tv FBI Director Wray Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Mc Aleenan Others... CSPAN October 31, 2019 2:08am-4:56am EDT
a >> we are going to convene the committee on homeland security. we are going to ask the members of the press to please part the center aisle so that members can have access to the witnesses the committee is here to receive testimony on terrorism threats to the homeland party to. the committee as i indicated is meeting to hear from the witnesses the committee has
focused on ensuring the department is fulfilling its mission to secure the homeland. i take this response ability seriously as has every chairman of the committee. to hear about the threats we face directly from the charge i'm concerned about the department of homeland security. it's been 203 days since the department has had a confirmed secretary recently announced
he's leaving after six months on the job. the replacement will be the fifth place and to leave dhs in fewer than three years and even though he's leaving tomorrow the president has yet to announce who his replacement will be. what is the delay? we learned that the white house may be trying to find a legal loophole. it's completely unacceptable and would raise serious constitutional questions. also unacceptable is the fact that the administration's administrator has been dual headed as the acting deputy secretary of homeland security secretary of homeland security for the last six months. the administrator and deputy are
not part-time jobs and debate require someone's full attention they are yet to nominate anyone to fill the vacancies and this is an unprecedented situation with real consequences for the department and the men and women working to secure the homeland. indeed i'm concerned about carrying out the mission. the chaos is not limited to the department unfortunately. on the third fbi director and third director of national intelligence including acting
officials. he also has no longer a homeland security adviser or white house coordinator. the president needs to field those critical to the security at the same time the terrorism threats both homeland and domestic are unrelenting. just over two weeks ago president trump pulled the troops out and this dot x. and put an end to the u.s. counterterrorism initiatives on the isis leader fortunately thanks to the bravery of his ability of our military members and intelligence professionals and we honor them for their service to the country. while he's dead, the isis detainees that escaped the kurdish persons pose a threat to
the u.s. and conditions on the ground are right for isis to reconstitute. moreover we abandon our kurdish allies prompting them to make a deal with our adversary the russian backed syrian government. i want to hear from our witnesses today how these developments affect the global threat picture and what the implications or for the homeland if at home domestic terrorism is on the rise. 11 members of the tree of life synagogue were shot down by anti-semitism and white supremacy. this year at a wal-mart in el paso texas they were told by white supremacists. these attacks are linked to groups and individuals abroad and many are exporting social media to proliferate violent extremist content and others
around the world. recent reports indicate a been dhs released its first strategic framework of countering terrorism and targeting violence. i hope that we can hear about their efforts today. for too long this issue hasn't been given the attention it deserves and much more remains to be done. the 2020 elections are just a year away despite the intelligence community is ringing along with the foreign interference in our elections the president has refused to accept the conclusion that russia interfered and the refusal to ensure the integrity by leading on this issue from the white house sends a wrong message to our adversaries and calls into question whether the agencies are working to defend the elections are getting the
support and resources they need. i hope that we can speak to that issue as well. as i said at the outset, this committee must take the responsibility to oversee the department i want to thank all the witnesses for taking the time to be here today to a the 9/11 attacks motivate and serve the country and patriotism cannot be questioned a wish you godspeed in your next adventures
i know it takes time to prepare for these but it helps us to do our jobs better. just this weekend we are reminded of the evil that seeks to attack our shores. the killing of al baghdad was an important victory. they are responsible for the public execution of the journalists james foley and stephen were doing their jobs and isis cult of them both at least seven terrorist attacks have been culled out in the west
and who knows how many more attacks to planning. yet his death isn't in the threats to the homeland and isis isn't the only threat that we face. i look forward to hearing more about how we are countering the threat from isis, al qaeda and others seek to harm us. i do need to address the subpoena issue before i yield back. i'm very frustrated how the events of last week unfolded. i'm frustrated you were put in the position that it was necessary. if someone gives you their word, mr. chairman, they can keep it. we have a committee rule and you gave me your word in a colloquy that we would work together on the subpoena is. none of that happened this time around. just two months ago we issued a subpoena and i've been willing to engage with you every step of the way to defend the
committee's mission and oversight responsibilities, but the rules exist to protect the rights of the minority. you didn't say a word about that. i asked to discuss this week and haven't heard from you since he is also accused me in an e-mail or phone call would have of this up. you would have seen that if you kept a promise to members. our relationship is the only way anything gets done around here.
we have information shared with you and your staff and we've provided notification of what we are about to do that's fine but you are not the chairman. apart from the, we will vote forward. i am comfortable with the fact that we follow the rules of the committee. this is an arbitrary and i'm going to be deferential to you and if you want to ask me but i'm not going to allow you to.
i don't have to get your approval to sign a subpoena and then that's the rules we operate on. we can provide information to you at the end of the day put the rules up on the board for people to see. let me breathe what we say in the rules the authorization, the power to authorize and issue a subpoena is delegated to the chairman of the full committee as provided of the rule 11 the
other members of the committee are reminded under the cathedral's opening statements may be submitted in the record does director served in that role since april. the director served as both since 2017 and had an acting director of national counterterrorism center and lost the undersecretary for intelligence analysts at the department of homeland security since 2017 and without objecti
objection. men and women are dedicated professionals that work to safeguard the american people, the homeland and values and represent the best of the country and i appreciate the continued support the committee shows for them and the work they do each day. the department as you know was created in the wake of the attacks and chartered in the homeland security enterprise i'd like to focus on five significant trends we see in the landscaping efforts that they've executed to combat them specifically from foreign terrorist organizations, domestic terrorism and targeted violence, transnational chemical organizations and state-level
challenges to the interest. they were formed in international terrorism and achieved significant success navigating the ability of the foreign terrorist organizations to prevent threats to the homeland since 9/11. we've achieved these by utilizing the programs and capabilities to identify. cooperation with the bureau of investigation and department of state, and others we prevent thousands from entering or traveling to the united states each year through these efforts. while we've enhanced our security greatly the threat of the organizations remains a significant concern. the networks represent significant threats to the
united states we must work to ensure aggressively across the government and with our international partners we are doing everything we can to pressure and disrupt the organizations to target the united states homeland. one of the most significant threats over the past year has been domestic actors adoption of terrorist techniques to inspire individuals by the internet last month vhs introduced a strategic framework for the targeted violence which explains how we will adopt the tools and expertise to protect from the foreign terrorist organizations to address the evolving challenges of today. little appearance warming create the challenge of the investigation tools.
this framework recognizes the landscaping and calls for the whole of community experts in. importantly the framework calls out the need particularly of the youth looking for its understanding of technologies is a factor that can exacerbate threats. they've diversified the multichannel businesses profiting from drug and human smuggling and movement of weapons and money. they organize and incentivize the migration and engage in human trafficking. the activity including competition for territory and a security rissecurity risk at thd throughout the hemisphere. dhs come up on the fibers might work with government partners in the private sector to enhance the nation's overall defensive posture calling of the threat
from china and highlighting the need to focus on supplies supply-chain security, elections to become a federal cybersecurity and industrial control systems as acknowledged china presents the most pressing long-term strategic risk in the united states in these areas working to reduce the risk of the supply-chain compromise other through five g. or other technologies. the foreign intelligence threat has also quickly evolved into the one of the most significant threats the leading state intelligence rest of the interest will likely continue to be china, russia, iran and north korea are based on the intent and operational scope. in conclusion every day that 240,000 men and women in the
department worked to ensure the safety and security of all americans and they are dedicated to building a brighter and more safe and secure nation. i continue to appreciate their efforts on behalf of the american people. it's been an honor to serve as the acting secretary and commissioner. in closing i want to know if this imagery in the hearing by 27th overall and ninth before the committee my first hearing was in front of them and both chairman thompson and ranking member so i think it is fitting that i close in front of the committee again and i don't think you, chairman thompson, ranking member rogers to support you and your staff have shown the department of homeland security and providing the tools we need t to adapt to changing threat landscape. i look forward to your questions. >> i now recognize the director to summarize a statement for five minutes.
>> members of the committee, i wanted to be here today representing the roughly 37,000 men and women of the fbi. it's now been just over two years since i became the fbi director in which time i've visited all 56 field offices meeting with state and local partners from every state are presented on threpresented on td met with every headquarters division, scores of the law enforcement partners, business and community leaders and current victims and their families they are not the same from decades ago they were evolving in scale and impact and complexity, agility and the fbi is moving forward to meet those threats head on. over just the past six or seven months the fbi has thwarted or
disruptive terrorism related plot to have domestic terrorism and international terrorism that's not including all of our hate crime arrests and all the other important work that we do. so preventing terrorist attacks continues to be the fbi's top priority even as we recognize our country's important recent achievements with the death in fight against isis in the middle east we know we have to stay vigilant overseas and here at home we are also laser focus on preventing attacks in the united states people inspired by the foreign terrorists what we call a homegrown violent extremists.
in a remote training camp we are also focused in today's world of the threat of domestic terrorism. out by people inspired by a variety of violent extremist ideologies. i'm talking about everything from anarchists groups to the racially motivated violence extremist groups in the state and local law enforcement partners in reaching out to the communities we serve. and efforts are paying off and represent unique challenges in part because in this country we don't investigate a person just because of his or her beliefs. and these people like the homegrown violent extremists i
was referring to a minute ago can also move very quickly with little warning from espousing radical views to attack. and i can tell you after having personally walked through the crime scene and having visited the teams from the mass shooting is both an el paso and dayton that this threat is never far from our mind is a focus of the fbi. in particular on the cyber front, we see a wider then after range of actors and methods and targets including things like sophisticated ransom ware attacks on municipalities and critical infrastructure. it's a threat we ar threats we y partnering with the victims with state and local authorities and in particular with our federal
partners especially dhs and others. they were especially focused on china and they are using and expanding set of nontraditional methods blending of lawful and unlawful techniques on the one hand corporate accusations and then woven into those, cyber intrusions stealing trade secrets and a whole variety of supply-chain threats even as we sit here today. there's over 1,000 investigations involving the attempted theft of us-based technology involving all 56 of the field offices in almost every industry the men and women of the fbi dedicate themselves
every day to keeping the american people safe and i want to thank this committee for your support, the fbi workforce i can tell you it makes all the difference in the world to the hard-working agents, analysts and professional staff goes all over this country but also around the world. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. >> thank you for your testimony. i recognize the acting director to summarize this statement for five minutes. >> chairman thompson, ranking member rogers, it is a privilege to be here to represent the men and women of the counterterrorism center. in the years since 9/11, the community has many partners have achieved significant success is against terrorist groups around the globe and perhaps most importantly coalition operations against isis and iraq into syria. in addition an ongoing efforts across africa, the middle east and south asia continue to
diminish the ranks of al qaeda and isis moving dozens of experienced leaders and operators every day. it resulted in continued progress safeguarding the homeland from terrorist attacks. there is indeed a lot of good news and we need to be cautious because the challenges remain. i'm going to focus on just three very first come in military operations have brought us time and space as we address the threat. but the diverse, diffuse and expanding nature of the threat remains a significant concern. after 9/11 we were prematurely focused on the threat emanating from a single piece of real estate networks are ranging to the hundreds of thousands of individuals and we have al qaeda and its affiliates.
we have iran and its proxies and there is a growing threat for the extremists around the globe. by any calculation there are far more radicalized individuals now than there were at the time of 9/11 some aspects can be dealt with through the kinetic observations the world has a lot of work to do to deal with the radicalization and costs. the second challenge i would highlight stem from the outrage of the globalization. outreach of the globalization. they are good at it and innovative. we have seen these for the operational planning and the use of social media to spread propaganda, transfer knowledge
between them and individual in s and networks can see the use of drones for the attacks and even assassination attempts. high-quality fraudulent documents were increasingly undermined in the namespace assist him and thereby threaten border security we will see greater use of crypto currency to fund operations and the potential terrorist use of chemical and biological weapons is low probability eventuality to something we consider to be much more likely. in many cases, terrorist explanation -- exploitation is needed to deal with the threat. looking outside we are particularly concerned with the growing diverse impact. the third challenge that i would highlight relates to the concern about complacency. our whole of government approach to counterterrorism over the past 18 years has kept the
country pretty safe. in our view the near-term potential for large-scale externally directed attacks against the homeland has at least temporarily declined as a result of the u.s. and allied actions around the globe but as it is noted earlier the threat continues to metastasize and will require very close attention in the years ahead. terrorism may no longer be viewed as the number one threat to the country and that begs a host of questions what does this look like if the country confronts a national security environment. how do we optimize our resources in the best interest of the country. and if we are going to reduce the efforts against terrorism, how do we do so in a manner that doesn't inadvertently reduced the games of the past 18 years? these are all complicated questions that require discussion both within the executive and legislative branches. thank you and i look forward to
your questions. >> thank you for your testimony and i will recognize the secretary to summarize his statement for five minutes. >> good morning, chairman thompson, ranking member and members of the committee. it's my honor to testify on her behalf to address the worldwide threats. first let me briefly touch on my roll i currently serve as the chief intelligence officer and under secretary of the department of homeland security. i am responsible for ensuring the secretary 22 dhs components in homeland security partners have access to the intelligence they need to keep the country safe. my focus is to ensure the tactical intelligence from the dhs intelligence enterprise to share with operators and decision-makers across all of government might office as low as the rest of the committee and partners generate intelligence that is unbiased based on sound
analytic judgment and trade crafts that meets the standards. regarding the threat landscape i will speak about the major shift in the landscape specifically i'd like to speak about the threats we face from the organizations, cyber threats, influence and transnational organized crime. underpinning the threats is increasingly adversarial engagements from nationstates such as china, russia and iran regarding the violence i want to address one of the most pervasive threats we face which is different from targeted violence and mass attacks regardless of whether it is considered domestic great hate crime there is no moral ambiguity on the issue. they are often motivated by violent ideologies or perceived grievances often targeting race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity. we are focused on identifying the behaviors and indicators ins
indicated that an individual at risk of carrying out violence or mass attacks so we can identify and mitigate any act before it occurs. my past experience as 24 years as a police officer and special agent in part as a first responder in the metropolitan police department in the columbine attacks is making a uniquely postured to be a witness today. my first-hand experience has shaped my approach to deal with this type of violence. organizations remain a core priority of the dhs counterterrorism efforts if we continue to make progress in our ability to detect and mitigate the threats they pose. isis, al qaeda insiders represents the second, persistent long-term national security threats. cyber threats and emerging technologies remain a significant risk for the united states threatening the national security, economic prosperity and safety. nationstates in the cyber criminals increase the frequency and sophistication of the attacks and other malicious
cyber activity regarding the foreign influence, the influence evolved into one of the most significant threats in decades. u.s. adversaries including russia, china, iran and north korea and other competitors use online influence operations to try to weaken the democratic institutions, undermined u.s. alliances, threaten our economic security and shape the policy outcomes. regarding transnational organized crime to the national criminal organizations they have a destabilizing effect on the western hemisphere by corrupting governments, government officials, eroding the institutions and perpetuating violence. they profit from the range of activities including human smuggling, narcotics and kidnapping. transnational organizations are motivated by power and money and have little regard for human life and continually adjust operations to avoid detection and like legitimate businesses they are quick to take advantages of the technology and
better distillation methods. they are operating like sophisticated intelligence organization. with that i want to close and thank you for the opportunity and also on behalf of the men and women of the department of homeland security i'm honored to testify before you today. thank you. >> i think the witnesses for their testimony. i would remind each member is he or she will have siphoned us to question the panel and i now recognize myself for questions. mr. secretary, during your tenure here with the committee, will you -- were you provided all the resources to needed it to do your job? >> i think the department of homeland security has received strong support across multiple budget years and multiple administrations. we've used the funding and resources to increase our security effectively across programs from the itc guide --
it side, border security and international partnerships. are there more resources we could use, certainly there always are. i don't think you'll ever meet a leader that says they have all the resources they need but i do think we've been able to communicate a and received broad bipartisan support over my career. >> so, if you had what resources you don't have that could give us a greater grasp on the terrorist threats to the homeland. >> on the counterterrorism side, one of the things we have requested in this budget cycle and actually called on other members can look at the resubmission of the grand capabilities so we could focus on supporting efforts against domestic terrorism and the targeted violence in the readiness around the country so we could identify opportunities to remove people off the pathway
to violence and address their concerns early in the process. $17.5 million we'd requested is in the senate mark for the appropriations and i would also ask for investment in the attacker was on prevention office of the dhs headquarters i created that in my first week as the acting secretary. we are looking for that coordinate and galvanize among the multiple prevention and the whole community effort we are looking for so that is one specific investment mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. one of the issues o domestic terrorism, director can you share with the committee challenges you had in addressing domestic terrorism for some definitional issues continue to be a challenge.
>> i think what you are referring to and we talked a little bit about this in the past is that there is not currently a domestic terrorism offense as such in the same way there is for example in the international terrorism site material support to the foreign terrorist organization. having said that, we tackled at the domestic terroristhedomestia wide variety of tools, explosive charges, gun charges, state and local charges, hate crime charges so we use a lot of different tools to go after it and folks have been the source for with our partners in making sure we don't let anybody get away with it. the hat i think 107 domestic terrorism arrests in fiscal year 2019, which is about the same number, a little less, but about the same number as our it international terrorism arrests.
>> so, the of the issues you are addressing here, have you put a percentage of the cases you investigate how many of them are strictly addressing domestic terrorism? do you see it on the rise sex >> we see a couple things, domestic terrorism as a persistent evolving threat. we've typically have about a thousand coming in to fluctuate from time to time but it tends to be a thousand or sometimes closewere sometimescloser to 90a little over on the domestic terrorism side. the number hasn't changed but it's very troublingly consiste consistent. certainly the most liberality in terms of terrorist attacks in recent years here in the homeland has been on the domestic ticker was inside. we are trying to tackle, one of
the things we started doing recently is created a fusion cell that brings together the joint terrorism task forces etc. but also on the hate crimes we are able to pick that up so we have less of a left-hand right-hand issue and that will make us even more effective as we go forward. >> the chair recognizes the ranking member for five minutes. >> i would like to ask any of the panel that want to take a swing at this to look at the best what does that mean for the rest of the senior leadership do you see anybody in particular emerging to fill the void because there was the number one and number 2 meters, how big is a leadership organization is below that?
>> there's no question the losses over the weekend were significant. at the same time, it is a deep bench. he was one of the individuals that could have offended at the top. we need to remember the united states and the coalition overall has had tremendous success dose of al qaeda and isis and yet it tends to rise at the top and my guess is if history is any judge over the next somewhere between a couple of days and we we will see a new leader announced that there will be eulogies and those will come from even from al qaeda i suspect they will play elder statesman and we will see calls for attacks against western interests.
typically that doesn't amount to a great deal in the near term and then we will see requests for the branches and affiliates to swear allegiance to the new leader. that's what we will watch carefully to see how they consolidate control going forward. >> before that happens how effective do you think they will be carrying out attacks? >> i don't think that it will have much impact if there were significant attacks in the planning it would continue and they won't have that much of an effect. can you give the committee and idea how large of a number and how many of those are in prisons? >> as i mentioned, there are 20 odd isis branches around the globe they may be as few as a hundred or a thousand. we believe that within syria and iraq there were 14,005 or 6,000
years ago when they were at their low point they were down under a thousand so to us it tells us the insurgency has the option. within the prisons, they have roughly 10,000 isis prisoners in 15 or 20 prisons in this syria. there was faulty reporting recently about isis fighters being released from prisons or eastgate. can you tell us what is true and what is not true? >> there have been some prison breaks not so much in the last few days. we were something over 100 individuals.
we try to be professional about this and they are trying to keep control of the prisons. it's going to be very interesting to watch over the coming weeks with the turkish russian accord and moving into the eastern river how those prisons are being managed going forward. >> out side of al qaeda and isis with affiliations are you most concerned about outside of isis and al qaeda, with affiliate organizations are you most concerned about? >> the entire side of the house certainly the militia groups and so forth. as i mentioned in as my colleagues have mentioned the individual thread is among the greatest that we worry about.
>> i will use my closing seconds to welcome the newest member to the committee, representative bishop to represent north carolina's district served on the transportation committee i know he will be a fine addition to the committee membership and i won't yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from texas ms. jackson lee for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman, to you and the ranking member this is a very crucial hearing and i appreciate the time given also the time is short. thank you very much for both your dedication and commitment to the nation as your fellow witnesses are likewise public servants and we thank them for their service. let me start with you and my time is short. i know in your testimony on page for usage perhaps one of the most significant revolutions has
been domestic actors adoption of the techniques to inspire individuals to carry out acts of terror was on. can you briefly explain that and what homeland security is doing briefly? >> very briefly. if you go back a few years to look at what al qaeda and its affiliates were doing in yemen for instance, really using the internet to appeal to disaffected youth and try to radicalize from afar, there was the homegrown violent extremist phenomenon and we are seeing that with other ideologies and the ability to communicate with like-minded individuals -- >> wha >> what is homeland security doing about that? >> several different things. the strategic frame work outlines the efforts to build awareness, to identify opportunities to see risks being presented on a pathway to violence but in terms of monitoring that space especially on the dark web that's one of
the serious challenges that we face going forward and we want to work with private sectors to ensure they have good policies and to monitor content if it is inciting violence -- >> thank you. >> if we arwe are trying to loot individuals on the pathway to violence. >> this chart represents a dangerous phenomenon that the red indicates these are vacant, these are acting incursions. did you find it difficult to secure the nation when you have most of the positions held a temporary person's? is that some and should be corrected? >> it's good to have confirmed leadership to help with congress and ensures the alignment within the administration policy. but i can tell you is our senior executives throughout the organizations are tremendous -- >> i appreciate that but i need to go onto my other questions. it's been reported that there are close to 3,000 were separated from their parents and
by the way i appreciate your extensive answer i just have a very short period of time. on the word in that it puts on your men and women at the border, do you know view that as a failed policy and do not hold that determines the bishop have held. as old as nine months separated from his family. can you give me a quick answer and i have a question for director ray. >> i've testified several times on this and have spoken publicly in the media and the press on this issue. it's an effort to prosecute people. we lost the public trust of that and the president was right to end it. >> let me take this as it was a failed policy that i think you for your service. let me quickly i was at a meeting last evening dealing with biological threats of smallpox or evil by being used
by terrorists. can you tell me what work the fbi is doing on this very difficult act of terrorism that might impact of th the american people, number one and number two, a specific question dealing with two individuals that are unidentified and being sought after by police for these individuals are still at large and i'm wondering if you are aware of them and whether the fbi is engaged to try to find those individuals. >> taking your second question first, i'm not familiar with the specifics of that matter but i'm happy to take the information. >> i would be happy to. >> on the first question related to the biological weapons, that is something we are increasingly concerned about about. we are working to try to gain
more information about the capabilities plans and intentions on the kinds of biological weapons and second, we are working more and more closely with nontraditional partners, whether it is labs, people in the medical industry, research and development, people to better understand the capabilities. capabilities. a lot of the work happens through the weapons of mass destruction division which is single-mindedly focus on this kind of stuff. and then of course the joint service and task force that are investigated in a number of attacks and they are always on the lookout for information where we see any indication in a particular subject looking to that type of weapon. we do think it is something that is going to become increasingly hard to chase because again they
make the recipes for these things more and more available. >> the gentle lady's time is expired anhasexpired and the chs the gentleman from new york. >> the gentleman from louisiana. thank you mr. chairman. appreciate that. first of all, secretary, thank you for your service. it's been a truly outstanding and another were difficult times. i really admire and appreciate that. i've always found you to be totally straightforward and want to express my appreciation. director, let me say especially from a parochial point of view, very close relationship in the fbi and nypd and local police
its functioning very well right now and as far as i am concerned at the level of cooperation i want to thank you for that. some of the specific questions. you mentioned we are not sure how many physicians may have escaped. what are the plans if they go to europe and come to the united states, any attempt to make them part whether they get to the united states and again how soon do you think we will know how many escapes and where they are, are we working with our european partners especially to track them going back into europe? >> we spent a great deal of time trying to work with them over the past couple of years on diametrically unrolling individuals so that we can as the secretary indicated insured
that the vetting processes are such that the individual cannot come to the united states. i'm actually feeling pretty confident since the last couple of years there was a concern getting them to repatriate we haven't had a lot of success and so we got somewhat fatalistic we would eventually be seeing some of these individuals long before the turkish incursion and as a result, the ability to catalog who they are and get them into the appropriate databases is i think a good thing. the europeans may have somewhat of a greater difficulty. they don't scream in the same way that we do. the eu process while they have improved dramatically since paris and brussels they still try to deal with 28 countries, so the system it's fair to say some of them are more porous than ours. for us we are in pretty good shape at least on the foreign
fighter problem. >> with whatever number it is in that category, how does that shape that or change the picture? >> our expectation is the vast majority of the individuals that escape more likely than not were serious anti-rocky and will be looking to stay in the region and will be incorporated into the insurgency and in all likelihood we could see them serve as suicide bombers and so forth. i think it is fair to say that where we had the fdf walking down these prisons for a couple of years the expectation is we will probably see more releases just three or four weeks ago the indicated he wanted to attack both prisons and idp camps to get people out. i assume we will see some of
that. those prisons are vulnerable. >> do you have a comment on that? >> i would add that of course the fbi has had our folks over there doing a lot of the biometric enrollment and i do think that is an important part of defense, so i would agree on that, we are concerned some of these folk may exploit the visa waiver program ultimately. it may not be an immediate term threat to us that over time they could find their way and in ways we have to be vigilant about. i would also say we know that isis has started to take advantage of using women and operational planning and trying to recruit youth more and more, some of them in these displacement camps so it's a little bit hard to gauge and i know that our partners are very worried about this part of the plan advice is to try to launch kind of a multigenerational
conflict, and that's going to present all kinds of challenges for us and our partners. >> i agree with both director ray and acting director. just two notes we are working this on the multilateral level with the eu and those providing our capabilities and reach back to identify threats. i agree with the acting director of the work in the region we've been there alongside helping identify people on the battlefield so we can prevent them from accessing the homeland in the future, but also on a bilateral basis we have extended our capabilities and the automated targeting system of ad some of the techniques to identify the individuals at present the risky travel patterns we have given that capability to the partners in southeast asia and partners extensively in the western hemisphere select individuals to try to travel towards us we do have layers of international partner capability that will help identify and stop that movement. >> thank you mr. secretary for
your service and i will yield back. >> the time is expired. the gentleman from california. >> thank you mr. chairman and i want to thank our guests are the speakers for being here today. in american life as an american life, whether it is in america or outside of the u.s.. an american soldier is an american. whether this is a firefighter or police officer. we talk a lot about foreign terrorists and domestic terrorists. my concern are we suffering abuse at the sight of those and treating them independently? i'm hearing stories we may have domestic terrorists going overseas to ukraine, getting trained at my sis tactics, coming back to the u.s. to prepare to do god knows what. are we having enough coordination between domestic terrorist operations and
international terrorist operations in terms of your defensive capabilities to make sure that we are not missing anything? >> i think you are onto a trend that we are watching very carefully. i know we've had conversations quite a bit on this topic. we are starting to see racially motivated violent extremists connecting with like-minded individuals overseas and online and in some instances we have seen some folks travel overseas to train. >> where? >> iit varies, different parts f eastern europe. we have seen some connections between us-based neo-nazis and overseas analogs and certainly probably a more prevalent phenomenon that we see right now is racially motivated violent extremists here who are inspired
>> i will tell you that i have traveled to california every field office meanie one - - meeting with partners including lapd and the feedback that i get is the chemistry and information flow to the state and local partners is better than it has ever been and just a few days ago i brought together the major city chiefs with the classified briefings working together so there's a lot going on. >> it is delicate talking about if you start to begin the international terrorism.
and what you do without a warrant with american citizens. do you have any thoughts of how to approve the issue quick set american citizen. had you gather that intelligence? do you have the legal framework to protect privacy to let you do your job cracks is there anything better quick. >> with the privacy we say all the time to protect the american people and uphold the u.s. constitution. 's about we are concerned about and referenced by every member on the panel the encryption issue is a problem and people don't understand the joint effort that is one
or two years from now one more domestic terrorism or international terrorism are resorting to putting their communications on encrypted messaging platforms. >> i only have a couple more seconds. i want to emphasize it with other districts across the country the shooting that brought us to a new level of consciousness in terms of our safety locally. so with domestic terrorism on my list is number one. >> thank you for your service and your tenure.
he will be missed by this committee and i will not be tempted to mispronounce your last name. [laughter] [applause] thank you for your service you do have very high standards of commitment to service and the law enforcement community myself included certainly recognize your professionalism during difficult times. with the security in a humanitarian crisis at the border for what my colleague stated earlier that primarily lies with congress not with boots on the ground or the executive. on june 27, after many months
of delay the supplemental at the border was finally passed by the congress to provide health and human services to carry out programs for unaccompanied children and those were specifically meant to have unaccompanied alien children to receive inadequate care and services to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. i ask you since with that humanitarian aid. >> with that bed space that resulted in a dramatic drop from a peak of 2700 unaccompanied children.
with those continuing issues on the southern border and humanitarian regardless of politics that as a nation to focus on improving the conditions at the southern border. >> in my remaining time poised to increase the cartel violence any customs border patrol at the border in that cooperation with dhs and if that cross-border cooperation greatly by conflict among mexican criminal cartels and with that cartel activity in
mexico. >> with control of access to the border. in the easternmost border stay in mexico creates challenges of our security environment at the border may have stepped up to identify 25000 troops. >> just to clarify. >> the mexican government. the military element of navy and police to put them into a national that helps to patrol the southern border for all types of smuggling especially human smuggling and those transit routes toward the northern border where we want to collaborate to gain control on the shared border to
prevent access to those routes for any type of smuggling. >> thank you for your service. i yield. 's but i thank you for being here today and also thank you for your presence here prior to your future - - departure and good luck on your for on - - your future. now looking at the department of homeland security with that lack of continuity with national security. >> what was his gratifying acting secretary.
and then to work directly with in areas where he partnered with narcotics or a response to natural disaster to embed with them from two weeks ago and with those capabilities and looking at the cyberlandscape in the private sector is 8800 jurisdictions for men to work with the supply chain with state and locals and i am very confident with that caliber of leadership i have seen how effective they are. and how dedicated they are. >> thinking mister secretary. i am not worried about
continuity but the whole range of threat. >> we both can agree. there are good folks working. and with the cyberassets and protecting election infrastructure and transnational criminal organizations all of those require relationships with private partners and foreign partners with the public sector and careful coordination. can you see how lack of leadership when you identify the need to bring the public together to protect cyberassets that would impact our ability to do that quick. >> talk about the immigration crisis, election cybersecurity. one of the things i'm very
pleased with is to have that strategic framework. >> i understand in terms of cyberassets with a change of leadership impacts our ability to maintain those partnerships. >> mainly with cyberand in the private sector he is in place and is well respected with a tremendous relationship i have seen i don't think a different secretary will affect that progress. >> so with election security the main focus is to make sure you are working with partners as well as local officials. given that on the eve of your departure also warning the president about russian involvement do you see a change of leadership impacting the potential quick. >> i don't. with director ray and the
general from nsa we briefed on our joint efforts to address election security from the foreign to counties and townships. we have a team effort and very clear lanes. >> secretary i don't want to downplay the work you have done but i am just fear some of it would be lost with continuing efforts to protect our election infrastructure and that is my concern. you have expressed to me continuing that work through 2024 the election cycle changing the leadership with the large learning curve. >> and don't think so because of the strength of our partners across cyberelection security efforts. >> lastly with transnational criminal organizations and the need to coordinate with
federal and foreign partners to alleviate some of those pushback from the northern triangle, we can see that change of leadership will impact those relationships to help those push factors. >> we have over one dozen agreements with mexico and guatemala and honduras and i have high confidence with international affairs team we can bump it on - - maintain that momentum. >> so now somebody else will have to face that learning curv curve. >> but to rationally execute we won't have to do that frontline diplomatic effort so i do think we have momentum in place that what we need to make progress. >> your time has expired. >> the gentle man from texas.
>>. i appreciate that. this is important. i want to look at the shift of department of homeland security and in some ways it seems like the agency's embattled. so with the department of homeland security, it almost goes without saying that as the members of congress are advocating to get rid of the department of homeland security. how would you respond when someone says you do not need a department of homeland security quick. >> i would say they don't understand how it has matured and evolve to work in a cohesive manner.
it is an essential part of our homeland security fabric and enterprise in the center - - the synergy we have comprised with the intelligence analysis partners is because of the omission capability that we bring. those authorities that are unique to civilian and military service. all of that is integral to protect the homeland against the variety of threat they outlined my opening statement. >> you also have fema dealing with threats and response to natural disasters. i am not a member of this committee that those who have an understanding of what it is of what you do in appreciation for go while we may disagree on your complexity weise agree certain things need to be done whether disaster response so i
just want you to know i don't think we should get rid of the department of homeland security. and i'm coming back with suggestions for my colleagues. but i have not heard that on this committee. >> and during your questioning. >> i have nothing to add right now. >> director, speaking to your job, it seems like you are able to focus people who are inspired by international situations but that's easy to do because of the ideology you can integrate into whereas homegrown violence is a little more difficult to police. is that a correct perception that's mine but i want to hear
from those doing it on the ground. >> i thank you are correct and in particular on the international terrorism side, cuts of the nexus to foreign persons and threats and terrorist organizations we have the ability to use counterintelligence tools with pfizer in particular which is indispensable to our effectiveness to protect this country of course we don't have that in a truly domestic terrorism context. that is one particular way we have less transparency sometimes. but generally domestic terrorism threats is increasingly diffused that's why complacency becomes so important post 9/11 sleeper cells very structured massive
large-scale attacks are out there but now were in a world with terrorist putting threats against harris that are not that organized some say loan actors but a lot of times they communicate with each other in a more informal way online or other ways and that lack of structure makes it more challenging for us to get those sources undercover but no organization to insert anybody into it as a challenge and that's part of the nature of the threat spit thank you to the men and women of the fbi for what they do for our country. i am thankful for your efforts and what you have done to keep this country on the level in terms of government. it has been depressing to me the states cannot police themselves in terms of corruption.
and then to provide that level of policing so i am grateful for your service and the men and women and i healed back. >> your time is expired. >> we're trying to get the temperature adjusted a little bit. [laughter] >> thank you for your extraordinary service. first regarding our current effort to make sure we're on the same page. we have the correct levels of authority to tract one - - attract foreign jihadist
fighters with al qaeda and its affiliates with the efforts to come to the united states. correct? >> we have those resources at hand to use the tools of law enforcement to prevent or punish those american citizens that send resources to civilians. correct? >> hold on. say yes or no. that helps everybody. >> director quick. >> the answer to my last question is yes. >> then we have the authorities and resources at hand to use the tools of social media to translate isis and al qaeda text to disseminate that information whether at home or abroad
those tools are available to us to punish those individuals. correct? >> we are providing materials. >> certainly legal supports a valuable tool for what you're talking about. if you get to that technological dimension which is increasingly challenged which is that encryption issue of before and that's a phenomenon. >> but if we can identify what we're doing to be associated with that. you all described the domestic terrorism threat like white supremacist threat as transnational in nature to mirror the tools of the ideological persuasion that was used the last 25 or 30 years or more. so now the same exact
questions that we currently see today with over 17000 foreign fighters the nordic resistance in sweden and all entities the federal government has already identified as hostile in nature. do we currently have the authority and resources in place to track who has worked with them quick. >> that is what we emphasize for dhs the operational effectiveness and authorities apply to the border and a cross-border movement. >> again with respect to your service, somebody goes and trains. do we have them in the same
way as if they trained her fighting with isis quick. >> :-colon security investigation and multiple ability to look at that cross-border collaboration to make an arrest or take away a visa yes. we are focused on the. >> i think we use different tools but we have been effective as a secretary have said we just use different offenses with our foreign partners. >> talking to 15 of my counterparts around europe and southeast asia on this particular problem everybody grapples with the same thing. there are experiments in terms of naming these organizations they are very close to political parties that
confronts the free speech issue. this is something we all grapple with. >> so is hamas and hezbollah. so do we need to consider as foreign terrorist organizations or is that policy if a white nationalist organization fits the criteria as i believe these do, should we consider the broad-based authority to fight isis and its affiliates? >> that is not the intelligence community function. >> so this is the state department's purview? >> yes.
>> my time is running out but my question is i'm sure if we took away the designation for other terrorist organizations you would protest and object to tha that. >> we wouldn't find one - - we would find that problematic yes. [laughter] as the secretary said in response to a different question we could always use more tools. you'll never find a law enforcement professional saying they have all the tools i can imagine situations where this would be very helpful to have this as a tool. but also more and more the biggest threat that we face here in the us whether domestic terrorism like white supremacist or international terrorist that if they are inspired by the jihadist movement to have self radicalized actors so that whole concept to go after an organization which is a construct created about al
qaeda, hezbollah is still out there but the threat isn't about organization why what you are describing might be useful but it will not hit the biggest threat we are facing. that's why what mister travis said it is so important. >> the gentle man from new york. >> at the outset thank you for your career and service we very much appreciate what you have done and you've done an extraordinary job. thank you for that. i wish i had two hours with all of you because are so many questions i want to ask. director what you said struck me and that was the cyberfront we have a wider range of threats now than ever before. i cannot agree with you more and on the cybersecurity subcommittee i am amazed at
the complexity of the threats and permutation of the threat and want to talk about that a little bit. you mentioned ran somewhere supply chain and trade secret so what else can we do as a committee? >> certainly we need to work more closely with those to help facilitate that are useful. in this country something like 90 percent of infrastructures in the hands of the private sector so cyberin particular for the united states unlike a centralized country like china were over half the country where the companies are state owned require that partnership with the private sector. this is a place where we need to see me one - - more and more resources devoted frankly because we have to engage more
and more with the private sector on that issue. i will also say that data analytics are increasingly a big problem. not a sexy topic but it is incredibly significant in the cyberarena in particular. in any one case volumes and volumes of new kinds of bites to capture the sheer volume of what we are getting every day. and to exploit that fast enough is a challenge. helping dhs and fbi with the tools to export that is a significant step forward. >> and it is a different dynami dynamic. you have different agencies working together to go after the bad guys and protecting the public but here we have to work so closely with the private sector but not from
the resource standpoint so what specifically do you think you would need to get this done quick. >> computer scientist data analyst and technological tools to engage in more and more cases one of the biggest frustrations of the private sector is how quickly we can engage on these things and that's the point that you made with the sheer volume so we try to use the cybertask force we have all over the country with those different agencies as well and looking at the private sector but again a lot of that comes down to people and tools a very specific kind of people. >> and just trying to get a better handle on what we need to fulfill your request.
the centerpiece of the cybersecurity relationship for homeland that has been set up over the last year what can we do better? >> it is going very well. want to echo the directors points about people and tools. we do need more the service is very broad and the private sector is a core responsibility by like to add state and local government levels we do really need to think about resourcing to support our states we'll have an election in 2020 more than 90 percent casting ballots with a paper backup but not every state is there and that is a resourcing issue. with these counties to update windows software to eliminate vulnerabilities that have an open and four years.
so that kind of engagement is critical and with those control systems everything from pipelines to power it is a critical area we need this cause i governmental and private sector entities to have what they need to be successful and that's overdoing across the board. >> i'm out of time. anything you'd like to add to that quick. >> just to follow up, our engage with the private sector is critical we have had a heavy emphasis but to have those collection requirements to protect customers and clients is critical we cannot win the fight without the hand in glove relationship and it's a new dynamic and how they
partner with the fbi is critical hand in glove information sharing on their biggest risk it is with those foreign adversaries. >> somebody respectfully suggest this is an area i think it should be the subject of a hearing to figure out the manpower requirements to formulate something to assist them. >> the chair agrees that we have already had some discussions along that line. >> think all love you before your appearance before the committee and as far as i know you have been a straight
shooter with us. thank you very much. are any of you concerned about what could happen or is already happening with cryptocurrency issue? what is frightening to me to look at this is the software is available to just about anybody including those who would like to do some harm to us. and you can do a transaction just like that. on this we have some really low iq bad guys come in the future we have to do with people moving arguably millions of dollar
dollars, and visible dollars. >> i know working on the treasury but focusing in on the problem that will only grow. >> congressman you put your finger on a vexing issue for everyone in law enforcement and national security more broadly. at the fbi we have an office of technology division to focus on cryptocurrency and a number of tools we can use those different forms to break past or get around what occurs. every time we come up with a new tool there is a new type of cryptocurrency coming behind. is not just the low iq bad guys but that phenomenon
increasingly that crime is a service. their sophisticated forms of cryptocurrency and now on the dark web it's the low iq bad guys. so absolutely this will be a phenomenon going forward. >> i agree 100 percent that traceability of financial transactions is a huge vulnerability for dhs secret service has unique capability on cyberand this is the nexus to work these problems as well. >> just to echo what the secretary just said, the vulnerabilities for how we
identify is critical and the infrastructure to track and identify and also the polity - - the policies. >> thank you. wish we could have a hearing on this issue. and since then we need somebody from treasury to help us. but there's also a proposal floated around by treasury that the secret service should be transferred out of dhs into treasury. any of you have a position? >> i understand why treasury wants to be associated with the secret service and not
with the financial responsibilities they also work on special events and threats obviously looking at that. >> since you are leaving that it should remain with homeland security quick. >> there are strong arguments for secret service in both departments and the dialogue of the administration is of congress at this time. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the gentle man from tennessee. >> being from mississippi i agree it is chilly in here. secretary mcaleenan thank you for your service i understand you are watching the towers
fall and ran to the sound of the gun guns. i appreciate that those in service at the time we look at that degree of patriotism. thank you. to all witnesses here today we appreciate you being here today serving your country. my question is to all of you. like to dig into this cooperation what are the capacities are if they are combined and how that impacts the homeland. >> there are places around the globe west africa is a classic case and isis west africa cooperate on the ground. the general view as a
strategic alliance between the two, there are issues associated with al qaeda and the caliphate itself was thought to be a mistake the very issue from aku bakr al-baghdadi the palace being rated. my guess is we will continue to see much like we have today they may battle in places like yemen or east africa. but with the homeland we do see the idiosyncratic adoption of individuals with that ideology and we have seen that in europe but in general i don't think we will see a strategic relief. >> switching gears to cyberwhat are your thoughts on block chain and cybersecurity is there the increased
vulnerability or decreased? >> is that protected in any way? >> it has potential to decrease vulnerability by have a measure to verify transactions across multiple entities. they're interesting in chain - - ways being explored like supply-chain with my customs border protection background to verify that shipment from manufacturer's facility all the way to unloading at a walmart in the us is a very promising capability. ultimately watching how that's applied in various sectors. >> how well do you think government as a whole is accepting that quick. >> i agree with you. are removing toward block chain across infrastructure quick. >> the private sector will
drive it as it does with new technology. what we're trying to do at dhs is partner in the financial sector for instance to move cargo and supply-chain in cybersecurity applications as well to provide a platform for the block chain applications in different areas. there's a lot of work to be done and that's a dialogue that needs to happen with congress as well. >> can you elaborate the memorandum that was issued to give us an update quick. >> myself and the other secretary we have been working on this. i'm happy to say the national vetting center is right on track to take us intelligence community customs enforcement
data to find criminal entities to look at crime and foreign intelligence operatives to put in a model that the secretary led to hot find the bad things coming into the states just like cargo it is a model that's really important for the department of homeland security for go i defer to the secretary he was really the architect behind this for many years. >> it is a cooperation with the intelligence community that has expanded from the beginning with privacy from across the inter- agency to make sure we're doing this right and that we have safeguards in place and those that could pose a threat that we would not have seen before this capability.
it is headed in the right direction but we need to have the right framework. >> thank you for that work. >> if the gentleman would yield back the gentleman from texas. >> thank you mister chairman and take you to the witnesses for appearing. i would like to jump to the children. we have seen the photographs of the babies coming from south of the border. but also we have seen a photograph of a child three years of age born in ukraine coming to this country with his father after his mother
died to grow up in brooklyn with a masters degree from harvard. and a purple heart recipient. there was no way to prognosticate at the time the child sought to enter the united states that he would become the person he is today. now one can only imagine the number of children we have turned away who may have been a great benefit to our country. immigrants have made america great. not by themselves would have been a great part of this country and when i see the photograph of this baby being separated from a parent, crying.
there is no way to know what we have done when the person seeks lawful asylum. and in my research i don't find any place where the colonel, who i have great respect for by the way i don't think he is being treated fairly. i have not found anywhere in my research he was required to wait in the third country for the period of time before he entered this country. my research does indicate that at that time since they were coming from europe or crimea in this case of any of them. i just have to ask myself why are we treating persons coming from south of the border so differently working
agreements, waiting in the third country. if they don't do certain things then they will be denied the opportunity to traverse to this country. wire we treating them so differently? >> under us refugee programs people do apply from third countries while they go through the process. first of all the the migration populations and dhs and immigration services prickle it is a multi agency process that happens abroad for refugees that come today. >> is it your indication to me for the record this is what occurred with the colonel quick. >> i don't know the colonel's
individual case. i'm sorry. >> i don't know in totality but i know enough to suggest that it appears to me that we are not being evenhanded in terms of our approach at the turn of the century we have allowed people to come into the 21st century from europe on boats and went through ellis island and we didn't have the requirements that we have the people coming from south of the border. a lot of these changes were made on your watch. this happened on your watch. you do have some responsibility for what is happening. this is not to respect you , dear friend but it is to say that some of this could have
been evaded. you did indicate it was terminated because of the way it was impacting people. i'm not sure if i said that correctly not to demean you or the president but it should not have started. what made us decide that these people should be treated the way they were treated? >> i don't think there is time today to have a whole conversation on this but to try to answer your question the laws have changed dramatically from the prior arrival of mass migration we are trying to apply those laws also to ensure that individuals need protections for asylum political racial religion or social groups and
that they can receive those as close to home as possible without entering a dangerous smuggling cycle we cannot have an immigration system based on the darwinian principle anyone that arrives should be allowed to enter. we have to have more integrity. we have 70 million. >> my time is expired. nowhere in the law do we have language such as which you just used that was done to inflame. if you were in court being questioned you would be taken to task to use that inflammatory language. darwinian there's nothing that says darwinian and you know this. that was said to inflame. >> i'm not inflaming anything. >>. >> you are using inflammatory language i was very true
careful to try as best as i could to be clear to you and the president but the truth is for people of color we have a different standard of these babies were coming from the north we went not have treated them. >> we apply the law equally. >> that is not from what we see. i yelled back. >> time is expired the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you secretary for your service to our nation into the people protecting the american people. during very difficult times. when i was chairman of this committee i saw the rise and fall of isis and the so-called caliphate. we just recently had the killings and the death of aku
bakr al-baghdadi. just your thoughts the impact on the morale of isis and how much of a threat are they today? >> just starting quickly i believe they do continue to present a threat and noting the inspiration of their ideology persist with the fbi to put out a joint intelligence bulletin to ensure the awareness of the potential even though it hasn't happened in the past with the death of a leader for someone to be inspired to commit an attack with the immediate aftermath. there is the ability to reorganize and redirect but we maintain our concern about diffusing and dispersing with their ability for us interest
worldwide. >> i agree with secretary mcaleenan it is a successful blow for which we are all grateful. but is also clearly the case that they anticipated at some point they would need successors into a large extent what we are worried about here in the homeland is what we call the virtual caliphate and those that are inspired online which is a lot easier to do not just going back to 1 liter. >> they have been thinking of the demise for a couple of years and the need to prepare for an insurgency. they have lost a lot of leaders. it is a bureaucracy that's good at succession planning. it's fair to say that they can
largely attribute the decline of attacks in europe over the last couple of years due to the demise of the caliphate but nevertheless the ideology continues and that is a strategic concern. >> i do think the threat level has gone down a little bit through 2015 and 2016 seems like it went on for a month but domestic terrorism is on the rise but it is just numbers and arrests. how many domestic terrorism arrests quick. >> in 2019 we had a hundred domestic terrorism arrest and 121 and or give or take quick. >> in terms of international terrorism to be arrested
quick. >> yes. it's pretty close but yes. >> how does that compare to the previous year quick. >> that was hovering around 100 on the international terrorism side with a number of investigations both the homegrown violent extremist those that are inspired by various parts of the jihadist movement we have about 1000 that then that's not counting the foreign terrorist organizations that have about another thousand of those so while domestic terrorism is something that is taught minded we elevated to be a national threat priority and
then to be very alive and well. >> we talk about domestic terrorism on the rise but to get the eyes off the ball with i introduced bill that definition after 9/11 passing laws pertaining to terrorism and domestic terrorism. the fbi opened cases of domestic terrorism however the us attorneys cannot charge a domestic terrorism case there is no charge related to that. working with the deputy so do
you have any comments and with the us attorneys. >> i mentioned in response to different questions certainly we could always use more tools in the attorney's office we don't have a domestic terrorism crime as such and as we practice with the attorney's office our folks at the fbi don't give up so they have a workaround to use everything else including creative things like the federal rioting statute with the terrorism that occurred in charlottesville for example and then the state and local
authorities especially in places like texas with state and local law enforcement. >> but in closing those bombers that were clearly just terroris terrorism. >> the gentleman from new jersey. >> thank you to the witnesses for coming today good luck to you mister mcaleenan on whatever it is you will do next. >> there are 15000 and isis members in syria and other
places. >> what is the timeframe. >> five years ago before the caliphate was born it was down to about a thousand people in the low end of the estimate was syria and iraq and this is very fertile ground for the insurgencies. >> so with the betrayal of the kurdish allies and the chaos taking place would have isis go there as well?
>> do we have any idea how many members of al qaeda exist? >> numbers are difficult to come by. we are looking at a command control structure that exists anand then there's a half dozenr so affiliate and they have thousands of individuals each. >> are we talking about another 15 or 20,000, trying to figure out how safe i feel. >> i would say the numbers themselves are not a particularly good indicator of capability. >> this is what i heard and you can tell me if i'm wrong. i'm hearing we are doing pretty good at keeping really bad people out of the united states of america and even in cybersecurity appeared in a decent job trying to protect our
infrastructure and things important to us whether it is monetary reasons with china or russia for disruption of their infrastructure. i'm hearing though basically. >> i can only speak to terrorism but the country has been done t job of establishing a comprehensive system. >> i kind of want to go into the whole issue of domestic terrorism and i want to direct my questions to mr. ray. i'm sorry, the honorable mr. ray you've collapsed and taken away this horrible category of black extremist whatever it's called. you've now collapsed what is white supremacist on and black
separatism integrate racially motivated category of trigger for some. do you then make a distinction as to whom commits such interactions and do you have any indication are we having a greater percentage of those incidents happening with white supremacists, white replacement or black extremist? and if so, can you give me a break down? >> i can' can't give you exact numbers sitting here right now, but what i can tell you is that the reorganization of our categories, our nomenclature was based on a lot of very helpful dialogue that i had with the congressional black caucus and lots of other people and was part of a broad organization and the way that we counted.
within the racially motivated extremist category, i think it is fair to say from what we see in turn only that a huge chunk, the majority of the racially motivated violent extremist domestic terrorism, the majority of that is at the hands of what i'd call whiti would call white. >> are we aware of doubling pitcherfeatures that may take pe internationally, inspiration that comes from things we saw in things of that nature? >> we are actively looking at that and spent a lot of time trying to discern the trends. >> and have we identified those connections -- would we then be able to identify the groups as terrorist groups? >> the groups and such have been pretty effective identifying
them, but i think i may have mentioned to one of your colleagues more and more on the domestiof thedomestic tourism sg the white supremacist violence category. it's not really about groups in the same way we used to think of the groups in al qaeda and hezbollah. it's more diffuse, unstructured and undisciplined. >> i think you have a huge task to keep us safe and i thank you for the work that you do, but i'm concerned about the fbi and how the resources are taken away from doing some of this and put into the position to have to investigate itself as to whether or not there was a treason investigation related to the 2016 involvement of russia and i pray that you are resources are not taken away so you can continue to focus on that which is a threat to us in the safety and security and congress can concentrate on the other.
thank you and i yield back. >> time is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you all for being here. what a great discussion today, and i will try to get some different topics. this question regarding hezbollah and the recent decision of the president to step down, how do you think that affects the threat globally and that maybe you can expand about hezbollah and some of the groups south into the mexican drug cartels at any? >> the unrest in lebanon largely a local issue that has to do with a tax and it's fascinating to watch.
i'm not sure that it has a great deal to do with hezbollah with the threats itself. my guess is as below is a fear and they would like hi like to o we will have to see how that plays out. hezbollah itself, you are quite right, is an extraordinary organization and a dose of global connections. it's a very mature organization that is careful in the decision-making process. we are watching very carefully it activities in the middle east right now and how it did was respond to iran in our view it has no interest in going to war with israel for instance it has a high bar for any attacks against the united states. and he's been doing this for a very long time. >> the high bar for attacks, but what is its capability and have you seen any nexus between them
and groups south of the border said was long thought of to be a relationship between them and those in south america. what about closer to our border is there any potential for that type of relationship? >> in this session i just don't think we can get into that. i want to talk directly about the mexican drug cartels that we do see some of the border and i will direct this to you, mr. secretary. one thing that stands up t out e especially from a tactical perspective is how capable the mexican drug cartels are with their weaponry and training in the paternity and endless amount of funding. if you look around the world as far as threats at a very tactical level they are one of the most capable groups and right now they have no interest in conducting attacks against the united states. or if their interests are more business related. how can we do better working with the mexican government and
then what should we be worried about in the future? id >> it's challenging and i outlined it as one of the major threats we see affecting the homeland and not necessarily a direct act of violence as you eluded to. they focus on each other merrily and on other allies and police forces in the region, but really their ability we have seen the impact of the synthetic opioid epidemic of methamphetamine is the main concern in scale with you talk to the state and local law enforcement partners right now but there are four or five very violent and capable organizations that impact the safety of the mexican citizens in a number of states. >> is there anything we can begin with thbedoing with the mn government, a better relationship to be had is that at a good place right now? >> opposed the department of homeland security or justice or supporting the government of new
mexico law enforcement. i do think we need to continue to work on the weapons falling south and the money flowing south that is helping support the cartel activities in mexico and in the region more broadly that has to be a concerted effort. director, will thi with this lao you. you mentioned before the various attacks, domestic and foreign terrorist attacks that you didn't give any numbers. maybe those are classified. i don't mean the numbers right now. i want to know if we have been more successful and why. is it because the stove piping has ceased to be such a problem or do we have better tools, do we have -- is our prisons overseas hopeful were hurting the eyes and ears on the ground, intelligence collection, are they helping us out there? are they keeping us busy for they are not planning attacks here? what is it? i am out of time so after the question i will let you take it.
thank you. >> in the interest of time i would say most of the reasons for the success boils down to one more, which is partnerships. partnerships between federal agencies, partnerships and between federal agencies and state and local, partnerships within the intelligence community, partnerships with our foreign partners, all those things have led to greater flow of information and connecting of the dog, greater ability to get ahead of the threat and a greater recognition that there is no one disruption strategy. there's a lot of different ways you can disrupt. it could be a kinetic strike the terrorists action, some visa action or some foreign government taking action today there's a lot of different ways and different tools in the toolbox everyone is talking to each other and i will say having
been intimately involved in the war on terror during those years and then coming back into this role the difference between however what he i odious workinr i know it sounds a little pollyanna -ish it's like night and day and couldn't come a moment too soon. >> the time is expired and the gentleman recognizes the young lady for five minutes. >> thank you. under your tenure we've seen an expansion of human rights abuses under this administration maimed migrant protection protocols with the remain in mexico policy. the name almost assumes that this program will actually protect migrants when it does the complete opposite. instead of allowing asylum-seekers to remain safely in the u.s. as they wait for their case to be heard, it has been done by law the u.s. refugee act you force to nearly
50,000 asylum-seekers including individuals like those with serious medical conditions, pregnant women to wait in areas plagued by violence like the state of [inaudible] mexico which is a level for threat. this is the same warning that countries like afghanistan, iraq, syria and north korea have. i'm going to say this again. we are sending people, pregnant women back to dangerous places in mexico that have level for threat that is the equivalent of afghanistan, iraq, syria and north korea. before you decide to return families with children and other asylum-seekers to wait in these very dangerous places in mexico, did you conduct any type of an analysis, any type, to assess the potential harm that these asylum-seekers might suffer?
>> migrant protection protocols has a partnership -- >> i'm asking if you have any hy kind of assessment on the potential harm of where they are being sent? >> there was a monthlong dialogue with the government of mexico -- >> i'm asking yes or no, did you assess the threat level before you send them their? >> had >> candidates from insecurity and safely negotiated this with the government of mexico, assessments were done on the ability to manage the programs jointly with the united states. >> so you did assess it and thought it was fine. did you know that there are reports of kidnappings, assaults and other attacks on families and other asylum-seekers are returned to mexico packs are you reading these reports were hearing about the? >> we carefully monitor the reports ar for lots of reasons. >> have you heard about people being kidnapped, yes or no, have you heard of people being assaulted, yes or no various payment please let me finish the
answer. >> i don't have much time and want to know what you are aware of. my colleagues over here are talking about how we are a compassionate and loving nation that sending a child back to mexico in a level four area is not compassionate to me. sending pregnant women back to these areas to be raped, killed and abused is not a compassionate nation so i'm trying to assess whether -- >> pay smugglers and take the risk is not compassionate either -- >> and let's talk about those -- >> just a minute. she is still talking. you'll get your chance to respond. >> said mr. secretary, let's talk about those cartels. in a press conference yesterday the commissioner asked to the convention debate they could teach a business class at harvard, they are the same that dominate several areas at the border and have your agency is currently sending tens of thousands of affordable asylum-seekers to wait for weeks
or maybe months under this so-called protection program. cartel members came to a shelter in laredo and the city your agency has returned 10,000 asylum-seekers and demanded the minister in charge of the shelter and over cubans who were sheltered there for ransom. when he refused the cartel's kidnapped him and that the pastor hasn't been seen or heard from since. have you heard of this incident? >> i haven't heard of anything. >> in september they reported how many numerous people are subjected or have been delivered to the hands of these very dangerous cartels if we can all agree they are dangerous, just miles away from the forcibly returned by cbp officers. one migrant described how the mexican immigration officers who were transporting them turned them directly over to the cartels. are you aware that the mexican officials are turning these
people directly over to these cartels, are you aware of this? >> i'm not aware of a verified incident where that has occurred. >> it's clear to me the program is creating a business opportunity for cartels that now have tens of thousands of vulnerable people and desperate people who are being exploited. it's unbelievable to me that we believe this is okay that because it isn't happening on our u.s. we'll but it's just okay but as my colleague said, it is on us. and one day we will have to go to heaven and face those who judge us and we will have to live with the decision on what we did and whether he stood up for human rights or whether we let them happen under our watch. and i have to tell you it is heartbreaking that this country is closing the door on people who are fleeing the violence in the sending them back to dangerous places that have a level for threat or even u.s. citizens are told not to go.
with that i will yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman 80 from new york for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. i also want to join my colleague in thinking you for your service and wish you luck on your future endeavors. there've been several reports president trump is considering appointing acting uscis director or the acting commissioner mark morgan even though the justice department's office of legal counsel has determined that they are ineligible under the vacancy reform act. are you aware of that? >> i'm not going to discuss any personnel efforts by phone that the administration will follow the law naming a successor for the department of homeland security. >> in your final hours as the acting secretary do you have any plans to change the current mind of the succession at the dhs?
>> again i'm not going to discuss any personal actions. >> i'm just asking if you plan on doing that. there's only 24 hours left. >> have you discussed nominating someone to keep the assistant secretary of the countering weapons of mass destruction office with the president? >> i have not. >> have you spoken to anyone in the administration about the? >> again, i'm not to discuss personnel matters. >> i was just asking -- you said you haven't disgusted with the president. have you discussed that with anyone in the administration? >> i'm not going to discuss the matters. >> facebook announced that they had removed russian backed accounts to the post of citizens to attack former president joe biden. multiple reports including the 2017 intelligence community assessment social council robert mueller's investigation and a bipartisan report released earlier this month from the senate intelligence committee have all confirmed that russia attempted to interfere in the
elections and will do so again in 2020. do you accept that conclusion? >> yes. we are leading that effort along with our intelligence analysis and others are focused on threats posed including those from russia. >> do you agree with those conclusions? >> they continue to influence the system. >> have either of you spoken with president trump o for anyoe in the administration about russia and what they are planning on doing in the 2020 election? >> ipad along with others numerous meetings with folks in the white house including the president on election security and the threats they face. >> big do you conclude that they appreciate the interference in
2015 and the likelihood that they are doing it now to affect the 2020 election? just yes or no do you have confidence that there is someone in the administration that appreciates that? >> let me say it is crystal clear i think to all of us involved in protecting our elections, fbi, and i don't want to speak for the other agencies but with our partners on the same, crystal clear that this is a top priority that we need to take very seriously and throw in the toolbox. >> i just want to make reference to an article that was literally just posted on "the new york times" did and i understand soe people's feelings about "the new york times" but let's just accept for a fact that i'm going to talk about is the fact. russia has been testing new tactics in an enormous facebook campaign in parts of africa as a part of an evolution of its manipulation techniques ahead of
the 2020 american provincial election. the campaign underlined how russia is continuing to aggressively try different disinformation techniques even as it has come under scrutiny for its online interference records by spreading the use of its tactics to less closely monitor the united states and europe. it said that it was highly likely that russian groups would already using the same novel of working and what they did this actually work with local people so that it wasn't an immediately detected that they were russian backed accounts. so, the russian groups have already started using that model working with locals right here in the united states to post inflammatory messages on facebook invite employee and those locals, they didn't need to set up a fake account as they have done in the past were those that originated in russia which is making it easier to to
sidestep being noticed. it's an enormous problem. were you aware of this using local people not just in africa and disinformation about being critical of american and french policies, but they are doing that now in anticipation of the 2020 election. can you tell me are you able to address this or are you finding facebook and other social media platforms helpful if you can just expand on that. >> sure. obviously i haven't read the article that you mentioned, and it i've been careful about what i say that i know through other sources, but i'm generally aware of the phenomenon or the tactic if you than you are describing. i would say that we are expecting that they will and already have continued up their game from updated in 2016. of course we have our game and
we are talking about saving democracy as we know it, and i know all of you gentlemen, i think i can speak for you in saying that i know and i'm grateful that you appreciate that. thank you. back to you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi for five minutes. >> i want to thank you and your staff for visiting. i had the chance to visit with you as you all work at conducting fueled hearings and a meeting with members of the other communities about working together. the private sector, public sector says we are creating a great place to live and raise a family and i want to thank you for the visit and more importantly thank you for your service to the country. earlier this month, president trump signed into law the house resolution though that was
offered by my office if they do. it would require your successor to develop and exercise and evaluate the effectiveness of the ability to identify and detour travel before they go through our state and into our nation. my question is to use believe that the bill such as 1590, the bill that creates exercises are helpful for the department of homeland security so that we are able to identify and close the gap so the congress is better able to determine the necessary weaknesses within our system fax >> certainly i think it is the kind of activity we undertake every day to make sure that there are no vulnerabilities or gaps in the information sharing between our foreign partners and we are playing that at every opportunity to identify the
potential threat in the united states are heading towards us through the foreign partner nations borders. so, i do think that being very focused on it and highlighting the efforts to exercise and test those capabilities as a valuable approach. >> you testified several times before the committee and before congress we talked a great deal about the apprehensions and i believe it's reached nearly 1 million apprehensions. do you believe that of the illegal immigrants are encouraged to make the dangerous journey int and try to cross the border illegally? >> i don't think there's any question about that we had 977,000 crossings and we are now in the fifth month in october 15 to 20% reduction over a month and that is because we have been able through the international partnerships to address the vulnerabilities presented by the loopholes in th into the numbere thing if you bring a child with you you could be released into
the u.s. and that's why we have got crisithat crisis and we askd congress to address that. congress hasn't acted on this and we've been partnering with international partners and using existing legal frameworks including the immigration and nationality ac act such as the migrant protection protocol program to try to create the ability to get immigration results and also since we cannot do it here in the u.s.. >> what do we need to do as congress to close these loopholes? >> we've asked for the changes that would address the drivers of the crisis before it occurs. one is the ability to keep families together in an appropriate setting through an immigration proceeding that is what the prior administration was able to do to end the crisis and the district court and the ninth circuit took that away from us and we haven't had that authority we've asked for
congress to reestablish it and we try to pursue it. second we've asked for the ability to treat unaccompanied children coming from non- contiguous countries the same way we do with canada and mexico and provide them access to protections from their home country so they don't make this dangerous journey that if they do have the ability to repatriate them so they are not incentivized to try and thirdly vast or congress to address the vulnerabilities in the system and huge gap between the ultimate rulings by immigration judges where only ten to 20% are getting an asylum recognition but at the stage where this happens at the border 80% plus have been allowed to proceed with the cases that could take five to seven years while released. those were the changes we've asked for consistently for over two years. >> if congress were to ask to the fact what impact do you believe it would have seeing the humanitarian crisis on the
border? spinnaker would provide integrity in the system here in the united states and not rely solely on foreign partnerships to address the loopholes that caused the crisis over the last year. >> this may be your last time as the acting secretary to address the committee in this setting. is there anything they would like to leave with us as the committee of homeland security anything you see moving forward that we need to address and prioritized as members of congress that would be able to keep the american public thinks? spinnaker you think that we see a lot of evidence of nonpartisan and bipartisan discussion on critical threats facing the country. you hearthe word of analysts oud the same three to five top concern that we have had a really important dialogue i think on some of the emerging aspects that will be challenging in the future, things like the foreign influence those are conversations we need to have and come up with solutions to
properly support those dialogs. >> thank you for your service and i will yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from illinois. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to begin by thanking the department and agencies to take into the entire intelligence committee for protecting the unseen threats and continued work contributed to the successful operation this weekend that killed the isis theater. i'm grateful for your diligence, commitment to the mission and service to the country. you said when it comes to foreign interference midterm elections for a dress rehearsal for the show in 2020. in 2019 worldwide threat assessment report we expect our adversaries and strategic competitors to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other's experiences to address the
future elections. so, sir, as much as you can share in this setting can you detail what those tactics might be in the capabilities our adversaries are developing? >> i think you anticipated part of what i'm going to say which is much of what i would say can't really be done in the open setting. i will say that as i've mentioned in response some of the things that they've tried in other countries we expect them to try to do here as well. it's a comment to test it out in other jurisdictions. thankfully we don't have elections every year so that gives us time to plan ahead. technological tools keep evolving so their ability to come up with different false personas, all those things become more vexing and
challenging which puts a premium on the point i was making before about our working on the foreign influence site working with social media companies who get them to keep up as part of the defense. >> the assessment also reports russia, china, north korea and iran have the ability to carry out a sniper attack in our elections. we know they have the capabili capability. in addition wha would you say ty have the motivation or intend to attack? >> i want to be careful what i say in the setting but i don't think that we have seen in the intention by those other three countries to attack the election infrastructure. it doesn't mean they are not looking carefully at what they attempted to do and to try to learn lessons from that but in different ways they are clearly interested in engaging in a
malign influence, and they all have different ways of going about it but they are all taking pages out of each other's playbooks. the >> where that is particularly challenging as one of the phenomenon that we see in the arena these days is what we call the blended threat of the nationstate actors essentially hire cyber mercenaries and now if you see what might be a cyber criminal act or he could be acting on his own for financial benefit or he could be hired by a nationstate. >> earlier this month, this committee had a field hearing on the election security in my district in southern illinois
and during the hearing state and local officials spoke so highly of their work with the senior cyber security advisor. these officials coordinate with his team to prepare and respond to threats to the infrastructure and they testified that this coordination was incredibly helpful and valuable so what can congress do to expand the resources as we prepare for the growing threats in 2020? >> thank you for the feedback. mr. masterson is a tremendous professional and i had the opportunity to speak with officials in illinois while i was in chicago and had that same sense of the partnership what can we do to expanded? we do want to increase our presence conveying the capabilities of assistance and support for the counties and townships nationwide. we would like to be out in more places because the direct interaction when you have a partner that you know that has the expertise that can change
your capabilities and readiness so that is an area looking for additional reach and resources. >> i'm about out of time and i want to talk about domestic terrorism a little bit so we are going to send over some questions. i hope the department will respond. our committee continues to explore how we can protect our country from these threats and we appreciate your ongoing work in that area. thank you and i will yield back. >> what you mentioned the report you are trying to find? >> we had the opportunity to get a briefing over the last couple of weeks that came in on wednesday and a classified setting and they mentioned the weekly reports about the social media findings distributed to the state and local partners and it would be available to us each week. we attempted to login and access to report to track what they are doing in real time and it's my
understanding that it was being developed somewhere between your agencies but we do not have access to that currently enjoying a little bit concerned because if it is developed we would like to see it and if it's not, we are worried that perhaps the briefer wasn't truthful in his update. >> i think we were promised access to what we thought was a report that had been generally produced on a regular basis. we will get to you in writing what that is. if i can get the information from your staff i would be happy to have my staff figure out what's going on there. >> the gentleman from louisiana for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman.
let me ask you about topical director is it still in direct -- >> the public benefit? >> the detainees about perl for holding them in my specific concern is the new orleans field office that has released last year not one person and this year they still keep about 98% of the people, so i'm asking you is that still in force? >> i'm not aware of any policy changes at the national level for the determinations on parole and a variety of different categories whether people arrive arriving for this entry whether it's an interior enforcement action or mandatory detention context under congressional -- >> let's go to a specific part
where they determine whether the person is a flight risk or have connection to the community or family that are u.s. citizens. it's just amazing to me no one in a particular field office in a whole year have any ties to the community that they were not determined to be not a risk factor and released pending their hearing. does that stand out to you 100 or 98% of people being held? >> i would have to follow up with the director on the question. i'm not aware of a different approach. you've listed some of the factors considered. >> let me make this as a formal request and you can pass it on to whomever you deem necessary that i would like an analysis of
how many peoplhow many people wd roll over the last three years and the different categories of why they were not granted. also, do you remember the case in new orleans he was very sick and housed in mississippi if you were discussing his medical treatment and we realized there's a language barrier for the people that we are holding in our custody and care. that was a big question for us and then we also asked to have a specific conversation and in the meantime you deported him i'm
not personally aware of the details of the case while the chairman was asking about the case i would be happy to go over the timeline indicate the and te information we can about the decision process our tsa offices play in an incredible part in in securing the country in our airports and especially in new orleans where they stop a guy trying to board a plane one was shot and one was stabbed i believe. do you think that it's time for us to pick what they are worth?
>> the structure has to be looked at. they want to maintain that expertise as much as we can and they do a tremendous job and had the chance to meet the team involved in that incident and they were very proud of the work they do. >> do you have a suggestion on what it should look like? >> i do have the referral because they are working intensely on this issue and we can get the exact details on the recommended path forward. >> that would be very helpful and then with the last remaining seconds we talked several times about the term black identity extremists over the last couple of weeks we were alerted our
information is classified as black identity extremists. >> i am not familiar with the name so i can't engage specifically on that question. i will say as i think we've discussed before we've moved away from that categorization and i will add as i mentioned in one of the earlier conversations and this is important to me personally, we do not open investigations let me just ask
unanimous consent to enter into the record in october's 2017 article from the foreign policy entitled the u.s. to this thread to the director asking for a briefing in august 82019 article by the young turks entitled fbi documents reveal that the bureau's priority is under president trump but i will just conclude by asking your commitment to meet with us again to give an update of where we are and what it looks like if in fact there has been a rest surveillance under the black identity extremists he would be
happy to keep the dialogue going. >> without objection entering into the record you have been a professional and i personally thank you for that. going forward, the question is if nobody is appointed by tomorrow, are you prepared to stay on until somebody is appointed? >> important question in my letter of resignation i did offer to ensure a smooth transition you are prepared to
do i that until someone is nominated for your position. i hope and plan for the success is imminent if necessary i will ensure a smooth transition. >> thank you very much. i think the witnesses for their valuable testimony and questions. the members of the committee may have additional questions and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. hearing no further business, the committee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations]