tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN July 23, 2015 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT
capitol hill behead law enforcement officers conduct mass shootings, detonate bombs at new york city landmarks and live stream a murderous rampage at a college campus. we even disrupted terrorist plotting to attack july 4th celebrations in the united states. in fact, more than 60 isis supporters have been arrested or indicted in the united states -- in the united states -- in the last year. that's more than one per week. and now the fbi director says that he has open isis investigations in all 50 states. the majority have never set foot in a far away safe haven and were recruited by isis online or distributed the group's social media propaganda. and with over 200,000 isis tweets per day -- this is an
astounding number, there are over 200,000 isis tweets per day. how can we possibly get a handle over this? the chatter is so high and the volume is so loud that it's difficult to get a handle. this isn't terror as usual. this is terror gone viral. i come mebd the fbi, homeland security and state and locals for their disrupting of these many plots. but as we saw in chattanooga, we cannot stop all of them. in this age of peer to peer terrorism, authorities are searching for suspects who use secure aps we call dark space, to communicate and crowd source their calls for attack, inspiring operatives who never have crossed into the borders of syria, but cross over borders through the internet to conduct acts of terror.
isis cyber commanders now regularly send out internet directives and missives to their followers, as we saw in garland, texas. sometimes our first indication of a hatched plot is an internet hash tag. we need to have a frank conversation in america about the challenges posed by violent extremists using social media and dark space to further their violence plots. extremists have migrated away from telephones and onto new platforms, but our laws and policies have not kept pace making it for difficult to uncover terrorist plots. they communicate in darkness and we can't shine a light on the darkness to see what the communications are to attack in the united states. i don't claim to have all the answers to this. i've started a working group with the fbi and homeland and justice to -- and the high tech community, to get some answers,
but what i do know is that we all share some common ground from silicon valley to the halls of congress, that we want to see terrorists ss brought to justice. this has to be the starting point between the high tech sector and policy makers to find solutions for the lawful monitoring of violent extremists while, at the same time protect protecting several liberties. we also need to do more to stop the spread of fanaticism before it leads to violent plotting. we spend billions of dollars to detect and disrupt terror plots, but we have dedicated few resources towards combatting and preventing the radicalization at the root of terror. this is called the crucial prevention aspect of counterterrorism. and sadly, while extremists recruiters are moving at broadband speed we are moving at bureaucratic speed.
the administration has not appointed a lead agency in charge of combatting domestic radicalization and few resources or personnel or even allocated to it. when asked by our committee, the top departments and agencies can only identify around $15 million, with an m, million being spent and around two dozen people working full-time on this issue. that's basically it. and that means we've arrested twice as many isis recruits in the united states this year than there are full-time officials working to prevent isis from radicalizing americans in the first place. in a high threat environment, i believe this is unacceptable. and every day we wait, we see more ground to oured a verve tears. as chairman of the homeland security committee, i will not stand on the sidelines asking for more reports and studies while terrorists plot inside our
communities. murder or people. murder our military. kill our u.s. marines and servicemen and seek to divide our nation. last week, my committee decided to push forward a bill to streamline and raise the priority and focus of the department of homeland security's efforts to combat the viral speed of violent extremism. for instance our bill would give dhs the tools to combat isis and al qaeda prop propaganda here at home through counter narratives that show islamist terror for what it really is. and it would also help dhs empower local communities to spot signs of violent radicalization and help them develop off-ramps to discourage individuals from being lured overseas to fight with terror groups or from being convinced to commit acts of violence at home. ultimate ultimately, we must recognize the best homeland defense is a
good offense. and to win this war against islamist terror, we have to take the fight to the enemy overseas. i spent the last weekend in tampa, florida meeting with our generals and leaders and top intelligence and operations officers at the u.s. central command and special operations command at mcdill air force base. and i'm proud of the work they have done to dismantle terror groups and their focus on defeating isis and the recent victory in taking out the leader of the khorasan group. but the white house strategy under which they are operating is flawed. it only gives them the authorities to contain isis rather than to roll back and defeat it. i was in turkey and they said we need to drain the swamp so we don't have to swat the mosquitos. we all know isis will replenish
its ranks. and that's a fact. for the number we have killed over there in strikes they have replenished to an equal amount. and we all know they will expand globally until we've eliminated at the source in iraq and syria. yet right now, we are fighting with one arm tied behind our back. under the current strategy the rules of engagement are apparently too high to strike important targets and the number of military trainers is too low. our forces being kept from fully assists with the fight and the president has taken options like ground troops off the table, telegraphing weakness to our enemies. as a result, isis has been able to hold and extend key territory in syria and iraq, despite our air strikes and the iraqi government is beginning to rely on shia militias, iran
approximatyeproxies, to fight back, a development that could empower iran and inflame secretary tensions with the sunnis. i expressed this concern several weeks ago when i was in baghdad, meeting with the prime minister and the speaker, but it's clear without expanded american leadership and regional assistance, they are running out of options to win this fight. the bottom line is this. right now, i believe that we are losing the war against isis. and the wider war against islamist terror. the president's strategy has failed. and the evidence of failure mounts with every terror plot in america, every attack against our ally and every emerging terror sanctuary used to radicalize and recruit foot soldiers willing to die in the name of a deprived and depraved ideology. the time has come to overhaul
our counter isis strategy and it is time for the president to level with the american people about what the threat really is. and about what is needed to win this generation-long war with radical islamists. so, today i want to outline a basic framework for both. starting with the campaign against isis. we must take immediate steps to strengthen our efforts, including increasing the number of u.s. military trainers in iraq and expanding partner participation. by bolsters the air campaign through forward air controllers close air support and easing the rules of engagement beyond zero collateral damage. authorizing american military personnel to accompany and assist the iraqis in combat including ramping up the number of special operation forces.
and accelerating the delivery of weapons to kurdish peshmerga forces and sunni tribes. but even with these improvements, more will be needed to win this campaign. the president's iraq first strategy has left us with a credible ground force -- has left us without a credible ground force to fight isis in its main stronghold in syria. recently, defense secretary carter announced, this month, that we have only trained 60 -- 60 -- syrian rebels to combat this group which can range between 30,000 to 50,000 strong depending on who you talk to. our reasons we have -- one of the reasons we have so far is that reportedly, we make them pledge not to fight the assad
regime. an absurd policy, especially when their hometowns are being attacked by assad. in short, we lack a serious ground force in syria while isis itself boasts an estimated 30,000-man army. today, i'm calling upon the president to stand up a multi-national coalition to build the force needed to clear the terrorist sanctuary in syria. we need a combined air and ground campaign in syria now. one composed of vetted opposition forces western trainers and advisers, special operation forces and most importantly, regional military partners including indigenous partners. the coalition's immediate mandate should be to strengthen the opposition so that they can take the lead in taking back their country, not just from isis but from all sunni
extremist terrorists groups. and this coalition must also force assad to step down. we cannot clear the isis terror safe haven in syria any time soon with the current regime in power. assad's brutal oppression is one of the main drivers behind the growth -- rapid growth of isis in syria in the first place. and he continues to decimate the moderate syrian opposition, including with chemical weapons recently that we -- we need these moderate sunnis to fight these extremists. with assad out of the way internationally backed syrian rebels stand a far better chance of rolling back terror groups and our regional partners who want assad gone and would be far willing to engage in the fight if they had that assurance. before taking action, the coalition would first need to
develop a post-assad transition plan. syria cannot go the way of libya, which has fallen apart in the absence of security and a strong central government. as a result, coalition action in syria must be paired with a viable plan to stabilize the country and prevent it from becoming a lawless vacuum. we must step up moderate inclusive parties for success and sideline extremist factions eager to exploit the post-assad chaos. our regional partners would play a central role on the ground in this coalition. i've spoken with syria's neighbors on many delegation trips, both in turkey and saudi and jordan and other allies who are willing to put forward these resources. willing to put forward combat troops on the ground. but they ask me, what is your strategy? and it's hard to articulate that
we have one, because we don't. and they want the assurance that assad will be out of the equation, because they will not do anything that will 'em power an embolden the assad regime. these countries cannot live with an extremist sanctuary next door and the spillover affects of terror including refugee flows and suicide attacks. some are helped to stabilize syria by committing their own ground troops, especially if it means the end of assad. this is, after all, their backyard. it is their mess and i think it's incouple bent upon them to clean it up under american leadership and for us not to have to carry their water. but there is no substitute for american leadership and right now, there is no other nation capable of rallying a coalition to this cause other than the united states of america. i was pleased earlier this year
to see arab leaders propose the consideration of a regional military force to tackle the spread of violent extremism. but such an organization is years away from reality. regional partners are not ready to do this alone and we cannot afford to wait the president's piecemeal strategy to play out a strategy he admits will take years. we need to take the lead in assembling this coalition of nations, like we did in the persian gulf war. we also cannot forget the core principals needed to win the wider war against islamist terror. the reach of isis and al qaeda extends far beyond their primary territories. yet, the administration's global counterterrorism approach can be best described as a whack-a-mole by drone. this may be low cost, but it is also shortsighted.
make no mistake, we have e eliminated key terror leaders including the head of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula yesterday -- i'm sorry earlier this month. the leader of the khorasan group in syria. khorasan group in syria the biggest leader of external operations against the west to blow up airplanes using nonmetallic ieds. but these terror groups are getting better and quickly replacing fallen leaders. we can chase these fanatics, we can chase them through the gates of hell, but to win, we must destroy sanctuaries and defeat their insidious eyology. and to do so we need to identify and confront threats early, wherever they emerge, in places like yemen and libya. we need to work with regional partners to develop full-fledged stabilization plans before power vacuums turn into extremist hot
spots. and we must counter the ideology at the core of islamicst terror. because when left unheeded, we have seen it spread to all corners of the globe in the same way ideals like communism and fascism led to the decades of destruction. in the short run, this means exposing the brutality and naked tyranny of life under the role of islamist terrorists to potential recruits will realize that they are headed to a prison, instead of a communal paradise. this is the counter narrative that is not happening right now at the state department, the d.o.d. is trying, and it's not happening at dhs. and in the long run, we need the president to outline a whole of government grand strategy for this fight. the strategy should draw on all elements of american power to
promote liberty and human dignity as the great alternatives to oppression, fear and terror. history has shown that authoritarian systems are the well spring of fanaticism. political and economic development are the only reliable long-term antidotes to terror, which is why american foreign policy must be geared towards shaping a balance of power in the international system that favors the expansion of free states. we have learned the hard way that leading from behind leads us into danger. indeed weakness inviting es aggression, as churchill talked about, and leaves us to face more enemies in our city streets, rather than on the battlefield overseas. i do believe we are in for a generational struggle. as prime minister cameron talked about. but i have confidence that our country will prevail.
our ideas prevail. every time we witness events like we saw in chattanooga, america's vow not to be intimidated by violence. and we send a clear message to fanatics. if you try to bring terror to our shores, we will bring justice to yours. that is a resolve the american people and our resolve will propel us to event chul victory in this war against islamist terror. thank you very much. >> thanks. and thanks for the opportunity to kind of follow up and unpack this speech a little bit and some of the ere issues. and the first question i want to ask you is to really kind of ask you a question by putting your assessment in context. so, when president obama got elected, we never really understood what his
counterterrorism strategy was going to be. for the first two years of his presidency, we joked it was bush-light. he was doing the similar things, adopting different rhetoric in talking about it. in 2010 you really saw the administration put its imprint on how it was going to fight the war on terror and we saw that enshrined in the counter counterterrorism strategy of 2011. between 2010 and now, we've been doing president obama's strategy and your assessment is, it hasn't worked. there are more terrorist attacks, they are a bigger threat than they ever were. realistically the odds of president obama saying, i got it all wrong and doing something different and nowbetween now and the last year and a half of his presidency, are really slim to none. we need to have a vigorous year and a half debate about what the next president is going to do to address this? >> i think you're spot-on.
this president, his narrative was to end iraq and afghanistan and close down beganguantanamo. he failed to negotiate a status of forces agreement, unlike what we did in world war ii after korea. left a very dangerous hot spot because we had no security left in iraq. i think that coupled with the political malfeasance of maliki. secretary clinton traveled to baghdad, one time for three hours and it imploded. that was the consideration of isis. that created the threat that we see today. so, the president couldn't get his head wrapped around isis. this wasn't supposed to happen under his watch. his narrative. it defies his campaign narrative and so i think strategy for him is running the clock out, not having a strategy to defeat and
destroy isis as isis enters our hometowns. and i they's a huge mistake in foreign policy, makes it dangerous to the homeland. i want to see this -- one of the driving issues in the 2016 debate. i'm not seeing it right now. i have to tell you. i'm not seeing a lot of candidates, quite frankly, with experience, in national security and foreign policy. i think usually it's about the company, economy, it's about the economy, stupid, but this election, i predict, that this issue will be one of the driving debates and issues in the 2016 presidential election. and rightly so. i think every american is -- i think the phrase, you feel like you're better off than you were before -- i would ask the question, do you feel safer today than before? i think most americans would answer that question, "no." >> let me bring in a related issue. which i think is fair to do, which is get your assessment of the iran deal. they go together, because iran
is the other great destabilizing force in the middle east and we have to live with the aftermath of the rise of isis and iran, so, i'd like your assessment of the iran deal and what you think that holds for the future -- >> i think first, i mean, we sent chairman royce, foreign affairs and sent a letter to the president to secretary of state kerry, urging them to go through the congress first before dropping this at the united nations security coin sill. samantha powers called me after a hearing where i brought this issue up and within days they submitted this to the u.n. security council. they have defies and circumventing, i think, the will of the american people through its representatives in the congress, and so -- this was flagrant. it defies the spirit of the law we passed. now we know that china, russia and venezuela voted to approve this. they will vote to lift the u.n.
sanctions. train's out of the station. so, what can be done -- the only thing we have left the only power we have left is to override the president's veto. and i think that's what we are -- you know, groups like apac who i met the last several days, to try to appeal to democrats that this is a bad deal to try to -- to defeat the president's veto. that's the only way that whole process can be stopped. so, why does it need to be stopped? because it allows them to continue their nuclear weapons program. that's not why we passed the sanctions over the last decade. we passed the sanctions to dismantle their nuclear capability. i mean the idea it's for peaceful energy purposes is laughable. and the icbm capable can still continue to go forward there's only one reason you develop that that's to deliver a nuclear warhead. it will start a middle east arms race. when i was in saudi, they said, why are you negotiating with
iran, our allies are confused. they don't know if they are still our allies, like israel and saudi and they are strongly opposed to this. now, we're going to see a nuclear arm's race in the middle east. saudis can get it from pakistan. egypt is going to look at it, turkey. very dangerous. lastly, just the hundreds of billions of dollars now that will be lifted and given to the largest state sponsor of terror with hamas, hezbollah, with the influence in the western hemisphere, through venezuela and other countries. we saw the saudi ambassador says nation plot. they conduct cyber attacks routinely on our financial sector. this will pour hundreds of billions more into this operation. i think it's one of the, quite frankly, biggest foreign policy mistakes i've seen in my lifetime and i think it rivals
chamberlain's negotiations with hitler. >> the president's argument is it's -- this deal or war, but your assessment is, well, what this deal actually does is protects their nuclear instra tuck sure, allows them to become a -- a stronger, more nuclear breakout state pours tons of money into the regime and actually makes them more dangerous, couldn't you argue that the best course of action would be for the united states not to participate in the vienna agreement and that would allow the next president more freedom in terms of trying to contain -- >> yeah, i think, the short-term, the only thing in the realm of possibility is to make it veto-proof. i mean, override -- i think chuck schumer is a key player in this in the senate. and we're working very hard to make this a bipartisan opposition to the president's policies. the more the american people hear about this deal as they
chant "death to america." they are celebrating in the streets of tehran over this deal, as they chant "death to america." i'm not seeing a lot of celebrations in the streets of america over this deal. and i think that speaks volumes. and i think, you know, if we cannot accomplish that, jim, then i think the only thing left is the next president and i think that will make the next 2016 elections that much more important, i think this is going to be a driving issue when we go home in august, over the recess and i think it's going to be a driving issue in the 2016 debate, at least i hope so. >> let me just round out that discussion, because what i really appreciated about your remarks were how comprehensive they were. so, dealing really with the issue of terrorism from both the offensive and defensive points, so, what do we have to do overseas to stop the font that's driving this and also what are we doing here in terms of counterterrorism and also prevention. and so some of the legislation
that you've proposed, part of that is, how do we deal with this, so let me ask you a sensitive question, where you have gotten some criticism from your friends on the right would say, well, look if you are going to create a countering violent extremism capability in dhs, what is to prevent this administration from using that to go after political opponents, maybe conservative groups, much in the way that the administration's been accused of using the irs, how can you prevent that or is that maybe necessarily we don't want to give this president? >> that's not the intent of the legislation. it's to go against radical islamists. it's to go against radical ideology. not intended to go against anyone's political beliefs. and if that ever occurred, you would see pretty good response from me. that's not the intention of the bill. when i talked to secretary jeh johnson and others in the department, their priority is
radical islamists. they can go the muslim communities to do the outreach necessary to identify you know the next tamerlan tsarnaev who was kicked out of his mosque. would have been nice to have known that, right? and most of these guys with the exception maybe of chattanooga, had a lot of flags going up before they kill people. and if we can identify those flags beforehand, and deradicalize that's -- would be very helpful. this is really a two-front deal. when i meant with centcom one of their biggest priorities is homeland security. mine is protecting the homeland from within, but also protecting homeland by eliminating the threats outside. for instance, these what i call isis cyber commanders, sending these directives out on a routine basis to attack, attack attack, millitary installations. the idea we can't take them out overseas, i've been pressing them to identify -- i can't name
the names, it's classified, but identify who they are at the internet cafes and take them out. not to say that that will end it. there will be others, you know, that will follow i think at the end of the day, the ideology, it's a war of ideology. and that's why the countering violent extremism is so important. we're in a long-term struggle that i don't know that will end in our lives, jim, probably not. but i hope it ends in my children's lifetime. >> just to affirm that, when it's done right that can work. i was in st. louis recently where two individuals were arrested for providing material support to isis from the bosnian -- the bosnian-serbian community. and a, the community were completely outraged and b, they actually were extremely cooperative and they wanted to engage with state and local and even fbi officials, because they wanted to protect their
community and protect their children from that, so i agree with you when it's done right it's a positive and actually a strengthen force in a community, not a divisive thing that takes it apart. >> and it will save lives. we'll be able to eyeidentify radicalization early on. >> i wanted to try to squeeze in maybe one or two questions from the audience, but i want to get one more point before we do that, which is you know something that we have dealt with for a very long time, which is the -- the role of the homeland security committee in the house and the difficulties and the importance of consolidating authorities in jurisdiction and just get your views on that. >> well, i think, you know unlike horse armed services, which has just dictionrisdiction over the department of defense, department of justice my committee was built on a compromise after 9/11, so, it shares jurisdiction with so many
other committees. that not only is the oversight cumbersome, because we find that officials have to testify all the time and they can't do their jobs and secondly, the -- it makes it more difficult to legislate legislate. i think it's detrimental. the 9/11 commission came back again and said, this is one of the biggest threats to the united states. and we complain a lot about siloing information in the executive branch and now you know communicating, yet the congress we've done that through our committees. and jurisdiction is the holy grail in the congress. and i think it's something that needs to be fixed. i intend to present this next congress in the rules package but you know, i think the argument needs to be made and i think it needs to be done. >> so, we have a question over here and we'll -- and if you would just state your name and affiliation before you ask your question, that would be great. we'll try to squeeze that in and maybe one other question before we move on.
>> thank you very much for speaking today mr. chairman. my name is laura core. well, dr. laura core, and i'm a subject matter expert in terrorist radicalization and deradicalization. my question is for academics like myself, we are doing a lot of research that would actually support what you're arguing for. how can we help? and my second question is, when it comes to online sanctuaries, twitter is definitely a serious issue. facebook and google when it comes to reporting accounts, has a faster response time. so, if you complain about a twitter handle, it takes weeks if not months for an account that is blatantly recruiting, definitely ral cad lyly radicalizing, for different groups to be taken down. hours later, the same handle comes up with a one, two, three, four or five. my question is in the next few months, will you be addressing how to perhaps influence twitter to be comparable to its counterpart and not be used as a platform for terrorism and
recruitment and radicalization. thank you. >> great question. well, first, you can help support my legislation getting through and you know groups like heritage to support it for passage. i think it's common sense to counter violent extremism, we passed it the day before the shooting ironically, and i think it's desperately needed. it's not a focus of the administration, it's not a priority and it needs to be. with respect to -- boy, this is the high tech challenge. i talked about bin laden, it was all couriers and caves now it's this younger generation of terrorists, very savvy on the internet with their propaganda. there are these i call them cyber commanders out of syria, who are isis they are in their 20s and they change their handles, they change their twitter accounts, so, trying to stay in front of them, you know we can argue about changing the law to include a backdoor into
devices but that gets kind of dicey on the privacy side. what we're looking for is more of a technology solution, so, i formed a -- actual ryly, my first meeting is friday morning with the high tech sector, the leaders, like, you know google and twitter, those, and homeland security, fbi and d.o.j., to see what kind of solution can we provide to this? i'll tell you why it's important, and i can get into more depth because we see these communications from syria into the united states, we saw it in garland, we saw it in new york, we saw it in boston, for all i know, this guy in chattanooga could have -- i'm not saying he did, because we're still doing the forensics -- could have been communicating in what we call dark space. what is that? they will go to another platform like kik ask.fm, knowing it is
dark, it's secure. we can't even with a court order, we can't see it. that communication. there are, again 200,000 tweets isis tweets per day. when it's in dark space, we don't even -- we can't see that communication whatsoever. so, there's a lot of -- point is, there's a lot of communication going on between these cyber commanders in syria and americans, thousands of followers in the united states, about attacks in america and we can't shine a light on the communications through the darkness. now, you know, as a policymaker and jim appreciates this we civil liberties and prior sivacy, but we need to find a solution to this so we can better stop it. otherwise, if we can't see the communications, we can't stop it. you know if the guy in chattanooga was operating in dark space with the guys in syria, it will make a good case for why we need to fix that problem. and you talk to -- i talked to
the director of the fbi and jay john sohn, secretary of homeland, this is one of their biggest concerns. they can't, you know lawfully, you know, monitor these communications. >> so, we'll take one last question. down here? >> thanks. can i stay seated? >> sure. >> you know, i think we can all agree that trying to monitor cyber space is futile, lawfully or unlaw fly. given that this is a war of ideology, is there any plan on the table for policy to try to exploit that ideology in that seems to be what the crux of this is. recruits will be replenished as long as they can be reached out to, so do we have a way to counter this ideology, understand it, use it against them? >> it's a great question. again, i think -- when i go to my -- what i was proposing in terms of a ground force, it's
got to be under american leadership with our guys imbedded, but it's time for the sunni arab nations to provide that ground force. they tell me they will, if there was a strategy. i met with world leaders. they will do that if there's a strategy and assad is part of the equation. when the infidel sets foot, you know, the last resort, either we try to do this or we do 100,000 u.s. combat troops. you know, that's kind of the choices that we have. that is an option that should be on the table, but when you do that when i talk to centcom you enflame them because the infidel is on their land so i think there's a smart approach, a smart way to do this without inflaming them, an indig nousenous force, sunni moderates defeat sunni extremists. that seems to be me, under american leadership, the counternarrative is not there.
that's the purpose for my bill, the count to counter violent extremism here at home. but the state department doesn't have the counternarrative to defeat it abroad. in fact, when i met at centcom the d.o.d. has a lot of this technology capability to do it and the ambassador was there at the meeting and i'm urging them to start this counternarrative. so that they know that if you go to syria, it's not disneyland, you know? you're going to get put on the front lines, probably blown up. your wife and kids will be taken away. "frontline" did a great special. not that i'm always watching pbs. >> it's good. >> they did a great special, enslaving isis women, bartering them off for weapons and $500. it's horrific what they do. the videos i see every week are just chill inging. the lack of humanity. and that's the counternarrative, i think, that needs to be out
there more. at the end of the day it's providing stability in these countries. power vacuums, when they fall, you have a vacuum, failed states, and it breeds terrorism. and after we saw the arab spring, we have seen libya and yemen, we have no intelligence. we've had to pull out of northern, many places in northern africa, we pulled out completely out of iraq and sere yashgs we're trying to get back in now. these famed states breed it and without a counternarrative, and a strategy to deal with it it's going to continue to breed and thrive and that's the -- the problem, it's ma tas sized so greatly glow fally, that's what worries me. >> i'm going to ask you all to join with me in a small round of administrative jujitsu. so, in a second, i'm going to ask me in thanking congressman
mccaul in this conversation. but as soon as he exits the stage, i'd ask our panel to just jump up and so if you would just hold in place our panel will jump up and i'll jump right into it so, please join me in thanking the congressman. >> thanks jim. really appreciate it. >> remember i told you the story that i lost secretary rumsfeld's bio, so i couldn't introduce him? i just lost all their bios. maybe it's a pattern, i don't know.
but fortunately, i know all these guys and they are pretty awesome. this is really -- this is a terrific panel, because what you have here is just a mix of expertise and knowledge, which is really kind of unusual to bring together so, ken has -- minor, right? >> and, so you have this minor job in the white house, right? when you were in the white house, working in the homeland security council staff as the adviser, so, you have -- you see this from the perspective somebody advising and working at the department every day and somebody that really worked at this on the inside at the highest level. general meese was not just the attorney general of the united states, but for many many years, one of our most distinguished scholars here at the heritage foundation and i told him beforehand that he works harder now than he's retired than when he did when he was on active duty here.
among the things general meese has done, in addition to dealing with these issues for many, many decades, he recently served on a very important commission that reviewed the counterterrorism functions of the fbi, so here's somebody with years and years of knowledge and experience, who has had an opportunity to do an in depth assessment of a key component of this. and david, who is our policy analyst on homeland security who works this stuff every day and not just the entire department, but really the entire homeland security enterprise, which means all the federal agencies, state and local, international partners are doing this, so you've got three amazing perspectives and i'll ask each of them to make some remarks and then we'll get in as much q and a at the end as we possibly -- we have a saying at heritage that sometimes we start late, but we also end on time. so, how should we start? start with you and work or way down? >> yeah, thanks jim.
thanks, everyone, for coming today. i'm going to use my time today to lay out some of the statistics and trends that the u.s. has been seeing in its long war against islamist terrorism and i'm going to give general reckommendation recommendations, echoing what chairman mccaul just said on what we can do to better counter this threat. the heritage foundation has been tracking islamist terror plots against the united states homeland since 9/11. this data tells me that the u.s. has faced more terrorists plots and attacks in 2015 than we have seen in any prior year. and we're only in july of this year. so, just to echo chairman mccaul, this is the most dynamic period of terrorist activity that the u.s. has seen since 9/11, all according to publicly available information. there could be other classified information which we do not have access to and do not know about. the statements by the fbi they're tracking hundreds of individuals, you know, across all 50 states for islamist
terrorist activity, it is clear we do have a very serious problem. now, at the outset, i want to quickly describe what it is we do when -- how it is we categorize what the criteria are when we look at what is a terror plot? first, it has to be a concrete plot against the united states homeland with action taken to further that plot. not just rantings not support of terrorism. if someone wants to travel abroad to support isis, we don't consider that a plot a terrorist plot against the u.s. homeland. it has to be a terrorist act as defined by various statues. that would be motivated by an islamic ideology. and generally we also look for an official statement by the government, law enforcement that indicate this was an act of terror. usually indicated by criminal charges, but that's not always the case. take the ft. hood shooting. that was characterized as workplace violence. that's not always the case with that criteria. so, with these criteria in mind
we have been watching and recorded 72 islamist terrorist plots since 9/11 that are known. of these plots five were successful. u.s. law enforcement foiled or helped foil 59. international law enforcement foiled or helped foil ten and we got lucky three times. obviously there's some overlap in those categories. these plots involved 171 individuals in total. and at least 27 of these individuals were trained in terrorist camps abroad. 61 of the 72 platts splots were home grown. these folks were here in the united states when they were radicalized. they didn't get their ideology why they were staying abroad. they were staying here in the united states. and 28 were foiled by law enforcement stings. now, what exactly were they targeting? the number one homeland target for islamist terrorists has been
the u.s. military. either personnel or actual bases. 19 plots or attacks have gone after our military. the second-most common target is new york city with 16 plots, followed by mass gathering bars concerts et cetera, at 12 plots. mass transit systems are the fourth-most common target and washington, d.c. and law enforcement tie for the fifth-most common target. not a list you want to be on. the recent plots, however, have been unique. all the mrolts this year have been inspired by or directed by isis. while most prior attacks were done by individuals who were inspired bid or directed by al qaeda, one of their affiliateaffiliates, to have all ten plots in the past six months all be connected to one group shows the influence isis has. it's not a coincidence that we've seen this spike in terrorism as isis has risen to
prominence. during the past year we've also seen a spike in the mrolts against law enforcement and our military. which makes sense, given the fact that isis has directly called for violence against law enforcement, intelligence and military officials. so, the question is, what do we do about this? my panelists will have an opportunity to dive into some more details but i want to spend some time hitting, touching on two broad ideas which chairman mccaul has already touched on. first, it's critical that the united states take a proactive approach to combatting terrorism. when we treat terrorism just like a crime that, you know we can combat with law enforcement, normal law enforcement tools, we can defer it, punish it after the fact we misunderstand the nature of the threat. terrorists are happy to and sometimes even want to die in pursuit of their goal. the bigger bang they make the more likely they are to get us to change our behavior so they're looking for those big opportunities.
they're looking to hurt us and criminal punishment after the fact is not an effective de detesht. further more, they are often looking for soft targets very easily attacked. take the most recent plot in boston, alex ciccolo wanted to attack boston bars and college campus, or look at tunisia and the attack on the resort there. these are soft targets. they're not guarded by security or a lot of security very often. so, the point is that security isn't enough. we can't have security officers everywhere. we simply can't do that. security is helpful. it can help us in preventing an attack from getting out of hand. take garland, texas, for example. but that was too close for comfort, i think we can all agree. what we need to be doing is look at how we can be more proactive. how can we stop the mrolts before the terrorists even get close to putting the public in danger? and this means that law enforcement needs to have the tools, the lawful intelligence times available to them to find terrorists, to put together the
dots, the intelligence dots and to make sure that the public is never put in danger. it also does mean that we have to improve the way that the u.s. goes about counters violent extremism, to make sure that we are way they counter violent extremism. and secondly, the u.s. does need to do more to defeat isis abroad. the reality is the success of isis is attracting followers. a lot has been made of isis and their use of social media. and there's no doubt isis is effective at using social media and other ponl tools. it's not just social media causing individuals to take up arms for isis. social media is just a tool that isis is using to display its message that it is a caliphate in possession of real territory that they can defend and expand. this success is compelling. it's a compelling message to many in the world.
so long as isis is able to claim the success would-be terrorists would flock to their cause. this means the u.s. and its allies need to take steps to defeat isis and other islamist groups. it is needed to help uncover and prevent plots from abroad from coming here to the united states. also working to curtail the flow of foreign fighters and monitor those foreign fighters if and when they try to return back to the west. there are also other things the u.s. should be doing. the role of dhs fusion centers. i'm going to leave some of those topics for my co-panelists. the terrorist threat is very real. more so than at any time since 9/11. the u.s. cannot be complacent. this isn't about fear mongering about but accurate the grasping the nature of the threat we face and we can pursue policies that
prevent terrorists from striking us at home and do more to defeat their message out in the world. >> i've been asked to talk about the fbi and the review commission. the fbi has been involved in counterterrorism and terrorism activities for a long time. at the time i was in the department, which i recognize suddenly is almost 30 years ooh but at that time the terrorist groups were mostly overseas like the red army faction. and most of the attacks that affected the united states were on u.s. citizens who happened to be abroad. of course, 9/11 was the big change the start of a whole new era of terrorism for the united states, and so the 9/11 commission was formed and they did an extensive review of what
the united states as a government and as a whole as a country had to do. they worked for almost a couple of years and then continued to monitor the situation after that. and one of the major decisions they had to make was shall we follow britain and canada and some other countries that established a different organization from their law enforcement agencies to deal with terrorism. and i think, wisely, they decided the answer was no. it was to give the charge and responsibility to the fbi, but a changed fbi. and actually what they said in their final report was, they said that we needed a specialized and integrated national security workforce established in the fbi, consisting of agents, analysts, linguists and surveillance specialists ricruited trained and retained to ensure the development of an institutional
culture with a deep expertise in intelligence and national security. and so that was what the charge was then to the fbi of what they should be doing as a -- but this required a great many changes in the fbi itself. for one thing, there was a change in terms of mission. the job of the fbi in criminal intelligence, in criminal investigation is primarily after something has happened to find out who done it and then to gain the evidence and gather the evidence so they can be successfully prosecuted. the intelligence role is a new role and that is to find out what's going on to prevent something from happening as david has properly talked about in the elaborate analysis he's done of the plots we've had over the years. secondly, this meant an organizational change instead of the bureau having the criminal
investigation division as the primary focus of in bureau, there's a parallel focus on intelligence and the counterterrorism mission to carry out this role of prevention. and this brought them a great cultural change in the fbi. you not only have special agents the people who carry guns and badges and handcuffs but a bunch of smart people coming into the fbi who had degrees in foreign area studies and who were linguists specialized in international relations. and they had to be given a status equal to and comparable to the special agents themselves. and this required a great deal of cultural change and understanding on the part of the people who had traditionally been special agents of the fbi. so our commission looked at what was happening in terms of all of this.
how this was going. and our overall finding was that the bureau had made great progress. they got off to a very good start. they made some extensive progress, but that a lot still had to be done and particularly, something that the congressman mccaul mentioned, was we had to increase the pace the speed with which they were gearing up and expanding their activities to keep pace with the accelerating threats we face throughout the world, many of which were discussed by the congressman and david at this point. so that was our overall recommendations. the vision that we as a commission came up with was that the future of the fbi was to be an organization that might be described in these terms. an fbi in which criminal investigation, counterintelligence, intelligence collection and analysis and science and
technology are all complementary what we call core corp tencies, core applications of a global intelligence and investigative organization. rather than its prior incarnation as primarily a domestic organization. and the idea was that the u.s. domestic intelligence, which had its global aspects with the fbi as its hub, would be a collaborative enterprise. this is really important. optimizing the integration of international, federal state, local and community players, including a considerable amount of activity in which the private sector would also be involved. one of these major functions, of course, was the building up of an analytical function. and this involved bringing in as i mentioned, intelligence analysts at a very high level.
and it was necessary to develop a recruiting program because we had to go and are continuing to go into colleges and universities to find the kinds of people who have these skills. the analytical skills but also the background in international relations and the like. it involved new training and education programs. and one of the major changes was at quantico at the fbi academy to have special agents and intelligence analysts training in the same classes that were relevant to what they were doing in terms of intelligence, and training together and working together at the start of their careers so that they would continue that. it was a matter of assigning the intelligence analysts for the first time, really to field offices. to the 57 field divisions around the country working side by side in the squads that pertain to this with the special agents.
and it also meant changing the field offices. providing a new form of leadership in the field offices. in every one of these major divisions there was a necessarity of having people who provided leadership. assistant special agents in charge who would have that as their primary responsibility of supervising the intelligence activities going on there. it meant also a change in status of the intelligence analysts and the acceptance by special agents of them as full professionals in terms of their competition, in terms of their status. their informal status within the organization and the kinds of students they had. opportunities to go overseas. opportunities to have inneragency responsibilities to go to other agencies like the defense intelligence agency, nasa, other places they could expand their professional
capability by field work with other agencies so they would become truly a part of the intelligence community as a whole. today we have 16 or 17 depending on how you count them different intelligence agencies in the federal government. it was increasesing the scope and understanding of both special agents and analysts and what other agencies were doing so they could work together with the people in those particular agencies. and it also involved creating new career paths, upward mobility, promotion opportunities and so on so we could remaintain the intelligence analysts along with the special agents. another change that came about was to expand the role of the legal attache. it's a phrase that depicts the fbi people working overseas in our various embassies. they have a unique role.
while the cia is viewed and in foreign countries as a spy agency, but the fbi had the ability to work with the local law enforcement. either the national law enforcement people or local law enforcement people particularly in the large cities overseas. in many ways they are the tip of the spear in terms of our discovery potential terrorist plots and potential situations and information about terrorist organizations and the like. so they have a new very vital role in the counterterrorism effort. and part of this was stationing intelligence analysts with the legal attaches overseas. another major recommendation was the importance of science and technology. and that is keeping pace, which has not been the case generally throughout the intelligence community, and particularly in the fbi with the science and
technology in terms of information technology and other ways in which science can be used to improve the capabilities of intelligence analysis and also communication of information within the organization. a key thing, of course was to gain the budgetary and logistics support. it's funny that sometimes the little things become very important. one of the things we found it was important for the intelligence analysts to have a secure phone where they could then talk with their counterparts in other agencies. the dia or nasa or homeland security, or whoever else it might be because just of the information is classified. so the idea of having a secure phone readily available either here or in the ligatt offices. one is information sharing.
the key role of the fbi in organizing the jointding terrorism task forces in which local law enforcement was brought into the whole effort against terrorism. most information about potential terrorist activities in the united states is gained tlour the knowledge of local law enforcement about what's going on. while domain analysis, that is fbi analysts looking at the potential in their particular geographical area, the indigenous communities, people who have returned, foreign fighters that have returned all these things that make up the potential for future terrorist activities, what's going on in the mosques and coffee houses, these things are probably best known to local law enforcement. it's then how to integrate that information worthith others the fbi and analysts and special agents are collecting so that we have a picture of what's going on in terms of potential terrorist
activities. and the importance of the legal authorities. we've had a great debate, as was discussed in the preceding activities here but the importance of the patriot act and the importance of the nsa's activity legally being able to intercept communications from overseas and with terrorist organizations, these kinds of things, these legal authorities are very important. at the same time, the importance of maintaining the civil liberties. we recommend our special director have a advisory panel available to him on a continuing basis to monitor the civil liberties aspects of what the bureau is doing. these are some of the things we found, that we recommended, as far as the future is concerned. i can say this. the united states is lucky enough to have an organization like the fbi that not only has a
great history but the ability to accept change. it hasn't been easy over the decade since 9/11, there have been some tough moments to get the idea of intelligence integrated into -- along with law enforcement into the work of the fbi. it's been difficult to make the cultural changes but they've made remarkable progress up until now. the new director is totally behind the new directives we've made. i think there's a bright future for the fbi, but it's very important there be one because the future of the fbi will be the way in which this country is protected against terrorism. >> okay. >> i'm going to touch on three key areas or three trends that i think are significant with regard to the rise of radicalism and also have important
implications. the first is the growing concern with regard to home-grown violent extremists. when we use that term it's useful to expand the typology in terms of what are the different flaufrs flavors of terrorism. foreign terrorism is one of them. those are foreign actors directed supported by foreign terrorist groups operating in the united states or elsewhere. the second is domestic terrorists. and those are primarily based in the united states and not under the direction, influence or inspiration of international terrorist groups but operating independently. and then this third flavor, the home-grown violent extremists primarily based in the united states but inspired by foreign terrorist groups but not directed or directly supported by those groups.
the reason why they are significant i'll get into a little more. the second is the increasing emphasis on preventing violent extremism rather than encountering radicalism. the terms radicalism or extremism are used interchangeably. basically, you can be a radical or extremist and not be violent and not break the law, but we track that. so we're focusing more of late, on those who are actually about to or currently breaking the law versus those to the left. i'll talk a little about the implications for that. and third is the increasing availability of what some describe as technologies of mass empowerment. when you look at the ubiquitous and rapid development of highly sophisticated technology, what
are the ramifications for what terrorist groups in that group of hve proem-grown violent extremists, what are they capable of today that they might not have dreamed about 10 15 years ago. so let me start with growing concerns with regard to home-grown violent extremists. of course our concerns are reinforced by the events in chattanooga. characterized by either lone wolves individuals who are operateding, either self-radicalized or radicalized in a way that only has them absorbing versus necessarily communicating with other entities. or small groups that radicalize each other. a group of four or five. and, therefore, they do not have that signature that typically we in the law enforcement community are focusing in on. are they communicating with known actors of concern?
traveling and consorting with individuals of concern et cetera. those are the tippers that allow us to focus from the massive potential of individuals of concern to those we believe present the greatest threat. the real challenge associated with the home-grown violent extremist is they are extremely difficult to detect or prevent. if there's a silver lining, particularly we've looked at these groups as having relatively low capability for high consequence events. small arms, relatively small amounts of explosives. they can kill a large number of people in terms of 5, 10s, 20 but you aren't looking at 9/11 size magnitude attacks or worse. which takes me to the next area which is how do we differentiate the individuals that we're going to be concerned about and focus
limited law enforcement and intelligence assets on versus the broader diaspora of much larger set of people who may be disenfranchised and may harbor enmity or other concerns for this country or our way of life. this gets to the question of what constitutes radicalization, lacks a consensus. we have a constitution that protects free speech, free thinking. why have a lot of people in our history who are considered radicals of their time who are today lauded as heroes. there are a whole host of them. we have a society and a culture that prizes and protects people's ability to think whatever thoughts they want as long as they're not illegally incurring into other people's space. holding radical views doesn't necessarily progress to violent extremism. and there's no typical pathway
when we look at it and we've been studying this for the laftdst year. what is that classic pattern that we can say this is an individual on the way to acts of terrorism? we see a lot of people highly disenchanced, have extreme thoughts but most of them do not evolve into violent extremists. so what we found is in previous outreach initiatives when we're talking about islamist extremists, for them to identify individuals in their communities who are firestoneprone to radicalization. that would be left of attack or left of a legal act often have the unintended result of alienating those communities, creating a sense of paranoia and
prosecution. if you look at the efficacy of many of our efforts today, and it's very difficult to do as a government in terms of engaging with these communities in terms of what that camera narrative is because we're getting into re religious thought, ideology and thinking and it's not a space most government officials are comfortable talking, nor do they do it very well. it's particularly difficult for western countries to parse and address the ideological foundations and the logical aspects of the radicalization process. based on these tensions and inconsistent results and i'm not just talking the united states. if you follow what's gone on, they have significant challenges in their counterradicalization program where they've moved more and more to focusing on the individuals assessed to be conducting illegal acts or right on the verge versus looking to get that larger community to the
left that may move to the right. it's also about taking care not to antagonize and alienate the majority of the population that do not hold the extremist views and aren't prepares to behave in violent ways because we want to avoid contributing to more conversions to violent extremism than we're able to have the diversions away from them. i'll briefly read you the different characterizations of approaches to cve from dhs and fbi. if you listen close dhs, and this is off their website. the dhs cv approach does not focus on radical thought or speech. but instead on preventing violent attacks. now fbi, which, of course many of you recognize is the lead federal agency for kornt terrorism has a little more robust approach. the fbi approach is to reach people before they cross the
line between radical thinking to extremist violence. and then they note one of the key strategies is to reach out to communities and build trust and rapport to stem the tide of violence. and that has been a big challenge for fbi. fbi's relationship with these communities and the muslim community in particular is a strained one at best. they are looking to make cases. and it's a very difficult balancing act to work with communities. they are opposed to violent behavior. where are you drawing the line between someone that has legitimate defensible, radical thinking does not plan on conducting any physical act, but you trading their freedom away because the bureau is concerned about them possibly making that move. the sum result of these tensions is essentially a catch 22.
so as not to risk worsening the problem, we and many western counterparts have backed off earlier efforts to divert those most prone to violent extremism before they act out those behaviors. now we're left with the even more challenging proposition of having to wait to intervene until radical thoughts are at the precipice of violence leaving precious little time for error. that's a tough space for us to operate in, but that's the reality of what we're doing. i'm going to get to the third and final category, and that gets back to this increasing availability of technology and mass empowerment. this really gets back to this amazingly rapid evolution of mass technology. it's increasing the enablement of small groups all the way down to individuals with the means to cause significant damage that were limited to nation states
not many years ago. i'm talking five or ten years ago. capabilities now in the hands of individuals were restricted weapons-type capabilityies we had export control for. you can look at your iphone 6 and there are a number of them in that platform. a guidance navigational system for cruise missile. so in fact, there's a book "the future of violence." it's by benjamin witts and gabriela blum and highlights this trend. i'd just comment having read the book, many of us might differ on conclusions on how this might change the world order. they aufsh a lot of discussion and views about what that does in to the nation state. that's very interesting about the book is they go down the paths of three different rapidly developing technologies. biotechnology, robotics and
cyber. and they posit the different scenarios, what can be done today by small groups all the way to individuals with regard to these advanced technologies and very significant high consequence effects. you look at the tsarnaev brothers in boston. two mid-level iq knuckleheads who built these devices that were certain lie impactful on a local scale. you're talking about now into four, five years from now these individuals, if only modern intelligence will be able to do paint by numbers biosequencing and develop a biological agent with a synthesizer they can get off the internet. that's what we're talking about. we have not seen it yet, but the potential is there. this is particularly concerning when we talk about home-grown
violent extremists because we can't defend against every attack. but the threshold of consequence these individuals and small groups have been able to effect to date as tragic as it is, have been relatively small. if these types of individuals who we have a very difficult and sometimes impossible time detecting can have high consequence effects, large numbers of casualties and impacts on our economy, we're in a really scary place. i fear that dynamic is unfolding. i would just say in sum, against the backdrop of all of our mounting concerns about the growing potential for home-grown, the conventional wisdom these actors are not capable of really having high effect is going to fade. >> thank you mr. happy. okay. so i -- we're going to have time to get a few questions to the
audience. be thinking of your questions that would be great. i'll recognize you and if you'd state your name and affiliation and wait for the microphone. let me unpack a few things first. general, so you lay out this framework of the areas you looked at and areas critical for the counterterrorism mission. going from the attache, the international program to the role of intelligence in the fbi, science, technology issues, legal authorities and information sharing if that's kind of the baskets there. could you -- so i'm guessing if i asked you what the strongest area where the fbi made the most progress it's the ligatts, the overseas mission. is that fair? >> partially. there's still a lot more to do. when you go overseas and put
your foot in the atlantic ocean and come across the state department. and there is a certain bureaucratic resistance to expanding and providing more facilities and resources overseas. there's still a long ways to go there. i think i'd rather -- i think it's more accurate to say the farthest they've gone is in the intelligence and analytical capabilities, and the whole idea of brunging in this new class of ideas. prior to 9/11 intelligence analysts, i dont think they used that term. they may have called them analysts. they were thought of as support people. advanced clerks, if you would. it's always been a tradition in the fbi there was a big dividing line between special agents and everybody else. and the intelligence agents were friar 9prior to 9/11 in the other category. it's been the development of the idea of intelligence analysts as
co-equal. well, almost co-equal at least with special agents. and that is the area that's really improving. it's only been within the last year we've had the joint training where intelligence analysts were in the same classes, same educational programs at quantico. >> so which basket gets the lowest grade? >> i would say science and technology. >> really? >> i think the computer programs and the communications, the information technology as a whole, is probably lagging behind. it was lagging behind before 9/11 in the department of justice and i'm sure in probably other parts of the intelligence community. that's the one that needs the budgetary support. i mentioned secure telephones. you'd think that -- we went to the ligat office in -- i think
it was in london and there was one secure telephone in the whole place and a little telephone booth. the kind that superman used to change clothes in. and -- whereas if they had more, again, it's a matter of intelligence analysts being able to pick up the phone and talk to someone in dia who is working in the same area and exchange information. if they have to go to a phone or wait for a phone or wait until some other facility is available, that really interferes with their capability capabilities. >> i want to ask you one question. there's a lot of discussion between the congressman's remarks and your points and some of the points david made about countering violent extremism. but i think you alluded to it. there's kind of two very different but related missions
there. one is the space where i think the fbi and homeland security kind of figure it out all and operate which is this line between people who have -- particularly funding the people who have extremist views and are potentially going to operationalize that. we can debate what the best bill is and best structure, but we can say that's appropriately something they should be involved in and ought to figure that out. the other issue is a broader idea. the idea of radical islam which is a different ideology, a different world view and which is in competition with the united states. that's a much broader mission, and the different topic. and it's -- arguably something the united states has been
completely out to lunch. but i want to ask you about this other one, this more narrow mission of people embracing these views and might have the potential to step over the line. given, as david said we've got about 170 of these folks or so out of 330 million americans. you look at the number of americans that left to be foreign fighters. it's maybe in the tens, maybe hundreds where given other places it's in the thousands. given the percentage of our population that's radicalizing to the extent they are a problem, what's the right -- and given all the other ct things we have to do, what's the right level of effort? >> it's a tiny percentage of the population that you might consider at greater risk, if you are talking about radical islam.
so you'd be looking at a muslim population, the majority of which is not radical, doesn't share radicalized views. it's a small percentage acting on that. you have a number who are very conservative and may have what many consider to be radical thoughts but they have no intent and have demonstrated no actions in terms of effecting those outcomes in a violent way. this gets back to and chairman mccaul made the point, and talk to any psychologist. if you want to deal with this kind of ideology you need a counternarrative. we've done it very poorly. when you are doing a counternarrative against what some consider is a conservative interpretation of their theology, you run into a lot of problems. you aren't -- we want to first do no harm. we have this great majority of a population that are, you know,
prize citizens of the country, and we don't want to create more alienation. that is the -- that's the piece we've wrestled with and not done a very good job. same for the canadians and brits. >> putting the counternarrative issue aside, what's the level of effort we should be looking between do nothing kind of -- and manhattan project. where are we? where do we need to be? >> we need to take a risk informed approach. we cannot prevent any individual who may go into a sports store and buy a side arm or rifle and go on a shooting spree. we need to look at who posits the most significant threat? the more significant the threat, the more signatures of activity. if we spend all of our resources trying to divert or identify anyone who may do any act no
matter what the consequence, will run out way before we're able to focus on the high threat consequence individuals. and that's where we need to focus. and i think for the most part we do. it's a very difficult public, highly emotional, people respond psychologically in ways to events there's a lowe probability of happening to them. you have to deal with that dynamic as well. >> david let me ask you one last question. when we look at this kind of more narrower part of the encountering violent extremism just working with people that portentially, and you have looked at the legislation and the cv program and the strategy and everything else. tack about some of the complications of working through that. ken mentioned if you do it wrong, you alienate a community.
and some of those other things. could you talk about that? >> certainly. ken alluded to different studies that were done. there's been some, a recent one done in minneapolis that was a very interesting study and talked about how very often in these projects you can -- the main objective is to link up with state and locals and private sector folks who are going to know what's going on in their community to support them. the federal government can't be the point entd of the stick of this one. are we reaching the right folks and making the right alliances? a lot of groups got funding from the government and great at maintaining the finishedunding from the government but weren't able to show significant improvements in what they were doing. others were able to show very good improvements. how can the government best
partner with folks? that's definitely a challenge in this space. and the other question is -- in the federal government, who is going to be the -- the federal government in a support role, who is the best person to take on that support role? i think in your support you addressed the question of should the fbi be doing it? i think you say maybe it should go to dhs. i sort of think dhs may be the right place since they are often working with state and locals. the fbi has that embedded terrorism knowledge that is useful. different places you can put it. dhs might be the right place to put some sort of coordinating -- dhs is not doing the cve. dhs is supporting state and locals and supposed to be contacting with state and locals and doing a lot of that stuff in its daily work is probably the
right place to put a coordinating function. >> regardless of -- there ought to be kind of metrics of measure of what are you delivering on? and the focus really is more on when you are engaging these communities, what is the common interest there? it's really the public safety of the community. that's what you are really looking at which is that line between the two things. i'd encourage people who are interested, the larger issue of the war of ideas with political ifrs lam or radical islam, we've done some really excellent panels on that over the last few months. you can find them online at heritage heritage. just a week ago we did a panel on the state of the play and some excellent panels that went into great detail about what's the difference between islam and
islamism. and how is islamism both a political threat but also how it relates to the terrorist threat. if there are questions from the audience. if you would just wait for the microphone and state your name and affiliation that would be awesome. >> susan ashcroft former police officer, former federal agent, coordinately a pastor. david, of all the statistics, do you have numbers regarding how many were foreign born? how many were born in the u.s.? how many were citizens? how many were here legally? illegally? >> i do not have all of those statistics but a project i'm currently working on i'm looking to break out some of those statistics. at one point i looked at some of the most recent. there have been a fair number of folks who are naturalized citizens. so i've looked at that. it's sort of an abnormal number
relative to the population of folks who are becoming naturalized citizens. you can take the tsarnaevs as an example. one of them was naturalized. another case was an individual who is one of thoughe more recent plots. he became naturalized. while in the naturalization process was planning a trip to syria. while in syria was told by someone you should go back and attack the u.s. it is an issue. how well are we assimilating folks into our society. that's important that we need to look at. >> first of all thank you for your service, coming from a family of cops. that's a great question because it gets to the strengths and
limitations of this database. in terms of raw numbers about populations, it doesn't tell you anything useful. it's like profiling. profiling doesn't get you very far because, yeah, that person was whatever but there's 80 mullion others that are whatever. so you can see there's aye significant percentage that are naturalized. look at the number of naturalized citizens in the country, it doesn't tell you anything. what you find with only 120 people there are a tiny percentage of anything other than a terrorist. what it's super useful for is it shows processwise things to look at. when we look at the cases of the naturalized persons, it doesn't tell you anything about a naturalized person more likely to be a terrorist but that in the naturalization process there are things we're not doing which would much more clearly identify
that you should not have given citizenship to. and that's the kind of stuff in the database that's super useful. >> and one thing, of course and that's the returning foreign fighters. when people are going overseas, it seems you immediately have an indication, someone that at least you ought to look into. they've gone to syria, the middle east and then come back. and that's one of the tests, more or less, the fbi utilizes in who ought to have intention paid to them. most of the people who have been radicalized and gone into violent extremism have certain characteristics. they are about the same as people who join gangs. they are losers, have low self-esteem, unemployed and categories such as this. while that's not a defining
factor, it gives you an idea of the kind of people that get involved in these. >> there are differing statistics on that. i think that may be more true, for example to those who are going the foreign fighter route. less true for al qaeda-type operators. if you go back and look at 9/11. educated from wealthy families. and you have not seen across the board a high incidents of the down and outers that some conventional wisdom has had. not to say there aren't pockets. >> it's also worth noting there's two -- there's two aspects to the foreign fighter problem. oh, these guys, or grls, are going to go there and come back and be terrorists or recruit terrorists. and that's true to some extent. i think what's more is they are recruiting going over that. it shows that if anything it's
kind of like voting on "american idol." it doesn't matter if they accomplish much. the fact they are coming there allows the claim this is a caliphate, this is growing this is importdant. shutting this pipeline down is an important part of diminishing the brand of isis as well. yes, ma'am, and you're probably going to be our last question. >> susan crabtree with the washington examiner. i've been covering this terror twitter problem and trying to get more down to probably a question that was better for mccaul, but since i need to write about this today i'm trying to ask it to the panel. the -- we had a questioner ask about facebook and other social media sites being better about taking these sites down. the 2,000 tweets going on a day.
you seemed to dodge that question and talk about the dark space being the real question and james comey talked about twitter on the heel of kill, phil kill and that message being dangerous and he also talked about the dark space. i'm wondering if the white house -- i've asked them about this -- if the white house is letting twitter be more lenient because law enforcement has an interest in those -- in the open space and they aren't cracking down on twitter or leaning on them as much and if that's a helpful tool for law enforcement because then you can track them. i'd love to talk about the state department's failed effort ss so far in countering -- the counternarrative because there's been a lot of "washington post" articles and others talking about that there isn't -- it wasn't a complete lack of effort in that department. they've had some programs to try
to do it but they seem they've all failed or went too far. so those two questions. >> let's run down the panel. i'll give you the option of either comment on the social network or state department's role in the counternarrative or a little of both. >> i guess i'll talk about the twitter piece real fast. i'm not so sure the government would allow those communications to -- and is being nicer to twitter because it may be an intelligence tool. it seems to me that it could be a way they could glean intelligence from people communicateing on twitter. also seems like a double-edged sword if you are allowing people to communicate a lot, bringing other individuals into the fold. i have no specific intelligence
on what the government is doing in that regard, but it seems it would be a very fine line double edged sword to be used. >> on the counternarrative, that needs to be a cooperative effort by a number of different agencies. not the least of which we should employ some of the psychological warfare capabilities the military has which is an important part of it. >> i just add to that, i don't think it's something the government does well solely as a government. it needs to evolve to a public/private type process where you've got some government element to it but it's not solely government. the other point i'd make it at least the studies i've seen with regard to recruitment online, recruiting online is an important tool, but it's -- from -- the studies have not shown a high indication that
solely online recruiting has resulted in conversion to violent extremism. you still need that physical presence of someone who is going to close the deal with the individuals. and that's very important from a law enforcement and intelligence perspective. >> i think it's really key. there's been so much focus on the social aspect of this and we tend to think that's the problem. so katy perry has like 70 million twitter followers. if she tweeted out tomorrow, go kill your parents. my guess is nobody would go kill their parents because that's a virtual community and a virtual community bound by a certain level of common interest but it doesn't mean that anybody is necessarily going to do anything katy perry says. what makes this phenomenon darges is there's a social network, a virtual community that links with a community.
they are rooted in roots of people that are going to do something. katy perry saying go kill your parents -- not that she would say that -- i don't want to get that on the air. what we saw in the green revolution in iran because there was this massive social network that was moving all these ideas around. but why was it fueling the revolution? because there are people going on to the streets. it's a linkage between a human web and virtual web which makes the virtual web really powerful which in part tells you, rather than cons trating on the phenomenon, the most significant thing you can do is to diminish the value of the physical network. this is not just in terms of the networks of people in our cannot, whether it's canada, britain or the united states but
this thriving growing metastasizing menace to the middle east that's creating a state. >> i would touch on that comment jim made earlier. what are the true -- what's the true size of the nature of the threat? there's a huge delta between the psychological threat we perceive and the actual threat. one thing that's fascinating and surprising, if you were to just take things at face value is how few attacks there have been in the united states. you've seen a relatively small number of foreign fighters. why didn't they focus them on attacks in the united states? isis had its own agenda. it's focused on creating the caliphate. if they were really intent luke al qaeda claims to be. many of you are familiar with
"inspire" magazine, al qaeda's online recruitment and how-to manual for terrorists. this is the winter of 2014 issue. gives very detailed instructions with professional photography of each individual step about how to make explosives in your mom's kitchen. how to make explosives and deliver them. we've not seen near the kind of use for a lot of things people like to throw around. we believe there are this number of actives. they could all be sleeper cells waiting for the command issued. you need to take with a grain of salt the level of hyperbole associated with the threat. i am one who talked about technology enablers trying to change the game. and that is very real. we have to be cognizant of that in terms of how the future state in terms of what's available to
small groups and individuals can change the game. the fact does remain, you're not seeing a lot of adherence in terms of action from a potentially large recruit base. >> i'd like to thank our panel and congressman mccaul. people could have come in and scare things and say, let me list all the terrible things in the world. you didn't hear an assessment of the nature of the threat. you also heard different options of ways to deal with the issue and a really good discussion about how to make a risk-informed decision and weigh the costs and benefits of different things we can and potentially should do. that's where a good public policy should be. thank you for joining us. please thank the panelists.
the national governors association is meeting in white sulphur springs, west virginia. on our next "washington journal," we'll speak to governor gary herbert of, tau about some of his priorities. then a conversation on sanctuary cities and the benefits they offer to undocumented immigrants in the united states. our guest is gregory chen. later, sarah farris of "the hill" will join us to talk about the release two of videos of planned parenthood officials and reaction from capitol hill. "washington journal" live each morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span and we also take your calls and join the conversation on facebook and twitter. it's almost as if they were
were -- >> freedom breathes inequality. i'll say it a third time. >> he's almost always to the right and always in the wrong. >> anything complicated confuse ooze. >> robert gordon and morgan neville tack about "best of enemies" on the 1968 debates between william f. buckley and gora vidal over war, politics god and sex. >> there's not someone in their ear. very unlike today. today i believe there's someone saying, you know, the numbers are dwindling. talk about hot topic. hot, cellacious topic number two whereas then, i don't think that was the norm in tv at the time. and i don't think these guys needed it. they didn't need that. >> and smith was the moderator,
a distinguished newsman who was really kind of embarrassed. he was moderating but disappears for sometimes five or more minutes at a time. i think really everybody just stood back and let the fire burn. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q&a." a recent house hearing looked at the challenges in providing wider access to broadband internet technology especially in rural communities. witnesses included a former commissioner of the fcc and the director of google's high-speed service. greg walden chairs the subcommittee. this is an hour and 15 minutes.
>> if we could go ahead and get started, i'm going to call together the subcommittee on communications and technology with apologies up front with the class fitdified briefing that got scheduled for later today on theu rannian agreement, that got scheduled about the same time so we moved it up to now so that we can hear from this distinguished panel of witnesses. and i've asked my colleagues and, i think this is on both sides of the aisle because we also have votes scheduled to all of that. we're going to dispense with our opening stamt s inging statements which is unprecedented in the histor alal annals. unless there's objection from
either side of the aisle, i'd like to proceed to our panel of witnesses for their expert testimony. this is an imt portportant hearing. you all are on the front lines of that and we look to you for guidance suggestions as we go forward. we'll start right out with jonathan addlesoon to from pcia, former commissioner at the federal communications commission. we're delighted to have you here. please go ahead with your testimony. >> leadership on this issue over many years. we appreciate the toontopportunity to testify. we sdundesign own and build. our measures include wireless carriers, equipment manufacturers and professional services firms. our mission is to expand wireless broadband everywhere helping them provide wireless
facilities to meet growing mobile data needs. infrastructure work. it delivers applications and life changing services like telemedicine and distance learning. wireless infrastructure is a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. pci study found that investments in our industry will generate 1.2 trillion, that's trillion with a t and create 1.5 million new jobs over five years. mr. chairman you've done so much to try to eliminate barriers to infrastructure to employment. i commend you and our industry is thrilled. notably 694-a of the spectrum act has had a real impact on the ground of speeding the deployment of infrastructure. eliminated barriers to upgrading wireless infrastructure. the fcc has done an outstanding
part on implements that law with a clear framework of rules. cisco projects that demand for wireless data will increase by about 700% over the next five years. the question is how we'll meet that exploding demand for data. one way is more spectrum as much as we can get as fast as we can get it. this committee has done great work on that front. the spectrum is expensive, scarce and takes time to get into actual use by consumers. all the more reason to move quickly. another way is through technological advances that foster greater efficiencies like moving from 2-g to 4-g and beyond. the networks themselves are getting smarter. but these advances also take time to develop and to implement implement. the third way to meet the exploding demand for data is through the rapid deployment of infrastructure. wireless infrastructure by private capital addresses the wireless data crunch as soon as it's deployed. solutions from tall towers that provide wide coverage and capacity to small cells that are
distributed antenna systems that fill gaps in capacity and target high traffic areas. intensifications of networks reuses existing scarce spectrum. deploying more antennas closer to end users while its carriers squeeze more out of existing spectrum. there's still resistance to siting this where it's necessary and congress can help more to remove these barriers. one bay by streamlining the possibility of wireless infrastructure on federal land. despite the law enacted by congress through the leadership of this committee an executive order of the president significant challenges remain on federal property. further legislation to expand productband coverage and increase deployment in rural areas. pci supports the bill that was introduced and we continue to work with this committee on developing legislation as well. additional roadblock res main. some state and local entities require proof of need before authorizing infrastructure
buildings. local communities shouldn't be in the cto business of decides where services are needed. our members invest their capital where it's needed to serve consumers and local governments aren't in a good position to be second guessing these kind of technical questions. continued efforts to harmonize the rates for pole attachment was help promote broadband investment. the fcc has taken greater steps for access, timing and fair rates. states that regulate their own poles should follow their lead. it boosts every sector of the economy. global broadband economic growth, job creation and global competitiveness, but challenges remain in reaching full potential. policymakers from congress to local governments need to eliminate regulatory barriers so our industry can invest without resistance and not add costs and delays that will slow the rollout of wireless broadband. our members are very grateful for the bipartisan recognition of the centrality of wireless infrastructure by this
committee, by congress, this administration and the fcc. i would add that we look forward to making continued progress together on some of the ideas we've laid out here today and my other panelists will share. and we thank you and thank you ranking member eshoo for joining us. >> we appreciate your testimony and look forward to further discussions on these matters. now we go to the honorable stephen roe lewis. governor, i'm delighted to have you here. i enjoy the time i was in your community and toured your facilities. we're glad you can be here to share your thoughts on the challenges you face. >> thank you, chairman walden and member of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the gila river indian community. i also want to thank charl walden and mr. luhan for visiting the community to see firsthand the obstacles that tribes face in deploying broadband. i want to thank ranking member
eshoo and mr. luhan to have the gao look into the challenges and barriers for deployment on tribal lands. gila incorporated grti was founded in 19 88 and is holy owned by our community. we have more than 20,000 members and almost 12000 community members living on our reservation. when we first purchased the exchange for mountain bell in 1988 only 10% of our residents had access to basic phone service. more, those looking to get connected had to pay tens of thousands of dollars before mountain bell would install a party line connection. today, grti offers phone service to 100% of our residents and 84% of the residents subscribe. we also offer broadband service across the reservation.
we're very proud of grti's success. grti, along with the national tribal telecommunications association worked together to raise awareness about the unique challenges for deploying broadband on tribal lands. tribal lands are the least served areas in the country. approximately 48% of tribal lands in the lower 48 states lack access to ten down one up and 68% lack access to 25 down and three up. there are a number of obstacles that present challenges to broadband deployment on tribal lands, and i have set those out with more detail in my written testimony. but i would like to summarize them for you here. first, population density is an obstacle. gila river, for example, is at 20 persons per square mile. maricopa county which is adjacent to the reservation has approximately 414 persons per square mile. rugged terrain. characterized by mountains and
hard soil is also typical of tribal lands. low median income and high rates of poverty on most reservations present a severe challenge for the delivery of broadband. the median income on our reservation is $24,000. to $59,000 in arizona. approximately 48% of the persons living on the reservation live below the poverty level compared to 15% for arizona. these economic circumstances are not unique to our tribal community. failed federal policies from the past continue to negatively impact many tribes. our community and others like it continue to struggle with the failed policy. because of the allotment policy, obtaining rights of way in order to deploy broadband is complex. and raises costs substantially and delays deployment.
finally, access to capital is a barrier. tribal lands cannot be leveraged as collateral because they're held in trust for the united states for the benefit of the tribe. thus, private capital is often not available, meaning the only lender available is the federal government, specifically the rural utilities service. rus loans were critical to grti when it took over its service area and remains critical as a warm springs tribe in oregon can attest. the combination of these challenges has resulted in grti's average cost per loop being over $2,873. because tribal nations face many unique challenges, be often need unique solutions. having tribes at the table and engaging in government to government consultation is critical. too often federal policies have unintended consequences on tribes because we weren't properly consulted in the beginning. the current effort to reform the universal service fund is a good
example. usf is when properly scoped, a critically important source of funding that can help make it possible to deploy broadband to our reservations. tribes have offered a proposal that would target specific support to tribal lands through a tribal broadband factor. that could be added to proposals for stand-alone broadband fund. inclusion of this tribal broadband factor would promote the targeted use of universal service lending to advance the policy objective of insuring that broadband is made available to all americans including those living on tribal lands. the fcc's office of native american affairs and policy has been a welcome addition to the commission's outreach efforts to ensure that tribes are included in the development of proposals to deploy more broadband. but sometimes the fcc forgets about tribes. that's why we appreciate the letter sent to the fcc from a bipartisan group of members of this committee reminding the commission that tribal leaders need a seat at the table.
i appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today and hope to be an ongoing resource for the committee. thank you. >> thank you, governor. you can count on that. we appreciate your testimony and your insights. they're very valuable. we'll go now to craig moffat, research analyst at moffett nathanson. please go ahead. >> thank you, members of the subcommittee for your kind invitation to participate in today's hearing. by way of introduction i've been a financial analyst focusing on the cable and telecommunications industries for the past 14 years. before that i spent 11 years at the boston consulting group advising telecommunications companies. so this is now my 25th year in the sector. and i've spent much of that career focused on issues of broadband deployment and micro economics. with that i thought i'd share general observations about the economics of broadband particularly focusing on the economics of competitive