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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 22, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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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 asia has been degraded,
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we continue to watch for amtrak indications that core al-qaeda is, in fact, engaged in plotting activities aimed -- and i can someone. bubeyond human we've also been watching al-qaeda's affiliate networks and individuals and syria who may be looking to get extra operations against the west a potentially the homeland. but we got some very public successes in terms of a disrupting some individuals involved in plotting from syria, there is cody ford be done in the work continues. or third area of or third area, last area i will mention is the growing use of simple opportunity to attacks by homegrown violent extremist, we called hves. hves. that stop the practice could proliferate within the last
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several years. when you look back to 2000 we're seeing less than two or three of those incidents per year. by last year that number was a dozen antedate issued a number of incidents were disrupted plots is a redoubled for this year suggesting that are, in fact, a greater number of transit is -- transience inside the united states. was difficult to put precise numbers on the population of homegrown violent extras here in the united states there's no question in my mind and in a mine in a painless death is publishing has increased in size over the last 18 months. in my judgment ice loss injected new energy and life into the population of homegrown violent extremists are isil for its partners they can have an impact on voting individuals to act in their own locations by carrying out individual attacks even on a relatively modest scale. that's particularly true of several such attacks strong together in a compressed timeframe. that's a significant innovation in the terrorist playbook on
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something al-qaeda never quite managed to deploy against us and it requires we and the counterterrorism community can take and adapt as well. to conclude, chairman and congressman thompson to want to assure you and the committee we continue to work every day to detect and defeat and disrupt all manner of threats from across the full spectrum of terrorist concerns that we have and i look for to discussing these issues with you and the committee in greater depth. >> we appreciate the work you do. now recognize mr. coney. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. thompson, members of the committee. thank you for inviting me here today. my colleagues have made clear in their opening statements something that it will not repeat, the ice was broken the model. i want to explain why the change in model leads us to talk so much about the challenges we face with encryption and very briefly. social media is transform human experience in wonderful ways. i have no idea what anybody for my fifth grade class at ps 16 and yonkers, new york, today. my kids will know everything
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about everybody from the fifth grade class for the rest of their life. there's good and bad to that. on balance it's wonderful isil has used that ubiquitous social media to break the model and pushing to the united states into the pocket, onto the mobile devices of troubled souls throughout our country in all 50 states a twin message, or kill, or killed. him to the so-called caliphate, live a life of glory, participate in the final battle between good and evil on god's aside. come to the caliphate and if you can't come, to where you all are. social media works to connect ask it works as a way to sell cars or shoes or a movie. it works to outsource terrorism. so starting in the summer of 2014 they will invested in this. and it works. it led to troubled souls convincing themselves there was meaning -- it was meaning for them answered and the requisition engage in acts of violence in the united states. that investments are to pay
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dividends and taxed all of our resource in the spring of issue when suddenly we have dozens and dozens of cases in the united states of people who are progressing along the spectrum from consuming the acting, determine whether or. and thank goodness banks are tremendous work by the men and women who work for us, that was disrupted we arrested dozens of people during the issue to disrupt those plots. the challenge we face is enormous because of his broken model, this crowd sourcing means they're hundreds of people across our great country who are troubled come are consuming this poison. with investigation in all 50 states trying to understand so where are they from consuming to acting. very hard to find them and to evaluate them and it gets harder still to get such as a nationwide haystack where were we are looking for deals. isil makes those needles disappear because they find a live one through twitter, they will move them to all these investigations to an end to end mobile messaging app that is
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encrypted. then the needle disappears so we know someone is really dangerous to us the needle goes invisible to us. that is very, very concerning. the reason we are talking so much about encryption is d.c. and isil and more broadly a conflict between two values everybody in america talks about. we all care about safety and security on the internet. eyed and nick anja huge fans of encryption. we want our key data encrypted. it helps the f. b. i -- the fbi fight encryption. they are colliding with public safety which we all care deeply about. we don't have an easy answer. but a great democracy should see when it's values are in collusion talk but how we might resolve those two things. there's no easy answer. the good news is where having projective comfort -- conversations with local law enforcement come with allies and with the companies who make these devices and offer these services because they are good folks who care about values.
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this is a hard problem for our country. we are not here to tell what the answer is. we are here just to tell folks example i use is the fbi is not an end in force imposed upon america from mars. we belong to the american people. with the tools the american people gave us through you, and our job as one of those tools is working so much anymore is to tell the american people. that's what we are talking so much about encryption. you see it in kidnapping cases, drug cases, child abuse cases. there's a conflict in our values that we simply must figure out how to resolve. it is obvious in the case of isil. we will continue doing the work. i'm very grateful as my colleagues are for the high quality product that is committed on travelers, those responded to the first part of that siren song, that come. there's something interesting happening. just in the last few months we are seeing fewer people attempt to travel to join isil in syria. we have seen six in the last
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three and half months. we were seeing nine a month in all the months before the. i don't know what to make of that. one possibility as we are not seeing it the way we work for, they're still going to another possible is all our efforts to lock people up and punish them for going is making a difference. another difference is help from our colleagues around the world especially the turks, or something else. we will keep you posted on whether that continued but this committee has done such great work i want you to know that back. we are very grateful for the opportunity to have this conversation. >> agenda recognizes himself for questioning. let me say on the encryption issue, dark space platform, this committee is can we are meeting with technology companies trying to find a solution to that. the foreign fighter threat, but the threat over the internet is real. it's gone viral. i think the biggest is jeanette
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hussein was taken out by an airstrike that was publicly reported. and had some impact i think but it's going to continue into his find a solution to a technology solution also want to commend you for the successful few and the secretary have had in stopping so many positive would put out a monthly terror snapshot and the fact is everyone these numbers go up in terms of terror plots. we have 17 terror plots you into united states, isis directed or inspired. and over almost 70 isis lived individuals arrested. you don't know what you don't know. the chattanooga case is a good example. you can't stop all this. the chatter is so high it's hard to stop all. my first question very simply is, not directed to the secretary, is do you consider the threat in fiber to the homeland to be one of the
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greatest since 9/11? [inaudible] >> your mic. >> i tend not to rank threats or try to make assessments that a current. is more or less dangerous than before because we have to focus on a number of things. the point that i want to stress is that is different. it's a different than what it was in the 9/11 period in that it is more decentralized and more complicated because of the going dark phenomenon because of their effective use of social media. and because of the potential for the loan after the isn't necessarily export from overseas but who can strike at any moment which requires more complex response, a more hope of government response.
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we are very concerned. i'm encouraged by the numbers cited of those window but of attempted to leave we also know that isil is still out there every day making an appeal. so we've got to stay busy. >> director comey? >> i think about the way j. despotism which were demonstrably safer thanks to the way of this committee and all of government. our country is better organized, better deployed, smarter, tougher than we were before 9/11. so as director rasmussen said, i greater threat of the big thing is not gone but a destination typically. at the same time there's been a metastasize threat to all the likely oven or ungoverned spaces throughout the world. we are looking at libya closely now, the sinai and lots of other parts of the world. so it is becoming more diffuse, it moves at a stash of his social media there's a lot more people into united states
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energized, troubled souls, then they were black or al-qaeda at or after nine 9/11. so it is just very different today. >> mr. rasmussen? >> billy thing i would add to that is that the diffusion and dispersal of the threat all three of us have talked about creates a particular problem in that it stretches our resources that much more widely. the blanket have to cover more of the bed. when you look around the world at all of the locations, all of the safe haven locations, all of the regions of institute around the world what a potential terrorist threat might emanate from our areas where we have to look to enhance our collection of intelligence advance our ability to partner with governments in those regions. and that's just a resource challenged a think about the period of core al-qaeda were focus on pakistan and afghanistan. now you could rattle off 12 or 15 countries where we are very active. >> let me move quickly to the latest edition of dabiq which is
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ice basically inspire magazine. they discuss the idea of moving a weapon of mass destruction through transnational criminal organizations into the western hemisphere and across the southwest border from mexico into the united states. being from texas is certainly concerns me, and, of course, not getting into specifics but they plot was disrupted at a moldova, trying to struggle to islam as terror organizations nuclear materials that could have reached our shores. director comey, how seriously to take this threat? >> deadly seriously. this is something that we have worried about for a long time. we have a division of the fbi, the weapons of mass destruction director where people wake up everyday worrying about this. we've tried to build such good
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relationship with our law enforcement colleagues in so many other places where there may be materials available including former soviet state. so it is a classic, extremely low probability x. extreme high event so has our constant focus. >> my final question is on the syrian refugees. we've had testimony before this committee that we don't have intelligence on the ground in syria. we cannot properly bet these individuals. we don't know who they are. i visited a camp in jordan with members on the committee and we were told the same thing. i noted administration is planning on moving as high as 10,000 refugees into the country. just very quickly as my time is running out, how concerned are you from a security perspective on this? do you think this will increase your counterterrorism caseload if we bring in 10,000 syrians into the united states?
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secretary johnson. >> chairman, i am concerned that we do the proper security setting for refugees we bring into this country. committed to 10,000, and i've committed that each one receiving careful security vetting. it is true that we're not going to go a whole lot about a lot of the serious that come forward in this process, just given the nature of the situation. and so we are doing better at checking all right databases and law enforcement than we used to. and so it's a good process and it is a thorough process by the catholic is a challenge. >> director comey? >> i don't think i have anything to. i think he describes above. we see a risk. we will work hard to mitigate either our challenge will be as good as we've gotten ourselves at querying or holies to understand somebody, if the person is never crossed our
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radar screen there will not be anything to query against so juicy a risk. >> we are humanitarian nation. it's a humanitarian crisis, but we also have a responsibility to protect the american people come and give me that is paramount as well. the chair now recognizes the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. taking off from your question, relative to the sudan refugee -- syrian refugee, then each of you explain your agencies physician on the vetting process for these refugees? a lot of us are concerned about whether or not you have enough information available to you to do an accurate vetting. and so, mr. rasmussen, can you
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-- >> unhappy distorted as suggest with a lot of lessons learned in this area from when we went through similar processes over the last soviet eating with other large refugee populations. i think we now worked successfully to make sure that every bit of available intelligence information of the united states holds will be looked at with respect to potential nexus of someone being screened as a potential refugee. i sort of feel good about that process and the degree to which we tightened up over time. you can't account for what you don't know when the ghost of intelligence deficit that i think is embedded in your question. what we can do though is understand why the potential vulnerabilities ar or so that we asking in the screening and vetting process the right kind of questions to get our screeners the best possible opportunity to make an informed judgment. it is not a perfect process and is a degree of risk attached to
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any screening process that will look to manage that risk as best we can. >> mr. secretary? >> each of us at the table is acutely aware that in our world one failed is the equivalent of 10,000 successes. and there are, in fact, lessons we learned from the vetting process with regard to the iraqi refugees that we took in a process has improved. we're better at connecting dots, checking the databases with information we have. my people in uscis will be on the ground in places to that refugees along with the state department. they will do so in consultation with our law enforcement and our intelligence agency partners. and we will do it carefully. we have made this commitment but we will can the resources to do it, but we will do it carefully.
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>> mr. director speaks i don't think i have anything useful to add. >> so capturing what was said, it's your feeling that our existing system, or robust enough to assure this committee that, to the extent practical, no terrorist can get through that process? >> well, the issue we face obviously is what was mentioned that we may have somebody who comes to us and is simply not on our radar for any discernible reason. and there may also be the possibly the somebody decides to do something bad after they've been admitted to the process. but we do have a good system in
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place for the undertaking that we have made. >> mr. director, before this committee, assistant director steinbeck said that concerned in syria is that we don't have the systems in place on the ground to collect the information to vet. that would be the concern, databases don't hold the information on these individuals your is that still the position of the department speak with yes, i think that's a challenge we're all talking about is that we can only query against that which we have collected. and so if someone has never made a ripple in the bond in syria in a way that would get their identity as it enters reflected in our database we can query our database until the cows come home.
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there will be nothing short because we know record on that person. that's what the assistant director was talking about. you can only query what you've collected, and with respect to iraqi refugees, we have far more in our database of because of our countries were prepared for a decade. this is a different situation. >> the chair recognizes mr. smith from texas. >> turn one. just want to get some figures to understand the administration has submitted about 15,000 refugees this year and about 25,000 next year. is that generally correct speak with the number this year is 10,000. >> and next year would be how many? >> i don't believe that a firm decision has been made with respect to fy '17, but this year we've said we want to take in 10,000. >> it's been reported to be two or three times that many next year, much more of a significant increase. you have all used the word risk
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to describe admitting these refugees and i assume that what we've heard and read is accurate, and that is that terrorist organizations are going to be attempted to try to infiltrate these refugees and try to sneak individuals into this country who might commit terror acts. i guess the question i have for you is how likely is it if terrorist organization go to try to take advantage of the admission of these refugees to get people in this country who might commit terrorist attacks is likely, not likely? >> that's an intelligence question. >> we certainly have seen terrorist groups talk about, think about exactly which are describing, esther smith, 20 is available programs to get people not only in the united states but in the western european countries as well. we know they inspired to do that. i don't know that i would go so far to say they are likely to succeed because again we --
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>> is impossible to conduct background checks on these individuals or is it only if they're already in the database they would be flag? in other words, terrorist organization is going to try to get someone in as wreckage is the award have a public background that you would be able to uncover. they're going to get people in the country who have not yet committed a terrorist act. don't you think it's likely they will try to do that? >> there is a thorough vetting process of each individual which encompasses a personal assessment of each individual which includes -- that's not simply wants in a public record does the person ever rap sheet of any kind. spin a little bit of my concern you're relying upon them and what they say or what to write out in an application. you can't go beyond that so you're sort having to take their word for it. another reflecting is that i come in past years,
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historically, traditionally, refugees are members of families and get the typical profile of a syrian refugee i'm told is that most are young single males as opposed to come and members. if so to me that would raise a red flag as well. do you have any information, any comments about that? >> coming from me, one observation i have of we settled syrian refugees in this country so far is that they tend to settle into communities that are very, that embrace them, that are very supportive in a syrian american communities around the country. i've seen that personally myself but it tends to be a pretty tightknit supportive community. >> okay. both the profile and the motives of terrorist organizations and your admission that there's some risk involved to me would
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persuade the administration to go slow rather than fast when it comes to admitting individuals who might not, or who might do us harm. secretary johnson, many move to another subject. this is more domestic attention. administration has announced next month is going to release a number of thousands of individuals from federal prison. how many individuals is the projection and who will be released next month but these are criminal aliens. >> the total number that the department of justice plans to release pursuant to the guidelines adjustment, next month i'm told is about 2000. >> how many of those individuals will be put into process to be removed? >> a fair number. this is something, let me stress, this is something we've been working on now for about a year. the thing that i'm focused on, i have been focused on from those
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were released or undocumented that the come directly into our custody, that they are not released to the street. i believe the process, because i've checked numerous times, is in place and that's exactly what is going to occur. >> last time you appear before this committee i brought up that they could that the administration is releasing close to 30,000 people every year who have been imprisoned, been arrested, mostly convicted and released them back out into our communities and neighborhoods. you said that figure was going to go down dramatically, you need to stop. i forget for a couple of years. is the administration still releasing individuals who have been convicted of crimes of those individuals put into removal procedures now? >> as i'm sure you're aware, if someone is an immigration detention with a final order of removal, the law says about we have today six-month assessment. and if repatriation is not
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committed their own limited circumstances under which we can hold them. i have changed the process for deciding the circumstances under which that happens. we do have the final numbers yet for fy '15, but i believe the number of those who have been released who have been convicted of crimes has gone down from 30,000. >> to what number of? >> i don't have another yet but i am told it is gone down from 30,000. fy '13 it was about 34 as i'm sure you will recall. 14 was about 30, and doubly the number is off of three for fy '15. >> i hope it is very far south for the sake of innocent american citizens. thank you. >> i just want to state for the record that i should has been on record through a smug statement they want to exploit the refugee process to infiltrate the west. i take them at their word. so i would caution the initiation to proceed very
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carefully in this program. the chair recognizes -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will turn to another issue, cybersecurity. i thank the chairman for his leadership on this issue and the ranking member. mr. secretary, you've referenced and just spoken about this before, the recent breach of opm's networks and the role dhs has in protecting agency networks. the leadership at opm at the time was asleep at the switch and they ignored warnings from the own inspector general. and i know dhs can provide tools, einstein, cdm to assist agencies. i have to ask at this point for an update. can you done with confidence that other agencies under your care will not suffer a bridge like opm? >> i can tell you that we are
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making rapid and significant progress to ensure that that does not happen. the einstein three a system right now which has the ability to block intrusions is available and deployed about have the federal civilian government. i have directed my folks that day just to make it available to 100% by the end of each and play for on track to do that. we have gotten agency heads who, by law, responsible for their own cybersecurity to focus on this issue. i've issued a binding operational directive in may pursuing to authority given to me by the congress to do that which an effective scorecard to get agency heads to focus on this issue. and other very aggressive plan for enhancing our diagnostics ability. so i believe that awareness in these agencies has been enhanced
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significantly, including because of the opm breached come and that we are on an aggressive timetable to cross the federal government, ensure this kind of thing can't happen others that happen is significantly reduced. .. what is the consequence if they
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ignore your operation? >> my recollection, my recollection, now i'm working on recollection, it means a report to congress and a report to omb but i don't have the authority to simply do that job for an agency head myself or in any way fine them or sanction them but -- >> that's a frustration which i've been talking about for a long time, i think you or somebody needs that authority. mr. secretary, before my time runs out, do you still believe agencies should have primary responsibility for their network defense. >> i believe that agency directors, administrators, themselves should be principally responsible for their own networks. i also believe dhs should have the overall responsibility for the security of the federal civilian dot-gov system but it should be on each agency head to take responsibility for his or her own network. >> i would tend to agree with you, that you should have more
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responsibility than that authority. mr. secretary, as you know, one of my chief concerns is protection of critical infrastructure from cyberattack. all of us on this committee are aware of the threat that we face in cyberspace and i'm curious about your take on the response of critical infrastructure owners and operators. in my experience there is a tendency to meet the minimum requirements put on them but to ask the government to incentivize any measure taken beyond that. do you, we have operators are innovating in their defensive efforts or are they generally just getting by? >> i think it depends on the size of the business and the segment they're in but i believe that owners and operators of critical infrastructure are taking threat more and more significantly because of the information we are sharing with them about what we are seeing. about some of the threats that have been directed to them.
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so i believe that there is an increasing awareness out there. it is no the just a minimalist approach. >> thank you. director comey, in your testimony you referenced steps the fbi is taking to continue to gather intelligence to stop terrorism despite the challenges of going dark. i share your concern. can you expand on this beyond working with tech companies to address the problem directly and acknowledging you're not asking for legislative solution? what are the other methods the fbi does employ? >> thank you, congressman. we, when we face a needle that has gone invisible on us we have to lean more heavily on more traditional law enforcement techniques, to see if we get source close to the person, get an undercover close to the person, physical surveillance tells us something about the person. there are obvious shortcomings in those techniques but we'll not stop trying to get the job
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done so we'll lean on other things we've done for years. it will be inadequate frankly but we'll keep working at it. >> i thank the chair. this is issue i have increasing concern about, this going dark and intel and law enforcement abilities to adequately see into the threats that are facing us. it's a challenge we'll have to continue to front. >> i share that concern as well. the chair recognizes mr. rogers. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i share the concerns outlined by mr. smith about isil using the syrian refugees the president decided to allow in this country as a vehicle to sneak bad actors in. you described a quote, pretty thorough vetting process as a part of your response to his answer. can you tell me more about that process? >> well, first of all we're happy to brief you on the more sensitive aspects of it in a non-public setting but it
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involves consulting a number we of different agency, law enforcement and intelligence and the information that they have regarding each individual applicant. it is a more robust process than it used to be. to some it is time-consuming but it is something i think we need to do and it involves any information that you may have. it may take some time to resolve any uncertainties about the information. sometimes there may be a variance in a name or date of birth or something of that nature but it involves consulting a number of different agencies as well as a personal interview and gathering simply as much information as we possibly have about the person. >> i would appreciate it, if you would have the appropriate staff member schedule that brief for me in a skif and any other members of the committee that would like to participate. director comey, from personal
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experience i seen your agency do phenomenal things with no evidence other than a bad act to locate bad people. having said that i'm curious to know, is there any other tool that we can provide you, that congress could provide you that would help you locate these individuals that y'all refer to on social media, that are recruiting. and organizing in this country that you don't have at present? >> i don't think so, congressman. to me, this conversation about going dark is not about new authorities for the fbi. you have given us the authority to go to federal judges and make a showing of probable cause and get a search warrant or get an order to intercept communications. we think that is appropriate. we're big fans of the rule of law and the bill of rights so i think that's a good set of authorities. problem we face solving challenges those tools under the fourth amendment are no longer
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as effective they were before and that is that huge, knotty problem i'm talking about. i don't see it more authority for fbi i see us figuring out all the authorities we have that the american people have given us can be used to good effect. >> you also made reference earlier, you and secretary johnson, about the surge of activity you're having to manage now. do you have adequate resources to deal with that surge? i know secretary johnson talked about sequestration and its burdens on his agency. what do you think about that? do you have what you need? >> honest answer is i don't know for this reason i say that. if what we experienced in may, june, and into the early part of july were to become the new normal, it would really stretch the fbi because to meet that surge, we had to move a lot of folks from criminal work, because surveillance is only easy on tv. following somebody 24/7 without
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them knowing you're there is really hard. we had to surge hundreds of people from criminal cases with which are important, move them over to the national security side. that bump in cases has dropped off a little bit. so we're watching it very closely. we have moved people back to be able to do criminal work but if that surge becomes our new normal then i will have a different view of it and i will obviously make sure congress knows the minute i reach that conclusion. >> i hope you will. we want to be helpful. we want to give you the tools you need. frankly we want to hear from us what you need because we can't help you unless we hear what you need. >> yes, sir. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. keithing. >> thank you, mr. chair. in light of challenges you described in terms of encryption and expanding social networking one strategy is to maximize our other abilities to try and thwart terrorist acts. along those lines it has been a priority of mine, the priority of the committee's, to look at
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enhancing information sharing among federal agencies and local law enforcement as well, particularly in the wake of the boston marathon bombing and, i know that the fbi has moved forward with this and i know dhs has offered recommendations in this regard. that we're reviewing here. if i could, you know, director comey, if you could just give us an update on what you've done already in the wake of the boston marathon bombing, use that as a time frame. and, what you see going forward in anytime lines in pursuing that? >> yeah, thank you congressman keating. i think we learned good things for us to getter out out of the boston marathon bombing and focus of committee's. i believe we're in much better place today. we could always be better. here is how i think about improvement. maybe sure everybody on the joint terrorism task force knows
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our default is sharing information and in particular we want leaders of agencies represented in our joint terrorism task forces to understand to actually participate in it. so we do an inventory review in every single jttf on regular basis. sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month. we want everybody to come in to say this is stuff we opened last month. this is stuff we closed. any questions, concerns, anyone want to follow up on it so they are engaged at jttf. if there is something they want to do in response to the inventory they're able to do that. i think we pushed that both in letter which is important but in spirit frankly which is more important to understand everybody, we're in this together, especially this threat that so so spread out, we need state and local partners to spot this and stop it. so i think we're in much better place than we were 2 1/2 years ago. as i said i don't want to be overconfident. there are always ways to find ways to improve but that is my sense where we are. >> i think all of your agencies
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have done extraordinary job authoritying so many potential terrorist threats. you have done a great job if you use analogy of swatting mosquitoes. the other thing we have to do, particularly in light of some of our challenges, is to dry up the swamp as much as we can, along those lines i think it is very important work that dhs has done to the office of community partnerships and making that the hub, the central point of trying to thwart some of these attacks. and i would like to ask the secretary, secretary johnson, what is your progress in that, how do you value that. how is your funding for that? because i'm concerned about some of that. if you could, i think it is promising that peer-to-peer, you explain with the committee the progress with the peer-to-peer program how that might be working. it is important. we're a great country. no one, i don't think, has the
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resourcesoutmessage us but we're not doing, we're not maximizing on that and that's important. so if you could comment on that, sir. >> thank you for that question. i have taken a great personal interest in countering violent extremism. i believe it is fundamental and indispensable to our overall efforts. so i have done a number of community engagement myself. the reason i created the office for community partnerships because i think we need to take our efforts to the next level. and so what this office does is consolidate in one place all the people across my department that are devoted to our cve efforts. i want to build on that so we have a field capability and i want an office that will in addition to engaging the community, also engage the tech sector, engage fill lan throwpies, develop our own grant-making capabilities here in terms of adequate funding. the single biggest thing that i'm going to keep coming back to
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in terms of adequacy of funding please repeal sequestration. if i have to deal with sequestration i come up short on cve and other things. >> how about peer-to-peer, the peer-to-peer program engaging young people in terms of messaging process, could you comment on that briefly. >> i think that among bright, college-age people in particular, lie the best ideas on cve for the way forward. and so i engaged several college organizations on helping us in our efforts. that's a work in progress. young, in my experience young people, college-age people tend to approach cve a little differently than older, more experienced people of their parents age which i can talk to you at greater detail off-line about. >> lastly just a comment. that perimeters that your
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agencies have are important. that's why you're here. but if we're going to be successful we're going to have to expand out beyond that in the non-profit side, the public side, private side. and obtain more engagement. so, i think that we shouldn't shortchange resources that all your agencies have to try to do that as well because i think it is an important aspect. one that we still haven't maximized. thank you, and i yield back. >> i want to commend the secretary for adopting a lot of the provisions in the combating violent extremism bill we marked up out of committee. we appreciate that. chair recognizes mr. duncan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, the term, otm, other than mexicans is a dhs term, correct? >> it is certainly a term we use around dhs. >> use by officers, people apprehending across southern border they're not of mexican descent. >> yes.
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>> i'm taking all latinos out, hondurans, salvadorans. there are other people across the border that from asian, african descent, am i correct. >> you are correct. >> they are apprehended across the southern border? thank you. >> you're absolutely correct. >> our southern border is not secure? question have no idea who is coming into this country. i could go on to iran and hezbollah and triborder region and ties between lebanon and paraguay, the triborder region that chairman and i investigated a number of years ago. let me shift. we have no idea who is in this country. have no idea who can come into this country through the southern border because it is not secure. are you familiar with the jewish man shot up in brussels in may or june of 2014? >> yes. >> that is for director comey too. of the several people died. the perpetrator was a foreign fighter who had been trained in
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libya or syria or iraq. we're not sure. but he made his way back into europe. and because of open borders he made his way to brussels and killed several people and then fled, made it all the way to marseille, france, was just about to jump out of europe into africa before he was apprehended. these are the facts. foreign fighter flow is something we've got to be very, very serious about, especially because of open borders. especially because of the millions of middle-aged and young middle eastern men that have migrated to europe. who could possibly have the ability to enter into this country because of open borders, visa waiver programs. may not be this year. might be five years after they get citizenship. whatever it takes, i will say there. -- this. i think the chairman misspoke a while ago when he used number of 10,000 immigrants coming into
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this country refugees and resettlement program. i heard the number 100,000 next year, regardless too many if we do not have the ability to properly vet those individuals. some of those will come to south carolina. i will tell you folks in south carolina are very, very concern about our inability to vet properly the refugees that are coming. i've been to the refugee camp in jordan. i understand the immense challenge that we face from a humanitarian standpoint. i understand the need, or desire for folks to leave the middle east and travel to europe or try to come to this country to try to create a better life for their family. the chairman spoke appropriately said we're a very humanitarian nation. history proves that but we've got a different situation on our hands. we've got a group known as as isis and al qaeda is still relative to this world as a threat to the united states. who want to come to this country, who said they will
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exploit the refugee program to come to this country. if they're able to make it to europe and jump to africa and make it to latin america or south america because of you are open border issues they could come across the border the way otms are coming across today. so, mr. comey, what can i tell folks in south carolina about our vetting of these refugees that will put their mind to rest? that we are properly vetting everyone that may come into my state, that may wish to harm the united states? what can i tell them? please share with me some bit of good news about this refugee resettlement program because i'm not hearing it. >> the good news we're much better at doing it than we were eight years ago. the bad news is there is no risk-free process. >> so i hear interviews in the camps, in refugee camps but i also hear that the records
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aren't there so, i just want to encourage you all, the three of you that are charged with national security of this country, to rethink the resettlement of refugees in this country especially numbers i'm hearing. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> mr. chairman can i -- point of clarification, i think it is important, i think that's where you're going, because the public thrown out of 100,000 number as syrian refugees. my understanding there are 100,000 refugees total worldwide and 10,000 potentially from syria, maybe you want to clarify that. >> what we have said is that for fy-16 we will commit to resettling 10,000 syrian refugees in a total worldwide of 85,000. >> okay. just want to get that on the record. >> mr. chairman, if i may. where do we anticipate those 85,000 coming from?
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syria, iraq, afghanistan, libya? do we have any idea? we identify the countries that are being targeted for refugee resettlement? >> well it's done by regions of the world, sir and that is a publicly available fact which we can get you but refugees tend to come from every part of the world. obviously some more troubled places than others. >> okay. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mrs. watson coleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for holding this hearing. thank you, gentlemen. i tell you, it is actually comforting refer to each other by first name. it means you are collaborating and cooperating and it is good that there is a relationship there. it makes me feel a little bit better although this is a very skri time. i have -- scary time. i have a few questions. ii want to start with a question from you, mr. johnson. united states secret service is leading investigation of a
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online hacker recently told the washington post he gained access not only to the cia director's personal email accounts but also to your own email account. would you please describe what current plan is in place for the secret service to prevent this intrusion given the external infiltrations the department has experienced recently including the opm data breach? >> ma'am, i don't think that i can comment about an ongoing investigation. the one thing i'll say is don't believe everything you read in the newspaper because a lot of is inaccurate but there is a pending investigation by the fbi and the secret service and so, i don't think i can comment right now. >> okay. thank you. i am very interested in how we're approaching and looking at the security and safety threats to us.
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obviously by those who are influenced or directed by foreign countries and jihadists but also those who are our own homegrown, right-wing extremists who wreak dangerous conditions upon unsuspecting innocent people. and so i'd like to know from the three of you whether or not there's an assessment of a greater risk or a equal risk or lower risk from one type of violent experience as opposed to the other? what kind of resource application we have across the various entities that deal with both types, both sort of right-wing extremists. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. comey. >> there are two parts to the the fbi's counterterrorism division, international terrorism, domestic terrorism. we have hundreds and hundreds of people wake up every day
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worrying about domestic extremists. by that i mean people who are not inspired or motivated by international terrorist organizations but people who see themselves as part of some political resistance movement or some racially-motivated movement in the united states. and so we do a lot of work on that front. our assessment of the threat is, it's about the same as it was over the last couple years. hasn't dropped. it's about the same. the international terrorism threat with respect to both that coming from the outside in and those motivated internally as we've discussed here today has changed and gone up especially with those responding to isil's twin-pronged message. >> so for clarification purposes though is there any sort of ranking between the two types of violence? >> there is not. >> is there a greater threat from the domestic right-wing extremists who's racist and
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anti-semitic and all other things as opposed to jihadist-inspired or directed? >> we do not compare them in that way. that is sort of like which do you like, dislike more, heart attacks or cancer. >> do you have to consider -- >> they're both very dangerous. sorry. >> i'm sorry. i'm trying to get at difference of application of resources for one type versus the other? are there different offices in charge of one type or the other? or is there sort of a cross-pollination? >> well, as i said two divisions in the fbi counter-terrorist division. one focus on domestic and one focuses on international including manifestations inside the country. they talk to each other a lot. i got briefings jointly when they worry about any type of crossover. we use same kind of intelligence resources. we apply the same tools to understand presence on social
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media. so we are, we are addressing both as series threats they are. >> are we, are we collecting information on the type of violence that occurs like that occurred at bethel church and around the country? are we collecting that data, putting that into database, so we have understanding of those types of violent extreme its? >> yes. >> thank you. mr. johnson, and mr. rasmussen, do you care to comment on that at all? >> i don't think there is anything i can add to what jim said. >> i agree. actually, my mission actually leaves me outside of the domestic terrorism except for analytical purpose. >> my last question is really, really quick one. i want here and i don't think you either were here but do we have knowledge whether or not we've had the same kind of angst and anxiety when there was resettlement from iraqi
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refugees? do we find that angst has been addressed? with very found, learned lessons and done things differently? thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. >> short answer, yes, we have. there have been lessons learned from iraqi refugee experience which i believe have, i think with the fbi, improved the process. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chair recognizes mr. claus son. >> thank you, mr. chairman for your leadership here today. appreciate y'all three coming here today and what you do for our country and sacrifice you make. it is not small. so i appreciate that. on personnal level i get tired of the bad trade deals our country makes. i get tired of our trading partners taking us to the cleaners. i get tired of good-paying american manufacturing jobs going overseas. and to, i'm like, this morning if i'm uaw, i'm not happy with
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the chinese currency and their export subsidies. if i'm harley-davidson i'm probably not happy where the yen is today, as we see our american manufacturing infrastructure get decimated. president soon, we'll just not make anything anymore. what is wrong, why not protect the american worker a little bit? on top of that, the chinese hack us. wait a minute. billions of dollars every month go to chinese in a trade deficit. they hack our companies, and they hack our government. we just keep on trading. as i understand it, secretary johnson, you said time will tell whether what we've done will keep them from hacking in the future. i say, why don't we protect the american worker, the american company, american unions, ua. with, and our infrastructure at same time? because if we put our markets on
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the table, and said, anymore hacking, you lose access to our retail markets, that would go away immediately, because they depend on us to live. while i watch our struck our manufacturing sector get decimated and these folks are hacking us, you're there with the administration. i wonder why we don't use obvious leverage that we have? it is obvious. it makes me upset because i see so many of my friends and people i grew up with lose good-paying american jobs. you say only time will tell whether the chinese will obey us or not, or cooperate or not. while we open up our markets. am i missing something on my, on my analysis of this situation, secretary? >> in response to cyber attacks on our government and on the private sector there are a
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number of things, seen, and unseen that we have done and are considering. what i was referring to, what i am referring to when i said time will tell, when the president of china was here and in the run-up to his visit, the chinese government agreed that economic espionage and theft of commercial information for commercial purposes was wrong and was a crime. they agreed to that in writing. and time will tell whether they will lead up, live up to that agreement. but, it was significant in the sense that they publicly, out of the mouth of their president, committed to that. but time will tell. >> have we ever talked as leadership of our country, of using the obvious market leverage that we have, as almost a third of the global gdp, and the source of economic growth for the whole world, do we ever talk about using that leverage
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to get not only fair trade deals but keep them from robbing our ip and keep them from hacking? we could stop it next month. just shut down retail markets to cheaters and let the american, let the american worker catch a break for once, all at same time. >> i have to refer you to other age is about government about that. >> look, you're part of the leadership structure, excuse me, but you're on the board of directors. you're in the staff meetings. you know, and part of this touches you. i think if you were back in the private sector as board of directors meeting, that answer might not be acceptable. i'm asking, does senior leadership of our country, as we get taken to the cleaners on trade, and on hacking and on ip, has anybody thought about using our markets as leverage? do you all talk about that? >> i suspect the answer is yes. >> then i would like to see a little bit. >> but i, again refer you to other agencies of our government. >> come on now. >> to give you an answer to that question. >> you know, the american worker
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doesn't want referring to other agencies. our ip, our folks that get their technology stolen don't want to get referred to other age agencies. they want leadership. we're getting taken to the cleaners on 4:00 different fronts and don't want toget referred to on outside study. we want leadership for american jobs and american technology. i don't think that's too much to ask. you're part of the team. help our countries. help our companies and help our unions and our workers get a fair shake. i yield back. >> chair recognizes miss jackson-lee. >> good morning. i thank the chairman very much and ranking member for these important hearings on protecting the american people. and i want to pursue a line of questioning that sort of follows the opening statements that you gentlemen have made. i take from the director of the national counterterrorism center
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his sentence that said, array of extremist terrorists actors around the globe is broader, wider and deeper than it has been at anytime since 9/11 and the threat landscape is less predictable. and i think that's an important sentence that has been really crafted and reinforced by testimony and leadership of all three of you. i appreciate your service very much. i have introduced the no-fly for foreign terrorists. i would like to pursue and starting with director comey, to reinforce the seriousness in which we should take, even though there is a lot of work, of individuals leaving the united states and potentially coming back to the united states, having gone to be part of the caliphate or isil and to come back to the united states. what, can you frame again, how extensive that threat is? >> well the returning terrorist fighter threat is what i understand you to be asking
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about, is one we're watching very closely today. we see the logic of it, telling us that will be a problem next five years plus because not every terrorist will get killed on the battlefield in syria or iraq. inevitably there will be a terrorist diaspora out of the so-called caliphate into western europe and united states. so it's a threat all three of us and people we represent think about every day and think about how it will manifest down the road. >> do you maintain the statement you made a couple weeks ago there is terrorist cell almost i think, 50 or all 50 states that the fbi is aware of? >> in all 50 states we have opened terrorism investigations related to a number of dimensions of the threat but in all 50 states we have isil radicalization cases under investigation. >> and i understood you also to be a supporter of the concept of collecting data? i serve on another committee dealing with crime an terrorism
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and investigations. and, my understanding is that you believe that we should be in the business of insuring that data is collected sufficient for information on how to act on some of these issues of terrorism in particular? >> i do. i'm a big supporter of the rule of law and using it to collect information that will help us keep people safe. >> i'm very glad you said that. when i say that, rule of law, thank you, i think that is important point people are concerned about but i would like to put in the record no-fly for foreign fighters. ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you very much. two, the secretary, let me first of all indicate, indicate that we are certainly concerned about the hacking incident. i realize that it is an investigation. i'd ask this committee we have opportunity for classified briefing and i frankly apologize you and public servant, to have
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had that issue occur. but let me move forward to this issue of the power grid and cybersecurity which i believe you have indicated that we need more legislation. you also indicated that we should get rid of sequester. let me say that support you and many of us do. very hard to function. but i also would like to hear your comment, about the power grid of the united states and work that the homeland security department is doing, the framework it's doing. i would like to commend you with legislation into the record, regarding focusing specifically on the power grids of the united states. would you just respond to that. and i would also like the director of counterterrorism to, as well to answer that, follow-up by answering a question regarding handle we have on syrian refugees that may be coming into the united
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states. i want to thank the secretary for comeing to district and having very productive meeting with americans syrians in houston and welcoming those who may come out of persecution. mr. secretary? >> with regard to the cybersecurity the two most significant things that we're hoping and need from congress are, provisions in law to encourage the private sector to share information with my department. cyber threat indicator information with my department. sharing the information is vital to our homeland security efforts for the private sector and for the government sector. the other thing that is in pending legislation and now the house and senate is something that explicitly authorizes the system we have for detecting monitoring and blocking unwanted intrusions, what is currently
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our einstein system. so those are two things impending legislation i think would be extremely helpful to our overall cybersecurity efforts. >> and do you believe that, first of all, the idea of the cybersecurity issue is that a lot of the infrastructures in the private sector, is there, enough collaboration, private sector, when we think of power, we also think of water and other element that serve the public, as is there enough of an element of collaboration to be able to put up that firewall of protecting a potential cyber threat or cyberterrorism? >> there is not enough. so we need to encourage more. >> thank you. mr. rasmussen would you -- >> to your question, ma'am, degree which terrorist organizations are interested in developing a cyber capability, they absolutely are. it is clearly a growth industry as far as terrorist organizations are concerned, particularly isil. thus far the capability seems to be more evident, i would say the low end of the spectrum.
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i don't mean in terms of low of minimizing. thus far the kind of capability we've seen largely shows up in terms of pushing out people's publicly available or personal information in a public way which is potentially very destruction he tiff. there are -- destructive. there are interests in attacking cyber way, electrical power grid or forms of critical infrastructure we have. thus far we see more aspirational, not where we see capability actually existing. believe me, it is something we're carefully watching, because it is a way for a terrorist group to achieve widespread impact. >> if i ask the chairman if i can put these items into the record, we know a number of terrorist incidents were aspirational, one, two years ago, and i can't emphasize enough my certain on cyberattack on nation's power grid. i don't think we're putting any extra information out. i hope all of you focus very
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pointedly on that as a major concern. mr. chairman, thank you very much for your testimony, i yield back. i would like the chairman to allow me to put into the record a article from "the hill," pushing to boost power grid defenses against isis. a cnn statement regarding isil is beginning to perpetrate cyber attacks with unanimous consent for the record. >> without objection. >> put in the record, hr 85 with unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> a letter to the president on encryption signed by over 300 individuals who are very concerned about any proposals that we don't oversee even though i want to give tools appropriately, oversee in the right way to protect both american people an follow rule of law. ask unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> i have two -- >> how many more do you have? >> two more. >> okay. >> the united states of america report on refugee resettlement and also analysis by top computer experts on encryption.
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ask unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the chair recognizes mr. katgo. >> mr. chairman i don't have any reports to put in the regard record. i do have report i want to talk about a moment. >> you may. >> the chair of the joint terrorism combating foreign fighter travel i appreciate your comments. many of my colleagues sitting here today were part of that task force. it was done in bipartisan manner. we did this over six-month period of time, we spent extensive time with homeland security and fbi and spent a lot of time at the national counterterrorism center as well. we learned an awful lot. i could be here all day asking specifics about the report but couple things i do want to touch on. in the wake of 9/11 and 9/11 commission, there was legislation passed in 2006 to develop a national strategy to combat foreign fighter travel. the landscape has changed
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tremendously since then as we all know, especially with respect isis. one of the reports emrecommendations have updated report on that. i want to hear your thoughts on that and all of you. >> congressman, in general i do believe that we need a comprehensive strategy to foreign terrorist fighter travel. i also agree since 2006 the threat has evolved enormously. particularly from european countries we're concerned about those who have been to syria and who come to this country from a country for which we do not require a visa which is why as you know i announced a number of security enhancements with respect to travel from european countries to deal with this exact threat. but it is a significant problem
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and i agree that we should have, we do have this, in very large measure but should have a comprehensive overall strategy for dealing with it. we're doing a lot on my end. the fbi is doing a lot on their end to interdict those who are leaving this country, who are going to syria. but this is something that will be with us for a while. it also involves working with our friends and allies internationally, working with the government of turkey, for example. which is something i'm personally focused on at the moment. last thing i'll say, i read most of your report. i didn't get through all of it. i thought it was an excellent report. i complimented one of your staff on the elevator ride up here. i said you wrote a great report. >> by the way, that made his day. complimenting staffer. he appreciates that. so thank you. >> he pointed out to me, it wasn't me. it was members of congress so. >> and i appreciate that.
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>> i thought you would. >> can i add on to that, sir, one thing we can be sure, today's chronic zone is where we're so heavily focused on foreign terrorist fighters but we can be certain around the corner in future years another conflict zone where foreign fighters will be a problem and we confront as matter of national security. i think some of the very things your report highlighted, structures and capabilities putting in place to deal with this problem don't necessarily give us immediate relief. don't help us next montel you the flow of foreign fighters has been squashed or shut but i would argue importantly we're building capability that will bear out over time. similarly like what secretary johnson said, so much of the work on this problem is international work right now. i would say that there's a good news story embedded in this problem in that our foreign
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partners are much more, far more willing to share information on this problem than would have been in the case in 2006 or 7 when we were dealing with the foreign fighter terrorist problem at that time. the size of problem more larger and complex put array of resources we call on around the globe, countries you would never think we would be working are successfully exchanging information with foreign fighters. >> seems phenomenon of radicalization of isis and fighters over here going overseas to fight for them. that warrants an update in the whole threat terror travel analysis. mr. comey, i know you didn't have a chance to answer, i have a question that is different in nature given short period of time i have, i'm concerned about the joint terrorism task force and jtf f and stresses put on them. you have traditionally
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domesticked -- investigated domestic and international terrorism, with the jttf they don't discriminate what cases they look at. whatever comes across radar or international or domestic case gets high priority, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> my concern graft on top of that now whole new phenomenon stress on isis an foreign fighters coming back, expending all capital and resources to track them which is very difficult, as well as trying to find a needle in the haystack for those getting radicalized over internet. i want to make sure we get a good understanding. are the jttf being stressed beyond breaking point or are they okay or do they need more help? >> they're being stressed tremendously as i said earlier. they were very, very stressed in may, june, early july in particular but, given your career experience you know the kind of folks they are. they will just get the work done. what i want to make sure i do, if we have a new normal, that we
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get them plus up and resources they need. i'm not in the position yet where i will come back and ask for that. but it is something we watch very carefully. >> i understand working together with the state and local authorities is helping you to leverage that. i encourage what we can to keep that going. that is really important aspect of the puzzle. thank you very much. i yield back my time. >> the chair recognizes miss torres. >> thank you, mr. chairman. to fbi director comey, i want to thank you personally for the outreach that your l.a. office has done in my district. it was really important for me to insure that we have a face behind that phone number that we're supposed to be reporting issues of concern to. they have offered to do a follow-up with, in a more you know, law enforcement to law enforcement because we did have
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members of the community at that hearing. so thank you for that work. i, in your testimony we were talking about terrorist propaganda. and the outreach that these terrorist groups are doing through social media. i'm very concerned about their infiltration with our local gangs. we have placed a lot of attention, and i congratulate all of you on the work we're doing internationally. my concern is the mexican mafia. my concern is the white supremacist groups that have targeted african-american communities. i want to ensure and be on record we have doing everything we can to also follow-up on those issues. >> yes, congressman, thank you for that. those are an important part of the fbi work with local partners
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all day every day. the gangs you mentioned, extremists that you mentioned. the bureau was given resources after september 11th we could be great at both, international terrorist responsibilities and criminal responsibilities. >> earlier in your testimony you said due to sequestration you had to move people out of criminal investigations into, to do surveillance work for these potential terrorist folks that go dark. that is why i bring that out to you. >> thank you. around i echo what my colleague, secretary johnson, said about sequestration. one of the reasons we had to move those resources is we are trying to hire out of the hole that was left two years ago. we hired 2,000 people. we'll hire close to 3,000 this year. we're trying to dig out of the hole to get us people who can fill those slots. if we get hit again, i don't
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know what we'll do. >> what we first met last year i asked you specifically about insuring that you hire people that look like america and that we are targeting areas where we need certain languages and certain ethnic background to be represented at the fbi table. how is your progress been on that? >> it's probably too early to tell but we're devoting a tremendous amount of effort to that, to try to encourage people from all different backgrounds and walks of life to try to get into the fbi. not about lowering the standards. we don't need to lower the standards. we need people to give us a chance. the obstacle we face, one of my daughters said to me, dad, you're the man man. thank you. i don't mean that as compliment. irthe man. you have to change the way people think about it. the bureau is great place for people, whether latino,
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african-american, asian, men and women to work. it is a work in progress. i have eight years left so -- >> thank you. mr. rasmussen you talked about creation of community engagement groups. how do you intend to do that? who is the community, who are the community partners that you will be inciting to participate? -- inviting to participate. >> in my written remarks i highlighted work we're doing at nctc along secretary johnson's team andrx tore comey's team. i'll tell you though, in effort to dealing counter extremism here in the united states it ends up being separate and distinct conversation in almost every community. in each community we're working together, the community leadership looks different, the problem looks different, the set of actors who may have influence looks different and that's what makes it hard. i think we're doing good work in the area but it is hard to scale
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up, because there is no national level solution or single answer, if you touch this in los angeles it works in dallas or works in miami or -- >> that is why it is so important to engage local law enforcement and insure diversity is at the top of our priority. >> i agree completely. and again i wouldn't even suggest we are bringing a solution to those local communities. many cases we're bringing information which will hopefully empower communities which bring choices, changes, take steps necessary to deal with extremism in their midst. that is not a federal solution. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> the chair recognizes the mr. heard. >> mr. chairman and thanks to the distinguished panel for being here today. tell the men and women that work for you you will thank on behalf of us as well. i spent nine years as undercover officer for cia i was in the cia when 9/11 happened.
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if you ask me then there wouldn't be a major attack on our homeland for 14 years i would say y'all are crazy. we haven't had one because men and women in y'all's organizations are working as if it is september 12th every day and operational discipline and 10 nasty takes i recognize and understand that. my hats go off to them. great representing the 23rd congressional district of texas and great to represent men and women doing that. i represent over 820 miles of the border. so secretary johnson john here to report to you you have hard-working men and women in border patrol and customs along that border. i had awesome award three of them for congressional medal of valor. they went up and beyond during a flood. read like straight out of a movie, i see what these men and women are doing every day. one issue they do have, don't need to address it here but like
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to work with your staff and probably, is impacts the fbi as well, director comey, the rightsizing of the federal fleet. i think gsas requirement don't take into account the unique challenges that law enforcement have to deal with, nor folks on the border. so i look forward with working whoever in y'all's office is maybe on this issue and looking solving that problem with the gsa and secretary, johnson, interested in learning from your staff how you calculate got aways and welcome analysis of that from the correct folks, if that's okay. my first question to you, secretary johnson, is the cyber deal with china was recently announced, have we seen any impact that's having on attacks on our critical infrastructure from the chinese?
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>> i would say it's at this too early to make an informed assessment. one thing i will be looking to see is whether in our follow-up engagement i hope to have in december, we'll see real progress building on what we have agreed to on paper. and, so that to me will be a first indicator whether or not the chinese are taking seriously what they agreed to do when they were here in september. >> excellent. like you in your opening remarks, i hope the senate can send us a bill so that we can reconcile those differences and get something to the president to sign because cybersecurity is important. director comey, i appreciate your opening remarks. you're stressing that the bureau is not seeking any legislative issues regarding the going dark at that phenomenon or encryption. there is still perception out there among the private sector
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and privacy groups that the fbi is still looking for a back door or front door to encryption. we all know that is technically not able to do that. and if you allow the good guys to have access to the back door, then you're allowing the bad guys to have access to the back door. and my question though is, when you have groups like isis using social media tools to increase their effort, doesn't that also give us the opportunity to increase our targeting of these groups? >> thank you, congressman, with respect to your predicate, i honestly don't agree with your framing of it in terms of the encryption issue. i don't think there is a single it. there is complicated technical landscape. i resist the term back door. i know it dominates the conversation today but i don't know what the answer is. i see lots of companies who are able to provide secure services to their customers and they still comply with court orders. so people tell me it's
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impossible. i'm -- >> but here's my question though, a lot of folks, i've sat down an talked with these people, talked with people in your organization, about give me the youth cases in which the case actually went cold? even if you have people using a device, you may not get the plain text information but you do have the device, you do know that someone's using that. you do know the location of that device. so saying that you still kantar get terrorists that way and throwing certain companies under the bus by saying they're not cooperating, i don't think that is an accurate portrayal of what's really going on. >> i don't mean, i hope you didn't hear me to throw anybody under the bus. we're collecting, we'll get you hundreds and hundreds of cases, that doesn't -- everybody agrees logic of encryption that all of our work will be see rearly affecting by it. that isn't the end of conversation. the question is what can we do about it? we'll affect cases where it affects criminal work, intelligence work and national security work.
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i don't think that ends the conversation. >> i disagree little about with opening remarks there is conflict with our values. i don't think there is conflict with values. our civil liberties make our country great. we can protect civil liberties are and infrastructure and give us men and women working hard every single day in order to protect us in ever increasing environment. i am over my time. i look forward to working with you on the issue in the private sector. this is something we can solve. i yield back, chairman. >> the chair recognizes our first female combat pilot, miss martha mcsally. >> thank you for you and all the hard-working men and women in your organization. i was on the task force. i was proud to be on the task force and certainly very eye-opening an troubling but very important work for us to identify some of the challenges and loopholes we have which have been further discussed in your testimony today and look forward to working with you all to see how we can obviously close those loopholes an increase our
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security. i want to specifically talk about the recruitment of women and -- girls. we talked about 250 americans recruited, 2500 westerners. a lot of men are recruited to join the caliphate and fight but women and girls are being recruited to go every basically to be subjected to sexual slavery. very different dynamic. we heard reports that women and girls quite frankly can't leave in the same freedom as some of the men do. do any of you have comments about different dynamic there and different efforts we have in order to counter violent extremism and recruitment of women and girls? >> it's a very good question, and what we do know isil does prioritize to try to recruit and bring young women in the caliphate. they direct messaging to that community and adopt themes that they think will resonate with young women in western europe and even here in the united states. you will probably remember not
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too long ago "the new york times" ran a very disturbing on the front page that described in some very vivid details some horrific experiences young women have been put through by move together caliphate. i was heartened to see that kind of information was becoming public because it can only help to have that information exposed. but is "the new york times" will be vehicle that reaches young women and explains to them how at risk they are if they respond to this call or in the way that director comey describe in his opening remarks, the way they gravitate, the way they might choose to gravitate towards the positive ends of this message? i don't think "the new york times" will be the vehicle that helps us explain that and create that sense of awareness, it is not environment they're signing up for. >> right. >> congresswoman, i think a fundamental part of our cve efforts in this country is a message that has to be addressed to young women about the type of exploitation they could be
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subjected to if they go to these place. >> right. >> but i also believe it includes a message to their parents as well, family units. >> great, thanks. moving different topic, whether we have had a lot of discussion about vetting refugees. we identified in the task force some challenges with the visa waiver program and, you know just making sure again we're keeping the country safe. one of the elements, we had a demonstration out of the university of, in my district, university of arizona related to deessential -- deception, detection technology. in some of interviews we have had, you often could be wrong if someone is trying to deceive. . .
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the last thing is i ran a counterterrorism operations, less mature as i'm and we talked about foreign fighters and foreign fighters training, working with your organizations. we were watching thousands and thousands of terrorist being trained in al-shabaab training camps. we had the will but not the authority. we are all talking about isis but we do have aqap, al-shabaab, certainly with the challenges pulling our forces from yemen, limiting our intelligence, wanted some discussion so we are not all focus on isil.
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i know your organizations are not wha but i want to your assessments addressing those threats and are there any similar issues we don't have the will to be addressing those are what other challenges are you having with those threats? >> thank you for raising the issue because as you saw in my remarks i resist a little bit the gravitational pull this is isil is the sole focus of our counterterrorism effort right now. it is certainly as i said in my testimony the group has surpassed al-qaeda in terms of its prominence in leading a global jihad movement, but in terms of the threat we face, each of the groups you rattled off, congresswoman, very, very dangerous, lethal, and deserving of all of the resources and analysis we can bring to bear as a counterterrorism community. simply as a matter of workforce management i've had to resist the pull also to again search
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also to again surge analyst also to again search analyst in the direction of only working on isil related threats each other the rate of other places around the world where al-qaeda, al-qaeda affiliate groups and other extremist groups are potentially threatening us, so thank you for raising that. >> my time is expired but i look forward to following up with your organizations on those threats as well. thank you. >> the chair recognizes mr. radcliffe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank all the witnesses for all you do to keep america safe. i'd like to go back to the issue in a serious that displays millions of folks seeking refugee status around the world. it's a humanitarian concern for all of us. i am certainly sympathetic to the atrocities they are, like many of the members have mentioned i appreciate our countries profound and longtime commitment to providing a place of security to those fleeting disaster complex. that being said i did want to drill down a little bit on the president's announcement a month
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ago of a 600% expansion in the number of sudan refugees about into this country going from about 1600 a year to a figure of at least 10,000 at the president and i think sector that number today. so imagine concerns are certainly wanted we know that kind of you would all agree with me that the present action certainly raised some real security risks here at home. director comey, universally testified before the senate that while we do have a robust screening process easier i think you did acknowledge that the same time there are some information gaps in our databases we use to screen these individuals, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> i know you all agree it's also vitally important that we understand who is going into this country to the best of our
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ability, especially when we also know that isis has expressed an interest in an intent in using the refugee process to get in the united states. that's also a fact, isn't it, director? >> i think director rasmussen testified to that just a few minutes ago. >> so with that in mind, i think we all agree it's imperative that these decisions be made on a humanitarian basis but also with respect to national security in mind. each of you and your respective teams are full of extremely talented, capable, dedicated folks that can afford these decisions. so much fun at the extent to which the reader lives. was the figure announced by the president 10,000 the product of a thorough analysis why your respective agencies? i'll start with you, secretary. >> the announcement of 10,000 was a product of considerable interagency discussion. my department and uscis was
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certainly consoled in arriving at that number. and it is as i think he noted very definitely striking a balance between what we know we can accomplish with the resources we have and not shutting our eyes and our doors to what is really a horrible world of situation. and doing our part to try to alleviate it but yes, we were consulted. >> director comey? >> that's my understanding as well. there was an eight -- there was an interagency process run to the national security council, and the fbi was a participant in those conversations. >> same as well. >> terrific, thank you. director rasmussen, i want to talk to you a little bit, back in june we held a hearing at this committee called terrorism gone viral, and it really examined the terrorist attack in garland, texas, which is just outside of my district.
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and related to ice his use of the social media which is something we've all talked about a lot today. in our junior and i tried to get answers on the issue of -- june hearing -- wet places has been so skillful in this area relative to other foreign terrorist organizations. i asked about whether or not it was due to better funding or was it was certain individuals within that group. the responses i got were largely, the internet had really developed when al-qaeda was going, social media wasn't as pervasive and tell recently. but i think those responses ignored the fact that at present our terrorist organizations certainly exist but it appears that isis still remains uniquely skilled in this area. you gave some testimony recently in an exchange with senator
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johnson at the homeland security committee in the senate. i wanted to ask you a little bit about that. made it relates to, i know there were reports in september that isis social media activities seem to ramp down following the death of junaid hussain but i guess i want to know your opinion. is ice is unique in recruiting foreign fighters and aspiring lone wolf attackers? is that a part of some unique capabilities that they have? if not, are there other factors are what are the other factors that make isis so skillful in this area? >> i hesitate to use the word unique because the capabilities that the using to mobilize potential fighters or terrorists, those aren't necessarily things that can't be transferred or adopted by other groups going forward. i think the innovation that isil as an organization undertook that differentiated it from al-qaeda in a significantly was
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the isil chili dip aspired to be a mass movement, including the caliphate the id with apocalyptic caliphate with individuals from all around the world. al-qaeda traditionally, typically operated as a clandestine terrorist movement whereas vetting processes and letting individuals into the group was a very serious business. you to does the al-qaeda, i would argue they probably didn't have the tools to do this but they were not seeking to great a mass organization capable of controlling territory the way iraq, in iraq and see the isil has been i would hate to rule out though, i hesitate to run other terrorist organizations could not adopt the same kinds of skillful techniques that isil has. >> thank you. i yield back. >> i was just informed from members that director comey has a hard stop at 12:30 p.m., so just take it into consideration. the chair recognizes mr. donovan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my colleagues have articulated
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the incredible responsibility you all have ever taken our country from domestic homegrown radicalized individuals of people who are overseas, the want to attack our country, the fighting possible mass destruction and our country to loan wolves shooting at people who are worshiping in a church in the south. tremendous -- i just want to touch on something new has touched on yet and that's the possibility of nuclear devices. director comey, your agents have done a remarkable job in supporting smugglers from trying to get the isis with nuclear materials -- 40. i think there were four others or five others during the last few years. are we getting some assistance from some of the former soviet countries, russia, who also would be threatened by this?
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and whether the materials possibly wish should we be looking toward other than nuclear devices that certainly i know there other materials that could be harmful to our country. what other materials, people like isis or al-qaeda or other groups looking to use against our country? >> thank you, congressman. the answer is we get cooperation across the board on this. it does what ever people's political differences and couldn't understand the threat posed by radiological nuclear bio threats we've invested as a country and the fbi in particular in building relationships with our counterparts and a whole host of eastern european countries. the former soviet states of there. so that is a good news story. the challenge we all face, isil's mission is simply to kill a lot of people. they are not in love with any particular tool as long as it will kill people. we focus on devices themselves but also radiological materials that might be used to terrify
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people or to injure people long-term radiological illness. so there's a broad spectrum there. as i said earlier we have folks in the fbi and i know my partners here who wake up every day focused just on this because we see the threat as low probability, huge impact. >> thank you. my other fellow new yorker, secretary johnson, yesterday congress passed a bill of mine to authorize securing the cities, a pilot program your agencies are back in 2006, very successful in the new york/new jersey region, expanded, used in l.a., long beach energy. d.c. the effort that you're making there because lyric stand, do you have the resources to continue this success that that program in the future because it's been remarkably successful in our area where u.n. director comey and i come from, and the
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successes with her for my colleagues are just remarkable. [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, mr. rasmussen, if you're not from new york i'm not going to ask you a question. my time is up. thank you. i yield the floor rest of my time. >> the chair recognizes mr. richmond. >> first of all, let me thank the chairman and the ranking member, and thank the witnesses to do a very difficult time in a very difficult circumstances with ever-changing technology. i would hate to be in your job,
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but let me just ask, and i know there's a lot of talk about a number of issues, but i'm going to get a little local in my area because we do have the largest petrochemical footprint in the united states in my district. and we also have millions and millions of visitors that come. we also the largest port complex in the united states in my district. so as you all share intelligence and as you all go about protecting the homeland, how worried are you all about our port security, our chemical facilities security, our refinery security, and our ability to protect them? >> let me begin with that. new orleans is a confluence of
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things that we in homeland to get are concerned about. as you have laid out in your question, congressman. and so it is rightly on our radar. given the nature of the threat we face, it's difficult to rank with any real degree of certainty where we should focus on and what we should not focus on. for example, i think all of us would agree that prior to this summer we didn't have any particular reason to put chattanooga, tennessee, high on anybody's list. and so given the range of threats we face we have to be vigilant in a bunch of different places, but certainly port security, maritime security, and the other things that converge in new orleans are areas where i know many aspects of our department are focused in.
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>> mr. cummings -- director comey? >> i don't think of anything to add. because with a lot of folks working in your district, it's a big focus of our work. we do face a large array of threats but we tried to focus resources on the big attraction towards terrorist activity to try to make it harder fo for the get a big piece of that is focusing on port, tourist locations and travel locations. >> let's spend a quick second talking about the encryption and the back door. and i guess my question, and i guess it's a technical question, that if our tech companies create the back door, are the over-the-counter things that would allow people to encrypted or are you a pretty confident that you can access the data through any over the counter
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encryption? >> thank you for the commission to assess the to congressman heard earlier, i this is the term doctor because most i don't understand what it means. what we are looking for is a world in which, ideally, when judges issue court orders to search a device or to intercept medications can companies are able to comply with it. today lots of the most sophisticated internet service providers are able to comply. they are systems, known as tony, are fatally insecure. some of the biggest e-mail providers in the world based in the united states comply with our court orders. i don't think the problem is one of technology. i think it's one of business model. lots of companies have said we will never do this with a government. that's the problem with to figure out how to solve. it is the bad news. commercial available encryption, strong encryption, we cannot break it to find ourselves getting court orders from judges. we make a showing of probable cause. the judge gives us permission to
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we can't decrypt the data so we're out of luck swept to figure out a way to try to make that in case, a kidnapping case or the terrorism case. >> i see my time is expired. i yield back. >> mr. barletta? >> thank you, mr. chairman. this morning for daily call reported the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia has indicted two senior now sal managers -- nasa -- at the research center for willfully violating national security regulations while allowing a visiting chinese for national to gain complete and unrestricted access to the center. if this wasn't probably enough, the article reports that in the wake of this case involving alleged espionage by a chinese national, and now foreigners have more, not less access, to nasa operations at present.
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before the case, all foreign nationals including green card holders could be monitored and restricted, but now green card holders are treated like u.s. citizens with unrestricted access to all parts of the space research facility. it quotes a senior nasa official as saying, and i quote, if you have a green card, your allegiance may still be to china, but the green card dequeue legal authority to work in the united states. therefore, we don't track them. they don't have any restrictions to transfer technology control plans. they are given access to the same exact way as a u.s. citizen because they have the green card. first i'd like to commend director comey and the fbi for the role in pursuing this case over the last several years. but second i'd like to ask the panel whether this is common
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practice that non-u.s. citizens holding green card but with sworn allegiance to other countries have the same access and privileges as a u.s. citizen that now so centers and other facilities that may be of interest -- nasa -- to foreign intelligence services, and if so, why? >> i'm sure that nick and jim have their own answers to this. i want to say, i haven't read the particular article that you are referring to. i've been in countless places in government buildings, sensitive areas what the sign says u.s. citizens only. who obvious have the requisite security clearanceclearance s. i can't tell you the number of places were i see that. it's fairly common to i don't know about a particular circumstance that you are referring to, but i would be happy to defer to my friends.
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>> because of the cases been unlikely to comment on the case. i thank you for the kind words about our folks who worked hard on the. i think the issue you're talking about with the nasa it's about access i foreigners to unclassified information. at secretary johnson said there's a whole regime that's very tight around what access borders might get to classified information. i think the issue is when green card holders want around a space that's not classified, what of america's information can they seek was on her for a much more enough on issue right into talking about it in this form but is something we have to get smarter about. >> with respect to my organization we operate in a highly classified environment, entity for national or non-security clearance holding individual would be required to be strictly escorted around our facility. again, as in any place in the
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intelligence committee. >> should look at changing security laws and access by green card holders to bolster defense out these federal facilities, or are you satisfied with what we have in place a? >> i will answer with another that i don't know. again, with respect to access to unclassified information i don't know enough about the issues in your to offer you a few on it. >> i would have to give the same answer. >> again, because i have read only in the classified space, so it's difficult to answer in the unclassified. >> i would like to thank all of you for your testimony today. it was very helpful. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i guess i'm bringing up the rear and for civil thank you all for which we can to protect america. very difficult time we live in. it seems like every committee, and i apologize i was there for all of the questioning. i listened to your statements,
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but another committee hearing dealing with vulnerabilities of our power grid. it seems like most of the committees i am on is something dealing with security. the question, i want to go back to the refugee situation. i apologize if i'm redundant on some of the questions. i don't think they've been asked at the concert i have, yes, we are a very humankind nation. our priority is securing this nation and the people of this nation. i've read reports that of the syrian refugees 72% of them are young males while 20% are women and children under the age of 11. the question i have for whoever has the information, the to your knowledge is that true? and if it's not what is the breakdown? and if it is why is there such a disparity? >> congressman, i don't recall what the percentage breakdown is. i've heard a number but i don't recall what it is.
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i don't know the accuracy of act 72-28% number but we can certainly get you what we know to be the case. >> i'm in the same position. >> it is very concerning to me with that response that we are considering bringing in refugees and we don't know what the breakdown of the percentage of these -- >> well, sitting to i don't know. it is a piece of data that we have. i just don't know what sitting here right now. >> i appreciate the candor there. how are we going to monitor these folks? i've also read reports that al-qaeda, isis have also said their intention is to exploit the refugee crisis and use that to infiltrate operatives into various countries. how are they going to monitor these folks? do we have plans going forward? >> congressman, as we discussed previously, there is that concern.
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we know that organizations such as isil might like to try to exploit this program, and it is for that reason that while we are going to do wha well with committed to do for humanitarian reasons, you know, this is a worldwide crisis. we are talking about 10,000 people. uncommitted we do it carefully and we vet these people as carefully as we can. -- i'm committed pashtun we live in a world where one that is the equivalent of 10,000 successes. i think we're all committed with the improved process we have do the best we can do literally as we can with regard to each individual applicant for refugee status here. >> do we have the resources? on we already stretched thin? are they going to be adding so much more like going through this process? >> we are very busy. our overall commitment in fy '15
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was 75,000 worldwide. next year, this year, we've committed to taking in a little more, 85, 10,000 of which will be serious. the drug of uscis has developed a plan, along with the state department, to make sure we have adequate resources to vet these people. >> last question and i yield back i know we all have other things we need to be doing this is very critical. do we have a system of prioritization? like, we know certain religious groups, christians for example, are the most at risk in some of these areas. are going to prioritize those that are greatest at risk to allow them in? i've read reports that some of the christian syrian refugees are having a difficult time coming to the u.s. and some other countries. is that true speak with i'd have
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to get back to you and taken for the record. >> okay. i appreciate that. again thank you for what you're doing. greatly concerned over where we are going with the refugee crisis. and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> if i could just add to that. it's unfortunate the gulf states have not agreed to take one syrian refugee. they are sunni arabs, and those are sunni arab populations. they certainly have the wherewithal. in closing let me just say thank you to all three of you. and to the men and women in your organizations who, every day, wake up to protect americans from the threats that we face. and i think you've done an extraordinary job stopping so many of these threats, many that we know about and some, many, that the american people don't know about. the challenges are enormous and the threats are grave, but on
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behalf of the congress let me just say thank you again for what you do day in and day out. with that, this committee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> c-span presents "landmark cases," the book, a guide to arleigh burke cases series which explores 12 historic supreme court decisions including marbury v. madison, korematsu versus united states, brown versus the board of education, miranda versus arizona and roe v. wade. "landmark cases" the book features introductions, background highlights and the impact that each case. "landmark cases" is available for $8.95 plus shipping to get your copy today at
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c-span.org/landmarkcases. >> c-span has your coverage of the road to the white house 2016 where you will find the candidates, the speeches, the debates, and most importantly your questions. this year we're taking our road to the white house coverage into classrooms across the country with our studentcam competition giving students the opportunity to discuss what important issues they want to be the most from the candidates. policy spent studentcam competition and go to the white house coverage 2016 on tv, radio and online at c-span.org. >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel in to start the day. more work as expected on a cybersecurity information sharing bill. votes on the measure expected at around 11 a.m. eastern. also on the agenda a number of
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executive and ambassadorial nomination. we expect votes on those as well. hillary clinton is testifying this morning at a house in gaza committee. you can see live coverage on c-span3. and now live to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by reverend kathryn pocalyko, pastor of the lutheran church of our savior in north chesterfield, virginia. the guest chaplain: let us pray. o god most mighty, o god most merciful, o god our strength and our song, you call these leaders to

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