The Federal Bureau of Investigation is tracking increased numbers of threats against both Jewish and Muslim Americans in the wake of the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, bureau officials said Sunday.
Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said the attack could inspire violence in the United States.
The greatest potential threat of violence in the United States comes from lone actors, who can be hard to detect because such people are typically not known to law enforcement officials ahead of time.
While F.B.I. officials said they had not detected evidence that Hamas was trying to direct attacks in the United States by its supporters, Mr. Wray said it was possible.
“We cannot, and do not, discount the possibility that Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations could exploit the conflict to call on their supporters to conduct attacks on our own soil,” Mr. Wray said.
F.B.I. officials said that they were reaching out to faith leaders to discuss potential threats against their communities, and that they had asked local law enforcement to take additional measures to protect Jewish and Muslim religious facilities in the United States.
There have been a high number of antisemitic threats in recent months, but the Oct. 7 attack unleashed even more, senior F.B.I. officials said.
The officials said that threats had been made against Jewish and Muslim communities, and that some individuals had made threats against both.
F.B.I. officials declined to provide specific numbers about the threats, but they said that many of the threats had been made online, and that many had turned out not to be credible.