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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 28, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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and how the coalition understands that that's rationale for choosing this time to liberate fallujah? >> well, thank you for that. a smart question. what is it specifically was or contextually we were talking about fallujah as it relates to mosul. in other words you don't need fallujah in order to give mosul. mosul was there ultimate geographic goal. you have to take sinjar before you go to mosul because sinjar sinjar -- they'd be to try to go to mosul without taking sinjar first so that's an example of some place you have to go before you can go to mosul. fallujah doesn't fall into that category.
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don't need fallujah and our ticket to fallujah so the two are -- so that was the explanation. no military reason to take fallujah in order to get to mosul. every city in iraq is going to get cleared. that's a we are here for. we are here to clear da'ish, clara isil out of iraq so we are going to every city sooner or later. it's just a question of sequencing and that sequencing and then i said if i remember it having established that fallujah is not necessary for mosul, the sequencing then becomes political and of course all of this is part of politics. war is part of politics and an extension of its of course we understand this professional soldiers that political component and we understand there's going to be a political component and we understand that bigger the comp -- country is
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make decisions more pure military necessity. we understand that perfectly well. and of course given recent unrest in baghdad, given the rash of bombings in bag dad certainly that changes the photo will it was for the civilian leadership of iraq. we understand that completely and we accepted and we are providing devastating airpower in support of the decision that the prime minister of iraq made to liberate fallujah. >> can you clarify whether or not its political attention or whether it's actual military deployment especially from the cvs how focusing on fallujah now does not take away from the mosul campaign? >> the forces involved in
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fallujah are different from the forces that will be involved in mosul so the mosul forces are continuing their preparations and the fourth generation process while the anbar forces conduct operations in anbar. that will certainly bleed off leadership attention that certainly to be expected but if this operation goes rapidly we won't see -- we'll see fallujah liberty which will give good benefits which will take the pressure of the political leadership in baghdad. it will cause the iraqi population predicted that baghdad population which is the center gravity for iraq so everything is god a balance. we can do a graduate school seminar on this. it's all about balance so while it made to lead out some
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intention that's the cost, the benefit will be heightened security in baghdad traded will certainly be a heightened sense of comfort in baghdad which will then take pressure off of the leadership and allow us to focus more on mosul down the road. all of these things continuing have to recycle in turn and there's analysis everything from the military necessity is a political reality. all of that together with leaders both in uniform and out of uniform form the right way ahead. >> you talk about how the ctf would be involved in clearing fallujah. as you you understand a nasa plan similar to their involvement in ramadi where the rest of the forces are providing for circling the town and cts will go in and clear it?
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>> let's let the answer to that be a surprise to the enemy, how about it? >> how close are u.s. forces coming u.s.-backed forces to raqqa right now? >> it depends. the american forces aren't fixed as you know we have some forces that joe votel visited. he was quite a distance away from raqqa and in other cases they are relatively close to the front lines. the dam when they were there was 25? away from us. they check on it from time to time so there is no single number but i would say in the 15 or 20 miles of closeness at any given moment but then other
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times they are significantly further away. they move. >> rus at that forces do innovation of rock are we talking about the next few weeks before ramadan before the end of the summer? >> we want to keep the enemy guessing. we recently declared a state of emergency in raqqa because of the pressure that's being put on them. the enemy believes an invasion of raqqa could come at any time and i refused the enemy to know when this last is it coming. >> does the u.s. military ice know where the frontline is? >> since world war i i'm not sure everyone knows where frontline is. if there's a trench with wire in the middle that's exactly where the line is but the line
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certainly isn't painted on the ground and often the line is really just kind of the straightest distance between two places where there are forces. so it's fluid that we certainly have a general idea. we know where that dead country is and where the good guy country is and in the case of syria we staying good guy country. >> hey colonel warren, thanks for doing this again. can you kind of characterize how isolated fallujah is? are they able to move isil fighters in and out of the city? word you guys stand there? >> it is largely isolated i guess is the modifier i would use. size possible for individuals to move into now.
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there are lines that the community can use to infill or xl matériel and equipment so it's rare almost impossible to completely seal off the city. fallujah is i think largely isolated so again no approach in our out that certainly there is enough to move the rat lines and other methods. >> quickly following up have you seen isil fighters fleeing in fallujah and if they see this attack coming? >> we haven't seen much of that yet. again we are still early. we are only three days into this so far and the friendly portions are still a ways outside the city. i mentioned karma.
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that's 10 miles away so we still have a ways to go. we have to see if what decisions they make aso whether not they're going to break. maybe they're waiting for charter point. maybe they don't plan on waiting and maybe they plan on waiting until a certain point in the development of the battle tell somewhere to go. >> we are about out of time. before we turn it back over to you for some closing words i just want to tell everybody last summer colonel steve warren raised his hand and volunteered to serve in what is arguably one of the most complex and intellectually challenging jobs in the military, recognizing the need that we had to have somebody in the ground in baghdad to be able to speak authoritatively and quickly to
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serve the press and by extension the american people with accurate and timely information about this operation in recognizing that this was not an easy job. it's one that he was equipped to do better than anyone else out there. steve made the personal sacrifice setting aside his education setting aside his family to serve as the pointy end of the spear. steve you have done this job with style, class, humor, passion and integrity and i thank you on behalf of os/2 public affairs in the press office and the entire public affairs committee. you are a legend. you have made a difference and you will be missed and god speed and we look forward to seeing you back back here on the side of the camera soon. >> jeff thank you. you are too kind. those are very thoughtful words and thank you all for the kind words you have shared with me.
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i do want to talk about the press corps and how capable we are and how important is that you do what you are doing. elsa want to talk about chris garver. colonel chris garver who arrives here tonight or tomorrow has been in kuwait for the last almost a year. he's been there since september. he is in my view the test public affairs officer in the united states army. he is truly a professional communicator par excellence. it will be a pleasure for you to work with him i guarantee it. he will be easy to work with. he is smart and he's capable and he understands this fight as well as anyone else does and he will do far better than i've done. any success that i've had in this year is due largely to him and his effort. he has a whole team in kuwait who writes these for me and provides information and pushes
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information to me and if there is any success out there i am only the mouthpiece. there's an entire team of people here in baghdad sergeant first class or sergeant katie eggers or sergeant first class hoskins who are around me every day and providing me with the information that i need to get to you. my hat is tipped to all of them for the tremendous work they have done and when chris garver gets here he will not miss a single bead i assure you. i know there is always nervousness when there is change and it's completely understandable and very settable but i'm here to tell you that you will be more than impressed when chris garber stand right here in front of his camera. he will do better than i've ever
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been able to do. thank you very much for your patience with me and i will see you all on the high ground. >> i came in june of 1998 as a historian. my colleagues said to me it's going to be nice and quiet. we have no election coming up
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and you will have lots of time to settle in and reading a comfortable with the job. within a few weeks the house or decided to impeach bill clinton and we got very busy very quickly and had to do a good deal of research on impeachment trials. we have not had a presidential impeachment since 1868. the senate leaders at that time trent lott and tom daschle really wanted to follow historical precedent as much as they could.
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officials from the state department and homeland security department testified on ways to combat isis in the u.s. and abroad in a recent hearing on capitol hill. he spoke to lawmakers about strengthening the visa waiver program and preventing certain individuals from becoming radicalized by on line propaganda. this is just under two hours. [inaudible conversations] >> this hearing will come to order. i want to welcome our witnesses. thank you for taking the time to be here today and for submitting her thoughtful testimony. we are looking forward to your answers to our questions. when i took over as chairman of this committee working with
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senator carper who by the way -- he's looking pretty good having spent four days traveling to vietnam and just got back yesterday so he's got a good nights sleep. one of the first things we do as we develop a mission statement. to enhance the economic national security of america and homeland security side needing we'd established for basic parties border security, we held 18 hearings on some aspect of our unsecured border, cybersecurity. we pass a federal cybersecurity enhancement act, a good measure. protecting our political infrastructure particularly our cyberattack in gnp in june by committee as a nation to protect their homeland against islamic terrorists and other violent extremist? this hearing is really about that last priority, dressing
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islamic terror and trying to secure our homeland and keep it safe. not an easy task. every last one of these hearings cold is primarily to layout of reality as best we can so that we can identify, do find a problem so we can actually work towards some common sense solutions recognizing in this realm the solutions are very difficult and they are going to take quite some time to finally in the end defeat islamic terror. i want to add a couple of facts that have been developed i staff recognizing again these are estimates. there's nothing hard and fast but it gives us some indication of what we are dealing with whom we are talking about isis. apparently the monthly revenue has dropped from 80 million per month to be a little less than a billion dollars per year to $56 million per month, $672 million ear. stillson. significant revenue in the hands
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of barbarians. there have been 12 cases of confirmed use of mustard agent. three other cases are suspected up in syria and iraq that ought to concern everybody. more than 400 or 42,900 foreign fighters have entered the conflict zone. about 7400 westerners. isis has trained trained a lease 400 fighters to target europe with its external operations. we stared at the paris plotters were foreign fighters returning from syria. the same network that were behind the terrorist attacks in the brussels suicide bombings. in total there were 162 victims. 1.8 million illegal were crossing his into the european union and 2015, 1.8 million. the previous year in 2014 there were 280,000 so you can just see as things degrade in syria and iraq is putting enormous
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pressure on the european union states. isis has 43 affiliates according to some reports and supporting groups globally so the fact that isis has territory, as established as caliphate other islamic terror groups are beginning to pledge their loyalty so isis continues to metastasize and until we finally to defeat than they will continue to metastasize and continued to be a growing and real threat. again i think we have to take this seriously and we will continue to explore this. i'm looking forward to the testimony from representatives from the department of homeland security and the department stated that -- with that i will turn it over to to senator carper after askin sent to enter my third -- written statement and the breck. >> that's a great idea. mr. chairman thank you pretty want to say to the secretary, thank you very much for joining us today.
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it's important in a timely one as well put our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the belgian people of france are not only endured losses from terror attacks in the capital city but also recent tragedy involving the crash of the a chip to air flight that departed from charles degaulle airport earlier this month. while we are still learning the effects of the egyptair flight this tragedy reminds us that securing our homeland remains an ongoing challenge for some time to come and our efforts must adapt to involve their tactics. as the chairman is alluded to some of the promises we have made him a battlefield and other ways the perspective of isis. it's a big coalition of 60 nations and it's beginning to work and provide good leadership but it's going slower than my would like. not only in terms of regaining
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that land and reducing their capacity to be successful in that part of the world and taking away their money, their ability to winans their operations that securing our borders and information system is the element of keeping us safe. we have focused quite a bit on the topics. hearings on the syrian wreckage of program and said these waiver program bear witness to our focus. we found that this hearing process takes upwards to two years that dhs is enhancing the security of the visa waiver program not once not twice but three times the last 18 months in this committee has focused time and energy on that as well. it also applies visas teams to help consular officers detect fraud. securing her orders is only half the battle. we could shut down all travel into this country and still not be safe from terrorist threats. that's because as bergen testified in the denver believer
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here in this room every person and this is a quote from him every person that has been killed by a terrorist since 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen. let me say that again that every person has been killed by g.i. terrorist in this country since 9/11 has been killed i an american citizen or resident. the people who have carried out these attacks weren't foreign students. they were tourists and they weren't even refugees. they were americans and even in many cases they had spent much of their lives in this country, united states. for instance the tsarnaev brother spent every a decade in the united states before carrying out the pots number upon bombings. major nidal hassan was born and raised in america and was serving the u.s. army when he committed the fort hood attack. syed farook spent us of his life in california before he and his
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wife committed the san bernardino massacre. i'm forcibly isis knows all too well the best way to attack americans to have americans do it for you. that's why isis put emphasis on using social media and the internet to radicalize at home. in order to combat attacks were to make sure when isis makes interpreting pitched americans their twisted message falls on deaf ears. if isis is successful in radicalize and americans we must also be vigilant in ensuring to the best of our ability that we can stop almost every terrorist attack well before an attack can be carried out. let me be clear, the department of homeland security and other agencies are not alone attacked and the threat of homegrown terrorism. congress must tell. indeed all americans must help. we can start by taking action to keep weapons whether their explosive dirty bombs or guns
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out of the hands of tears here. we need to improve the ability of our law enforcement oceans agency to detect homegrown terrorism plots plots by helping them work through their challenges on encryption and finally we need to give our federal agencies the tools they need to help prevent our young people from falling prey to isis on line propaganda. late last year i authored with some of my colleagues to tackle this challenge. this legislation would create an office of the department home security pass with working with community groups, families especially young people and religious leaders to develop current debate solutions for stopping recruiting young americans in texas. our legislation has also included in the department home and securities account ability act which we move just yesterday. we need to get this bill enacted into law as soon as possible so we can further help our
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communities resist isis recruitment efforts. secretary mayorkas and you pronounce your name siberell? i want to commend you and your departments for the work that you do to protect people in this country from terrorist attacks both at home and abroad. we stand ready to work with you both and your colleagues to make sure that your departments have the resources that you need to combat these threats. we welcome in papers that your hard work and leadership that you are providing and yourself as devotion to our country. tactic is senator carper's situation of this committee to swear and witnesses so you with with -- if you will both rise and raise your right hand raise your right hand. you swear the testimony will give up for the study will be the truth all truth the truth altered the nothing but the truth so help you god? you may be seated our first witness is mr. alejandro
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mayorkas. mr. mayorkas said deputy secretary of the department department, to get up your spicer distractor icy citizenship and immigration services or uscis at dhs. a lot of acronyms in this business. he's a parking lot from the youngest a turn to serve the nation when he was senate confirmed that 1998 as the u.s. attorney for the central district of california. in that capacity he served as the vice chair of the attorney general's advisory subcommittee on civil rights is a member of the subcommittee on ethics in government. mr. mayorkas. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. chairman johnson, ranking member carper and distinguished members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss priorities and key actions of our department of homeland security to address the terrorist threats to our nation particularly following the islamic state of iraq and l'enfant november 2015 and march
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2016 terror attacks in brussels and paris. i will be briefing -- breathe in my remarks and defer to my testimony submitted tuesday so i can focus on the questions you may pose. as i are taking it in my earlier submission to threats we face today are more complex and decentralized than they were a decade ago. we are in a new face of the global terrorist threat. we have moved to a world of terrorists directed attacks to a world that increasingly includes the threat of terrorist inspired attacks one which the attacker may never have come face-to-face with a member of a terrorist organization but instead has inspired by the messages sent and propaganda viso. such inspired attacks are harder for law enforcement to detect and could occur with little or no notice presenting a more complex security challenge. confronting the world of terrorists directed and terrorist inspired attacks are
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department home and securities focus focused their resources and efforts in four areas in order to counter the evolving threats we face. aviation security, border security, countering violent extremism and information sharing and in support into the series we have strengthened contained to strengthen our programs and processes and are executing critical initiatives to better respond to the dynamic threat landscape across the wealthy district that are screening protocols and domestic airports and established security enhancements at foreign airports to united states. we are continually refining a risk-based writer jan labor approach to border security extending our zone of security to interdict threats as far outward from her homeland as possible. we are leveraging all available dance passenger and mathis data intelligence long forest and information and open-source information. we have strengthened the visa waiver program in coordination with the department of state and
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congress. i'll individuals traveling as part of the visa waiver per gram are subject to rigorous screening before departure to united states and throughout the travel continuum. the visa waiver per gram significantly enhances our nation's security and law enforcement partnerships with participating countries and we continue to work with our international partners to strengthen our permission sharing increasing our joint presence. we have strengthened our permission sharing efforts in a close partnership with state local and tribal law enforcement are key first responders throughout our nation. finally we have strengthened our relationships with the communities across the country and agencies across the government through our office for candidate partnerships and the countering violent extremism task force. ..
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>> >> the acting coordinator of counterterrorism bureau of counterterrorism at the u.s. department of state he joined the state department foreign service and joining
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the bureau in july 2012. has the rank of minister counsel with the foreign service in was principal officer at beddy-bye united arab emirates. >> thank you mr. chairman, the chairman johnson and ranking member carter for the opportunity to appear before you today as we work closely with the department of homeland security and other u.s. agencies to keep america safe. we face the evolving terrorist threat involvement -- environment that requires we strengthen partnerships globally including the european partners. i would like to describe some the center taking i have submitted a statement for that. the partnership of a broad coalition we make progress
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of transnational terrorist groups. in particular the u.s.-led gulf will coalition has made a progress reducing control in syria and iraq and restricting funds at the same time tears groups continue to exploit this ability with non existing governments and sectarian conflict and borders in key regions to rick's dent their reach and mobilize new recruits with the face of increased military pressure isil said al qaeda has dash casualty attacks against targets in public spaces and terrorist attacks in brussels in beirut and paris jakarta and elsewhere show that these groups remain resilient and determined to target innocent civilians
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we're looking to mitigate the threat by other foreign fighters and radicalized individuals around the world in working with partners to increase information sharing and strengthen legal regimes for work counterterrorism efforts. this engagement has yielded positive results in 45 countries have passed new laws are updated existing laws united states has in place without the five international partners to deter the travel of sectarian violence. to serve as a focal point for the a deputy data around the world. 58 countries now contribute the foreign profile to identify the un security council resolution the landmark document agreed
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unanimously since september 2014. we continue to work with vhs to strengthen the vital security and counterterrorism partnership including implementing changes of the terrorism prevention act to give unprecedented leverage with the highest standards of security it is vital to the security of the homeland as well as our closest allies. and the aftermath from brussels read deployed for a fighter search teams with a counterterrorism community including belgium and greece. they're working with partners to identify concrete areas to identify
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and prosecute. strengthening our border security with the deployment of the terrorist interdiction program to deploy key technologies more effectively to identify and target suspect travelers. effective border security is one of the most essential tools to plot and carry out attacks thing to ensure the international partners have the effective procedures to a enhance the security. we're also increasing your focus to the violent extremism yesterday the department does state release the first-ever joint strategy that articulates
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the expanded effort to better understand address the radicalization in to terrorist groups. the department of state works in close partnership every day with other government agencies to counter the threat. -- pose like isil we appreciate congress interested we look forward to your questions. >> obviously the headlines at the long lines of the tsa i want to talk about that we did have a briefing but i want your assessment what is the root cause when lines are as long as three hours?
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>>. >> in the long lines that were experienced because quite frankly that was error on our part, a failure to address with appropriate staffing a very predictable surgeon at a peak time of travel. that was an aberration with the agency's failure to address. >> but as at other airports so let's talk about it is totality. >> we would identify those factors that have arisen over time. number one we have enhanced security measures to the inspector general's report that was published that
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identified certain deficiencies and since have executed the 10-point plan to address those deficiencies. >> do you have the metric of what those enhanced security measures are? do we have an average number of passengers. >> i have to report back to. >> please have that submitted after words. >> over a number of years the staff a net tsa dropped considerably at a time, the third factor that the increase the travel belt - - volume.
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ended the increase in travel with the staffing of personnel. >> we also have representatives from customs border protection they're having a hard time staffing there isn't not affected hire enough people so is it budget related? is the fact we are not able to attract and recruitment of people? is it attrition that people are leaving? >> there are multiple factors i appreciate the opportunity to explain. first what that $34 million reprogramming hiring and a very short-term basis and
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also paying overtime to be ready for the surge for the volume. >> there was a purposeful effort to reduce staffing over a number of years with the risk-based appellate -- methodology depending on the paycheck and one program we have since eliminated following the inspector general's report and also the administrators leadership and an assessment of security imperative we have suffered attrition because of the pay they received and many are part time looking for full-time opportunities. and there are better opportunities in the transitional work force
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there are multiple reasons and we're tackling each and everyone we are taking a look at that pace structure which we need to partner with congress to alter the tsa employees that are not on the pay schedule. >> now for example, we have skilled airport screeners the don't reacquire those talents to where they are needed in those that communicate to passengers they need not take off their shoes in the pre-check line but then they need to. >> san francisco is contract with a private firm to do the security? >> yes.
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>>, the others are using that same model? >> our ability to staff the security is a partnership with a local efforts but led is critical from a security perspective even if the private company they must maintain the security protocols according to our standards. so are they the same long lines? >> in they do have some weight time issues. and at peak times that creates the wait time phenomenon we're focused on the top 20 airports and
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staffing accordingly. >> with a top to bottom assessment towards border security to talk about their approach i am a big proponent of the k-9 units there is no technology that even comes close to the nose of a job. -- a dog. how close are we toward the re-engineering up airport security? >> the admiral is a phenomenal leader and i use that adjective advising the. the assessment is underway but the changes are under
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way as well. the admiral has not wedded to complete the assessment before implementing the reforms and dimensions the canines we have deployed additional canines and they are extraordinarily effective tool from a security perspective because individuals to pass to go through expedited screening just as the pre-checks though the from the risk base approach maximizing the marketing of the pre-check and it ended vantage we had
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a daily average of 3,002 now close to an average daily moment to 50,000. those are two examples of the assessment is underway. >> i will be highly supportive of beefing up canine units that is where the best things we can do. >> i went to a sampras's going connected yesterday but what i witnessed an earlier but most done this committee have the pre-check
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and i went quickly. and several times in the last two weeks and previously tsa was at 5,000 and triple that. the tsa used to have a marketing program and have used that and they are ramping bad up again put it on line or a commercial. to get through the regular checks and people are slipping by. and that is very easy to understand but all kinds of people want to get through
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the security but by the same token we have to make sure nobody gets through. and there is something that we have to deal with asking the admiral in some of the problems he had they should have no. and the leadership has changed and that is good. and with that procedure that you go through. and down with the airports in atlanta and that is good to do the same kind of thing.
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to do the processing time. and our secretary johnson asked them to do consider paying for our participation. we have fortune 500 companies wide we send them a copy? and that the chairman has mentioned this. and half a dozen more were of their ports there during this there is an authorization. and whether this
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organization that stayed with vhs we have leadership but i just want to say tsa i thank those who work there. people have said to me people of never thanked me before. people appreciate that. but want to pick up a number of hearings here on the visa waiver they don't understand how little travel program to now we have more information from the 30 countries to review briefly mention the
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levies a waiver the the information is valued in a protected. >> thank you very much. with respect to the visa waiver program with respect to the individual traveler to seeks to avail him or herself must submit an application and before he and. to capture more data and we add that to the application in this field have elicited data that is very material to our security determination's whether to allow the visa waiver program applicant to revive
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the united states. to with that assessment in very significant ways. for a country to qualify for the visa waiver program there are statutory requirements that our critical to the home as security mission and those that we have imposed is secretary johnson has strengthened those requirements there must be a refusal rate under a particular percentage to make sure they're not a source of fraud we have critical homeland security and law-enforcement partnership agreements that country must sign and implement in order to qualify for the of these so
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waiver program country and reuse as the mechanism to drive better cooperation and information sharing whiskey international partners so that actually enhances security. >> with the omnibus appropriations bill i would say $10 million for grants to counteract pilots extremism that is not a lot of money so how do we ensure that has ample resources. >>. >> the challenge of violent extremism is one of our biggest priorities making us creating the office of partnerships in the name is
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significant because what we used to do is a discreet mines throughout the department separate agencies in several offices the robot united in the effort or line to the allocation of resources. and we have brought those resources and together for community partnerships. why the name is important is that ultimately the community itself is the most effective means to counter by lead to extremism. reassessed and trade and empower local communities and under his leadership we will allocate for that which
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we are very thankful and a grant program tapping into the grant making expertise to ensure we employ those funds as effectively as possible. in fact, the plans to redevelop that the communities themselves of the most prudent and effective. and to be extraordinarily focus with its able use of social media in the effort to radicalized individuals here in our homeland so we have to counter that message
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and we cannot do that as a government loan and partner than only with communities that the private sector. we are working with technology with a counter extremas of that is the most effective way to proceed. >> thanks for quoting another hearing in with all due respect to what we just had heard about this new approaches it is hard to sit here to say that isis is contained and as it
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continues to grope in a lot of respects with the destabilizing effect in the middle east trying to retake fallujah and also to say that to stabilize europe and other refugees that have moved here illegally and isis also poses a greater threat to the united states -- i assume you would not disagree with that a greater threat today that it was the last time we hold a hearing. their ability to reach out to people continues to grow
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in the real social media communications we're losing up battle my only concern from mr. mayorkas and he knows, i don't know you, mr. siberell, but there isn't a sense of urgency. and it is right passing legislation but on all three levels but don't believe we're doing well we should be doing to attack other places. we continue to have gaps and as the fbi director told us real serious gaps in intelligence we need to know who the assyrian refugees
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are and finally perhaps most important we have yet to figure out is a counterterrorism communication and facing a very effective opponent of mine. and when we are asked to look at the isis propaganda on line we see what has to do with violence and extremism but here is our report we got recently, a 52% of nearly 900 propaganda were focused on quality of life, a lonely two% touched on brutality or violence. they are reaching out to alienating the use in the
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west and elsewhere the think it is increasing so what are we doing that is responding to this increased capability for the urgency? i notice you have talked about the global engagement center at the state department at the department of homeland security and the office of community partnership. and i assume where the center for strategic to medication was not working well to provide that counter messaging and i think it is
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grey there's unity but it is a unity of effort? would you say we're effectively countering this message? >> thank you. the coordination within our government is strengthening a major challenge and i would agree that isil use the social media to propagate their message is day effective tool to recruit new members is unprecedented in not used as effectively. but the narrative of victory that they had relied upon so successfully in their early period of recruitment if you think of that early 2014 to 2015 era there were losses
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and that's victory has been planted some what and you notice those statistics on messaging tough quality of life. and the global the engagement center is intended to broaden the networks globally. >> how long has it been up and running? >> in order to establish -- with the establishment. that folded into the global in engagement center. >> see you are suggesting now because of fewer victories and they cannot focus on quality of life issues there are fewer foreign fighters attracted to the middle east?
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>> something that is the unprecedented. >> i will restate the questions of is that effective for a few were ford fighters were the alienated youth is that happening? >> so is there a decrease in the number of foreign fighters? can you give any information on that with followup communication. >> i would be happy to do that. but their observations. >> so you disagree? you think there are fewer coming into the of middle east? >> i think there is said decrease into syria and iraq conflict but there are other
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places that isil does attract new followers and plan to associate themselves with the existing insurgencies. but is this something that is localized in iraq and syria is global the we have to confront a round of world. >> that is misleading. i am not talking about classified briefings but i would love to see your statistics on that. >> so mr. mayorkas would use a vhs is talking directly and coordinating to your office or the engagement center? >> senator i am not familiar with that aspect of our communication on the international front. mine is domestically as it
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is targeted to the homeland i have to defer to experts in the arena. >> so the committee was interested to know the coordination between state and vhs. it is not subject to boundaries so those same people you try to address are the same ones hearing the message and i hope we have better communications with the government. >> thank you, mr. chairman chairman i appreciate our witnesses on this topic to know that they are responsible for the tens of thousands of muslims and we have to actively engage the muslim community in her own
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states and in this country. in with a very bright -- vibrant community in the most patriotic individuals but they need to be a part of any solution to counter the radical the extremism we see from the isis recruitment efforts. >> mr. siberell i have a copy of a report that just came down yesterday from the department of state an usaid strategy to counteract a violent extremism what are the key parts of this new strategy and why do we believe this is more successful than the past? >> yesterday we did release of the strategy that for the first and the state
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department we have released such a strategy. it gets to the conclusion that our efforts needs to be a more comprehensive to scale effort to better understand of the radicalization leading to recruitments that enables the group's to identify and track new members despite the fact they offer only misery and death in from those communities that they control although they have had significant success of groups over time in great success through law enforcement efforts and intelligence to attract new followers so this strategy
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is an acknowledgement that our approach as united states working in partnership needs to be expanding in understanding what drives people to this ideology that these groups propagate and what can be done to address those factors in a more effective fashion so lays out a series of strategic objectives to invest more seriously in research to better understand the driver's and the factors leading to radicalization and then to discuss the importance of building international understanding and effective measures to be adopted by governments at the national ince of national levels to oriental of capacity building to blunt the
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radicalization and process to help countries deal with those that may have been radicalized to provide those off ramps to join up with these organizations also counter narrative's where we are investing in the global engagement center just to address the earlier question it is the interagency organization and finally addressing rehabilitation and reintegration efforts related to those who have entered into a detention facility and what they can do to rehabilitate those who
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have renounced violence so the strategy provides a strong framework to implement the of policies and programs around the of world to develop this comprehensive approach senate is an overview of what is happening overseas talk about our local communities as mentioned my time of the vibrant american muslim communities in michigan and you have engaged with them in a regular basis to have an assessment of where we are what we should expect in the future? >> secretary johnson actually has engaged a number of communities across the country i was at detroit to a number of years ago of my prior capacity in
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immigration service's i also have visited minneapolis boston and new york. our efforts are vital one of the things we're focused on as a department is being in the community to identify and empower local trusted voices to be the critical messengers in the battle to counter violent extremism whether educators or parents or civic leaders. our office for kiddie partnerships partners local communities with the tool kit and messages to identify
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a the symptoms of an individual on the path to radicalization recreated the interagency task force to make sure that unity of effort is steadily in the department of farmland security better cross the government so we have harnessed the resources of the fbi the national counterterrorism center and other agencies focused on safety of the american people as he worked in the communities apart during with them to amplify and the voices and employ the tools to reach the people on the path to radicalization. >> those communities you have mentioned what is their reaction? adaptive and willing partners? >> very much we consider
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them strong allies in day share the concern of only for the safety of the nation but their respective communities no parent wants to lose a child to violent extremism no parent wants to see a child go to a conflict zone to join a terrorist organization as a responsible parent. as close allies we have brought in meters from across the country into the department of homeland security to better understand sensitivities and learn from them how best we can partner together we do not have a monopoly on the best ideas how to work with and impact to the communities we try to reach
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is a collaborative effort in a partnership with those communities. >> my time is expired. >> mr. mayorkas with the visa waiver application, is that cross checked with the terror watchlist in the no-fly list? >> senator, yes, the data is run through multiple databases edition said the peace though waiver program traveler is feted at different points. >> your watch list and a no-fly list and i assume fbi criminal database that the records keeping process
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database? director what was the no fly west and other intelligence data bases and i can provide those greater specificity on which of those is checked but it is a full complement. >> here is my question. when we looked at the attacks in paris number one and then in brussels, my question is we know that many of the european countries and in particular united kingdom france and germany and belgium have received some of the greatest numbers of the foreign fighters that have gone back and forth between iraq and syria and my question is pretty straightforward either those in paris that we know that were involved were any of
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those individuals knots on our watch list or no-fly list? or our other databases? you have the answer to that? >> i do not i would defer to our experts and i will follow-up. >> this is a really important question. because we're only as good as the information that we have we can add additional questions on to the visa waiver checklist but we don't do the in person interview correct? >> we do not. >> it is a pretty large programs the region not to the in person but what comes
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in and goes out is what is the most valid. so it is important for this committee to understand any individuals that we know that have been identified in paris or brussels with a on the terror watchlist or any other databases? if not then we better to understand why and if we look at the countries of origin that we can see if there are gaps in the information sharing. i ask because it has been pretty widely publicizepublicize d that belgium could very serious issues with their law enforcement capabilities as reno information was shared from countries like turkey from one of the individuals that were not acted upon so
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would you agree this is pretty important? >> it is only good as it happens. >> end to prevent the individual who would pose a threat. >> they're not on the terror last then no-fly is the subset or not of the fbi database or any other that we cannot discuss your if they are nowhere then it is a lot less likely we will discover them what do you agree? >> not necessarily. >> the application that a
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traveler must complete is very comprehensive and in fact, in order to strengthen it it has become even more comprehensive so we have picked up data of an individual traveler that is not necessarily in the database and if we pick them up that has revealed information that has enabled us to deny individual's ability to travel. >> so how many applications are there in the program? and many people? >> have to get that to you seventh that is important to understand that and how much investigation is done? so when i get the application is filed investigator how much fallout is done on each? >> order appreciate the opportunity to have our experts agree few in a classified setting as to how
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we address these extraordinary amount of information we received. >> we know there are deficiencies in belgium and in the past and now the secretary is looking at countries of concern the information is critical for us to protect our citizens and the beasts of waiver program or not the with this category because they don't have to take the extra step and think it is important whether classified or not to understand the individuals involved for any of them on our intelligence data bases? and how many do we have in this program? and on a hard paper application how many do we have the opportunity to investigate those aspects? that is why the list becomes
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important in the database becomes important with those numbers we cannot investigate each application it worries me you have more fighters have returned in sharing information in this critical piece how effective are we so i know my time is up but i hope we'll have an opportunity to break this down to understand the vetting in the program. >> may seek your indulgence? >> yes i will seek jurors next. >> allow me to make a number of points. first we have every single application of a visa program travel against our database, not only their
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name but also against the extensive holdings of the information we collect through the application so sometimes the liberation that is of secondary importance maybe not pertinent to the individual but others identities that we identify on the application has proven to be quite material in our security vetting and i can explore that further in a different classified setting. number one. now never to these and individual may travel from one foreign country to another is very different or the difficulty of which someone might travel from a european country to the united states our security
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protocols is extraordinarily robust we have multiple layers of security so the travel from one foreign country to another is not synonymous with the ability of the individual to travel from one to the united states specifically. number three there is a difference between a refugee being processed across a border from one european country to another and what we consider and employ a the difference teleprocessing and the biographical information allowing individual ultimately to resettle is a very different process with the rigorous screening of refugees.
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>> i appreciate your description of that is why want to know how many are in the database and the refugee issue a separate verses i'm a citizen of belgium i am in the program unless we know someone has been back and forth how good the information is ababa like to know how much we can get given the volume and the right to know what the volume is and how much follow-up if they are not in the database. >> vitarelli interject we haven't talked about the pre-clearance program but we will have an opportunity to do that the idea with pre- clearance if he pushes the of borders out further and further they have
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interviews in the biometrics and the other thing anyone comes through on visa waiver they are all things your printed through biometric so we have gone better it is not perfect yes we have to continue to approve in we need to with knowledge that. thank you. >> from what i know i believe the greatest threat that we have been terms of risk factors of foreign fighters coming into america to threaten the homeland is the refugee program because with proper vetting we can take no risks but palaestra scan for the visa waiver program is the next highest but the greatest is for fighters or operatives going into africa and central america coming up through
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the porous borders so that is my rank assessment but the highest is coming to the porous borders isis one-year ranking reynauds thought or rationale was the lowest in the highest risk? >> i will want to think about that. >> think about because i will come back to. >> you have a quick answer? >> data have a of a relative idea i would sit with the visa waiver program as we discussed that provides huge leverage to require
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strengthening and three
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languages there were 19 communes each with its own administration but our muslim americans will define themselves as americans buy european muslims don't how that so there are a lot of challenges with the european allies. but they say they share more with the united states than with each other but that allows challenges i imagine to explode as we have seen with information sharing among e.u. members is compared with where we were before and 11 which has a lot of overlapping
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stovepipes security entities so i would like to look at what has happened since the bill is an attack with the european allies to see if they're starting to change their procedures or policies and you believe there is sharing across the border in european countries? is there adequate coordination and information and sharing? >> i am happy to jump in. so the issue of information sharing is critical to identify my opening remarks. of course, in terms of sharing of information that may be true a share more with less than each other because we demand that for travelers to arrive here in the united states to the visa waiver program or
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otherwise they have advanced considerably sharing information understanding the attacks in brussels but we're very encouraged we have a passenger named record for collection and sharing information in that it is a critical snapshot of the individual well in advance of the travel of the european territory. they have been powered and equipped themselves as a central repository of cooperation and coordination of which we participate considerably in the collection and dissemination and sharing of information now european in counterterrorism center a
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european human smuggling center that serves as a great hub and they are making tremendous the dances in the collection in of sharing of information they do not necessarily collect passenger name record information with each other their marching through privacy interests lesser and as a challenge in the past i think that e.u. agreement frankly is a milestone in that effort and i will defer to my colleagues for any other comments. >> although i do agree there is some will within the europeans in europe to integrate a watch list to use that effectively.
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this will is there today benefactor they have large numbers of foreign terrorist fighters as has been a crisis but brussels has brought this on the we have seen a change the way they approach their issues to approve their system with an openness to work more closely even more than they had been. >> after our attacks we created the centers that have been effective but are they really replicating what has been successful scheerer like the infusion centers are they moving as rapidly as we did? >> we laid out a series of steps they need to take to
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better integrate their systems the aspiration is for unified list but in the meantime what they need to do between the list to ensure to have a single point of search against all holdings that is an area we can help them and we are prepared. >> bomb that point the house just passed the counterterrorism screening act to excel rate our role. there is so what we have learnt how can our systems help them to improve their capabilities are there things we should do to help share those best practices that this body should be acting on with urgency?
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>> i would say absolutely yes to give you a bottom-line i think they are improving their information and on the right path but not where we need them to be but we're working to make sure that they are. i am joining the attorney general and others and general taylor the leader of our intelligence analysis we're going to europe on tuesday to address the very issue you have raised we have offered our technological audiences in this area with our platform the automated targeting system for those critical instruments that we have developed to assist them in this security imperative.
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>> want to reiterate that there is a problem with government run efforts because they have spent delegitimdelegitim ized as the kiss of death with our involvement to want to encourage the efforts i have seen that are allowing those that are the more authentic voices in one of those are the foreign former foreign fighters who were disillusioned with the hatred bader often very persuasive as a buffer as an antidote to the toxins spewed by isis of the to encourage you as i was very happy the state department to and failed that joint
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strategy but i hope your investing substantively. and i said this to secretary johnson it should not be law-enforcement but these other efforts to empower these to elevate the authentic voices into what works to counter violent extremism. >> we could not agree more and the effort we're executing it isn't our voice to move the mountain the rather the voices in the community. i attended an extraordinary peer to peer challenge to develop programs coming from students facebook was a critical partner looking at technology companies in
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working with philanthropic organizations in community-based organizations and you have identified an extraordinarily powerful voice for those that were on the wrong path and realized there are greater problems of their prior ways. that is almost like bruce springsteen music to my ears as a jersey boy. >> we have had some great discussion in regards to propaganda. as mentioned earlier we need that government-wide
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coordination and a share the concerns and i had actually and with chairman johnson and senator booker to require the president to use social media because he sees so much of this coming now. they view for part very on that we hope to work through with you to these processes. deputy secretary and i do understand the benefits of a visa waiver program now that we have it but there are some security concerns we have 38 countries that participate.
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are they all meeting the necessary requirements as they go through their betting? >> thank you very much. the requirements break ra a prerequisite before joining the program and remaining in the program. if we determine that they fall short then we developed a remediation plan with the strict requirements to insure that no traveler is a raving and posing a threat to. we have employed that mechanism so we are vigorous >> are any of those not meeting their requirements right now?
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>> there are. i will be happy to share with you in a different setting. >> but the public is concerned about in the public doesn't know what is being followed up on. >> but i would say this underscores one of the critical benefits that we do have the leverage with the country that wishes to remain in the program to ensure compliance with stringent obligatioobligatio ns with the homeland. it is a perfect example of
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how the visa waiver program is a tool of security. i do wish the name was changed because the term waiver suggest a relaxation in bed is the opposite that is true. not only to capture enormous amount of the individual traveler, but also use the program and other nations as a driver of the information sharing information collection and the really dovetails with the question that senator booker poses how it does in the security mechanism perhaps better with us than with the -- with each other and the
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desire to avail themselves. >> i appreciate that. reports indicate we sent to a foreign fighters search team to brussels. what challenges prevented us from prevent teen the attacks? >> of the search team follow upon the cooperation since 2013 when those first manifested itself with the other groups we have had a long dialogue on these issues but after the paris
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attacks we had discussions as did the government so what else can we do to push our european partners? are there gaps to identify? so we have a dialogue is mature and open with issues like document integrity or those techniques that we have developed and better integration of watchlist all of these or identified. research team will identify where we have expanded cooperation swearword plan
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has been developed we also have belgian's coming to the united states it is an elevated partnership effectively. >> anything that could have been done how could we have closed up the gap? >>. >> so as you know, , with the iraqi kurdish forces are a critical partner in the fight against isis for the administration just designated $450 million of financial assistance.
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can you provide the committee with additional detail are where this will come from? and for what purpose? >> i would agree that the kurdish forces are the closest partners to provide a counter to isil em pope -- have pushed the now and the kurds play a critical role in that coalition. >> i appreciate that. >> and the opening statement talk about inspiring that i
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would agree that al qaeda ed directed the was the centralized operation and of activity but that the fed is to inspire outside of the caliphate but now they are beginning to direct to have a hand in of brussels attack. so they have gone beyond to the direct attacks. >> your pointed out the essential difference that al qaeda was made up of the clandestine and souls of
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those who had to become a member and vetted by the organization to be had clandestinely manner in which they devise plots and isil is on a completely different model with the core of individuals better very disciplined military structure but at the same time to inspire others but to act on their behalf and also reflects the time difference with the internet and social media having access in the way that there were never successful in using their looking to
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identify the foreign fighters that could lead be useful to infiltrate back to the home countries. that is a very real danger and had some success to do so but that is the case battle the with trained operatives. >> maybe we are nibbling around the edges we're growing a and metastasizing through the refugee flow i think the answer is quite obvious the refugee program
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those refugees should pose no risk. and with that financial capability 10,000 out of 4 million we can make sure we take no risk. the same with the visa waiver program. where we can really reduce the risk so what concerns me of the isis operatives them by far the greatest concern down in central america special interest aliens.
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doesn't that point to the fact we have to secure our border? >> i defer to mr. mayorkas dazzles of the three categories of concern. >> don't take that for a force to be very strategic as we watched them dangerously false i am highly concerned. >> we're focused on special interest aliens from the designated countries in vr extraordinarily focused on
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that. of the level of security on the southwest border one of the primary areas of concern. >> looking at central america. >> betty vermis surge to about 25,400 unaccompanied children. we're at the exact same level year to date. in terms of family units and the terms of total number of apprehensions in 2014 blast
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wrecked the same point in time we redundant 182 now we're at 223. i do not see an improvement. it has not improved. >> those unaccompanied children pose a unique challenge because by and large those individuals of guatemalans and honduras and el salvador. >> powless is pointing out the lax security at the border. >> that wasar lower than in prior years. but if i may with the
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security of the border with respect to the terrorist threat one of the challenges of the individuals is a transnational criminal organization we have no evidence to suggest they're willing participants in in fact, it is the opposite of the overt smuggling in that makes sense for fear to read even greater force to bear on their organizations. their question is are there low-level organizations to baby smuggling that is a terrorist?
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and our agents are focused on that we do not have an increase concerned that as a needed increase of vigilance >> i want to to return to the last part of the conversation. we have been down in the five day, pierre with the lack of opportunity in those early conversations as we send money down for those to
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get the money and the guns that make life miserable for folks. with the needle in the haystack we can make those bigger as force multipliers we also need to make the haystack a lot smaller. and with that partnership they have established a want to go back to a number of important questions and with
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that refugee program and for the outside chance of a visa waiver makes them more in war and the other things so we have talked about. to go back cry in this room when he was testifying everyone killed since 11 was killed by american citizen. or resident. so we need to use the cattery reach out to make sure they don't become radicalized?
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had to continue that. of why they're so challenged in europe. going to syria and other places to leave the isolated lives. and to be very susceptible to radicalization. so we want people coming from syria in - - to feel
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a part of the country to buy a lot worse safety and security for people then did a thing sillier talking about today. talk about campaign success and support. their recent losses have been set feet -- a severe coalition forces had killed more leaders in recent months including the chief executioner. and with that finance chief in the second in command. to the iraqi care to terrorism forces.
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in may 2016 and it has dropped precipitously in the last nine months. but today is down of one per month. and u.s. treasury department estimates the smuggling interdiction that would feed the efforts are is 250 million per year that is half of what they used to be. will we're darlene it is the
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practice to take the names and whenever information available about individual publishing the data and information to identify that individual as a target of their - - terrorism. . .


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