tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 9, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
parenthood was wrought with fraud. is that correct? >> correct. >> and in fact, you have brought a federal court action claiming that they have engaged in fraud. true? >> correct. false claims act. >> now under the false claims act, you would be what is called a relater. correct? >> correct. >> and the government is intervened in that action, true? >> what? >> the government intervened in that action. >> yes. >> okay. and this was brought where? in the southern district of way? >> correct. >> correct? >> uh-huh. >> now, you testified earlier that you had no idea if you prevailed whether you would receive monetary benefit. did i hear that correct? >> i said we hadn't discussed it, with my attorneys. >> you have not discussed that with your attorney? >> no, sir. >> okay. now, you allege in this action that planned parenthood engaged in $28 million of fraud.
correct? >> correct. >> and as a relater, you're entitled under federal law to between 15% and 25%. correct? >> i don't know. we've never discussed this. >> you have a licensed attorney who's never discussed with you the fact that if you were to prevail, in this lawsuit, where you allege $28 million that you could receive as much as $7 million? that's your testimony here today under oath? >> for me this is not about the money. >> okay. >> yeah. it is not about the money. i'm here to try to tell the truth about planned parenthood and what i experienced in all those years there. >> now, you don't have any evidence that planned parenthood engaged in fraud. correct? >> i engaged in fraud. every single day that i was there. >> okay. was your action dismissed? >> was my -- >> at the district court level? >> it was an enthen reinstated by the -- >> i have the decision right here. i want to place it into the
record. now, first of all, the district court judge dismissed your action because you had no evidence of fraud. by the way, it was a judge appointed by g.w. bush. you then appealed it to the 8th circuit. and they affirmed the decision that you've got no evidence of fraud. remanded on a separate ground, good luck -- >> no. >> the 8th circuit court judges concluded based on the district court's decision you failed to plead fraud with specificity pursuant to -- >> gentleman's time is expired. >> a matter of public yierecord. i yield back. >> you can answer if you need to. >> the 8th sir koit court of appeals reversed and now back in district court and waiting far ruling 0 'em this. >> i thank -- >> i would ask the chair. you didn't repond to my request,
sir, to enter as a matter of record both the -- >> without objection. without objection. >> and the 8th circuit court decision. thank you. >> gentleman from rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses. i have now sat through the entire hearing and i don't know what we're doing here. >> it's clear this is not a hearing about the wrongdoing of planned parenthood because there is no evidence of wrongdoing. there is no testimony that's been presented that planned parenthood engaged in any wrongdoing. there have been six states that have reviewed this and concluded that planned parenthood has done nothing wrong. seven other states cited a lack of evidence of wrongdoing and declined to investigate and so it's -- so it's then some suggest it's about defunding planned parenthood. what i think it's about as best i can tell listening to every one of my colleagues is a
fundamental view of some of the witnesses here that roe versus wade was wrongly decided. you have a right to that opinion. but what you don't have a right to do is smear a vital health care organization to advance that argument. there are people and i respect deeply -- there are people with different opinions of whether women should have full control over the reproductive health. i happen to think it was properly decided. you may disagree. but what i think is wrong and really regrettable is rather than having a hearing that says, was roe versus wade decided publicly, we could have a forum and a debate but this is entitled and tries to insinuate that planned parenthood has done something wrong. the title of the hearing is, in fact, "planned parenthood exposed, examining abortion procedures and medical ethics at the nation's largest abortion
providers." so the hearing is intended and somehow to suggest that by just attacking planned parenthood we can undermine the decision of roe versus wade. i think it's very clear that planned parenthood provides critical services to women all across this country. 2.7 million individuals access health care through planned parenthood. that includes by the way -- i'll ask specifically mr. frederickson, that includes a range of breast cancer screenings, pap smears, examines for sexual transmitted diseases, hiv tests, cervical cancer. a whole range of vftss. is that correct? >> yes, sir. that's the vast majority of what planned parenthood does. >> 97% of the services they provide. is that correct? ? >> yes. that's correct. >> and, planned parenthood is a
respected health care organization and some have suggested, well, if we just close planned parenthood, people can get services elsewhere but as you have indicated in your written testimony, the experts that looked at that said it's ludicrous and people making the claim fundamentally misunderstand the health care system. is that correct? >> that's absolutely correct. >> and so, we're left with a hearing that lasted several hours in which people have made some assertions. played videos, some which had nothing to do with planned parenthood. presumably made some claims that have nothing to do with the procedures followed by planned parenthood. in an effort to bolster their position against the decision roe versus wade. what i think is regrettable is that i think planned parenthood has demonstrated unequivocally it is a vital health care organization that millions of women and families develop on
planned parenthood. the individual that is work there are professionals, of integrity and do a ing take their jobs seriously. i've been to planned parenthood. i've been to a clinic. i've spoken to the individuals, men and women that work there. my experience is just the opposite. these are dedicated, committed professionals. and i think it does a disservice to the seriousness of the debate about the issue of abortion to malign an organization that does important work and that is saving lives. we can have a real debate as to whether or not the supreme court should change the decision on roe. it is settled law. it is the law of the land. and the way you challenge that is you bring a case and you make a different legal argument. you don't attack individuals who are following the law or performing a legal medical procedure that is saving alives of women in this country. i regret that we spent time doing that. i thank the witnesses for being here. i hope that we can focus on the real issues that were mentioned, immigration reform, making sure
we pass the marketplace fairness act, dealing with the scourge of gun violence in this country. the agenda of this committee is very long. let's get to work on the issues that mat tore the american people and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i want to thank all the witnesses for being here today. this concludes today's hearing. thanks to our audience and without objection all members will have five days legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witnesses or materials for the record and with that thank you. this hearing is adjourned. members of congress are on a week long break. members are in their home districts or traveling. during the week, both the house and senate will hold occasional
pro-forma sessions. in the senate monday, october 19th work resumes in the house tuesday, october 20th. you can watch the senate live on c-span2 and the house on c-span. on the next "washington journal," viveca novak on the money spent on capitol hill by gun control advocates and gun rights groups. margo thorning of the american counsel for capitol formation and tyson slocum discuss the house vote to end the ban on crude oil exports. and reporter ron kesler discusses allegations that the secret service retaliated against congressman jason chaffetz by leaking a confidential personnel files. "washington journal" live with your phone calls 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. on saturday, live coverage of the 20th anniversary of the
million man march. taking place on the national mall. the theme is justice or else. lewis farahkan is scheduled and the president of the naacp brooks and al sharpton are also expected to speak. you can watch live starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and i think every first lady should do something in this position to help the things she cares about. i just think that everything in the white house should be the best, the entertainment that's given here. the art of children is the same the world over. and so, of course, is our fe feeling for children. i think it is good in a world where there's quite enough to divide people that we should cherish a language and an emotion that unite us all. >> jacklyn kennedy's 1,000 days as first lady were defined in images as political spouse,
young mother, fashion icon and advocate for the arts. as television came of age ultimately the tragic images of president kennedy's assassination and funeral that cemented her in the public mind. this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series "first ladies: inflounce and image" examining the public and private lives of the women that filled the position of first lady from martha washington to michelle obama. sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. next, fbi director james comey, homeland security secretary jeh johnson and national counter terrorism center director james rasmussen testify about national security. this is about two hours.
good morning. this hearing will come to order. i want to first of all welcome our distinguished panel here, our witnesses. thank you for your time, thank you for your thoughtful testimony. thank you for your service to this nation. when i took over chairmanship of this committee, was it about ten months ago, first thing i did is
i reached out to senator carper, another person of real integrity, and i suggested we do something maybe a little unusual for a senate committee. we develop admission statement. that's my business and manufacturing background and so we came up with one that's pretty simple. it's simply to enhance the economic and national security of america. i think that accomplished two things. first of all, it starts our relationship as a ranking member and chairman and as committee on an area of agreement. it also directed the activity of our committee so the other thing we did is we established -- we have two committees in one. homeland security and then government affairs but on the homeland security side and that's what this hearing is all about, we established some basic priorities. and not in any particular order, we established five. border security. cyber security. protecting our critical infrastructure including the electrical grid. doing whatever we can to counter
violent extremisextremists, isl terrorists who, director, in your testimony you say is growing and then our fifth priority for the secretary and including you gentlemen, as well. committing this committee to help you achieve your goal, your mission of keeping this nation safe. so again, i want the thank you for your service. it's exactly what this committee's trying to do. your testimony which i have reviewed, basically follows right down what our list of priorities are. these threats that we face in the nation are real. they're not diminishing, not receding. they're actually growing. and so i know you are -- again, three men of integrity. that take your duties and responsibilities very seriously. so again, i thank you for that. i'm certainly locking forward to your testimony. i want to thank the senator that is are here. i'm looking for a very informative hearing w. that i'll turn it over to senator carp. >> thanks much, mr. chairman.
i want to start off by just calling an audible here. i was thinking coming down, secretary jackson, on the train, in the last couple of weeks we have been visited by pope francis up and down the east coast. all over the place. millions of people involved. folks with him. we have been visited by the president of china, president xi. big entourage. up in new york city, united nations, leaders of maybe over 70 countries visited our country, new york city. the u.n. the thing to me that's remarkable about all this and i think you are going to touch on this in your testimony, but want to just add a word, as well. you know, when the secret service screws up and they have we call them on it. and when people make mistakes, there needs to be accountable. you believe in that and we do, as well. and the pope's visit, visit of
president xi, visit of all those 70 national leaders who came to our country for it to come off without a hitch, without a hitch is just amazing. it's just amazing. and it gives me some encouragement that folks of the secret service, mostly whom hard working want to do the right thing and every day and better days lie ahead. they didn't do that by themselves. entities this dhs, state and local law enforcements and as we say in the navy, somebody does a job well, bravo zulu. bravo zulu. since 9/11, the most i guess acute terrorist threats came from osama bin laden. today bin laden's dead. al qaeda is largely dismantled. fortunately, fortunately isis and al qaeda affiliates in yemen and syria filled the void. the taxes they use against us and others have changed. isis in particular has perfected
as we know using social media to spread propaganda and recruit members to the ranks. we can no longer rely on military force. we must identify the root causes of why westerners join the ranks of isis and tailor tackics and that's no easy task. we will have to improve our ability to counter violent extreme i. i commend the secretary for establishing a new office at the department focused on countering violent extremism. moreover, if we are to be truly successful, among other things remind the world of the principles and value that is our country stands for. we have a long history of granting refuge to the war weary. we have a moral obligation by taking a reasonable amount of syrian refugee. matthew 25, when i was hungry,
did you feed me? i was thirsty did you get me a drink? did you visit me? when i was a stranger in your land, did you take me in? there's a moral imperative and not blind to this really awful situation that's faced by all these millions of syrian refugees but also to realize that there's a smart way for us to play a role. we are doing a huge role financially. leader among the nations of the world providing aid to -- emergency aid to the folks displaced a tlen's a tension here between how do we be consistent with matthew 25 the least of these and a way to protect us from extremists to infill yate our country. the other thing is cyber security. came from a meeting of the bunch of folks at the capitol and we took a little bit of time and i said every one of you take 15 seconds and tell whaus you think should be a priority between now
and say christmas. and they had basically two answers. one was don't let the government shut down. come up with a reasonable budget. that meets the nation's needs in a sustainable way. the other thing is cyber security, cyber security. we have the opportunity. we'll working here under the leadership of our chair, lot of folks on the committee to do just that. to make it possible, last congress for dhs to have the tools they need to do a better job. you are doing a better job. we applaud you for that and focus on information sharing, doing it in a smart way that incentivized folks to share their information with the federal government and the federal government send realtime. comes through the dhs portal realtime. you share it with everybody else so there's no loss of time. so those are the kind of things to take einstein, build on it and put it on steroids and i think you're doing a lot of good things in your department, mr. secretary, to help build on those tools.
last thing i want to say is this. two weeks ago maybe senator johnson and i were invited you with tom ridge, former governor, with whom i served as governor, invited us to pennsylvania. it was a day i will never forget and i just want to thank you again for that. it reminds us again of what can happen, when bad people want bad things to happen in your country. we have to be on guard, ever vigilant and reminds me of the strength and the courage of the 40 people on that plane who refused to go down without a fight. refused to go down without a fight and i'll always remember them, be grateful to them and for you for reminding us on that special day of service and the values of this country are truly about. thank you. >> thank you, senator carper. i would also like to thank secretary johnson for inviting us. the moment that stuck out in my mind. you gave a great speech, everybody did.
was when they're describing what those passengers did. the almost the final act is something quintessentially american. they took a vote. so that i would recommend anybody who hasn't gone to shanksville, most people probably haven't. go there. there's a powerful panel there where we have phones where you can listen to three amazing voice mail messages from the people on that plane concerned far more about their loved ones they're leaving behind than themselves. something quintessential american. with that, it is the tradition of this committee to swear witnesses in so if you all rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. our first witness is secretary
jeh johnson, secretary johnson, fourth secretary of department of homeland security. prior the leading the dhs, secretary johnson served as general counsel for the department of defense, general counsel of the department of air force and assistant u.s. attorney for the district of new york. senat jake jo secretary johnson. >> thank you. as you mentioned, we attended a sobering ceremony in shanksville, pennsylvania. today, 14 years after 9/11, it is still a dangerous world. the events of 9/11 were the most prominent and devastating example of terrorist attacks by those who are recruited, trained and directed overseas and exported to our homeland. the 9/11 hijackers were acting on the orders from al qaeda's external operations chief ka lead shaikh mohammed who was in turn carrying out the direction of osama bin laden.
like wise, the attempted shoe bomber and underwear bomber in 2009, the attempted times square car bombing in may 2010 and the attempted package bomb plot in october 2010 were all efforts to export terrorism to the united states. and they all appeared to have been direct bid a terrorist organization jefr seas. the response to these types of a attacks and attempts attacks was and is to take the fight directly to the terrorist organizations at locations overseas but today the global terrorist threat is now more decentralized, more complex and in many respects harder to detect. the new reality involves the potential for smaller scale attacks by those who are either home grown or home based not exported and who are inspired by but not necessarily directed by a terrorist organization. today, it is no longer necessary for terrorist organizations to
personally recruit, train and direct operatives overseas and in secret and export them to the u.s. to commit a terrorist attack. today, with new and skilled use of the internet, terrorist organizations may publicly recruit and inspire individuals to conduct attacks within their own homelands. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula no longer hides the fact that it builds bombs. it publicizes its instruction manual in its magazine and publicly urges people to use it. today, we're also concerned about foreign terrorist fighter who is are answering public calls to leave their home countries in europe and elsewhere to travel to iraq and syria and take up the extremist fight there. many of these individuals will seek to return to their home countries with the same extremist motive. the recent wave of terrorist attacks and attempted attacks here and in europe w reflect this new reality. the boston marathon bombing in
april 2013, the attack on the war memorial and the parliament building in ottawa in october 2014, the attack on the charity hebdo headquarters in paris in january 2015, the attempted attack in garland city, texas, in may 2015 and the attack that killed five u.s. service members in chattanooga, tennessee, july 2015, what does this recent wave of attacks and attempted attack vs in common? they're all conducted by home dproun or home based actors and they all appear to be inspired and not directed by al qaeda or isil. we're concerned about domestic terrorism in the form of a lone wolf which can include various aspects of domestic terrorism such as right-wing extremism, as well. we devote substantial efforts to the study and understanding of these threats and will continue to further our understanding of
the underpinnings of terrorist threats of all forms. what we're doing about it i hope to discuss in further detail during the q and a. it's set forth in my prepared remarks and i will not elaborate that here. what i will conclude by saying is basically two points. one, i applaud both the house and the senate for the good work that has been done on cyber security legislation. i applaud the fact that it's been bipartisan. as senator carper noted, i believe that there is an urgent need for help from this congress in the area of cyber security. the need for cyber security legislation has in my judgment been aptly demonstrated just over the last 12 months with some of the things we have seen so i hope that the house and senate can come together, pass legislation, go to conference and have that legislation become law. the last thing i'll say is that
homeland security is part of national security. it is the front line of national security. our job is much more difficult to protect the american people if congress does not repeal sequestration. we simply cannot deliver for the american people all of the homeland security that they need and want if we have to work with a sequestered budget. so i urge congress in as strong of terms as i can to consider repealing sequestration. thank you. >> thank you, secretary johnson. i will say i continue to press leadership to bring cyber security on the floor of the senate. i think we have that commitment. i think you will see that hopefully within the next couple of weeks and success of that will largely depend on us all working together as we have in the past. it is amazing what you can accomplish if you concentrate on what you agree on, the things that join us. cyber security is a thing we agree on. i'm hopeful of it with your help and with senator carper's and
everybody on this committee. our next witness is director james comey, director comey is director of the federal but owe of investigation, also served as the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, deputy attorney general for the department of justice and general counsel for organizations in the private sector. director comb my? >> thank you. thank you for the this opportunity to appear before the committee. especially with my two friends and colleagues here with whom we do so much work to try to protect the american people. i'm grateful for their partnership. i don't -- i won't repeat the written statement for the record and i think jeh captured well the challenge we face. his description of a new reality is dead on and i simply want to amplify it because it bares stressing. a lot of us are still thinking about the terrorism threat through the air pa ra dime of what i call your parent's al qaeda and i think it's very important the american people understand how things have
changed and i just want to spend a brief moment on that. isil has broken the core al qaeda pair dime using social media to broadcast a twin pronged call to thousands and thousands of followers around the world, including many, many feem in the united states. they send two messages. first, come to the caliphate and participate in the final battle between good and evil on god's side. and find meaning in your life. second, if you can't travel, kill where you are. kill anyone. but especially if you kill people in military uniform or law enforcement uniform and video it, that would be best of all. a message in an entirely new way because it buzzes in the pockets of troubled souls unmoored people all over this country all day long. twitter's worth a lot of money because it's a great way to sell shoes or books or movies and crowd source terrorism. and so isil started investing in this in the middle of 2014 and earlier this year we saw the payoff on an investment in
hundreds of investigations in all 50 states of people who are on some path between consuming this poison and responding to it by either traveling to so-called caliphate or killing where they are. and so the challenge we face, the folks at this table, is finding those needles in a nationwide haystack and assessing where are they on that spectrum of consuming and octobering on poison and disrupting them before they act? it is harder still. not just a nationwide haystack looking for needles but what isil's been doing over the last year is finding a live one, someone who might be willing to kill where they are, they move them off of twitter where we can see the communications lawfully and move them to an end to end mobile messaging app that's encrypted and the needle disappears on us once it's most dangerous and with a court order, the way we collect the
content of communications in the united states, we get a court order, we cannot see when's being said between the recruiter and someone who would kill where they are. this is a big problem, an illustration of the problem of going dark. it illustrates to people the conflict that we're experiencing in this country of two values we all hold dear. safety and security on the internet. all right? i can assure you secretary jo johnson and i are big fans of encryption. it protects what matters to us most. but the other value is public safe safety. we must protect the people of the united states and find the needles and stop them before they kill. we must find child predators, kidnappers, drug dealers. those values we hold dear are crashing into each other. i don't know what the answer is. but as i keep telling folks, the fbi is not an alien force on folks from mars. we belong to the american people. our tools are only those tools the american people give us through you.
and i think my job is to tell folks when one of the tools you're counting on us to use to protect you is not working so much anymore, we have to talk about that. and so, there's been a lot of conversation, very productive, the administration has decided not to seek a legislative remedy now. but that it makes sense to continue the conversations that we're having that are very productive because here's the thing. people in industry are good folks. they share those same values. and they're working with us to figure out how could we solve this problem and talking to industry, we're talking to state and local law enforcement, we are talking to foreign partners because everybody who cares about these two values has to be involved this conversation. there's no clear answer. an important start is to remove the venom and understand we share values, we care about protecting people. we care about safety and security on the internet. how do we maximize both values? it is a really hard thing but i think america does hard, especially when it implicates our most fundamental values.
i thank the members of the committee on this issue and the partners at the table and we'll continue the conversation with the american people. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, director. next witness is director nicolas rasmussen, director rasmussen is director of the national counter terrorism center nctc. director rasmussen previously served as the deputy director of nctc and various functions on the national security counsel staff and key positions within the department of staff. director rasmussen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator carper. like secretary johnson and director comb my, i welcome the opportunity today to have a good, thoughtful conversation with the committee. before the threat picture in greater detail i want to stress how well and closely aligned we at nctc are at dhs and fbi. we see the threat environment the same way. we share information. we collaborate with a very intense way for analysis to support the operations. i'll start with the good news. from an analytic perspective,
the chances of a spectacular large-scale attack here in the homeland by an overseas terrorist group along the lines of what they described is reduced over the last several years and achieved that outcome through aggressive ct action in south asia and other places around the world. but also, through the creation of a robust homeland security and counter terrorism infrastructure here in the homeland that we have developed as a community over the last decade. and while we can look with some degree of satisfaction at the work done to reduce that threat of a large-scale mass-casualty attack, there's still quite a lot to be concerned about secretary and director mentioned and that landscape is some ways more challenging than ever. it's also clear that the terrorist operating paradigm shifted and trying to disrupt threats to the homeland. today there are many threats of many places and a disparate set
of individuals than any time previously. let me spell out what i mean by that and highlight ear why is of focus and concern. i'll start with isil. the islamic state in iraq and the la vant. isil has overtaken al qaeda as the leader of the extremist movement an enthe group views itself as being in conflict with the west and that conflict is being played out not just in syria and iraq now, but also, a number of locations around the world where isil declared itself to have established a province offal jeer that, libya, yemen, saudi arabia, afghanistan, nigeria, the caucus region and even potentially in southeast asia, as well. indonesia and perhaps the philippines and that aggressive growth and expansionist agenda has implications for the homeland threat picture and there are three especially concerning features of isil as a terrorist group that make me reach this conclusion. isil's extensive access to extensive resources and that can
be measured in terms of manpower, material and money. the second concerning feature of isil is territory control in large portions of iraq and syria and some of the province areas i mentioned a few minutes ago and a large pool of individuals of western countries, both those who have traveled to iraq and syria an enthose in the home countries and when we look as intelligence professionals for indicators of external operations capability in isil that could threaten the homeland, these are the key features to expect to see and that's of concern. and in his published testimony, secretary johnson alluded to how we're coming to view the threat of isil and the homeland piece of that threat. we are seeing that threat as having isil involved in some ways along a spectrum of activity. at one end of that spectrum we see isolated ridges as director comb my mentioned that draw inspiration of isil's prolific,
spectacular use of snocial medi. and the other end of the spectrum, individuals may receive direct guidance and direction of isil me believes and those of leaders in the direction. this spectrum is very, very, very difficult for us to penetrate and understand because of the collection difficulties that director comb my pointed to a minuting a. more often than not, we see individuals inside the homeland operating between the two ends of that spectrum for a fluid picture that makes it even more challenging for us to get inside of. beyond our intensive focus on isil and the threat to the homeland, though, you would certainly expect that we're continuing to devote attention to al qaeda, its affiliates and nodes around the world. and despite the unrelenting media attention on isil in current days in no respect in no respect at all to downgrade the level of effort and attention on the al qaeda set of threats we face as a nation and asked often
to identify number one terrorism concern is, i most often decline to answer because i wouldn't want to suggest that our focus on isil comes at the expense of efforts on al qaeda and other terrorist organizations. specifically, with al qaeda, watching closely for signs of attack capability is restored ahead of the drawdown in afghanistan and while the core leaders certainly degraded we continue to track and investigate any indications that core al qaeda engaged in plotting activity aimed at the homeland. we know that remains an ambition and intent and we stay on it constantly. in both the statements for the record, both highlighted al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and for good reason. the threat is at the top of the list of priorities given the group's unrelenting focus of u.s. interests and potentially the homeland and potentially the aviation sector. our work in this area made all the more complicated by the difficult situation in yemen at this time. beyond 'em yoshihiko noda we are
also watching al qaeda affiliate networks in syria. our efforts to disrupt al qaeda plotting emanating from syria successful in the last several months and some of the most important figures of concern taken off the map and clearly more to be done in this regard and meantime we are looking very, very closely for any signs of intelligence to give us a hint as to what they're planning. the third and final area of priority focuses the use of opportunity-driven attacks by home grown extremists referred to as hves. in 2009, on average, les than two or three of these incidents a year. by last year the number rose to a dozen and to date this year that number doubled and we are not through the year yet. while it is difficult to put numbers on the precise population of home grown violent extremists here in the united states, there's no doubt it's increased in size over 18 months and you could say that isil has injected new life in the
population. isil knows it can have an impact adds the director said motivating people in the locations to act in support of isil carrying out individual attacks even on a modest scale. so as i conclude, i would just like to say that we stress again we continue to work to detect, defeat and disrupt the full spectrum with isil and just as ardently on the focus on al qaeda and all of its affiliates. i'll stop there, mr. chairman. >> thank you, director rasmussen. obviously, the purpose of this hearing is to highlight these threats, so that as a public we face this new reality. as director and secretary both mentioned. obviously, want to be very concerned about anything classified. but it is extremely important -- secretary johnson, your testimony said, let me repeat, but today the global terrorist threat is decentralized, more
complex and harder to detect. director rasmussen, your testimony, the actors around the globe is broader, wider and deeper than any time at 9/11. director comb my, we had a hearing exploring and highlighting the problem of -- and the sophistication with which isil is utilizing social media. in that hearing we had testimony that said there were at the time somewhere between 46,000 and 96,000 overt isis support accounts. i know twitter is taking some of them down but they just, you know, basically pop up with another name, another handle. you talked about social media, those individuals following isis there and then being moved to encrypted accounts. can you give us some sense of the numbers of people you're concerned about that have been
engaged in social media and i do want to talk about your inability to track but how much information do we have in terms of number of people inspired through the social media, the open media where we can track and into encrypted accounts? >> probably the best number to give in an open setting is dozens. yeah. >> okay. i would also -- as long as i'm talking to you, and i know secretary johnson is also gone into the communities to try to engage the communities. and i know -- this is i don't think classified. i remember hearing in a briefing that the members of the communities themselves think that we have a complete handle on this. that we know who among their midst might be being inspired by isis and completely false. correct? i mean, is that -- would you agree that that's sort of an assessment? >> i do. first of all, i agree with you.
i think jeh is a leader on this, getting out there and talking to the good folks. don't want their sons and daughters either going to the caliphate which is a nightmare and dying there or killing people and surrendering their life to a long prison sentence here. the answer is it's a huge challenge. good people do what good people do is that's write an innocent narrative over troubling facts and say i must be misunderstanding or having a bad day and must not have heard him right and trying to get folks to when the hair stands up, just tell us. all right? tell any police officer, any deputy sheriff. we'll check it out in secret so no one gets smeared and if it's nothing, it's nothing. if it's something you may have saved the life of your child and other people. that's an enormous challenge for us. >> there's a "the new york times" article that described a fbi informant, operative, working really having multiple -- i mean, i think hundreds of conversations with the terrorists from garland,
texas, and the fbi spent quite a few -- i think hundreds of thousands of dollars for that fbi operative. talk to me about the effectiveness of that. i'm just putting myself in the position of a parent whose son, you know, maybe a 20-year-old kid, is being engaged with -- by the fbi, talked about different, you know, the caliphate and all that type of thing and then, all of a sudden, the fbi swoops in and says, did you ever talk about traveling over to syria and the person is brought up on charges, convicted. i think that's a serious concern about is that the best way to engage a community? and have -- based on that, have we rethought that at all? >> we haven't rethought -- we all agree i think that it's important that we try to understand where our folks from this consuming to acting make an
assessment and then take it very seriously, especially if they're moving to acts of violent. knowing that we have to do that work, i hope should motivate the good parents of the united states. no one wants their children to go die in the nightmare of the so-called caliphate or be locked up because they violated the anti-terrorism laws of the united states and so it's just another reason why good parents need to talk to us. need to know what their kids are doing. one of the challenges we all face at parents, i have five children. there's a sense that you want to know where your child's going physically, all right, you want to know if your kid's hajjing out at the mall and don't have a sense of where they are in line which is the entire world and so what we say to people, when you see thing that is are traveling, help us engage and keep kids from getting to a place where they have to be locked up. we have done a lot of work, the three organizations of this table, to try to build environments to intervene early when a parent tells us about a kid, get them the help they
need. substance abuse, counseling, religious guidance so they don't have to be somebody we have to lock up. that's an ongoing conversation with the families of the united states. we're making progress. but it's something we have to continue to push on. >> secretary johnson, you have been a real leader and engaging the communities and i applaud you for that. again, i'm a little concerned about numbers but i'll say i'm surprised if it is only a couple dozen people been inspired in social media and moved to encryption accounts. talk to me about your engagement with the communities but also about your assessment of that number. >> well, first of all, by its the -- by the nature of the existing threat we face, we are concerned about a lot of people who self radicalize essentially by reading things on social media, without necessarily
direct communications between somebody in the homeland and somebody overseas. and what we know suggests that before somebody in that situation turns to an act of violence, they're very, very few people in a position to know about it. the parents perhaps. a brother or spouse, somebody that is living in the immediate home with that person. and so, by the nature of the problem, we don't often have advance opportunity to intradikt, to arrest, to prosecute which is why i think the engagements are so important, to build bridges, lower barriers of suspicion and encourage people in communities. this is your homeland, too. help us help you with public safety. and so, we've been out there doing this. i think we have seen a lot of good reaction. some criticism to our efforts which i think means we know our efforts are having an affect. but just heightened awareness and asking people for their help
is fundamental given the nature of the current threat we have. >> just real quick with that, director rasmussen. director comey talked about the balance, the very delicate balance between civil liberties and security and that's where we're always concerned about that. you talked about spectrum. where are we today in that spectrum in that full trum point of civil liberties and security and why where do we really need to be? >> boy, that's a -- an incredibly complex question and i'm not sure there's a particular point that you are -- that's a resting point on that spectr spectrum. as direct or the comey suggested, we know we are facing significant new challenges in the way we have traditionally collected intelligence to get at our terrorist adversaries. simply put, the kinds of insight we used to come v into the more complex al qaeda linked plotting is not available to us right now. and so, naturally, in that
environment, we're going to exhaust every opportunity we can -- every avenue we can think of for new collection opportunities. those will have to be baland against all of the factors you describe, mr. chairman, and that's an ongoing process and why i don't think we're at a steady equilibrium along a spectrum. this is as the director said a subject of an ongoing conversation with the private sector and the parts of industry that hold critical nodes of communication and, unfortunately, many of these terrorist actors are exercising their craft on these platforms. i think the good news is that we have opened a conversation. there is a lot of ground to be covered in that conversation without the federal government dictating solutions or as the director said choosing a legislative framework at this point but we are at the front end of this conversation and it has to play out over the period
ahead. >> i recognize it's complex. i didn't expect a -- you know, a definitive answer and it's exactly, you know, your answer's exactly right. this is a conversation. this is a discussion we must have. had to be an honest conversation and we have to be looking at the new reality, the threats we are facing. not on the run. they're growing and we need to be concerned about this and we got to be discussing this and very serious and honest fashion. senator carper? >> let me preface my questions by again just emphasizing how much we appreciate your commitment to our country, commitment to defending us and the hard work you and your team, the teams you lead are doing. on our behalf. i like to talk to my colleagues and talk about what's the secret to long marriage between two people and best answer i ever heard communicate and compromise. i would add a third "c" is collaborate and when i look at the three of us i see communicate, compromise, collaborate embodied. thank you. set a good example for us.
our chairman and i and others on the committee like to focus not just addressing symptoms of problems. we are good at that as a nation. we don't look at the underlying or root cause. the senator johnson are doing to lead -- i think senator highcamp and a couple house colleagues go down with us and go to honduras, maybe guatemala and get a better handle on why tens of thousands of people risk life and limb to get through mexico to get to the border to face an uncertain future. we spend a trillion dollars in the last decade or so trying to stop people from getting in. they're compelling people to come. i'm a big root cause guy. and the cyber attacks directed at our country in recent years, one is chinese and the state -- and they know what's going on. pretending they haven't. but they know full well that their entities within the country trying to steal our seed
core to get economic short cuts to prosperity at our excuse and we just pretty much underwrite the cost for them. i want to commend secretary johnson and everybody involved, the president and others involved in convincing the chinese that there's time to change their ways to mend their ways and i'm not sure what the prosfepects but the agreement that's struck is a very, very encouraging sign. i didn't think we would be able to get that. i applaud there. 's a mechanism going forward i think involves you and the attorney general to build on what's been agreed to to make sure that it's not just to say this and do something else but make sure they do what they're xhilted to do. would you talk a minute about that, please? >> yes. when the chinese were here both for the president's visit and about two weeks before we had
very frank conversations about cyber security, about cyber norms that we believe nations should embrace. and there's a lot of good things on paper. the question now becomes whether the chinese will do what they agreed to do on paper. and so, the way forward will be putting them to the task of having ministerial level conversations with us on a regular basis. we hope to have one before the end of this year. and we're now arranging dates to do that. so time will tell about whether or not the chinese will live up to what they agreed to do. i'm pleased with what is on the paper but actions will speak louder than words in this context. >> all right. thank you. i alluded earlier to pope's message, pope francis's message to us a week or two ago and the
focus on the golden rule and matthew 25, the least of these and one of the provisions talks about where were you when i was a stranger in your land? did you welcome me in? and we have i think a moral obligation to do that where we can and look out for those in terrible situations. we have this need to make sure that as those 10,000 syrian refugees come to our country that they're not embedded by a number of folks of isis and wish us harm and would like to talk about what we can do, will do, to the extent you can in a public forum to make sure the threats are anticipated and appropriately addressed and for a number of you. director comey, secretary johnson, nick. >> well, just to highlight one thing in particular, given the nature of the -- how the terrorist threat has evolved, i think it is incumbent upon us at
the federal level to share as much intelligence as we can with state and local law enforcement. i think jim's people do an excellent job at the federal level of detecting, investigateling and intradikting terrorist threats almost on a weekly if not daily basis and i've been constantly impressed with how their methods have evolved to match the threat. but things like the garland city texas attempted attack highlight it's also critical that we get information out to state and local law enforcement, as well. so that they're aware of what we're seeing. >> mr. comey? >> with respect to the potential of syrian asigh lees coming to the united states -- >> there's a real tension here. we're trying to do the right thing and same time trying to do the other right thing. >> yeah. it is something that we have
learned how to do better, screening people. the experience we have we didn't do it as well as we should have in the mid-2000 with iraqi refugees and more effective as a law enforcement intelligence national security community at screening folks. that said, there is no such thing as a no-risk enterprise and there are things, there are deficits that we face. i'm not comfortable talking about them in an open session. i don't know what the bad guys -- >> i understand. >> that's how i sum it up. >> all right. >> senator if i could. >> please. >> with regard to syrian refugees in particular, i agree totally with what jim said. we should do the right thing by accepting more but we have got to be careful in doing it. we have improved the process for vetting from a security standpoint the refugees who are admitted in this country and i'm committed to making sure that we maintain that process. >> good. thanks. director comey, you mentioned
encryption, back door ways to make sure we protect against terrible crimes and criminals and mentioned a conversation under way. can you tell us a little bit more about this? i think it's real important and i'm sure you do, too. >> we have increasingly productive, frankly, conversations with industry because i think in part the isil threat focused everybody's minds and understood we are not just making this up. there is a conflict between values we care about safety and security and public safety. and so, industry is not a monolith. there's lot of different vftss and products being ro vided and there are all people that care about the safety of america and also care about privacy, civil liberties and so we're talking to each other about how we could accommodate both values? how could we get in position to abide by a court order. where could we get to you to comply with the court order. that's with the companies and
important conversations with our allies around the world who care both about the same values. right? the rule of law and care about safety. public safety. so we're having good conversations with a lot of european allies. how could we together come up with a frame work to make sense, embrace the rule of law and maximize both values and then last group with state and local law enforcement. this is actually a problem that affects state and local law enforcement. most of you will. because child abuse cases, domestic violence cases, car crash cases, all of the thing that is cops and sheriffs and d.a.s have to work are affected by the encryption option of sophisticated people to a default and so cops and sheriffs trying to figure out where a child went increasingly encountering devices they can't open in w a search warrant and this affects every community in the united states. no simple answer. but it is -- that's what i meant when i said the conversations are ongoing and gotten
healthier. people stripped out the venom. not questioning as much as they used to the motives and care about the same stuff. >> yeah. i'll close with this quick note if i can. we're always asking what can we do to help? this is an important issue and if there's things to be doing on the legislative side, please let us know. >> thank you, senator carper. on the syrian refugees we let in the company, if we set as a number one criteria, family members, dna testing, that would be helpful. plus syrian american families financially responsible and i think it's setting criteria for prioritization of who we let in and helpful. senator tester? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for your sobering testimony. i'm going to start with you, director comey, and the ranking member touched on it about folks being on twitter and then they
go dark. and you talked about technology and legality. and you talked about working with the private sector when you responded to the ranking member. the question i have is, do you have adequate resources? this can go across the board, by the way. of these guys technology wise? >> the answer depend os on a number of things. climbing out of the hole left by the first sequestration. and i don't know if this summer is normal. but we were following dozens of people all over the united states 24/7 and that is only easy on tv. so we had to surge sources from the criminal cases to cover this so l