RELEASE: Gottheimer Questions FBI Director Christopher Wray About Antisemitic Threats in Jersey and Throughout the Nation

Nov 17, 2022
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Above: Gottheimer questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray during the House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray about actions the FBI is taking to help combat the unprecedented spike in antisemitic threats and violence taking place in New Jersey and throughout the nation.

Video of Gottheimer’s questions and Wray’s testimony can be found here.

This comes fewer than two weeks after the FBI released a statement warning of “credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ.” Following this threat, Gottheimer contacted law enforcement and local rabbis and congregations throughout the Fifth District, making sure they were aware of the ongoing situation and had the tools and resources they needed to keep community members safe.

“Just recently, our community was horrified by an FBI alert that warned of a threat to synagogues across New Jersey, for which an extremist individual was ultimately arrested. This serves as a reminder that the Jewish community and places of worship are vulnerable to violence inspired by hateful rhetoric. Director Wray, what is the FBI doing to counter antisemitic threats and violence in New Jersey and around the nation?” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

In October, Gottheimer (NJ-5) helped host the House Committee on Homeland Security’s congressional field hearing in Teaneck, NJ, on countering violent extremism, terrorism, and antisemitic threats. Gottheimer questioned expert witnesses on how to combat the troubling rise in antisemitism, domestic extremism, and terror in New Jersey and nationwide.

Gottheimer is combatting domestic extremism, terror, and antisemitism by:

Introducing the bipartisan FASTER Act to combat domestic terrorism and extremism: Gottheimer introducedthe Freezing Assets of Suspected Terrorists and Enemy Recruits Act (the FASTER Act) to establish a state-of-the-art National Homegrown Terrorism Incident Clearinghouse for all levels of law enforcement to collect and share information on incidents of ISIS inspired, homegrown, lone wolf terrorism and violent domestic extremism.

Clawing back federal Nonprofit Security Grants: Since taking office, Gottheimer has worked to keep North Jersey’s houses of worship, synagogues, temples, religious schools, and community organizations safe. He has helped these organizations claw back more than $8 million in Nonprofit Security Grants to North Jersey while in office — the most out of any district in New Jersey. 

Passing the bipartisan Darren Drake Act: Gottheimer’s bipartisan Darren Drake Act passed the House, and Gottheimer is now pushing for the legislation to get fully across the finish line. The bill will help stop ISIS-inspired and lone wolf terrorists from using trucks and other vehicles as weapons of terror. The legislation is named in memory of New Milford resident Darren Drake, a victim of the October 2017 New York City West Side Highway terrorist truck attack.

Supporting law enforcement: Gottheimer introduced the bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Invest to Protect Act, to make real progress for public safety by investing in good policing to protect our families and officers. The legislation recently passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, and will ensure that local police departments across our country have what they need to recruit and retain the finest officers, to provide necessary training, and to invest in providing mental health resources for our officers. 

Clawing back our federal tax dollars to support North Jersey’s first responders: Gottheimer, in his most recent reporting, announced that the Fifth District clawed back 357% more federal tax dollars back from Washington and the Moocher States since he took office. This includes more than $4.6 million of surplus federal equipment and resources for local law enforcement in 2021 and more than $1.5 million in federal investment since taking office to help hire law enforcement and help our police officers better protect our communities. 

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