tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 22, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
>> make tougher laws, and that's not me. we don't -- we -- this is such an epidemic and we cannot arrest a way out of this mess. i think the president touched on it briefly. [applause] >> what the president said earlier is true. we want to arrest the violent, drug dealers that are creating havoc in our communities. we have share of violent crime, and we are very fortunate -- we have a great partnership, they fund so many of our efforts and so on a daily basis the bad guy gets arrested. so we feel law enforcement as
i'm sure our counterparts do, we really attack the supply side of this issue very well and so we are not going to back down from that and keep trying to remove people that are dangerous from society. but what's nice about this and what i want to talk about though, the attacking as a strategy on the demand side and that's what i think is very nice about the panel and this gathering, because we've got a lot of things we can really talk about. we basically have a community of zonbies, for lack of a better word, at some point they do want help and we want to give them help. and one of the strategies that we worked on, not so much supply in this conversation is that we have trained our officers. that's been traditionally up to
recently just something that the fire department, they can do the nasal and iv, we train all of the officers regardless of assignment to save somebody's life. administer the nasal, rescued breathing mask, such great partnership, they recognized that it's supply and neand and so interestingly though when i went to roll call and started talking to the officers, first, it's more of a fire department roll, and i went down and does anybody have anybody effected by an addiction and i have yet to go to one roll call where, that's one -- we just got them mounted to the cars, we don't
have success stories. we don't really want to have stories. we want to be in a position to save a life just like child drowning. another thing that we are doing that we are proud of is law enforcement diversion program and basically since 2014 we've had 39, i wouldn't even call them low-level users that were selling drugs to support their habits and they are hit with a start decision right at the arrest gate, you have an opportunity to go to jail or immediate treatment. of the 39 that have taken us up on that, just one has been rearrested. i mean, that's pretty impressive.
[applause] >> partnership with the u.s. attorney's office, understanding what kind of problem we have and -- and i would just say finally because we do support everything doctor and the health department is doing with the harm reduction plan and how we factor that with the needle exchange program, we have a program that we piloted in 2014 and a school in the west side and now we do it for the whole city. i've seen smiles in the crowd, maybe there's teachers in here. but what we realize has been lost is when police officers go to crime scenes, they are there to take witness statements, arrest to so-called bad guy and they lee. but who is looking out for the children? who is looking for the child who maybe is trying to do homework, mom and dad are fighting, we come in and arrest dad, mom cries and she has to go to the hospital and the child gets left
behind many, many times. we start where the next day our officers on the scene will send notification to principal, councilor, handle the child with care, maybe the child needs an extra day. [applause] >> those are ways we realize that we are not going to arrest our way out of this. we have our place, we have our place and we can always use additional law enforcement resources, i'm not going to lie to you. [laughter] >> we are in all of this together. >> thank you, chief, i am not going to turn carlos tone who is going to ask questions from the panel that come from the community. >> thank you for coming to west
virginia mr. president and secretary and the rest of the panel who address the chronic issue of opioid addiction. numerous stories about issues facing west virginia and we were able to solicit hundreds of questions of readers over the last five days for the president and the panel and with us here is david and kate with their question for the president. >> first of all, there isn't a parent here who had a dry eye when you spoke. from your heart you expressed exactly how we feel. mr. president, i want to say that it is -- i'm going to take this opportunity, it is
wonderful to have an intelligent carrying thoughtful person in your position. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you so much for coming. my wife and i, we have five daughters, mr. president, you might relate a little bit to that. >> i can relate to that. i don't know how you did five. two keeps me busy. >> we live here in the east end, my second oldest daughter, jessica, has been battling heroin addiction for seven years. ironically the last time we were in this room was when our daughter was in the eighth grade, here at roosevelt and was a cheerleader. she made good grades, she was socially involved, her future was bright, but as jordan mentioned her life got put on hold for a long time.
last month in the middle of august our daughter overdoesed. we found her in her bedroom. syringe next to it. she was already turning blue. my wife administered cpr. we called 9-1-1, while we were waiting i held her and said, don't leave us yet. fortunately i want to say this to the chief, the response was amazing, less than five minutes emt's and the police officers were there. the police officers were sympathetic and helpful. emt administering saved our daughter's life. this is her fourth time.
[applause] >> it usually takes more than one time and we think this one will be the one. we are full of hope, but we understand the pain, the pain in this room, the pain that families feel. the concern we have is access, where do you get the treatment, how do you get the treatment, as soon as overdoes happened we got hotlines and we called those numbers, well, there's a three-month wait, we don't take medicare cards or this wasn't really the facility that could handle your type of problem, the other problem with medicaid cards and things of that nature, you can't always go out of state. what if the facility is across the river. we are a border state. we need to be able to have that ability to go to the facilities that maybe best for our children. bottom line is, we need resources and we need to find a way to put resources into effect
so that we have the facilities because there's so many people that want help like our daughter but it took forever to find a place for her. right now she's in michigan. that's the best we can do. why can't we have lots of the trained facilities here in virginia close to home? [applause] >> and lastly one of the best provisions of the affordable care act it does require coverage for drug treatment. and thank you for that. [applause] >> one of the concerns if there aren't facilities available, then the treatment coverage -- >> yeah. >> we have to close that gap. i think the biggest issue there is are you concern and sometimes we give concern given political
climate, the affordable care act will be repealed either before the end of the term or next term, what are your feel of commitment to that program and to the drug rehabilitation part of that program? [applause] >> first of all, i want to thank you and your wife for sharing your story and and you're right. if you are a parent, then listening to you, you can relate. i -- i told somebody, one of my favorite sayings i heard about having children is it's like having your heart walking around outside your body. all you care about is making sure they're okay. but they're so vulnerable and
you're just as a parent always navigating trying to figure out how to make sure they're going to be okay and when something like this happens, and i think it's something that you sharing your story karen and you sharing your story, sir, really emphasizes. this is happening in families everywhere that love their kids, obviously there are kids in less stabl homes that are more vulnerable, the way this kind of phenomenon is pen straiting all the communities, means that we have to understand that there's no us and them. this is all of us in every school and every community and neighborhood and it could be your child.
i think the first thing to do, and this conversation has been helpful, it's an american group that cuts group or political affiliations, once we understand that, then i think we're in a position to deal with it together as oppose to turning it into another political football. that's point number one. point number two when i came to office was to us restore a sense of balance when it came to dealing with drugs, and this was true for illegal drugs, but it was true for legal or
overprescribeed drugs. for a long time is to deal with supply side. we are very aggressive. there's no backing off us trying to make sure that some, you know, mexican, heroin cartel is not getting heroin in west virginia and anywhere in this country, we have a lot of terrific agents and border controls and we have ramped up in my administration and previous administration. so we don't stop that and we don't make apologizes for that, and if there's somebody out there making millions or hundreds of millions of dollars off the destruction of our kids, we are going to go after them. [applause] >> we don't apologize for that. but we were underinvesting and
even with the changes we made continued to invest in the demand side, the prevention and the treatment that is so necessary. and this is a real opportunity. it's an important moment for us f we can start thinking intelligent about treatment on the opioids and prims drug side, people start making the connection, we should have treatment when it comes to heroin, we should have treatment when it comes to other narcotics and drug that is are affecting and devastating families potentially in different ways. but for a long time, i think treatment was seen as second-class citizen to arrest and incarceration. and that mind set needs to change t good news is we are seeing the mind set changing and it's on a bipartisan basis,
which i think is really interesting, to go back -- because i want to make sure that people understand we're putting an old to the old politics on this. democrats and republicans were both responsible for wanting to look tough on the war on drugs and ramping up incarceration. it wasn't just one side or another, and now both at the same time are realizing, you know, what are we doing here. why is it that we are willing to invest $20,000 a year in incarcerating a young person when we might have spent a few thousand dollars on the front-end to avoid them going to prison in the first place and that mind set means that resources hopefully will start channeling in a new direction, but we have to make sure that the money is following the insight. i think we're at the stage now where people are start to go realize that we need more treatment, but the budgets are not yet reflected of that
awareness, and that's going to require congress, so in our budget, for example, we are proposing an additional $133 million for enhanced treatment and prevention programs, but it's also going to vol state, state legislators, counties, local governments also recognizing that this is something the community needs and we can't be stimitizing this. it's affecting people just as much. and we know how to do this when we do it smartly. think about smoking. i can say this as an exsmoker who still chews on nicorette which is expensive, i can afford
it. better not start young people. [laughter] >> if you look at how drastically we have been able to reduce the smoking rates, despite the fact that we never outlawed smoking, what we did was just enhanced education, made it more difficult for kids to access it, stop peddling id, stop advertising it, took some of the money and over time a public health model had a drastic impact on smoking and nicorette -- nicotine is addicted as any of the drugs we are talking about. if we can do it on that, there's no reason we can't do it here as well but requires change of mind set and as you pointed out it requires additional money. last thing i will make on the insurance side u you are absolutely right that insurance
coverage is is not enough if there's no treatment center for you to apply, we are going to have to build and fund more treatment centers locally. [applause] on the other end, if there's a treatment and you don't have any insurance you might have to mortgage your house, i'm proud of the affordable care also known as the obama care, which, you know, i won't get on a soap box here, but there's 17 million people who have health insurance that didn't have it -- by the way our overall costs for health care have been going up at the slowest rate in my lifetime after we passed the law, so it's not bankrupting the government, it's not bankrupting the state.
[applause] >> one of the things that it does it requires private insurance that sold on the marketplaces that are subsidized by the federal government have to provide coverage for substance abuse programs, and given the prevalance that's happening to our children and schools, the notion that we would not have insurance policies cover this, they're not going to cover a situation where your child might die? that doesn't make any sense. i think that we're trying to nudge that along through the marketplaces but i think one of the things that we need to do is to have consumer groups or medical associations and others really push more on the insurance companies to say that this is something that is vital and everybody should have coverage because you don't know if it's going to be your child.
and that's the most important point here. candy or carrie is carrying a particular burden and i was most touched when carrie talked about her other children. but i thought about malia and sasha, they are wonderful girls but they are teenagers. they do some things. [laughter] >> and i remember me being a teenager and i have written about this, i did some stuff. [laughter] >> and i've been very honest about it and so what i think is for the grace of god and that's what we all have to remember and when we do, i think we have a chance to make a real change, but thank you for sharing your story. [applause]
>> this was from gnatly liberty who is a principal at elementary, as a principal of elementary school i see harm of kids born addicted and cay -- how can the community at large and schools work together to intervene in the children's lives in early years when brain growth stimuli is critical? >> i will make sure to get the doctor involved as well and sylvia through hhs is working on that a lot. i will make two quick comments. we know that you learn more between the time you're born and 3 year's old, you are a sponge
at that age. the more we can invest in early childhood education, prenatal, education for parents, home visitation with at-risk moms, and we know who they are. if you're poor, teenage single mom who maybe doesn't have a lot of support, then you are just much more likely to not know how to express the love you have for your child effectively even if you love them just as we love our kids, but you just don't have the tools. so that is got to be an emphasis at the state and local levels. that's where we can really make a difference. by us being able to target at-risk participants, new parents, young parents, that can be extraordinary helpful. the second thing that i'll just say and maybe doctor, you might
want to chime in on this, and here i am going to be controversial but i'm in my last term, i only have a year left. [laughter] >> it's not my poll numbers are that high. i figure i can go ahead and say it. [laughter] >> i think one of the best things of a conversation like this is highlight the fact that income and race make a difference here. the truth of the matter is that poorer communities are more vulnerable. one of the useful things about this form is we are all vulnerable but it's almost like
if you're healthy and you get sick, you have more, you know, antibodies and resistence and if you're poor or if your body is weaken and you get sick, you're more vulnerable. there's some communities we know that are more vulnerable and the kids there are more vulnerable and part of what i hope this discussion does is to remind us that just as it could malia or sasha or carrie's kids or any of our kids, those kids who don't always look like us and don't live in the same neighborhood as us they are just as precious and their parents are -- [applause] >> you know, and their parents are much less equipped than you,
sir, or i will be in terms of dealing with this and we have to give them help too. i think the doctor earlier talked about the importance of jobs, economic development and broad-based approaches so that growth helps everybody. there is some connection to substance abuse and the vulnerability the communities have and we've got -- let's face it. part of the reason west virginia has more cases partly has to do with the economics that have been taking place in some of the communities, which is why it is so important for us to push on that front as well, but dr., any thoughts on that question about the vulnerability of children and how we can get to them quicker, more effectively? >> yes, mr. president. one of the things that i'm hoping to kick off here next
week a discussion about probably one of the most important studies that most people never heard of, looking -- the baseline study was done with 17,000 people in san diego, california, what they found out was that when people score high on scale of ten questions, everybody has a score 0-10, the higher you are on that scale, the more likely you are to have problems with addiction, iv drug beaus and smoking and all the health problems we are seeing right now. a trauma-informed community and discussion of where the discussions are going is the first step in addressing why people are using drugs in the first place. mr. president, you're actually right. what happens in early years in reaching out to families who we know are at risk and devoteing because if we don't, what we are going to be doing 20-35 years is
having the same discussion, why kids are abusing drugs so on and so forth. it happens in good families as well as in families who are disadvantaged, but i agree with you, it happens probably more often than families who are disadvantaged, poverty as well. >> for those who are more advantaged, the disadvantaged communitied creates the markets that steep into the more advantaged communities, right. so the reason we have a fire department is because if your neighbor's house is burning down, you don't want to just leave it to the neighbor to figure out whether or not he can afford the put out the fire, you have an interest in making sure the fire gets put out before it burns your house.
well, the same is true with drugs. you know, that child who is poor, you may think, well, i don't have to worry about that kid. it's not mickeyed, mickeyed is going to be okay. but if you start seeing more and more kids who are more and more involved in the drug trade, over time that migrates into every community and that's part of the reason we have to care about every kid out here and make sure they're vulnerable. >> the handle care program, i don't believe is not in the city of charleston, but the handle with care program will fix some of those issues. i know we are talking about addiction and some that are born with addiction, but it will at least alert the proper authorities that the child is struggling because of some trauma or substance abuse in the
they don't get enough attention every single day when they're out there saving lives, doing the right thing, looking out for people. and when i've talked to law enforcement, there is an incredible sense of compassion. most folks are not in there just to try to be hard-nosed. most of the time they're just trying to help folks. and so, number one, they deserve our thanks, but number two, the more we are supporting innovative policing that isn't just thinking my job is to clean up the mess after it happens but
rather on part of the community and i need to be part of preventing crime and stuff from happening in the first place, i think we have to encourage that mindset in a lot of law enforcement. i'm really proud of them, so they deserve some applause for that. [applause] second thing i want to emphasize, we live in a time when our politics did so polarized. we've got talk radio and we've got the internet. it seems like every year sort of the rhetoric ratchet up about how this party is destroying the country or those folks are unpatriotic or they are evil or what have you. and i am deeply encouraged by the fact that on this issue we are seeing bipartisanship, and
we haven't seen some of the rhetoric. i hope that continues because that's how we'l we will solve ts problem. the elected officials who are here, they represent i think best tradition of want to commend them for that because that's how we will be able to get stuff done, both at the congressional level and at the state, local of as well. and then finally, once again i want to thank the parents who we heard from here. and we are just so grateful that you're willing to share your story. it will save lives and we want you to know that you're in our thoughts and prayers. we want to just give you all the encouragement in the world, which is important or more important we want to give your children encouragement. because they've got great parents, you become of these things could happen to any of
us, but we want them to know that we love them. looking out for them as well, all right? thank you, everybody. [applause] >> a signature feature of booktv answer all day coverage of book fairs and festivals from across the country with top nonfiction authors. here's our schedule beginning this weekend.
>> homeland security secretary jeh johnson and fbi director james comey talked about global security threats at a hearing of the house homeland security committee. topics include the fight against basis, cybersecurity in the process for vetting refugees from syria. this hearing is two hours 20 minutes. >> the committee on homeland
security will come to order. the committee is meeting today to examine current and evolving threats to the homeland. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. first i'd like to thank our witnesses for joining us here today and for offering their insights on the security challenges that we face at home and abroad. we will cover a lot of ground today, from america's border security to our cyber defenses, but i want to focus in particular on the rising terror threat to the homeland. last month, this committee held the first-ever congressional hearing at the 9/11 memorial museum in new york. and on hallowed ground, we were reminded of the solemn pledge our country made in the aftermath, to never let such a day happen again. that resolve became the rallying cry of this nation as we embarked on a generational war against islamist terror. fourteen years later, we are
still engaged in that struggle, and today i expect an unvarnished assessment from our witnesses about where we stand in the fight. we are at a turning point in a new age of terror. i predict this year could exceed the last to become the most violent year on record for global terrorism. radical islamists are recruiting online, across borders, and at broadband speed, and the impact is being felt worldwide. here in the united states, there have been more terrorist cases this year involving homegrown jihadists than any full year since 9/11. isis alone has inspired or directed 17 terrorist plots in america since early 2014, and overall the group has been linked to more than 60 plots against western targets, from canada to australia. this pace of terror plotting is unprecedented, unrivaled even by
al qaeda at its peak. yet we are no closer to dismantling isis than we were a year ago. despite 14 months of airstrikes, the group has largely maintained a its core safe haven while expanding its global footprint. the isis reign of terror is fueled by its recruitment of foreign fighters, who hail from more than 100 countries, including our own. this committee launched a bipartisan task force to examine the foreign fighter threat, and last month the group released its final report with some very disturbing findings. overall, they found that we are losing the struggle to stop americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists. we have only managed to stop a small fraction of the hundreds of americans who have attempted to fight in syria and iraq, and some have even managed to make it back into the united states after enlisting with terrorist groups.
we are falling behind the threat for many reasons. vulnerable young people are being recruited at record speeds, and terrorists are shifting their communications to dark space, which has made it far more difficult to monitor and intercept suspects. these secure communication tools are also being used to plot attacks in our country. moreover, gaping security weaknesses overseas, especially in europe, are making it easier for extremists to travel to and from the conflict zone. but at the end of the day, we cannot keep individuals from being lured to terrorist hotspots unless we eliminate the problem at the source. sadly, those prospects have grown darker. the president's failure to develop a coherent strategy in syria and iraq has emboldened our adversaries to fill the vacuum, with disastrous consequences. russia and iran are now propping up assad, and there are reports
that even cuban special forces have joined the fight. these rogue regimes will fan the flames of sectarianism and make it harder for us to eliminate the terrorist sanctuary in the region. their actions will also intensify refugee flows, which have become a serious security challenge in light of reports that terrorists are exploiting the crisis to sneak operatives into the west. violent extremists are also expanding their foothold from libya to afghanistan, yet i am alarmed that we lack a clear vision for reversing their gains and winning the wider war against islamist terror. if we fail to defeat our enemies overseas and combat their hateful ideology, we will be forced to fight more of them here at home. we have learned this the hard way. today i hope to hear from our witnesses about these challenges and how their agencies are working to strengthen our defenses on the homefront.
i want to express my gratitude to each of you for your close and continuing cooperation with this committee, your dedication to our country, and your successes this year in disrupting terrorist threats against the american people. let me just close by saying the fbi and homeland working together have arrested almost 70 isis related individuals in this country. i'm amazed at what we've been able to stop, editors want to commend you for that. with that the chair recognizes the ranking member. >> i thank the chairman for holding today's hearing. mr. secretary, welcome to what is your first appearance for this committee, this congress. i look forward to hearing your
informed perspective on today's topic. i'd also like to thank director rasmussen and director comey for their testimony. mr. chairman, while i'd agree that the threat to this nation are concerned and worthy of examination, i also believe that as an authorizing committee of the department of homeland security it is our responsibility to hear from the secretary about the overall management of dhs. this bipartisan committee, the government accountability office, and inspector general have all identified challenges within the department. additionally, there are components within the department that have proposed restructuring. while the secretary's unit effort initiative has made strides since the beginning of the congress, but the federal employee point survey still indicates that dhs has a long way to go in improving workforce
morale. also to dhs components with a zero failed mission, the transportation security administration and the secret service, are ongoing, much-needed reform. furthermore, the department cyber mission is critical as we look to prevent crippling attacks from cyber terrorists. while we've heard from several dhs officials, this congress, we've yet to hear from the head of the agency on the record about how he is building his vision for the department and needs from congress. today's hearing in the topic and testimony does not provide for urine from the secretary on the topics i've mentioned. therefore, i'm asking you, mr. chairman, for a commitment at some point hold a hearing on the oversight of the department of homeland security, and invite secretary johnson to testify before the end of the first session of congress.
i know this success of the department is a shared concern. each member of this committee should have the opportunity to question the secretary in an open setting and to continue to hold him accountable. today's hearing on the world wide threat gives the committee the opportunity to hear the perspective of top government officials on the wide-ranging threats of terrorism from both international groups and domestic terrorist. though it's oversight, this committee has given attention to the threat from international terror organizations, including al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, and the threat from islamic state of iraq in the levant, the task force looked at the threat from foreign fighters and one of their glaring yet unsurprising findings is that there are still intelligence and information sharing gaps they need to be addressed. these gaps also enter the
conversation as we continue our efforts to address our humanitarian response to the refugee crisis in prime minister for i want to hear from each witness about the agency's intelligence capability and how they are working together as we prepare to assist in this humanitarian crisis. as members of congress we have responsibility to have accurate information. as we rightfully continue to address the threats from international terror organizations, i want to reemphasize that we should not lose sight of the threats posed by terrorists that are right here in america, as they are those that have no plans on traveling overseas to receive training from any international group. through social media networks, isil has encouraged local vendors to perpetrate violence
right here on our soil -- lone offenders. right wing domestic terror groups also use social media to recruit and communicate. again, mr. chairman, violent extremists view no single ideology or single attack. even though some federal officials have been dismissive of domestic terrorism and other generate false intelligence to the contrary, the facts are clear. since september 11, more people in the united states have died in attacks by domestic extremist done by attacks by international terror groups. mr. chairman, we often discuss what the 9/11 commission called a failure of imagination. as we use today to discuss the threats to our country, let us not fail to imagine the devastation that can be caused like extremist, both abroad and in our backyard.
with that, mr. chairman, i yield back my time. >> i thank the ranking member and i appreciate your bipartisan cooperation on the task force report, which i think was valuable. hopefully to federal law enforcement and the intelligence community. i will honor your request for another hearing on the oversight. we have a distinguished panel before us. first, the honorable jeh johnson who serve as, serves as the fourth secretary of homeland security since his swearing-in on december 23, 2013. previously he served as general counsel for the department of defense where he had over 10,000 civilian and military lawyers across the department and worked on the raid operation on the compound in abbottabad to take down osama bin laden. next to the honorable nicholas
rasmussen has served as director of the national counterterrorism center since december 2014, serves as the deputy director and as a member of the national security council staff where he was special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism. and final where the honorable james comey who has served as the federal bureau of investigation's director since september 2013. previously he was general counsel for bridgewater associates and deputy attorney general at the department of justice. it also worked on the exile program, which i remember meeting with you a long time ago when i was deputy attorney general or texas trying to implement the same program in texas. we thank you for being here as well. witnesses for status will appear in the record. the chair now recognizes secretary johnson for an opening statement. >> thank you, chairman, august
and thompson, members of the committee. it is a pleasure to appear before you again. you have my prepared statement i will not read it in its entirety. let me just give you a few thoughts. last month i attended on 9/11 the ceremony that occurred in shanksville, pennsylvania. this was the 40th anniversary of 9/11. that ceremony in particular was a sobering reminder of the acts of terrorism but also the acts of heroism that day, particularly on flight 93, the 40 passengers and crew that day. i met almost all of the families that day. the events on 9/11 was the most prominent and devastating example of terrorist attacks by those who are recruited, trained and directed overseas, and exported to our homeland. the 9/11 hijackers were acting on orders from al-qaeda's
external operations chief, told the chick mohammed, who was in turn carried out the direction of osama bin laden -- khalid sheikh mohammed. the attempted shoe bomber in december 20000 -- 2001, the attempted underwear bomber, the attempted times were bombing and the attempted package bomb plots in october 2010 were all efforts to export terrorism to the united states, and they'll appear the united states, they'll appear to have been directed by terror organizations overseas. the response to these type of attacks and attempted attacks on our homeland was and is to take the fight directly to the terrorist organizations at locations overseas, but today the global terrorist threat is more decentralized, more complex, and in many respects harder to detect. the new reality involves the potential for smaller scale attacks by those were either
home-grown or home-based, not exported, and who are inspired by not not necessarily directed by a terror organization. today it is no longer necessary for terrorist organizations to personally recruit, train and direct operatives oversee and in secret, and export them to the youth to commit a terrorist attack. today with new and skilled use of the internet, terrorist organizations may publicly recruit and inspire individuals to conduct attacks within their own homelands. al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula no longer hides the fact that it builds bombs. it publicizes its instruction manual in its magazine and publicly urges people to use it. they were also concerned about foreign terrorist fighters who are answering public calls to leave their home countries in europe and elsewhere to travel to iraq and syria and take up
the extremists fight there. many of these individuals will return to their home countries with an extremist mode. in this regard i compliment this committee for the report it issued on september 29 concerning foreign terrorist fighters. i have read it. i believe this committee work is spot on in many respects in your assessments of the risks. as noted in the report, my department has undertaken much of what is recommended. we have been and continues to take measures to protect and prevent travel light form travel fires along with the good work of the fbi. the recent wave attacks and attempted attacks here and in europe reflect the new reality of the global terrorist threat. the boston marathon bombing in april 2013, the attack on the war memorial and the parliament building in ottawa in october 2014, the attack on the "charlie hebdo" headquarters in
paris france in january 2015. the attempted attack in garden city texas in may 2015, the attack that killed five u.s. service members in chattanooga, tennessee, in july. what do these wave of attacks recent attacks and attempted attacks on have in common? they were all conducted a homegrown or home-based actors and all the. event inspired but not directed by al-qaeda or isil. finally we're concerned about domestic terrorism in the form of a lone wolf who can include various aspects, which can include various aspects of domestic terrorism such as right wing extremism. we devote substantial efforts to study and understand of these threats will continue to further our understanding of the underpinnings of terrorist threats in all forms.
in terms of what we are doing about it i look forward to your questions. the last two thoughts i had, members of congress passed and what can we do to help, how can we support the department's homeland security missions. just two things i'd like to leave you with. first of all, for the work of this committee and the house, the house passed h.r. 1731 which in my judgment is a solid cybersecurity piece of legislation. i hope something -- i hope it was something resembling it becomes law. i know i name is offered on the floor the other day, at 754, the south is good information sharing act, that bill, to come in its current form is in my judgment a good piece of legislation. i hope the senate takes it up on the senate floor, passes it and it goes to conference with the house bill. and want to thank the members of
this committee who were leaders in that effort. we need cybersecurity legislation. the last thing i will say, this is probably the most important thing i can say by way of legislation, i cannot deliver for the american public the homeland security that the congress expects of me in my department as long as i have to live with this cluster to budget. unless congress repeal sequestration, that was a very significant negative effects to our ability to deliver this opportunity, border security, aviation security, maritime security and work with the fbi and others on our counterterrorism efforts, provide protection for our national leaders and so forth. fight urge congress to repeal sequestration so we can do we need to do for the american people. homeland security is the frontline of national security. thank you. >> thank you, secretary. i agree. we prioritize our budget for
special security and national defense, and the cybersecurity bill unclad were able to enhance i think the senate version more towards the house effort, and i think we will have a successful conference committee, that's my great hope, and deliver for you so you can you a better job of that important effort and finally think of a recognition of of the report itself and the task force. with that of the chair now recognizes the star rasmussen. >> good morning chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson, and the committee members. like secretary johnson at director comey i welcome today's opportunity to discuss the range of threats to the homeland that concern us the most. before getting into that thread pitch in some detail on want to stress we it nctc are with dhs, fbi under other counterterrorism community and intelligence community partners in terms of how we do that thread environment. from an analytic perspective i
start by saying the chances that a spectacular large-scale attack in homeland by an overseas terrorist group have been substantially reduced over the last several years. we've collectively achieve that outcome through aggressive ct action against al-qaeda overseas and to the robust homeland security infrastructure that would develop as a country and the last 14 years. but what we can look to some degree of satisfaction at the work done to reduce the threat of a large-scale mass cashless attack they're still quite a bit to be concerned that on the current terrorism landscape and the landscape as you yourself said, mr. chairman, is in some ways more challenging than ever. it's also clear that terrorists operating paradigm has shifted and initiative in ways that are proving particularly challenge of which i've identified and disrupt potential threats to the homeland. today there are more threats originating in more places and evolving and more diffuse and disparate set of individuals than at any time previously. first as you'd expect were intensively focused on the threat from isil as you
highlight in your opening statement, mr. chairman. and our judgment ice was overtaken al-qaeda as the lead of the global violent extremist movement and the group views itself as being in direct conflict with the west. that conflict is being played out not just in iraq and syria also know the places around the world were isil has declared itself to how province. these places include algeria, libya, yemen, saudi arabia, afghanistan and pakistan, the caucasus region, potential in southeast asia as well. and isil's aggressiv aggressived expansionist agendas implications for us at home in our homeland threat picture. there are three concerning features of isil as a terrorist group in my judgment. the first is the access to resources, extensive resources in terms of manpower, military matériel an and fund. is a contingent feature of isil in the territorial control of the group exercise in iraq and syria as well as in some of the profits as i mentioned a minute
ago. the third is something you highlight in your remarks, mr. chairman, their access to a large pool of individuals from western countries both those of traveled to iraq and syria and those remain in their home countries. we look for indicators of potential extra operations capability that could threaten the homeland from isil, these are the key features we generally expect to see, and they are present with isil. secretary johnson also alluded to we are coming to do the threat from isil, especially the homeland peace. we have started to get isil's involvement in homeland attack activity asphalt along a spectrum. at one and we see ice the to isolate individual central inspiration from isil ties of dedicated media content even if isil leadership is not directly guiding their actions. at the other end of the spectrum something more traditional recesses are individuals who may receive direct guidance and specific direction from isil members. more often than not individuals we see a moment and operate somewhere between those two ends
of the spectrum creating a fluid picture that's difficult to assess. second, if you look beyond our intensive focus on isil and the threat it poses to the homeland we vote dishman to vote attention. despite the unrelenting media attention focused on isil in no respect what i or our intelligence community downgrade our intention that al-qaeda would threat activity focused in favor -- when i'm often asked to identify what my number one terrorism concern is, i decline to answer because i would not want our focus on one terrorist threat to suggest were not focused on other significant threats that we are confronting. specifically what are closely watching for signs that core al-qaeda's attack capability is potential being restored ahead of the u.s. military's drawdown in afghanistan. while they build up al-qaeda to try to recruit and to pull operatives from the safe haven in south asis