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FBI opened domestic terrorism investigations into pro-abortion rights attacks

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 8/4/2022 Jerry Dunleavy
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The FBI has launched “domestic violent extremism investigations” into pro-abortion rights threats and attacks that have increasingly targeted anti-abortion groups in the past few months, Director Christopher Wray testified Thursday.

Since the May leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, there have been heightened threats against Supreme Court justices and anti-abortion advocates, including attacks and vandalism targeting anti-abortion activist groups, pregnancy centers, and churches across the country. Republicans had repeatedly pressed Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate these attacks as domestic terrorism.

“I do not have the exact number, but I can tell you we have opened a number of domestic violent extremism investigations using our joint terrorism task forces that are specifically focused on attacks or threats against churches, pro-life organizations, pregnancy resource centers, similar types of organizations,” Wray told Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Thursday. “For example, I know off the top of my head, we have one in Sen. Grassley’s home state of Iowa in Des Moines, we have one in Sen. Blackburn’s state of Tennessee — I think we have one in Sen. Tillis’s state of North Carolina.”

Wray said he did not know how many FBI investigations of pro-abortion rights activists have resulted in federal prosecutions, but he said, “I am sure that we have threat tags related to this.”

The FBI director later said: “We have seen a notable uptick in violence [that] we had not seen as much of before directed at the kinds of organizations and facilities that Sen. Lee mentioned.”


The U.S. attorney and the FBI’s assistant director in charge for the nation’s capital said in a joint statement in June: “We will not tolerate violence, destruction, interference with government functions, or trespassing on government property,” including at the Supreme Court. It did not mention the justices’ homes.

“When the opinion first leaked, we put out a directive to all of our field offices to be looking actively for potential threats of the very sort you’re talking about,” Wray said. “And I want to be crystal clear on this. From our perspective — I don’t care what side of the issue you are on, I don’t care who you’re upset with or what you’re upset about — on the issue of abortion or anything else, you do not get to use violence or threats of violence to act on it. And we are going to go after that conduct aggressively, and I feel very strongly about that. And I have communicated that strongly to all of our field offices and our workforce.”

Garland declared that the Justice Department “strongly disagrees” with the Supreme Court overturning Roe, vowing in June to “use every tool at our disposal to protect” abortion, and warned states about possible bans of the “abortion pill.”


A gun-toting suspect who traveled from California to Maryland in June in an alleged plot to kill Brett Kavanaugh in his home over anger that he might help overturn Roe was indicted by a federal grand jury for an “attempt to assassinate” the Supreme Court justice.


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Tags: Justice, Christopher Wray, FBI, Abortion, Roe v. Wade

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: FBI opened domestic terrorism investigations into pro-abortion rights attacks


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