tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN June 1, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
i went through drug court graduation, the founding drug court in virginia and the judge who founded it, this super, you know, farsighted thinker about the need for drug courts have a child who many years later was killed in a drug-related incident. they have done so as a particular advocate. did you have another class? i went to my son's graduation in a community about two hours are near. that is why we are now spending the time we are, but we haven't spent time and it's important we do so unless it has demographic orders. this is not a problem with national borders and we've got to grab a hold of the dimensions
in mexico, china, other patients experiencing this and build those partnerships not even a metropolitan region. but we've got to the blonde for us in another partnerships. thank you for being here with your testimony. >> the transnational groups that are targeting us, i think in your testimony atop about and i want to reiterate again, whether it is spent in all emphatically or poppies-based opioids being grown in the western hemisphere, in particular mexico, they are coming here. this is almost the exclusive market for this trafficking networks. is that correct? >> that's correct. absolutely. >> there is a small local market, but it's minimal. >> you are crossing the border
it is for them to find to texas and california and you are hearing where the outbreaks are. you see these outbreaks in the northeast and massachusetts in places like central florida. use -- how is it winding up in the pockets. and the distinguishing characteristics that turn a community into a high propensity, high-risk area. >> you know, it is such a new phenomenon because it is so dispersed. the fact that it is so dispersed is really what leads to the criminal organizations being so dispersed.
the notion that we have one single all-encompassing anomie called the sinaloa cartel and once we have el chapo guzmán. because of the market and the way they will satisfy the market. this is coming you know, it is an odd game because in a way there are certain elements of the epidemic over the ends of our own success. the fact that you would create ways that you can't tamper with oxycontin, for example. you can't support it anymore. the way in which it was distributed. that makes it less available so then i start to search out other things. the way in which the government with the united states government has captured or killed several larger leaders that the criminal organizations
has led to a fragmentation of these groups. so you have groups like you referred to earlier, the group was responsible for the massacre were supposed massacre of the 43 students that disappeared 43 students currently still. this is an offshoot of a larger group and there are several like that. in order to wrap your hands are bound to as a law-enforcement issue, it's incredibly difficult because the terrain is so much more horizontal than vertical. when you take out the larger leaders, you are left with a fragmented criminal landscape in a landscape that doesn't necessarily, as the market might depend on getting product from another country. in fact, they do from the andes region. they need to get their product
from other criminal organizations, but they don't have that dependency when it comes to poppies production, which is local in the heroin production, which is local. .. was this on the treatment site for people to recover, on the prevention side but also by targeting these organizations for in the business of murder basically which is what this ultimately is. not just murdering each other for character but the direct murder of americans i targeting
as with the distribution of these products in our country. i want to thank all of you for being here. i also want to ask consent in a statement for the record of jack riley, acting deputy administrator drug enforcement administration. without objection to order. the record is going to the remain open until the close of business on tuesday may 31. you might we see some questions in writing. i would ask you to respond to so they can close the record on this. with that i thank you both for being here, and this meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> coming up live today at 3:30 p.m. president obama will talk about the economy and outline his views on this year's presidential campaign at concourse community high school. elkhart was one of the president first stops after taking office in 2009, city he said at the time was losing jobs faster than anywhere in america. unemployment now stands at 4%,
down from 20%. watched the president's remarks live at 3:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. and here on c-span2 with congress out this week we are featuring booktv in prime time beginning at eight. >> watch booktv in prime time tonight at 8 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. and this we c-span's "washington journal" is live from the u.s.-mexico border in laredo, texas, where we've been examining a number of issues including illegal immigration, citizenship and deportation laws. is a conversation we had with a mexican commercial driver who crosses the border several times a day.
>> i have approximately seven years of being a truck driver. how long does the process take to be able to drive these trucks? [speaking spanish] >> translator: if you're talking about three months of training before you can make any trip. >> how many troops do you do, approximately? [speaking spanish] >> translator: approximately two round trips which is the equivalent of four boxes daily. >> what does that mean? >> translator: i do to import and to export a daily. >> tell me about a typical day on the road. what time do you began? what time do you finish? tranfive begin approximately at 8 a.m. and usually end around 11 p.m. >> a process that we have to do is i get to the yard, i get my truck.
i check all of my seals, head to the mexican customs for process. if i get a green light i can continue on my router. right. once i arrive at u.s. customs, i show my documentation, which are my cdl and my visa if i cross through fast obviously i show my visa and fast card. the official decides and must do if i continue straight, if i've got a green light, or if i go through extra. it all depends what the official sends me. for example, today i got intensive search. that's the process sometimes. i have to go through the inspection ramps and x-rays, and then continue on to laredo, texas. >> what is your salary? >> translator: approximately said the driver between 4500
pesos, to 6000 pesos weekly. >> how much is that in dollars? >> we're talking 300-$400 a week. it's not a high or low salary but we do survive with what i earned. i'm able to pay my mortgage. obviously, we don't live like yours are but we also don't live too bad. with what i earn its enough to survive. >> tomorrow "washington journal" is live from laredo, texas, with a focus on trade. san antonio express reporter will discuss trade across the border. henry cuellar of texas talks about trade benefits to laredo and the country. and bob cash, state director for the texas air trade coalition and a nafta critic looks at the
biggest impact on jobs from southern texas to mexico. "washington journal" live from laredo, texas, thursday starting at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> i think today we can affect to catch up with the 20th century. we been the invisible half of the congress the past seven years. we've watched our house colleagues with interest, at least i have an interest, and the tv coverage of members of our colleagues in the house. >> today as the u.s. senate comes out of the communications dark ages, we create another historic moment in the relationship between congress and technological advancements in communications through radio and television. >> fifty years ago our executive branch begin appearing on television. today marks the first time where
legislative branch in its entirety will appear on that medium of communication to which most americans get their information about what our government and our country does. >> the televising of the senate chamber proceedings also represents allies in the war did policy. broadcast media coverage recognizes the basic right and need of the citizens of our nation to know the business of the government. >> thursday c-span marks the 30th anniversary of our lives gavel to gavel singapore coverage on c-span2. our special program features key moments from the senate floor from the past 30 years. >> i would shoot to you the body of evidence from this question. do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have just witnessed something that has never before happened in all of senate history. the change of power during a
session of congress spirit with the american people don't understand is still this bill come is there's three areas in this bill that in the next five years would put together in charge of everybody's health care. >> plus an interview with mitch mcconnell. >> i'm sure i've made a number of mistakes in my political career but voting against having c-span televised incident was one of them. >> and remarks by donald richie and senate parliamentarian america's alan frumin. watch 30 years that descended on television beginning thursday on c-span. to see more over 30 years of coverage of u.s. senate on c-span2 go to c-span.org. >> department of homeland security deputy secretary alejandro mayorkas the state department's acting coordinator of counterterrorism testified before the senate homeland security committee on efforts to protect america from isis. the pair discussed the strengthening of the visa waiver program and increased information sharing between international partners.
he says is critical to stop radicalization in the u.s. by preventing young people from falling prey to isis online propaganda. the state department and usaid recently launched a joint strategy to combat radicalization and stop recruitment into terrorist groups. >> this hearing will come to order. i want to welcome our witnesses. thank you for taking the time to be a today and for submitting your thoughtful testimony. we are looking forward to the answers to our questions. what i took over chairman of this committee working with senator carper who --
>> it was a bloodless coup. >> but it's looking good having to spend four days probably with the present of the advantages getting back yesterday. he got a good night's sleep or capricious i prefer the first things we did as we develop a mission statement for the committee simple to enhance the security of america. oh, my seekers have established for basic priorities. border security, we held i think 18 is on some aspect of our unsecured border. cybersecurity, we passed the federal cybersecurity enhancement act of a good measure. protecting our critical infrastructure, particularly largely from kinetic terrorist attacks, cyber attack, emp. and then finally what can we do this initiative protect our homeland against islamic terrorists and other violent extremists. so this earring visually about that last priority, addressing islamic terror and trying to
secure our homeland and keep us safe. not an easy task. every last one of these hearings goal is primary to lay out a reality as best we can so that we can identify, find a problem so we can actually work towards some common sense solutions recognizing this realm, solutions are very, very difficult and they will take fight sometime to find india and defeat islamic gator. i want to lay out a couple of facts have been developed by staff, recognize again, these are estimates. there's nothing hard and fast but it gives us some indication of what we are dealing here when we are talking about isis. apparently the monthly revenues of isis has dropped from 80 million per month, which would be a less than $1 billion per year, to about $56 billion a month, about six or $72 million a year. still significant revenue enhance of americans. there have been 12 cases
confirmed use of mustard agent, three of the cases are suspected in both in syria and iraq. that ought to concern everybody. and 42900 foreign fighters have entered the conflict zone. about 7400 westerners. isis has trained at least 400 fighters to target europe with its external operation. at least eight tears water for foreign fighters returning from syria, from the same network the plant the terrorist attacks in brussels attacks. and total 162 victims. 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the european union in 2015. 1.8 million. the previous year in 2014 there were 280,000 so you can just see that as things degrade in syria and iraq, that's putting enormous pressure on european union states.
isis has 43 affiliates according to some reports, of supporting groups globally. the fact that isis has a territory, has established its caliphate, other islamic terrorist groups are beginning to pledge their loyalty, isis continues to cast aside. until we finally to defeat them they will continue to aspire, continue to grow at the real threat. i think went to take this socially. we will continue to explore this. looking for to the testimony from representatives from the department of homeland security and the department of state. without i will turn over to senator carper after as consent to enter my written statement in the record. >> that's a great idea. mr. chairman, thanks for pulling this together. i want to say to secretary, justin, thank you very much for joining us today. i kind of one as well.
our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of belgium, france who not only endured losses from terror attacks in the capital cities but also the recent tragedy involving the crash of the egypt air flight that departed from charles de gaulle airport earlier this month. while we are still learning the facts on the loss of the egypt air flight, this tragic reminds us to secure our homeland is likely to remain an ongoing challenge for some time to come. oueffort must adapt as groups le isis evolves their tactics. the chairman has alluded to some of the progress that's been made on the battlefield and it was with respect to isis. it's a big coalition, 60 nations. it's beginning to work and we provide i think good leadership but going slower than we'd like but we will progress, battled in terms of reaching the land,
reducing their capacity to be successful in that part of the world, taking away their money, the ability to finance their operations. but securing our borders and immigration system is a key element of keeping a safe and refocused quite of those topics as you. you. hearings on this year in effigy program, visited the vis visa wr program, the fairest of all screening efforts bear witness to our focus. we found the syrian refugee screening process takes up to two years, dhs has enhance security of the visa waiver program three times in the last 18 months, and this committee has focused a lot of time and energy on that is who. our government deploys special-teams abroad to help counsel of us to detect fraud. securing our borders is only half the battle and we could shut down all travel and immigration to this country and still not be safe from terrorist threats. that's because as peter bergen testified in december i believe
right in this room, every person, this is a goal, every person has been killed by a jihad terrorist in discussions 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen or resident. let me say that again. every person has been killed by a jihad terrorist in this country since 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen or resident. the people who have carried out these attacks were not foreign students. they were not to risk. they were not even refugees. they were americans. even in many cases they spent much of their lives in this country, the united states. for instance, tsarnaev brothers spent nearly a decade in the united states before carry out the boston marathon bombings. major nidal hasan was born and raised in america was serving in the u.s. army when he committed the fort hood attack. syed farook spent most of his life in california before he and his wife committed the san bernardino massacre.
unfortunately, ice and snow sold two of the best to attack america is to have americans do it for you. that's what i this is the episode using social media and the internet to radicalize americans at home. in order to count homegrown terrorist attacks we have to do our best to make sure that we isis makes this recruitment pitch to americans their twisted message falls on deaf ears. but if isis is successful in radicalizing americans we must also be, we must also be vigilant in ensuring the best of our ability to we can stop almost every terrorist attack well before an attack can be carried out. let me be clear. dhs, department of homeland security and other agencies are not alone in tackling the threat of homegrown terrorism. congress must tell. indeed, all americans must help. we can start by taking action to keep weapons whether their explosives, dirty bomb it euros for guns out of the hands of terrorists here.
we need to improve the ability of our law enforcement intelligence agencies to detect homegrown terrorism plots by helping them work through their challenges. we need to give our federal agencies the tools they need help prevent our young people from falling prey to the isis online propaganda. late last year adopted with some of our colleagues legislation to empower the department of homeland security to tackle this challenge. this legislation would create an office at the department of homeland security tasked with working with community groups, families especially of young people, and religious leaders to develop committee states -- into isis. our legislation was reported out of committee for out of committee for this year and it was also good and the department of homeland securities accountability act which we uproot just yesterday. we need to get this bill enacted into law as soon as possible so that we can further help our communities resist places recruitment efforts.
secretary mayorkas and mr. siberell, i want to commend you and your departments for the work that you do to protect our people in this country from terrorist attacks both home and abroad. we stand ready to work with you both and your colleagues both to make sure that your departments have the resources that you need to combat these threats. we welcome your testament and appreciate your hard work the leadership in providing, selfless devotion to our country. god bless you. thank you. >> it is the tradition of this committee to swear in what is so if you were both rise and raise your right hands. [witnesses were sworn in] >> please be seated. our first witness is mr. alejandro mayorkas, the
deputy secretary of the department of homeland security. revisited serve as direct of nasty citizenship and immigration services at dhs. a lot of acronyms in this business. he was a partner in the law firm in the undigested center disrupt the nation when he was senate confirmed in 1998 as u.s. attorney for the central district of california. in that capacity he served as vice chair of attorney general's advisory subcommittee on civil rights as a member of the subcommittee on ethics in government. mr. mayorkas. >> make you very much mr. chairman your chairman johnson, ranking member carper and distinguish the numbers of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss priorities and the actions of our department of homeland security to address the terrorist threats to our nation, particularly following the islamic state of iraq into the bonds november 2015 and march 2016 terrorist attacks in brussels and paris.
i will be brief in my remarks and defer to my written testimony submitted this past tuesday so that i can focus on the questions you may pose. as i articulate in my earlier submission the threats we face are more complex and decentralized than they were a decade ago. we are in a new phase of the global terrorist threat. we have moved from the world of terrorist directed attacks to a world that increasingly includes the threat of terrorist inspired attacks in which the attacker may never have come face-to-face with a number of a terrorist organization but is instead inspired by the messages and propaganda of isil. by their nature such inspired attacks are harder for intelligence and law enforcement to detect encoded with little or no notice. presenting a more complex security challenge. confronting the world of the terrorist directed at just inspired attacks, our department of homeland security has focus our resources and efforts in
four areas in order to counter the diverse and evolving threats we face. aviation security, border security, countering violent extremism and information sharing and support. in each of these areas we we've strengthened continue to strengthen our programs and processes after executing critical initiatives to better respond to the dynamic threat landscape across the world. we have strengthened our screening protocols and domestic airports and established security enhancements at foreign airports that are class point of departure to the united states. we are continually refining our risk-based strategy and layered approach to border security, extending our zone of security to interdict threats as for outward from our homeland as possible. we are leveraging all of the of the advanced passenger and manifest data, intelligence, law enforcement information, and open-source information. we have strengthened the visa waiver program incarnation with department of state and congress. all individuals traveling as
part of the visa waiver program are subject to rigorous screening before departure to the united states and throughout the travel continuum. the visa waiver program significantly enhances our nation security and law enforcement partnerships with participating countries and we continue to work with our international partners to strengthen our information sharing, increasing our joint presence at europa will. we've strengthened our information sharing efforts and the close partnership of state, local and tribal law enforcement. ..
and under secretary for strategy, policy and plans than the opposite blade or counterintelligence treatments that matters is critical to ensuring the department of homeland security is able to perceive bouzouki mission priorities. on behalf of our department come i want to thank you, mr. chairman of the committee for your support. i'm very proud to work alongside 240,000 men and women who work each day to protect our homeland. thank you very much. >> mr. mayorkas, our next witness is mr. justin siberell. mr. drinkers acting coordinator of counterterrorism in the groove counterterrorism at the u.s. department of state. he joined the state department foreign service in march 1993 and joined the ct bureau in july 2012. he's a career member of the senior foreign service with the rank of minister counselor. before joining the
counterterrorism bureau, mr. siberell with officer in dubai united arab emirates and executive secretary. mr. siberell. thank you, mr. chairman. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, members of the committee come to 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 government agencies to counter isil and keep america safe. mr. chairman, we face a terrorist threat environment increasingly dispersed and adopted. the new reality to strengthen partnerships globally including with european partners. i would like to describe the steps we've taken to do just that. i've submitted a longer statement for the record. partnership with a broad coalition across the globe may progress degrading capabilities of terrorist groups. in particular, the u.s.-led global coalition to counter isil
has made progress in controlled territory in iraq and syria as well as construed in the funds in foreign terrorist fighters available to it. at the same time, terrorist groups exploit instability along with weak or nonexistent sectarian conflict and the porous borders in key regions of the world to extend their reach, terrorize civilians and attract and mobilize new recruits. in military pressure, isil, al qaeda and pursued mass casualty attacks against symbolic targets in public spaces, terrorist attacks in beirut, brussels, jakarta, paris, san bernardino and elsewhere demonstrate these groups remain resilient and determined to continue targeting innocent civilians. mr. chairman, the department of state is working to address and mitigate the threat posed by other radicalized individuals around the world, particularly
europe here we work with partners to increase information sharing, augment border security and strengthen regimes to enable counterterrorism efforts. the engagement has yielded positive results. 45 countries updated existing ma by foreign terrorists. they now have agreements with 55 international partners to strengthen efforts to identify, track and deter the travel of suspected terrorists. we have provided support to interpol to enhance its role in serving as a focal point for sharing critical foreign terrorist by the identity data. 58 countries in the united nations contribute foreign terrorist fighter profiles to interpol. many actions were guided by the requirements upon members in u.n. security council resolution 2178 developed by the united states and agreed unanimously by members in september 2014.
we continue to work with dhs in our 38 visa waiver program partners to strengthen our vital security counterterrorism partnership, including implementing changes in the visa waiver program with travel prevention act of 2015. the visa waiver program gives us unprecedented leverage to older partners to the highest standards of security issuing passports from a screening travelers and it is vital to the security of the homeland of solid security of our closest allies. we've increased engagement with european partners in the aftermath of the terrific terrorist acts in brussels. this year we deployed foreign fighters searched and composed of experts with the counterterrorism community to several european countries including belgium and greece. these interagency teams are working with partners to identify concrete areas to tighten cooperation to identify, disrupt, disrupt and prosecute foreign terrorist fighters. the department of state is strengthening our border security through development and
deployment of the terrorist interdiction program and working with the department of homeland security to deploy key technologies to assist governments more effectively identify and target suspect travelers. they strengthen border controls to enhance technology and training. effective border security is an essential tool government protest to deny terrorists the space and freedom to plot and carry out attacks in our efforts in this regard are aimed at securing partners implement. we are increasing focus on the preventive violent extremism to stop radicalization, recruit mobilizatmobilizat ion of individuals to engage in terrorist attacks. yesterday the department of state and usaid released the first-ever joint strategy in countering violent extremism that articulates an expanded effort to better understand and address the drivers of radicalization in the terrorist
groups. there is no greater priority than keeping america safe. we work with our colleagues at dhs and other government agencies to counter the threat posed to the united states by terrorist groups like isil. we appreciate congress interest and support of our efforts. i look forward to your questions in our discussion today. thank you. >> thank you, mr. siberell. mr. mayorkas, obviously the headlines nowadays about the long lines at tsa, so i do want to talk about that. we did have a discussion about admiral neffenger. i want your opinion on what is causing not and what is the root cause of lines as long as three hours, for example, through chicago o'hare. >> and i can't commit thank you for the opportunity. let me separate chicago o'hare and the three hour line that
were experienced about a week ago because quite frankly, that was error on our part. i was a failure to address with appropriate staffing a 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 reporting. >> various problems at other airports. let's talk about the problem in its totality. >> we would identify three identity factors and they have arisen over the course quite some 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 the agency's
protocols and we have since executed a 10-point plan directed by the secretary to address those deficiencies. >> me stop you right there. do you have a metric in terms of what does enhance security in throughput and average number of passengers throughput versus what it is today. >> i would have to report back to you i'm not, mr. chairman. i don't have that. >> ... be submitted afterwards. most certainly. >> secondly, over a number of years, and the staffing at tsa dropped considerably at a time and the third factor that the increase in travel volume. i would say those three factors together, enhanced security which we will of course not compromised, an increase in travel volume and a reduction in the staffing of our personnel. we are addressing all three of
those very, very vigorously. >> talk about the staffing because we have also had representrepresent atives from customs and border protection. they are having a halt time -- part-time. manufactured in wisconsin. there's not one manufacturer that can hire enough people. talk about staffing as it does related issue, the fact that we are simply not able to attract and recruit enough people. is it an attrition problem? are people leaving for certain 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 allowed us to hire additional personnel on a very short-term basis, convert the part-time personnel to full-time and pay overtime so we can be ready for the summer surge in volume.
there was a purposeful after to reduce staffing offering number of years and move to a risk based methodology to provide non-tsa pre-check another group of accelerators to include managed inclusion, a program that we have since eliminated, both following the inspector general's report and also under administrator neffenger's leadership and assessment of the security imperative. we have suffered attrition because of the pay that tsa employees receive and because many of them are part-time, looking for full-time opportunities. and there are better opportunities in what can be a transitional work force by virtue of the part-time status. so there are multiple reasons that we are tackling each and every one of those. we are converting quite a number of part-time positions to
full-time positions. we are taking a look at the pay structure, which of course we would need to partner with congress to alter the tsa employees are not under gsa schedule. we are also taking a look at the staffing models that we employ. for example, we have skilled airport screeners performing functions that don't necessarily require those talents and want to move those talents to where they are needed and deployed the divestiture officers, does that communicate to passengers in line that they need not take out their shoes if they are in a tsa pre-check line. if not, danny's take up their shoes, coats, et cetera. >> said that cisco is contracting with a private firm to do the tsa security, correct? >> yes, it is. >> , and airports are using the same model? >> i know there are others.
i don't have the exact number. our ability to staff the security at airports is voluntary. it's a partnership with the local airport. it's a voluntary relationship. what is critical from the security it is even if it is a private company, they must of course maintain security protocols according to our standards. >> question i had this are those private sector contract companies, and are they the same long line at those airports? >> san francisco airport is a major hub that does have some weight time issues. they are not as acute as some of our top airports. i should say it is the top airport at peak times that create the weight time phenomenon and we are focused therefore on the top 20 airports at the peak times and surging staff accordingly. >> we are going to have admiral neffenger here. i will get into greater detail.
i know he has been doing a top to bottom assessment of this. you talk about a layered approach towards border security. i want to talk about tiered approach to airport security as well. we had a very interesting hearing, and i'm a big proponent of canine units. there is no technology that even comes close to the ability. can you just talk a little bit about it's been a year with admiral neffenger. he has been doing this basic assessment. how close are we to kind of reengineering of airport security? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. admiral neffenger is a leader. the assessment is underway, but the changes are underway as well. admiral neffenger has not waited to complete the assessment
before implementing the reforms already identified as needed. we've deployed additional canine center looking to deploy more. they are an extraordinarily effect of total both from a security perspective and critically from a throughput is because individuals to pass the canine review, can go through expedited screening, just as though they had enrolled and succeeded in being improved for tsa pre-check. so the canine deployments. or may risk based approach, we engineer the process and maximizing the tsa pre-check security imperative. it's also a throughput advantage. we met last year from the daily average of 3000 enrollees in tsa pre-check to now where we are close to an average daily moment
of 15,000. i think two days ago we released the 16,000 mark. those are two examples of the reform he has instituted while the assessment is underway not waiting until it's completed. >> just so you know, i'll be highly supportive of reefing up an increasing use of canine units. the best thing we can do in terms of layered approach. senator carper. >> mr. chairman, i plan to address tsa. i came back in through san francisco and connected yesterday morning and landed at dulles. what i witnessed today are in the month of may and april. what most folks on this committee have tsa pre-check. that's how we get through airports. time and again as i quickly threw tsa pre-checks and saw long lines of people waiting to
go who were not tsa pre-check folks. one of the things that we've got to do is quite the responsibility, but the numbers you just cited up to 60,000 per week. tsa was at 5000 weeks. we are triple that. we want to continue to do that. tsa used to have a marketing program. they haven't used that for a while and i think they are ripping not up to get the message. pretty good tv commercial. could be 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes. people zipping by through tsa. a great commercial, very easy to understand. they've got a tough job. all kinds of people want to get through the security. we've got to make sure nobody gets through is going to create
the shepard may have on an airplane. there is a tension that we have to deal with. you've got a terrific leader. some of the problems the ad as you mentioned or management problems. they should've known it should have staffed for it and the failure of leadership in that instance and the leadership has been changed and that is good. they are doing some very adjusting things as you know in terms of modernizing the procedures you go through for the security checks. i understand delta is funding a couple of lanes that are 21st century lanes at the airport in atlanta and that's good. we want to encourage other airlines to do the same kind of thing. the processing time for people going through tsa rather through regular checks by 25%.
jeh johnson, our secretary has to consider paying for their employees, the ones more senior and that is something i would urge us to do. we have fortune 500 companies in our states. why don't please send them a copy with a cover letter of our own saying this is what secretary john and has asked companies to do. the same thing as well. private sectors with a number of pilot we have and half a dozen or so airports around the country where private tours do this. as an optimization for three more of those. leadership is the most important. any organization i've ever been apart of, whether this organization are the ones you are part of in the dhs we need strong leadership and you've got a great leader.
we look forward to having you here before the committee. that's what i wanted to talk about. it's timely and important. i think the people who work there. i can tell you how many times people have said nobody's ever thanked me. nobody's ever thanked me before. i tell them who i am and what i do. people appreciate it. the most important thing to do is say thank you. i want to pick up if i can a number of hearings, secretary mayorkas, number of hearings on visa waiver. the soft underbelly. they don't understand why and where get more information with a 38 countries to partner with. would you take a moment to briefly mentioned the ways we've tightened up pre-check to make a -- not pre-check, but a visa waiver to make sure they've got the information value 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, and i answer the question 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 before hand. we have strengthened the application to capture more data so we know more about the individual traveler before they arrived in the united states. we added in fact 22 additional field to the application and those additional field pattern additional field type in fact elicited data that has been very material to our security determination whether to allow a visa waiver program applicant to arrive here in the united states under that program. so from the analysis and assessment of the individual traveler, we have strength and
the application form in very significant ways. for a country to qualify as a visa waiver program countries, there are of course statutory requirements that are very critical to our homeland security mission and there are additional requirements that we ourselves have imposed and the secretary johnson has strengthened those requirements. the participating country must have a visa refusal rate that is under a particular% edge to ensure that they are not a source of visa fraud. we have critical homeland security and law enforcement partnership agreement that a country must i am must implement in order to qualify as a visa waiver program countries. vis-à-vis their waiver program is a mechanism to drive better
cooperation, better information sharing with key international partners. from both the micro and macro perspective, they actually enhance the security. >> 2016, we provided the department of homeland security about $10 million for grants to counter violent extremism and 10 million is not a lot of money. sounds like it is, but it is sad. i is dhs going to effectively deal with the threat. how can we help further? >> thank you very much, senator. the challenge of violent extremism is one of our top priorities. the secretary has made it one of his top five priorities. we have created the office for community partnerships to strengthen our efforts in this critical area and its name is actually very significant. but we used to do, frankly is reestablished grapevines in the
third throughout the department, separate agencies, separate offices that very important and very affect of work underway. but we've are not united in our effort and we were not necessarily aligned in our allocation of resources. under the secretary's umbrella initiative of unity of effort, we brought all of those resources, all of those efforts together in the office for community partnerships. and why the name is important is that ultimately the community itself, the most effective means of countering violent extremism. what we do is reequip, we we assist, we trained and we empower local communities and the struggle. under george céline's leadership, we are going to advocate the $10 million for which we are very thankful and a
grant program that fema will administer. we are attacking into famous grantmaking expertise to administer, to ensure that we employ those funds as affect to be initially as possible. in fact, we are engaging with stakeholders now to ensure that the plans that we develop are in fact the plans that the communities themselves believe are most prudent and most effective. it is a very difficult challenge. isil is extraordinarily sophisticated and extraordinarily focused on its propaganda internationally and it's very able use of social media in its effort to radicalize individuals here in our homeland. and so, we have to counter that message as you have alluded to earlier and we cannot do it of course is a government alone. we need to partner with the
private sector and we are working with technology companies, students, universities and colleges to engage in the counter violent extremists in a peer to peer format which is the most effective way to proceed. >> thank you for all of that. >> 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 here with all due respect to what we just heard about some of the new approach is being taken, it is hard for us to sit here and say that isis is being contained, which is that the administration has said on occasion. of course isis was called a button shows guys. i was on misleading rhetoric. if you look at what happened, isis continues to grow in a lot of respects.
one well beyond syria and obviously where we once again tried retake falluja and we have more and more military assets going into iraq after pulling out of iraq. i think we ought to say that further destabilize the number of refugees many of the goalie did as well beyond not. based on everything we are hearing and you would not disagree with that. their ability to reach out to people continues to grow. when you look at what is happening on the internet and the rail social media communications going on, we are losing the battle. so my only concern about the
back and forth this morning and i have a lot of respect for mr. mr. mayorkas s. you now. mr. siberell, i don't know you, but you've got a good background and are doing your best. but i think there is not a sense of urgency here. it is right that we have passed legislation here out of this committee that can be helpful. it's correct that we did provide more funds for the support uses. i'm all three levels as they see them, one is the military level going after isis, especially in syria and iraq. we are not doing what we should be doing to take out their ability to attack us in europe and other places. second on the border security front, we continue to have gaps in as the fbi director told us in this committee, we have serious gaps to know who this year in refugees are, who comes to the country and if they are coming. finally, perhaps the most area, the one we haven't yet been able to figure out is what i would
say is good communication broadly. the very fact that the opponent. >> when we are asked to look at some of the isis propaganda online. we see banton extremism. 52% their focus on quality-of-life issues. only 2% test on brutality or violence. they are sophisticated. they are reaching out to the alienated youth and the west and elsewhere. i don't think we can say there are fewer jihadists going through the middle east, can we?
i think it is increasing. .. you talked about the global engagements and at the state department. we talked about countering violent extremism effort at department of homeland security. we talked about the office of community partnerships. talked about the director. is all about a year old or less i think at the state department. ice in the state department this new group because the center for strategic characters and communication was not working well, had not provided account messaging you have helped. are you all working together? i think it's great as unity of
effort at the department of homeland 60. is their duty of effort in terms of our government? made i will ask you, mr. siberell, would you say we are effectively counter this message that we talked about this plan? >> into senator. the coordination within our government on this issue is strengthening. it's a major challenge. i would agree with you that isil's use of propaganda, the use of social media and the internet to propagate the message and used it as a very effective tool to recruit new members really has been unprecedented and it's not something we have seen used as effectively backing of the group previously. their message has been blunted. the narrative of victory they relied upon so successfully in their early period of recruitment if you think in the 2014, early 2015 era, there's been significant losses the isil has suffered. that narrative victory has been
blunted somewhat. they are not delivering effectively on governance. he noted statistics on focus 52% of the messaging on quality of life your they have suffered and the ability to provide a quality of life. the global engagements center is an effort. it is intended to build broad networks globally to coordinate messaging. >> how long has it been up and running? >> justice earlier this year. there's an year. there's a new executive order that authorized the establishment of the global engagements in the. >> do we still have the -- >> they fold into the global engagement center. >> you're suggesting that narrative is less compelling because fewer victories and because they can focus as much a part of life issues. are there few -- fewer foreign fighters been attracted? >> the number of foreign fighters is something that's
unprecedented. that's something we've never seen any -- >> let me restate the question. are using it is effective and what we are looking for which is fewer foreign fighters, fewer let's alienated youth from the western countries been attracted? is apple? >> we believe has been decreasing the number the number of foreign fighters traveling. >> you think there's a decrease in the number of foreign fighters to? >> yes. >> can you give me information any follow-up communication as to why you think, which are numbers are based on? >> i would be happy to do that. these are numbers and conclusions that come out of our intelligence community to their observations of less strength of -- >> you think we're turning the tide. you think there few foreign fighters coming into the middle east and, therefore, less of a risk to the? >> i think there's been a decrease in foreign fire into antisera, ou iraq conflict thatn increase in other places, libya. there are other places i so
continues to attract new followers, continue to associate themselves with existing insurgencies and that is a problem. it's not something that localized. it's a global phenomenon that we have to confront around the world, not simply in one single place. as difficult as that is. >> i think would be misleading based in other officials have testified in public, not talking about our classified briefings, to say that we're making progress, to say that it is decreasing but i would love to see her statistics on that and where you get them. so, secretary mayorkas, you say dhs is communicating directly and according with this new gec office? >> senator, i am not take with me with that aspect of our communication on the international front. my focus has been domestically countering the violent extremism messaging of isil as it is
targeted to the homeland. i would have to defer to the experts in the international arena. >> my time has expired. i guess what i would say is the subcommittee would be interested in knowing what the coordination is between state and dhs. social media is not subject to boundaries. 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. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator peters. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate our witnesses today on this very important topic. i think it's always important to remember that ice is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of muslims and went to actively engage the muslim community both abroad as well as the muslim communities in our own states and in this country.
as a senator from michigan imc list to represent a very vibrant arab american muslim community in michigan. some of those patriotic individuals that i from that are part of that community. certainly they need to be a part of any solution to counter the radical extremism that we see from isis and recruitment effort that are occurring in our community. mr. siberell, understand or in fact i've a copy of a new report that just came out i believe yesterday on the department of state and usaid is a joint strategy in countering violent extremism. could you summarize what you think are the key part of this new strategy, and how does it differ from the past and why do believe that this will be more successful than anything we have done in the past? >> thank you for the question. yesterday we did release the joint state usaid countering violent extremism strategy, the first on the state department and usaid has released such a strategy.
what you get at is the essential determination conclusion that our efforts in confronting violent extremism and terrorism globally needs to be more comprehensive. it needs to scale up our effort to better understand the drivers and respond 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 that they control. we understand that we've had significant success in planting the cubicles of groups over time and certainly great success through intelligence and military law enforcement efforts in removing carriage leadership yet the script continue to attract new followers. so this strategy is an
acknowledgment of the fact that our approach, with isaac our, 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 but to return to address those factors in more effective fashion. so it lays out a series of strategic objective. the first of which is to invest more seriously in research itself. better understand what are these drivers and the factors leading to radicalization. it then discusses the importance of building international understanding of effective measures that can be adopted by governments of the national and subnational levels. it addresses the importance of orienting some of our capacity building and development efforts toward those drivers beginning to blunt the radicalization process.
it also help countries deal with those that may have been radicalized to be radicalized and be provided off ramps effectively to join up with these organizations. it also address the importance of effective counter narratives that is an area where we are investing in the global engagement center will be leading an effort. and it is, just to address the centers for the question from it is an interagency organization, house of the state department but with representation across the federal government. finally the strategy addresses the importance of rehabilitation and reintegration efforts. these are for efforts related to those who have entered into the detention system, the prison system and what governments can do to better reintegrate those were rebuilding those who have renounced violence. the strategy we believe provides
us a strong framework to more coherently implement policies and programs around the world to develop this more comprehensive approach that we believe is a narrative. >> thank you. that's the number of what's happening overseas. mr. mayorkas, if you could talk about what's happening in our local communities. smh and -- i know your department is engaged with the committee on a regular basis. secretary johnson has been indicated as well. could you give us an assessment of where we are, how important this effort are and what we should expect in the future? >> into very much senator. secretary johnson has visited and engage with quite a number of communities across the country. i visited detroit a number of years ago in my part capacity at your citizenship and immigration services for the very same
purpose, from a different perspective at that time and also of course visited in minneapolis, boston and new york. our efforts in the community are absolutely vital. one of the things we are very focused on as the department and across the government is being in the community and finding and identifying and empowering and equipping local trusted voices to be the critical messengers in the battle to counter violent extremism, whether they be faith leaders, educators, parents, civic leaders, and the like. the office for community partnerships eclipsed local communities with tools, with toolkits and the messages, also helps them identify symptoms of an individual on the path to
radicalization, across the administration we created the interagency task force to counter violent extremism to make sure that unity of effort is not only accomplish within the department of homeland security but across the government. and so we have harnessed the resources of the federal bureau of investigation to a national counterterrorism center and other agencies that are focused on the security and safety of the american people. we worked in the communities with the communities partnering with them to really amplify the voices and will employ the tools to reach the people who are on the path to radicalization. >> and the number of communities to mention and others i know you've been involved in what if you found the reaction from those communities? have they been active involving partners? do you consider them strong allies? >> we very much consider them very strong allies. they themselves show the
concern, not only for the safety of the nation but for the safety of their respective communities. no one, no parent wants to lose a child to violent extremism. no parent wants to see a child travel to a conflict zone and join a terrorist organization, no responsible parent, of course. they are close allies. we are brockton leader some tuners across the country, into the department of homeland security come into our offices to understand their perspectives, to better understand sensitivities and to learn from them how best we can partner together. we did not of course had a monopoly on the best ideas on how to both work with and to impact the communities that were trying to reach. it's very much a collaborative effort. it's very much a partnership with those communities.
>> my time has expired but appreciate the efforts of both of you. >> senator ayotte. >> thank you, chairman. secretary mayorkas, when we have a visa waiver application, is that application cross checked with both our terror watchlist and our no-fly list? >> senator, yes, that application, the data in the application is run through multiple databases you and i should say the visa waiver program travelers is abetted at a number of different point -- >> so be on come. terawatts list, no flightless, i assume, our fbi criminal database that mci, you know, the records keeping process for our criminal records, what other databases?
>> it is the watch list, the no-fly list, law enforcement databases to identify and also other intelligence databases. i can provide subsequent to this hearing greater specificity of which of those is checked but it's a full complement of databases. >> so here's my question. when we look at the tax that happened bold dash in the attacks that happened both in pairs, number one and in subsequent in brussels, my question is this. we know that many other european countries, a particular for countries, the united kingdom, germany, france and belgium have actually received some of the greatest numbers are the foreign fighters that have gone back and forth between either iraq and syria. and my question is pretty straightforward your either for paris, those women were involved in the terrorist attacks of the brussels attacks, or any of those individuals not on our
terror watch list or our no-fly list was at a smaller subset of the terror watchlist, or our other databases? >> i would defer to our experts and i will certainly follow up with you. >> this is a really important question. the reason i think it's a really important question is we are only as good as the information that we have. and we can add additional questions on the visa waiver checklist but we don't get an in person interview with those that apply for the visa waiver program, correct? >> we do not do a consular interview, that's correct. >> it's a pretty large program with 38 countries involved. we've added some additional questions but it's really what comes in what goes out is important about valid, how we are doing.
i think it's important for this committee to understand any of the individuals that we know have been identified that have been involved in paris, that have been identified with the brussels, where the on the terror watch list? were they on any of our other databases? if not then we better understand why not and would not understand as a look at the countries of origin that we see if there are gaps in our information sharing. the reason i ask is because it's been pretty widely publicized that belgian had very serious issues with their law-enforcement capability here. as we know that information was shared from countries like turkey about at least one of the individuals involved in the attacks that were not acted upon. and so would you agree this is pretty important for us to understand?
it's only as good as the information we have in terms of how this leading happens. >> if i may, this is an important issue. whether or not individual is on a no fly list is not necessarily dispositive of with our security vetting would prevent an individual who would pose a threat or danger to -- >> i would agree that we are more likely, if they are not on careless, which is a proper list, no fly is a subset, if you're not in our fbi database for their not in some of these other databases that we can't discuss, if they are nowhere, it's a lot less likely that we're going to discover them. would you agree? >> not necessarily. >> tell me why you think we'll discover them. >> if i may add or keep it specific to the visa waiver program. the application data traveler must complete its a very companies that application and
impact in our effort to strengthen the visa waiver program that application has become even more comprehensive. so we picked up a data of an individual traveler that is not the sort in our databases are we picked up david about that traveler that has revealed information, but has enabled us to deny that individuals ability to travel based on -- >> how many visa waiver applications are there? how many are in the program, how many people? >> i would have to get you that. >> i think it's important understand that. how much individual investigation is done on each of those applications? so in other words, in a given application if i'm an investigator how much follow-up is done on each application? >> what i would appreciate is the opportunity to have our experts refute in a classified setting as to how we address the
extruder amount of information we receive on those applications spewing this is what i'm trying to get at. we know there were deficiencies in belgium. in the past, i know the secretary is looking at countries of concern but information sharing is the critical piece for us to protect our citizens, whether it's in the visa waiver program or not. but in particular with this category of individuals because they don't have to take the extra step to get a visa. i think would be important whether it's in classified setting or not that we understand the individuals that were involved in brussels, in paris, where any of them on any of our intelligence databases? number two, how many folks we have in this visa waiver program? number three, on a hard paper application how many of those do we have the opportunity to actually individuals investigate aspects of that application? so that's why the lists he comes important because white intelligence databases become important because presumably
with the numbers we can't individuals investigate each application. what worries me is that you have a significant obvious number of foreign fighters that return to this european countries, and the sharing of information with our allies is critical. it's also the critical piece to how effective our visa waiver program is. i know my time is up but i hope that we'll have an opportunity to really break this down so we can understand fully how thorough the bank is in this program. thank you. >> mr. chairman, the icq indulges -- >> sure, because i'm going to seek your indulgence next. >> this is a very important point. allow me to make a number of points. first, we that every single application of a visa waiver program travelers, every single one. spend what does that involve? >> that involves checking against our databases, not only the name of the individual but
also pinging against our databases and our extensive holdings, all of the information that we collect for the application. sometimes the information that is of secondary importance, if you will, not necessarily pertinent to the individual but pertinent to other individuals identities who we identify on the application has proven to be quite mature in our security vetting. i could explore further with you in a different classified setting, number one. number two, the ease with which an individual might travel from one european country to another by way of example is very different than the ease with which is the difficulty with which someone might travel from european country to the united states. our security protocols at last point of departure airport is extraordinarily robust.
and we have multiple layers of security. so to travel from one foreign country to another is not to be viewed as synonymous with the ability of an individual to travel from one foreign country to the united states specifically. thirdly, there is a difference between a refugee, to get a particular example, being processed across a border from one european country to another, and what we consider and what we employ as our security vetting. the difference between the processing of an individual, attaching other biographic information and allowing the individual to travel through within the european zone ultimately to resettle there is a very, very different process that our multitier rigorous screening of refugees here in the united states.
>> well, mr. secretary, i appreciate your description but that's why want to know how many folks are in the database or not. and second, the refugee issue is a separate issue versus i'm a citizen of belgium, i'm in the visa waiver program, i'm not necessarily unless you know someone has been back and forth and how good our information is usually portrait of also like to know how much we are able to get, given the volume, fudge and with the volume is and how much follow-up if we don't have some other database are actually able to do. thank you. >> i don't normally interject myself into conversation i would like to ask for 30 seconds to say something. we haven't talked much about the precludes program. at some point open of an opportunity to do that. the idea be a precludes it pushes out our borders further and furthe further to other plas supposed to come through precludes and other countries, and actually get comes in and gives. they have biometrics taken. the other thing is that the who
comes through on visa waiver, when you get to this country we collect from the mistaken their biometrics. they are fingerprinted. the problem -- the program has gotten better and better. can we do better? does. a lot of work is being done everything we need to acknowledge that. thank you. >> i want to quick shine again. from what i know, i will give you my rationale. i believe the greatest threat we have in terms of risk factors, rank of foreign fighters or isis operatives come into america and threatened the homeland, the least risk is the refugee program because, with proper vetting we can really take no risks there with a number we bring them. so that's the lowest risk. and i would say the visa waiver program is the next highest risk but i think our greatest risk are foreign fighters or isis operatives going through africa into central america coming up through completely porous borders. that's my rank in terms of risk
assessment. lowest risk refugee program, next highest risk would be transcended the highest risk, the report border. i want your ranking, transport and yours mr. siberell. the rationale, just ranking. what do you think is the lowest risk to the highest risk? >> i haven't ranked them. i would want to think about that. i think all of -- >> that's fine. mr. siberell, think about because of come back to in my question. spin have a relatively ranking of advocate with the visa waiver program, as i think we discussed previously, this is a program that enables us and provides as leverage over the visa waiver program partners to require improvement in strengthening of their own processes and so, therefore, makes, is a border
security program effectively. it's very strong. >> i think honestly the rank is an obvious. think about and double come back to my questions. i do want to take any more time with senator brooker's questioning. >> gentlemen thank you very much what an incredibly difficult work you have into every day. i'm grateful people. they were really colossal and consequential intelligence failures in our european allies that allowed some of these horrific attacks to take place. for instance, we understand now that there were lots of gaps in the ability of the eu member countries to collect information about people who traveled to fight with isis in syria, iraq and now libya. even some of the countries themselves and we now know that the belgium has got a lot of problems internally come a federal system, culture.
there are a difference a good agencies, three languages, seven parliaments and brussels you spee-1 20 million people. you our 19 communes, each with its own administration. their communities are very different from ours in europe that most americans would find itself as americans i feel very integrate into society. european muslims don't have that there are a lot of challenges with our european allies. within the eu general hayden has the eu member states share more with the united states which i think is a good thing and with each other but this allows challenges and problems in europe i imagine to fester and to explode as we have seen the information sharing among eu members states debate is often compared with where we were pre-9/11. which has a lot of overlapping stovepipe security entities. so i would just like for a second look at what's happened
to the belgium attack and our european allies and to see if yothey're starting to really change their procedures, policies. deeply there's really political buy-in for sharing across borders in european countries, for the of counterterrorism. is there adequate coordination, information sharing and the like? and i that you can respond. >> i'm happy to jump in first. thank you very much. so the issue of information sharing is critical as identified in my opening remarks. of course critical to homeland security and to of the sharing of information with us at the very well be true that they share more information with us and with each other because we demand that information in order for travelers to arrive here in the united states either through the visa waiver program or otherwise. they have, in fact, advanced
considerably the sharing of information, understand the imperative post pairs and post-brussels attacks. i can cite some specific examples. we are very encouraged that the european union passed passenger name record pnr agreement for the collection and sharing of 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 really empowered and equip europol as a central repository of information and cooperation really a coordination hub of which we participate considerably in the collection and dissemination, and sharing of information. and other european counterterrorism center in europol. they have a european smuggling
center in europol and that is serving as a great help. i think you are making tremendous advances in the collection, and the 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. i think the eu pnr agreement is frankly a milestone i in the effort and i would defer to my colleague for any other commen comments. >> i would agree with all of that. i think there is political will within the european, within europe for improving their own systems and integrating watch lists, beginning to collect pnr data engines that effectively as secretary mayorkas to do. i think 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 have gone off to syria. this has been a crisis for some time. at paris and brussels attacks would've thought this would we have seen a change in the way that they're approaching these issues. equator wings and understanding that they need to improve their systems to greater openness to work more closely with us even than they have been which is already close. >> after our night of attack we cleared in fusion centers which been really effective, having seen it from local version of the nicest senator, you're making things like europol but are they replicating what's been successful in terms of the fusion centers we're using? i we see them move as rapidly as we did in that direction? >> what we've seen to do is to lay out a series of steps that need to take to better integrate their systems.
i think the aspirations are openly identified list like we have developed since 9/11 but in the meantime what they need to do is build a better integration between their lives and to ensure you can have a single point of search because all of their holdings. that isn't anywhere we can help them and we are prepared to provide assistance as we work through the project. >> the house recently passed h.r. 4314, counterterrorism screen and assistance act to accelerate our role in supporting that i guess my question is, there's a lot we've learned, a lot of resources we have a lot of technology we developed. out of our systems better help them improve their capabilities? are the things we should be doing to help share those best practices and provide that kind of technology that this body should be acting on with great delivered urgency? >> i would say absolutely yes, and we are. let me give you a bottom line to
your question. which is i think 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 actually enjoyed the attorney general and others, general taylor, the leader of our intelligence and analysis office who is here today. we are going to europe on tuesday to address the very issue that you raised. we have offered our technological advances in this area can to secure real-time platform, the automated targeting system global. we have offered those critical estimates that we ourselves have developed and, of course, avail ourselves of to assist them in this imperative, security imperative. >> i don't have time to go into this like the question but i want to reiterate in terms of cd the effort.
that is a problem with government run efforts because they delegitimize really think it's the death when it comes to our involvement in town about the messaging that was brought up an earlier question. i just want to encourage the efforts that i've seen that are going on that are allowing 1000 possibly better more authentic voices, and one of the most authentic voices is former foreign fighters who themselves have been disillusioned with the toxicity and hatred and what they've seen and experienced often are very persuasive as a buffer or an anecdote to the constant editing dispute by isis. i which is like to say that encourage you, i was very happy about the state department and usaid unveiling their joint strategy but i'm just hoping that we are investing substantively in cve.
i said this to secretary johnson, cve should not mean law enforcement. they should really mean these other efforts that are going on their own local communities, helping to elevate authentic voices and really do the things that actually work to counter violent extremism. >> standard, we couldn't agree more that is the ethic that we are frankly executed it is not our voice that will move them up and of this challenge, but rather the voices in the community. i attended an extraordinary quite frankly peer-to-peer challenge where students from all over the world competed in developing programs that countermessages. it came from students and it was focus on reaching students, facebook was a critical partner in that endeavor. we are working with technology companies so that they serve as platforms for these flowers to bloom. we are working with
philanthropic organizations, community-based organizations, faith leaders, teachers, schools, parents, peers most critically, and you identified and extraordinarily powerful voice in those who once were on the wrong path and have realized the great problems of their prior ways. >> thank you, sir that is music to my ears and as a to support it is almost like bruce springsteen music to my ears. >> gentlemen thank you for joining us today. first i want to start with the comet because we've had a lot of great discussion in regards to isis propaganda and actually combating that. i know senator portman had mentioned earlier in his comments that we really need that governmentwide coordination and combating the propaganda as well as i think work in the communities.
and i showed those concerns but i think all of us do, and i have joined with chairman johnson and senator booker introducing a bill that would require the president to combat terrorist use of social media. that's what we see so much of this coming as i do hope that we are able to move the bill forward in the summer and just want to thank both of you for partnering on that. we give a lot of folks are concerned that we hope to work very well with you as we move through a number of these processes. and then deputy secretary if i could start with you, please. i do understand the benefits of a visa waiver program. i know that we have it but still some security concerns. senator ayotte was tackling some of those, we have 38 country to participate in that is what i understand, correct? >> yes. >> are all of the meeting the necessary requirements as they
go through their betting? >> senator, thank you very much. they are required but our prerequisite to join the visa waiver program. and two remaining in the visa waiver program. we have strengthened that under secretary johnson's leadership. if, in fact, a country come if we determine rfs by the country has fallen short of its obligations under the visa waiver program, then we develop a remediation plan with a timeline and strict requirements to ensure that no travel that is arriving in the united states poses a threat to the united states. we have, in fact, employed that mechanism when a country has fallen short, and we are quite rigorous in the requirements of the visa waiver program. >> are the any of those countries that are not be requirements right now? >> senator, there are. we have them on programs into
any further details would be happy to share with you in a different setting. >> i appreciate that because that is something that i think the public is concerned about as we have a number of countries involved in this. the public really doesn't know what's being followed up on. i think of him as we stay on top of that, it's a regular, at their meeting the security requirements, how do we check that? >> yes, and i should say this underscores one of the critical benefits of the visa waiver program, which is that we do have this leverage the with another country, a 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's a perfect example how the
visa waiver program serves as a tool of security rather than otherwise. i do wish the name was changed, because of the term waiver would suggest some sort of relaxation of the security requirement when, in fact, the opposite is true. not only to be captured 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 decide to go to state in it as a driver of information sharing, information collection and greater security partnership with the united states. it really dovetails with the question that senator booker pose with respect to how a european country does in its security mechanisms. perhaps it does better with us than they do with each other. by virtue of the participation in the visa waiver program, and their desire to avail themselves of that program. >> thank you. i appreciate that explanation.
mr. siberell, media reports indicate that we sent a foreign fighter search team to brussels a month ago. excuse me, a month before the attacks there. what challenges prevented us of the belgian authorities from preventing the attacks? and additionally is our surge team still on the ground? if you could answer that first, please. >> thank you, senator. the surge team that was deployed to brussels, i should first say that that followed on the cooperation that's been, that we've had undergoing since 2013 when the problem of individuals traveling to syria first manifested itself. this was before isil was a factor when it was founded and other al-qaeda and affiliated groups. we've had a long dialogue. after the terrorist attacks we
had discussion within the government to determine what the things can we do now to push our european partners to a heightened level of cooperation. on the couch we can identify. we put together interagency teams who went out to brussels and had a very, it's a dialogue that's quite mature and open. the government is open to these consultations and across issues like document integrity, passport issuance integrity, targeted screening that techniques we've developed that teaches the particular has developed, helping to instruct the belgians on those new techniques. data integration of watchlist and improve information sharing. all of these areas were identified in the work plan. so the surge team, they made an initial visit as a group identified when we would have expanded cooperation, and they are ongoing. so there's a work plan that has been developed and we are continuing to send individuals
back and forth. we have belgians also come to the united states. it's an elevator partnership effectively. >> was there anything that could've been done by our surge team to assist before that attack happened? is there anyway we could have helped close up that gap speak with i'm not aware of any specific piece of information that would have been provided or revealed by our surge team members. >> okay. as you know i'm going to jump to the iraqi kurds for a moment. as you know, the iraqi kurdish forces are one of our critical partners, if not the most critical part of it in the fight against basis. i understand the administration just allocated or designated $450 million in financial assistance to iraqi kurdish forces. can you provide me with additional detail on where the
assistance will come from, who it will be going to end what purpose that wil will be for? >> senator, i think i'll have to take the question back in future energy. from the catechism perspective i would agree with you that the kurdish forces have been among our closest partners, and in coordination with the government of iraq and provided a critical counter to isil come and pushed isil out of considerable areas that encroach upon including in northern iraq and the kurds continue to plague a critical role with those in the coalition to confront isil. but i'll have to get you an answer back. >> gentlemen, thank you for being here today. i appreciate your time and effort. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator ernst. mr. siberell, in mr. mayorkas' opening statement he talked about how isis has gone from a directing activity to inspiring. i would agree that al-qaeda
directed, so that the brand of islamic terror was a centralized operation of directed activity but my take on isis is that their method using socially has been to inspire. outside of the caliphate, the territory they are inspiring but what concerns me is the progression has been now they're beginning to drag. is it not true that there are reports that they had a hand in directing the brussels attack? eye for different answers to this but will collect an external operations unit getting to direct. they have gone beyond just inspiring to having this external operations unit starting to direct attacks. >> i think you pointed out the essential difference and why isil poses a new kind of challenge that al-qaeda had previously. al-qaeda was made up effectively of clandestine cells, individuals who had to become a member, have to be vetted effectively by the
opposition and then operator in a clandestine manner secretly in a number of locations around the world in which they devise plots and challenge security of our partners globally. isil works in a completely different model. they do have this core of individuals concentrated in -- [inaudible] but at the same time they make use of the internet, social media to inspir inspire others o individual women actually have become members of the group but to act on their behalf. that reflects the time difference we have from when al-qaeda was at its height to isil is today with the internet and social media having access to those platforms in a way that al-qaeda never was successful in using. if i could just, just answering your question, it is true, yes, that isil is looking, has identified, we know that
identified among the foreign fighter contra those with skills that could be useful -- cadre -- in infiltrating back to their home country to get it out plots. so the actual operations networks that isil has developed as a very real danger and we've been working against it, and had some success in doing so but it is the case but have not only trained operatives but they've trained individuals to inspire attacks using socially deliberately, including individuals in the united states. >> we maybe nibbling around the edges. when it started take back some of that character in iraq but they are growing. they are evolving, they are metastasizing and started to send out the operatives. the 1.8 million refugees flowing into europe. and i'm going to go back to again my question. i think the answer is quite obvious. the refugee program literally, we can ensure that whatever the
number is, 10,000, those refugees that might be let into this country should pose no risk. you set the criteria to women and children with relatives of cedar you american citizens who have the phonetic equivalent of supporting them, 10,000 out of four militant displays refugees, we can make sure that we take no risks on those refugees. the same with the visa waiver program. i agree, i think it is combined with preclearance, we can really reduce the risks. in the order of what concerns me a potential isis on this come into this country, police concern i have is the refugee program. and next the visa waiver and by far my greatest concern is our porous southern border, correct? when we were done in central america i heard a new term, and it acronym, s. i a. special interest in it. so isn't that true? doesn't that also point to the fact that we have to secure our border?
mr. siberell, you first. >> i would defer to secretary mayorkas on the southern border issues but i think those are three categories of concern and we have to ensure that our borders agree measures are effective in preventing any of those categories of individuals from threatening the american people. >> i'll also point out, a sunni what i've witnessed, isis is very strategic. you don't take your little foreign force and take over vast territory into iraq without really planning this thing at and being very strategic. as we watched them dangerously of all, i'm highly concerned. mr. mayorkas? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. first of all we are very refocused on special interest aliens, individuals from designated countries that seek to enter the united states illegally. we are extraordinarily focused on the. we may not agree today, mr.
chairman, on the level of security on the southwest border. that border in our estimation is more secure than it has been in a long, long time. one of the primary areas of concern -- >> but we just stop you right there, in terms of the actual numbers, okay? unaccompanied children from central america -- let me get it here. and 2014 the enormous surge year to date to april which was last number, 25,500 unaccompanied children. of april 2016, we are at 25,359. we are at 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 we were at 261,000. last year at the same point we are down to 182.
right now we are at 223. again, i do not see improvement in terms of security at our borders. it just hasn't improved and represents an enormous risk. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. first of all the unaccompanied children in the family dinners pose a unique challenge because i enlarge those individuals fleeing the three central american countries do not seek to evade law enforcement speak again, i would do what you stressing that because it does have to do anything with isil. i was pointing out that in terms of lack of security at the border. if you want to talk about the numbers i did, total apprehensions which are pretty much at par with your 2014. >> and 2014 was far different and far lower than in prior years. if i may, getting to the point of how we ensure the security of the border.
in specifically with respect to the terrorist threat. one of the challenges in the smuggling of individuals is a transnational criminal organizations and to participate in the smuggling organizations. we have no evidence that suggests that they're willing participant in the smuggling of individuals or who are members of terrorist conversations. in fact, with quite the opposite, that they wish no part in the overt smuggling participation in the smuggling of terrorists. and perhaps, and it 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, o are there low-level individuals in these organizations who unwittingly may be smuggling in an individual one of these countries to is, in fact, a terrorist? we are very focused on that. our law enforcement officers to our border patrol agents are
exported focus on fat. and we have not observed any increasing concern that does not suggest that we could increased individuals. >> thank you, mr. secretary. senator carper. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i just want to return to the last part of the conversation. i want to go back to what i quoted from peter bergen a moment ago. i will ask my staff to find that quote for me. we've been down to the border. the reason why the people and kids and for our companies can they have lack of opportunity. pitching has put his finger on the root cause and/or the conversations we've had and that is our insatiable demand for drugs. we send money and guns down there, and they send drugs. against and folks get our money
and guns can use them to make life miserable. make life national for folks. if we lived down there and had kids, we would want to come up as well. so find a new and haystack problem, we can find ways to make the needles bigger to do that with force multiplier's. in the air, on the ground is so forth. we also need to make the haystack a lot over a part of that is the work we're doing through our partnership with these three central american countries at its their version of partnership that we've established that we are helping to support. i want to go back to, i told the chairman of the mystical ago, i thought it has to really come a number of important questions but one was ranked the order of the threat. he said i think wisely, the wisest people, these people would be stupid to bed down for
a few years, for the outside chance navigator after two years, they're not going to do that. visa waiver would make it more and more difficult. we need to continue to tighten that. some of the of the things that we've talked about. i want to go back to what peter bergen said right in this room when he was testifying. i think was last november and his words were and process been killed by a jihad terrorists in this country since 9/11 has been killed by an american citizen or resident. been killed by an american citizen or resident. our focus wisely needs to be how do we reach out to folks in this country to make sure they don't become radicalized? we can do it by ourselves. we need to grow those partnerships and work with families and organizations, faith leaders and so forth. and continue to work to make
that as effective as we can. i've talked to folks in other countries to see why they are so challenged in europe by some of the folks in the muslim community. it had incredible migration to we've had relatively little. they then those people going from syria and other places into your. a lot of times when they get to the countries they are not very warmly welcomed and into being isolated, blocked off and the perceived they are not welcomed there, not much hope for opportunity. they are very susceptible to radicalization. one of the keys to tamping down in those threats, they are not come because people still get radicalized about what people when they come from syria or from the other countries where they have been fleeing for, we want to we want to make sure once they are not a threat, we want them to feel a part of this
country part of the american dream. to the extent we can continue to keep that alive will provide a lot more seed and security for our people that a lot of the other things we're talking about here today. senator portman asked some questions about basis campaign success and so forth. i just asked my staff to pull together some metrics. we like metrics. i just wanted a couple of bullet points. isis recent losses been severe, they've lost 40% of the territory it once held. coalition forces have killed or the 10,000 isis fighters and key leaders in recent months including isis chief propagandist and executioner. just a week ago american forces carry out a strike which led to the death of isis finance chief, second-in-command, simultaneously financing capabilities iraqi counterterrorism force is. as you know about you forces recaptured ramadi from isis for
this year. campaigns are well underway. in may 2016 this month, fbi director comey said the rate at which americans are joining us, isis has dropped precipitously in the last nine months. and 2014, six to 10 americans were leaving to join isis. i think that was a behemoth. today it's down to about one per month. may 2016 isis controls 14% of iraqis territory, down from about 40% of yo usage department estimates due to the combination of fall in oil prices, smuggling, isis oil prices are down as low as 250 million per year, about half of what they used to be. are we done? is the time to spike the ball is no. is what we are done working? yes. we need to find out what works and do more of it. a couple of questions.
i just ask for a short answers. syed farook to describe the kinds of improvements the foreign fighters surge team is helping belgians to implement? is there a possibility for these teams to be deployed to other countries in europe? >> yes. increased and enhanced information sharing and integration of watch lists, risk-based traveler screening techniques that we've developed in the united states that would be helpful to the belgian and other governments. .. extremist support isis missions through you called it talking. can you explain more detail how this works and how to counter this threat? >> thank you very much. that is the practice of taking the names and whatever