Christopher Ray is the eighth director to lead the FBI, and the only one whose appointment has been announced on Twitter. In an interview with NPR, he talked about the state of the security establishment, and how the Bureau of Investigation confronts white racists and militia-based terrorism. The ongoing investigation also covered the recent shootings in the Atlanta area, and this is an aspect of the interview:
There are threats posed by local terrorists, how do you deal with them?
Violent extremism with racist motives has become one of our most important priorities for about a year and a half or so. And I’ve been trying to deal with this threat years ago, ever since I was in this job. We have doubled the number of domestic investigations of violent extremism, and reached 2,000. And that was before the congressional storming on January 6, so I expect the numbers to be even higher this year. Likewise, arrests have increased dramatically from 2019-2020.
Is there anything new about the investigation into the events of the 6th of January?
I was horrified that something like this could happen in this country, and I was determined to make sure it never happened again. And we are determined to take this threat to its end, no matter how many people we devote to this work, and no matter how long it will take us to do so, and we will know exactly what happened. And if we had evidence to charge someone, who committed a crime that day, I would expect them to be charged.
We arrested people all over the country. And we have open investigations specifically related to the events of January 6, in all of our 56 field offices, which is a national extension of the investigation. And in some cases, there have actually been accusations of conspiracy, of some sort of small cell of individuals working together, coordinating their travels, and so forth. The matter did not reach a national conspiracy, but we will continue the investigation.
Would the preparations for implementing the law have been different if the rioters were black or Muslim?
Well, I’ll just talk about the FBI’s approach, and its position. And you know, some of what people talk about has to do with crowd control tactics, law enforcement, building defense and things like that. This is not the role or responsibility of the FBI; Be it the Capitol, or a courthouse, or a church, or anything else. And at the FBI; One approach, is that if someone breaks the law and commits violence, it doesn’t matter what the motive is, what the ideology is; We will pursue him according to the law. This was our approach to the violent extremists on ideological grounds, and this is our approach to the events of the storming of the Capitol.
What about public confidence in the FBI?
In the past two years, the number of qualified applicants in all parts of this country to work for our security establishment has tripled than in previous years. It is the highest rate in nearly 10 years. And there were about 12,000 people, in my early years as a manager, rising to about 37,000. And these are the people who can measure the level of confidence in the FBI, by wanting to come to work here and put their lives on the line. But I’m also looking at other things, like the FBI quit rate, which is 0.4% now, which shows how people feel about working here.
• “The FBI’s approach is that if someone breaks the law and commits violence, it doesn’t matter what the motive is, what the ideology is; We will pursue him according to the law. ”
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