tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 27, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
it is chaired by senator ron johnson of wisconsin. >> this hearing will come to order. i want to thank the witnesses for being here and submitting their thoughtful testimony. when i took over chairman of this committee working with senator carper -- >> it was a bloodless coo. >> he is looking good forgeting back from vietnam and traveling
with the president. he is looking good. on the homeland security side of the committee we established four basic priorities: border security, we have held 18 hearings on some aspect of our unsecure border; cybersecurity passing the cybersecurity enhancement act; protecting our critical infrastructure from cyber attack, emp and gmb; and finally what we can do as a nation to protect the homeland against islamic terrorist and other violent extremist. this hearing is about that last priority and addressing islamic terror and trying to secure our homeland and keep it safe. not an easy task. every last one of these hearing's goal is to primarily lay out a reality as best we can so we can identify, define the
problem, and admit we have it so we can work toward commonsense solutions recognizing in this realm the solutions are very, very difficult and they will take quite some time to finally in the end defeat islamic terror. i want to lay out a couple facts that have been developed by staff, recognizing again these are estimates. there is nothing hard and fast but it gives some indication of what we are dealing here when we talk about isis. the monthly revenue of isis dropped from 80 million per month, which is a little less than a billion per year, to 56 million a month about 672 million a year. still significant revenue in the hands of barbarians. there have been 12 cases of confirmed use of mustered agents and three other cases suspected in syria and iraq. that ought to concern everybody. more than 42900 foreign fighters
have entered the conflict zone. 7400 westerns. isis traineded 400 fighters to target europe with its external operation. at least eight of the paris plotters were foreign fighters returning from syria. the same network planning the brussels and the paris attacks in total 162 victim. 1.8 million illegal border crossing in the european union. in 2014, 280,000 was the number. you can see as things degrade in syria and iraq that is putting enormous pressure on the european union states. isis has 43 affiliates and
supporting groups globally. the fact isis has a territory, established a caliphate, other islamic terrorist groups are pledging their loyalty and isis continues to metastasize. until we defeat them they will continue to spiral, metastasize and grow and be a threat. we will continue to explore this and looking forward to the testimony from the representatives of homeland and depart of state. i will turn it over to senator carper after i ask consent to enter my written statement in the record. >> i think that is a great idea. mr. chairman, thanks for pulling this together. justin, thank you for joining us for this important hearing, and a timely one as well. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of belgium and france and the
recent tragedy involving the crash of the egyptair flight that departed from paris' airport earlier this month. we are still learning the facts around the loss of the egyptair flight this tragedy remines us that securing the homeland is likely to be an ongoing challenge. as the chairman alluded to some of the progress on the battlefield and in other ways with respect to isis. big coalition, 60 nations and it is beginning to work and provide leadership but it is going slower than we like but real progress is being main in terms of regaining land, reducing their capacity to be successful in that part of the world, taking away their money and ability to finance their operations.
securing the border is a key element of keeping us safe and we focused on those topics. hearings on the security visa waiver and the screening efforts bear witness to our focus. we found the syrian refuge screening process takes two years and dhs enhanced the security of the visa waiver program three times in the last 18 months and this committee focused a lot of time and energy on this. we deploy special teams broad to help detect fraud. securing the border is only half the battle. we could shutdown all travel and immigration to the country and still not be safe. every person who has been killed by a jihad terrorist in this country since 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen or
reside resident. every person killed by a jihad terrorist has been killed by an american citizen or resident. the people carrying out the attacks were not foreign students, tourist, or refuges. they were americans. even in many cases they had spent much of their lives in this country; the united states. for instance, the brothers in boston spent a decade in the united states before carrying out the bombs. nidal hasan was serving in the military when committing the attack. and unfortunately isis knows all too well the best way to attack america is have americans do it for you and that is why isis uses social media and the internet to radicalize americans
at home. we have to do our west best to make sure when isis makes their recruitment pitch to americans the message falls on deaf ears. if isis is successful in radicalizing americans we must be vigilant that we can stop every terrorist attack well before an attack can be carried out. let me be clear, dhs, department of homeland security, are not alone in tackling the threat of homegrown terrorism. congress must help. all americans must help. we can start by taking actions to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists here. we also need to improve the ability of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to detect homegrown terrorism by helping them work through challenges on encryption. and we need to give federal
agencies the tools they need to help prevent our young people from falling prey to isis' online propaganda. i opted with legislation to empower homeland security to tackle this challenge. this legislation would create an office at the homeland security department tasked with working with community groups, families and religious leaders to develop community-based solutions for stopping the recruitment of young americans into isis. our legislation was reported out of committee and included in the homeland security accountability act that we approved yesterday. we need to get this bill enact into law as soon as possible so we can further help communities resist isis recruitments efforts. do i want to thank you for the
work you do to prevent terrorist attacks at home and broad. we welcome your testimony and appreciate your hard work, leadership, and selflish devotion. >> it is the tradition to swear in witnesses so if you would rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? our first witness is alejandro mayorkas. he served as the director of the united states citizenship and immigration services at dhs. a lot of acronyms in this
extremism and information sharing and support. we continue to strengthen programs and processes and are executing better initiatives to respond to landscape across the world. we have strengthened screening protocols at domestic airports and established policies at foreign airports that are last departure airports. we are extending our zone of security to interdict threats as far out from there homeland as possible. we are leveraging advance passenger data, intelligence, law enforcement information, and open source information. we have strengthened the coordination with department of state. all travelers are subjects to rigorous screening before departure of the united states and throughout the travel continuum. the visa waiver program enhances
our nation's security and law enforcement partnerships with participating countries and we continue to work with international partners to strengthen our information sharing and increasing our joint presence. we have strengthened the effort in the close partnership of state, local and tribal law enforcement throughout the nation. we have strengthened our relationship with communities across the country and agencies across the government through our office for community partnerships and the countering violent extremism task force. we are working in close collaboration to develop guidance, resources, best practices and training to protect communities from violent extremism. i would like to thank the committee for endorsing our priorities. strengthen and maturing is an ongoing process and we look
forward to working with the subcommittee in help. the office that leads our countering of violent extreme efforts is critical. i want to thank you, mr. chairman, and committee for your support of the department. i am proud to work alongside the men and women who work each day. >> our next witness is justin siberell who is the acting coordinator of bureau of counterterrorism at the u.s. department of state. he joined the state department in march of 1993 and the ct bureau in july of 2012. he is a career member of the senior foreign service with the rank of minister council. he was principle officer india .
>> chairman johnson, ranking member carper, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. the department of state is working closely with the department of homeland security and other agencies to counter isil and keep america safe. we have a threat that is disperse and adaptive. we have to strengthen partnerships globally and i would like to describe some steps we are taking to do that. i submitted a longer statement for the record. partnership is a broad coalition of countries across the glow we made progress of degrading the capabilities of transnational terrorist groups. the u.s.life r-led global coalition to counter isil has made important progress in reducing isil's control of territory in iraq and syria as well as constricting the funds
and foreign terrorist fighters available. but syria time they terrorist groups exploit instability with weak or non-existing governments, secretarian conflict and borders are extending their reach and terrorizing civilians and attract and mobilize recruits. isil and al-qaeda have pursued attacks on targets and public spaces like in brussels, paris, san bernardino, and elsewhere demonstrate these groups are resilient and continue to target innocent civilians. the department of state is working to address and mitigate the threat posed by foreign terrorist and radical individuals around the world particularly in europe. we are working with increasing information sharing, augment border security and strengthen regimes to counter terrorism
more effectively. this has yielded positive results. 45 countries have passed new laws or updated existing laws to address the threat caused by foreign terrorist fighters. we have agreementwise 55 international partners to strengthen efforts to enough, detract and deter travel of suspects terrorist. we have provided support to interpool to enhance sharing critical foreign terrorist data with countries around the world. 58 countries and the united nations contribute to interpool. member states are identified in resolution 2178 developed by the united states and agreed unanimously in 2014. we continue to work with dhs to strengthen our counter terrorism
policy including the terrorist travel pruvention act of 2015. the visa waiver programs gives us unprecedented level to hold partners to the highest security of issuing passports and screening travelers and vital to the security of the homeland and our closest allieallies. we have increased security after the terrorist attacks in paris and brussels. we deployeded teams composed of experts across the counterterrorism agencies to several countries including belgium and greece. they are working on areas to identify and arrest suspects terrorist fighters. the department of state is strengthening the borders through the terrorist interdiction program. and working with the deparliament of homeland to deploy ski technology to assist
governments and target suspect travelers. these programs provide the ability to strengthen borders through training. effective border security is one of the most essential tools governments poses to deny terrorist the space to plot and carry out attacks. we are making sure our international partners adopt these policies. we are working on stopping radicalization and mobilization to engage in terrorist attacks. the department of state released the first every joint strategy on countering extremism. there is no greater priority than keeping america safe from the threat of terrorism. the department of state works
with colleagues at dhs and other government agencies to counter the threat posed to the united states by groups like isil. we appreciate congress' interest in helping us. i look forward to your questions. >> mr. mayorkas, the headlines n nowadays are about the long lines at t.s.a. we had a briefing by the admiral and i want your assessment of what is causing that? what is the root cause of lines as long as three hours getting through chicago o'hare? >> if i can, mr. chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity. let me celerate chicago o'hare and the three-hour lines that were experienced about a week ago because quite frankly was thought error on our part. that was a failure to address
with appropriate staffing a very predictable surge at a peak time of travel. so that was an aberration, if you will, with respect to the agency's failure to address what it was ready for. >> we can separate o'hare but problems at the other airports. let's talk about the problem in totality. >> we would identify three general factors, if i may. they have risen over the course of time. number one, and very importantly, we have enhanced security measures at our airports in response to an inspector general's report that was published last year. that inspector general report identified certain deficiencies in the agency's protocols and we have sense executed a 10-point plan directed by the secretary to address those deficiencies. >> let me stop you there. do you have a metric in terms of what those enhanced security
measures are meaning in terms of through put? do you have an average number of passengers throughput versus what it was versus what it is today? >> i would have to report back to you on that, mr. chairman. i don't have that. >> i would ask that be submitted afterwards. >> most certainly. secondly, over a number of years the staffing at t.s.a. dropped and it dropped at a time, and this is the third factor, that the increase in travel volume -- there was an increase in travel volume. so those three factors, enhanced security, an increase in travel volume and a reduction in the staffing of our personal. we are addressing all three of those very, very vigorously. >> talk about the staffing. >> we have had representatives
from custom border protection having a hard time also staffing. i will tell you manufacturing in wisconsin, there is not one manufacturing who can hire enough people. is staffing budget related? not able to attract and recruit enough? is it attrition problem? are people leaving for certainly reasons? >> there are multiple factors and i appreciate the opportunity to explain. i should first thank you and your colleagues for a $34 million reprogramming that alloweded us to hire additionalal additionaadditiaad -- additional personal and be ready for the summer surge in volume. there was a purposeful effort to reduce staffing over a number of
years and move to a risk base methodolgy that relied on t.s.a. pre-check and other accelerates to include manage inclusion, a program we eliminated following the inspector general report and under the assessment and security imperative. we have suffered attrition because of the pay that t.s.a. employees receive and because many of them are part-time looking for full-time opportunities. there rp multiple reasons we are tackling each one. we are converting part-time to full-time and looking at the pay structure in which we would need to partner with congress.
they are not on a gs paid schedule. we are looking at the staffing models we employ. for example, we have skilled airport screenings performing functions that don't necessarily require talents. we wabt want to move those talents where needed. those that communicate to passengers in line they need not take off their shoes if they are in a t.s.a. pre-check line or if not they need to take off shoes and coats. >> san francisco is contracting with a private firm to do the t.s.a. security, correct? >> yes, it is. >> how many other airports are using that same model? >> i know there are others but i don't have the exact number. our ability to staff the security at airports is a voluntary and it is a partnership with the local airport and a voluntary relationship.
but what i think is critical from the security perspective is that even if it is a private company, they must, of course, maintain security protocols according to our standards? >> the question i had: are those private sector contract companies the same long lines at those airports? >> san francisco airport is a major hub that does have some wait time issues. they are not as acute as some of our top airports. i should say, it is the top airports at peak times that create the wait time phenomena and we are focused on the top-20 airports at the peak times and staffing accordingly. >> we will have the admiral here on june 6th or 7th so i will go into greater detail with him. i know he is doing a top to bottom assessment of this and
you talk about the layered approach with border security but i want to talk about the layered approach with the airport. the dogs of dhs was a hearing and i am a big proponent of dogs. can you talk about -- it has been a year under the admiral and he has been doing this basic assessment and how close are we toward, kind of a reengineering of airport security? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. the admiral is a phenomenal leader and i use that adjective advi advi advice. the admiral didn't wait to complete the assessment before implementing the reforms identified.
we deployed additional canines and are looking to deploy more. they are an extroidinary tool from a throughput perspective. individuals who pass the canine review, if you will will, can go through expedited screening just as though they had enrolled and succeeded in being approved for t.s.a. pre-check. so canine deployments. from a risk based approach we engineering the t.s.a. pre-check process. a maximizing of the marketing of the t.s.a. pre-check. it is a security imperative and a throughput advantage. we went last year from a daily average of 3,000 enrolees who close to average of 15,000 now. i think two days ago we reached the 16,000 mark. those are two examples of reforms he has instituted while
the assessment is under way and not waiting until it is completed. gl i will be highly supportive of beefing up increasing use of canine units. i think it is one of the best things we can do in terms of layer approach. senator carper? >> mr. chairman, i planned to address that. and connected in san francisco and landed at dulles yesterday. what i witnessed there yesterday and in the month of may and april, most folks on the committee have t.s.a. pre-check. i saw the long lines of people who were not t.s.a. pre-check reports. and talking with the admiral sever times, one of the things
we have to do is get more people in the trusted traveler programs. and the numbers are up triple and we want to continue to do that. t.s.a. used to have a marketing program and use media programming but they haven't used that for a while and i think they are ramping that up to get the message out again. pretty good tv commercial or put it online. people waiting -- could be like 40 minutes to get through regular checks and people zipping by going through t.s.a. pre-check. it is great and easy to understand. there is a problem we have at t.s.a. they have a tough job and all kinds of people wanting to get through security to get on the plane and go somewhere. but we have to make sure nobody gets through that will create mayhem on an airplane. there is an attention we have to deal with. you have a terrific leader.
i don't know who figured to ask the admiral to the head of t.s.a. but he is a great leader. some problems in chicago were management problems. they should have staff for the folks coming and failure of leadership and leadership thaeb changed i understand and that is good. -- has been. at heathrow they are doing interesting things in terms of modernizing the procedures you go through for the security checks. i understand delta is funding a couple lanes that are 21st century lanes at the airport in atlanta and that is good. we want to encourage other airlines to do the same thing. we cut the processing times in regular checks by 25% there. jeh johnson, our secretary, sent a letter to fortune hundred companies and asked them to consider paying for t.s.a.
participation for their employees particularly the more senior ones and that is something i wod urge us to do. we have fortune 500 companies in our state, why don't we as members of the committee send them a copy of jeh johnson's letters with a cover letter of our own. private sector pilots. there are a number of private sector at half a dozen airports around the country. i think there is authorization for three more. leadership is most important element in every organization i am a part of whether it is this organization or the ones you are part of at state and dhs. we need strong leadership and you have a great leader and we look to having the admiral before the committee.
i want to say the to people at t.s.a., when i go through t.s.a. i thank the people that work there. i cannot tell you how many times people say nobody has ever thanked me before. i tell them who i am, what i do, and people appreciate that. two of the most important words when someone is doing a good job is thank you. i want to pick up, we have had a number of hearings, secretary mayorkas, on visa waivers. people are concerned visa waiver is the soft underbelly. they don't understand how it morphed to a travel facility program to where we get more information from the 38 countries we partner with. can you mention ways we have tightened up the visa waiver to make sure we have all of the information to protect us and at the same time protect our security? thank you. >> thank you very much, ranking
member carper. with respect to the visa waiver program i would answer in two parts. one is with respect to the individual traveler. an individual traveler who seeks to avail him or herself of the visa waiver program must submit an application beforehand and we strengthened that to capture more data so we know more about the individual travelers before they arrive in the united states. we added 22 additional fields to the application and those additional fields have in fact elicited data that has been very material to our security determination to allow a visa applicant to be here. we have strengthened the form in significant ways.
for a country to qualify as a visa waiver program there are statutory requirements that are critical to the homeland security mission and additional requirements we ourselves have imposed and secretary johnson has strengthened those requirements. the participating country must have a visa refusal rate that is under a particular percentage to insure they are not a source of visa fraud. we have critical homeland security and law enforcement partnership agreements that a country must sign and implement in order to qualify as a visa waiver program country. we use the visa waiver program has a mechanisms to drive better cooperation, better information sharing with key international partners. from a macro and micro level it
enhances security. >> thank you. i think we provided 10 million for grants to counter violent extr extremism and that is not a lot of money. how is dhs going to make sure it has ample resources to deal with the threat and how can we help further? >> thank you very much, senator. the challenge of violent extremism is windup of the top priorities and the secretary made it one of his top five priorities. we created the office for community partnerships to strengthen our efforts in this critical mission area and its name is very significant. what we used to do frankly is we used to have discreet lines of effort throughout the department, separate agencies, and separate offices at very important and very effective work underway but we were not
united in our effort or aligned in our allocation of resources. under the secretary's umbrella initiative, we brought all of the resources and efforts together in the office for community partnerships. why the name is important is that ultimately the community itself is the most effective means of countering violent extremism. what we do is we equip, we assist, we train, and we empower local communities in the struggle. and under saline's leadership we are going to allocate the $10 million, for which we are very thankful, in a grant program that fema will administer. we are tapping into the fema's grant to administer and make sure we employ those funds as
useful as possible. we are engaging with sta stakeholders to make sure the plans we develop the plans the communities themselves are the most prudent and effective. it is a very difficult challenge. isil is extroidinarily sophisticated and extroidinarily focused on its propaganda internationall we cannot do this as a government alone. we need to partner not only with communities but also with the private sector. we are working with technology companies, students, universities and colleges, to
really engage in the counter violent extremism messages in a peer to peer forma'. >> senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for holding another hearing on a critical topic. i will say we haven't made much progress. you know, with all due respect to what we heard about the new approaches being taken, it is hard for us to sit here this morning and say isis is in fact being contained which is what the administration has said on occasion. isis was called the jv and a bunch of guys in a truck. i think that was misleading rhetoric and if you look at what happened isis is continuing to grow. it continues to grow in a lot of respects. one is destabilizing affect in the middle east well beyond syria now. obviously we are once again trying to retake fallujah and we
have more military assets going into the iraq after pulling out of iraq. i think we ought to also say they further destabilized europe. the chairman talked about the number of refuges moving to europe, many illegally, and we see what happened with the attacks in paris and jell belgium but it is beyond that. isis poses a greater threat to the united states based on everything we are hearing in public testimony. i assume you two would not disagree with that; that it is a greater threat than it was last time we held a hearing. their ability to reach out to people continues to grow. when you look at what is happening on the internet we are loosing the battle. mr. siberell, i don't know you
but it looks like you have a good background and are doing your best. but i don't think there is a sense of urgency here. i think it is right we have passed legislation here out of this committee that can be helpful. it is correct we did provide more funds for the important uses but on all three levels, the military going after isis in syria and iraq. i do not believe we are doing what we should to be aggressive and take out their ability to attack us and europe and other places. on the border security front, we continue to have gaps and as the fbi director told us in this committee we have serious gaps in intelligence to know who the syria refuges are and yet they are coming. and finally, i think perhaps the most important area is the one we have not yet been able to figure out is this, what i would say, counter terrorism communication to put it broadly and specifically online. i looked at recent data, we are,
you know, facing a very effective peterson online. they have a very slick narrative. we see when we are asked to look at some of the isis propaganda online we tend to see the stuff that has to do with violence and extremism. here is a report we got recently, a single month this summer, 52% of the propaganda isis messages were on quality of life issues and only 2% touched on brutality or violence. they have sophisticated. they are reaching out to al alienated youth. i think the number of foreign fighters is increasing. i guess what i would say this morning is what are we doing
that is -- what would you say st the most important thing we can do? we talked about the counter violent extremist effort and the office of community partnerships and the director salem this morning. i know these groups are all about a year old or less at the state department. i assume the state department started this new group because the center for strategic terror communication wasn't working and providing the message you hoped. are we working together? i think it is great there is un unity of effort with homeland. will you say we are effectively countering the message we talked about this morning?
>> thank you, senator. the coordination within our government on this issue is definitely strengthening. it is a major challenge and i would agree isil's use of social media and the internet to propagate their message and to use the internet as an effective tool is unprecedented and not something we have seen used effectively. i think the message has been blunted. that narrative of victory they relied upon so successfully in thaur early period of recruitment if you think in the 2014, early 2015 era, there has been significant losses that isil has suffered. that narrative of victory has been blunted somewhat. they are not delivering effectively on governance and you noted 52% of the messaging is focused on quality of life. they have suffered in their
ability to provide that quality of life. and the global engagement center is a new effort. it is intended to build broad networks globally to coordinate messaging. >> how long has it it been up and running? >> just since earlier this year. >> do we still have the center for strategic counterterrorism? >> no. it is folded into the global engagement center. >> you are suggesting the narrative is less compelling because of viewer victories and they cannot focus on quality of life issues. does this mean fewer foreign fighters have being attracted to the middle east? >> this is something we have never seen -- >> let me restate the question. are you saying it is effective in what why looking for which is fewer foreign fighters, fewer
alienated youth being attracted. is that happening? >> we believe there is a decrease in the number of foreign fighters, yes. >> you think there is a decrease in the number of foreign fighters? >> yes. >> can you give me information in a follow-up communication on why you think that and what your numbers are based on? >> i would be happy to do that. these are numbers and conclusions that come from our intelligence community and their observations of less force strength. >> you think we are turning the tide and fewer foreign fighters coming into the middle east and therefore less of a risk to the united states? >> i think there is a decrease in foreign fighting in syria and iraq but an increase in other places like libya. there are places where they continue to attract followers and continue to associate themselves with existing insurgency: that is a problem. it is a global phenomena we have
to confront around the world and not in one single place. >> i think it is misleading based on other administration officials who have testified in public, not talking about classified briefings, to say we are making progress and it is decreasing but i would love to see your statistics on and where you get them. secretary mayorkas, would you say dhs is communicating directly and coordinateing with this new global engagement center? >> senator, i am not particularly familiar with that aspect of our communication on the international front. my focus has been domestically countering the violent extremist message of isil as it is target today the homeland. i would have to defer to my experts in the international are arena. >> my time is expired.
this committee would be interested in knowing the coordination between state and dhs. social media is not subject to boundaries. so the same people you are trying to address in those communities are the same people who are hearing this message overseas and i would hope we could have better communication within our government with the unity of purpose. >> senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate our witnesses today on this very important topic. i think it is important to remember isis is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of muslims and we have to engage the muslim community abroad as well as the muslim community in our own states and country. as a senator from michigan, i can blessed to represent a vibrant muslim community in michigan. some of the most patriotic
individuals are within that community. mr. siberell, i have a copy of a new report that came out, i believe, yesterday, on the department of state and joint strategy on countering violent extremism. the panel, could you summarize what you think are the key parts of this new strategy and how does it differ from the past and why do we believe it will be more successful than anything in the past. >> thank you for the question. we this is the first time the state department and isd released a strategy. it gets at the essential conclusion that our effort in confronting violent terrorism globally needs to be more comprehensive.
we need to scale up the efforts to understand the drivers and roots of the radicalization that is leading to recruitment into these terrorist groups. that is enabling these groups to continue to recruit and identify and attract new members despite the fact that they offer only misery and death and destruction in their own communities they control. we understand that we have had significant success in blunting the capabilities of groups over time and certainly great success through intelligence, military, law enforcement efforts in removing terrorist leadership yet these groups attract you followers. this strategy is an acknowledgment of the fact that our approach, and when i say our, it is the united states working in partnership with countries around the globe, needs to be expanded to better understand what is driving people to be attracted to the
ideology that these groups propagate and what can be done to address those factors in a more effective fashion. it lays out strategic objections and the first of which is to invest more seriously in the research and understanding what are these drivers and the factors leading to radicalization. then it discusses the importance of building international understanding of effective measures that can be adopted by governments at the national and sub-national levels. it addresses the importance of orienting capacity building and development efforts toward those drivers beginning to blunt the radicalization process. also, helping countries deal with those who may have been radicalized to de-radicalize is provide off ramps effectively to joining up with these
organizations. it also addresses the importance of effective counter narratives and that is an area where we are investing and the global engagement center will be leading in that effort. it is a -- the global engagement center, just to address the senator's earlier question, it is an inner agency housed at the state department but representation from across the federal government. and the strategy addresses the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration efforts. these are for efforts related to those who have, for instance, entered into the prison system and what governments can do to better reintegrate or rehabilitate those who renounced violence. so coherently implementing programs around the world to develop a comprehensive approach
we believe is narrative. >> thank you. that is the overview of what is happening overseas. if you could talk about what is happening in the local communities as i mentioned at the outset of my time of vibrant muslim-american communities we have in the united states and particularly in michigan. i know your department engage would the community and secretary johnson has been in the community. can you give us an assessment of where we are, how important those efforts are and what we should expect in the future. >> thank you very much, senator. secretary johnson has visited and engaged with quite a few communities. i visited detroit a number of years ago at u.s. citizen and immigration services for the same purpose, from a different perspective, at that time. of course, i have visited minneapolis, boston and new york. our efforts in the community are
vital. one thing we are focused on as a department is being in the community and finding and identifying and empowering and equipping local trusted voices to be the critical messengers to counter violent extremism. our office for community partnership equips communities with tools and tool kits and messages. also helps them identify the symptoms of an individual on the path to radicalization across the administration. we created the interagency task force to counter violent extremextre
extremtr extremtrextre extremism. we have harnessed the federal bureau of investigation, the national counterterrorism center, and other agencies focused on the security and safety of the american people. we work in the communities with the communities partnering with them to really amplify the voices and employ to tools to reach the people who are on the path to radicalization. ...
close allies. leaders from across the country, the department of homeland security into our offices, understand they are effective, to better understand sensitivities and to learn from them. tell monopoly on the best ideas on how to work with and impacted communities that we are trying to develop is very much a collaborative effort. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> thank you, chairman, secretary, when we have a
waiver application, is that application cross checked with our terror watchlist and no-fly list? >> senator, yes, that application, data in that application is run through multiple databases, and i should say it is better that a number of different points. >> so beyond the fly list i assume there is a criminal database, the record-keeping process for records, what other databases? >> the watchlist, the no-fly list, and also other intelligence databases. provide subsequent to this hearing, but it is a full
complement. >> here is my question, when we look at the attacks that happened in paris and then subsequently in brussels, my question is this, we know that many of the european countries in particular poor countries, the unit -- four countries, the united kingdom, france, belgium have some of the greatest number of foreign fighters that have gone back and forth. and my question is pretty straightforward. out of those that we know were involved in the terrorist paris attacks, or any of those individuals not on our lists or our other databases?
>> i would defer to our experts and follow up with you, senator. >> so this is an important question, and the reason is, we are only as good as the information that we have. and we can add questions on to the visa waiver list, but we don't want to interview with those that apply for the waiver program, correct? >> we do not. >> it is pretty large. so we are not doing it. it is really -- what comes in and what goes out and how valid, how we are doing in the individuals we know that have been involved with paris, where they on the
terror was -- chair watchlist, on any of our databases? if not we better understand why not and look at the countries of origin to see if there are gaps in our information sharing, and the reason i ask is, it has been highly publicized, for example, the belgium has very serious issues with their law enforcement agencies here. as we know, the information shared about at least one of the individuals involved in the attacks, and so would you agree this is important? only as good as the information we have. >> if i may, senator, this is absolutely important. whether or not an individual is on a no-fly list is not
positive of whether our security vetting would prevent an individual who would pose a threat of danger. >> i agree, but if they are not on the terror list, the broader list, no-fly, or not in our fbi database or not on these other databases, if they are nowhere, it is a lot less likely that we are going to discover them. do you agree? >> senator, not necessarily. >> tell me why. >> if i may. and i will keep it specific to the visa waiver program. the application that a traveler must complete, our effort to strengthen the weak -- visa waiver program applications have become more complicated. they have picked up data of individual travelers, but we
have picked up data about that traveler that is revealed information that has enabled us to deny the individuals ability to travel -based -- >> let me ask you this, how many are in the program? how many people? i think it is important to understand that. and how much individual investigation is done on each of those applications? if ii am an investigator how much follow-up is done on each? >> senator, what i would appreciate is the opportunity to have our experts preview i classified setting how we address the extraordinary amount of information we receive. >> this is what i am trying to get at here. we know there were inconsistencies in belgium. i know the secretary is looking at countries of
concern, but information sharing is the critical piece here. whether it is the visa waiver program or not. with this category of individuals because they do not have to take the extra step visa. i think it is important whether classified setting or not that we understand, a, the individuals involved in brussels or paris, if any of them were on the intelligence database. number two, how many have visa waivers. number three, on a hard paper application, how many of those dewey have individually aspects of data on each application. presumably with the numbers we cannot assess individual applications. what worries me is you have a significant amount of foreign fighters returned to european countries.
it is the critical piece to how effective we are with the waiver program. my time is up, but i hope that we will have an opportunity to break this down so that we can understand fully how thorough the vetting program is. >> mr. chairman,. >> i'm going to seek your intelligence next. >> allow me to make a number of point's. every single application of the visa waiver program traveler, every single one. >> what does that vetting involved? >> databases, not only the name of the individual but also against our databases and our extensive information that we collect. and so sometimes information that is of secondary
importance, if you will, not necessarily pertinent to the individual but other individuals identities has proven to be quite material in our security vetting, and i can explore further with you in a different classified setting, number one. number two, the ease with which an individual my travel from one european country to another, for example, very different than the ease with which or the difficulty with which someone my travel from a european country to the united states. our security protocols at last.of departure is extraordinarily robust. we have multiple layers of security. and so to travel from one country to another is not to be synonymous with the ability of an individual to travel from a foreign
country to the united states specifically. thirdly, there is a difference between a refugee -- to give a particular example -- being processed across the border from one european country to another and what we consider as aa security threat. the difference between a processing of an individual that allows that individual to travel through is a very, very different process, multitier rigorous screening >> well, that is why i want to know how many folks are in the database, and the refugees are obviously a separate issue versus i am a citizen of belgium.
you know, back and forth and how good our information is is important. how much we are able to get given the volume, i would like to know how much follow-up is done. thank you. >> i do not normally interject myself into a conversation like this. thirty seconds. we have not talked much about the preclearance program. the idea of preclearance pushes our borders further and further. they actually have interviews, their biometrics taken, and the other thing, everyone who comes to run a visa waiver, we collect their biometrics. they are fingerprinted. it has gotten better and better and better as time
goes by. can we do better? yes, of course. a lot of work has been done, and i think we must acknowledge that. >> i want to chime in. i believe the greatest that we have in terms of risk factors rank foreign fighters or isis operatives coming to america, threatening the homeland. the least risk is a refugee program because with proper vetting we can really take no risk. that is the lowest. i would say the visa waiver program is the next highest. but our greatest risk are foreign fighters were operatives going through africa and central america. that is my ranking in terms of risk assessment. lowest risk refugee program. highest risk visa waiver program.
your ranking and yours, just the ranking, no rationale. what do you think is the lowest to highest risk? >> i have not rank them. i think all of the -- >> that is fine. think about it because i will come back to it in my question. do you have an answer? >> i do not have a relative ranking either. with the visa waiver program , as i think we discussed previously thought this is a program that enables us and provides us use leverage over the visa waiver program partners to require improvement in strengthening of their own processes and therefore makes, is a border security program effectively. >> i think honestly the ranking is kind of obvious. think about it and i will come back to my question.
>> gentlemen, thank you very much for the incredibly difficult work you have and do every day. there were colossal and consequential intelligence failures in our european allies that allowed some of these to take place. for instance, we understand there were a lot of gaps in theitaly -- in the ability of member countries to collect information about people who travel to fight with isis in syria, iraq, and libya. even some of the countries themselves, and we now know the belgium has problems internally the federal system. they were a different security agencies, three languages, seven parliaments. in brussels 1.2 million, 19 communes, each with its own
administration comeau muslim communities are very different from ours in europe and that a muslim muslim americans will define themselves as americans that feel integrated into society. there are a lot of challenges. within the eu gen. in has said that they share more with the united states, which is a good thing, then with each other, but this allows challenges and problems to fester and explode, as we have seen. information sharing is often compared with where we were pre- september 11, which has a lot of overlapping stove piped security entities. i would just like to put a 2nd work -- 2nd look at what happened and to see if they are starting to change their procedures and
policies and do you believe there is political buy-in for sharing across borders in european countries really around counterterrorism, adequate coordination, information sharing and the like. and either of you can respond. >> i am happy to jump in. thank you. the issue information sharing is critical, as identified in my opening remarks. of course, critical to homeland security in terms of the sharing of information with us, and it may be true that they share more information with us than each other because we demand that information in order for travelers to arrive either through the visa waiver program or otherwise. they have, in fact, advanced considerably in the sharing of information understanding , and, and i can cite specific examples. we are encouraged the
european union passenger name record the passenger name record data, information that is critical snapshot of who the individual is well in advance of the travel within the european territory. number one, number two, they have empowered and equipped equip your opal as a central repository of information and cooperation, really a coordination hub which we participate considerably in the collection and dissemination , the sharing of information. they have a european counterterrorism center, a european human smuggling center in your opal serving as aa great hub. i think we're making tremendous advances in the collection and sharing of information.
they have a ways to go. they do not necessarily collect and share passenger name record information with each other. they are marshaling through the privacy and other interests that have served as a challenge in the past. the eu pnr agreement is frankly a milestone in that effort. >> well, i do not agree with all of that. there is political will within the europeans, within europe for improving their own system, integrating watch lists, beginning to collect pnr data and use that. i think that this political will is there today. it is somewhat late in coming, but it is a factor of the fact that they have large numbers, as we all know, of foreign terrorist fighters who have gone off to syria. this has been a crisis for
some time. we have seen certainly a change in the way that they are approaching these issues , greater willingness and understanding that they need to improve their systems to work more closely with us than they had been. >> we, after our september 11 attacks11th attacks created the fusion centers which have been very effective. you are mentioning things like your opal, but are they replicating what has been successful in terms of the fusion centers? are we seeing them move rapidly in that direction? >> what we have seen them do is lay out a series of steps that they need to take to better integrate systems. the aspiration is for ultimately unified list, like we have developed, but what they need to do is build data integration and ensure you can have a single.of surge against all
of their holdings. we are prepared to provide technical assistance. >> the house just recently passed hr 4314 to accelerate our role, and my question is there is a lot we have learned, resources we have, technology we develop. how can our systems better help prove capabilities? other things that we should be doing to help share best practices and provide technology that this body year should be acting on with great, deliberate urgency? >> senator, i would say absolutely yes. but me see if i can't give you a bottle mind your question. they are improving in the sharing of information. they are on the right path.
they are not where we need them to be, but we are working to make sure that they are. i have actually joining the attorney general, the leader of our intelligence and analysis office who is here today, we are going to europe on tuesday to address the very issue. we have offered our technological advances in this area to secure real-time platforms, our automated targeting system is global and we have offered critical systems. we want to assist in this security imperative. >> imperative. >> and i do not have time for this line of questioning, but i want to reiterate term of effort, there is a problem with government run efforts because they delegitimize, really the kiss of death when it comes to our
involvement in the messaging being brought up in earlier questioning, and i want to encourage the efforts that i have seen that are going on that are allowing more authentic voices, and one of the most authentic voices his former foreign fighters who themselves have been disillusioned with the toxicity and the hatred and what they have seen and experienced, often are persuasive as a buffer were any doubt to the toxins let i would like to say that and encourage you. i was happy about the state department and usaid unveiling their joint strategy, but i hope we are investing substantively command i said this to secretary johnson. it should not been law enforcement. it should mean other efforts going on empowering local communities, helping to
elevate authentic voices and do things that work to counter violent extremism. >> sen., we could not agree more, and that is the ethic that we are frankly executing. it is not our voice that will move the mountain of this challenge but rather the voices in the community. i attended an extraordinary, quite frankly, peer-to-peer challenge where students all over the world competed in developing programs that came from students and were focused on reaching students , facebook was aa critical partner in that endeavor. we are working with technology companies so that they service platforms for these flowers to bloom. we are working with philanthropic organizations, community-based organizations, faith leaders , teachers, schools, parents, peers, and you have
identified an extraordinarily powerful voice in those who once were on the wrong path and realize the great problems of the prior ways. >> that is music to my ears. thank you very much. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for joining us. i wish to start with a comment because we have had a lot of great discussion in regards to isis propaganda and actually combating that. i know senator portman mentioned earlier in his comments that we really need a government wide coordination in combating the propaganda, as well as, i think, work in the communities. i share those concerns. i have joined the chairman johnson and senator booker and introducing a bill that would require the president to combat terrorist use of
social media, where we see so much of this coming out. i hope we are able to move that bill forward in the senate, and i want to thank you both for partnering on that. we hope to move through these processes. and then deputy secretary, if i could start with you, i understand the benefits of a visa waiver program. i know that we have it, but still security concerns, senator ayotte was echoing some, but we have 38 countries that participate in that from what i understand. all of the meeting the necessary requirements as they go through their vetting? >> thank you very much. the requirements are prerequisite to joining the visa waiver program, and two remaining in the visa waiver
program. we have strengthened that undersecretary johnson's leadership. if, in fact, a country, if we determine or assess the country is falling short of its obligations under the visa waiver program, then we develop a mediation program with a timeline and strict requirements to ensure that no traveler that is arriving in the united states poses a threat to the united states. we have deployed that mechanism when a country has fallen short, and we are quite rigorous and the requirements of the program. >> are any countries not meeting the requirements by now? >> senator, there are. we have them on programs, and any further details i would be happy to share with you in a different setting. >> i appreciate that because i think that it is something the public is concerned about.
there are number of countries involved, and the public does not know what is being followed up on. i think as long as we stay on top of that, they are meeting security requirements, how do we check that and know that? >> and i should say, this underscores one of the critical benefits of the visa waiver program, which is that we do have this leverage with another country, country that wishes to remain in the program. we use it as a tool to ensure compliance with extraordinarily stringent obligations that serve the security of our homeland. it is a perfect example of how the visa waiver program serves as a tool of security rather than otherwise. i do wish the name was changed because the term waiver would suggest some sort of relaxation of the security requirement when the opposite is true.
not only do we capture an enormous amount of information about the individual traveler wishing to avail him or herself of the program, but we also use the program and other nations desire to participate in it as a driver of information sharing, information collection, and greater security partnership with the united states. it dovetails with the question that senator booker closed with, how a european country doesn't it security mechanisms. perhaps it does better with us than each other by virtue of their participation in the visa waiver program and their desire to avail themselves of said program. >> thank you. i appreciate that explanation. media reports that we sent a foreign fighters urged him to brussels one month ago -- excuse me, one month before
the attacks there. what challenges prevented us in the belgian authorities from preventing the attack? additionally, it is our surge team still on the ground there? >> thank you. the surge team that was deployed to brussels, i should say that that followed on cooperation that has been to -- we have had undergoing since 2013 when the problem of individuals traveling to syria 1st manifest itself, before isis was a factor. we have had a long diagonal -- dialogue. after the paris attacks, we had discussions within the government to determine what other things we can do now to push our european partners to aa heightened level of cooperation. we put together interagency teams who went out to
brussels and had a very -- it is a dialogue that is quite mature and open. and across issues like documents integrity, passport issuance integrity, targeted screening, techniques that we have developed, helping to instruct the belgians on new techniques, better integration of watchlist and improve information sharing; all these were identified in the work plan. they are in an initial visit as a group to identify where we would have expanded cooperation and are ongoing. the work plan has been developed, what and we are continuing to send individuals back and forth. it is an elevated partnership effectively. >> is there anything that could have been done by our surge team to assist before
the attack happened? is there any way to close that gap? >> i am not aware of any specific piece of information that would have been provided a revealed by our surge team members. >> okay. and as you know, i will jump to the iraqi kurds for a moment. the iraqi kurdish forces are one of our critical partners, if not the most critical partner in our fight against isis. i understand the administration allocated 415 million in financial assistance. can you provide committee with additional detail on where the assistance will come from, who will go to, and what purpose it will be for? >> i will have to take that question back and get you an
answer. i agree that the kurdish forces have been among our closest partners, and in coordination with the government of iraq provided critical counter to isil and it pushed isil out of critical areas, including northern iraq and they continue to play a critical role, but i will have to get you an answer back. >> i appreciate that. thank you for being here today. >> thank you, senator. mr. justin siberell, and the opening statement by mr. alejandro mayorkas he talked about how isis has done from directing activity to inspiring. i would agree that al qaeda directed so that that was a centralized operation of direct activity. my take on isis is that their method has been to
inspire. outside of the caliphate they are inspiring, but what concerns me is the progression has been -- is it not true there are reports that they had a hand in directing the brussels attack? we will call them and external operations unit beginning to direct. they have this external operations unit that is starting to direct attacks. >> i think you pointed out the essential difference and why isil poses a new kind of challenge than al qaeda previously. individuals who had to become a member, vetted by the organization and then or operated in aa clandestine manner secretly in a number of locations around the world isil works on a
completely different model. very disciplined military structure. pursue their efforts there. but at the same time they make use of the internet, social media to inspire others, individuals who may not have become members of the group but to act on their behalf. and that reflects the time difference from when al qaeda was to where isil is today, social media. but if i could, just answering your question, it is true, yes, isil has identified among the foreign fighter contra those with skills that could be useful in infiltrating back to home countries to carry out plots.
the external operation network that isil has developed is a real danger, and we have been working against it and have had success in doing so, but they have also not only trained operatives but trained individuals to inspire attacks using social media deliberately including individuals in the united states. >> we may be nibbling around the edges. but they are growing, and evolving, metastasizing, and starting to send out operatives. the 1.8 million refugees flowing into your command i will go back to my question because i think the answer is quite obvious.obvious. the refugee program, literally we can assure whatever the number is, those refugees should pose no risk. the financial capability of supporting them, 10,000 out
of 4 million displaced refugees, we can make sure we take no risks. the same with the visa waiver program. i think that it is combined with preclearance something that can reduce risk. in the order of what concerns me of potential isis operatives coming to the country, the least concern i have is the refugee program, the next the visa waiver, and by far greatest concern is the southern border. in central america i heard a new ackerman, sia, special-interest a lehman -- special-interest alien. doesn't that.to the fact we have to secure our border? >> i will defer on the southern border issues. those are categories of concern that we must be assured our border security
measures are effective in preventing any of those categories of individuals from threatening the american people. >> isis is very strategic. you do not take your little foreign force and take over vast territory and iraq without planning ahead and being strategic as we watch them dangerously evolve, i am highly concerned. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. we are focused on special-interest aliens, individuals from designated countries that seek to enter the united states illegally. we are extraordinarily focused. we may not agree today on the level of security on the southwest border. that border in our estimation is more secure than it has been a long time.
one of the primary areas of concern -- >> let me stop you right there. unaccompanied children from central america -- let me get it here, in 2014 the enormous surge year to date through april, 25,500 unaccompanied children. as of april 2016 25,359, the exact same level year to date of unaccompanied children. in terms of family units we are ahead. in terms of total number of apprehensions on the border, and 2014 year-to-date 261,000. last year down to 182. right now we are at 223. i do not see improvement in terms of security of the border. it just has not improved, and it represents an
enormous risk. >> thank you very much. first of all, unaccompanied children and family units pose a unique challenge because by and large those individuals fleeing that free central american countries do not seek to evade law enforcement. >> okay. i do not want you discussing that. i was pointing out that fact in terms of lack of security at the border. the total apprehension. >> and 2014 was far different and lower in prior years, but if i may, to the point of how we ensure the security of the border and specifically with respect to the terrorist threat, one of the challenges in the smuggling of individuals is the transnational criminal organizations and their participation.
we have no evidence to suggest that they are willing participants in the smuggling of individuals who are members of terrorist organizations and in fact have quite the opposite, that they wish no part in the overt smuggling participation in the smuggling of terrorists and perhaps it is an makes sense that it is for fear that they would bring even greater force of the united states to bear on their organizations. the question is, are there low-level organizations and -- low-level individuals in these organizations who unwittingly maybe smuggling individual who is infected terrorist, and we are focused on that. law enforcement, border patrol is extraordinarily focused, and we have not observed any increase in concern, but that does not suggest we do not have an increase in vigilance.
>> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to return. the last part of the conversation. i want to go back. i quoted mr. berg in a moment ago. we have begun, as we know, the reason why families, it is dangerous, lack of hope and opportunity. the chairman has put his finger on cause, our insatiable demand for drugs. we send money and guns down, and mason drugs. the gangs and folks they get our money and guns use them to make life miserable. if we lived down there and had kids we would probably want to come up here as well.
the needle in the haystack problem, we can finally make -- find ways to make the needles bigger. force multipliers. but we also need to make the a sack smaller. the work we are doing with partnership and the partnership that they have established and that we are helping to support. i want to go back to the chairman a few minutes ago, a number of important questions. the order of the threat. he said wisely, stupid to bed down and the most toughly vetted program, and on the outside chance, they will not do that. able to make that more and
more difficult, and some of the other things that we have talked about. want to go back to what peter bergen said. i think it was last november. every person who has been killed in this country has been killed by an american citizen or resident. they killed by an american citizen -- citizen or resident. our focus wisely needs to be how we reach out to folks in this country and make sure they do not become radicalized, and we cannot do it by ourselves. we need to grow this partnerships, and continue to work to fund it and make it as effective as possible. i have talked to folks in other countries to see why they are so challenged in europe by the folks within
the muslim community. there has been an incredible amount of people going from syria and other places in the europe command a lot of times they are not warmly welcomed. they end up leading isolated lives and communities by themselves and perceive they are not welcome, not much hope for opportunity, and they are susceptible to radicalization. one of the keys to tamping down on threats, they are not gone, but we want people when they come from syria or other countries with a have been fleeing core, we want to, once we make sure they are not a threat, to feel a part of this country and the american dream. we can continue to keep them alive and provide safety and security for people than the other things you're talking about here today.
i thought that was every month. today it's about one per month. may 2016 isis announce isil controls 14% of iraqi territory. that's down from about 40%. u.s. treasury department estimates that due to the combination of oil prices smuggling interdiction isis are down as two and 50 million per year that's half of what these to be. are we done wax is a time to spike the football? is what we are doing working? esm we need to continue to do more of that. i know what works and do more of that. a couple of questions and i just asked for a short answer. mr. siberell can you describe the kind of improvements the
foreign fighters search team is helping belgians to implement? additionally is there possibility for these teams to be deployed to other countries in europe? just very briefly. >> yes. increased and enhanced information sharing integration of watch lists, risk-based traveler screening, techniques we have developed in the united states that would be helpful to the belgians and other governments and we are looking at european counterparts. >> thank you in your testimony reference a method by which homegrown extremists support on line hacking and can you explain in more detail how this works and how they department can help counter this? >> thank you very much senator carper. it is the practice of taking the names and whatever information is available about an individual and publishing the name and that
information and identifying that individual as a potential target of terrorism. so isil and other terrorist organizations will essentially take for example information about military personnel that they pick off a web site and they will publish it and they will identify those individuals as potential targets. >> one last question for you all. with respect to soft targets, protecting soft targets how would we increase secure areas of an airport and in a way that does not further encumbered the waiting times for air travelers? can you give us a step or two good dhs has taken towards a goal please? >> soft targets have been an area of our focus for quite some time. the airport specifically even before brussels as a matter fact i was at the los angeles international airport a little
over a month ago and met with the leaders of airport security there to talk about how they secured the perimeter. this was post-brussels but they had started long before. they had visited israel and has a great deal of experience in airport security as they lace lease of mass assembly and institute of quite a number of safeguards. the equipment at the airport in the manner in which the airport is designed and built had very much security in mind. we work through national protection programs directorate mvpd. i knows you don't like acronyms but the national protection. >> i like dhs. >> as do i, as do i. that organization under the leadership of katelyn. [cheers and applause] and their critical infrastructure arena has worked with mall operators theater
owners restaurant owners throughout the private sector to ensure that they are well-trained and well-equipped to respond as soft targets to a potential mass casualty event. >> thanks very much. and i think you both for being here and i thank you for your work and your devotion to our country's leadership. this has been a good hearing. this will be a threat around our country and around the world may be for us on as we are around. have we figured out entirely how to deal with a? know, over time we have to change what we are doing in response. there are some smart things we need to do and when i get back mr. chairman in vietnam early this week talked to a number of folks where we have a much better partnership. the spirit of working together
almost as a team in many respects is pretty amazing given our history there. i do use this phrase and i think it probably is germane as well. if you want to go fast, travel alone great if you want to go far, travel together. if you want to go far, travel together and it's really what we are trying to do. not just in our country. congress the executive branch of the military but all across the world. folks know this is a cancer on our planet and we have got to deal with it. if we go together, work together and pull together it will go a long ways. thank you so much. and thank you senator carper and unfortunately what you are saying is true, we are going to be living with this for quite some time and it's unfortunate unfortunate. we are open after member with the world felt like before
global islamic terror raised its ugly head and started slaughtering people. it's a reality reality or wished it exists but is one that does exist. i think this hearing as i mentioned to the witnesses beforehand is the purpose and the goal of every hearing is to deepen our understanding of layout the realities whether we like them or not. we have to face them and that's kind of what i've been trying to point out. here's the reality situation. we have to face is so we can deal effectively with it so again i certainly appreciate the witnesses time and your thoughtful answers to our questions and we will keep working forward three of this is going to be a long struggle that we will shorten it if we figure out the problem and face it. we have to as a committed coalition of the willing of the civilized portions of the world. this is an attack on civilization and it's got to be defeated.
was among those testifying. florida senator marco rubio chairs the senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing. >> good morning. this hearing on the subcommittee of the western hemisphere transnational crime civilian security democracy human rights global women's issues will come to order. thank you for being here today. the title of this hearing is cartels and the u.s. heroin epidemic combating drug violence a public health crisis. before we begin the meeting on the matter personal privilege i want to notice a loyal staffer. behind every one of us in the senate is loyal and hard-working people. they literally sat behind us in behind us in meetings and all the hard work behind the scenes to make sure we are briefed and prepare to cast votes and advance public policy that makes
a difference. since 2011 maggie dougherty has been a stroke mental part of our policy logging combo sours working on complex and important issues for office rage is also logging countless hours sitting behind us and committee meetings but no longer. today is maggie's last senate foreign relations committee meeting and in a weeks time she will depart our office for a bigger and better opportunities i briefly want to thank her for everything she has done for us. we are very proud of her work. [applause] the title of this hearing the cartel of the u.s. heroin epidemic epidemic we have to panel testifying to the first is an official panel that will feature mr. daniel foote the deputy assistant secretary of state for the bureau of international narcotics and mr. mr. kemp chester the associate director for the national heroin coordinate a group of the office of national drug control policy. the second panel will present the honorable theresa jacobs america orange county florida
and mr. steven dudley the code director inside crane. we appreciate your time. we appreciate your dedication and i would also like to thank all of those who worked alongside my staff in making this hearing possible. drug cartels operate out of countries in the western hemisphere and they do so by using sophisticated sister vision systems that move narcotics into and across the united states. heroin supplied by these cartels has created a public health epidemic that is fueled drug violence across the country. heroin epidemic are in force in becoming part of everyday events in our society. it's our duty to find the best possible avenues and allocate resources to provide the best tools to equip those on the frontline to fight this public health crisis. we need to examine what the united states mexico and other regional partners are doing. promoting the efficacy initiatives to stop the spread of