tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 6, 2016 8:00pm-12:01am EDT
mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i know of no further debate on the motion to proceed. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, the question is on the motion to proceed. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 55, h.r. 636, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to permanently extend increased expensing limitations and for other purposes. mr. thune: mr. president, i call up substitute amendment number 3464. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
the clerk: the senator from south dakota, mr. thune, proposes an amendment numbered 3464. strike all after -- mr. thune: i ask consent that the reading be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent that the next amendments in order be the following and that it be in order to call them up and considered offered in the order listed -- gardner, 3460; thune, 3512; heinrich, 3482, as modified; thune, 3462; schumer, 3483; thune, 3463; cantwell, 3490. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. thune: i call up the gardner amendment number 3460. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from south dakota, mr. thune, for mrn amendment numbered 3462, amendment numbered 3464. mr. thune: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. thune: i call up amendment number 3512. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from south dakota, mr. thune, proposes amendment numbered 3512 to amendment numbered 3464. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 387, senate bill 1638. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 387, s. 1638, a bill to direct the secretary of homeland security to submit to congress on the department of homeland security headquarters consolidation project in the national capital region, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask consent that the committee-reported amendments be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed
and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 390, senate bill 1492. the clerk: calendar number 390, s. 1492, a bill to direct the administrator of general services on behalf of the archivist of the united states to convey certain federal property, and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask consent that the committee-reported substitute be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of senate resolution 415 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 415, congratulating the 2016 national champions, the villanova wildcats, for their win in the 2016 national collegiate athletic association
division one men's basketball tournament. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i further ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. thursday, april 7. following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 636. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, for the information of all senators, we expect votes on pending amendments to the f.a.a. bill during tomorrow's session of the senate and will notify offices when they are scheduled. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until
keeping those two narratives straits was quite tricky for a while. >> sunday night, q&a. boston college law school discusses her book, medicine fan. it takes a critical look at the notes madison road during and after the constitution of 1787. >> he took the sheets of paper and he writes on the front, across the middle and on the two pages across the backside. at some point he sold all of these little pieces of paper together into manuscript. one of the things we noticed when we're down there is the last quarter of the manuscript, the holes that he had found did not match with the earlier ones. this confirmed my suspicion at the very end of the manuscript had been written later. you cannot see that on the microfilm. it was it was a really wonderful thing to see that in person. >> sunday night on eight eastern on c-span's q&a.
>> our c-span campaign 2016 bus continues to make stops around the country visiting winners from this years student's student cam competition. recently we visited the metropolitan arts in unix arizona to give prizes to the kids. catherine minard and christian pain one second prize for their book on gender wage. then our campaign 2016 bus stop in los angeles for ceremony at their prizewinner, to present winners with those awards. c-span extends thanks to our partners for their help in coordinating our student cam business in their community. every weekday on c-span be sure to watch the top 21 winning entries at 6:50 a.m. eastern, at
the "washington journal". >> tsa administrator testified at a senate hearing about how to defend transportation systems from the kind of terrorist attacks that hit terrace and brussels. this hour and 20 minute meeting was held and begins with committee chair senator, johnson. >> will get the hearing underway and will be joined momentarily by senator nelson, let me start by welcoming the administrator here today, thank you so much for taken time for us. march 20 second, terrorist associated with ices detonated three bombs and brussels, two at an airport
and one in a busy metro car. thirty-five people, including four americans were killed. the victims of these attacks remain in our thoughts and prayers. the threat from isis, al qaeda, and their sympathizers is real, we must ensure sound policies are in place to enhance security and prevent these deadly attacks. the hearing will focus on the efforts of the transportation security administration to secure service transportation modes. in light of the attacks and brussels, however we will address related challenges safeguarding the areas of airports outside passenger screening checkpoints. administrator, i understand that you are by chance and the brussels airport at the time of the attacks, i hope that you will share your thoughts on the horrific events there and how we can prevent and prepare for similar threats. i understand your written testimony focuses on rail transit, pipeline security but i hope you'll share additional information on how we can improve airport security. the tsa must learn from past attacks and look forward to new and emerging threats.
sadly, it is clear that terrace associated with al qaeda and isis identify passenger rail and transit systems as soft targets. it's critical not to neglect these vital parts of the transportation system. we need to look for ways to improve security. understandably these open systems cannot be secured in the same way that our aviation network. nevertheless, some of the techniques we utilize in the aviation network apply to service assets, as well as area of the airports on the street side of the checkpoint. our best tool in combating terrorist attack continues to be good intelligence. tsa has adopted a multilayer process to identify threats. former administrator john pistol strongly promoted the risk-based allocation of tsa's resources. i look forward to hearing from the administrators today on his risk-based analysis of threats. tsa cannot and should not be at every bus stop or every train station.
they must leverage their relationship with state and local officials and address the most significant threats. visible security efforts can also make a difference. explosives, canines and police presence can deter threats and activities. tsa supported programs is invaluable. i like to hear more about how these teams are allocated among airports and other transportation systems. tsa is also charged with protecting transportation networks including ports, railroads, and pipeline infrastructure. these networks. these networks are crucial components of our nation's economy. tsa receives high marks from railroad and pipeline operators who work with the agency to identify and mitigate threats. public-private security partnerships between agency and operators have been invaluable in hardening these networks. on the aviation front, ranking nelson and i have been looking at problems airports have had in successfully managing security credentials. this oversight led led the committee to brew bipartisan legislation, the
airport security and enhancement act to heighten that in airport workers. unfortunately, the the current system such individuals are not captured. some of the perpetrators and deadly attacks on brussels are previously known to authorities as criminals. u.s. terrorism experts believe isis is recruiting criminals to join ranks in europe. as we work to address the threat of an aviation insider helping terrorists, criminals who break laws for financial gains and those with history of violence are good place to start. ensuring that airport workers with security credentials are trustworthy are especially important considering isis affiliated is believed to have killed the two to four people on a russian passenger plane with the help of an airport employee. the committee is also improved legislation 2043 which would
help expand participation of the tsa project application program by developing private sector partnerships and capabilities. as a result, more vetted passengers will receive expedited airport screening which will get passengers through checkpoint screening quickly and ensure they do not pose a easy target that isis suicide bombers exploited. probably both of these measures can and should advance in the full senate this week. administrator, thank you for being here today. we need strong leadership and decisive action to it attack this terrorist threat. you're faced with the challenge of getting it right every time when the terrace just needs one opportunity. i look for to hearing from you about how tsa is working to meet that challenge. i would like to recognize art ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. in the last ten years, right
after 911, 1900 attacks were carried out against transit systems around the world resulting in 4000 deaths and 14000 injuries. in aviation, almost 15 years after 911, terrorists are still finding those of vulnerabilities which the chairman has noted. we have two types of vulnerabilities before us, we have the vulnerability of the perimeter of the airport which was addressed and legislation passed last year sponsored by the two members at the front of the dais. airport security perimeter that allows the injection airport
because of the airport employee to sneak a bomb on. same thing with the gun running scheme in atlanta two years ago, that unbelievably over three months, 153 firearms were smuggled onto 17 flights. that was in december, the last quarter of 2014. so we address that and in this committee and the airport security enhancement and oversight act of 2015. hopefully that is going to be attached to the faa bill. now we have this additional security problem.
that is, where passengers are bunched up in a soft area like the lines it going through tsa, like the crowded lines at an airport check-in counter, like the lines in a bus or train station where people are all huddled up trying to get through the security. in 2016, less than 2% of tsa's a total budget and full-time employees are dedicated to protecting surface transportation networks, the bus, the trains, et cetera. while we have yet to suffer a recent attack on a mass transit system in the u.s., brussels is
just another reminder of what they did in the transit station there. so, tsa tsa can take immediate action by completing the recommendation of the 911 commission which were enacted into law in 2007. additionally, we have an opportunity to improve the law coming up in this current faa bill with regard to the soft targets outside of the security perimeter. so, it it is time to re-examine our transportation security strategy and refocus our efforts. mr. administrator we thank you for being here today and we look forward to it. >> thank you senator nelson. administrator, thank you for being here and we look forward to hearing your opening remarks
and we will look forward to asking you some questions. please proceed. >> thank you. good morning chairman thing, ranking member nelson, distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the tsa's critical mission to ensure tsa's critical mission to ensure security of our nation's transportation system. first, let me in my condolences and those to all the tsa to the victims of the brussel attack. as you noise at the brussel airport at the day of the bombing. i was there for a meeting for the number of european counterparts and where they're just as the bombs detonated. being being there at that day, seeing the devastation, seeing the chaos of airport environments and the evil behind it was a stark stark reminder of the importance of the work that we do at tsa every day to
protect travelers. i have been on the job for nine months. when i arrived i was confronted with the disturbing results of the inspector general's testing in about an organization and crisis. what i also found was an organization of nearly 50,000 dedicated professionals nearly 50000 dedicated professionals who are dedicated to our national security mission. it was clear to me that what we needed to tackle what was wrong, the ingredients and commit work were there to evolve what was right. we have come a long way in a short time. we have determined root causes of the testing failures, we have retrained our workforce, we have established the first ever full-time tsa academy, we have begun a deep examination of processes and practices across the agency. there are challenges we must continue to address both immediate and longer-term, i can assure you that we are focused on our counterterrorism mission and committed to delivering excellence in every aspect of what we do. as as a member of a much larger terrorism counterterrorism network we work on deterring and detecting potential enemies.
we screen on average 2,000,000 passengers each day at nearly 440 airports. to improve we are investing heavily in our workforce, all of our people are being trained with a better understanding of why we do what we do and the nature of the threats that we face. we have shifted our focus to security effectiveness and institute a comprehensive at that new tsa academy at the federal law forcing training center in georgia. the academy has held the connection to our mission, and hence were out, ensure our employees understand their role in fighting terrorism. recent attacks remind us that terrorist organizations remain committed to attacking the global transportation system. at present we have no specific, credible intelligence to conduct similar attack in the united states but we must remain vigilant. the events highlight the apart work we do with national partners to mitigate the departure airports, to inspect and assess compliance with international standards, to build international capacity in securing cargo flights to the united states. the attack in brussels highlighted to address security beyond airport checkpoints.
that's where shared responsibility with partners make a difference when we work federal, state, and tribal and tribal partners to provide law enforcement presence route airports and service transportation hubs across the nation. the resources of, say disease have thousands of officers help secure our transportation network. our law-enforcement officer reimbursement program provides approximately $45 million each year to law-enforcement agency for enhanced law-enforcement presence. we also deploy visible, intermodal prevention and response or viper teams of integrated tsa local law-enforcement specialist to patrol public areas to provide visible deterrence and response capability. we are focused on the insider threat posed by authorities, in collaboration with stakeholders including the aviation security advisory committee, we have taken a number of actions to enhance security including requiring enhance a criminal history record checks of aviation workers, looking at the
fbi's capability which provides continuous background checks in conducting a nationwide vulnerability assessment, airport by airport to create a dictation that every employee should be stopped, could stopped, could be stopped and inspected every day. securing surface transportation system is a complex understanding that needs understanding. we we support the owners and operators, development of security programs to address risks, exercise to improve ready nice and the implementation of the security programs. they in turn invest millions of their funds to maintain and enhance the system security. recent attacks remind us that the threat to transportation is very real, that our work to ensure freedom to protect our nation is never done. while challenges remain i can confidently and without reservation tell you that we had tsa are on the job and intensely focused on protecting the public. i will end with a note about december travel. the good news at the strong
economy means more people are traveling. the places enormous pressure on a transportation system. in my written testimony my communication we have identified the immediate steps we are taken to hire, train, and field additional frontline workforce and to collaborate with the airlines and airports to address the expected high volume of travel this summer. two key points, travel security comes first and we cannot compromise on protecting travelers. to, there will be longer weights during peak periods and travelers need to be prepared. we'll continue to identify ways to immediately improve efficiency without compromising security. thank you again for your continued support for the tsa and for the men and women on tsa's frontlines. i look for to your questions. >> think administrator. as you mentioned, of course you are there the brussel attack was directed at aviation infrastructure but it was not just an attack on that, it was also the metro cars that we
mention between stations which killed 13 people, injured a lot more. rail and transit are very open systems, much like the non- sterile areas of airports and could easily be perceived as soft targets. what have you, or how have you communicated with service transportation operators about the potential for a brussels like attack on a u.s. transportation system, do you believe the transit systems and passenger railroads in particular are prepared for an attack like the tragic events of brussels? >> mr. chairman, thank you for the question. that's. that's a question that is been on everybody's mind, certainly since the brussel attack. i will tell you it has been on our mind for long time. it's one of the fundamental questions that we vest ourselves across the service transportation world for quite a number of years. i will tell you that there is a, starts really with good intelligence and as you know from the briefing that we gave this committee earlier this month there is an extensive
network of intelligence folks focused on the transportation threats on all modes of transportation. it really begins with assessment of what we think the current threats are. who the potential groups are that would deliver those threats, more importantly who the individuals are that might be moving through the system that might provide a particular threat. the next step is to identify the vulnerabilities across a system and we work closely with our partners across the system. i spent time spent time over the nine months i've been on board meeting with transit police chiefs and authorities directors to look at the type of systems we have in place. i've been encouraged by what i see. there's an extensive network of law-enforcement professional and security professionals across the system that leverage the investment that we make from tsa to establish a high-level security standards across the system, and awareness of what is going on. a great deal of shared
intelligence and a lot of sharing of best practices. we help facilitate many of the groups and teams that get together to do that. so while any open system is by definition at risk, i think there's a great deal be done to ensure that we reduce that risk and we understand how that risk might extend itself. >> this is a follow-up to that. less than 2% of the presidents budget request for tsa was directed to the security of the surface transportation. i know we all understand the threats to the aviation sector are very real, as a follow-up do you believe in terms of the resource allocation that tsa is doing enough to secure this security of passengers. >> i think we've been able to leverage thousands of professionals across the country. we have some superb local and state law-enforcement entities
doing work in that sector. weathers the amtrak police, police, the new york city transit police and so forth. there more than i can mention. we have done that. i think if you are asking an operator if we can put more resources to use, yes i would but what i would do is put them to use in support of those entities that are doing really good efforts out there. we coordinate with with them, we integrate our teams with their teams, and we work to increase our ability to understand what might be happening out there. and to share that information in a way that allows us to deploy resources most effectively. >> yesterday homeland security, secretary johnson endorsed a new proposal by senate democrats that doubled the number of visible intermodal prevention and response, or viper teams nationwide. from 30 to 60. by contrast, the presidents
called for two viper teams to be a lemonade. in the written testimony you that the viper program which operates at aviation service transportation venues is updated the concept of operations to focus on risk-based deployment. the question is, have the events of the last two months, since the budget released commits the administration that doubling of the viper program is needed to address current threats? >> i appreciate the attention that congress is giving to tsa resources, i will tell you this that if i were to receive more viper teams i'll be able to put them to use and i would put them to use across the transportation system. i would be able to deploy them more effectively with our partners in the service world and would to play them to public areas of our aviation environment. >> let me just ask one last question here. in the past year and a half we have seen repeated abuses of
airport site a badges that grant airport workers access to secure areas of the airport. these are badges used by airport and airline workers to bypass screening checkpoints and in this case facilitate criminal activities like gun and drug smuggling. these incidents have raised a lot of questions about whether airports are vulnerable to an insider threats. as i mentioned earlier in response along with our committee members, senator nelson and others have introduced the airport security enhancement oversight actiq help counter some of these aviation insider threats by improving the vetting, credentialing and inspection of airport workers. do you think it is important to update and expand the criminal background checks and random inspections of airport workers that of access to the secure areas of airports? >> mr. chairman, think of for the question. that has been a big concern over the time that i have been here. as i came in it has been on the
heels of the incident in atlanta and some other concerns. as you noted in the opening statement we have had some of the same concerns with respect to the attacks overseas. i'm very pleased and happy that congress is given us the support they have. i think you're right to focus on that. the additional access -- i know this committee was very supportive and that's made a difference for us in terms of vetting. i'd like like to see us fully implement the fbi wrap back program by the end of the fiscal year so we can do continuous criminal vetting. anything that we can do to tighten the oversight of the insider population to verify their trusted status is worth doing. >> thank you. senator nelson. >> mr. chairman, i want to thank the opportunity to particularly tell her democratic members of the committee that apparently we just received word that there
has been an agreement on the tax issue, and therefore if that is true, when we get to the floor and 35 minutes it looks like we are going to be able to proceed without that controversy that previously we had known about. we we ought to be able to get to on the bill. i want to just piggyback on a couple of the points raised by the chairman. the gun running scheme showed tremendous vulnerability, especially 300 airports in the country and low and behold, only only two up to that point, only to had done a perimeter security where they had reduced to a handful the number of entry
points and have the adequate checking of the badges to make sure the airport employee was who they said they were, as well as checking in one of the machines the stuff that they brought in. things that were not done in atlanta that allowed over 100 guns to be transported into the airport then the employee goes up into the sterile area and transfers the weapon to a passenger. atlanta has now complied, what about the rest of the 297 airports nationwide? >> i had exactly the same question. it was a wake-up call as you
noticed they put a lot of measures in place,. >> what about the other 297. >> earlier this year i ordered a detailed vulnerability test across the entire system for those other airports that you mentioned. that assessment, the the results of that assessment are coming in this month. the purpose of that assessment is to answer that very specific question. first and foremost, what have you done, but what what is the nature of your insider population? the answer is, there has been a lot of movement in terms of reducing security access points across the system, there's been a lot of movement to greatly enhance the oversight of that insider population both by tsa as well as by the employers. a lot of movement. what i'm going to have to provide you in the report is once we evaluate all of these are in, then that is going to drive us to add requirements to
the aviation security airport security plan for each of those airports to take the best practices where finding from miami, from orlando, from atlanta and to drive those into the other airports across the country. i was concerned that we had not had a lot of specifics on that. >> the best practices are obvious. you have to check the airport employees. so is your testimony today that nothing has been done? >> no sir, that, that is not my testimony. we are checking to tsa itself has increased the number of the inspection of the place by fivefold just in the last five months. we do that ourselves. >> you don't have enough resources. you have to get the airports to do it. >> and they are doing that, airport by airport. >> will give us the report. >> that's coming your way. i wanted to give you good specifics from the
vulnerabilities system that we conducted so i could give you specific answers airport by airport to exactly the question you're asking. those are all do this week as the deadline for getting those inches will compile them and get it to the committee. >> why haven't that been done in time to report to this committee? that was such an obvious question that you are going to be asked westmark. >> i think the answer i would have that is i did not have, i felt adequate specifics to satisfy this committee on the specific measure taken. that is why we went back and i ordered a very specific vulnerability assessment airport by airport. it was done on a very short timeframe, timeframe, was done in conjunction with the recommendation for the security advisory committee. it was done in a way that ensured that i could give very specific answers and more importantly to give very specific direction. that said, we have greatly enhance the oversight and airports have greatly enhanced server-side already. i want to know exactly where it
has been so that we can ensure consistency across the entire system. >> mr. administrator, you have a sterile, sterling reputation. it's not sterile, it's sterling. you have a sterling reputation. that's an insufficient answer in a problem that has been begging now for two years and the only person that is going to get the airports off their duff to limit the access into their airports is going to be you and your administration. i realize that you can say that you have a specific jurisdiction of requiring security checks on who is going on the plane, but what about the stuff that may be going on the plane which is
getting at the same thing. therefore, you you have to go to a different perimeter. >> we do that. i'm sorry five given the impression that nothing is happening, that's not at all true. there greatly enhanced our oversight of cargo screenings, the catering facilities, there quite a few measures that have been put in place. i'll provide a specific outline of those for the record. it is oversight of the caterers, the catering facilities, in which they inspect the catering cards, the cargo, the multiple steps which we are now inspecting cargo which had not been done before. the amount of security perimeter checks that were not done before, the reduction, the reduction in the security perimeter entrances into each of those airports there are covered by the airport security plan. what i have been done is i
wanted to give a very specific detail of that to you airport by airport. i went back and asked for much more detail so that i can outline it specifically in the move that into the required security plan is officially directed way. >> okay, i will just will just close mr. chairman by saying this. it is pretty simple. you lessen the number of entry points, like atlanta had over 100, down to a handful. you check the employees going through. you cannot do that just as tsa. you you have to get the airport to do that and that is the report that we want to know in our oversight capacity. how many airports of the 300 following the lead of miami, which did it ten years ago, have done this so that something like egypt and the russian airliner
doesn't happen here. thank you. >> think senator nelson. i cannot agree more. i think it points out the need for senate bill 20 2631. which i hope we can move. as you can tell we screen passengers getting on planes but there so many examples of airport workers with badges that are committed criminal acts. this is an area that we have to shore up. >> think a chairman. i too want to add to that i hope with the faa reauthorization on the floor that we will get the airport security eight enhancement and oversight act, perhaps added to that because i think it makes a lot of sense to do that in light of some of the concerns we have in this committee and the broad support on this committee for that bill. i wanted to follow-up on this issue as well, on the angle of we know that one of the things
that came to light that was of deep concern as we thought about the airport workforce was that there were 73 individuals that the inspector general had identified with reported some ties to terrorism or issues of concern. as a result of that we learned that in fact, tsa was was not getting access to the real-time information from the terrorists identity data to help inform your vetting of these employees that were having access to the airport. so i wanted wanted to get an update on where we are in terms of you getting access to the information that you need, not only as senator nelson has identified the materials that are being brought to make sure people are inspected but what information you have access to
that you know about these individuals who have access to the airport that your average person does not have obviously. >> think you for the question. as i noted earlier, this committee was very supportive and asking for that access. i'm pleased pleased to report that we now have access to all of the categories we need to ensure we are vetting people continuously against those categories. that brought us to more effectively screen the credentialed population on a daily basis. >> so that is going smooth smoothly? >> it is. >> i'm glad to hear that. i wanted to ask about a bill that congress passed in decemben the homeland security committee and this bill was one that supported the transportation committee, this is legislation
that required tsa to implement best practices and improve transparency with regard to technology acquisition program. there have have been a number of difficulties, challenges, and fill programs that have not come to fruition that prompted congress to pass this bill. so i wanted to get an update on where you were in terms of greater accountability on tsa's acquisition practices as well today. >> that is of particular interest of mine as well. when i came in, and i had dealt with acquisition reform in the coast guard before coming to tsa. so i wanted to pay particular attention to the way we conducted acquisition. one of the first things i did when when i came on board last july was task the defense acquisition university to come in and do and talk about a review of her acquisition program in the way in which we conduct them. particularly for any gaps or process improvements we can make. they provided that report to me, it took about four to half months to do that. i'm very pleased with that
report. we are now comparing those requirements against the requirement of the acquisition format and make a process improvements as we go. what i would like to do, i've a report that we are compiling now for the committee that will show the steps that we can take that will genetically improve our accountability, our oversight, as well as the ability to feel capability when we needed. >> obviously that is the key because a lot of the work before was not fielding capabilities. >> that's my biggest concern. >> and spending dollars with no result. i would love for us to receive that report so that we can understand where we stand with it and what further action we can support you on to really improve the acquisition process because that is critical in carrying out your mission and making sure that we have everything functioning with our security system. i also want to ask about the manage inclusion issue. as i understand it and i'm pleased this is happening that
you discontinuing managing clues into, which is very smart and logical in light of the purpose of your agency and security concern. i just wanted wanted to follow up that the act that was being used, that certainly came under some criticism was an app that i understand, this app essentially was some really some really poor centers 1,400,000 dollars for using it. assuming you do not need this app anymore now that you discontinued the manage inclusion. >> we are not using that app. >> was that one of those that would be an example where they be we should not have purchased that? >> i look at that in there is a
lot more involved in that contract. it was an ibm contract from 2013. that cover the 1.4 million covered components or things. the actual app was significantly less cost of that somewhere in the thousands. >> you didn't need that. >> it is not nap that were using anymore. what i will tell you is that we have great concern over the way in which we are spending our contracting dollars on the way were spending our acquisition money. it's why did a complete review of the program. i think we can build more controls and more process improvements into it so i can get capability into it at the lowest cost of the taxpayer that produces things we really need. >> good. i appreciate your focus on this. to me it's critical as we think about the things we do need to do at our airports that require resources and so not to waste resources on things that we do not need thank you. >> ..
we know that as a border state. my point is we are the fastest-growing great -- growth rate in the country with 13 percent so we have had a map which was handling 19 million passengers last year we had 42 million passengers. we have a problem so my first question is will you allow for localized training for this requirement of the officer trading systems where in georgia but you have allowed other airports to do regional trading?
with cruise ships that greatly impact the northwest. and did to get that cantwell collins bill and i am fully supportive but what else do we need to do? and to have those machine capabilities. can i would assume with the role of the coast guard that dogs have played a significant role. do you think but i do have
concerns about this you do the coalition of constant input and then to focus on those first questions. >> we are going to do local trading. so we will address that but to be very challenging summer season with as many new hires as we can into the system to ensure we're working as much as we can so that is working with the airlines. >> 84 that. >> and with that capacity of the trading centers in
seconds with respect to seattle i will be out there next week meeting with the airport director and local officials as well to let get the issues are have been trying to do this with each of the major airports around the country. with people trading and technology by interested the way we do acquisitions i think there are things we can do to make sure that happens a retreating i want to build up that academy out to. >> are you for more list sharing and machines sharing? >> yes ma'am. >> this is what the committees to spend a lot of time on. thank you. >> good points.
, may have spent a lot of time and money in energy focusing on aviation and airports and i am not critical of that whatsoever but there is a gaping hole in our security to do with foreign repair stations. i have been talking about this since 2007 congress wanted tsa to do security rules but we got a rule but with this jurisdiction faa should be certified the safety of the repair stations you were supposed to certify and oversee the security of the for repair station most americans don't know every domestic played is overhauled and cared for in a prepared for a repair
stations including in countries that are listed by the state department that can be a haven for terrorists. in shared dash hearing there is no parameters there is no alcohol and drug to patients that -- just get for repair stations. but if you take those jobs overseas that all of a sudden i am grateful there has not been an incident. but i cannot imagine why your agency, i know you have not been there but i cannot imagine why there would not
be back projects of people working in countries like egypt on airplanes butterflying american passengers around the world. >> tavis -- recently spoke and they had the meeting in the last couple of months all the credentials they are vetted by us every day against the criminals databases. head to look all of the people of interest. >> right now when you are hired with domestic american airlines you have a background check before you get on? >> i cannot speak exactly
the if you get a credential then we will screen you before you get that credential so it in my opinion that is the last step before you're actually hired in work on aircraft. >> i would be thrilled to be proven wrong but it is my impression you can get into the facilities without a background check right now. it is also maya understanding who is physically going? >> with that cadres to make each of those locations. >> above to see that schedule.
there is the faa person on site. when i did this hearing before most of it was done by phone there were not physically going to the facility. at the point in time we did this before with the perimeter security and americans are pretty upset of jobs overseas i ever stand for the global economy but on the planet if you have certain standards with the responsibility but the standards are just as rigorous without a foreign agreement they could be if
you had information to inspections with the ability to work hands-on that was not a confidence builder for me. i would like to be reassured better than when i arrived in the senate. spinning things for holding this hearing today i want to go back to the allocation of personnel. when was the last time you flew into las vegas airport? >> not since i was an administrator.
>> was of the fastest-growing busiest airport? >> it is very fast to have seen huge growth. >> 3.4 million passengers february this year. and we will continue to see the growth so why does tsa reducing debt agents by 110? >> i am not sure how that information was represented but i was concerned by the same number and what i found we had some attrition sometimes it takes awhile to get people hired but i think if i laid out i can see why
that report was there but we have higher attrition rates sometimes it takes time to back fill those but i don't believe we have reduced the numbers. >> it was promised to maintain 10 canine units in one that was borrowed. where is the lack of the k-9 units? >>. >> the allocation and staffing model i cannot meet all of the staffing of the itc i think it is with the most effective technologies out there.
into very effectively move passengers through the screening entire message. it is the best to move people efficiently through the lines. but looking specifically at las vegas that don't have the numbers on the top of my head. and with whatever rationale reusing currently. >> from my perspective of a bite to grow a the nhtsa capability -- k9 capability for deterrents as well. >> if i hear correctly that those personnel will be backfill for whatever reason? >>.
>> as i have available. >>. >> we have about 1,000 canines those are paillette applied to local law-enforcement treating over 300 teams that the tsa. we had only 112th passenger screenings and converting the rest of those we should be at 270 by the end of the fiscal year. i would like to get all 320 teams converted. that gives me the ability to move them back into locations that don't currently have them. >>.
>> it takes 10 months to trade a dog team but then they're incredibly effective date moved up and down and then it comes back to the source. >> not many places you can get direct flights from sioux falls of the code of the one of them is las vegas [laughter] the legacy twins added to that number this year. >> one thing to put all of the record. >> it is minders standing the only certification our supervisors in people's love authority to move the aircraft only a fraction at the for repair stations. correct me if i am wrong
after a the hearing but my belief the vast majority of those working have not had a background check. >> i will follow-up with you. >> thank you for your time and testimony. i and the stage you bring in denver recently. into talk about the attacks them brussels to underscore the need of the location of the screening checkpoints at denver international. it is the fifth busiest in the country in the 15th busiest in the world.
it to submit this for the record. >> i want to talk about that innovative taskforce initiative with us process with the passenger experience. i was at denver international talk about bartering with the tsa to modernize the security screening earlier this week. with the management and leadership with the details of the proposal. cater provide more information? >> we see huge travel volume right now we have reached
capacity the matter what we do. and then with passenger screening canines and i am convinced we need to find a more efficient means of people through screening to reduce pressure outside and saw with the airport director approached tsa to save the but like to move that passenger screening checkpoints up to the ticket counter area it looks like that presented an opportunity to address that. so that initial conversation turned into an opportunity to rethink the security environment of what can we do? it is as simple as the
automated of conveyor belts so you can more effectively carry on baggage through the system and move that into the screening. it is crazy house low line comes if they have to push down the conveyor belt so they were not just the ending behind the guy who wore the combat boots. it with the check point does the future we have an opportunity to work with the denver airport said they are members of the team and vocal authorities to put the innovation and task force and how you create that screening environment.
said in the biggest since the their incremental steps it it gives an opportunity to try some things denver is very for word with those new ideas. >> and to assist with the implementation or that innovative taskforce initiative across the country? >> that is part of the plan. there may be some opportunities for public-private partnerships with the ability to do spiral testing and development to feel the technology before you go through the long drawn-out acquisition process. so there are things we will
be presenting to you going forward to pervert -- to provide some pilot legislation to transform more of the system. >> in to see this entire floor space it is the blank slate of opportunity to test the laboratory of security in to really move forward over the next decade and beyond. it did solve some very real security problems.
and you see that as an opportunity to do something different. >> senator? >> thank you for your testimony as well each and every day. following up on that comment what was troubling to me when i was on maya large airport there was a potential vulnerability as to talk about screening and airport employees but that concern is there is a lot of material going into the sterile area the newspaper stores to put no weapon between a stack of newspapers. there was no little or no screening of that.
but you mentioned you were stepping up your protocols with the earlier comments. why have we not done more to have an employee scree nuclear with contraband in the middle. >> that stepping up piece was additional layers of that debt all of the items are all examined in some manner before they hit that sterile area of the airport. dash spec newspapers or magazines or water bottles.
what we have added in the past nine months is the additional times of how that is done if you cannot get to the protective layer to have a significant immelt of random predictability and any given moment if you have things you are bringing to create that expectation. we have done that with tsa personnel and airport security. >> you have implemented that now? >> yes. we have been for a number of months. that is ongoing and will stay that way as it is a measure of uncertainty that
will help us to deter and detect and disrupt from atlanta or others. >> there is a report you are drafting how to address that specifically? >> yes. >> also there is every source duplication that we need to look at. >> cry have heard from airports in my state to have the opportunity to comment on proposed security regulations it was their experience that there is a disconnect between the officials crafting regulation in the airports that assist you to implement those regulations thinking it takes no one-size-fits-all approach without the different levels of security threats experienced in the
directives have the effect to resign tsa responsibilities without additional funding which can be a burden for them. are they able to comment and how is that feedback taken can we do a better job in the future site of hear this from airport managers? >> i will say yes to all questions. we can do a better job and we have done a better job but said is a valid complaint for any agency to be so focused on the mission forget the impact of the discussions. i like full collaboration client to make sure it operates consistently and in a coordinated fashion.
the airlines in the airport's and all those things that come together. i am interested in expanding a the collaboration they gave me a lot of that criticism of the first came on board because that is what i am here to do to see myself as the ultimate public-service agency so when i discussed with the senator nelson with those vulnerability assessments you worked collaboratively with the association that represents to kraft that directive and that first
attempt came back in readjusted accordingly we made good progress but it is a constant challenge. >> i appreciate your efforts on that. >> senator? >> the they give for testifying. unfortunately you have not had a quiet nine months on the job that highlight the vulnerability is at home in the trees rotation systems so thank you. any ideas are discussed to increase nhtsa presence and will ultimately that will maximize the nation's security.
they discuss the k-9 program. two days ago we read about them spending over $200,000 on the randomizer ipad to tell passengers which lean to stand in, left or right. how is tsa reforming to gain the taxpayers trust? >> those are good questions. that was part of a larger contract. not all of that was bent on randomizer. nonetheless it points to some need for oversight. a couple things we've done, one of the things we did was to look at our acquisition program. i brought in outside independent agency just to look and talk about them and tell me if they saw any gaps or process improvement that we needed. my concern is, that capability and best value to the taxpayer. that's one of the things we are doing. we are working very hard on
improving oversight and controls and the like. i'm looking across every contract we have to ensure the contract is appropriate, that it's going to what we think it's going to and providing the capability we are asking for. i think that's very important because it's about making sure we take limited resources and get results for. >> thank you for that granular review. as you know, our security is as strong as our weakest link. the strength and security of the entire national airspace. the bad guys are going to find weak spaces come in. at your confirmation hearing i asked about scanners to be installed in 2012. they are still without them in montana. in response you committed to evaluate the scanners. this is a question of montana and we are as good as our weakest link. what is the status of procuring this necessary equipment?
>> we don't have advanced imaging machines that all the small airports that i'd like to see them in. from my perspective i'd like to see them deployed a hundred% across the system. it's really a funding issue at this point. the first thing i had to do was look at where we were on funding and what our procurement schedule was in our deployment schedule. that includes upgrading to the current software on board and making sure they meet our standards. so we have put together technology plan and it's a five-year plan for getting those on board. if i could accelerate that plan depending upon how we can redeploy our resources, part of the reason for the acquisition study was to determine whether we had funding internally that we could reallocate to a greater need,. >> there are two specifically in our state. they have been waiting for four years for deployment of the technology.
the second is great falls. the airspace is in great falls and that's where we control one third of the nations icbms. we make sure a lot of our security processes are hard and for obvious reasons. i would appreciate if you would look at that and let us know how that looks. >> will do. >> okay, thank you so much. >> senator nelson has another question. then we have a couple members returning. >> mr. administrator, some real promise is being made by government scientists and they are working on a new detection system that mimics a dog's nose.
dogs being so effective in this attempt that is the bottom line for your agency so what do you see as the possible future of the use of such systems that mimic a dog's nose question. >> if they can be effective, i think would be wonderful. i know there are a long way from deploying a system like that. we are aware of that and we have some of our folks working with those scientists to see what the nature of its capability. i think what it shows us is that there are things we have to be thinking about, the future of screening because you continually have to evolve the technology we have. i'm a big fan of that. i think we need to do that. wherever possible we need to
pilot it in limited control situations to make sure it works in the real world. i'm intrigued by it and i think there is potential there. if it works, it could perhaps significantly augment our capabilities that we currently have. >> do you know any of the data in the science behind this device? >> i know little bit of it but not enough to not get myself in trouble if i try to speak about it publicly. i can promise you a deeper dive on that. >> over and out. i think you might be off the hook. thank you for your time adm., for your responsiveness. we will have some questions for the record that we will follow up with and asked that members submit questions for the record
do that within within the timeframe of two weeks and that you get back on those and we look forward to continue the discussion. these are issues that are of great importance to our country, our national security and our homeland security. you have an enormous responsibility but we want to support you in every way that we can and make sure that we get the job done. >> thank you for being here today. with that this hearing is adjourned.
[inaudible conversation] >> tonight on c-span to a senate hearing on combating terrorism. then foreign policy analysts offer advice to the next president on preventing the spread of nuclear weapon. then the tsa discusses the security of u.s. transportation systems. >> tomorrow the director of the consumer protection bureau talks
about financial industry regulations at a hearing of the senate banking committee. we will have live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> when i tune into it on the weekend, usually its authors sharing their new releases. >> the nonfiction authors on book tv is the best television for serious readers. >> they can have a longer conversation and delve into their subject heard book tv brings you author after author after author. it's like the work of fascinating people. i love book tv and i'm a c-span fan. >> experts discuss the recent attack in paris and brussels at a senate of the homeland security hearing. they testify about the possibility that these attacks may inspire homegrown terrorists in the u.s. they also express the need for information's sharing between the u.s. and european law-enforcement agencies. this is two hours 20 minutes.
>> this hearing comes to order. i want to welcome the witnesses and thank you for your thoughtful testimony. we look forward to hearing it. we want to have an opportunity to ask a number of question. this hearing originally was planned, and will be talking about an issue that we are very concerned about. it's just bio security.
the threat that we face in the unfortunate tragic events in brussels, we thought we would expand it that we can still pick up on some of those bio threats as well but we would like to hold a hearing and really look at what is the root cause that is driving this activity in europe. what are the indications here in america. in january 2016, we had, we had a foiled plot in milwaukee wisconsin against the masonic temple by an individual. this was a real success already on the part of the fbi and those individuals being informative well that plot. in the complaint filed against the suspect, i have four little sentences. they're disconnected, but it certainly reveals what's on the mind or the mind of an
individual that actually plots to slaughter innocent human beings. this is what he was quoted as saying. i am telling you that if this is executed it will be known all over the world. people will be scared and operations will increase. this way we will be igniting it. we are marching at the front of the war, and we will eliminate everyone. now in his plotting, he was trying to accomplish killing 100 people. in the complaint he also said he would be 100% happy if happy if he was able to kill 30. these threats that europe is facing because of islamic terrorists are real. they are growing. the purpose of this hearing is to again take a look at the root
cause of the problems and see what we do in america to keep this nation. i also need to say we did reach out after the brussels hearing to the fbi, also dhs and the national counterterrorism center to have witnesses appear this committee today and none of them agreed to testified. we just point to me. i know johnson is on the hill today having a press conference on additional funding for dhs which, listen, we want to support the department having the tools and resources they need to keep this nation safe. i think probably a pretty good way to try to secure those resources would be coming forward to a committee like this to lay out the reality of the problem. i am disappointed that we don't have a government witness or witnesses but i appreciate the fact that you've come here today and are willing to share with us today.
>> thank you. thank you for your preparation and for joining us on this occasion. our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of those who died. my hope is that something good can emerge from something horrible. this hearing is part of that process. as with the paris similar attacks, and places around the world like pakistan and turkey in the boston marathon marathon and san bernardino attacks. what happened in brussels exposes yet again the vulnerability that we face in public places that are hard to defend. malls, trains, train stations and airports. we are seeing these unfold in real time americans are
understandably easy and they are concerned for their safety, the safety of their families and friends and their neighbors. it's important though. it's important to remember that the most potent weapon the terrorists like those that committed these attacks have is fear. they want to scare us into turning against one another and against our neighbors in this country. they want to make us afraid to go about our everyday lives. we might feel a little bit safer if we saw obvious security at every single public place that we visited if that were possible. those measures come at a high price. terrorists do not value other lives or even their own. turning other public places into a heavy guarded area would restrict americans freedom we need to be smart about how we
can pat these threats. we must sharpen our ability to predict and prevent these attacks through the use of robust intelligent and law enforcement and ability to share information. we need to keep pace with the evolving threat we face and that's an important responsibility of our federal agencies in congress and folks at the local level we need to take the fight to a rock syria and many other places. isis's loss have been serious. they have lost more than 40% of the territory they held in a rock. coalition forces have have killed more than 10000 isis fighters and key fighters in recent months. just over a week ago american forces carried out a strike that led to the death of the isis
finance chief and second in command. simultaneously we continue to enhance the capabilities for counterterrorism forces. iraqi forces captured romani just two months ago. it was a battle in muzzle is underway. with a cease-fire in syria holding so far, more guns are being turned on isis. isis is being pushed back on their heels in a rock and in syria. consequences may very well be that the group, out of desperation, will seek to project power and momentum by inspiring terrorist attacks against unprotected targets in europe and the united states and other places around the world. we must not let them deter our resolve. we must double our efforts to destroy isis. we must also learn from the brussels terrorist attack to make sure our intelligence and law enforcement authorities are ready and able to identify and
stop similar attacks here at home. there are other lessons for us to learn. for us, the need to better understand what happened and learn what we can do to get through attacks here in this country and help them better defend their own people and places. >> thank you. i would ask that my opening statement be entered into the record without objection. >> so ordered. >> it is the tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses so if you would all stand and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? please be seated. our first witness is mr. the
continued threat by al qaeda to fit the rest. the rise and reach of isis have continued to outpace expectation and surprise authorities. dangerously failing understand and anticipate isis intent and capabilities has led to some assumptions that have been shattered in europe. isis is intended to confront the west. they have attempted to inspire single attempts by radicalized westerners. they have built these capabilities overtime and taken advantage of intelligence and security gaps to implant operatives in europe. this should not have come as a surprise. two years ago my colleague tom sanderson witnessed a shabby café and a turkish border crossing. this was a final stop for those slipping in to syria to join
terrorist groups. passports were some for sale and fighters could exchange their passports were cash at that time a belgian passport was for sale for $8000. a buyer could have it altered and new passport photos were being snapped in the parking lot. european authorities are now coming to grips with the realization that isis is targeting the heart of europe with dozens of operatives. unfortunately europe suffers from three fundamental and interrelated terrace problems. first, there is the immediate threat of isis european networks isis has trained and deployed europeans back into the heart of europe to perpetrate sophisticated attacks. second, isis and al qaeda have taken advantage of long-standing radicalized networks in europe as a baseline for recruitment and plotting in the heart of europe. they are relying on the lineage of radical islamic terrorism to tap into criminal prison and other radical networks for their purposes. third, europe suffers from long-standing deep pockets of radicalization affecting their
national embedded communities and neighborhoods. throughout europe, nodes of radicalization served as safe haven. isis have been able to take advantage of the weaknesses in the european system. even the best authorities in europe are overwhelmed by the number of new and historical terrorist and radicalized individuals for whom they need to account. fortunately the united states does not face the same kind of threat from isis and al qaeda that europe does, but these threats are real for u.s. citizens, our citizens abroad and in the homeland. let me describe them quickly. the most immediate threat to the united states are to our citizens and interest and europe. isis would like to target americans wherever possible.
the visa free travel for europeans and others creates a gap that could allow an isis or al qaeda operative into the country unknowingly. the lack of information in real-time information sharing our major impediments to western security. the united states also has to be concerned about the demonstration affects of successful or attempted terrorist attacks, especially in the west. new technology and methodologies could spur innovation on how terrorist and operatives operate in the united states to include new tech technology to allow lone wolves to attack you in the homeland. the most strategic impact of the european threat, perhaps is whether it ultimately weekends or strengthens european resolving capabilities to counter the terrorist threat from isis and al qaeda. we need a strong europe. we need to work together with them. we are facing a common enemy and were all at work together p we must work closely with european partners to enable, support and lead when necessary and disrupt isis safe havens and disrupt
their terrorist networks and plot and build layers of defense with their western partners. in the wake of the terrorist attack in brussels, this is an important moment to reflect on our counterterrorism capabilities for we need to do this in concert with our european partners. we should never underestimate the ability of our terrorist adversaries to innovate and adapt, especially when they have time and space to plot and plan. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> our next witness is ms. julie smith. she is a senior fellow and director of the strategy program at the center for new american security. previously she served as a deputy national security adviser to the vice president. before her post at the white house she was the director for european a nato policy and at the pentagon. ms. matt. >> thank you chairman johnson, ranking member. >> okay's sorry.
thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning. it's an honor to be here. the brussels attack revealed a number of worrisome trends and policy gaps inside belgium, across europe and among the transatlantic partners. any successful strategy moving forward is going to require changes in all three of those categories. i want to take each of them one by one over the course of the next few minutes. let me start with belgium. the attacks as one pointed out is something that experts have been pointing out for years and that is that belgium has one of the largest homegrown extremist problems in the west. 500 belgium's have traveled to iraq in syria in recent years. they also revealed a number of intelligence and law-enforcement shortfalls and failures.
these are primarily rooted in part in incompetence and crippling budgetary constraints and severe personnel shortages. belgium functioning system for some time now. in terms of wider europe they are not facing this challenge alone, preventing the radicalization of muslim minorities across europe have become a priority for a number of countries over the years the tools with which national capital can actually counter it or slow recruitment or arrest terrorist operatives have suffered from a chronic lack of investment over the years. europe's most glaring problem is its inability to share information among its member states.
here this is highlighted by the fact that one of the three bombers in the brussel attack was someone that turkey had actually warned the belgians about in advance as they work deporting him to the netherworld and's. unfortunately that information was not followed up on and it was certainly not disseminated across the european continent. from a perspective we need to strengthen that corporation with the eu and european countries. we've done a lot since 9/11. we've done a lot to ensure that we can halt terrorist financing. we worked together to enhance our information sharing and border control. serious gaps remain. most notably the primary obstacle here is differences we have over privacy, datasharing, data security. these concerns were more pronounced after the nsa had been tracking a number of world leaders. these differences have hampered the eu wide implementation of
the name recognition system which would enable us to enhance our intelligence sharing. going forward, obviously belgium is going to have to make a lot of changes. europe as well but we have to focus on the transatlantic relationship. from the belgian perspective, they have to undertake a complete audit of their security procedures, they have to overhaul their surveillance laws and they need to review security at major transportation hubs and invest more in their very small security budget. europe also is going to have to do more from the eu perspective but also from the individual makeup. all of them have to do more to invest in their own security. they have to address the grievances and the isolations of the muslim minorities that exist inside their borders. i would also eat urge her european friends not to view this strictly as an internal challenge. they tend to focus on homeland
security measures and counter radicalization efforts but we have to ensure that europeans are safe. for that reason we have to urge more europeans to join us in the anti- isis coalition. some are already doing sue so over iraq and syria. think about how they can do more to invest in the future of the region. lastly on the eu u.s. operation, we have to get past our differences on data protection and privacy. i think this is going to require significant u.s. leadership. i know some occasionally urge the united states to pull back and withdraw from europe and the threat that exists inside europe, but to be frank, this is a threat that we face together and the biggest hand and card we have to play is eu u.s. counterterrorism cooperation. thank you very much. >> thank you miss smith. our next witness is mr. gardens
dean ross. he is an adjunct professor in georgetown university security space program and a lecturer at the university america. he is chief executive officer of a counting firm. >> thank you. distinguished members, it's an honor to appear before you at this very grave time. we have obviously, in a span of about four months, two major attack strike europe. it's a watershed for a variety of reasons. one of which is that this is the first time that a european jihadist network has succeeded in not only carrying out one major attack but then bearing the brunt of law-enforcement being drawn down on top and
carrying out another major attack. if you look at what was said following the brussel attack of the scale of the network it's striking. investigators saying that only now, four months after paris are they starting to get their heads wrapped around this network. according to a recent wall street journal report about 22 members of this network are still at large. other media outlets have not been able to verify that specific number, but, but it seems to be roughly accurate. one analogy i use a lot to describe the problem with trying to combat terrorists and militant groups is that of startup firms versus legacy. i use this not to be trite but because i think it explains something about the ability to innovate and adapt and the problems we have in dealing with these kinds of organizations. today it's very clear that startup firms have some advantages over their larger competitors. they are able to innovate quickly, they're able to shift their strategy very quickly while larger firms are often encumbered by their own weight.
too much bureaucracy, unable to maneuver at the same kind of speed as their smaller adversaries. julia did a very good job of talking about the kinds of problems that occurred that helped to allow the brussels attackers to succeed. when we go back through them, and it's important to do so, one thing that looms large as bureaucracy, lack of internal organization, organizational structure that isn't suited well for the challenges of the 21st century of the 21st century. according to open-source reporting, one thing they have allowed the suspect to be free as long as they was his restriction in belgium on what time raids can occur. there were other instances in which intelligence was not aware of. one of the attackers at the brussel airport wasn't picked up after turkish authorities revealed that he had been arrested in another attempt which is a major entryway that
fighters usually use. obviously as the european officials indicated should have raised a red flag. what do you do about this. in the short-term, europe needs to deal with the scale and problem that it has. not just this one network but authorities have been waving their hands around and saying that they are overstretched. in belgium just before this attack, basically all of their resources amongst investigators and detectives were used to try to deal with their jihadist problem. there are many indications that this problem has overwhelmed the system. in the short-term, europe should be encouraged to undertake a much more disruptive policing model. a good example is from the united states. and our own experience with the mob. al capone who is the u.s.'s first criminal who was arrested and indicted not for being a mobster or a killer but rather
for not paying taxes on his illegal income. it was said under robert kennedy's justice center that he would arrest a mobster for spitting on the sidewalk. ultimately finding lesser offenses is important. within european jihadist network , there's often financial fraud and other small crimes where they can pick people up. this isn't ultimately a perfect solution, but in the short term where we've had these two major attacks and more would be attackers who are at large right now, i think it's very important to disrupt and thinned down the networks that you are trying to monitor. in the longer-term, looking at the problem i raised of bureaucracy is very important. there needs to be reforms within the eu including within countries. we also need to be very much apprised of those that affect the united states. this is a very unique time because the agreement has all but fell apart. in the past the europeans interpretation of shang and as detracted and served as a barrier from our own measures
that we have taken to uphold our own border security. we need to understand just how much the system is in play right now. we need to recognize that perhaps something good can come from something awful. that something good can be that we should push for the necessary reforms within europe and the transatlantic relationship to better protect our own homeland. think you. >> our final witnesses mr. watts. he is a robert a fox fellow in the institute program on the middle east and senior fellow on national security. he has served as a u.s. infantry officer, and fbi special officer and at west point. thank you for your service and thank you for your testimony. >> thank you. thank you chairman johnson, ranking member carper and members of the committee. in 2012 many researchers denied
thousands of young men talking to syria to join the ranks. most of those eventually coalesced around the islamic state. i personally, along with others who was this names of europeans that we knew where they are. they would flaunt it and turn on their location begin as soon as they got in those countries to let everybody know they were there. we've known these boys were there for a long time. we should have known and we did know they were always going to come home. this problem wasn't probable, it was inevitable. we are now flat on our feet of how we talk about disrupting isis recruitment, it's already happened. it is over. we are now on the defense. we are reacting rather than preempting and that's a position we never want to be in. today the the situation in europe as we have terrorists operating without borders and we
have counterterrorist operating with all porters. isis has done what al qaeda never did. in one year they have achieved a level of violence al qaeda couldn't do in ten and they do it because they have a volume of foreign fighters, passport holders, eight eu citizens who have traveled together and submit a long-standing relationship they had in their homeland and they have traveled the syria and iraq and gathered unprecedented experience. these al qaeda members haven't seen near the battles that these have seen. not only are they more connected socially than ideologically, they're their more criminal than they are pious. they have less reservations about committing violence and they operate with a ptolemy we never saw. isis does not manage their recruit. they pick targets that they know
well. they don't pick large symbolic targets. they hit a transportation hub they know and they plan those plots and put them together almost at random and they do it aggressively and quickly. they move faster and communicate more freely than our counterterrorist do in europe. when we look at situation we have today with counterterrorist, we have them operating with all porters. they are way over capacity. they can't follow all the lead for every isis member that might be returning to europe. not only that, they have uneven capabilities. france, the uk, germany, they all have significant experience in a lot of specialty in terms of counterterrorism. that isn't shared with a lot of these smaller countries. belgium countries. belgium is a prime example, but many others have foreign fighter recruits that they've never seen come from their country. at the same time they have much more limited capacity to deal with these really don't have specialties per they have a lot of rolls around information sharing, data privacy privacy that prevent them from doing technical connect collection and human intelligence the way we do
in the state. when you look at this patchwork that we have in terms of bureaucracy, there is no heavy. there is no fbi type apparatus. interpol is great and they do research but they can't step across borders as fast as the terrace can. they have run wild through europe today. my fellow testifies appeared today has talked about the dangers of terrorists abroad but the most dangerous is that every success that the islamic state has breeds more success here at home. the successful attack in paris, istanbul, brussels inspire someone here in the state who has no connection to the islamic state or al qaeda to start to move forward. we've seen that with san bernardino and police shootings
and maybe 50 disrupted plots that we've disrupted since then. success breeds success so every time we stand by and watch europe suffer and attack it only inspires people at home. while we should look at a lot of defensive measures in terms of what we can do to protect american citizens abroad, we have to go on the offense in europe the way we did here after 911. i would push to help the european union put together a counterterrorism task force, not a committee or hearing or another bureaucracy, but an aggressive approach now. we are looking at what i call the ice break theory. for every eight you see participating in a plot there are three or four times as many helping support somewhere in that network there we saw that with paris and it extended brussels. the other thing we can really help out europe with its intelligence sharing is pushing to them and helping them integrate their own system for the last part i would say is better risk assessment and travel warning for our americans. we tend to issue travel warnings after an attack. but we can tell you where they are in the foreign countries and which ones are most likely. i think that as a service we should provide our citizens. thank you for having me. >> thank you mr. watts, i want
to to start with you because human mentioned the key point here which is most the testimony we've talked about being on defense. you talk about going on offense. even talking about going on offense, you're talking about going on offense to help european defense. i want to talk about actually going on offense. i want to talk about the fact that you said this has been building in syria and iraq and it was inevitable. as we watch the events unfold and yes, we are pushing isis back in a rack, but their bank gaining territory in syria. they're setting up a stronger base in libya and getting into afghanistan. we have boko haram and other organizations. this is growing. i want to talk about ineffective offense. again, i want to to give some indication here. there's a state department report called the starr report.
the study of terrorism in response to terrorism. let me caveat, i realize these statistics are very uneven. if you take a look at prior years, up to 911, on average the largest measure on average there were about less than 5000 fatalities due to terrorism prior to 9/11. in 20,122,012 that report showed 15000. in 2000 ford teen there about 43000. again i realize those measurements are very difficult on this, but it gives us some indication on how global terrorism is a growing threat. so if were just to be on defense, i don't see how we can succeed. can we just speak about what's a real offense to wipe out this threat and how long is it going to take. >> what i would see say is i do like how were approaching counterterrorism in a lot of
areas are ready. we've started to take action against the islamic state in libya. that's the second most affiliate that's out there. we will have to pursue special operations force attacks with aggressive task force investigations here in the state and robust intelligence sharing across europe, north africa and the middle east as long as we live. everyone in here will have to do that. we will have to watch that. this won't go away. there is no beginning and there is no end. there's only degrees of winning and losing. i think the notion we have to put forth in our country and particularly in europe who seems to only react to these situations is that a constant offense is the only way to keep them on the defense. i would say foreign fighter task fighter tracking is the most important thing we should be doing and we should have done. we had a massive foreign fighters to afghanistan that later mutated into al qaeda 20 years ago. we then had a massive in iraq and afghanistan last decade. that eventually mutated to
become the split and now are looking at this comic state being squelched in iraq and syria. there will always be some sort of militant organization there because we can't restore any sort of governance or we have no plan for it. therefore this will mutate into what will be a more dangerous scenario which is not al qaeda or the islamic state. those are just washington terms we are around on cnn because it gives people a label to understand it. we very well may be acing five to seven across the entire world that have varying degrees of connection. they communicate and cooperate when they need to and then if they don't they may choose different parts of the ideological to pursue but the one thing that you can look at across all these region is the lack of governance. we thought the arab spring would bring about an opportunity for democracy to grow. as a democratic nation, for some reason we really helped everyone vote but we never have the safe
havens stretched from western africa where they can operate. the islamic state label, they will pick up that label and use it whenever it's convenient for them if they think they can pull in money or recruits, they will, but they will pursue their own objectives. be a dangerous part for us is when they pursue their own objectives it creates a capacity problem a capacity problem for us in the u.s. and how do we track that many threats that are act out there if they spread. when we witnessed isis just roll out cities in iraq, that indicated to me as game plan that was pretty sick strategic. that's no jv team. now they're setting up training centers and their training youth and their training the next generation. can anybody speak to the real danger there? >> what i would say is that this is going to happen routinely because there's a lack of governance and no opposing
force. we've gotten into a situation where we wanted to it created a security vacuum in itself and we retreated to the other end hoping that drones and special operation forces will keep everyone down and keep this problem at bay. in between in the middle is how do we work with foreign nations and proxies. if you look at our competitors around the world, they are picking their proxies as they see fit to pursue the interest they want. our greatest problem in the united states and counterterrorism as we don't really know what we want. all we know is that we don't want anything bad to happen. if all you know is what you don't want, you'll never get what you do want.
we haven't picked out what our strategic objectives are so were constantly in a patchwork moving and shaking. the one thing i do like his were pursuing a threat. it's a great testament to work counterterrorist over the last 15 years have gone where the threat is our special operation forces have pulled off amazing feats in recent months. that alone won't get us there. we will always be vulnerable until we pick out where we want to focus. right now i think libya and north africa is the place we need to be very concerned about. that will be a natural expansion point for them. i think yemen is another big area as well. >> very quickly, mr. ross talked about big bureaucratic organizations versus small startup companies. i know exactly what you're talking about. it's easy to compete against big companies. in your testimony you talked about the invasion of isis. one of my concerns, i want you to speak to this is that we know two of the terrace of of malden brussels, we found surveillance video of a nuclear facility. can you speak to the dangers and what might be undermines their? >> absolutely. i think one of the dangers you see with the islamic state is they have been adapting very quickly new methodology. in the field in places like iraq and syria the use of tunnels and multiple sophisticated prongs as
part of their tech sectors. the use of chemical weapons and certainly a real question as to whether or not they have ambitions to engage in w md terrorism. they have set up a unit to develop chemical weapon capabilities and they're using it now multiple times. >> they have the labs sophisticated labs and universities to access. just to touch on the conversation you were just having come i think one of the major differences from the safe haven of today versus the safe haven of the past is that were not talking about the jungles and mountains and deserts, were talking about real cities, real urban environments, the second largest city in iraq, mccullough and yemen and real cities with real resources, real populations and financial systems all of
which their taking advantage of to include university labs and apps birds, much of which we are blind to. i think one of the major dangers we have to keep in mind is the safe havens and the inkblots that are emerging that are tied to the islamic state is qualitatively different. that is leading to strategic innovation. you have seen that it's not just in the context but with naval attacks in egypt. you saw it the attack on civilian aircraft. so you're going to continue to see adaptations to the extent that they have fighters to train, they have resources to apply, they have space in which to plan and leadership that's intent to attack the west. >> that's the offense i was talking about. we have to take those resources, that territory away from them. >> senator carpenter. >> this is an exceptional panel of witnesses. thank you so much for doing this
i spent a number of years of my life in the navy our squadron had a cartoon up on the wall and the cartoon was a depiction of a man on a very small island trying to climb up a single tree surrounded by alligators. the caption under the cartoon was it's hard to remember that your job was to drain the swamp when you're up to your eyeballs and alligators. things in european countries are up to their eyeballs in alligators. we are trying to help them help themselves. how do we go about draining this war? just a minute on root causes for each of you please. >> i think first and foremost, being very open and honest about
where these pockets of radicalization have existed. these are not new in europe. neighborhoods like mullen back in areas like luton have developed radicalized ecosystems that have allowed pipelines of generations of radicals to continue to be enlisted and mobilize. first and foremost, identifying which are those hotspots because if you look at a map, whether it's in europe or north africa, you will see that there are particular, not just countries but regions and neighborhoods where particular segments of communities that are most at risk. if you look at the neighborhood out of morocco that has produced the both of foreign fighters over the course of the year dating back to the iraq war, there are these pockets that need to be identified and in many ways then focused on through law enforcement, many of the general problem of integration and assimilation.
this is a problem that will only grow worse in europe and to working with european authorities on understanding how fast they and we can help them integrate these populations better so that you don't have a new generation of radicals emerging out of these refugee populations. >> all ask you to hold it there so the others have a chance to respond. about one minute. >> thank you. the integration challenge is enormous. a lot of these muslims in europe, there's about 13 million who came in the 60s and 70s to respond to a labor shortage. many of them didn't expect to stay. they have a now we've dealt with second and third generations of these communities per they have several grievances. they don't have access to educational opportunities and they're largely discriminated against. unemployment is very high. the nature of the challenge is just enormous. i've noticed this in several countries across europe. what makes this particularly
challenging right now is the fact that european public opinion of muslims is worsening. the european citizens, as you all know are incredibly worried about their own employment numbers in their own opportunities and they have a complete loss of faith in institutions like the european union so you've seen the rise of these popular parties that are actually more discriminatory, they're more anti-immigrant and so just as european governments need to double down on these integration programs, you are finding a resistance and pushback from european society. i can't stress how challenging this is going to be. >> thank you very much. when looking to answer questions like this, it's often useful to look at it through the eyes of the adversary. if i am isis or al qaeda and trying to grow larger and stronger in europe, the first thing we need to worry about is how to operate openly and they don't have the surveillance resources. given the integration problem that was just mention and this
influx of migrants that will also have trouble integrating just as the problem already exist, there's there's the potential for recruitment there, especially if you trigger backlash. we are already seeing that backlash. every time you carry out an attack, that increases hostility against the muslim population. as as isis has said they want to destroy it in regard to the gray zone. the final thing i'll mention about looking over at european politics is, one of the things that is happening with the rise of far right parties as other parties aren't addressing these issues. when you see the environment to the worst of the worst, they're the ones that will seem like baby speak to people's concerns. i think understanding why they are rising is understanding this dangerous environment that existed in in europe. >> thank you. >> i would say we can't fix european politics or the
integration problem. i would instead focus on the issue of why it's attractive to these young men and some women to join the islamic state. i would focus on two messages, one can you turn the islamic state and its leaders into villains rather than martyrs. that really is about how you change the narrative in terms of how they are perceived by the people who are seeing it. the second one is the message that the leading killer of an isis member is a fellow isis member. right now we are watching them clear flee from syria and iraq. they are killing internal spies and people who are starting to ask questions about the direction of the group. i think it's important to put that into the mind of those young people. they are believing one narrative. you need to offer them another one which is more full of truth. i would instead focus on the iraqi legions which are within
the islamic state who are very much pushing away the foreign fighters now by not giving many foreign rights and how can you drive a wedge between them. i would focus on defectors and their messages and there's a lot of them right now talking about what has happened to them when they were in iraq and syria and it was not the fantasy they had in their mind. i would absolutely publish the silly and pointless death of every european born fighter. they use them for personal scores, suicide bombings against adversaries locally, but there wouldn't be a google search of what happened in one of those hotspot communities. i would add to that, 80% of the towns that form fighters come from. i have them on my own computer. i can tell you what those 20 towns are. it's not a matter of knowing where to go for the hotspots in europe, it's just about if we can push to do something in those places. >> if i could just just ask a yes or no question. six terry johnson has been here.
one of the issues that he is pushing is a partnership with communities to counter violent terrorism in our communities. is this, in terms of responding to a root cause in this country, is this a smart policy to pursue or not? >> i think absolutely. in fact we've have establish a commission led by tony blair to look at this issue and provide policy guidance for the next administration. absently right, these are issues not just of safe haven abroad but also questions of identity. one thing we need to look at, and this is something i was going to meant mention with your last question. the last his family and networks. they are critical to the support of extremism and to counter. were not finding ways of
enlisting them quickly enough. >> absolutely i think it is critical for us to pursue those types of programs in the united states. we also need to work with our european partners. we face different challenges but we can share lessons learned and see what works and what doesn't. with the caveat that a lot of the early efforts will be faltered. some of the benefit will be learning from what doesn't work. >> i wouldn't put much effort into it, to be honest. i've i've worked on a lot of those programs and there are some value from building trust with the communities but i don't think they're going to be a great weapon in thwarting, parents of the worst ones that know what their teenage kids do. that's whether whether you're in the u.s. or europe. i think it's good for a community policing purposes just in general, but i don't think it will really get out the problem.
>> thank you so much. i want to thank the chairman. this is an excellent panel. let me just say the fact that we had a major terrorist attack in europe and we can't get before this committee a representative of the department of homeland security or counterterrorism committee speaks volume that this administration thinks they're doing a good job fighting isis. they come and make their case for this committee. i want to back the chairman up on the point that he made very respectfully earlier. i would like to ask each of you, one of the things that i heard coming loud and clear is the lack of intelligence sharing in europe. and the problems that we have with that. as you know, most european countries, we have over 38 countries that are part of our visa waiver program and to be part of that program, you have to essentially meet certain
basic standards of information sharing, you have to enter into an agreement with the u.s. to report lost or stolen passwords and most importantly have an agreement to share information regarding a national traveling to that country represents a threat to security. as i hear your testimony today, i hear a huge glaring flag because at the end of december, we passed a law here which i was i was glad we did, that essentially said that individuals who had traveled to iraq and syria and the homeland security secretary, which i support had added some other countries to that list. here's the problem. if we don't have good information sharing as highlighted what would help them belgian, we can put that in place all we want but if we don't know someone traveled to
iraq and syria and if you look at what happened in paris, one of the individuals had come over from greece with a fake passport. we also know now with the situation from belgium that in fact the information that came from turkish authorities was not properly acted upon. so i would have to think that they weren't exactly sharing that information with us if they weren't acting upon it fully themselves. so what does this mean in terms of what we should be doing to protect our citizens with the lack of information sharing. obviously needs to be a priority to get information sharing between us and the transatlantic relationship, better information sharing among europe but i think our citizens need to understand what do we need to do to protect our citizens to make sure someone doesn't travel to iraq and syria and we are unaware of it because the information has not been shared. then they're able to travel to
the united states without a visa >> weight questions and very important concerns. i think as you mentioned, you have a problem of lack of information sharing, lack of real-time information sharing, lack of details of the information as well as gaps of information just generally. i think you have seen that the terrorist have adapted around us. they understand it. they are infiltrating some of the refugee flows. we've seen from some of the plotters and recent attacks that they have use methodologies of returning into europe using backpackers and routes to avoid
connections back to the country of concern so i think there are really two things we need to do. one is we need to engage in self-help. we have to gain more intelligence on our own. we have to aggressive about what we are doing on the ground in these places as well as along the routes where we suspect the foreign fighter pipelines are operating. the turkish searing border, we know exactly where that strand of border is where they continue to move in and out. i'm hoping and expecting that we are on that like a hawk trying to get as much information about people moving in and out there. then understanding where they're flowing elsewhere. secondly, i think we need to spur the european to work more closely together. i think that that means we have to collect them together, whether it's in the task force model or some other fashion. >> one of the things i called upon when this happened was to bring nato together. do you think nato can be a helpful avenue to bring members together? >> nato could be but what you need are the intelligence services that focus on counterterrorism. the french and the british are very good at this. the germans are very good.
what you need is some mechanism to knock heads. there is something to the fact that passenger name records are shared on a real-time basis but passenger name records are not shared within the european union. just think about that. we have developed a protocol to understand where there are suspects trying to access the commercial aviation system. europewide doesn't even have that internally. so in a sense, we are going to have to catalyze a lot of this innovation and a lot of what my fellow panelists have talked about. you have to do it. we have to take a leadership role like it or not because we have vulnerabilities of the type that you describe senator.
>> yes that's a_question and i would just add to that that the u.s. has a number of by lateral relationship so the cooperation we have with europe is completely uneven. there are some that are wonderful and other that are in complete disrepair. we have to bring everybody up to the same standard. there are improvements that need to be made to our intelligence sharing with europe but one is exactly right. the emphasis should be put on europe and sharing inside the continent. the fact that they are not going to move forward with an eu wide implementation of our election is ridiculous. they are waiting to see who the next president is to get our views on intelligence when they need to move out on this yesterday. so we should push them not to wait for our election but to advance this agenda as soon as possible. david ignatius in a recent piece put it best. the europeans are very interested in our intelligence for all the obvious reasons, but they have this real distaste for collection. we have to break past this and break through it to say enough is enough. we need to make progress on these issues and work through these issues you have on data privacy and data sharing. >> i see mr. watts wanting to comment over there. you also made a statement in your testimony that you believe we need better warnings as well based on what we know. >> yes i think one thing the
u.s. can do for the european union is we just spent a decade building the national terrorism center. all these functions and doing intelligence sharing both up and across. we do it from the federal state and the local level and we know how to manage that and push it. we know how to do that with partners and in the interagency. i think that is something that we can help them do and i think it's how do we develop those relationships. they're all bilateral. why should we as the u.s. provide the french in the u.k. the same intelligence that to each of them individually. they need to somehow synchronize their systems. maybe we can offer a way for them to do that or provide support to them in a way to do that. my fear is european countries don't want to deal with their data privacy issues and their privacy issues until they have an attack. how do we communicate that to them. is there way we can say look this is the risk profile for you, a small country like
denmark. this is what you are facing, do you want to wait to see what happens or do you want to come into this intelligently. is there way we can work with all of those countries, germany denmark, all of those to come up with the brokered way to get to the solution. >> i don't know that that can be achieved but that is what has to happen because right now it is just one off exchanges based on one piece of intelligence. it never will allow you to put together the picture. we saw that with belgium and france. >> i know my time is up, i didn't want to leave the doctor out. is it okay for him question. >> okay thank you. >> the question was about visa waiver and ensuring our own borders. i would just point out that u.s. customs and border protection is ultimately the last line of defense. when you have somebody when this search doesn't correlate with iraq, syria, libya, et cetera, it ultimately comes down to the counterterrorist response team. one thing i would put some focus on is due the terrace response
teams that they have, do they have enough resources. do they have the training they need to undertake the kind of human intelligence collection that they're doing at the border to see if someone is suspicious? moreover you have enough professionalization and incentive to get the best and the brightest to stay in that program as opposed to going to another agency question and. >> that i is something that is entirely appropriate for the legislature to look into. >> i think you all for your answers. i would just say based on what you said, i think we have to take the leadership role here. i don't see another country that will be able to bring everyone together and get them to act. >> while we are on this topic, i just want to ask you a very simple question. the theory is, there's 38 countries in the visa waiver program. there is a a threshold level of information sharing that should be sufficient. i just wondered if anydy
wanted to express an opinion on all those 38 countries. are they all at that threshold level or should we be seriously taking a look at putting some of those visa waiver programs on probation or really evaluate them? >> just very quickly. i think it's worth reviewing especially in light of the recent attacks. i think you should look at belgium. there's no question about that. given the highest level per capita of foreign fighters coming from belgium, their own difficulties of information sharing and some of the deficits, i think it's holy appropriate to look at some of these countries without prejudice. understanding that the deep economic social. i think a healthy review and some skepticism is worth it. >> does anybody else want to chime in on that? i would agree. i don't know what the level of all three countries are but i would say start with the countries that have the most foreign fighters per capita.
that is right where i would begin with and then move down the list from there. >> thank you. thank you mr. chair and thanks to all of you for joining our panel today. this has been very helpful for all of us. as i have noted before in my capacity on the senate arms committee, i do share share concerns that have been expressed by the general and the lack of support for projection mother measures and dod civilians and their family. just a couple of examples of that, the u.s. military recently ordered military family members to exit turkey. we have a state department that ordered the departure of family members of staff out of u.s. consulate and recently the air force officer was killed in the brussels attack. if we can focus just on belgium for a moment. reports are suggesting that the dod has about 1300 military post personnel and about 600 civilian
employees in belgium. we all know that is home to nato. i would like to start with you please and then if the rest of the panel can answer as well. do you share my concern and general about u.s. protection in europe and, what do we need to do to make sure that protection is adequate and how do we move forward on that? >> i would start off in terms of concern. i am concerned in particular for one big reason. what we have seen is to big attacks in paris and brussels. so now counterterrorism is out aggressively. we know also that there are other parts of the network that is still at large. so if you believe that you are being closed in on as a terrace, what do you do? you rapidly put together a hasty attack. there is no better than a military person deployed overseas. we saw that with two airmen that
were killed overseas. that is a target of opportunity. you are either an inspired recruit or someone who knows you are on your last few minutes, this is a great target of opportunity. same with embassies and consulates. i think there's a huge risk risk for that as these investigation progress. if they can't operate as cells or groups as they have in the past, they're going to pick targets of opportunity. maybe they pick europeans but the most honorable in the most targeted u.s. are going to be state department employees and department of defense employees. i think it is a concern. we know the network is there and we know they're going to look for target opportunities as things get tougher. as far as how do you protect them? it's extremely challenging. you really have one of two options. you try to protect them in place which is very difficult to do so you put more active defense measures in place. this is increasing diplomatic security.
it's very tough to do. the other part is you remove them from those countries. so when you talk about removing 1300 service men and women family from those countries, that's a major signal and it's also have impact in europe. we believe then that europe is insecure and it creates a ripple effect. i don't know that i have the right answer for what to do but i think we can do risk forecasting much better than what were doing. we wait for an attack to happening and we say okay there's something bad out there, travel warning. great, i'm already here. we know where these foreign fighters are coming from. we could map that out as a risk forecast and literally put out, here is is the risk of traveling in these nations based on number of foreign fighters and the capacity we assess your european countries that which also sends a signal to them and where we see the attacks that or what our high-traffic location attacks. we've seen the subways, we've seen popular western venues. this looks looks a lot like what
we used to see in the middle east or africa, hitting targets of opportunity. i think we can indirectly send some signals to europe by setting up our own system. i would make a a map and have it public. these are the places were worried about the most. the europeans will figure it out on their own that they have their own problem as well. >> i'd like to hear from the other panelists as well. >> that's very good. thank you. >> thank you, i would look not just at risk mapping but also intelligence gathering around surveillance of family members and soft targets that are tied to military personnel. i wouldn't worry so much about other sites around which we have security we can flex aggressively as need be. those are always targets, but terrace have a hard time executing against those. i worry more about the soft
targets outside those rings of security. understanding where the terrace may be surveilling and doing a lot of counterintelligence and some of these locations i think that is really important to understand the specific risks around personnel and family members. one other note to keep in mind from a cyber perspective, what some of the followers have tried to do is to expose military personnel and their family members with personal data, addresses etc. there. there is a very real effort underway to at least threaten, if not put at risk family members and personnel outside the bounds of classic security. we have to be quite conscious of that encounter it if we can. >> does anyone else wish to respond question. >> to piggyback on what they said, i think think one of the emerging tactics that isis is trying to use is stalking and killing those who are affiliated with government. basically, taking them out of the government's fear and and making them individuals who can easily be tracked.
when i was in germany fairly recently, i saw service members leaving the base still wearing their uniforms. that's the concern. i think that making family members and members of the military aware of a few things in porton. one is just basic security which is drilled in within these institutions. making them aware of how much information they are giving off on social media. a lot of the information isis got when it put out addresses of service members who were on their kill list was just easily cleaned, not from hakki but from going to people social media accounts and finding out this information about them. ultimately, i think this is a very high-level concern that fits what the organization has done in the direction that it's moving in in terms of its
developing tactics. >> i'd appciate that very much i know my time is expiring. when my husband was serving in saudi arabia and the late 90s, he was considered a combatant commander and he was part of a combatant command. members of those family members could not live in saudi arabia at that time. however, he had the next set of quarters over a noncombatant commander and those families could live there. it was ironic to us, i don't think terrace distinguish between who's combatant in whose noncombatant in situation like that. i do think this is something that the united states needs to take very seriously and we need to make sure that we are protecting our service members as well as civilian serving overseas. thank you very much for being here today. >> thank you. thanks to the panelists. i found i have found so far and i will continue to find this eerie hearing very informative
and i appreciate your expertise. i'd like to pick up on some questions that senator carper had related to the community and what we have seen, certainly the attacks in paris and brussels and the individuals involved were homegrown. folks who were radicalized in their own country and went off in some cases to be foreign fighters and came back and you verity talked about some of the conditions in those european neighborhoods that these individuals are exposed to. given the fact that we also have a very vibrant and muslim american community here in the united states in michigan, my stay in particular, could you comment on what you see as the differences between the united states in europe and what lessons because thankfully we have not seen those types of incidents here in our country, what lessons can be learned from the united states that may be helpful to the europeans. what is happening here? is it different and elaborate on
why that could be a good lesson for others. >> senator thank you. i do think there is a difference. first there's a difference in numbers. if you look at the per capita number of radicalized individuals, the cases brought by the fbi or foreign fighters would have gone to fight in a variety of conflicts, the numbers are quite low per capita in the u.s. in terms of foreign fighter in the most recent context we are looking at probably 200 or so. given that we don't have full information about foreign fighters and the fact that an american who recently turned himself into the kurdish authorities played on video, i think it was not known to u.s. authorities. i think we don't have a full picture, but the the numbers are much smaller than what we see in europe. that is in the thousands. second, our muslim american communities are incredibly diverse. they are spread geographically and they are well integrated.
historically they have done incredibly well socially and economically if you look at figures in terms of per capita income, the numbers are very high. in general the notion of integration has been very natural and organic in the american context. the last thing i would note is that the very notion of an american identity as a common form of definition of individuals and communities the vector anyone from any race, creed or religion can call themselves american be that first generation or 12 generation is incredibly powerful. the notion i think in several social scientists have pointed out that there is actual gravity to the idea of the american dream, the american ideal it's actually a counter wave to the counter narratives of these terrorist groups and the dream of the caliphate which is animating so many to fight in iraq and syria. the one thing i would argue for
america is that we have to make sure we recognize and embrace our diversity. we tackle the challenges where you see a high percentage of individuals going to fight and assure that you don't have the ghettoization of the sense of targeting muslim american communities or any other communities. that's the bedrock of american power and identity and frankly will hold us in goods dead against this ideology. >> think you for that very good question. i just want to follow up on, one is exactly right. i agree with him 100%. just to stretch one point on identity, we benefit here in the united states from the fact that it is very easy to have a hyphenated existent. you can be irish american, muslim american, scottish american or whatever might be. in europe the problem is these migrants that have arrived from
north africa, for for example feel neither french nor moroccan. so they've been in this country and many of them were born there but they don't feel part of society. there's no path for them forward to integrate into the society so it makes them very success susceptible to someone who comes along over social media or in the coffee house to say, i've got an identity for you. this is where you belong, come join us in the islamic state. this will be your home because france is not your home and you're not going to go to morocco either or algeria or wherever it might be. so let us provide that sense of identity to you. that is an entirely different challenge than what we have here in the united states. it's not to say that we don't have folks that are susceptible to radicalization, but it is a very different challenge than what we see on the other side of the atlantic. >> thank you you can see some of this play out statistically. it's been a few years since i have looked at statistics within the american muslim community so
this could be a little bit dated per the last time i looked into this, the average muslim had a higher level of education than the average american. the average muslim in the united states had also a higher level of employment and social economic status which speaks to relative levels of integration. i'd also caution, i think there are lessons that europe can learn from the united states but the u.s. is fairly unique in its identity of being a nation of immigrants. i travel the world a lot as does everyone in this panel, and i can't think of many other societies, other than than canada, where you don't have integration problems. i don't mean muslim integration problems, but from any sort of class. this in general throughout the world, you have a much more rigid set of identity that we have in united states. so i wouldn't think of there being a quick fix in terms of lessons from america, but rather
i see us as being a systemic problem that will be with us for decades to come. most countries do not integrate new populations the way the u.s. has been successful in doing. >> i would like to shift just a little bit to show why europe's problem is worse now than ever. they always say the best recruiter is a former marine. there's that indirect channel in which you come through and that's built up physical relationships that motivate you and can keep you going. right now europe has bleed out which is foreign fighters bleeding back into your appeared at the same point they have the other problem which are bottled up. they want to go to syria and iraq and can no longer do that. you have these catalysts, former foreign fighters working and we see this in the paris and belgium attack. it's almost half-and-half. you have some former veterans
and some recruits that are working together and that's the worst case scenario. they are in these disenfranchised communities. were lucky we don't have these foreign fighters coming back the way we see in europe. most of our recruits are virtual recruits. probably 90% of them them are online. they don't have a direct connection but they feel a connection with the group. do they take longer and it's more difficult for you get a different style of recruit. they're more ideological on recruitment where the neighborhoods are more social in terms of their recruitment. this is a different dynamic that plays out. we the exception possibly of minneapolis which was mentioned before, we don't have that same dynamic before that allows us to detect them online as well as on the ground. they send off signals that are easier to detect in many ways. in europe they have a huge problem because a lot of the recruitment is never seen by law enforcement because it's happening on a one-on-one basis.
i appreciate all your responses. if i can summarize it, it sounds as if we certainly have to be vigilant. we have to have strong intelligence and make sure we are being offensive in our actions but ultimately the strongest shield we have our our american values. it's a special place to where we are a nation of immigrants were everyone can come here and have opportunity to pursue the american dream. if we ever let that slip, then we truly are vulnerable. thank you. >> thank you again for this hearing. you said something which seemed like you were downplaying the effectiveness of efforts with the propaganda. you think that is not as fruitful?
>> i don't believe that most of the efforts that i've seen, at least comparing the states in europe, it's a little bit challenging. i believe it is an indirect way to sort of get out the motivation which are recruiting these young people. part of the reason that i believe they are recruited is because they are in disenfranchised communities. they are not connected to the community and they are not connected socially with their parents or listening to what their parents are saying. we just saw, two weeks ago, where a where a mother in europe found out that her son was in the islamic state because her records were divulge online. she didn't know until a newspaper contacted her. parents aren't good at knowing at what their young people are doing. that's just normal. also the community seem to not be aware or not i'm bored of preventing this. i think it's a good effort to do for a lot of reasons. regarding violent extremism and just building communities to break down the borders between them. if you want to get at the
problem right now you have to change, and this is where we come to the communications part of it, the mindset and narrative, you have to change how they view opportunities to become a jihad is. jihadists are fickle. they're extremely fickle recruits. we watched online for years al qaeda recruits. you should go to yemen. they would go to yemen until things were going well in yemen. you should go to molly. that lasted about three days until the french invaded. you should go to syria. that's gone that's gone on for four years because the islamic state was being successful. that wasn't propaganda. it was truth. we are advancing on these cities in the way we said these strategies would. we are achieving success in building the state. as soon as we start to erode that, and i think it's happening now will see fewer recruits and less affinity for it. i think the focus is on individuals and why they want to join rather than go through the community. i'm not sure that the best lover for. i would rather change the image then the method. >> clearly we are eroding territory in syria and iraq right now. it is undermining some recruitment efforts but at the same time perhaps focusing back on trying to show that isis is
making victory and pushing perhaps a more fertile ground for doing foreign attacks. so you're really separating them into two buckets. one is these communication with family members trying to create better networks within muslim communities versus just the propaganda that they are feeding these young people, trying to make sure that were addressing that propaganda and addressing the frauds and sham at they are. >> yes and i think it's a funnel there is more at the vulnerable stage. these are the communities we want to reach out to. that's where community program like you suggested, there's radicalizing and these are people we are ready know who are connected to foreign fighters. they look like they are mobilizing. :
right. sly would rather look at those interconnected to foreign fighters. >> i would note with a slightly different view. you need multiple lines of never with military and law-enforcement that we do have to invest in some of these measures. one-and-a-half to give them an alternative path with a network of individuals that can persuade them to make the right choice and have some element of doubt to go down this path. but some of those measures are trying to provide a network of individuals as they are wavering bit too far to pull back and then to
take of flight do turkey have to look at these programs to beecher indefinitely scrub understand what is working and what is not. some of the work we have done over with cb with our european allies. >> in those programs that weren't successful to find those that are investment finding the ones that are targeted. just set of curiosity. there was a good article my staff since about why some neighborhoods are radicalized and some are not.
then you have the turkish neighborhoods for coherent why would you say that? >> senator it is a great question and bears more investigation because you have these hot spots of radicalization and this is part of the difficulty but the reality is you have family members from the same neighborhood that doesn't fall prey to the ideology. why? sociologists archaeologist and arthur apologist has a surge to figure out what is the difference?
in the personal connection between the radicalized in the lineage of the operational that works reseed these groups continue to persist conflict after conflict than a year after year people that are actively trying to recruit as a part of their mission. , has creatures in the u.k. where you have the ideological lineage that becomes a hotbed of that is one factor as scientists try to figure this out. they can figure out what radicalizes one over the other. >> it is creating more
combustible fuel. >> i am and then in countless countries across the continent. ended which the society is the attacks of discrimination to be inclusive as possible that we're dealing with a small percentage and it's not fair to say all muslims are susceptible to radicalization we have to keep that in shacks i watching developments closely to figure out how this will unfold to change their approach in the coming months but we have to watch
ourselves as well. >> we cannot move to a position where we are propagating the narrative of the other. we are americans. muslim christian and jewish diagnostic perpetuity extent it drives us to aviation but to be destructive. >> thanks for holding this hearing. then we had them before us. id to give ideas of what should be happening on the international side is certainly win the hearts and minds and we're told by
national security experts at the threat has increased in the united states we have an increased threat and if you agree with that. may be recruiting is down. the there is some consequences to that. what to think it does. and don't like to dig a little deeper into the issue of ideology. there is more consensus but
to protect the homeland unless to get at the hearts and minds in one data point it is interesting is it relates to our conversation what is happening in the muslim community as they join the misguided cause that 38 percent of u.s. citizens will have been charged with isis related offenses. we can talk about the long wolf. i couldn't agree more we need to do more but i will tell you the last one was in
columbus, ohio i talk to the police officer's part of the reason we were able to apprehend him because of the cooperation because of the police of the somali community. but is this figure accurate almost 40 percent arrested here on isis related charge dues are converts? what does that mean? and then to let people know to know their villains rather then he rose. what do you think about the threat overall? with the challenge to get in this country particularly those you are converts to islam?
>> the scope and scale in to do with the diversification. is in the expanse of geographies and the provinces with several geographically with southeast asia as a part of the application process. so that scope that the diversity numbers are still there. in addition this is next-generation. finally the 80th of the
of islam. and that was a tipoff the only way is on-line electronic civilians. you don't have a community or law enforcement issue have you do that? the best chance is online. i am upset to the point i am no longer in government i can sit in my house to watch extremist on line to know they're mobilizing for law-enforcement has many more hurdles to hop over. oftentimes i can provide it
so highroad to be worked through the system? >>. >> but what is going on and on line? with the inability in the effective way is a concern. >> and in a more sophisticated way that could be converse sorbonne wolves to find this information. for those who intended to come to the capital and was working on line.
there with a gap to project. in some thoughts with online messaging. >> we have seen different stages of how isis has taken the fight away from the region into europe and elsewhere. person wanted to inspire a and then enable them and then direct the attacks. so it has to be driven towards every single one of those efforts buy you are exactly right initial worry all of us a great deal.
>> so there are programs essene in that is ineffective example how you can do that in the online space but that is more expensive talking resources one-to-one and we say it might reach 1,000 but my response is heavier to those under closest to get on the airplane or to show a parrot that explosive device may be that is a battery answer. >> this -- a better answer.
>> as a private citizen and talk about the handcuffs. >> i teach with the new jersey state police a lot. with counterterrorism. you can show them the accounts better wide-open. what are the rules around me collecting information? i am not sure if they should pursue it the other part is capacity. state and locals can have the capacity in the technology and the assets of
they have trouble communicating that information. the other part i would tell you if i have to do a briefing it is almost impossible to use the technology to access the information. cybersecurity, and into open up my doors and whether it was bureaucracy or access everything tends to go sideways. >> dc is solution to that? >> there just needs to be legislation.
and al qaeda. this is different can you speak to that? >> the next evolution to of given life and manifestation wit to read is that -- to establish the caliphate and demonstrate that this is a place where it is the only place he compactness to have a religious obligation to defend that. with the way we are governing and. to live as a true muslim. that is at the core of their message so their job is to
kill and invert the infidels. and not allow them to do that long-term. >> if it will prompt a different type of action with the application and process. can you speak to that? there is a moment of a strategic decision with other extremist groups with the division that you see between the islamic state but with a number of groups have done with boko haram. teeseven those messages to
the islamic state. to pledge allegiance than the official province of the islamic state. and afghanistan and is ready arabia and yemen. and we have to prove their worth a. like jakarta people trying to be a part of the broader caliphate. with the funding and operational. >> if you want to go on offense it is incredibly
difficult if you have to deny that territory. >> i agree. it has been mentioned that messaging defuses the image it is very important. if they lose the caliphate at least the couple of different kinds of people. heavily ideological. into a understand that? lost destroys the isis interpretation those war criminal elements they have
experienced a lot. right nothey're not week in terms of messaging. but what we have done poorly is broadcast those losses from afghanistan and algeria and in that comes back to the bureaucracy question. it is tied the bureaucratize. if brothers there are limitations to his strategy of the messaging. and then to be described
with but they are not losing the upper go and then until they are losing and they refuse to groceryman . >> i agree entirely. but the potential of social media to carry out attacks. 50 look back how they convince boko haram that part of that story is convincing people contrary to facts on the ground alternately as they start to lose more than double hit them double hard. that is why we need to think
getting our messaging right. we start to lose the caliphate we put that with the message that is effective. state back one thing we haven't touched on his real security with china budget colleagues in the last week at an opportunity to be as some of the most beautiful and to comfortable trains of i f ridden non in quite a while. . .
it's a real compared to the air is going to be far less. we've always had had an open system is due almost all countries. i think is a logical place and when i say really don't even me just amtrak, i mean subway system in the u.s., the vulnerabilities there are impossible to defend against. that's why the best defense is an active defense to the offense of the investigation and running down leads. i'm not not sure
that even if we wanted to secure it there is a good way we could do it. i think it is a feasibility issue. just in terms of the access that anyone can get to the amtrak system or subway system, whatever rail system it may be. i don't have a good answer for. i see it as a vulnerability worldwide, not, not just here in the u.s. >> thank you. >> i think there's two problems in terms of trying to get put morrill security in place with one exception all talk about that at the end. the problem number one is the more you harden it, like with the checkpoints and the like the more you defeat the purpose. the reason why subways are so effective is because you can hop on, it doesn't take you hours to get across town, you don't you don't have to wait in the tsa line. if you have to them far fewer people will take the subway. the second thing is, the, the very problem we saw the brussels airport which is even if you have a checkpoint, tears can attack outside the checkpoint.
that's just an in solvable problem because if you move the checkpoint outside for example, you just have a line of winning passengers outside and that actually puts cars into play, car bombs could be used. the one exception is a good human policing. that's what amtrak tries to do. you have the teams with dogs who will be going around amtrak trying to make sure nothing is amiss, it's far from being as effective as airline security but that is the last line of defense for real security. >> i would just not that i was in brussels two days before the attacks in addition to being a brussels i took the train over to london. they have harden their real security because of differences that exist between the u.k. and mainland europe. but it did create an incredible checkpoint and vulnerability. i felt as i stood there not knowing what was coming days later of course, that you had this huge mass of people waiting to go through security to get on the train to go through the
tunnel. i agree with the point that someway some of these fixes can make a bad situation worse. the only other point i would add is that in europe on the aviation security points we have a dire situation and that have to security checkpoint, those areas are regulated and mandated to meet a certain level of aviation security standards. before the checkpoint to each individual country can handle security as they wish, which as you can imagine creates an array of standards and levels of security across european airports. i think europeans are going to have some discussion of how they want to collectively set standards on how they handled those areas before the checkpoint. >> okay, thank you. >> i. >> i just wanted to point out one thing. i think deploying behavioral analyst is important in an open system.
tsa, dhs has tried to do that in airports and certainly in train facilities. the other thing i would say is there are new technologies coming online that allow for better detection to a certain extent as you mentioned earlier senator, even prediction around anomaly and anomaly detection. some are still information, information, dhs is invested in some of this. darpa has done so as well from dod. some of these technologies, if applied in addition to these other layers of security and behavior analysis could perhaps give you a better sense of what the threats may be. the long hole in the tent is intelligence and targeting, and risk mitigation in an open system. that is what we have in our train system. >> thank you. just quickly give me one particular important issue for consideration on which you think there is unanimous agreement?
>> i would say if you give me the intelligence, one is the point you made earlier which is the prediction and prevention prevention paradigm which is really defined post-9/11 environment for the u.s. has to be operationally applied in the european context. they talk about it, they talked about being at war but they have to move to an operationally preventative mindset and we have to help them get there. the the second thing if i could sir, for dhs purposes moving toward systemic defense of key critical infrastructure, you just asked about the train system. water, electrical grid, financial system, we need to build resiliency and redundancy around the system because we know not only terrorist but cyber hackers, state and nonstate actors are looking for vulnerabilities in the system and i think that is something only dhs can help drive in this country. >> thank you. same question. >> in light of the wake of a the paris a tack europe created a european counterterrorism center. what happens often when they's
new initiatives inside the e.u. is that they become largely informational. we have to work with them to ensure this new counterterrorism center is in fact operational. >> thank you. >> i think there is near unanimous agreement that the sanctity of her intelligence processes are important in the fight against isis and as senator johnson said privatizing the territories the best way to craft a saver feature from their mass casualty attacks. to that extent extent, i think it is extraordinarily disturbing to read the new report in the daily base, you have not only allegations by numerous analysts, dozens of them about politicalization of intelligence but incredible report of retaliation. it's disturbing to me to see director clapper downplayed the concern of whistleblowers.
i think her intelligence processes are falling apart and you have actual retaliation where the leadership is not acting on it, then we have a tremendous problem in our own system. >> okay thank you. >> last word. >> more action than talk. we saw paris, we saw brussels moments later, these were some of the same attackers, the same network, nhing has happened. i think anything short of moving forward, not a working group or committee in europe, talking about putting together actual resources in a plan with the stated objectives in europe about how they will deal the threat of islamic state, it has to happen within 30 days, within two weeks. it's obvious this problem is not going to go away. it will be around for a while. >> you have been an exceptional panel, i've mentioned to the chairman that there's going to be another panel in a couple weeks where we will have the department of homeland security and others on behalf of the administration. in a way, and i would agree with
this the way this panel actually sets up the next panel very well. thanks so much. >> by the way, i want to clarify at the opening, i did not invite secretary johnson. that has that has been misreported. we invited some senior official from dhs, pin the national counterterrorism center. not secretary johnson. >> thank you. mr. chairman. and it hurts me to say this but thank you senator brooker for allowing me to go. i just a that the fbi's here because it there in the middle of an investigation. i think on the 26 you're going to have a hearing have a hearing and a should be a good hearing and i think homeland security because the fbi cannot be here, we will get to that but i think it's important, look, secretary johnson is going to be pushing them by the way thank you all for your testimony. secretary johnson will be pushing her near airport security provisions to be added
to the faa legislation, it is going to be coming to the senate, there has been a lot of conversation today about the e.u. and how certain countries are not doing what they need to do to get the information they need ensure that information all that. it is a problem that i don't how to solve it by the way without writing a big fat check that is not quite help us out with our debt here. but security is important make no mistake about it. those folks have to step up in a way, by the way, the visa question that was brought about taking potential countries off that list, mr. chairman, i appreciate you asking that question, maybe we we are to bring folks in here who know what reasonable is and what isn't, who's not cutting the mustard. to make some recommendations. i think. i think that's entirely appropriate when it comes to security. but i want to talk about airport security. you get to tell me your opinion, the security we have in the airports in this country, is it where it needs to
be? >> senator, i think it can always be better but i think our security is it better than most places around. >> so let me ask you this, and i agree with you. we have full body scanners and we have magnetometers. can any of you tell me why we have a full body scanners, art magnetometers good enough? >> i think the full body scanners allow you to determine if there are other types of explosives and things on the body of the person that. >> thank you good answer. so we have airports that don't have full body scanners in the, just magnetometers, reopening up for security risk? >> potentially. i think what tsa is trying to do under the former director now under this directors to apply risk-based model and approach and say we have limited resources a word we apply them,
what are the airports most vulnerable. >> so that risk-based approach is based on population and people going through. you think the terrace would know that? >> they would, they're constantly probing for vulnerabilities, as mentioned earlier they are working outside the reins of security, they're trying to infiltrate through them and they're trying to get access with the insiders into the system with radicalized individuals who work on the tarmac or within security layer. >> and that's exactly the point i have made, that they will go toward the weakest link and they will find it and eventually go there. even though ebay said initially on volume, the end goal is to make sure that we have them there asap, otherwise why would we have the scanners. let me ask you about perimeter security. what happened in belgian did not happen on the other side of the tsa checkpoint if that's what
they call them in belgian. it happened outside where there is lots of people. is there a solution for that? in our system that you can see that would not be cost prohibitive quest mark. >> senator, is just in rome and saw some of the measures they were employing for some of the terminals were american carriers and americans were likely to travel. they had deployed a couple of key checkpoints. in essence, chokepoints for vehicles and passengers moving into the terminal. they had a lot of visible security on the ground and overhead. i can imagine you have seen is a major u.s. airports at times of heightened threat where you can apply vehicular searches and checks at particular sites without causing too much commercial or vehicular disruption, more random checks
around, for example points of check-in and perhaps even more behavioral analysis in canines and others are deployed in key airports. it's difficult. it's it's difficult without disrupting traffic and commercial activity. >> look, i think there's some merit to doing that, i guess the question as it does anybody know what kind of appropriation it would take to maybe not have it all the time but have it enough so you would not know? >> i don't know, i think part of this has to do with local authorities, port authorities and others that have to do play resources as well. i. i don't know what those numbers look like.
>> i think you could probably do with relatively little appropriation if you took the behavioral detection teams that are right now past the checkpoint and move them to print to the checkpoint and some airports. the fact is we have these behavioral detection teens and and they are a good idea. but what they do is by design, pretty limited. >> okay, that's good. i would only add one thing and that is we go all out on passengers in terms of screen but the real vulnerability that we have seen in the last two terrorist attack around airport security is really about can they blow up in the air plane in flight. we have seen al qaeda doing that through an insider, we saw an explosive device used in somalia which it's not real clear if it's through an insider. if i was going to invest now toward airport security i would not look so much at re- hardening the security line in the passengers but looking at other vantage points were extremist might use. >> which gets to my next question. are we certifying, are we testing, however you want to put it the folks who work with the
bay gauge, work for the airlines, work and security? are they, are we doing enough there? >> that i honestly's or have no idea. i think that really goes to what the risk of portfolio is and the offense part of it which is investigated preemptive intelligence and that sort of thing. i appreciate your testimony and appreciate being here for the quest shins. think of roy do. >> did you attend the dhs hearing that we had? the dogs the dhs? you may have missed that. it was a_hearing, was an excellent hearing, i'm a big supporter more canine units and layering defense appeared particularly for luggage outside the perimeter. that would be money very well spent, senator booker. >> i just want to drill down one more time, obviously we are attacking al qaeda and
affiliates, isis territory organizations in the field of play every day around this country in syria and iraq and were sort of shrinking the territory and making considerable gains. i love that you said it was a matter of when, when, not if. i do believe that is the case, so that is one level, obviously were looking at places like libya and algeria, far-flung where there starting to set up other outpost, in the second level, equally important is to undermine the terrace network. this is a lot of what we talked about today which to me clearly i agree, with a panel that we need to be more aggressive holding to task our european partners, it's outrageous to me that they are searing communication transect manically but not within europe. and even within their country they have pre-9/11 american problems that
they have not worked through, clearly there is more work to do. i believe we are very vulnerable because of the visa waiver program. far more so than to me that a refugee program which takes a year or two years, the visa waiver program to me is something we should be more aggressive with our posture with their visa waiver countries. i think that is something we have a lot of work to do. i just want to get back in my final few minutes, the efforts which i now realize meet so many different things to so many different people. let me just say what i think it means, it is not talking about the work of law-enforcement but the other efforts going on to stop people from falling prey. again i'm concerned about what is happening in the field of battle, and concerned about visa waiver programs, terrorist networks, i'm also concerned about homegrown radicalization right here at home. i do agree again by the panel that this is not something that
is a matter of when, i think it is something will be dealing with for a very long time. our ability to prevent the radicalization of people is critical, and one tool in addition to detecting them, thwarting them, on the defensive tool is creating stronger counter violent extremism in our communities. i'm curious if you had to still, here we have the administration launching their cv task force and the global engagement center, as these get off the ground could you just talk about for the panel what specific recommendations would you have and the administration focus on, what are the top better, you should, you must do this, we can start with you mr. watson go to my left which is something as a something is a democrat i have to do. >> the first thing i would say
is where, where to focus it, my experience over the past decade, we have done a lot of cv programs and probably apply. i would focus on those very few communities, if it's in the state or europe where we know there are a lot of people being recruited from their strong sentiment. the next thing i thing i would focus on is where online. those two sometimes over lap and sometimes they're divergent. can we determine where, putting more investment in, pinpointing where we want to focus those programs, before they were all over the place. the next thing is how were going to apply them, that really applies to where a mix spectrum to want to apply. i think a better way to bring up what i was talking earlier's we have a pyramid but your investment should be in reverse. we invest heavier on engagements which is maybe an email mark cleric that does that physically, or its online via facebook and a one-to-one program. then the then the radicalizing population, how do
we undermine that message and make billions not martyrs, that's that radicalizing population. that's where we used to defectors and peers to do that. our lowest investment is this broad winning over of the community focus. ten years ago we were the reverse. we're focused on let's get out in the communities and make people feel good about our counterterrorism approach, more like a public prayers. i'd rather see better engagement between those that are mobilizing and radicalizing those programs. >> please go as quickly as you can. >> first is fast and the bureaucracy advertising. that is what's working what's not. the big idea i will put out his i would pay attention to self image. what makes a hero in multiple parts of the world. i was talking to a colleague in east
africa who said for a hero here you can be a rapper, you can be a businessman and you can be an isis fighter. but you can't be a member of the armed forces, they're not heroic. if you think about the way hollywood shapes our image, anyone anyone can be a human hero. a soccer coach, senator can be a hero, member of the armed forces, police, firefighters. the rest of the world that is not the case. i would think about self image because isis and other groups are tapping into people's self-image. they're giving them a route to become a hero. >> thank you very much. >> as we all know dod has invested in this new office in california and silicon valley and the california and silicon valley and the ideas to tap existing technology to throw at conventional military problems and challenges that our servicemen and women are facing. state department is also opening a very tiny presence in silicon
valley. utilizing this office to do the same thing but use existing technology and challenge all of the amazing whiz kids in california to apply some of this technology and know the challenge of cbe is probably one of the better ways in which you can use this little, think it's a two-man office at this point. but trying to but trying to use that state department presents to tap into what all ready exist and applied to the sophistication that we are in terms of encryption, surveillance, document forgery, the list goes on. i think it would be a wise investment. >> i'm happy to sit on the right on this one. three things. i would just commends the department for naming george salinas the head of this task force. he is a real professional in the space, i've worked with him, he understands the challenge ahead and i think he is great for this
major challenge we have. three ideas. one we need a network of networks. this is something the u.s. government u.s. government and government agencies cannot do. you need the sisters against violent extremism. you need the media companies, you need the clarets, the entrepreneurs in muslim communities. also be a part of not only creating this as a parent was on but a sense identity in the 21st century for these individuals. we need to figure out how to we animate those network of networks? that's a huge huge challenge because we don't like to give up control. it's hard on the funding side. how do you give micrograms to these one-on-one kinds of efforts. that's a challenge but we have got to figure it out because it's really at the grassroots level player going to deal with. we have to figure out where the manifestations of the precursors is beginning to take route. we have to make sure we have an inhospitable ecosystem for this ideology. we can never find yourselves in a position where in the u.s. you
have a birmingham where these radical ideologues or ideologies take route. it cannot happen. where the manifestations. how do you counter online? how do you create off ramps for individuals? how do you d do you do radicalize for people who have come back? how do you leverage them. third and finally, i think this is where the community engagement is so important, how do you do find identity and opportunity in these communities and for individuals, whether they are disaffected or otherwise. the government can't find that, families, friends, friends, communities have to play a role in defining that. at the end of the day the problem of radicalization is often a problem of identification. >> thank you. >> i want to second what senator was saying. this is been an exceptional panel, exceptional discussion, the goal of every hearing for my standpoint is layout reality, define, define problems we can take the first step in solving
it. i want to commend my colleagues for asking good questions, the staff, this is been extremely good hearing. i will give you all a chance to make concluding comments. try to keep it brief. one question i did not get answered and diluted to it in terms of the concern about the nuclear surveillance, the surveillance a nuclear facility. if anybody wants to address critical infrastructure, and highly concerned infrastructure, highly concerned about it. we saw the cyber attack against ukraine. without a physical terrorist attack against the california. i'm highly highly concerned about that. if you have something to other but don't feel obligated, otherwise just concluding comment before you close the hearing. >> mr. chairman. thank you for the privilege to be here. i'm honored honored to be with this expert panel. let me reiterate on the dhs mission. i think it is more critical now than at any time since 911. it has less to do with attacking
or dealing with particular groups or individuals, and it is the role of dhs to ensure critical national system in infrastructures not only secure but resilient and redundant. i think there's no other agency and government that has that mission. dhs has a critical role whether it is online or physically to make sure that our system are secure and redundant. that goes along way in making a strong and deterring terrorist attack. second point i would make which i did not make earlier is i don't think we can downplay the strategic impact of smaller back affect that isis for perpetrates. i think we run the danger if we define the threat through a current lens of whether or not it is existential and directed at the homeland, we run the risk of missing the adaptation of this threat in the street strategic impact over time of what these groups can do to our society to our laws into
the functioning of our economy. >> by the way, cannot agree more. i don't want to give anybody ideas but certainly in my mind a bunch of coordinated smaller attacks can have a devastating impact on our economy. >> let me just say briefly that these attacks in europe in brussels, and paris could not have come at a worse time for brsels for the european unit, for europe as a whole. not only are they facing very severe counterterrorism threat, but as you all know, they are under the weight of a migration crisis, there are facing a resurgent russia that is actively trying to destabilize the continent. they have weak economy and a potential exit of one of their largest members. so i believe it is in america's interest to help fortify the european project. we are not a member of the european unit, we cannot do everything for them,
but it is in our interest to support the european project that in many ways is an american project. we help provide the foundation upon which they built the european union. rather than pulling away we have to invest in this relationship and do it we can to help them with these very real security challenges. >> said to specifically raise the issue of nuclear security i'll start there. one area we should look to, in general is where in our security apparatus other obvious vulnerabilities. there are two with respect to nuclear security in europe and belgium in particular. one is that guards the belgian nuclear facilities are still high belgian law prohibited from carrying weapons. meaning these facilities are vulnerable to coordinated armed attack. the second thing is, i think their significant questions about whether they are doing enough to screen their personnel. a man who i highlighted my written testimony went to syria as a form fighter, he died in
2014. he had been a technician at a nuclear power print from 2009 to 2012. he had access to sensitive areas of the reactor. this calls into question whether their screening is sufficient for personnel who have access to sensitive areas. overall this europe is the finger on are we well-suited for the challenges of the 21st century. in particular i would focus on system design. when you look at the european security apparatus we put our fingers collectively on a number of problems that occur there. the problem is a patchwork of systems, no essential law-enforcement body and it means that terrace to operate trends nationally are at it in the vantage. overall the u.s. system is better than european system but it also has its problem. we put up a gram as one of the problems here. the question i would