month after a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, the FBI confirmed Tuesday. 

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue said her death was likely a homicide, but the final determination is pending complete autopsy results. 

“The FBI and our partners remain dedicated to ensuring anyone responsible for or complicit in Ms. Petito’s death is held accountable for their actions,” the FBI’s Denver Field Office said in a statement Tuesday. “Mr. Brian Laundrie has been named a person of interest. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts should contact the FBI.”

FBI agents executed a search warrant Monday at the home of Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend who returned from the trip without Petito and has refused to cooperate with authorities. 

Laundrie, who has been named a person of interest in the case, was last seen on Sept. 14, and the FBI is urging anyone who knows about his whereabouts to contact the bureau. 

His family said he packed a backpack and told them he was going for a hike at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park. Law enforcement has been searching the preserve and nearby areas.