A tragic incident that occurred in Austin, Texas, seems to substantiate a warning given to Congress by FBI Director Christopher Wray about potential terrorist activity in the United States. Against the backdrop of the current war between Israel and Hamas, heightened concerns about the possibility of extremists carrying out attacks on American soil have become an even more pressing issue.
An Austin Police Department search warrant filed Tuesday afternoon provided new details surrounding the SWAT incident on Nov. 11 in south Austin that resulted in the death of four people, including APD Officer Jorge Pastore.
According to the search warrant for a home at 9308 Bernoulli Dr., APD received a call from a resident of the home who was able to run away from the house on foot after being stabbed and suffering critical injuries.
APD officers who initially responded made emergency entry into the residence and were met with gunfire from an unknown suspect with a rifle and tactical gear, forcing the officers to go back outside and request SWAT, according to the search warrant.
The report noted that the search warrant ordered police to search for “[c]utting instruments, body armor, and any tactical gear to include firearms were all said to be worn or used by the suspect.”
Now, it has been reported that the individual who shot the SWAT officer was on the terror watchlist. The suspect and his family were known to be part of a Muslim group in Round Rock, TX, a suburb located north of Austin.
The gunman who shot dead a hero Texas SWAT officer during a hostage situation was on the terror watchlist, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The FBI had investigated members of the shooter’s family before Saturday’s killing of top cop Jorge Pastore, law enforcement sources said.
Three who were found dead in the hostage situation have been identified as Eman Ahmed El Nemr-Nassar, a mother, Ahmed Mohamed Nassar, 35, her son and Riad Mohamed Nassar, 32, her other son, by members of Austin’s Islamic community.
Law enforcement also found bomb-making materials along with weapons and other tactical gear.
During testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Wray explained that because of the Israel-Hamas war, “The threat of an attack against Americans in the United States” is now at “a whole other level.”
In his prepared remarks, Wray provided more context to those threats: “Since October 7th, we’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies. Hizballah expressed its support and praise for Hamas and threatened to attack U.S. interests in the Middle East. Al-Qaida issued its most specific call to attack the United States in the last five years. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula called on jihadists to attack Americans and Jewish people everywhere. ISIS urged its followers to target Jewish communities in the United States and Europe.”
In short, Americans are under threat both at home and abroad; not surprisingly, Jews are most at risk from these threats.
Additionally, the FBI director told lawmakers that the Bureau is currently investigating individuals in the U.S. who have ties to Hamas, the terrorist group that attacked Israel on October 7. He urged “heightened vigilance” among Americans:
Federal authorities have opened “multiple investigations into individuals affiliated” with the Hamas terror group, but have not yet unearthed credible threats to the US, FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Wednesday.
Wray did underscore that there is a “heightened threat environment” as calls grow for attacks on America and added that his most pressing concern was “homegrown violent extremists.”
“Since Oct. 7, we’ve seen a rogue’s gallery of foreign terrorist organizations call for attacks against Americans and our allies,” Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee.
“Given those calls for action, our most immediate concern is that individuals or small groups will draw twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home,” he went on.
While calling for Americans to show “heightened vigilance,” Wray also stressed that it is “by no means a time for panic.”
The incident in Austin could become even more relevant in light of Wray’s warnings. If it turns out that the gunman was planning a terrorist attack, then it shows that concerns about potential radical Islamic extremist assaults are well-founded. This would likely place many other major cities on high alert to prevent carnage. In this case, the Austin Police Department possibly stopped an even worse tragedy than what has already occurred.