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Press Release Published: Apr 15, 2024

Comer, Grothman & Waltz Request Briefing from FBI on Potential for Ecoterrorist Attacks in the U.S.

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) are opening a probe into potential threats against critical domestic energy infrastructure after a spike in calls for violence by radical ecoterrorists on U.S. college campuses and across the globe. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the lawmakers request a briefing from the FBI on the threat of eco-terrorism and the implications attacks would have on U.S. energy security.

“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the potential for threats against critical infrastructure—especially physical energy infrastructure—as radical ecoterrorist calls to violence are increasingly promoted across the globe, including at American universities,” wrote the lawmakers. “We write to obtain a briefing, to be held in an appropriate setting, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on eco-terrorist threats against physical energy infrastructure in the United States and implications for national security.”

Last year, it was reported that the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate issued a bulletin to federal, state, and local authorities warning that the film adaptation of the book “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” could spark eco-terrorism against U.S. energy infrastructure. In addition to the FBI’s warnings, 23 other government entities, including a Canadian energy regulator, also issued warnings relating to the impacts of the film and the threat it might create in the context of environmental violent extremism. In response to questioning by Rep. Michael Waltz at a March 12, 2024, hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, FBI Director Wray referred to this book and its inclusion as required reading in universities as “totally unacceptable,” and committed to continuing to assess any related domestic terrorism threats and funding sources enabling those threats. 

“With radical environmentalists around the world commonly engaged in the destruction or attempted destruction of art and other property, blocking transit, disrupting private gatherings, and delaying energy infrastructure projects, the Committee seeks to understand the threat that environmental violent extremists also pose to the physical energy infrastructure of the United States and implications for national security,” continued the lawmakers. “To assist the Committee’s oversight, we request a briefing with relevant FBI subject matter experts, to be held in an appropriate setting, on the threat of eco-terrorism against physical energy infrastructure in the United States as soon as possible, but no later than April 22, 2024.”

Read the letter to FBI Director Wray here.