FBI Director Christopher Wray said during a Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was an act of domestic terrorism.
The riot occurred after a pro-Trump mob overpowered Capitol police and stormed the Capitol building as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. The bureau’s designation of the riot as domestic terrorism puts the perpetrators “on the same level as ISIS and homegrown violent extremists,” Wray said.
“That attack, that siege, was criminal behavior, plain and simple, and its behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism,” he added.
Wray also warned that the events witnessed could happen again if proper steps were not taken.
“Jan. 6 was not an isolated event,” Wray said in his opening statement. “The problem of domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across this country for a long time now and it is not going away any time soon.”
“When domestic violence extremists use explosive devices, when they attack government facilities and businesses, when they assault law enforcement officers, when they use violence to interfere with the lawful operation of our government, they should expect the FBI to come knocking on their door, no matter where they try to run,” he added.
In addition to the individual Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, prosecutors have alleged far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, had plotted the attack days before it occurred, court documents have shown, the Associated Press reported.
Wray also said that there was no evidence that the riot was staged by “fake Trump supporters,” Antifa or other left-wing provocateurs.