tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 7, 2016 6:00am-8:01am EDT
>> they are the ones who will be listening. i think understand why the rise is an important part of understanding is very dangerous and five at that exist within europe. >> thank you. mr. watts? >> i would say we can't fix european politics or the integration problem and so i would instead focus on the issue of why it is attracted to these young men and someone to join the islamic state. i would focus on two messages. can be turned islamic state and
its leaders into martyrs? beverly is about how you change the narrative in terms of how they're perceived. the second one is the message that the leading killer of an isis member is a fellow isis member. we are watching the factors fully from street under right. they're killing the defectors, killing internal spies, people started ask questions. i think it's important to put that into the mind of the young people. they are believing one narrative, and to offer them another one. i would focus on the iraqis regions which are within the islamic state who are very much pushing away the foreign fighters, not giving much, and fellow rights to the foreign fighter rather than i can drive a wedge betwn him. i would focus on vectors and their messages. there's a lot talking about what happened to them when they're in iraq and syria. it was not the fantasy be had in
mind. i would absolutely publish the silly and pointless death of every european foreign fighter. they use them for personal support, suicide bombings against adversaries locally. they would not be a google search that would happen in one of those hotspot communities. i would add to that 82% of the towns from the foreign fighters are the ones in afghanistan and 80, afghanistan, iraq 10 years ago and today. i can tell you what those 20 counselor. it's not a matter of like knowing where to go for the hotspots, it's just not only going to push. >> i want to ask a yes or no question to each. secretary johnson have been before the department of homeland security. one of the issues he's pushing is a partnership with the muslim community to counter violent extremism in our country. our committee has put out legislation to support this.
is this in terms of responding to potentially root cause in this country, is this a smart policy to pursue or not? >> i think absolutely. in fact, we've established a commission at csis led by tony blair and secretary panetta to look at this issue and provide policy guidance for the next administration. these are issues not just of safe haven abroad the question of identity and dislocation the one thing we did look at, something is good to mention with your last question, the last element assembly and networks. we find family and networks are critical to the support of extremism as well as to counter. it's often family members that are able to intervene and we're not finding ways aggressively enough. >> absolutely. i think it is critical for us to pursue those types of programs here in the united states but we also need to work with our european partners. we face different challenges but
we can sure lessons learned and see what works and what doesn't. >> yes, with the caveat a lot of the early efforts will certainly be awkward and faltering. so some of the benefit will be learning from what doesn't work. >> thank you. >> i wouldn't put much effort in it to be honest. i forgot a lot of those programs over the last 10 years. there some value but it don't think they will be a great weapon in thwarting recruitment. these people operate disenfranchised and parents are the worst ones. that's what the in the u.s. or europe. i think it's going to for a community policing purposes just in general i don't think it really look at other problem. >> thank you all. >> sigrid ayotte. >> i want to thank the chairman. this is an excellent panel. let me just say the fact had a major terrorist attack in europe and we can't get before this committee and a fish from department of homeland security,
fbi or the national counterterrorism center, to me speaks volumes that this acquisition things they're doing a good job fighting i said, income and make their case. i want to back to the chairman on the point that he made i think very respectfully earlier. i would like to ask each of you one of the things that are coming loud and clear, is the lack of intelligence sharing in europe, and the problems we have with that lack of intelligence sharing. as you know, the european countries, in fact with over 30 countries that are part of our visa waiver program. to be part of the program you have to essentially meet certain basic standards of information sharing. you have to into an agreement with the u.s. to report lost or stolen passports. and most importantly have an agreement to share information regarding whether a national of
that country found that yes represents a threat to u.s. security. as i hear your testimony today, i see a huge glaring flag, because at the end of december we passed a law which i was glad we did that essentially said that individuals who have traveled to iraq and syria, iran and also now the homeland security secretary which i support has added some other countries like libya to that list, but here's the problem. if we don't have good information sharing as highlighted like help in belgium, we can put in place all we want but if we do know that someone traveled to iraq in studio. in fact, 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 that the
information they came from coverage authorities was not properly acted upon. i would have to think that they were not sharing that information with us if they were not acting upon it for themselves. what does this mean in terms of what we should be doing to protect our citizens with the lack of information sharing? it needs to be a priority with us to get information sharing between us and the trans-atlantic relationship, better information and sharing among europe. but i think our citizens need to understand what do we need to do to protect our citizens to make sure that someone doesn't travel to iraq and syria, we are unaware because information has not been shared, and then is able to travel to the united states without a visa? >> senator, great questions and very important concerns. 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 generally. i think you have seen that terrorists have adapted around us so they're infiltrating some of the refugee flows. you have seen from some of the plots in recent attacks that they use methodologies of returning into your using backpacker sort of roots so as to avoid connections back to the countries of concern. i think there are two things we need to do. one is we have to engage in self-help. we've got to gain more intelligence on our own. we've got to be aggressive about what we're doing on the ground in these places as well as along the routes were we suspect the pipelines are operating. the turkish syrian border we know exactly where the strength of border is where they continued to move in and out. i'm hoping and expecting that we are on that flight cost can get
as much information about people moving in and out. understanding where their flowing elsewhere. secondly, i think we need to spur the europeans to work more closely together. i think that means we have to put them together whether an attack force model or some other fashion. >> one of the things i called upon as i asked the president to bring native together. don't you think nader could be a helpful avenue? >> nato could be a what you need on intelligence services to 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 and. there's something to the fact that passenger name record in the trans-atlantic way our shared in a real-time basis but passenger name record are not shared with of the european union. think about that. we have developed a protocol to understand where there are suspect actors trying to access the system.
europe doesn't have internally. in a sense will have to catalyzed a lot of this innovation and a lot of what my fellow panelists talked about. we have to take a leadership role because we have vulnerabilities in the type you describe. >> that's an excellent question. i would just add to that that the u.s. has a number of bilateral relationships so the cooperation we have with europe is completely uneven. the are some that are wonderful. others that are in complete disrepair. we've got to bring everybody up to the same standard. the our improvements that need to be made to our intelligence sharing but the emphasis should be put on your and sharing inside the continent. effective i'm not going to move forward with an eu wide application until our election is ridiculous. they are waiting to see the next president is to get our views on intelligence when they need to move out on this yesterday.
we should push them not to wait but to advance this agenda as soon as possible. david ignatius put it best. the europeans are very interested in our intelligence for all the obvious reasons that they have this distaste for collection. we've got to break past this and through it to say enough is enough. we need to make progress and work through these issues. >> icy mr. watts wanting to comment. you also made a statement about you believe we need better warnings as well based on what we know. >> i think one thing the u.s. can do of european union is which is spent a decade building a national counterterrorism center, office integration functions, and to intelligence sharing both up and across. we do it from the federal, state and local level amanita managed that and push it. we know how to do that with partners and in the agency. i think that something we can
help them to. it's how do we develop those relationships. they are all bilateral. why should we provide the french and in the uk the same intelligence that each of them individually? they need to synchronize their systems so we could offer a way for them to do that or provide support in a way to do that. my fear is european countries don't want to do with their data privacy issues and the collection issues until they have an attack. so how do we communicate that? can we say look, this is the risk profile for you, denmark. just hypothetically. this is what you're facing. do you want to wait to see what happens or you want to come into this? is there a way we can work with all of those countries, germany, denmark, all of those to come up with a brokered what to get to the solution. i don't know that can be achieved but that is what has to happen because right now it is one off exchanges.
that never will allow you to put together the picture. >> i know my time is up b but it didn't want to leave the doctor out. >> the question was about visa waiver and ensuring our own borders. i would just point out that u.s. customs and border protection is the last line of defense. when you have somebody with the search it doesn't correlate with iraq, syria, libya, et cetera, it comes down to the counterterrorism response team. one thing i would put some focus on is did the characters of response team at cbp has to the have enough resources? to the other training to undertake the kind of human intelligence collection they're doing at the border to see something suspicious? and more overdue you have enough professionalization and enough incentive to get the best and the brightest to stay in the
program as opposed going to another agency? that i think is something that is entirely appropriate for the legislature to look into. >> i think you all for your interest and i would just say based on what you said, i think we have to take the leadership role. titles in another country that will be able to bring everyone together and get them to act. >> while we're on this topic i want to ask a simple question because the theory is under the visa waiver program 38 countries on the program right now, that there's a threshold level of information sharing that should be sufficient. i just want them anyway want to express opinion, are all those 38 countries at that threshold level or should we be taking it should look at taking some of the visa waiver program's on probation or evaluate that? >> i think it's worth reviewing
especially in light of the recent attacks. i think we 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 deficit. i think it's appropriate to look at some of these countries. without prejudice understanding the deep economic and social and diplomatic importance of the visa waiver program but i think a healthy review and some skepticism is worth it. >> anybody else want to quick chime in on that? >> i would agree. i don't know the level of all 38 countries but i would say start with the countries that have the most foreign fighters per capita. that's right where i would begin with and then move down the list from there. >> senator ernst. >> thank you, mr. chair. and thanks to all of you for joining our panel today. this has been very helpful i think for all of us. as i've noted before in my capacity on the senate armed
services committee, i do share concerns that have been expressed by general breedlove about the lack of support for force protection measures for service members, dod, civilians and their families. just a couple of examples of that. the u.s. military recently ordered military family members to exit turkey. where the state department ordered the departure of family members and staff at the u.s. consulate, and recently the wife of an air force officer was killed in the brussels attack. so if we can focus just on belgium for a moment. reports are suggesting the dod has about 1300 military personnel and dependents, at about six and civilian employees in belgium which, of course, we all know is home to nato. i would like to start with you, mr. watts, and then if the rest of the panel could enter as well.
do you share my concern and general breedlove's about u.s. force protection in europe? and what do we need to do to make sure that force protection is adequate and how do we move forward? >> i would start off in terms of concern, i am concerned in particular for one big reason. what we've seen is too big attacks in paris and brussels. now counterterrorism is out aggressively. we know also that our other parts of the network that are still at large. so if you believe you are being closed in on as the tears come what do you do? you rapidly put together an attack. there is no target better than a military person deployed overseas. we saw that with a bullet the two airmen killed in germany at an airport. that's a target of opportunity. so if you're either an inspired recruit were some in the network that knows you're on your last few minutes, this is a great target of opportunity.
i think there's a huge risk for that as these investigations progress if they can't operate as cells for groups that have in the past they will pick targets of opportunity. baby to pick europeans of the most multiple most targeted u.s. people 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 to look for target opportunities as things get tougher. in terms of how do you protect them, it is extremely challenging. you have one of two options. you try and protect them in place which is difficult to do and say but more active defense measures in place. this is increasing diplomatic security, surveillance. very tough to do. the other part is you remove them from those countries. and you talk about removing 1300 servicemen and women families from those countries, that's a major signal and as impacts in europe. we believe europe is insecure and it creates a ripple effect. i don't know i have the right
answer for what to do, but i do think would risk forecasting much better. we wait for an attack to happen and then say okay, there's something bad, travel warning. great, i'm already here. we know where these foreign fighters are coming from. we could map out as a risk forecast and put out here is the risk of traveling in these nations based on number of foreign fighters, the capacity we assess the european countries in terms of your counterterrorism law-enforcement which sends a signal, and then where we've seen attacks, high-traffic location attacks. we've seen the subways, popular west continues to this looks like a lover what we used to say in the middle east or north africa hitting targets of opportunity where there are lots of westerners. i think we can send some signals to europe by setting up her own assessment and i would make a public. i would have a map just like you see with disease control maps. these are the places we are worried about the most and the
europeans will figure out on their own. >> that's very good. i like to do from the other panelists as well. >> i would look not just that 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 the hardened space at another site prevent security returned reflects aggressively as need be. those are always targets for terrorists have a heart of executing against those. i worry more about the soft targets outside those rings of security. and understanding with the terrorists may be surveilling, doing a lot of counter intelligence and some of these locations i think is really important to understand the specific risks around personal and family members. one other note, keep in mind from a cyber perspective what some of the followers and adherents of isis have tried to
do is expose military personnel and their family members with personal data, addresses so there's 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 conscious of that encounter it if we can't. >> very good. thank you. anyone else wish to respond? >> i echoed these concerns and piggybacking on what juan said, i think one of the emerging tactics that crisis in particular is trying to use is stalking and killing its foes, especially those who are affiliated with government. basically taking them out of the governments sphere, making them individuals who can easily track. when i was in germany very recently at the base, i saw service members in contravention to regulations leaving the base still wearing their uniforms.
that's a concern. i think making family members and members of the military aware of a few things is important to want is basic online security, something which is drilled into within these institutions. making them aware of how much information they're getting off on social media. a lot of information isis got when it put out addresses of service members who ar were on their kill this which is easily cleaned not from hacking up by 20 people social media attacks and find out this information about them. ultimately, this is a very high level concern that fits both what the organization has done and also the direction it is moving in in terms of its evolving tactics. >> i appreciate that very much. when my husband was serving in saudi arabia in the late '90s, he was considered a combatant commander and come excuse me, part of a combatant command.
members of those or those family members could not live in saudi arabia at the time. however, he had next-door and the next set of quarters over a non-combatant commander but those families could live there. it was ironic to us. i don't think there is distinguish between who is a combatant and who is a noncombatant in situations like that but this is something the united states needs to take very seriously and make sure we're protecting our service numbers as those civilians serving overseas. so thank you very much for being here today. >> senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the panelists. i've found and will continue to find this hearing very interesting and appreciate your expertise. i'd like to pick up on questions that senator carper had related to the community and what we have seen certainly the attacks in paris and brussels, the
individuals involved were homegrown, folks who were radicalized in their own country, went off in some cases to be foreign fighters, came back. you've already talked about some of the conditions in those european neighborhoods that these individuals are exposed to. given the fact also a very vibrant muslim, arab american community here in the united states, in michigan in particular, could you comment on what you see as the differences between the united states and europe, and what lessons because we think we have not seen those incidents here in our country come what lessons can be learned from the united states that may be helpful to the european space what is happening here? is a different? elaborate on why that could be a good lesson for others. >> thank you. fortunately, i do think there is a difference. first is a difference in numbers.
you look at the per capita number of radicalized individuals. the cases brought by the fbi or foreign fighters have gone to fight in a variety of foreign terrorist complex. the numbers are quite low per capita incomes are just. in terms of foreign fighters in this most recent context of syria and iraq, probably 200 or so. with wonderful information about foreign fighters and, in fact, that american recently turned himself in to the kurdish authorities deployed on video i think was not known to u.s. authorities. we don't have a full picture but the numbers are much smaller than what we see in europe. second, muslim-american communities are incredibly diverse. they are spread geographically under they are well integrated. and have done well socially and economically the 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 again in the
american context. the last thing i would note is the very notion of an american identity is a common form of definition of individuals and communities. the fact that anyone from any race creed or religion can call themselves american people first generation or 12 generation is incredibly powerful. at the notion i think ensure social scientists have pointed this out that there's actual sort of gravity to the idea of the american dream, the american ideal is counterweight to the counter does of these terrorist groups and even the of islamic caliphate which is animating so many to fight in iraq industry. the one thing i would argue for america's we get to make sure we recognize we embrace our diversity, we tackle the challenges are committed by this somali americans were using high% of individuals going to fight and ensure you have the
ghettoization or the sense of targeting a muslim-american committees or any other community. that's the bedrock of american power and identity and, frankly, oldest in good stead against his ideology. >> thank you. >> just to follow up, i agree with him 100%. just to stress one point at identity. we benefit in the united states from the fact that it is easy to of a hyphenated existence. you can be irish-american come muslim-american, scottish american, whatever it might be. in europe the problem is these migrants to have arrived many from north africa, for example, feel neither french nor moroccan. so they been in this country. many of them were born there but i don't feel part of society. there's no path for them for word to integrate into societies so makes them very susceptible.
this will be your home because france is not your home and your not going to go to morocco either or else -- so let's provide a sense of identity. that is an entirely different challenge than what we had in the united states. that is that we don't of folks that are susceptible to radicalization but it is a very different challenge than what we see on the other side of the atlantic. >> you can see some of his better out statistically. it's been years since i look at statistics about demographics within the american community so this might be dated by the last time i looked into this the average muslim had a hig higher level of education than the average american. the average muslim in the united states had also a higher level of employment, social economic
status which is the relative levels of integration. i would also caution, i think there are lessons that europe could learn from the united states, but the u.s. is fairly unique in being a nation of immigrants. i traveled the world a lot as is everyone on this panel, and i can't think of many other societies other than canada we don't have integration problems. i don't mean -- from any sort of class. just in general throughout the world you have a much more rigid set of identities that we have in the united states. i wouldn't think of there being a quick fix in terms of lessons from america, but rather a systemic problem that will be with us i think for decades to come. that 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 and then compare it to us. the best record of reform fire is a former foreign fighter. and that is about the physical relationship, the way you recruit people into your ranks. it's the same in the states. they always say the best recruiter of a marine is a former marine. there's that intra- channel would you come through and builds on this relationships that motivate you that keeps you going. is now europe has once lead out, foreign fighters leading back into your. at the same point that the other problem, i want to go to syria and iraq but can no longer do that. you have these foreign foreign fighters -- former foreign fighters to get some veterans and some inspired recruits that are working together. that's the worst-case scenario. they are in these disenfranchised communities. we don't have the foreign fighters coming back the way we see in europe. most of our recruits are virtual
recruits, probably 90% of the our online. they don't have a direct connection. they worke work to build a connn with the crew. that takes longer, is more difficult and you get a different style of recruit. they are more ideological were of those neighbor to more social. this is a different dynamic place out. with the exception possibly of minneapolis which was mentioned before. we don't have the same dynamic which allows us to detect them online as well as on the ground much faster. they send out signals that are easier to detect, whereas in europe they have a huge problem. a lot of improvement is never seen by law enforcement because it's happening face-to-face on a one-to-one basis spill i appreciate the responses. if i could summarize it it sounds as if we sort have to be vigilant, have strong intelligence and make sure we are being offensive in our actions but ultimately the strongest shield we have are our
american values, a special place where we are a nation of immigrants red bone can come and pursue the american dream. if we ever let that slip that we truly are vulnerable. thank you. >> senator boxer. >> thank you for this ring. mr. watts, you said something which seemed like you were downplaying the effectiveness of efforts to counter the propaganda. do you think that's not as fruitful of a pathway? >> i don't believe that most of the tv advertising, comparing the states injured is a little challenging but i believe it is an interactive way to sort of get at the motivations which are recruiting these young people. part of the reason i believe they are recruiter is because they are in disenfranchised communities. they are not connected and they are not connected socially a lease with the parents come they
are not listening to what the parents are saying. we just saw two weeks ago were a mother in europe found out that her son was in the islamic state because the records were divulged online. she did note and tell the newspaper contacted her. parents are not good at knowing whether young people are doing. that's just normal. also with the communities they seem to not be aware or they're not on board in terms of preventing this. i think it's a good effort to do for a lot of reasons. regarding violent extremism but also building relationships with the communities to break down those borders. if you want to get at the problem, radicalization of recruitment, you have to change and this is where we come to the communications part, the mindset sent narrative to get to change how the opportunities to become the jihad district jihadists are fickle. we watched online for years al-qaeda recruits. you should go to yemen. they would go to yemen until things are going well in yemen and somalia. he should go to mali.
that last about three days into the french invaded. she should go to syria. that's gone on for four years because islamic slipping successful. that narrative was a propaganda. it was true. we are advancing on these cities. we are achieving success, building the state. as soon as we start to erode that and i think it's happening now, you start to see fewer recruits but i think the key point is to focus on the individuals and why they wanted to join rather than go through the committee. i'm not sure they are the best for you. i would rather change the image. >> we are devoting territory in syria and iraq right now which is on the money some recruitment efforts by the same time perhaps okasan back on trying to show that i this is making victories at the pushing perhaps a more photograph or drawing to do attack. you are taking efforts and separatinseparatinghem. wonders obesity medications with family members trying to create
better networks within muslim communities versus the propaganda that they are feeding these young people trying to make sure we are countering the propaganda without of her own, exposing them for the fraud and the shams that they are? >> i think it's a fun. usually we talk vulnerable radicalizing and committed recruits. recruit. there's more in the vulnerable stage. these are the communities we want to reach out to. that's like working with the program usage as. there's radicalizing, people already connected, look like they're mobilizing, take on the image and the thought of those they want to join. then the committed, these guys are trying to do an attack at overtime to make their way to syria and iraq. i would focus more at the bottom. >> that's law enforcement and i agree. you don't have as much confidence in seeing formally of former freedom fighters, excuse
me, former reckless folks who come back but now converted back to sanity engaging them and telling the truth to others and that -- >> i'm a big fan of them and that's where i focus is towards the radicalizing members. what i'm not so interested in is this massive global audience where we tried, i call it pushing, let's by the world a coke message and say let's reach out to come build stronger communities, integrate, solve some of your problems. i feel like there's a good programs to do it regardless but to focus with defectors, focus with atrocities, focus on crimes have been in iraq in syria and the radicalizing audience. sometimes we get one part right but not focusing in the right place. i would rather look at those that are closely connected to foreign fighters and their communities and that's where i would and that message. >> you want to add to that? >> i would just note, i guess i've assigned a different view.
you need multiple lines of effort. you've got the military angle, the law enforcement but i think which invest in some of these cve measures to ultimately the research shows tip also off the path of radicalization you've got to give them an alternative path. after a network of individuals that they trust, and imam or a teacher or third or a neighbor that can persuade them to make the right choice and they have to have some element of doubt about going down this path. i think some of the measures that have been launched today are trying to do just that, to provide a network of individuals that can light a hand on someone as they are wavering. some of them are too far to pull back but for the young kids that are on the brink of packing it in and taking a flight to turkey, that will then come across the border into syria come we have to look at some of these programs to be sure to all of them produce real results and we have to scrub, understand what's working, what's not.
we have to keep trying and working with allies whether the folks in uae, or our european allies, i think it's an important component of the wider strategy spent so programs like think again turn away, that were not really successful, so finding the ones are working, investing in those, not undermining the law enforcement efforts to find the ones that are targeted. just out of curiosity in a few minutes i have left because this is a great night i going to be listening to npr but it was a good article my staff sent me about why some neighborhoods are very radicalized and some are not. you have a moroccan neighborhood where the art, and then you have a turkish neighborhood that is not. but it that some of the same characteristics in not integrating into european society. why would you say that, if your thoughts on the? >> it's a great question of one
that there's a lot more investigation. you have had these hotspots of radicalization. you've also the situation, it is a part of the difficulty of the cve efforts. one who bears the scars are doing work in this space for a number of years i can attest to it, but the reality is you have family members themselves growing up in the same home, the same neighborhood. one goes off to fight, the other doesn't and doesn't fall prey to the ideology. the question is why. sociologists archaeologist and anthropologist are all looking at this. there's a social scientist sir john does to figure out what is the difference. one of the things, the personal connection between the radicalizers, the ideologues, and the lineage of both ideological and operational networks. i think we've seen these groups continue to persist with they continue to produce radicalized individuals and foreign fighters conflict after conflict year
after year is in these communities with our people who are actively trying to recruit as a part of their mission. you saw in norway, we've seen it with preachers in the uk. you've seen it in france and belgium where you have this ideological lineage that embeds in communities. that then becomes a hotbed. that's one factor but i think scientists are trying to figure this out because not even within families themselves can figure out exactly what a radicalized one individual versus another. >> the radical right that's growing in europe that is creating more combustible fuel for radicalization, does that concern you about the rhetoric and the united states that might be potentially be doing the same? >> i am very worried about political developments inside europe where we've seen the rise of anti-immigrant and anti-eu
parties in countless countries across the european continent, and what it's doing to fuel the grievances that these muslim communities have against the societies in which they live. similarly we have to be careful here about our own rhetoric and acts of discrimination and alienation. we want to be as inclusive as possible. we have to recognize we are dealing with a small percentage even in europe of the muslim community. it's not fair to say to all of the muslims inside you are susceptible. we have to keep that in check. most important i think i'm watching developments inside europe closely can figure out how this is going to unfold and change their approach in the coming months and years. i think where to watch ourselves as well. >> we cannot move to a position where in this country are propagating and echoing the narrative of others. we are americans of all americans, muslims, christians,
jewish, agnostic. and to extend our political discourse drives a sense of alienation and divide, that self-destructive but it is dangerous. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, senator carper, for holding this hearing. of course, you once again adequate for. i'm sorry we didn't have administration officials does women have been before we learned a lot about what's going on and, frankly, we've been constructed and giving them ideas about what should be happening. in addition to what is already happening both on the international side, the global threat here at the entrance of protecting homeland and winning the hearts and minds which has been a good conversation today. in ohio people worry. they see what happened in brussels. every member pairs, the remember san bernardino and we are told by nationals get experts in washington the threat is increased here in the united states.
we face an increased threat today. in listening to the conversation, i would wonder whether you agree with that. some of you seem to be saying maybe recruiting is down, isis as not being a success because of some of the military victories. a lot of the military victories are by the syrian army right now. is some consequences that may create even additional refugee flows if that makes any sense come which i think it does. my question to you is, do you think that some of the threat has added? i don't sense that. i would like to dig deeper into this issue of the ideology? i think is more consensus you and though it's not anti-consensus come there's more consensus about what we ought to get in terms of protecting the homeland. there is less about how do you get at the hearts and minds. one data point that has been reported to us, and maybe you would dispute this, but is very
interesting as it relates to our conversation about what's happening here in the muslim community and how we can thwart young people, the recruits joining a misguided cause, is that 38% of your citizens who have been charged with isis relator offenses are converts. -- related offenses to we sometimes talk about the lone wolf and the global this sometimes the muslim, but often it is a convert. i couldn't agree more we need to do more in the muslim community, understand your point about priorities but i will take the first foreign fighter idly looking back and back and was arrested in the united states was in columbus, ohio. he was somali. i've talked to the somali community. part of the recent we are able to apprehend it was because of a cooperation between police and the somali community. very important. is this figure i could that
almost 40% of those of an arrested on isis related charges are converts? what does it mean in terms of dealing with this issue? is an even broader than the importance of going into these muslim communities and having the leadership in those communities providing the alternative path into letting people know that as mr. watts said, welcome these people are villains rather than the roast. those are my two questions. i just want to what you think about the threat over all, and second, what do you think about dealing with the challenge we have here in this country of people who are becoming radicalized, particularly those are converts to islam, becoming radicalized? rate question as always. first i think the scope, scale and sophistication of terrorist threats more significant now than ever before. part of this has to do with the diversification of the
nationalities of individuals involved, part of it has to do with expense of the geographies with isis establishing these provinces, with several of these geographically now applying to isis to be a part of the. we've seen attacks in southeast asia as a part of the application process. so the geographic scope, the diversity, the numbers are still there and sophistication of the operation are increasing. this is a group that is thinking about the next generation. using recruitment of women, the attempt to engage in education and schooling. all as a way of breeding a new generation of jihadis and radicals as part of an isis 2.0 perhaps. finally, the idea of the caliphate and even though it's diminishing in iraq the fact is beginning to spread in other parts of the world, the very notion of it being a reality and persisting continues to animate the movement and is a very dangerous way.
i mention southeast asia producing the reanimation of tears networks that we had worked so har hard with the souh southeast asian partners and the australians to suppress now resurrected because the idea and animation of the caliphate is driving some of these things. i think we are in a more dangerous animated type of global tourism. >> how about an right here in the united states? >> i would first note that we have a lot more ones and twos rather than community recruitment in the state. and of those, as you pointed to, many of them have deep psychological issues, or maybe not part of his radical ideology for very long. how to detect them if they're not part of the community and if they're new to this movement? in the converts defined islam and go to the extreme form of islam and been mobilized to support isis, that can happen in months or years. that's a tipoff there something else going on. the only real way to do that is
online, electronic surveillance. at your best bet at picking of people. they are self radicalizing, motivating in ways that are hard to detect. you have a committee to help detect and. you don't have a law enforcement issue that can detect them. how to do that? your best chance is online. .com to the point of how comfortable are americans watching that? i am upset with the point i am no longer in government, i can sit at my house and watch extremist online and know that they're mobilizing towards al-qaeda, isis or whatever group, but yet law enforcement in many ways has many more hurdles to opt order -- to hop over. i can provide you should then they conducted themselves. i think it's how do we work through this system. that 40% worse the more because if you like to have a propensity to violence-the rate of many others, especially in the homeland. >> those a good point. one thing we did not into
earlier insurance of the cd issue is what's going on online. our inability to counter that narrative in an effective way is a real concern, even at our fusion center in ohio that i visited, we are doing some of his and that's important, it seems to me we should increase our efforts. this committee has talked a lot about this with administration officials. i think we have helped to construct a more sophisticate waitinwaited to go on one wheree individuals who may be converts, maybe low find this information. it's not a physical contact. the young man in cincinnati who was a convert was working online to become not just a convert but become radicalized. i think this is an area we have unfortunately a real gap in terms of our ability to project. do you have any thoughts on that, on the online messaging? >> i would just note that we sing different stages and how
isis has kind of taken the fight away from the region and into europe and elsewhere including the united states. they first wanted to us by attacks. then they have tried very hard to enable them, and other working to actually direct the attacks. to our efforts to counter the efforts have to be driven towards every single one of those efforts through law enforcement, the views of our military to get them back home in the place, a safe haven where they exist, but also the cd effort that we talked about the but you're exactly right. the online presence in their ability and their sophistication online is something that should work all of us a great deal. >> if i could add one thing because i failed to mention it earlier with senator parker's question was, the art online programs placing that it didn't have merit. one is called one-to-one interventions come online
intervention. they have done that in uk, moonshot is a group that is done. exists outside of government. i think that is an effective example of how you can to see the end of one space. what tends to happen with investments though is that is more expensive because you're talking resources one-to-one and we tend to shy toward if we do this program with 10 people it might reach a thousand. i would rather go heavier. i guess my response is heavier on those that we know that are closest to get it on the airplane or showing up with an explosive device a invest heavier in those cd programs. >> that's one of our challenges is to identify. i couldn't agree more, laserlike approach. >> mr. watts, i want to put go back because you indicated as a private citizen you can do more to identify these individuals then government officials can. talk about the handcuffs of action on government officials
who are trying to do what we need to do. >> i think it's twofold. for example, i teach at the new jersey state police about and a lot of programs of intelligence led policing counterterrorism. you can show them these accounts or out of their white opened it comes down to two issues. what are the rules around me collecting this information on private citizens. law enforcement, intelligence, federal system all have different comfort ability with it so they're not sure whether the chairperson of the the second part is capacity. state and locals can benefit a lot from detecting people online but have a lease capacity to do. the federal government has the most capacity, the best technology. those with assets but may have trouble communicating that information down to state and local strip the other part i would tell you is if have to go into government location into a briefing, it's almost impossible to use the technology just to access the information. all for good reasons,
cybersecurity, physical security but you almost cannot get on the internet to observe a. it becomes a barrier and you start to look for other ways to do it where as at my house i can open up my doors, watch what's going on i can collaborate with people like daveed who are watching this and but consider basically our own databases where we tag and track people. as soon as i get introduced into the government, everything tends to go sideways and becomes very archaic are difficult to do. >> do you see a solution that protects american civil liberties of? >> idea. i think there needs to be some sort of legislation or regulation put forth to if i as a private citizen can observe this online, then the federal government will after the activity online. this note of weeks did nothing for veterans of helping the government come in terms of accessing that information but think a more forward approach saying look, the best weekends secure our nation and safeguard
you is if we watch what's going on online. when people are talking about committing or mobilizing towards violence and we need to go out and talk to the. if you can't see the information or if it's coming to you very delayed, it's hard to have a preemptive law enforcement approach. >> you talked a little bit about what the goal is. we held a hearing really based on graham boyd, what isis really wants. my conclusions, is the two things. world domination ever want to set up his apocalyptic final battle. some conflicting goals. i just want to ask all the panelists, what is behind this? was baffling to americans come al-qaeda, the narrative was they just wanted the west out of the middle east. this is different. can you first speak to that? i want to go down the pan. what you think they are after? >> i think the next evolution, if given life and manifestation
to what had once been the mythology of reestablishing the islamic caliphate. so first and foremost they want to establish not only this caliphate but demonstrate that they can cover and actually that this is a place companies as part of the narrative, where it's the only place where you can practice to islam. is a part of the attractiveness. so they've morphed the al-qaeda nerd which is the west is at war with islam, into this caliphate and the way we are covering it is the only place where you can actually live as a true muslim. it's that in and of itself that is at the core of the message. that didn't animate outward because their job is to kill and convert infidels and to project out to they understand that the west along with allies and proxies will not allow them to do this long-term. >> you also talked about as long as that caliphate exist it
expires and prompts additional types of action. i was interested in you talking about the application process. sounds like a gang initiation. can you quick speak about and give us some examples of? >> what you've seen is a different terrorist groups come the moment that caliphate was announced, there was a moment of strategic decision for al-qaeda as well as the accountant affiliates and other violent extremist groups. they had to determine are going to be part of this? do we believe in a? this is part of the strategic ranking and reducing between al-qaeda core and islamic state. what a number of groups have done to include boko haram which was long allied with al-qaeda wants to them send messages to the islamic state initiating membership, in essence, pledging allegiance in the first instance and then i want to actually be an official province of the islamic state. this is a reality for them. they see this as a governing reality.
you have seen this emerged in libya, in egypt, in afghanistan and pakistan come in saudi arabia, in human. these are we'll individuals think of your part of something bigger than themselves and that is dangerous implications because they have to prove they are worthy, which is why using these attacks in the hinterlands of places like jakarta with people trying to be a part of this broader caliphate. it's animating the movement and it is resurrecting this networks of funding and operational that we have long suppressed spirit so the inescapable conclusion to this from my standpoint, if you want to go on offense continue to rather continue to defense or defense is incredibly difficult, almost impossible, is don't have to destroy that caliphate? don't have to deny them that territory? >> i agree with that. it's been mentioned, including by clint earlier in the hearing,
that messaging diffuses their image. the image which i call a winner's message is very important. the ammunition is there to do that. absolutely, if they lose their caliphate, they have some explaining to do, as one would say. because you have a least a couple of different kinds of people are recruited to the islamic state. those who are heavily ideological of those are more criminally element as it was framed before. but for both of them if they caliphate is lost, those were more ideological understand that put loss of the caliphate really destroys isis interpretation of islamic prophecy but those are more criminal element which is even as losers. they have experienced a lot of losses. right now they are not weak in terms of messaging packages carried out a couple of major attacks in for much. one thing that our messaging apparatus has been poorly is rod casting those losses. losses they experienced in the
sahel region, in afghanistan come in algeria with are entitled to an entire branch got wiped out and osha. a lot of that complexity proxy question, sometimes when you look at our messaging apparatus, for some part is highly bureaucratized, how you'd even have to tweak approved the others t that are limitations wh you can't go beyond their immediate theater which hinders the strategy of our messaging. >> but again messaging is all about reality and the relatives that caliphate remains. sure, we've been doubling away at it. as has been described, the network is growing. they have gone from inspiring to directing or so the reality is that are not losing yet. they haven't lost. they have not lost yet. i would argue until they are overly losing where the rail is such bill continue to inspire and direct to grow spent i agree entirely but i would add one
thing. ultimately, isis as understood in particular the potential of social media to mobilize people to carry out attacks. part of that is image of strength. they have and have had more of an image of strength than is justified that you look back to how they convinced boko haram to join, part of that story is convincing people concrete octal facts on the ground that they control the city in libya which they never do. ultimately, as they start to lose more i think it's in our interest to be able to amplify the message of their losses because that will have, that would have been doubly hard. in addition to losses on the ground they will have more trouble drunken recruit and that's what we did think about getting a messaging right. not because the panacea now but because as you say when did you start to lose the caliphate, want to be able to put that out in a message that is effective. >> i will give you all a chance to have some final thoughts path into this but i want to be
respectful of my ranking members of time. >> i am very much interested in the light of question we just had with the chairman and that's going to pursue that myself. i think he responded to it very well. one of the things were not touched on today is the issue of real security in this country. china with a bunch of our colleagues in the last week had the opportunity to ride on some of those beautiful, comfortable, attractive, timely trains that i have written on in quite a while. ..