tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN May 9, 2016 4:08pm-6:09pm EDT
this conference on national security and counterterrorism will continue as u.s. government and french officials join private sector specialists who track and previous terrorist travel. then government terrorist officials discuss recent global counterterrorism efforts and make recommendations for ongoing and future efforts to combat terrorism. my name is christian beckner. following frank's practice in the last panel, i'll do brief introductions for our panel and briefly discuss the goals of the panel. to my immediate right, scott boylan, senior vice president from morpho trust. next over, pierre-edouard colliex and also senior fellow with the center for cyber and homeland security. to my far right, seth stodder,
assistant secretary in the department of homeland security for border immigration and trade policy. we're also supposed to be joined by tom bush, but he had a illness that came up this morning, so was unable to join us. we'll proceed with these three fine panelists for discussion of terror travel related issues and what we can be doing to prevent terrorists from exploiting the travel system in support of their objectives to carry out attacks in the united states, over seas and our allies which is a key element of their efforts in term -- in pursuit of carrying out attacks. you know -- we'll have a moderated discussion. i'll jump right in and put the first question to seth. if you look at the, you know, current terrorism of threat that we have with isis, very diffuse
threat, with al qaeda, a variety of other groups, it's very different than the threat that existed when many of the u.s. government programs to prevent and disrupt terrorist travel were created 15 years ago, 10 years ago. so you have very strong robust capabilities built up to detect individuals trying to fly, trying to cross borders, trying to exploit refugee and asylum systems. you know, i think the key question for this panel which we'll get to now and future questions is, how adgile and adaptive is that system today. your partners are doing on this set of issues. >> sure. i think -- first off, thank you for having me on the panel. it's terrific to be here at gw
and to talk about these important issues. certainly, the threat is evolving and it's certainly a complex challenge. i think the world we are facing now is certainly, you know, more complex in the terrorist travel sort of area than the world i think we were facing 15 years ago when -- you know, after 9/11, by first tour in dhs, or what became dhs. i think the remedies and our strategies are sound in the sense, i think the key parts of the strategy, i think are the number one important piece of this is information and intelligence. you know, you can say all you like about walls and things like that, but fundamentally, the most important piece of any strategy with regard to terrorism and terrorist travel is information. it's intelligence, it's the analytics mo among the organizas
like the international targeting center and other similar analytic capabilities around the world, united states and our partners in france, so that's number one. number two is sharing that information and bringing that information to the pointy end of the spear with the operators that need to make the decisions one way or the other as to whether to allow somebody to move through the travel system. the third key piece is partnerships. the united states can't do this alone and we shouldn't do this alone because this is a threat to all of us. we work very closely with partners around the world, including one of our closest partners, france, to address this threat, but also very importantly with the private sector. we work very closely with the airlines, we work very closely with the express consignment industry and a number of other industries to pull together and make sure we have all the information synthesized together in a way to address the threat. so i think fundamentally, i think that strategy, the sort of
key elements of the strategy are sound and we have to make incremental progress along the way to address that. >> in terms of current law in policy, you have two directives that were pit in place under the bush administration, hspd 6 and hspd 11 that are still some of the foundational directives by the president of these types of issues. are those still relevant for the threat that we face and the programs and capabilities that exist on these issues? >> i think they fundamentally are. hspd-6 i'll spend a little bit of time on. the overarching focus of that is the creation of the structure in the united states at least for the terrorist watch list. and all of these areas -- i mean, certainly, you have to think about the issue of terrorist travel not just sort
of solely focused on the issue of terrorist travel itself. you have to think about it in the context of the balances we all have to draw between security but also privacy, civil liberties, economic competitiveness, humanitarian protection, all those other issues and the standards for putting people on a watch list articulated in hspd-6 are when somebody is known or suspected terrorist. that's drawing t ining balance somebody is put on a list. i think hspd-6 draws that balance. there's a concept called hspd-6 agreements to share information on terrorist identities. there's a parallel set of agreements called pcsc agreements that focus on the shares of criminal history
information with our partners. those are key parts of the architecture of international efforts of preventing terrorist travel through the travel system. >> america is one of the strongsest allies and the fight against terrorism has suffered the consequences of al qaeda and directed terrorism within the last year. we were honored to host your interior minister earlier this year for a talk on these sets of issues. can you provide france's perspective on the issue of preventing terrorist travel both in the context of the french/u.s./european relationships and also looking at it from a european issue in liepgt of the migration chals you have right now coming from iraq and syria and terrorists trying to exploit that refugee flow to get to western europe? >> yes, thank you very much.
actually, you point out there are two questions. the first one on the tool that you have, are they adequate, do they need to be modernized and changed. and the second one, more european focus. and it's -- it's a fact that this toxic link that the terrorists are trying to put between immigration and terrorism needs and requires a very strong answer from us, from our european communities. it's not by chance that we found syrian passport in the stadium near paris after the attacks. there was maybe a will to underline this immigration as a threat. so but to answer your first question very, very directly, actually france is trying to
enforce most of the measures and europe, too, most of the measures in terms of -- of combatting and controlling international travelers. actually, we have -- we've had the pcs agreement that has been ratified just this year. we are sharing information a lot. and diversity of agreements on even without agreements. so this and for example france has been very pushy to have a europe lever on the schengen zone, the systematic checks of foreign people and european people in and out of the zone. this is something that has already been done in the u.s.
for years. and that's something we're trying to enforce in europe now and that's a big priority. and the interior minister, you mentioned, has always been very pushy on this. we are having the french pnr that is being set up and should be working before the end of the year. and the european pnr which is very much necessary has been passed by european parliament in april. so all the tools that you had -- that you have in the skpus that you're enforcing and that you're willing to share are tools that we're enforcing and we're trying to enforce in many cases in the -- in europe. it's not the only -- it's not the only answer, but it's part of the answer. and to answer very direct to your question, i don't think those tools are outdated and not
working. they provide a very, very effective response and answer and additional layer of security for us. >> seth, one follow-up question on the hsbd-6. you now have these agreements in place with dozens of countries. the numbers increased rapidly in the last few years. the question is how those agreements are being operationalized. how quickly does information get passed back and forth? how detailed is that information in order to actually be able to derive useful information from it. can you talk about -- and i know there's a spectrum there in terms of the level of -- of interactivity and connection and can you talk about that and how -- what the department owes goal in terms of increasing
those agreements or looking for new types of information to cover within the scopes of those agreements and other information sharing arrangements? >> sure. as i said, the issue of information sharing is absolutely vital. and this is why certainly one of the key initiatives i think from secretary johnson and ultimately congress has been the strengthening of the visa waiver program. so a lot of these agreements on criminal history information have become part of the security architecture of the visa waiver program. we have required and congress has now also required essentially the implementation of these agreements or similar types of agreements. having said that, we should all recognize even without these agreements, information has been flowing between our partners and the united states and through -- the sharing of information with
regard to terrorist identities certainly has been shared through intelligence channels and all that. this is essentially formalizing this process of doing this. we are working very closely with our partners to increase the information flow through the channels of these agreements. i think in a lot of ways, we are -- i mean certainly as part of the visa waiver program, but also we're working closely with our european partners also to help europe with regard to the migration flows into europe and the threats that that presents to europe. europe and the united states both share a humanitarian challenge and imperative to protect people in need, people fleeing the conflict in syria and iraq and other places. but certainly that presents a significant screening challenge. and so we are doing our best to be, you know, very forward leaning with our european partners and canada certainly to help -- in working to implement
the agreements very much focused on this challenge which is the migration crisis and making sure that information is flowing. are we where we should be with regard to the implementation of these agreements? no. i think -- as i say, i think there's a difference -- the strategy, i think, is sound. but we have a lot of work to do to build the systems and the protocols and the legal architecture ultimately that would enable greater sharing of information from our partners. but we are making progress very much, and certainly with france we're making progress on all of these issues. >> scott, turning to you, you work for a company that supports a lot of these issues and your parent company supports them globally. can you talk a bit about sort of both the role in the private sector and the role the private sector can play by preventing
and disrupt terrorist travel. >> we make passports and driver's licenses and biometric systems used by u.s. government and governments around the world. and starting with your first comment on the name -- the name recognition, the names of potential terrorists, where we get involved is making that name a reality because names are fungible. you can have many of the same names. senator kennedy, ted kennedy had problems because there was a terrorist with the same name. using biometrics to get at a better answer is something that you see growing and i've seen growing and it's beneficial for our bottom line because of it. when i was at the secretary's office, i was at homeland security with seth and long time ago. scare ridge talked about taking the hey out of the hey stack to
go look for the needle. so you see programs that evolved like global entry that has a biometric component and enables you to breeze through customs when you come back home. i highly recommend it. and my company doesn't run it. so precheck which my company is very involved in. biometric component of taking people who are not threats through a background check out of the system so you can focus on those that you do not know or potentially are threats. that's the use of technology. >> seth, turning back to you, another key element of this system is different means to assess the risks of individuals with respect to whether they may or are more likely to pose a threat. so you have risk systems run by customs and border protection, run by tsa, all of which in some cases to flag high risk and
other cases pre-check to sort of identify low or known identified individuals as low risk. can you talk about sort of that element of the broader strategy to counter terrorist travel within the u.s. and how that set of issues fits in within -- within this decision? >> sure. i'm always reluctant to cite donald rumsfeld, but sometimes his words are useful. as you think about that issue, you start with the known knowns as he would say. and i think, you know, the key first step is operationalizing the tactical intelligence we have with regard to people. that's another way -- that's a fancy way of saying watch lists and building the terrorist screening database that the terrorist screening center run by the fbi, but dhs and other agencies can work with and are part of the leadership of. i think that's sort of the core -- that comes out of pd 6
and the core start. wash lists are important and we continue to share terrorist identity information through our agreements but also through other means with our foreign partners to make sure we're sharing information on known knowns. the challenge comes obviously when you think about the unknowns, whether it's the known unknowns that are out there. this is where i think where you're getting at which is how do you identify -- how do you identify risk, how do you find the needles in the hay stack. one piece of it is reducing the size of a hay stack by pushing the low risk people and things through the system. this is what's so important about programs like global industry, pre-check and other things like that. so you reduce the hay stack of people coming through. that's true on people and cargo issues as well. then the next step is, yes, the analytic piece of this, which is after 9/11, we created something called the national targeting center which is run by u.s.
customs and border protection, but it's very much of a national asset that works in -- primarily what the ntc does for the most part is lest say for international air travel, that's one of the things it's focusing on. it vets passenger information from the airlines and passenger name record information. so for bureaucratees, analyzes this information to not only identify people on watch lists but also to identify risk patterns and linkages. you think about how you would analyze whether somebody presents a risk, you're doing a link analysis or linking to somebody who's a potential terrorist or potential criminal or other person and also looking for patterns and could identify potential risk where you'd want to have your officer send somebody to secondary for greater screening or something like that. that's a crucial piece of this. now, the big difference between when the national targeting center was created 15 years ago
to now which is that the sources of information where you could think about identifying potential risk are much greater. in 15 years ago in the national targeting center was created, you were looking at atinpr data and other data. now you have social media. this is one of the great challenges i think for this next generation, our generation of people in dhs and other places, how do you sift through the vast amounts of social media out there to identify people who could present a potential risk for traveling through the international system, gaining refugee status, or asylum status or anything else. and the law professor in me would say, how do you do that while protecting privacy and civil liberties which is -- any time you talk about terrorist travel, any time you're talking about individuals moving through a system like this, you have to
think about those competing goals, which is privacy and civil liberties. interest are international obligations on humanitarian protection. that's essential the challenge. it's one of the great challenges when we think about the national targeting center in aviation, but also how uscis vet refugees who are coming through the system. how our european partners are dealing with over a million migrants coming into europe and vet them to identify, to bring in, reduce the haystack and meet our humanitarian obligations to these people, but also at the same time identify the potential risks and sift them out and make sure they don't come across our borders into our country. >> pierre, given the u.s. experience and the the work that's been done to build up these capabilities, could you talk about what capabilities are like in france or more generally
within europe with frontex and eu wide border agencies and how the united states is helping with the lessons, both positive and negative, that we've learned in building this system? >> yes. facing this issues, our partnership with the u.s. and our partnerships within europe are working quite well. and the alliance with the u.s. is very effective. what i like to say on that is just to get back maybe on the technology part, on the pnr part, on the aps part, for sure the u.s. has a lot of experience on that because they've enforced it for a long time. for example, we're having and we're exchanging officers on this very topic with the u.s. and we have been quite effective doing that since we've decided that beginning of the year and
it would be effective first of july, he would be there next week to meet with his counterparts and our u.s. partner is doing the same in france. on the -- on the unknowns because that was a very important point that seth said is that how do you -- how do you find the ones you don't know. actually, all the attackers that we have where people we knew. most of them were people that were known for traveling to -- to syria, most of them were known for quite an ancient path of radicalization or were known to us because they had criminal history first. so this should appear in the system and these guys should pop up when we -- when we -- when they cross borders.
but we have to know one thing is that the path to radicalization is getting much, much shorter now and you have many people are are not like ancient and known radical -- radicalized people. and the other thing is that some -- and realize that through a system that we have are not in our systems. and i want just to take a -- some -- one minute to talk about this system, this reporting hot line that was set up in 2014 in france were before the attacks that we suffered, terrorist radicalization hot line that people can call when they suspect someone is on the verge of radicalization, if someone is on the verge of traveling to syria. what we noticed -- and since
2014 more than -- more than 4,700 people of interest have been notified to this hot line. you know, it's not the travelers. it's not the radicalized people that we know. and for example on this -- this 4,700 people, around 40% were female and among this 40%, majority of this -- this young women were between 18 and 25. these people are not known necessarily by our intelligence community. they're not like seasoned criminals. so this -- this hot line has been very, very helpful to identify and to point out people that needed an answer, a response in terms of intelligence, in terms of police, in terms of support, educational support or in terms
of social -- social policy. so this -- this tool has been very -- has proved very important not only, you know, to -- because technology's not enough and technology cannot answer all the threat that we have. and this -- this tool which is mostly based on intentions and sort of french community outreach has been very, very helpful on that. >> scott, you know, there have been a number of examples from isis of the group using fraudulent documents, in some cases legitimate syrian documents, but using them fraudulently to enable people to cross borders and present themselves as individuals who they aren't. how do we, meaning the collective we, sort of address that aspect of the threat and the whole question of fraudulent
documents? >> well, there is technology available to determine whether a document is legitimate or not or fraudulent. and it's just not largely deployed. and that's the case with lot of technologies that could be helpful. i see how slow things are deployed from my government days, the decision-making process is very slow. i know we are looking at the deploying this type of technology here in the u.s. in airports and we've been looking at it for a decade. there's a lot of different reasons for not deploying it. i think today the reason is cybersecurity, since it's software based. there is technology available that could be united statesful in this situation. >> thanks. i think we'll open up to questions now, if there are people who want to jump into the conversation with a question, please identify yourself and ask
a question. i see in the front row here. >> my name's john, former naval intelligence officer. how many years ago, it's irrelevant now. my interest is us versus others and how this comes up in layered forms. i'm thinking about the general reluctance of the u.s. to admit anybody from syria or this is a political issue now. in europe, the -- there's a great reluctance to bring in muslims particularly in the case of france, say from algeria, but in general in europe from syria or other conflict areas. so one of the solutions is to pay turkey to take in a whole
lot of the -- the refugee flow so that europe and the u.s. don't have to deal with it. but money only deals with a small part of the problem. the food, clothing, shelter, and medicare. but there's also the aculture raigs, assimilation issues. in exchange for this agreement, turkey is asking for its citizens to have passport-free access to travel within europe which then presumably from a public point of view and maybe from a governmental point of view, creates another layer of security threat. so this would appear to mean that we have to put ever greater emphasis on our working with our nato ally turkey to find ways to help them screen the people who we're paying them to take in and
also ways of helping them to help us worry less about people coming from turkey and traveling within europe or the united states. wondering how -- how much this is on the horizon -- on the radar and what sorts of things do you find helpful in dealing with it. >> ill take a first crass at the answer and pierre will jump in on the european side. from the u.s. percent pispectiv your question, let me start with humanitarian protection, refugee protection. united states historically has taken an enormous proportion of the world's refugees in terms of the refugees resettled into third countries. last year, the united states took about 70,000 refugees resettled into the united
states. the president has committed the united states to taking at least 10,000 syrian refugees in this year, in fiscal '16. and i think we are well on the path towards achieving that objective. now, two things about that. i don't think there's reluctance in -- i mean, certainly there is objection in the united states to taking syrians and others from that part of the world because of the fear of potential terrorism, but i don't think that's the majority opinion. i think the united states does recognize -- i mean, this is a -- the syrian crisis aside, there are about 65 million refugees on the move in the world today. it's highest numbers since the end of the second world war. so there is a massive migration crisis in the world today. the syrian crisis is one piece of it, but also certainly the united states also faces
migration issues with regard to central america, cuba, and other people in our hemisphere. so we are taking large numbers of people into our country, and that's a good thing as long as it's done within the rule of law. we have a long history of taking refugees into our country. i'm from southern california. i was around when we started taking about a million vietnamese refugees in the late 1970s. many of these vietnamese in southern california are now very wealthy business owners in orange county, they're in politics, they've been very, very successful in the united states. i think the issue with regard to syrians though and all refugees is we do have security protocols that we have to work very hard to make sure that these people are -- while we are meeting our humanitarian obligations that we manage the risk of people coming into the united states.
and so we do vet these people very extensively, all refugees coming in, and certainly from this region and our intelligence community's deeply involved and it takes a long time. the united states is very committed to this process of bringing refugees into the united states and we're also very committed to working with our partners to help them as they bring themy dwran migrants. we are working very closely with canada to help -- prime minister trudeau committed to 25,000 syrians coming into canada and the united states is working close ily with them to vet thos people as they come into canada. we're certainly working very closely with our european friends as well to share information as they work through the migration challenges. the last thing i'll say with regard to the syrian crisis, the numbers we are talking about are small compared to the crisis.
you look at the country of lebanon. it's a country of four or 5 million people, a quarter of that population right now is syrian refugees. massive numbers of refugees in jordan and turkey. when you think about these situations, some of those people are in camps in those places, but the vast majority are in cities. they're in beirut, istanbul, places like that. it's quite a challenge, it's a security challenge, but it's also a stability challenge for the countries in that region which comes down to the security and economic prosperity of europe as well as the united states and other places around the world. so it's a serious challenge, but the united states is certainly very committed to working through it with our partners. >> i would say first that france is not like afraid of welcoming muslim people since big part of its population is muslim. and the part of the muslim
population in the french population is much bigger than in the u.s. so it's not being afraid of taking muslim population. it's being very cautious about how -- how many migrants we are host and welcome. and i see that my german friends are in the room. and in terms of welcoming migrants, germany has done an amazing job. i would defer to them if they want to add on that. what we have to say is protecting the european borders is really not an easy task. we're not going to build a wall on the greek coast and we're not going to build a wall on the italian coast. the challenge is not the same between your border with canada, your border with mexico where you have put so much resource.
technological resource, human resource and a lot of investment there. so the challenge is not really the same and the scale of populations that we are talking about are really no comparison possible. so what europe has done with turkey is trying to build an effective partnership in dealing with this issue and that's -- that's -- that's the challenge. >> seth, one follow-up from that because you referenced the screening process for refugees. another visa that's received a lot of attention following the san bernardino terrorist attack is the fiance visa. you have a whole range of categories of visas for which the level screens is different than it is for refugees, which is arguably the highest level of capability and screening for individuals coming into the united states on permanent visas. are there lessons from that?
are there decisions being pondered or under way to enhance the security of other categories of visas that terrorist groups may try to exploit using the refugee screening we've developed since the bowling green case a few years ago? >> the san bernardino raised the issue of the fiance visa, but there's no reason necessarily to focus on one particular visa category. the issue is essentially, what are our processes for vetting anybody coming to the united states under a visa category. on that, i would say, we have to think about a few different kind of buckets to think about. one is certainly refugees as christian says. i think by any -- any stretch of the imagination, the process of a refugee coming to the united states is the most arduous. i think in terms of the numbers of security checks.
they're the most vetted population, especially refugees from syria and other places like that. certainly in terms of working through our ability to vet people coming in through other visa categories and then the third bucket to think about is the visa waiver program which we can get into later. with regard to visa categories, certainly there is a process of vetting those people and it is arduous especially with regard to certain countries. and also depending on certain risk profiles. i think the next real sort of -- i mentioned this before in terms of the next sort of phase that we are looking at is this issue of social media in terms of what's the relevance and the use of social media in terms of how we vet people, not only refugees, but also these applicants, i'm also talking about the other side of the visa application. a k-1 visa is a u.s. person who petitions to bring their fiance
to the united states. often when you think about visas, you have to think about two sides of the equation. it's also the u.s. person or the u.s. company trying to bring that person here. so when you think about the screening systems including how we utilize and look at and operationalize social media, you have to instantly -- i mean, all of these issues -- the first thing out of your mouth has to be security and thinking about security vetting. the second thing out of your mouth has to be privacy, civil liberties and the issues that balance there. we think about the i.t. challenges in terms of how we sift through the billions of pieces of information that you think about in social media, it's not just, you know -- it's not as easy as somebody on facebook saying i'm a terrorist on their facebook profile. it's not as simple as that. let alone sort of the issues
with regard to their communications throughout the world and telecommunications systems and how we legally and lawfully use that. but it's a tremendous i.t. challenge as you think about how we sift through that information let alone a legal and privacy challenge. but we are working through those issues. secretary johnson stood up at least within dhs, something called the social media task force which i co-chaired for a while, looking at this very issue and how we sort of focus on it. the beginning focus was on refugee vetting and k-1 visas in light of the san bernardino case. it is certainly a challenge, but we are working to certainly improve our security with regard to all visa categories, not just k-1 visas. >> i think we have time for one more question from the floor. it was over there.
mike's coming to you. >>ty. ken dunlap. i have a question on information sharing. there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm, sharing information about the bad actors that we want to stop crossing borders. it doesn't seem there's the same degree of enthusiasm about sharing information about the known traveler population. they have limited incident ra operability with other known traveler systems, limited operability. what are some of the obstacles to making that haystack a lot smaller? >> one of us. >> difficult question is for me. so very nice. [ laughter ] >> i'll help at the end.
>> okay. you'll help me. just the issues -- there is a need of trust and when and when you speak of trading information about suspect terrorists or people that we have a need to investigate, this gets much more easy. for the sharing of information, i would not be as pessimistic as you say. first of all, as i mentioned, we are exchanging a lot of information on travelers. there is this program from the did d hs where they send five advisers, so checking all the --
giving and processing the information on travelers. ingwo entry. it that that is one of our issues including protecting information because sharing infortion for global entry means also that we have to share personal data in terms of criminal history, in terms of different very sensitive data. so that is an issue. and even if it takes time, that is one of our priorities. and we are trying to share the data necessary to as you say process the travelers administer qui more quickly and in a secure
way. >> to echo verydminister more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, frmini more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, nister more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, ter m quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, er mo quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, r mor quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very briefly, more quickly and in a secure way. >> to echo very b i wouldn't underestimate the amount of information that we share. the trabs atlantic relationship includes that we have officers on the ground in certain airports in europe and as well as certain places where we have full pre-clearance like shannon in ireland, places where you actually go through the airport and when you arrive in the united states, you've already cleared immigration and customs. but in iap which is really fundamentally an information sharing program, we are working closely with the french place and airlines for travelers before they get on planes. and the other thing i'll mention with regard to global entry, global entry is a very important program not only certainly from security point of view, from sort of the recuducreducing -- reduction of the haystack, but
also economic point of view in terms of how low risk travelers move through the system. and it started as a u.s. program, but it is quickly becoming an international program. and one very important thing i think from the u.s. perspective, if you think about with regard to the terrorist travel question, you really have to think about when -- somebody asked me is our border secure. and my answer was the lawyer in me, secure as to what? and secure as to terrorism from the u.s. perspective is not a u.s. border security issue. it is partially that. but it's a hemispheric issue. so when you think about global entry, one of the crucial things that we're working with our canadian, our hmexican partners is to try to develop a north american trusted traveler network where we think about people coming into north america. for the just thinking about people coming into the united
states, people thinking about coming in for new york america. people coming into the united states, people thinking about coming in for new york america. north america. so we actually work together on common targeting principles.ork. north america. so we actually work together on common targeting principles.ork. north america. so we actually work together on common targeting principles. coming into north america at large as well as working through with panama and other entries in our hemisphere. so think about global entry also as a growing more internationally focused program where we're working closely with our partners to share these programs together. with the common goal of facilitating movement of low risk travel true the global transportation system. >> well, with that we'll wrap up this panel. this is an important issue for the center and for countries working together to fight the threat of terrorism and so join me in thanking our panel and for a great discussion. [ applause sfchlt [ ]
have here with us today. i mean, you have their by owes in the handouts, so i won't spend a whole lot of timeowes in the handouts, so i won't spend a whole lot of time laying that out other than to say that these three have been integral in our national security efforts for many years and our counter it terrorism efforts. and i think three of most pay the yolt tickit terrorism efforts. and i think three of most pay the yolt tickt terrorism efforts. and i think three of most pay the yolt tickcounterterrorism e. and i think three of most pay the yolt tick hardest working americans on tease issues. cofer black who was director of the counterterrorism center at the central intelligence agency, he was before it became a bureau, he was head of sct, so he owned the diplomatic mission, but he wrought years of intelligence experience to the counterterrorism portfolio. matt olson was director of national terrorism center, recently joined up with keith alexander in the private sector. p prior to that was general
counsel at tnational security ay and they play a critical role in operational planning functions. and i think it's fair to say since the stand up of nctc, the rich picture that our government interagency has is so much richer given their function. a last and certainly not least is juan zarate, a pioneer on some of these issues and plays a
significant role. and i thought we would start with cofer. sunday was fifth an verse rich the successful take dodowtakedo. ding dong the witch is dead, but the threat lives on. so looking to where we were five years ago and to when you were inside government to where we are today, how is the threat similar, how is it different, and what should we be thinking about and in what lessons can we really glean from the many years the scar tissue, the blood, sweat and tears we've put into this fight? >> thank you very much, frank. it's a real pleasure to be on this panel with these exceptional gentlemen who have served this country so well. you look at an audience like this, you watch tv, you read, you write, you're very familiar, very well informed, very educated on these issues. i think the only thing that i at
least have to offer, some of the observations of the experience of doing it real time back in the day and what that felt like and what perspectives you come away with. if you look at the fifth anniversary of killing osama bin laden, i guess when i heard this, what particularly impressed me when i was thinking about it is the great journey, certainly the united states has taken in the field of counterterrorism from when i started essentially in the middle of my came prireer in th collect intelligence and as well as surviving in al qaeda assassination plot against me and coming paback to washington and conducting essentially intelligence collection operations. we did very little action if you put aside select difference rep decisions which in those times were few and far with between.d
decisions which in those times were few and far with between. very bad people who deserved to be in jail for life and if a still taegt the process where they would be moved to places where they would have warrants for their arrests. so that has been all the action there was. as you matriculate through time, there was an attraction to taking action to defend the united states, but there was still a significant bias towards collection and this continued through miahig my time. our mission was to collect evidence, certainly not to kill people. so as you go through this in a great situations, few decisions made, and a lot warring in the past. some of you may have read some of the recent let chur, watched
some documentaries. but it's like beauty. it's in the eye of the beholder. what is a crisis to me as a professional counter terrorist may not be to one of the people in the white house who have so many other things to think about. and despite our best efforts, we never really got through, so the pursuit of intelligence, the desire to warn was foremost. when you get to 9/11, it pains me to watch these planes tli sn to the towers. like a nightmare groundhog thing. sometimes i just turn it all off. but anyway, from that moment on, or country changed its orientation. initially there was a period of real denial since people had never heard of these people, al
qaeda, or they had heard about it and didn't essentially believe it. certainly at the point of taking action. so they had to come to terms with the reality that people with most equipped for deal with those psych locgically had been warned, those plans had known been initiated. and in in crises, most turn to those who are most prepared. law enforcement agencies. the military had no war plans because it was considered a law enforcement issue. so central intelligence agent was the nervous structure that helped the government proceed into afghanistan and to conduct other activities. but also bought time which is probably the most important thing. so for our government to decide how it was going to respond as we march through this.
there was clear pursuit and relentlessness and that conduct continued right up to the point where osama bin laden was killed an contin and ten continues to this day. they had a level of consistency to achieve the objective. i know some of the story has come out. i suspect when the whole story comes out, it will go down as one of the greatest spy stories ever. it was certainly against the odds and it did a tremendous -- will had a tremendous impact. but this was one man. one man that had to be rendered to justice if you will.ill had . but this was one man. one man that had to be rendered to justice if you will.ll had a. but this was one man. one man that had to be rendered to justice if you will. had a t. but this was one man. one man that had to be rendered to justice if you will.had a tr. but this was one man. one man that had to be rendered to justice if you will. but in the process we had seen al qaeda who before 9/11, if you think the american was slow to react, it was actually leading in the world compared to other governments, they were light years ahead of everybody else p. most of the times i'd be going
overseas to try to convince intelligence services that al qaeda really did it exist, it really was a problem. basically it was blown off. so 9/11, i came to jesus about like that. on off they go he. but look at the situation we're in now despite all this money and all this target, all he's great americans workinghe. but look at the situation we're in now despite all this money and all this target, all he's great americans workinge. but look at the situation we're in now despite all this money and all this target, all he's great americans working. but look at the situation we're in now despite all this money and all this target, all he's great americans working with the international partners which is our secret sauce. yet the problem continues to exist. in the greenroom we were talking the play man just watching tv, with re doing better or worse?l with re doing better or worse?m with re doing better or worse? seems like every wok irk, it's
good, bad, kind of like vertigo. but there is -- the target set as the military would say seems to have increased dramatically. i know our two gentlemen here have been in the service far more recently than i have. i'm trying to set it up for them. my time was denial. 9/11 was emergency response initially with those that were plugged in and had been warning about this and they're coming and making really -- conducting uncivilized behavior. we have to get going. those people again. seriously i think hampered by sectarian problems, particularly
the middle east come ndo not ha immediate loyalty. you have other factors that played into this equation. and i just end on this piece. when i went in the central intelligence agency, it was the cold war, russians, nuclear annihilati annihilation. >> they're back. >> i know. another great job. but i thought that if we just work hard enough, if we just lay it out there long enough, it we just take the body bags overseas to protect the american people, i really didn't believe -- somehow all this will be over, you know? we can scrap the military. and i really believed that. and then the shock of life is that your own son who was a senior at 9/11 four years later after college is an army officer airborne ranger in the afghan mountains fighting every day. so what happened with this. so one of the things from my time bringing it forward, it ain't over until it's over and
it ain't over until they kill you or you die of natural causes. until then, this process goes on. it's always going to be something. for now this is one of the big things of something. i'm happy to be here and now you'll get the real answer from the guys who served with more contemporary views. >> thank you, cofer. and i want to underscore one point because i think it is lost and hopefully doesn't get lost long term from a planning perspective. and it's the idea that you had to converge different communities and in this case largely title 10 and title 50 communities. i used to joke, bad joke before 9/11, you'd be string them up or string he them look. it was about election. it wasn't about operation.he th. it was about election. it wasn't about operation.e the. it was about election. it wasn't about operation. them. it was about election. it wasn't about operation. and our ability to absorb all of that was you had limited capability. so i'm not sure we could have pulled off what we were able to five years ago in the aftermath
of nib9/11. not because the intent was there, but the authority wasn't -- >> i have to jump in absolutely not p. when you look at the force that we had in the qci aechlt the people working al qaeda globally, we had half as many of the people on 9/11 commission had staff. i kept trying to bait the congressmen to say what are the statistic. they didn't get elected by being stupid. so half the amount of people, we had half the money. we did an extension democratiexy good job. but there was no depth. we could never have dreemd of replicating what the united states is able to do now. again, with its partners. look at jsoc, the envy of the
world. it's truly unbelievable. and so i think we've made tremendous progress, but in those day, we were a sailing ship and now they're a nuclear carrier battle group. >> perfect segue. matt, looking at where we were five years ago and how much we did come both analytically and operationally to try to shape the environment to protect and preserve our interests and our people, how is it different today? so is it largely that the world's changed that everything is going open source and everything is now on an app as opposed to a true hierarchical system? tell me what matters, what are the issues that matter differentiating al qaeda? and they were going a little
decentralized with their franchises, but it was a little more hierarchical. tell us about the differences and then some of the pros and cons in terms of what we were facing five years ago and what we're facing today. >> and thanks, frank, and thanks to you all for being here. this is a great opportunity to have this conversation along with my esteemed colleagues here. so i'm in a pretty goods position i think to begin the talk about this because i think at least in my time at the national counter terrorism center coincideded with this five year anniversary.terrorismr coincideded with this five year anniversary. i joined nctc in august of 2011. i was nsa as the chief lawyer there where my role really on the day of the raid was to be prepared in case things went terribly wrong as lawyers off p are called in to serve.
i was in a position to not be a lawyer somewhat thankthankfully. so i sort of saw what i think really is a continued really picking up on cofer's comments continued evolution of the threat in 2011, we were still quite focused on al qaeda and al qaeda core and plotting that we were tracking coming out of the fatah as well as as you mentioned, frank, some of the franchises most particularly al qaeda and the a rain bee arabian peninsula. so that was really the primary focus.bee arabian peninsula.
so that was really the primary focus. i think in my time we saw that really change as the threat diversified in terms of number of jihadist groups that we were tracking. it expanded geographically. so we weren't quite as focused on south asia and a few pockets in the middle east as we saw the threat in terms of both the groups address tnd the people w tracking expand from south asia across the middle east and then north africa from somalia all the way across into mali. and then we saw these groups and the threats they pose adapt. probably that's the biggest challenge. it's not that they diversified, not that any expanded, but they
had da haded a dachted. so we're proving increasingly at department at understanding the threat and from a collection standpoint being better postured.the threat and from a n standpoint being better postured. but also from a hardening standpoint from national security standpoint. we were just better as defectsing and protecting ourselves against the team of plotting that al qaeda had been pursuing. so they were no longer communicating, this was pre-snowden quite as openly, but then post-snowden, a marked dropoff in our ability to collects communications as they
h haded a capitaled as we provided to them in terms of how we collect intelligence from a surveillance stand point. so all of this is to really focus the attention where we are today a little bit and say that isis is to high mind the map fe manifestation of all these changes. it hassed adapted to our defens and oufr capabilities. it has taken advantage of the safe haven created. and it has been able to recruit thousands and thousands of people and then has expanded further as pressure has been brought to bear on it in its safe haven to places like libya. and what we've seen is that when terrorist groups have the ability to have a sanctuary, they inevitably turn to plot and contrary out sx eaexternal atta and we're seeing that in terms
of drenktsed attacks in brussels and paris and inspired attacks in the united states including san bernardino. >> i want to pick up on a couple of those points and turn to juan because it's a perfect setup. you had a foreign fighter phenomena, but they were one cities oig and two cities. they were small number. obviously when you're looking at isis, they have been able to attraction thousands. include many from the west, approximately 250 from the united states, many more there europe. i'd be curious in terms of -- and al qaeda and its affiliates whether in yemen or the fatah region, they preyed on u
unglofrned and undergoverned spaces. from a policy standpoint, what lessons can we fwleglean from o campaign against al qaeda and al qaeda affiliates and what should we be positithinking? you are doing cutting edge thinking in terms of how to go after the finances. but what tools do we need today and how do we prioritize it and at the end of the day i think a lot of effect and success was -- we had the bad guys looking over hair shou their shoulders. are they looking over their shoulders enough today? >> first of all, i'm honeored t be here today. i don't think they're worried enough and i think one of the differences in 016 versus 2011 or even 2004, 2005 is that there isn't a sense of the stance city
of pressure and disruption2016 or even 2004, 2005 is that there isn't a sense of the stance city of pressure and disruption where isis and isis affiliates do have breeding space, they have time and space and resources in order to think about not just their localed a y ed agenda, but also planning. and the thought in washington in certain places that the islamic state was largely focused on the local, largely focused on building a caliphate, that that would distracts them from their outward focus. and i think what intelligence has uncovered, what the attacks themselves have manifested to include, including san bernardino, is that these are groups that were still outward focused, still intent on using foreign fighters. and that they were able to train and redirect and grow innovative in their methodologies to attack in the heart of western europe.
so i think your question is an important one because it points to i think three really key differences between now and even when bin laden was killed. and by the way at the time and matt will remember this because weed a lo ahad lots of discussi there were those who argdued openly that the counterterrorism would go the way of socialtologists. and i think the reality is the threat has morphed not just in the way that cofernd matt have described, but very sophisticated ways. this is a movement that has been able to resident regurrect the the islamic caliphate is a reality and they have been able to resurrect the very idea of being a part of this caliphate globally. so you've seen not just in the middle east, not just in north africa, but even in places like
southeast asia and north america where we had thought we had squelched a lot of these movements and the ideology itself sort of reanimated. so the very notion of the caliphate and the territory that is held and reshaping of borders has sort of reformed the very idea of the ideology and i worry that we're talking not just about isis today but the isis of tomorrow. daish 2daesh #.0. we used to worry about the safe havens of old. mosul has been in the hands of isis almost three years almost. that means they have access to people, they have access to labs, they have access to
universities, they have access to money, they having a says to banks and money service businesses, something treasury is focused on. so it changes the complexion of the terrorist landscape when you're talking about disruption of where you have real urban environments. and how do you carpet bond the second largest city in iraq? you don't. how do you deal with raqqah from which they're plotting westward? so it creating right challenges for u.s. policy make makerspoli. whether kinetics or things like the tools we use to deal with terrorist financing. >> and i want to pick up on would be point that you raised. and you and i have had many discussions about looking at countering violent islamic extremism and looking not just
to parra friz bill clinton, it's the economy, stupid, but it is the ideology stupid. what more can we, should we, i think is this the the missing dimension of our state craft because we need to use military instruments, yes. we need to see territory. we need it use all sorts of instruments, but we've never fully used this instrument. what could that look like? >> we often thing of these issues as separate, and the reality is they're highly dependent on each other. from the ideological perspective, part of the annual lure of isis is the fact that they hold territory.annuallure that they hold territory.
voos majori varies majority of their videos is demonstrating that they are a group that they can govern in a real way. so they're showing that they can police the streets of mosul, that they can fill the markets of raqqah, that they can interact with the children. that is their knmodus operandi. and the fact that they have actually changed borders and can withstand pressure to maintain territory. there has been a good instipg not to overgeneralize the problem. this isn't a war on islam and we have to be careful about that and the lexicon we use. so that instinct has largely drawn a retreat from people in
dealing with the ideology because it's hard. this is a group that is purporting both in its mythology and its theology to define what it means to be a muslim. in fact their i'd godeology is y come to the islamic state because it's the only real place where you can be a muslim. but the refugee flow is an opportunity for them. but it's also a challenge to them because they don't want muslims to flee. but there are a number of things we can can do and the u.s. can part of it. part of this is an mating a grass rooting counter movement that actually -- not only counters the i'd yol i didn't, but replace it is with what it
means to be a muslim in the 21st century. in fact isis is playing for this. this explains why you see a lot of women recruits. not just to be potentially operatives, but also mothers. and these operatives are bringing families. and so there is a generational dimension to this. and so we have to find a way with our partners to redefine what this means. second there has to be much more work done on issues of governance. this is a group in its various iterations that has preyed on lack of governance, sectarianism, the inability to fulfill hopes and wishes and dreams the arab spring has fallen by the wayside in that regard. so that has to be a key component. the third is we have to find ways of identifying our allies in the space because we do have allies. whether it's the kurds fight being or the liberal bloggers in bangladesh that are being slaughtered.
we have allies in the space and we have to figure out ways of defending them, promoting them, networking them and scaling their efforts. because they're out there. and there are manifestations of this ideology not just in the context of this group controlling taker directory but in how the ideology represents itself physically.taker directo in how the ideology represents itself physically. you look at polio outbreaks in conflict zones. many are in places controlled by extremist groups. why? because the vaccination teams are being harassed or killed or isolated by extremists who don't believe in the need for vaccinations, but more broadly think it's a cia plot or some other venture. so where you have polio outbreak, you have hot the spots of the ideology itself.
so i think we have to be smarter about where the ideology itself is manifesting and challenging international norms and principals, whether human rights, women's rights or health issues. >> and i would add one point that you didn't bring but i'm sure you would agree with is the role of victims and the dreams and the opportunities lost. that is a very powerful -- you don't want to exploit it, but literally to know every time you see a martyr, we should have the face of the victims. so every time isil is trying to glam arrest rise someone, there should be the face of the real consequences of terrorism. women, children, people, innocent people die. cough ter i cough ferre, how wou respond today is this we know we
need to keep the pressure on theed a ver areas. i think that's a given. but flip side is we know we can't capture our way to success alone. >> my wife has told me i'm not allowed to answer anything relative to voice mail. so -- >> i'm glad you took our calls. >> my response may surprise people what they seem to think of me, is that i've never been a big advocate of the use of conventional u.s. military forces. my vision of the best use of conventional military ground forces, when you send them in, i want a gunfight, i want a lot of dead people. what i don't want is to have our young men, women stuck in situations where they're getting shot and sniped at. there are other courses of action that can be done.
a.i.d., cia, good action between cia and jsoc that can be done. at this point, i think of missed opportunities. it's like the chains thing. if only i had been there, could i have told them. i would have told them the same story, but i think at the time i would have advocated maybe that's the best thing to do and with hindsight maybe folks that positi think like me are right. i think we have to look at things like libya and not repeating things like this. we have enough of a problem without creating more of them, you know? and the question is are they motivated in either situation in any way, what geopolitically is
america's interests, what is morally correct. we could go on the rest of our lives each having a different view, but i have to make had rd and firm views. neither one view is always correct. gadhafi was terrible to his own people, no doubt about it. he's in hell you betcha. but perhaps did not require the response that has resulted in that country being torn apart. same thing with places like iraq. i really do think simplistically the americans have got to start being a little bit more like the british were at the height of their empire. not to enslave or press people for economic reasons, but you know you have to be very careful on what tools you select, what the problem is, and the other thing which i don't know about you, frank, but my recollection of the inordinary nantz amount of time i spent in the situation
room, i don't recall a lot of thinking about consequences down the road or unintended consequences. and i would rather spend more time looking at that, what is good for america in my case for the long term than what is immediately gratifying right now. something good for the united states and good for our allies and take a bit of a lighter tou touch. i think military advisers in the right situation is great. god bless the french. i love them, but they didn't exactly send their military observers over here fto give us liberty. they came over to see if these continentals could stand up for the british infantry and when they miraculously did, they go, you know, we could really slam the brits but good with these boys. and there you go.
>> george washington university. >> just saying, you know, let's look a little bit more like what's in it for us. and if i kind of get one of the platforms of trump is that kind of like america first. well, you say what you want about all that, but i think there is an element of what is in our interests. what is the easiest best way to do it for the long term that is sustainable and every problem sd does not get my son going out there with his company to get shot at. so i have a thing about that. i think we can restructure our force. we have the nuclear issues against prime enemies, peers, but this is just me, but i don't think the iraqis need f-16s and you can use a super tucono. if we look at how can we do these things in a sustained way
and keep the amount of blood and treasure at a minimum and realize that many of these issues will go on for the rest of our lives in some fashion or the other. do you know why the white house would always turn to the cia for covert action? do you ever wonder? president jimmy carter, hated the cia. he gets to be president and he go this is is pretty cool. and the cia is very cautious because whatever everyone else can do, i mean once an issue is really gone, i mean hopeless, either the's like let's bring in these guys. take a look, what you can do? and the problem islike let's br these guys. take a look, what you can do? and the problem is would he have been successful enough on which enough that they keep coming back. but if you look at the measure of success, it was never like they solved if.
peace in this country forever. it was marginally better, that was good enough. i would like to think more like that. there won't be a lot of examples where the pretty french girls were throwing flowers at our troops when the tanks go by. i think that time is over. >> cofer, can i pick up on that? because very insightful and thoughtful and then general eisenhower before he became president used to say in prep e preparation for battle i've found planneds to be useless, but planning to be in dispensa e indispensable. it's looking at the second, third off the fact. how do we confidefine success it are the right measurements of effectiveness to ensure -- we get it from a tactical standpoint. but we're not dealing with the
hierarchic hierarchical adversary where -- not to suggest that baghdadi's demeese wouldn't haise wouldn'e but how do we define success. what are the bench marks. and then i want to allow time for two really quick questions for the audience. you have the hard one. >> it is a very hard question. i love the image -- >> philosophical. >> -- of the french girls showering our troops. >> let's bring that back. >> maybe we can hire people. >> have to do something for that to happen there. >> but it's not something that we will see in the terrorism fight. and the reality is that we will be doing this for a long, long time. and that is the beginning of how you start to think about what success might look like. i mean i go back to to my time
in office and i would not talk in a setting like this or in a congressional hearing about ing engaged in risk management. but at the end of the day, these types of attacks you just cannot be 100% effective. that was not something halves part of my talking points as a government official. but in reality, that is what we werehalves part of my talking points as a government official. but in reality, that is what we were engaged in. and everybody though i think we understand that the expectation is 100% effectiveness, that no terrorist attack particularly a terrorist attack in the united states is acceptable, you cannot stop every scale small attack or even one certainly on the scale of san bernardino. and i go -- i'm concerned that we are potentially -- we have the potential to see a more sophisticated attack look the lines of what we saw in paris or san bernardino here in the united states. i don't think we can discount
that risk. so that is not an answer to your question, but i think again it's a long term problem. what we will see is the slow destruction of the capability of groups like al qaeda and then isis. and i think we are seeing that over time. i do think there are promising points on both groups that we've made some inroads that are -- make a difference in diminishing the threat to us. but what we will see is that the threat will pop up in other manifestations. because the ideology exists, the compla conditions that give rise to terrorist groups whether lack of government, lack of hope for young men, that ideology will continue to take root and we will be engaged in it a sort of consistent effort to bring all the military to counter mess
apiap i messaging to bear on this problem. and my hope is that when captain black gets toward retire,ap messaging to bear on this problem. and my hope is that when captain black gets toward retire, general black, right that it didn't look thinking like this does now, that the threat is sody minute earned that we don't have conferences devoted to it. i think that's sort of what i think is successful. >> very thoughtful and i won't let juan off the hook on this. but one of the things that i think brings all of us together is obviously common threats, common kerps aconcerns. it really is trust. perhaps there is additional positioni thinking because ultimately theed a ver arthe ad v theed a ver saer rots away from their own ideological bankruptcy. are there things to facilitate that and ultimately when you look at organized crime, what really took down any of these other -- it's when they lost trust in their own family
members. they could care less if the guy on the outside is against them, but when they lose trust in themselves, it rots away. so i'd be curious, what does success look like and i promise we're already a little over our time, so it requires i be a little bit of a tyrant. >> i will oob super quick. when i was at the white house, we were worried about precisely they question. i can't given ygive you specifics, but we did ten americas of success and tracked it. but the inability of a global movement to have strategic effect on u.s. interests. the ability of u.s. allies to work with the u.s., to contain diminish the manifestation -- >> maybe even lead. >> exactly. and third, ideologically to your
question, an environment that is hostile to the embedding of this ideology in a way that allows to regenerate or to resurrect. this is the problem in europe. god willing it's not the problem here. p but that i think has to be a marker of success and that takes all sorts of things including the idea of strength and unity. one final quick point. matt's point about risk is really important. because we have to be careful, we're a resilient country, we don't want to overreach. sometimes it plays in to the terrorists' hands. on the other hand, when we talk about things like existential risk as to whether or not we take a threat seriously or not, we run the risk of distorting the nature of the problem and its ability to adapt into threats and risks that become major problems. strategically to our allies and in the next form of the threat. soenk we have to be very careful about how we talk about the
threat. not overhyping it, but also not undervaluing or diminishing itsedits adapt ability. p. >> and i'm reminded of a far side cartoon, a bunch of dinosaurs sitting around and the caption is one really bad day. and i think we've thought about that catastrophic really bad day which we do need to be factoring in, but you can still have events below that that are really bad days. >> series of brad dad days. >> we have time for one or two really quick questions. p please identify yourself. or we can start with the -- >> great conversation. thank you. bill flynn, former dhs infrastructure protection.
i want to ask juan about a couple statements make you specifically with regard to the safe haven issue. so given this threat environment, this evolving adaptive morphing adversary, and considering the current capabilities versus intent, and considering that they had the ability to operate in safe havens where there are resources, i would say potential and i underscore the word potential, what is your stern with an existential threat to our european partners because of this intent and the safe haven cape at that they certainly have had for the past several years? >> thank you for your years of service. i think a couple things. one, the very real threat that they could grow more innovative in wmd, people don't want to talk about wmd, but the reality
is they have a unit devoted to this on the chemical side. don't know what is happening on the bio side. and we've seen surveillance this belgium around the nuclear facilities. i've watched it when i was a young lawyer on terrorism issues, you get trained to assume the worst. may not always be the right instinct politically, but from a ct perspective, you have to xi assume the worst. so wmd is a key thing to watch because they have time and opportunities to experiment.so because they have time and opportunities to experiment.ass. so wmd is a key thing to watch because they have time and opportunities to experiment. second is the attacks 2 s that paris and brussels style. if they continue to paralyze europe, that has enormous strategic implications. and tefinally weakening of our
allies. in europe or kurdish areas or the syrian rebels in the south that we've support that had are secular that have done battle, we have to be very careful that we manage and support our allies in ways that allows them to take the fight on because an septembsent them, who is left to guard the gate. >> and i might note also that this maysent them, who is left to guard the gate. >> and i might note also that this may politically toxic, but there are some undergovernment spaces in europe where the authorities haven't been able to engaging in the same sort of way that they arguably have to. so i think our he european allies are upping their game dramatically, but their baseline a lot of them thought it's an american problem. unfortunately that's not the case. we have time for one more question. ambassador sweat. >> thank you. i would be curious to hear from you and understand whether you know of any of the international muslim communities that are out
there that are fighting these -- keeping the young people from being recruited by isis, who is doing that most successfully, who is taking back defectors and reintegrating them into their societies most successfully? >> i have to give you a quick answer. uae host is energy is that committed to countering violence extremism. they have done a lot of work quietly and publicly. the saudis in my time at the white house did a fair job of taking backs foreign fighters, a lot of them, who were regretting their moves and so they used them in media and their rehabilitation programs. singaporean government and muzlism community there has the gold standard in terms of rethat bill tags programs. so they will take radicalized individuals, train them, put the family and community away them so that they have support when they return into society.
and you have all sorts of groups, civil society groups, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, that are doing a lot of work to try to -- bloggers included to try to attack the ideology. the problem is it's not at scale. u.s. government has a hard time funding some of these things. and i think it requires kind of a let a thousand flowers bloom kind of approach where you have to flood the field with these efforts and find ways of providing micro grants, providing innovative venture capital to really interesting and successful models. we don't have that yet. and we have to get there. >> really thoughtful. >> and i would agree with what juan said in terms of the resources. there is a lot of activity, a lot of good ideas. it's largely underresourced. and there is a very different but an that will gimaalogous ef united states where there have by pilot activities to look for
best practices across the board of counter messaging to working with people who perhaps were radicalized and putting them on a different path. but it will require -- it's a longer period of time and it will require more resources going forward. >> cofer, i always give you the last word. >> i can't improve on that. >> well, let me take a moment to thank -- these really are the titans. thank you for your service and your insights. and please join me in thanking them for joining us. [ applause ]
tonight on the communicators, republican s.e.c. commissioner michael o'reilly on several key issues facing the s.e.c. like net new neutrality and also comments on the political divide. he's joined by howard bus democratic kirk.lso comments on divide. he's joined by howard bus democratic kirk. >> to take the most aggressive approach to policy making, that br becomes the first goal rather than any consideration of any collegiality or any kind of attempt to bring or develop consensus, you wind up with the scenario we have today, when there is little interest in
bringing my opinions on board, you'll find i'm less likely to be supportive and i'll express my views. >> watch it tonight at 8:00 on c-spa c-span2. a final panel now coming up from a conference on national security and counterterrorism. deputy homeland security secretary talks about efforts to increase cyber security threat information sharing between the government and private sectors and then public and private sector specialists on what they're doing to encouraging combatting cyber threats. george washington university is the host of this conference. good morning and if i could welcome everyone to the campus at george washington university. thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. let me also welcome our c-span viewers this morning. i direct our center for cyber and homeland security.
and really excited for what will be a rich and long day covering a whole host of issues that our center zeros in on, ranging from counterterrorism on homeland security to cyber to obviously the integration between federal, state and local and obviously withes integration between the public and the private sector as well as some of the international issues. couldn't positithink of a bette to host this than sunday was the fifth year of the successful raid on osama bin laden in pakistan. and obviously serves as a good time to take shock in terms of where we are, how the threat has changed, and what sorts of capabilities and capacities with we need to be able to get ahead of the curve. our conference is titled securing our future, and it is meant to be a strategic set of
issues that looks across our various portfolio issues. let me ask everyone to please put their phones in quiet mode. and when you allow time for a mike to find you. i am going to very quickly introduce one of our board members, mike balboni, who will moderate the first session this morning with the deputy secretary of dhs mayorkas. mike balboni is a long-time friend, co-conspirator on a whole host of issues. he serves on our board and, more importantly, has served in numerous roles related to homeland security including the homeland security adviser to two different governors in the state of new york, a former state senator in new york who really picked up and advanced a lot of the homeland security issues
from the state assembly. he also resides from my hometown, long island. he represented long island. as you can see i am wearing my islanders colors today. so go, islanders, tonight. without further ado let me introduce mike balboni, who is ceo of redland strategies. you see him a lot on our tv screens throughout the country. and mike, the floor is yours. thank you. [ applause ] good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i don't know if you share my sense of enthusiasm but it's great when you come from the hinterlands of the state and come to washington, d.c., and get a chance to interact with the people who are decision makers behind the scenes. you don't always get an opportunity to see them. that's our opportunity this morning. alejandro mayorkas is a very distinguished individual that you may not really have spent a lot of time focusing on. yet, it 1998 he was appointed by then president clinton to be one
of the youngest u.s. attorneys out of central california. then he went to the private sector and, when he went there, the national law journal called him one of 50 most influential attorneys in the nation. and of course, the president, obama, put him into dhs for citizenship did immigration services where he oversaw an organization of 18,000 individuals and a $3 billion budget. he took the big step. in 2013 president obama then said you become the deputy secretary for dhs. now he runs an agency, $60 billion, 240,000 employees and he is the number two for this incredibly vast enterprise that has so many of the issues that relate to so much of our personal lives. without further ado, deputy secretary mayorkas.
>> thank you. thank you very much. good morning, everyone. and i very much appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts with you. i thought this morning i would really focus my comments on cyber security in particular, one of our greatest priorities and one of the greatest national security imperatives that we face. one year ago today, as a matter of fact, one year ago, two men wearing body armor, carrying assault rifles, hand guns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition stepped out of a vehicle and started shooting at the curtis caldwell center in garland, texas. they did not achieve their objective. they were thwarted by valiant and brave law enforcement officers who were ready for the
attack. one of those valiant officers was shot in the ankle, was able to recover in a local hospital but no one died. the curtis caldwell center was targeted because they had exhibited a cartoon show with respect to the prophet mohammad in protest of the tragic "charlie hebdo" assault that had occurred a month earlier in paris, france. the attack was essentially thwarted successfully because of the fact, in part, that the intelligence community had shared information with local law enforcement with respect to anticipated attacks on the center, and the prospect of just such an event.
and we, in this country, are quite mature and evolved in the sharing of information in the counter-terrorism arena. not only within the intelligence community, the federal intelligence community, but very importantly and critically with our first responders, through a network of fusion centers and other mechanisms we share information in as realtime as possible with state a local tribal law enforcement so that those individuals are equipped to protect the public whom they serve. that level of evolution and maturity does not yet exist in the realm of cyber security. and yet, it is no less a security imperative. in fact, there is something unique about the cyber security
realm that really underscores how imperative the sharing of information is in this realm. and that is the ease and accessibility of replication of harm and the replication of an attack. when i was a federal prosecutor and handled -- at the outset of my career i handled bank robberies. i remember seeing bank robbers who hit one bank and moved on to another. and the ability to execute their particular modus operandi and replicate in one institution the harm that they had sought to inflict in another was actually quite difficult and usually unsuccessful. here in the cyber security realm, as we all know all too well, it is just a click of a button away. when one hits one institution, whether it be ransom ware or whatever harm one seeks to
inflict, one can easily hit another institution in a matter of seconds if not simultaneously. that calls for the sharing of information in a way that is rather unprecedented in the law enforcement arena. very often, in an investigation, information is not shared because, number one, the investigation may be conducted in the context of a grand jury. but more importantly, the investigation is seeking to identify the perpetrator and achieve accountability. in a cyber security realm, the perpetrator may be an ocean away, may be inaccessible to law enforcement and actually apprehending the perpetrator may not necessarily be as important as ensuring that the victimization is in fact not replicated elsewhere.
and so, the paradigm that we are seeking to establish in the cybersecurity realm is a much more open and sharing of information paradigm than otherwise exists in the traditional enforcement and security arenas. what we are seeking to accomplish in the department of homeland security and across the administration is to treat the cyber threat indicator itself, this unique indicator of the perpetrator, to share that, to no longer consider it a commodity for profit but, rather, to share it as a public good. so that, if in fact one institution is harmed, we share the information as to the nature of the vulnerability and, more specifically, the nature of the exploitation and enable others who may share that vulnerability
to patch the vulnerability and protect themselves from suffering the very same harm. right now we have a number of obstacles in achieving that information-sharing paradigm to which we aspire. it is -- i'm not worried about the obstacle of undercutting profit because we know very well that in the cyber security realm there are many avenues. in fact, they're exploding in growth and number, many avenues of making a profit. and the cyber threat indicator, the profit makers do not need to rely upon. but rather, there are different obstacles. number one, i think there is a general sense of distrust between the technology community and government writ large.
there is certainly a residue of distrust in the post-snowden environment. and that residue, quite frankly, has been built upon or sharpened a bit, quite frankly, in the dialogue around encryption and the sometimes polarizing nature of that debate. and we have to work through our disagreements. we have to work through the distinct policy positions around critical and important issues and find a level of trust that allows us to protect one another and, therefore, collectively to protect the nation as a whole, number one. number two, there is a skepticism in the private sector as to what is in it for us. we will share information with the government, but what will we receive in return.
will we, in fact, only be the subject of an investigation, whether our cyber security protocols within our institution are adequate to protect our customers, our shareholders, our clients, our students, our patients, whatever the nature of the duty is. will we become the subject of investigation, or otherwise will it just be a one-way stream of sharing of information. and what we are building in the department of homeland security is a mechanism of, frankly, mutual benefit. our intention in receiving information from the private sector, stripped of personally identifiable information so that we safeguard an individual or an institution's privacy interests. we are unique in the department of homeland security as having a statutorily created office of
privacy and a statutorily created office of civil rights and civil liberties. but we will take that information and we will disseminate it. we will disseminate it in automated form, in realtime, not only across the government but, frankly, throughout the private sector. two of the information sharing and analysis organizations that the president created in his november 2014 executive order. and the idea is, if that one institution shares with us information that other institutions may not be privy to, we will publish that information in a form that is useful from a cyber security perspective and not imposing -- unduly imposing from a privacy perspective throughout the participating private sector entities so that they can understand what the harm suffered was, how it was
achieved and protect themselves from suffering the when same harm. the sharing of information in the counter-terrorism space took time. it took time for the government to develop the mechanisms of sharing and to develop the muscle memory, to overcome, to some extent, provincialism that existed, stove-piping, but we are in a place now that is far, far stronger and far, far better than when we -- the way we were in 2001. we do not have the luxury of time in the cybersecurity arena to develop institutional mechanisms, to develop a culture of information sharing and to build the muscle memory that we now enjoy in the counter-terrorism space.
the cybersecurity realm, as we all know, is fast evolving. it is the exploding. dr. matana, the head of israeli's national cyber bureau, described the cyber space as the third revolution. there was the agriculture revolution, the industrial revolution, and now there is the cyber revolution. there are more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet. and things are moving fast. and we need to move fast as well. not only as a government. we need to be far, far better in our ability to innovate than we are currently, and we're making strides in that regard. but we have to be better as a community. and by that i mean as a public-private community, together, in battling the threat of cybersecurity. we believe in the department of
homeland security that we are uniquely situated to be the point of the spear in building that community, that community of sharing of information and a cohesive response to attacks that can hit one or all of us together. we have been the beneficiary of critical legislation this past year that affords the sharer of information liability protection. we are a civilian agency, civilian department, though we have law enforcement components. we are civilian in nature and, as i alluded to earlier, we have unique protections that afford the interests of the dissemination of information and the privacy of civil rights and civil liberties arena. we are working within the administration to public critical documents to guide the private sector in the sharing of information. we look forward to rolling those
out in the near future. we are enhancing our efforts not just domestically but certainly internationally. our office of science and technology just entered into an agreement in principle with the government of south korea. our office of science and technology has just entered into an agreement with the government of israel to pool funding for research and development in the cybersecurity realm. this is a matter where the community is not only a public-private partnership domestically but a public-to-public and a public-private partnership around the world. i returned recently from berlin and the united kingdom, where i participated in the biannual dialogue with our key partners
in the national security space. and front and center in those dialogues was the subject of cybersecurity. of course, encryption arose, but the sharing of information and the development of institutional responses to a harm that we are all exposed to was upper most in our minds and upper most in our discussions. and so i hope that we will be able to work together to build a cybersecurity infrastructure that parallels the success that we enjoy and that we execute in the counter-terrorism and broader national security structure, and i appreciate your time and i look forward to fielding your questions in the minutes ahead. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. >> permit me, if i may, deputy secretary, to pose two questions. and then open it to the audience
for questions themselves. so let me switch to the counter-terrorism. post paris and brussels, what has become very evident is that there have been enclaves of isolated communities within those -- throughout europe really but specifically in brussels that have permitted the radicalization on a community basis of some members, certainly the ability to move in and out of these communities themselves. given the level of rhetoric in this campaign and the concern that we have seen growing throughout europe, what is it that we can do from the department of homeland security's perspective to counter the narrative of radicalization? >> let me say that i appreciate that's the question. it's a very important priority of ours. the countering violent extremism mission. last year we were very focused on the foreign fighter ph