F.B.I. Director Makes a Secret Trip to Israel


Christopher A. Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made an unannounced trip to Israel on Wednesday to meet with officials from the country’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the F.B.I. said.

As part of the visit, his first to Israel since the Hamas-led terrorist attacks of Oct. 7, Mr. Wray also spoke with F.B.I. agents working in Israel, the bureau said in a statement on Wednesday, stressing the importance of their efforts to counter threats from Hezbollah and Hamas. The United States designates both as terrorist groups.

Mr. Wray spoke with officials from Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency; Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent of the F.B.I.; and the Israeli National Police, according to a person familiar with his trip to Israel, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Details of the trip were made public after Mr. Wray had departed Israel.

The F.B.I. has been working closely with its counterparts in Israel after the attacks on Oct. 7, which Israeli authorities say killed about 1,200 people. About 250 others, including American dual nationals, were abducted in the attacks. The F.B.I. has opened cases involving crimes against Americans committed by Hamas or others.

“The F.B.I.’s partnership with our Israeli counterparts is longstanding, close and robust,” Mr. Wray said in a statement, “and I’m confident the closeness of our agencies contributed to our ability to move so quickly in response to these attacks, and to ensure our support is as seamless as possible.”

The United States has created a C.I.A. task force to help Israel hunt down Hamas’s top leaders while America’s spy agencies have also raised the priority of intelligence collection on Hamas. The C.I.A. has also been heavily involved in negotiations for the release of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and its allies, and President Biden has dispatched the agency’s director, William J. Burns, to join the cease-fire talks in Cairo.

After the visit, Mr. Wray headed to Germany for the Munich Security Conference.



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