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tv   Global Terror Threats  CSPAN  November 30, 2017 10:04am-1:33pm EST

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wall and another wall and can't get things done. but for the most part you are able to get around some of those. >> thank you so much for -- thank you so much for being here tonight. dr. yehia will be around to answer any personal questions that you have, and we have another program tomorrow night for any of you who are interested in history. thank you again. thank you to the va, and to you for recommending dr. yehia. thank you. next, live to capitol hill as the house homeland security committee hears from some of the nation's top intelligence chiefs and security specialists about global terror threats against the u.s. fbi director christopher wray and acting dhs secretary elaine duke are among those testifying
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with islamist and document terrorism. cyber attacks, aviation and border security.
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committee on homeland security will come to order. committee is meeting today to
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examine the most serious threats confronting our homeland. before i recognize myself for an opening statement i would like to take a moment to welcome the newest member of our committee, don bacon. don served nearly 30 years in the air force and is experienced in cybersecurity and airborne e reconnaissance. thank you for being here. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. i would like to thank the witnesses. acting secretary elaine duke. fbi director christopher wray. ctc director nick rasmussen for joining us today. you represent thousands of patriotic men and women who go to work every day to ensure the safety of their fellow americans. everyone on this committee is extremely grateful for your service and director rasmussen, forever -- two decades you have
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helped to navigate an unprecedented landscape and combat terrorism around the globe. you have been a great partner to me and to this committee. and i would -- i would like to call you a friend. and we all wish you the best of luck in -- i hate to say retirement because that's -- in whatever you do after this. this past year has been a particularly devastating one. in just the last month we witnessed another terror attack in downtown new york, and over the summer parts of america, including my home state of texas were greatly impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters. we also saw several heinous acts of violence that included the mass shootings in las vegas, sutherland springs and the hate-fueled homicides in portland and charlottesville. tense tens of millions of americans also felt the effects of
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cyberattacks from hackers and other cyber criminals. these are just a few of the horrors that hit our homelands. on islamist terrorism. over the thanksgiving break an isis affiliated group attacked a mosque in northern sinai that left 300 people including 27 children dead. while this attack was thousands of miles away, it was a reminder of the savage nature of an enemy that always has our homeland in its sights. in the aftermath from 9/11, the department of homeland security was created to prevent further attacks, and i believe we are better prepared than we were 16 years ago. however, in that time al qaeda has expanded its global presence and isis has conquered parts of countries, slaughtered innocent civilians and inspired new followers. by using encrypted technology and by spreading incessant
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propaganda across the internet, jihadists are recruiting new members and planning new attacks. this has been obvious by a series of vehicle homicides across europe. cities known for their history and culture like paris, berlin, london, nice, barcelona and brussels are becoming more familiar as terror targets. the attack on halloween in new york was proof that our homeland is also susceptible to this line of attack. terrorists are answering sheikh adnany's call to kill westerners using whatever means necessary wherever they are. while our enemies are always adjusting their tactics we know that our aviation sector is still their crown jewel of targets. earlier this month our committee was briefed about aspects of airport security. to our dismay, it was made clear
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that we have a long ways to go. we must do more to address a threat also posed by foreign fighters who have fled the battlefield and remain one flight away. consequently, we have identified key areas that need improvements and look forward to working with the tsa to see them through. to help defeat terrorists we must work with private tech companies to limit their communication capabilities and use all of our economic and military resources to dry up their funding and crush them on the battlefield. when it comes to border security, another ongoing challenge is keeping our borders secure. human traffickers, gangs like ms-13. drug smugglers and potential terrorists are continually looking for new ways to sneak into our country. we must do whatever we can to stop this illegal entry, especially those who wish to do
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us harm. in october, this committee took a big step in the right direction by passing the border security for america act. this legislation, which i introduced, calls for building additional physical barriers, including a wall, fencing, new technology and a surge in personnel. it targets drug and human traffickers at our ports of entry and will help identify visa overstays through the full deployment of a biometric entry/exit system which the 9/11 commission recommended. our homeland cannot be secure without strong borders. and i look forward to getting this bill to the floor. natural disasters. this year's hurricane season devastated many cities and towns in my home state of texas, in louisiana, florida, puerto rico, and the u.s. virgin islands.
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after hurricane harvey i personally toured much of the wreckage back home. roads were flooded, homes destroyed, and many people lost their lives. however, i was amazed by the strength demonstrated by people who braved dangerous conditions to support one another. texans helping texans. i was also impressed by the quick action taken by our heroic first responders and by the emergency response at the federal, state and local levels. thanks to a coordinated effort led by fema. a broader recovery will take a long time. but i know that if we continue to work together, we'll be able to successfully rebuild these communities that were shattered by these powerful storms. on the issue of cybersecurity, america's cybersecurity networks are under attack. in september we learned that equifax had been successfully
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hacked and 145.5 million people may have been affected by the breach. last week it was also reported that 57 million people use uber, that they may have been -- had their personal information stolen from a cyberattack in 2016. this cannot continue. fortunately our committee has made strengthening dhs cybersecurity a top priority. in 2014 bipartisan committee efforts resulted in the enactment of legislation that provided dhs expedited hiring authorities, ensured dhs is assessing its cybersecurity workforce and clarified the department's role in cybersecurity of federal networks. in 2015 the cybersecurity act provided liability protections for public to private and
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private to private cyber threat information sharing. we have had some success, but we need to do better. and that is why this committee passed a bill to elevate the operational capabilities of dhs' cyber office to better protect digital america. finally, on the issue of domestic terror attacks, domestic terror attacks and violence ignited by white supremists, the kkk or anyone else who preaches prejudice must not be tolerated. as i have stated before, threatening the safety of others and using intimidation tactics to advance political or religious beliefs is simply unacceptable in the united states. too often we are seeing that our differences lead to violence and this must be stopped. as a nation, we should stand together and reject any type of
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hatred that seeks to divide our neighbors as enemies. this is an issue we will explore further in our second panel. in conclusion, homeland security must be bipartisan. the terrorists don't check our party affiliation. and there are certainly other threats. from ballistic missiles, weapons of mass destruction programs in north korea and iran, to the continued undermining of american interests by nation-states including russia. as we face these threats, we must put our homeland security before partisanship and politics. i am proud to say that this committee has had a long track record of doing just that. we have improved information sharing for counter-terrorism efforts, increased support for first responders. in july passed the first ever comprehensive reauthorization of
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dhs with an overwhelming bipartisan support. this re-authorization will allow dhs to more faithfully carry out its mission of safeguarding our homeland, our people and our values, and i am hopeful that the senate will finally take up this vital bill as soon as possible. so with that, i want to thank again these very prominent and important witnesses for appearing here before this committee. and with that, i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing on keeping america secure from terrorism. hang on just a minute, will you. i would also like to thank both panels of witnesses for today.
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in the wake of the disturbing rise of domestic terrorism in recent years, democratic members of this committee have repeatedly asked for a hearing on this important topic. while this hearing is our annual one examining worldwide threats, a great deal of our conversation will likely be focused on the terror threat from right here at home. incidents like the 2015 killing of nine church goers by a white supremist at mother emanuel church in charleston and the hate fueled violence that left a young woman dead and 19 others injured during a white supremacist rally in charlottesville earlier this year highlight the threat posed by domestic extremists. domestic terrorist organizations have even adopted some of the same techniques for recruitment and radicalization as foreign
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terrorist organizations, using the internet to reach followers and coordinate their actions. >> for one thing it means that we're showing that to parasitic class of anti-white vermin that this is our country, it was built by our forefathers and sustained by us. it will remain our country. we are stepping off the internet in a big way. last night at the torch walk there were hundreds and hundreds of us. people realize they are part of a larger whole because we have been spreading our memes, organizing on the internet, and so now they're coming out. as you can see today, we greatly outnumbered the anti-white, anti-american filth. and at some point we will have enough power that we will clear them from the streets forever. that which is degenerate in white countries will be removed. >> so you're saying showing up
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in physical space lets people know that they're more like them? >> we're starting to slowly unveil a little bit of our power level. you ain't seen nothing yet. >> unfortunately, president trump insists on fueling the fire of hatred and extremism in america, calling marches in charlottesville very fine people. just yesterday retweeting inflammatory anti-muslim videos posted by a far-right british organization. james clapper, the former director of national intelligence, called trump's retweeting of the videos bizarre and disturbing and said his action undermines our relationship with our friends and allies. americans should be able to look to our president for a steady hand and responsible leadership in uncertain times.
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but unfortunately president trump consistently conducts himself in a way that jeopardizes our security and is not befitting the office he holds. also, though they cannot say so themselves, the president's actions make the already difficult jobs of the witnesses joining us on the first panel today even harder. the department of homeland security, federal bureau of investigation and national counter-terrorism center play key roles in securing the homeland from terrorists both foreign and domestic. i hope to hear from these witnesses today about the challenges they face, what emerging threats we should be aware of, and how congress can support them in their mission, consistent with our american laws and values. since much of our focus is typically on foreign terrorists,
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today i am especially interested in hearing how the witnesses assess the threat from domestic extremists and terrorist groups and learning what can be done to protect us from this rising concern. i also look forward to hearing from our second panel of witnesses on this topic later this morning. they bring special expertise on docume domestic extremism and terrorism issues, and i hope members will hear what they have to say and engage in a thoughtful dialogue. the southern poverty law center in particular is dedicated to fighting hate and seeking justice and equality for all americans. and i look forward to their recommendations for countering the ideologies that are inspiring violence in america. i had hoped to have naacp testify as well. but the invitation was issued less than 24 hours prior to the
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hearing, and the late notice prevents their participation today. i look forward to inviting them to testify at a future hearing. in closing, i want to say that we know there are those around the world who seek to come here and do americans harm. those charged with preventing such attacks have the unwavering support of all the members of this committee, consistent with the laws and values of our nation. i hope that some attention and resources will be dedicated to fighting domestic extremism and terrorism here at home to ensure the security of all americans. again, i thank the chairman for holding today's hearing and look forward to a productive discussion. i yield back. >> ranking member yields back. other members are reminded opening statements may be submitted for the record. we're pleased to have two distinguished panels of witnesses before us today.
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our first panel includes the honorable elaine duke, acting secretary of the united states department of homeland security. the honorable christopher wray, director of the fbi. and the honorable nicholas rasmussen, director of the national counter-terrorism center. the witnesses have full written statements which will appear in the record. chair recognizes secretary duke for an opening statement. >> good morning. chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson and distinguished members of the committee. it's my honor to testify here before you this morning on behalf of the men and women of department of homeland security who shield our nation from threats every single day, often in extremely dangerous environments. we are reminded of that this past week when we lost border patrol agent martinez in the line of duty. i truly appreciate and know our country appreciates his service and sacrifice. while we do not know for certain
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the circumstances of his death, we do know that he courageously chose a dangerous job with dhs because it was so important to our nation's security. when his father was asked why his son chose the border patrol his son said, i want to defend my country from terrorists. i want to prevent terrorists and drugs from coming into our country. and he loved this job. i want to begin by noting right now that the terror threat in our country equals and in many ways exceeds the period around 9/11. we are seeing a surge in terrorist activity because the fundamentals of terrorism have changed. our enemies are crowd-sourcing their violence online and promoting a do it yourself approach that involves using any weapons followers can get their hands on. we saw this just last month here on our own soil when a terrorist killed and wounded pedestrianings pedestrians
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in new york city using a rented vehicle. new yorkers rallied and refuse to be intimidated by this heinous attack. i want to make it clear that dhs is not standing on the sidelines as these threats proliferate and we will not allow frequent terrorism to become the new normal. the primary international terror threat facing our country is from global jihadist groups, however, the department is also focused on the threat of domestic terrorism. ideologically motivated violence here in the united states is a danger to our nation, our people and our values. we are tackling the overall terror threat in the united states head-on in two ways. first, we are rethinking homeland security for this new age. there is no longer a home game and away game. the line is blurred, and the threats are connected and across borders. that's why dhs is moving towards a more integrated approach, bringing together intelligence,
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operations, inter-agency agreement and international action like never before. second, we are raising the bar on our security posture across the board to keep dangerous individuals and goods from entering the united states. that includes building a wall in the southwest border and cracking down on transnational criminal organizations that bring drugs, violence and other threats to our communities. illegal immigration puts our communities and country at risk, which is why our border security strategy is multi-layered and includes robust interior enforcement operations to deter and prevent illegal entry. we are also strengthening everything from traveller screening to information sharing. we now require all foreign governments to share critical data with us on terrorists and criminals and to help us confidently identify their nationals. we must know who is coming into our country and make sure they do not pose a threat. that is why i recommended and
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the president approved tough but tailored restrictions against countries that pose a risk and which are not complying with our security requirements. and we are trying to stay a step ahead of emerging threats. we are planning next to launch a new office of countering weapons of mass destruction next week to consolidate and elevate dhs's efforts against the threats. secondly, our global aviation security plan makes it harder for terrorists to target u.s.-bound aircraft with concealed explosive or by using corrupted insiders. we are rededicating ourselves to derries prevention. our newly reorganized office of terrorism prevention partnerships will lead this charge. finally, we have stepped up dhs' efforts to protect soft targets,
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which will not only help better defend our country against terrorists but against tragedies we have witnessed like that in las vegas and texas. americans are also alarmed by the spike in terrorist attacks. dhs is engaging with congress on legislation that would establish a new operating component dedicated to cybersecurity. on behalf of the entire department, i appreciate the critical role this committee plays. thank you for holding this hearing, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary. the chair recognizes the fbi director christopher wray. >> thank you, chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson and members of the committee for the opportunity to talk to you today about the threats that we face and the tremendous work that's being done by the people of the fbi. i will say that, from my prior law enforcement and national security experience i already knew how outstanding and
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dedicated the men and women of the fbi were. i have to say, from the past three months in this job seeing it from this perch has made me feel even more humbled and inspired to work with them. the people i get to work with every day around the country and around the world are mission-focused, they are passionate and they are utterly determined to be the very best that they can be to protect the american people and uphold the rule of law. in coming back to government after being gone for about 12 years, what struck me the most is some of the changes that i have seen, the evolution of the threat, the changes in technology, the capabilities that have been built, and as i have been getting briefed up on the work we're doing and encountering firsthand how we do our work in today's environment like we just had in new york, what's struck me is the magnitude of the threats we face and the diversity of the threats we face. on the terrorism front, in addition to international terrorist groups and home-grown
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violent extremists we also have domestic terrorists intending to influence or coerce our government through violent criminal activity. in the cyber arena we have not only nation-states but also sophisticated criminal actors. and in our counter intelligence work we face threats from nation-states targeting not just our national security secrets but also our ideas and our innovation, and they're doing so not just through traditional intelligence operatives but through non-traditional collectors like scientists and students and businessmen. on the terrorism issue in particular, my prior experience had been very focused on large, structured organizations like al qaeda. and to be clear, we still confront threats from organizations like al qaeda planning large-scale attacks over long periods of time. we also face groups like isis who use social media to recruit followers remotely and to inspire people to take to the
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streets with crude but effective weapons like hatchets and vehicles. smaller in scale but greater in volume, these organizations, if you can call them organizations, move from plotting to action in a very short period of time with very little planning using low-tech and widely available attack methods. on top of that, these terrorists' use of social media and encryption technology has made it harder to find their messages of hate and destruction, leaving even fewer footprints or dots for us to connect. the good news is that i have also been very impressed and pleased at the progress that the fbi has made since i was last working with them, particularly in the areas of intelligence integration and partnerships. intelligence is now heavily integrated into every program the fbi has, into our overall mission, our training, and it drives really everything we do.
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in addition to that, the scope and strength of the partnerships that the bureau now has with our federal partners, our state and local counterparts, members of the intelligence community and our international partners are at a whole new level compared to what i saw when i was in government before. so, while remarkable progress has been made, we cannot become complacent, and we need to keep improving to ensure that we are up to the task in getting ahead of the threat. as one example, we are now at risk of losing one of the key tools in our tool kit that is invaluable to all of our national security programs that i just mentioned. as i mentioned at the beginning, the speed and agility of our terrorist and intelligence adversaries has increased at a tremendous pace putting a huge premium on matching that speed and agility with our ability to connect the dots. that's why reauthorization of fisa section 702 which expires
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in just a few weeks is so incredibly important to our work. it's one of the most powerful tools that we have to help us evaluate leads and prioritize threat information. it can tell us quickly whether a person here in the u.s. has ties to a terrorist overseas or if there is someone overseas who is planning an attack. mr. chairman, ranking member, members of this committee, i look forward to working with you on these and other significant challenges, and i appreciate the opportunity to be with you today, and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, director. chair recognizes the nctc director, rasmussen. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member thompson and members of the committee. as i mentioned during my testimony before the committee last year, the array of terrorist actors around the globe is broader, wider and deeper than it has been at any point since 9/11. as we meet here today the discipline of terrorism prevention is changing beneath our feet every day. it requires that we respond with
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extraordinary agility and flexibility. i would like to take the opportunity today to share what i have seen in the way of changes in the terrorism landscape since i last testified before the committee. i will also say a few words about areas where we can do a better job of tackling the threat and to strengthen our ct capabilities. i'll begin with what's changed or what's new with the overall threat. the developments fall into three primary areas. the first of these is the coalition's success in shrinking the territory that isis controls in iraq and syria as compared to a year ago. the second major trend is an uptick in attacks inspired by isis that we have seen against western interests around the globe in the last year as compared to attacks that are directed by the group from their headquarters in iraq and syria. the third trend i would point to is the resurgence of aviation threats, reaching a level of concern that we in the intelligence community have not faced since aqap's printer package plot in 2010. so to start first with isis'
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losses on the battlefield, isis is clearly facing significant battlefield pressure from u.s. forces and the coalition and the size of the territory the group controls is shrinking day by day. as isis copes with that territorial loss, though, the group will look to preserve its capabilities by operating more as a covert terrorist organization and as an insurgency from its few remaining strongholds in iraq and syria. this is undoubtedly good news. we are winning on the battlefield. unfortunately territorial losses have not translated into a corresponding reduction in the group's ability to inspire attacks even including here at home. over the last year isis has inspired numerous attacks, particularly in the uk and europe and most recently at home as has been discussed earlier in new york city on halloween. the number of arrests and disruptions we've seen around the globe while that is a testament to effective law enforcement and intelligence work it also tells us that the global reach of isis remains largely intact, even as the
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group is being decisively defeated on the battlefield. the uptick stands in contrast to the pattern of attacks directed and enabled from syria in 2015 and 2016. this year we've not seen the group successfully direct a large scale sophisticated attack like the paris and brussels attacks. but the number of inspired attacks as director wray mentioned is clearly on the rise. all of this underscores our belief that there is not a direct link between the battlefield position of isis in iraq and their capacity to continue inspiring external attacks. so battlefield losses are not enough, not sufficient, to mitigate alone the threat from isis. it's also worth me saying, as -- even as we are focused on isis as a primary terrorism challenge, that al qaeda has never stopped being a primary counter-terrorism challenge for the united states and a top tier priority. so even as we point to isis, we continue to see the continued
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evolution of al qaeda as a resilient organization. and we know that al qaeda retains the capability and intent to carry out attacks against our allies around the world. i'll touch quickly now on the third development that's stood out in the threat environment. the threat to civil aviation. there is a long history of terrorists seeking innovative means to carry out these acts. australiaen authorities disrupted a plot in july. terrorists have shown themselves to be persistent out-of-the-box thinkers with respect to aviation. aviation related threats have long been and remain near or at the top of things that demand our focused attention. this brings me to my final point. we need to do a better job of tackling the threat of those mobilized to extremist violence here in the homeland. one of the things we do quite well in the intelligence system is collecting intelligence and
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sharing it with those who need it. we share it across the various federal agencies and increasingly with those around the country. we push unclassified information to others around the country. beyond that, there is more we can do to impro. we must do what we can to prevent the recruitment of american youth and prevent all forms of violence. i am proud of the good work that my folks at nctc do along with director wray and secretary duke's teams do on this matter. it's something we could do better at. we need to leverage all aspects of the elements of the federal government working with state and local partners i am certain we can create a better and more significant culture of prevention and resilience across the united states. i will end there, mr. chairman, and once again thank you and the
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committee for your continued support of the work we are doing at nctc. speaking personally, thank you for your friendship, the committee's friendship and the kind words that you used earlier today as i move on from federal government service and step down from nctc at the end of december. but even though i am grateful for your kind words, i am also mindful that whenever i appear before you i am standing on the shoulders of talented women and men at nctc. serving alongside those professionals has been the honor of my life. it's their amazing work that i bring before you as their representative and i look forward to answering your questions. thank you. >> thank you, director. thank you for your service to our country over the years. i now recognize myself for questions. secretary duke, we recently held a hearing with the tsa administrator. 9/11 was an aviation attack using airplanes as guided missiles into the world trade center and the pentagon. this is still the crown jewel of
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isis and al qaeda. the inspector general produced a report on the findings in terms of screening at airports and quite frankly, it was, in my words, at the last hearing, disturbing to find that the tsa still has received a failing grade, a failed report card, when it comes to screening. we heard this in 2015 and now in 2017. as you know, with the laptop threat, the ability to convert laptops into bombs and explosive devices to blow up airplanes possibly inbound flights into the united states, think i speak for almost every member of this committee that we need to take quicker action. there is technology available
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today, there are pilot programs today using computer tomography. it's like going from an x-ray to an mri. a lot of us on the committee have seen this, and so i have sent to you a letter requesting that this technology be deployed not in 2018 or 2019 but as soon as possible given the nature of the threat that exists. can you respond to that letter. >> yes, mr. chairman. we agree with you that computed topography or ct is essential and it's part of our plan to raise the baseline of aviation security. we are currently developing the algorithms necessary to fully deploy that and agree with you it is essential for our tsa future. >> what the administrator said was, we can't deploy the technology today because we would have to upgrade the software later. i think we should look at it from the other way around. we should deploy the technology
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today and stop procuring these x-ray machines. deploy that technology today and then upgrade the software when it becomes available at a later date. do you have thoughts on that? >> yes. i agree. we are moving -- we are already procuring some. like i said, the algorithms are the running different materials through to make sure that the machines can detect what we need them to detect. that's in process now, and we are, along with our foreign partners, working on making that the new standard for passenger baggage. >> i view that as one of the greatest threats to the homeland today. so we'll be providing follow-up. to director wray and rasmussen, over the five years of my chairmanship on this committee i saw the rise of isis, the rise of the caliphate and threats out of that region. i think fortunately we're seeing the fall of the caliphate, the
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defeat of isis in iraq and syria. how do you see the threat evolving as we move on post-caliphate. director wray? >> as director rasmussen said at the beginning, on the one hand the collapse or the building collapse of the caliphate is good news, but i think the way -- we're concerned about a number of different things that could come out of that. one is, of course, what everybody in the world is concerned about, foreign fighters returning. i think, in our instance, what we are primarily seeing there as a risk is that some of them would return not directly to the u.s. but perhaps to countries, say, in europe and then, from there, come into the u.s. second, we are concerned about home-grown violent extremists who continue to be inspired by isis even if not directed in the sort of classic sense. and we know that isis is encouraging fighters who aspired to travel to stay where they are and commit attacks at home.
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so those are some of the issues that i think continue to exist, even with the caliphate collapsing. >> i think the power of isis as opposed to al qaeda is the internet. i know you've worked with google, facebook, twitter. i have as well. i look forward to working with you and the secretary to try to get the stuff in nctc off the internet. director rasmussen. >> i would make one point about the distinction we've observed between al qaeda and isis over the years. al qaeda operated in most ways as a clandestine, covert organization. with barriers to entry that made it difficult for individuals in many cases to become members. isis sought to become a mass mama. movement. it sought to reach people regardless of their prior affiliation with extremism and to recruit anyone who would come in the door and agree to align with the isis world view.
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that means that the isis variant of this problem has brought us many more individuals who are radicalized around the world. so it is a problem that extends further and wider than the al qaeda problem that we faced. that's not to say it's all bad news. there is plenty we've done to mitigate the possibility of large-scale catastrophic attack, the directed attacks that director wray spoke about earlier. i am not here to solely point to a bad news story. i am just pointing out it's a different problem than we faced a few years ago. >> thank you. secretary duke, my home state was devastated by hurricane harvey, parts of my district, some members on this committee, have been there many times to see the devastation. i understand the decision perhaps was not yours but made at omb, the office of omb. but i have to express my disappointment on the record at the recent 44, i think, billion
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dollar disaster recovery supplemental request that was just a fraction of what my governor, governor abbott, determined that texas alone needed to recover. it does not adequately take into account the devastation in the other areas as well. and of course, places in my district have flooded three times over the last two years. we need flood mitigation efforts. this is something that congress will be making decisions on, but we have to entertain not only the response recovery but the flood mitigation. i would like to -- you to respond to that, recognizing that this was not probably your decision to make. but i do want to register my disappointment with the administration on this issue. >> yes, mr. chairman. and i recognize that the amount in the supplemental did not totally address all the future
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needs of the disasters we experienced this summer. what that was intended to do is fund the stafford act work that needs to be done currently. i have looked at it, and i think it's appropriate, and it's enough for the near term. we do have more work to do, along with the housing and urban development and will be with texas and the other areas until that work is done. and i think that the innovative housing program we're doing that -- what's known as section 428 housing program, will be helpful in restoring texas. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you on that. thank you. with that, chair recognizes ranking member. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. in light of your question, one of the ongoing challenges we have is that stafford act jurisdiction is in the transportation and infrastructure committee and fema is over here with us.
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and every time a problem comes up, people look to us, and it's where tni comes. so that's an ongoing battle that we have that's an ongoing battle that we have dealt with from our inception as a committee. and i hope some of this gets resolved fairly soon. ms. duke, the inspector general recently notified congress that a report on the travel ban was being held up in your office. can you provide us details on why it's being held up? >> there was a disagreement between the office of the inspector general and dhs on privileges that included attorney/client privileges and executive privileges. because the attorney general does not agree with those
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privileges, had not issued the report. we feel it's important to maintain some of those privileges, especially since the matter addressed by the report is under litigation. i feel comfortable that the privileges we had to assert to the report were accurate. however, to be absolutely sure and make sure the public is confident too, we have ordered a third party review, independent review, to make sure that the privileges that we need to redact that report are sound. >> but you are aware that the inspector general concluded that the department violated certain aspects of the laurw relative t the implementation of it.
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>> it was problematic from the start, but we still are committed to working with the attorney general and making sure that -- >> i understand. but you're aware of their conclusion? >> yes. >> thank you. mr. ray, good to see you again since we met in another forum yesterday. can you share with us your analysis of the domestic terrorism threat here in america and what does it include? >> yes. as we've discussed a few times i think, the fbi assesses the domestic terrorist threat to be a significant one, a major one. it presents some of the same kind of challenges we see with home grown violent extremist in
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that you're talking about loo loosely confederated people. sometimes you have lone offe offende offenders, lone wolves. at any given time including right as we sit here today, the fbi recently has had in the neighborhood of about a thousand pending domestic terrorism investigations. those cover the waterfront from everything from white supremacists to sovereign citizens, militias to anarchists. we are only focused on people who are engaged in violent criminal activity. that's what we're investigating. we're not focused on ideology or opinion or rhetoric.
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>> thank you. can you provide the committee with the most recent reporting on the categorization of those different terrorists? >> i'd be happy to have my staff get together with yours and see if we can get you some more helpful and detailed information on that. >> thank you. one of the things for our departing nctc director that the fbi director talked about was home grown violent extremists. you referenced that in your testimony as part of that three-legged stool that you've been concerned about. can you share with us why that is a concern of yours? >> absolutely, mr. ranking member. as director ray noted, many of the individuals who we
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categorize as home grown violent extremists don't typically engage in the kind of behavior that makes detection easy for the law enforcement community. they aren't necessarily communicating. they aren't necessarily gathering in large groups. they aren't necessarily traveling to conflict zones or engaging in the kind of behavio. that puts a tremendous amount of pressure on law enforcement at the local level and my fbi colleagues to try to figure out who is the person who is just there dabbling and sampling and looking at material and who is the person that is actually looking to maybe mobilize and act on their believes and carry out a terrorist attack. that becomes a much more difficult challenge in trying to disrupt so-called sleeper cells or other terror cells that might have infiltrated the country from abroad.
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it's just a harder problem. >> so is your testimony that we need more funding to address that increasing home grown terror threat in this country since you've identified it as a grow i growing vulnerability for us as a country? >> i wouldn't necessarily pose it as being only measured in funding. i think about the communities around the country where i've had conversations with local law enforcement and they clearly desire greater federal help, i believe, in understanding the threat landscape, in understanding how it is that these home grown violent extremists appear in their midst. if we can do that through information sharing, sharing of personnel and best practices, that would be a contribution. i think the scale of the problem is such that we have to put more effort behind it.
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i wouldn't isolate funding alone as the issue. >> thank you. >> chair recognizes gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers. >> in october of 2015, director comey was testifying before this committee. i asked him if he had the resources he needed to handle the terrorism investigations that were pending before them and also to investigate the surge of attacks on soft targets occurring at the time. his response was, to be honest, i don't know. so i know the fbi has been stretched thin over the last few years and had to pull agents off of criminal investigations to look into these terrorist attacks. but i would pose that question to you. have you been able to determine whether or not you have the resources you need to meet the challenges you face? >> well, at the risk of sounding like my predecessor, combined
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with the fact i've only been there for three months, i'm still taking stock of that. everywhere i turn i find people who want the fbi to do more. so we have a lot of challenges, as you say. i think we have matured to the point where we're not having to pull people off of programs quite the same way that used to happen. i think it's not just a question of funding. i'm not convinced we could spend our way out of the threat. some of it is getting smarter. working with its partners in the federal law enforcement intelligence community, foreign partners, state and local law enforcement in particular. so we have to be smarter. we have to get better technology and we have to make sure we have the right resources. could we do more if we had more?
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absolutely. >> well, we need you to let us know if you get to the point that you determine you need additional resources to be able to meet your needs. we can't fix it if we don't know about it. i would ask you to not be shy. >> thank you for your support. >> thank you. secretary duke, welcome back. a lot of work has gone into improving our visa security process, but it's clear that vulnerabilities remain, especially identifying those radicalized over the internet. what is being done if anything to connect to the latest intelligence to help vet applicants from high risk areas? >> sure. we have implementing many new review steps making sure that we have the true identity of the persons applying for visas and
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also that they don't have a criminal purpose in coming here. one of the biggest things we're doing is the 100% interviews and also looking at advanced information sharing. as we talk about some of the other topics, the speed we're moving at, having that information sharing with the other countries is absolutely critical. and doing the vetting against the databases. also, social media checks where applicable have played a huge role in better vetting of visa applicants. those are a few of the areas. >> okay. and this may not be dramatically different from that answer but what steps has dhs taken under the trump administration to implement what he has referred to as extreme vetting? >> it's been a multilevel step. we compared the country's
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performance -- >> what were those additional steps? >> those additional steps were making sure that passports had biometrics. that we had copies of those passports, that countries provided us advance information, those similar types of steps. and we have a full report on that that we can provide. then we -- the country is actually using our databases and us using theirs. then we compared the country's performance against that and we have substituted get well plans, if you will, for the countries that don't fully conform to the new vetting standards. >> would you assert then that the new status of extreme vetting is fully implemented now? >> it is fully implemented. we always have to get better. i think every time we put a fix in place, the enemy adapts to it. but it is in place.
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>> great. i yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keeting. >> thank you for being here. thank you for your service. secretary duke, you mentioned that terrorists will use any weapon at their disposal, you know, on different terrorist threats. so i have a question for director ray in that regard. there's tens of thousands of individuals and many of the attacks we're talking about, guns were clearly a part of this and firearms and weapons. tens of thousands of individuals removed from the nics background check for guns after the fbi changed its interpretation of and limited who's considered a fugitive from justice. that decision was made in february. it's now december.
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we have no idea how many people bought firearms this year even though there are outstanding warrants for their arrests just because there's no evidence they crossed state lines. isn't this a gap in trying to secure our safety and trying to keep these kind of weapons away from terrorists? we have websites that are telling people and directing people how to get these kind of weapons, but we have fugitives from justice now in our own country that aren't being picked up by the nics system now. could you tell us why that was done and if there's something to fix this dpgap, which i think ia very serious one. >> the change that you're referring to was the product of several years long debate, as i understand it, between the fbi and the atf about the
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interpretation of that fugitive prohibit prohibitor under the brady act. under the prior administration the justice department came down with a legal determination prompted in part by the inspector general and resolved that legal disagreement about what the statute meant in favor of the narrower interpretation that is different than the fbi's interpretation at the time. so i think it was in january that that legal change was declared and the department, again under the prior administration, as i understand it, sent a notification to both house and senate judiciary committees notifying them of the change and the impact of the change and essentially inviting legislative fix. it may be the kind of thing that
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can be addressed through legislation. once that change went in place, the fbi promptly complied. >> thank you for clarifying that. that's on our watch now as members of congress to change this, and i hope we do. secretary duke, thank you too for clarifying and agreeing to move forward on the ct technology and getting that in the field. that's something that our last hearing really had a great concern about. thank you for doing that. the other issue is a budgetary issue in moving these things forward. i realize the monies that people pay for a fee outside of things on their own, that that money was moved again by congress away from that. can you tell us right now if we
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provided that budgetary assistance, you'd be able to move quicker for that new technology in the field? do you agree with the administrator on that? >> yes we have the money to deploy, to complete research and development and deploy some machines. there's always more to do, but right now i feel comfortable we're deploying that technology. we also have the commitment of some of the foreign partners. >> if i could, if there were more money -- he indicated it's a budgetary issue as well, is that correct? >> it's a prioritization issue, yes. >> i think it's a priority if we're going to keep our people safe here in this country that are traveling on the airlines. quickly, the nrc in terms of cyber attacks it tried to upgrade the requirements for nuclear plants. i have one in my district facing
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in a few years decommission. they've applied for a waiver aside from these cyber security upgrades that's not there for an attack. my understanding that homeland security really doesn't have the role, that it's really the nrc. don't you think you should have a direct role -- agency by it to be making those kind of safety considerations in terms of a cyber attack? >> to my knowledge, you're correct that we don't have that specific role. we do not have that direct regulatory role. >> thank you. i'd like to engage your office in terms of trying to suggest ways to shore that up. it's another gaping hole. thank you. >> just a quick clarification, madam secretary. are the monies available today to purchase the computer
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tomography technology? >> we do not have the funding to require it at every airport. that would require much more than a reprogramming. >> okay. thank you so much. chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania mr. perry. >> thanks. secretary duke, you talked a little bit about the vetting process and the extreme vetting process a little bit. i'd just like to drill down on that a little bit and ask you is there a system to investigate or query in a minimal sense at least the intending entrance for an idealogical affinity to some other alien or hostile legal system opposed to the u.s. constitution similar to what was done by the united states during the cold war with some of our
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adversaries who wanted to come into our country? >> yes. an affiliation with an ideology or a country that is known for ideologies that are contrary to the united states is something we look at in terms of the extreme vetting. >> so there's literally a question and answer portion to that? or when you say you look at it, what does that mean in practical terms? >> one of the things we look at is where a person has traveled to. if they show a travel pattern in countries that have a high degree of terrorism, we look at that. we also look at social media, if appropriate, to see if there's anything on it that indicates they are following terrorist websites, those type of things. >> not only just terrorist websites but things that are antithetical to the west and democracy and our constitution, is what i'd be interested in as well. do you literally question them
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as opposed to just looking at their travel and maybe social postings? do you ask them do you agree with the united states constitution? would you uphold and defend the united states constitution? do you believe that shariah law should supercede? >> i believe they adapt based on the person's scenario. >> i appreciate it. i look forward to a continuing conversation on that. director ray, thanks for your service. good luck to you. just curious if you can tell me if the fbi has taken steps to reverse the previous administration's purge of training courses and information about islamism, jihad, shariah and the muslim brotherhood. >> i'm not aware of any ongoing
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efforts to purge training materials. >> they were purged in the last administration. my question is have you taken any steps or the fbi taken any steps to reverse that purger, include some of those things that allow us to see the threat that faces america? >> identi have not studies what been done in the training but i pr appreciate you bringing that to my attention. >> antifa has a conspiracy to incite riotriots. >> we do have a very active domestic terrorism program and while we're not investigating
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anti antifa. that's an ideology and we don't investigate ideologies. people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on an antifa -- >> that space would include individual. but if a group itself is receiving funding to promote that ideology, is that something that you delve into especially when it crosses state lines? >> any time we're doing a domestic terror investigation whether it's into an individual or a collection of individuals, we do enterprise investigations when there are multiple individuals working together. and the funding that supports violent criminal activity is
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absolutely something we're keenly interested in. >> finally e dr lyfinally, can w the nctc acts to counter them if you do. >> we actually don't. with respect to domestic terrorism issues here in the united states, my agency's mandate and authorities are limited to matters of international terrorism. that was in the founding legislation that created nctc so we defer to fbi in this role. >> if there are international connections to these groups that are operating domestically -- >> certainly if there was intelligence that tied any individual here in the united states to a foreign terrorist organization, that changes the nature of the problem and becomes a collaborative effort. >> if it's foreign organization or foreign funding, does that invoke your authority? >> i don't believe so, unless it would involve a foreign
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terrorist organization. but if that kind of intelligence were to emerge, we would certainly make sure our fbi colleagues were aware of it. >> thank you. >> chair recognizes gentle lady from new york, ms. rice. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so this question is for director ray. earlier this week a canadian citizen pled guilty to charges he worked for the russian intelligence service as part of the 2013 yahoo hack that led to the theft of 500 million yahoo accounts. three other conspirators include two russian sfb officers have been indicted but have invaded arrest. this case has been the first time the u.s. has instituted --
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we have seen large scale cyber attacks on u.s. companies, equifax, uber, verizon. what other cyber attacks do you suspect russian involvement in? >> well, without commenting on any specific investigation, i think you've put your finger on what we view as one
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motivation is for these attacks? >> well, i think russia is attempting to assert its place in the world and relying more creatively on asymmetric warfare to damage and weaken this country economically and otherwise. >> we've been focused today on terrorist threats at home and
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abroad. should the american people consider russia's repeated attempts attempts to breach their personal data as a terrorist threat? >> it's a threat we should take seriously. i don't know that we would brand it a terrorist threat. that is a labeling issue more than anything else. it's certainly a serious threat that the public need to be aware of. >> i guess it depends on what you feel the motivation is at the end of the day and is this just a part of getting to that ultimate goal. what steps are you taking to in your department taking to deter these attacks? number one, do you expect any future indictment of russian officials, without naming any?
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and do you believe that they will ever be extra dated and brought to u.s. for trial? >> taking the last part of your question first, we don't have an extradition relationship with russia. if they stay in russia, i wouldn't necessarily expect to see them coming to the united states. on the other hand, if they travel, that's going to be a challenge for them because they are now at that point fugitives wanted by the fbi. >> would we pursue them then? >> absolutely. as far as what we're doing, we have tried to model more and more our cyber efforts along the sort of more developed front that we have in the terrorism space. so just like we had jttfs in all 56 offices, we have cyber task forces in all 56 field offices that are multiple agency that have 144 different agencies
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participating. we have something call ed sciwatch. we're trying to do more out reach. one thing that's different is the need to work with the private sector. >> finally, russia's interference in the 2016 election was an unprecedented attack on our democracy. what are you or your agency doing to protect our election systems in 2018? the chairman has been really i think bravely out spoken on this issue talking about how this is not a political issue, it's a democratic issue. are you working with social media companies to limit the effects of russian trolls? >> first, needless to say, i take any effort to interfere with our election system by russia or any other extremely seriously because it strikes right at the heart of who we are as a country.
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at the fbi we're focused very much forward looking on the next couple of election cycles. we have a foreign influence task force that brings together different disciplines of the fbi because it's a multidisciplinary problem. you've got counter terrorist, cyber, criminal. we coordinate closely with dhs which has a responsibility for the critical infrastructure portion. we're coordinating with foreign partners. we can learn from what others do with other elections in terms of the trade craft et cetera. we're trying to get in front of it and be on the lookout for efforts to interfere going forward. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. donovan. >> thank you, mr. chair and
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thank all of you for what you do to protect our nation. secretary duke, you noted in your testimony that you're rethinking homeland security for a new age. in many cases dhs is operating on the same authority it was issued 15 years ago. we have to ensure you have the tools and resources you need to address the ever changing threat and landscape of our nation. as you know, earlier this year this committee crafted and the house of representatives approved the first ever comprehensive dhs authorization bill. the bill authorizes vital grant information for first responders and provides authorities for a number of dhs components. what effect will this reauthorization bill have on the department's ability to meet its
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mission and how important is it that the senate expeditiously acts on this piece of legislation? >> thank you. we think the authorization bill is important to dhs. it will help us partner with congress in terms of prioritizing and making sure we're focused with laser vision on the homeland security issued that face our country. i think it is a very important because this is an enduring threat and to make sure that we're unified and focused would be one of the most significant effects. >> how is the lack of action over in the senate and the lack of the reauthorization bill that we passed handcuffing, curtailing your efforts in what you're trying to achieve for our nation right now? >> i think with a lack of
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authorization, we have many different opinions and jurisdictions over what should be the priorities for our nation. so it makes it more complicated to move forward crisply and clearly, especially on both the authorization and the appropriation side. where do we put that next dollar, toward cwhat risk and which way. >> it seems there's a lack of sernlt f certainty to the agency unless congress allows you to plan and prepare for the future. >> it's the lack of charity, definitely. >> director ray, welcome, my fellow new yorker. ranking member thompson and my colleague from pennsylvania mr. perry was speaking about the crossing of the state lines for rioting and matters that you're
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facing now. i'm always concerned about people using disguises and masks like they did at the berkeley riot riots. we are a legislative body that is charged with creating laws to help you protect our nation. and i've always asked witnesses at hearings what tools do you need, what could this committee do, what could congress do to aid the brave agents that work for you? what laws would you like to see us create that will help you address some of these things like people crossing state lines for rioting, disguising their identities. i was the prosecutor. i was the elected d.a. of new york city for 12 years. what can we do for you to help you in the efforts to protect
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our nation and our families? >> needless to say, congressman, that's a question i'd love to answer for hours. i think looking down at the clock with the 45 seconds remaining, the thing i would say more than anything else, i would urge every member of this commit tcommit the reason it's to important for the fbi to query our own database is picture a situation in which some person in this country buys a huge amount of hydrogen peroxide. it's a if the merchant send a tip, hey, somebody just bought an unusual
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amount of peroxide, we can run that e-mail address and if it turns out that person is in contact with a known isis recruiter overseas, suddenly that purchase becomes a lot more important and we can mobilize the scarce resources in a way to make that a private. if 702 is a road and we lose that ability and make people less safe. there are a lot of tools we could add, but right now i'm not focused on losing the one we need and that we have already. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from california. >> thank you for holding this important hearing. one of the very important purposes of this committee is to assess and address all threats posed to our country. given that the isis style attack in charlottesville by white
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supremacists. i ask this committee to hold a hearing on why supremacist. the joint intelligence bull le on the produced by the fbi stated that white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016, more than any other domestic extreme movement. we just not take our eye off the ball in regards to threats posed to our country. we were unprepared for 9/11. there's no excuse to not be prepared for another large scale attack. i want to thank the fbi, the other agencies. i've got a "new york times" article from august that says bombing plot in oklahoma city is
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stopped with the arrest.
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>> we believe they're both decentralized and we need the state and local governments to be on so we're working closely. >> i think you mentioned earlier there was a blurring of lines between domestic and international activity. following up on your coordination of locals, have you put that same effort, will you put that same effort in coordinating with our allies and neighbors to the north and to the south? your predecessor said that if those threats get to the border
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fight. what are we doing to make sure this doesn't happen? >> the most important thing is information sharing. we need to know about them early on before they board planes, before they move. >> so are you working with our allies and neighbors to the north and south? >> north and south and also the e.u. and other european countries. definitely canada, mexico, the northern triangle and south america. >> sir? >> so on the white supremacist threat in particular in the wake of charlottesville we had a conference call with all of the sacs from around the country trying to make sure they could learn from the experience in charlottesville in particular. people were pooling ideas and information about things they were seeing. we have jttfs in every field
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office and they have that as one of their specific areas of focus. >> so i would ask both of you are you doing anything different in terms of following data basises, updating databases to try to track isis style terrorists? i believe both of those groups pose equal threats. an american citizen that loses her life to a terrorist attack whether it's motivated by isis or white supremacists doesn't matter. it's the tragedy in our society and our country. are you doing anything to refocus to make sure these white supremacist groups are being followed and monitored as you would any other group? >> we've done very recently is open the office of terrorism
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prevention partnerships which is making sure every piece of information we get, the state and local documents have to be at the point to notice and deal with any types of hate crimes in these groups. and training and information sharing is two of our major efforts. >> we have stepped up investigative interest, but we do not on the domestic terrorism front investigate groups in the same way. in other words because of the first amendment issues and the freedom of expression issues and the somewhat ugly history that the fbi has had in the past, we have very specific rules on the domestic terrorism front where to open an investigation there has to be credible evidence of a federal crime. if we have all these things, we
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open an investigation. >> i'd like to ask unanimous consent to submit this statement for the record. it's a statement world wide threats keeping america secure in the new age of terrorism. >> without objection so ordered. chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana mr. higgins. >> thank you for your service to the country and i specifically thank you for bringing up the importance of 702 as an invaluable tool for your investigative services in defense of our nation. i'm a strong spoeupporter of itd shall a vocal voice as the debates move forward. please describe what programs the fbi currently implements to monitor potentially seditious activity inside u.s. mosques and islamic centers known to be
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affiliated with the muslim brotherhood or any other islamic extremist organizations. >> we investigate international terrorism matters, global jihadi inspired, directed matters. and we will follow them wherever they may lead. in some cases that may lead to specific individuals. if they are in a mosque and we're investigating them, then we would continue the investigation there. >> do you monitor the advertised appearances of known radical imams that speak at islamic centers across the country? i ask this specifically because a known radical imam spoke in my district recently completely under the radar, no media, no
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law enforcement knowledge. i found out from my own informant that he appeared within my district and spoke. i'm wondering does the fbi monitor the websites and social med media? >> we certainly have a variety of social media exploitation efforts underway that are focused on the kind of problem you're describing. and we also have in some cases a properly predicated investigation of specific subjects. in some cases those have been even imams. there have been cases where we've pursued a matter that led to arrest, indictment and conviction. i think pack back to the case at
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hamsa. that's give an example of what we do. . very quickly would your investigative efforts include human assets? >> absolutely. i appreciate you bringing that up because one of the things that is increasingly important with all the challenges we have described in the terrorism arena is the ability to use human sources. >> yes, sir. >> and we need to be able to work with the communities around the country to be able to get people to come forward. when you have somebody who's radicalized in a very short period of time in some cases, the best hope we have of funding out before the person commits an attack and kills somebody is to have somebody speak up and talk to law enforcement. it's important that we earn the confidence of the community to be able to generate sources.
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>> 702 enhances your ability to use human assets, is that correct? >> yes. >> secretary duke, the electric grid is dangerous under the threat of an electromagnetic pulse. can you explain what steps the department of homeland security is taking to secure the u.s. electric grid on an expedited basis and what can this body do to assist? >> this is a relatively new threat that we've been looking at in that critical infrastructure sector. we have a strategy that will be completed before the end of this calendar year late in december and we'll be sharing that strategy that will help us start to better address the emp threat
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along with the geo magnetic threat. >> you have a study that will be concluded by the end of this year? >> yes. the target date is december 23rd. >> and you will share that with this committee? >> yes. >> i yield the balance of my time. >> gentleman yields. recognize ms. watson-coleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to each of you for your testimony and for your service. one of the types of far right extremism that is concerning to me has to do with the anti-abortion movement and their willingness to engage in a very dangerous actions to express their position. so with that, i would seek unanimous consent to enter a statement for the record from the feminist majority
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foundation, keeping america secure in a new age of terror. >> without objection so ordered. >> thank you very much. i have a series of questions some of which i really would like quick quick answers to. thank you. this is for you secretary duke and for you director ray because both of you mentioned the importance of information sharing with our foreign allies. could you just elaborate on why that is so significant as quickly as possible. >> because we need to know about people and vet them before they move toward the united states. >> and i would add to that in many cases people are either crossing borders themselves or communicating across borders. >> so it's really important that we at least maintain this open communication with people that we have had relationships with that we could trust that would
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share this information. so having said that do you think that the president's tweets regarding the british prime minister's help furthered that cooperation? or impaired that cooperation? >> i work with the home secretary of great britain and have a very good relationship and focus on that rather than speaking on tweets. >> in dealing with our allies, do you find there's any concern on their part with regard to how quickly the president will tweet information that is not accurate, including the most recent ones regarding the far right supposedly anti-muslim groups. >> my personal experience is that they're anxious to work with us for the threats that director ray made. just work on building those toward the mission. >> would you characterize those
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tweets helpful or not? >> my experience is similar to secretary dukes. i was just over in the u.k. less than ten days ago and met with all my british counterparts. and i think the relationship was very strong and pickup truck ty. >> let's hope so. director ray, you had expressed a strong desire that we reauthorize section 702 and that it's very vital for you all to do your job. i wanted just say that i paused when i read the report on black identity extremism and its threat to law enforcement. i still had very very major concerns about what it communicates to law enforcement, what to fear, whether or not those fears have been developed in terms of the research and the analysis. i look forward to meeting with those analysts to discuss what seems to be a very skimpy report. that kind of gives me pause to
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support that kind of an operation to an agency that would, i think, allow this sort of poorly developed report to come out and not demonstrate in my opinion a commence rate that presents a threat to our environment. >> i would just add i appreciate our conversation yesterday. >> i'm sorry that i had to leave before it was completed. >> but i found it a candid and hopefully constructive conversation. i look forward to continuing the dialogue on that issue. i would say on the white supremacist issue, we do put out information to state and local law enforcement on that. and in fact at the iecp conference recently in philadelphia that i attended and
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spoke at we distributed something like 15,000 copies of a video which i'd be happy to make available to you about the white supremacist threat. two state and local law enforcements to raise their awareness of that threat. that's an example but it's hardly the only example. >> if we're really going to look at the the dangers confronting our safety and security of our citizens here in the homeland that we need to have a serious discussion, who represents that danger? and while we talk about this on the surface and we kind of skim and we include it in the larger discussions on very important issues of homeland security. in and of itself, the threat is so severe that even organizations who have done research on these issues find that the threat to our security is greater with these groups
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than it is with these sort of foreign fighters or foreign inspired individuals. we just need to confront this. on the record i need to ask again that we have a hearing specifically addressing those issues with those members of the administration that weigh in, work on and have consideration of these issues. thank you. i see that i've gone beyond any time. so mr. chairman, i yield. >> chair recognizes former fbi agent from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you all for being here and thank you for what you do. your work is not easy. we know that and we're here to support you in any way necessary. i can report to this committee regarding director ray, i've spoken and keep in touch with
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any of my colleagues. this is a man they have come to respect tremendously. thank you for leading the organization that i love. i think that it warrants further discussion regarding section 702. mr. higgins brought it up briefly. i want this committee to be fully aware not only of what you just said regarding the benefits to the bureau. what i'd like you to address briefly, sir, is the consequences of not reauthorizing. what will we not be able to do anymore should section 702 expire? >> the real value of 702 is at the front end, at the very very early stages when a tip comes in. we're in an environment now where there's a high volume of threats and there are so few dots in many cases to connect with these smaller, more contained more loosely organized
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organizations. to understand which threats are real, which ones are more aspirational that's when the value of 702 kicks in. we can query information that the fbi has already lawfully in its position. there's no court that disagrees with that. and right now they can clear that information and know this tip from state and local law enforcement is one that really matters and allows us to mobilize resources to be sure we get in front of the threat. if 702 is walked pack we will be starting to rebuild the wall that existed before 9/11. i implore the committee not to go there again, because that is something we learned the hard way before and after 9/11. >> thank you, mr. ray. we have a lot of people asking what we can do to help.
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so can you and director wray describe how your two agencies collaborated in the response to these incidents and your lessons learned and how do you see the cyber threat evolving and what gaps do you see in "uss defenses in response to recovery efforts? >>. >> i think the main division is that dhs is the responsible for securing the systems and remediating any malware. we're on the technical side of addressing the threat such as want to cry. we are embedded with the fbi in
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their national cyber joint task force and then we have our own intake. i think that what we are having to do is really understand as the director said earlier the difference between state actors just persons looking for maybe financial gain and those hybrid actors. that's become much more difficult. and i think just information sharing and the colocation is huge for us working together in the future. >> i would just add that just as the dhs has the lead in asset protection and asset mitigation, the fbi has the lead in threat response which we understand to mean sort of the pursuit and the attribution and the investigation of the incident and i've been encouraged by how much progress has been made about the cooperation between dhs and fbi on this issue. it's been a challenge for everybody because it's such an evolving challenging technical
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area. but because of the various interagency task forces that exist and there are ones both at the policy coordination level that are sort of standing and specific ones that get stood up in response to a significant cyber incident. and i think the better we get and we need to keep getting better at information sharing and kind of cooperation and including involving the private sector wherever possible i think that's how we're going to ultimately get in front of the threat. >> and gaps in particular? >> i think one of the biggest gaps is that the role that critical infrastructure plays in this issue in protecting our country. as the director said, having to involve the private industry in key critical infrastructure sectors. >> okay. so secretary duke, while model aircraft have been available to the general consumer for decades, the injection of precision navigation and simple 0 use control interfaces has
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rapidly expanded the user base of unmanned aerial vehicles. combined with the capability to carry small pay loads such as improvised explosives these devices now can be used to commit acts of terror, sadly. i've worked with my colleague senator whitehouse from rhode island. i intend top introduce legislation criminalizing the reckless operation of drones. that cannot stop committed violent actors. how is dhs assessing the rapid increase in the quantities and capabilities of small uavs and the potential to be used as an ake vector. >> in case my time does run out, director wray, integrating intelligence is the critical strategic pillar of the fbi strategy. i want to thank you for your efforts in this domain. in the international space, the u.s. provides a significant amount of intelligence to our foreign partners that enables them to better protect their own
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nations from attacks. can you and director rasmussen comment on how these partners are ecipro indicating in information sharing and what can be done to improve this cooperation? >> a quick answer on aircraft systems, this is an area where we lack authority. if there's anything i ask of the committee to assist us in getting authority. we can't even do testing of ant anti-uss systems with our authorities and we think this is a major increasing threat. >>en ot foreign cooperation point, one of the things we're doing better now that i think is significantly improved the amount of intelligence flowing back the other way is through our league at programs. we have leg ats, 80 leg ats serving countries. that's our foreign offices of the fbi. a lot of those i just came back from europe in particular where we're starting to get more and more two-way flow of information in particular from the brits but also from other countries as
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they learn more about what would be valuable and we get more and more embedded in the level of trust both ways between the two countries, matures. that's another place where when i look at the kind of cooperation that exists now between intelligence services and the way it was back when i was in government before, it's like night and day. doesn't mean it can't be better. it needs to keep getting better. i really feel like we're on the right track there. >> i would add to that if there was any modest silver lining in the difficulty threat haven't we face driven by isis over the last few years it's been the dramatic increase in information sharing globally we've seen. many more countries than ever before view this as their problem too and not something that they can shut off and ignore and say that's an american problem or that's a british problem. so the array, the number of countries that we have active intelligence sharing arrangements with is in the many, many dozen now rather than a handful of very close participants. again, the foreign fighter
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phenomenon has also helped drive that kind you have information sharing, as well. it's a modest silver lining but something we can build on for the range of terrorism threats we'll face in the future. >> i want to thank you all for your testimony and insight anderson secretary duke, i think it's outrageous that dhs can't even do testing on these -- on drones and tear capabilities and mr. chairman, maybe that's something we can work on together to help the change. >> yeah, if the gentleman, i've been looking at this issue for quite some time. we have seen drones being used in iraq and syria, we've seen drones at the white house, the capitol. i do think it's time for us to consider legislation to move some authorities from the faa to the department of homeland security. and i would very much like to work with you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd welcome the opportunity. with that, thank you to the witnesses and i yield back. >> gentleman yields. gentleman from nebraska, general bacon is recognized for the
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first time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is an honor to be on the committee defending our constitution and strengthening our national security. my most important priorities. it's an honor to be on this committee to put focus on that. secretary duke, i wanted to ask you about what i consider is one of the most important threats to our country and that's the cyber penetration from russia and china into our energy infrastructure, our perhaps our financial networks. how would you assess the threat that russia and china poses on a one to ten scale, ten being the worse? what i fear is the next december 7th we face will be preceded by an energy attack or financial sector attack like that. >> it is very strong. on a scale of one to ten, i would say probably a seven or an eight because what we know is daunting and we don't know what we don't know. but looking at using cyber tore attack the control systems of
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critical infrastructure is a major area of concern that we're working with the critical infrastructure on. >> it seems an apparent to me they're putting a foundationings to have that capability if needed. we should be concerned. do you think we're doing enough to build resilience in the system or to have backups or is there a lot more that we can do? >> i think it's to the point where the critical infrastructure sector has really recognized the threat recently. so i think everyone has the attention now. it's implementing the safeties to help try to prevent this. >> thank you. director wray, when is gi and talk to the law enforcement in the omaha area, ask them what is the one thing we can do more to help you with, gun violence and things like that. i hear two things. do more about straw man purchases, not enough is being done there and to help off duty law enforcement to carry their weapons or retired. would you share those sentiments from our law enforcement from
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omaha? >> certainly on the straw purchasing side, when i was a line prosecutor back, as a baby prosecutor, i used to do a lot of straw purchaser cases. and i do think that's a place where more aggressive enforcement of laws on the books would be helpful. most of that responsibility lies with atf. but we work collaboratively with the atf who is a great partner on more organized criminal activity that involves some of the same kind you have firearms crime that you're talking about. as you may know, the attorney general is revitalizing project safe neighborhoods that was a very effective federal, state and local program that existed in the early towels that kind of built off of project exile that had been in richmond to try to more strategically focus on gun violence. i think that will help the folks in omaha among other places. >> we're going to be working on legislation towards that end. director rasmussen, as you know
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secretary of defense mattis changed our strategy. when we get to the an area where isis is operating our policy was previously to take over a city but they would be able to get out, retreat, regroup somewhere else. now his strategy is kill them where they're at. are you seeing effects of the strategy where we see less of the terrorists leaving syria trying to come back this direction or going to europe or reduction in this terrorist flow? >> certainly the territorial aspect of the fight i mentioned in my prepared remarks has accelerated over the course of this year with the dramatic reduction in the amount of territory isis controls. one of the difficulty and challenges though has been that that campaign has taken a period of time to play out in a sense, the bad guys in many cases knew where we were headed next. they knew that the effort was focused on mosul, the largest city in iraq under isis control. they knew we were over time going to move towards raqqa, the city in eastern syria that
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served as head quarters for isis. that unfortunately allowed many of the actors we would be most concerned about to bleed out over time ahead of that campaign. many chose to fight to stay and fight and they chose to stay and fight and demi defense of the caliphate. others we are concerned about made their way into either the iraqi countryside or trying to find their way out of the conflict zone. it's not necessarily a volume questions as much as a quality and quantity question. if the wrong individuals get out who have particular capability or skill experience with weapons of mass destruction, those are the ones we are the most concerned about. but yes, i agree. we are focused on making sure these individuals do not escape the battlefieldfield. >> i think we're doing a lot in the kinetic site going after the financial end of it. i have yet to see how we can do better at undermining the ideology that recruits lone wolves to help sustain isis and
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al qaeda overseas. what more can we do to undermine the ideology that does this recruiting? >> i think there a soft touch and a little bit of subtlety is required because i think we will be most effective if we are enabling and empowering credible actors who can speak credibly to those potentially vulnerable populations rather than something coming out from the state department or with the brand of the united states on it saying this is how you should behave and believe. but if we can identify and empower and support credible voices within the communities where this is a problem, it's a better solution. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields. corrector wray in, addition to do count ker terrorism work was a federal prosecutor i was an exile prosecutor. please relay to the attorney general my thanks for reviving that program. it's a very -- it works. so thank you. chair now recognizes the gentle
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lady every texas, miss jackson lee. >> i thank you and let me start out by thanking each and every one of you for your service to this nation. my time is short. so i will be pointed in my questions. secretary duke, let me first of all offer my sympathy publicly again as i've done for the loss of life as a border patrol agent just a few weeks ago and, as well one that is injured and mending. and thank you for all the men and women that work in the homeland security department. let me focus on hurricane harvey which by connections i think it impacts the virgin islands and as well as puerto rico and florida and others. fema certainly is an agency that we owe a great debt of gratitude to. but let me be very clear. i've been asked how houston is doing, how texas is doing. we are a strong group of people. but we are devastated.
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and it is so difficult dealing with fema and the repeated denials, people who have not heard from fema. fema is good for the immediateticy but not good for recovery. you're listed as a recovery agency. we need help down in texas. we need more fema drcs. we need more people dealing with the appeal process. it is absolutely absurd. the second question is, dealing with the appropriations. i would ask that you you would ask the president of the united states to consider that $44 billion is shameful. the president came to texas and said that we would provide you with everything you need. this is $44 billion for the u.s. virgin islands, prosecutor, texas and everyone else. if you would answer that question after let me go to director wray. i'll put the questions on the record quickly. the questions on the record are on director wray as you well know, there have been some anti-muslim videos offered by the commander in chief. my question is, as the world has
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condemned this, how difficult it makes the work of the fbi that deals with domestic terrorism with these kinds of videos being associated with the united states. second, i'm interested in the commitment to not do reverse targeting under 702. i know that it's an international issue but the fbi is involved in terrorism in the fight against terrorism and may use the 702 law and i want to know your position on reverse targeting of a u.s. citizen. finally, the black identity extremist we've had some conversations on that. i believe it is crucial that there be a clarification so that individuals expressing themselves under the first anticipate understand the parameters of the fbi. miss duke, if you would please, secretary duke. >> i will check into the specific inquiries and work with governor abbott's office to make sure we're keeping in texas the $44 billion is the current supplemental. we do expect there will be
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needed additional supplementals. but for now, we do have adequate resources to do all the recovery efforts. >> i vigorously disagree with you. we do not have the adequate resources and this is going to be on the verge of a government shut down if texas and all the other victims of these hurricanes do not have a compromise but we can work together. i would encourage you to tell the president it is not enough. may i also leave with you miss jimoh who is united airlines supervisor has not been able to determine why she has been denied official background check. she's filed two peas. i'd like to speak with your affairs on that. director wray, thank you. >> thank you, congresswoman. on the, if i can take your questions in rapid fire fashion here. >> thank you. >> the first one, i think we try very hard at the fbi and will continue to try very hard to earn the trust and confidence of
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every community we serve and protect including the muslim american community and we are trying as i mentioned in response to an earlier question to encourage people to come forward as potential sources and witnesses and we will continue to do that. on the reverse targeting point, my position is there should not be and we do not permit reverse targeting under section 702. and on the black identity extremist issue, i thought our conversation yesterday was candid and constructive. at least i hope you felt the same way. i can assure you and the rest of the american people that we do not investigate people for rhetoric for ideology, for first amendment expression, for association. what we do is when people are engaged in when there's credible evidence of federal crime involving the threat, credible threat of force or violence to further political or social goal is, that's our focus. we have no interest in investigating any group for
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expressing strong views no matter who might consider them extremist about any important social issue including racial injustice. >> did you answer that last question i got nine seconds about 702? >> i'm sorry. on 702, i was just saying we do not permit reverse targeting and would not. >> thank you so very much. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr mr. rutherford. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first i want to thank the panel for your service to the country and particularly your service here this morninging in this long testimony. there's an old saying that everybody uses, don't beat a dead horse. and, of course, then we turn right around and beat the dead horse. so secretary duke, i too am going to ask about the om b's recommendation of the $44 billion for storm recovery. and be here's the issue in florida.
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we are a very large agricultural state most people don't realize that. but we took a very hard hit about $1.5 billion in almost 1 -- almost $700 million of that was to our citrus industry. and this is why a supplemental to follow is not adequate because these citrus farmers need the money now for the next crop coming. and if they don't have that, those assets right now, then they're not going to be prepared for the next growing season. i spoke with one citrus grower who lost 36,000 trees. 36,000 trees. that's going to take some time to replace. and more delays is going to have a tremendous negative impact on
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our recovery in florida. so i'd like to you carry that back to the administration and the omb and let them know the impact that's going to have on these growing seasons that don't wait for next supplemental. so thank you for that. and now i'd like to shift over to and follow up on sigher as many of my colleagues have. and you know, not just asset protection but also the ideological fight that i think needs to go on within the cyber war and director wray, you mentioned the cyber squads that you have now in all 56 regional offices and what i'd like to know is, what are the difficulties, you know, one of the challenges i think in the world of cyber is getting that great talent. and being able to pay for it and
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pull them away from you know, private industry. how is there anything that we can do to help you get the best of the best for your cyber war? >> well, as you started to ask the question, i was thinking before you got to the talent, that was going to be my answer as the principal challenge. there's just not enough people who really have that for genius level talent for anybody including the private sector. we can't compete with the hefty paychecks that the private paycheck can after you those same people. i do believe that people we can compete with anybody on mission. and i think we have found that the bright young talent we're able to attract in the space join us for the right reasons which is their commitment to the mission. we clearly need more of them. we're trying to do more tore raise the level of what i will call sort of cyber literacy across our workforce. we struggle right now with the cyber black bes if you can call
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them that get diverted into having to help out with other kinds of criminal investigation work that has a cyber component but if we could raise the basic level of literacy across the organization, then i assume secretary duke would say the same thing within hers then we could have the most talented people focus on the really sophisticated you the canning edge stuff. that's where i'm hoping to take the organization. >> i'm glad you referenced homeland security because i know the secret service, for example, had some great success in going after transnational organizations with money laubtdering and those kind of things and it's important to have that cyber attack. director rasmussen, how about you? is there anything -- what can we do help you all with this recruiting? anything? >> well, director wray made a
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very good point. with the mission that we have before us whether it's counter terrorism ordealing with cyber crime or threats to the united states, motivating young people to doesn't wa to do this for a living is not a challenge. >> good. >> we put out announcements for job openings, we get hundreds and hundreds of very high quality applicants from all over the country. one of the challenges we're facing the intelligence community is getting them through the security clearance process quickly enough that we don't make someone wait 18 months to start embarking on their federal career. that's something we're working on internally. i would tell you the biggest thing could you give us as all federal agencies is predictable funding environment so we didn't have to wonder year to yearly be able next year to have an entry level cadre of young people coming in or am i stung with this year's class and have to hold on to them that much longer. so year to year predictability is very, very important. >> yes, and let me ask one other thing in the little bit of time i have left.
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national cyber incident response plan as was mentioned earlier, dhs is responsible for the asset response but fbi and doj responsible for the threat response. what is the involvement of private industry in that partnership and response and do we need some further clarification and definition of roles in this cyber war? >> i would say that while there was a time when the definition was americayer and there were more confusion about the lanes in the road that after ppd41, the lanes in the road i think are much more clearly defined. i haven't seen as much of that as an issue. i think the private sector engagement piece is something that we in dhs work on together a lot more and more. we're always trying to figure out ways to balance the desire to get with the private sector faster but at the same time to
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make sure we're both providing accurate information. and that we're not compromising an existing investigation and in many cases the information that we're getting at least on the fbi side is either classified or involves coordination with our foreign partners as i said earlier and there may be restrictions in our ability to share it. so we're all learning collectively the interagency community and the private sector how to kind of adapt to this comparatively new threat still. >> okay. well, again, thank all of you for your time and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields. mr. richmond is recognized. >> thank you ranking member for having this meeting and thank you director wray for the meeting yesterday which was very thorough and hope we continue to follow up. let me just ask you all and maybe director rasmussen or director wray would have more insight. i'm concerned about the new and
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re-emerging slave trade in libya and the question is, have you all, do you all have any intelligence on it? do you have any reason to believe that it is not in fact happening? >> obviously, the fact that there is as much political chaos and vacuum of authority in libya open the door to all kinds of criminal and other elicit activity. human trafficking is obviously a component of that as groups try to move individuals up through libya and potentially into europe and contribute to the migrant challenge in europe. we follow that will pretty closely from a terrorism perspective because those same networks can be used to move extremist who's wants to do us harm or do harm to our allies and friends also. so we could arrange to share some more classified information with you or your staff in terms of what we know about those challenges. unfortunately what we know and can do about it are two separate
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things. we don't have a lot of capability on the ground. >> i agree but almost like in a medical situation, you first have to diagnose there is a problem and acknowledge there's a problem. there's more congress can do. i just wanted to know from experts whether it's something you all would say is fact that it's happening. > it's certainly true. >> okay. >> and thank you for that. director wray and actually all of you all have employees that have to fill out the sf86 form and you talked about the process of 18 months to actually get through the process. but my question is, at what point abmaybe director wray as a former agent you can comment on this. at what point do omissions become willful and deliberate omissions that rise to violating i think it's title 18, section 1,01 which is penalties for inaccurate or false statements
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on the security clearance form. >> first, while i would love to claim having been a former agent, i can claim to be a former prosecutor. so i wouldn't want any of -- the many agent who's work for me to view me as a poser. i'm very proud of my credentials now, however. second, on the sf86 point, you know, really it's going to depend on all the facts and circumstances of the particular case. willfulness requires a level of conscious knowledge and intent and knowing falsehood and a recognition that the person is making a material omission or false statement and recognizing that's what they're doing when they do it i guess is the way i think of it. that's lehman speak. you as a former defense lawyer can appreciate some of the nuances there. >> and i guess if we look at the
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administration and take the most obvious example which is kushner's form that has been amended over 100 times and usually after it comes to light that it was inaccurate, the question becomes people who apply to your agencies who may leave off you know high school eviction, college eviction from an apartment or something like that who may get prosecute ford it, at what point do we start to get to selective prosecution if we don't set the example at the top level with willful omissions that don't get corrected until after they're brought to the public? >> well, certainly i think it's important to respond truthfully and completely on an sf86. i would expect all my folks to do that. it is a bear of a form to fill out if you've ever seen one.
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the older you are and the more time periods you've got to cover, it is a challenge. i'm not aware of a whole lot of prosecutions that have occurred of people for their sf86 responses. but certainly i do think it's important to for everybody at any level to try to be as truthful and complete and accurate as possible in filling out sf 6. >> with my last 15 seconds lets me thank you all for the job you do. we know how complicated it is from how do we secure drones or unmanned aircraft now and mr. higgins would relate in my district i probably have the largest petrochemical footprint in the country. that is a concern how we protect it from flying objects that can be directed. no one profess what's you do is ease but thank you for your service because the safety of the homeland depends on it. for those people who work for you all, please let had them know this congress and i think i can speak for everybody surely
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appreciates their service and sacrifice for the country. with that, i yield back. >> gentleman from texas, mr. ratcliffe, is recognized. >> thank you. let me start off where my friend and colleague from louisiana left off. that's thanking our entire panel today. director rasmussen, let me just tell you that i believe that our nation is safer and better because of your service and i will tell you you will be missed. secretary duke, as the chairman of the cyber security and infrastructure protection subcommittee here, i have enjoyed working with you and i have appreciated your leadership what i believe is our greatest national security threat in the long-term, cyber security. having said that, while i look forward to working with you, i have a limited time today and while i believe in cyber security is our greatest national security threat i believe our most urgent national security threat right now relates to section 702.
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let employee turn to you, director. director wray. the reason i call 702 the most urgent national security matter is i think it's been mentioned it's about to expire. we have nine legislative days left in this congress before the section 702 fisa expires at the end of the year. it has been mentioned that 6702 broadly speaking targets foreign intelligence from nonu.s. persons reasonably believed to be outside of the u.s. but quantifying exactly how the important 702 i think has been left out of the some of the discussion and i want to give you the opportunity to expound on that or maybe refute it. our intelligence agencies estimate that 25% of our actionable foreign intelligence comes directly from 702. do you believe that to be accurate? >> i'm not sure i know what the percentage is but that doesn't surprise me that stipulate.
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individual no reason to question it. i will tell that you every person i talk to who's actual seen the operation of 702 ip close and i've sat with agents at the terminal watching how they use it so that i could be sure that i was really understanding it, every single one of them is just horrified at the thought we would lose that valuable tool. >> let's assume our intelligence agencies are correct and 25% is an accurate number. are you aware of any legal authority that would provide us a greater percentage of actionable foreign intelligence than section 702? >> no. >> so we established that it's very, very important to our national security. let's talk about how effective 702 really is. i participated last week in a debate at the judiciary committee as congress moved forward and the judiciary committee forward something call the the usa liberty act which seeks to reauthorize but modify 702. in the course of that discussion, i found some of the well intentioned criticism to be
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misguided and unfair because some folks are conflating section 215 and telefan nil metadata with the 702. would you agree those comparisons are plys guided and unfair? >>. >> yes, i would. >> one of the legitimate concerns and questions raised about section 702 relates to the issue of incidental collection of information on americans and even nonu.s. persons who are in the united states. we know that that happens. but again, i think what has been left out of much of the public debate and i want to give you the opportunity to weigh in and clarify as we members of congress and the public watches this debate move forward. there is oversight of this incidental collection that takes place. it takes place through an oversight board, a nonpartisan board called the privacy and civil liberties oversight board or pclob. >> pclob issues a very specific
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report reviewing section 702 and the incidental collection that has taken place, correct? >> correct. >> all right. and to your knowledge, does that report from an independent oversight board, has it found in the seven years that 702 has been in place, has it found any intentional abuse of section 702. >> not to my none, no. >> over seven years no, intentional abuses of section 702. i would think that that is essentially a record of success for a government authority that is unrivaled. certainly in my experience. so i guess in summary, do you agree with me that 702 is our most important law enforcement and counter intelligence tool with respect to foreign intelligence? >> yes. >> and it's our most effective? >> yes. >> and it's our least abused?
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>> yes. >> and given that, if we not only fail to reauthorize but fail to renor rise section 702 in as close to its form as it possibly is right now, would we as members of congress be jeopardizing national security for all 320 million americans in your opinion as america's top law enforcement official? >> that is definitely my view and i appreciate the question because i think when i talk about the importance of reauthorizing section 702, it's exactly as you say. it's the importance of reauthorizing it in as close to to the current form as possible. >> my time expired. thank you all. >> thank you. gentleman yields. let me echo those sentiments. i believe reauthorization of 702 is close as possible to current law is vitally important to the security of the united states. with that, the chair now recognizes miss bearian. >> thank you.
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secretary duke, thank you for being here today. i just was last week visiting our troops overseas for thanksgiving. i was in afghanistan. just amazed at how these young men and women are on the front lines of fighting terrorism doing so with a mission of protecting our homeland. earlier this year, i was disturbed to learn that if you are not a citizen in this country and pick up a weapon and you go fight overseas and you die there, we will make au automatic citizen. but if you survive and you come back to this country, you can still be deported. and when i was out there, i was talking to a few of our soldiers who were telling me about some of their concerns and problems with family members going through proceedings. can you tell me if any veterans are being deported right now under your watch? >> i would have to get back for the record. i know that dod, department of defense is looking at reinstituting the program of paths for citizenships for
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soldiers but in terms of recently returning veterans i'd have to get back. they are not a priority for sure. >> okay. great. if you could so in writing i would appreciate that. i've introduced a bill to address this so that we can just make sure we are protecting those on the front lines and who are serving. i wanted to ask you a little bit about the hurricane harvey in texas. my understanding from reports that i had read is that there was some confusion about directives on whether immigration checkpoints would remain or not. and so i wanted to ask if you were aware of the confusion that was created from the directives. >> we early on issued that there would be no active immigration control that other than criminal acts that needed to be addressed that we would not do pro active immigration enforcement. >> okay. i'm going to go ahead and enter into the record two articles
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covered by npr and om other organizations that highlighted the confusion that caused even the mayor i think of houston to have to come out to go on record to make a statement about this. i'm hoping that this will be something that won't become an issue as another you know emergency disaster happens. we want to make sure that people feel safe and secure in following authorities when they're being asked to leave. and in that regard, i've introduced a bill on that. hopefully my colleagues will take a look at that. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you. i wanted to follow up on some of the questions about gun violence and their connection to terrorism. i think i remember hearing former homeland security secretary jeh johnson once made a comment and i'm going to quote him that said, meaningful
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responsible gun control is now part and parcel of the homeland security especially given the prospect of homegrown home born violent extremism in this country. do you agree with that assessment? >> what we're seeing now is really an agnostic look at tools. and guns are not necessarily the primary vehicle by which terrorism is occurring. >> well, would you say that the guns are part of what terrorists are using and that it certainly could be perceived as access to guns could be part of the issue? >> guns, knives, vehicles are among the top, yes. >> great, thank you. director wray, i wanted to ask you you know, i have to first agree with some of my colleagues who echoed you know having more hearings on the threats presented by domestic terrorism and homegrown terror. i also wrote a letter to the
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chairman asking we do a hearing just on that. instead it's harder to get to all these issues with a short amount of time. director wray, terrorists are using high assault weapons. it's repeated occurrence costing american lives. we've seen it happen in san bernardino, orlando at the pulse nightclub. there was an alarming statistic i saw the gao reported that between february, 2004 and december 2015, known or suspected terrorists initiated background checks to purchase a weapon i think it was about 2500 times. and 91% of the transactions were allowed to proceed. does this concern you? >> i'm not familiar with the specific report that you mention. i will say that much as secretary duke has said. we're really focused on the terrorists themselves whether they be domestic or international. and they seem in many ways hell
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bent on committing attacks to kill as many people as possible by whatever means they can get their hands on. >> i guess my -- so without looking at the report, would it be concerning to you that people who were on the known or suspected terrorist list are purchasing guns and 91% of those people are allowed to purchase guns? is that concerning at all to you? >> certainly the way you describe it is very concerning to me, yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields. mr. garrett from virginia is recognized. >> i would commend the gentle lady on pointing out these deported veterans issues. i saw one was deported after he was convicted of shooting into an occupied vehicle in 2010. i'm not sure who the president was then but it's nice to see the attention getting brought on the subject matter now. so i would commend her for pointing that out. and cite a los angeles times story that points out that each of the individuals in question
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deported between 2008 and 2016 had committed a crime that there might be up to 350 such individuals. back to the testimony at hand, i'm curious i saw in miss duke's testimony that the federal agencies that coordinated prior to the events in charlottesville, that's a good thing. certainly more is needed. but when you have large gatherings of people, say, for example, saturday at 2:00 p.m. at my high school which is in congress bran brat's district and not my own, state championship football will be held. is there any federal coordination for security for that sort of event? >> unless it's a national declared national security event, our coordination is with the responsible local officials. we call that a soft target and we do quite a bit of training, coordination and assistance in advance to help them secure. >> so and a apologize for the
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way this is going because it's not intended to be a gotcha. i'm going that way. too much time as a courtroom lawyer but obviously, an event like that presents a soft target as you indicated and a collaboration or a gathering of people in close proximity to one another. yet technology recently demonstrated via numerous videos on the internet the ability to use drones. numerous videos of hand grenades being dropped through the coupe pugh laz of m1 thanks. yet the anti-gun drone technology that will currently exists is limited in its capacity to be sold specifically and exclusively to federal law enforcement entities. i would submit for any of to you comment on that the first line of defense at that football game on saturday will be local law enforcement with probably some augmentation by state law enforcement. but that we do a historically wonderful job of preparing for the last conflict and the last
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attack and we generally do a relatively poor job which has been brought to the forefront post 9/11 of contemplating what the next attack might be. for example, weaponnization of vehicles we've now seen all too many timeses in europe and the united states. can somebody tell me why the virginia state police or the county police departmecan't pur anti-drone technology when things like uva football games or the nascar race at richmond motor speedway occur under the protection of these entities? can somebody give me a good reason why local and state law enforcement can't avail themselves of anti-drone technology? i want to you say no, but if there's a good reason, i want to mary it, too. >> there is no good reason. it's go to the legacy of authorities and not having the authorities because of the it's conflated with the signal waves of cell phones.
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and how they're tracked. so it needs to be addressed. >> but thank you very much. again, i'm on the same team as all you here. i apologize for my tone. in pur estimation, would it be a good policy area to consider to power down the ability to purchase anti-drone technology to state and local authorities given they're the first line of defense on so many soft target events that occur every single day in this country? >> not to the civilian on the street perhaps but to law enforcement entities at the state and local level. >> i think also their ability to use them in anti-terrorism use. and the federal government, as well. we are limited just to state and local governments are. >> absolutely. what you're suggesting is we should review en masse the employment doctrine as it relates to these particular technological advances? >> yes. >> i'd yield back early, mr. chairman, because i want to
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set a precedent today. >> we certainly appreciate that. as do the witnesses. chair recognizes mr. payne. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first i'd ask unanimous consent to submit a statement from the anticipate defamation league. >> >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, sir. and i'd just like to thank all the witnesses for their service to this nation. to this point. and i'm going to be very brief because in the interests of time. i know we have another panel. but i'd just -- excuse me if this has been answered but i came in late. the black -- what's this new term, black extremists radical,
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what is it? >> i believe the term you're reaching for there is there's a term black identity extremist which is an intelligence product that i spent about two hours i guess discussing yesterday with some of your colleagues. >> right. yeah, i'm sorry i missed that. could you give me a brief definition of or an example of who would fall in that category? >> so the intelligence product in question refers to individuals who are committing violent criminal acts where the motivation is retaliation or retribution for injustices committed by law enforcement so the focus is on law enforcement as victims in those situations. >> okay. >> and you see a growing
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incidents in this situation? >> the piece in question which was issued right before i joined the fbi was based on a snapshot in time over the course primarily of 2016 and that was what the fbi was seeing during that period. >> okay. >> thank you for that. and just like to ask the three, the ranking member on emergency preparedness response communications and i'd like to just ask, i've done a lot of work around interoperability. i know you're each a different entity. but how well in your communication is probably pretty good on level but through your different departments, how is the communication between your different agencies?
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>> i think our communication is much better than it was when i was here before. and i think that's a lot to the centers of bringing these centers together where people are colocated. it's not just integration of systems. i think in the public sector, the first net public safety network is going to be huge going forward. i do think we're working at dhs more on declassifying products earlier so through our fusion centers and other tools we can have better collaboration between federal and state and local law enforcement. that's a major focus for us. >> i would agree that the technological part of the interoperability has improve the significantly although it can always get better. for us in particular on the fbi side, the classified nature of so much of what we do does complicate our ability to communicate less so with either the folks here on the panel but as elaine says with the state and local law enforcement that
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can get complicated. certainly with the private sector which as we discussed on the cyberside, that presents some significant challenges. >> okay. yes, sir. >> sir? >> the only thing i would add is that the level of integration that probably wasn't there among the federal agencies 10 or 12 or 15 years ago has in some ways been addressed because at this point, so many of our senior leaders have issed in each other's organizations over the last dozen years. several of my senior leaders are veterans of the department of homeland security. i have senior fbi personnel inside my organization and have my personal observed inside their organizations. . that makes that integration much easier. >> thank you. and mr. chairman, i'm going to yield back real quick. >> gentleman yields. the lady gentle lady from arizona, miss mccally. >> thank you all for your patience and director rasmussen, thanks for your service. i too agree that our country is safer because of your service. many vulnerabilities have been
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talked about today that radical islamist terrorists can use and have used in order to hurt america, attack us and our citizens and way of life. and you and all the people on your teams are out there every day on the front lines keeping us safe. one of those vulnerabilities was used 30 days ago when cephalosigh pod killed eight people and injured dozens in new york city on the bike path. and he came from uzbekistan and came through the visa lottery program. this was created in 1995. specifically to help irish immigrants and since 2007, it's estimated 29 thought people from countries that sponsor terrorism syria, sudan, iran, have actually used this program top come to america. no other country that admits immigrants like we do, a million a year, we're aim grant friendly country has their visas handed out by chance not no other but many others like canada,
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austria, the uk, had he don't have a program like this by chance and lottery people can gain access to come into our country. my question director duke, i'm sorry, acting secretary duke is if he had come to the united states today slulg versus ten years ago what, checks would he have encountered? lou would it be different from the process ten years ago and would the fact that he came from a country that has a history of terrorism impacted that? >> yes, it would have. we see the diversity program is ripe for fraud. today it would be better but we still agree with your sentiments on it. it didn't the best use of our immigration system. what would be different is we have biographics and the ability to search social media, those type of things. it is still one that would introduce risk. >> so i recently introduced legislationings to eliminate the lottery convert a portion to merit based. president trump called for elimination of the program. do you agree with the
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elimination of this program. >> yes, i support that. >> thank you. i do want to change gears on another topic deeply troubling to me, the mavne program, a program where nongreen card holders which we allow them to be in the military but nongreen card holders starting in 2008 were allowed to start being and it was supposed to be in specific critical career fields like languages and other things to boost our national security. unfortunately, i'm on the armed services committee. we've gotten multiple classified briefings on this. we can't speak in great detail in this setting. unfortunately it looks like the army used this well beyond the intent and many individuals were not vetted properly and many come from countries that are our adversaries with very sophisticated foreign intelligence operations getting a fast track to citizenship in basic training before any
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vitting went on. i am deeply concerned about the impacts. i'm sure there's many good people that served our country through this program but the potential and the vulnerabilities have caused the dod to halt this program. and i'm just so concerned about the implications of those who were already in it and the fact they were not vetted and now they're u.s. citizens and haval rights. what are we doing now to mitigate any of these vulnerabilities and these threats for those that have already been through it because of the buffoonery of what happened that is potentially impacting our national security. >> i am aware of the program and that it is suspended. dhs and i are believe we have to vet every individual. we believe in a legal immigration system but have to balance security and make sure we vet all persons coming into the united states permanently or
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temporarily. >> director wray, counter intelligence role is there any part that you're playing right now even to try and mitigate and address these threws potential threats? >> what we try to investigate wherever we he can, we get intelligence about people of the sort you're describing and share that information working with our fellow colleagues ins interagency. >> i'd like to follow up in a classified setting whether there's open investigation specifically related to this issue. i want to ask mr. chairman to insert into the record, woo we did write a letter together. and we've got the response. i'd like to put that in the record. >> without objection so ordered. >> i was not an aware of this particular vulnerability. one thing i think might contribute to identifying potential sources of concern about in this population is depending on their status, some individuals now are subject to recurrent vetting. vetting that goes on long after
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they have been through the initial admission process. that changes obviously when they gain status as a citizen for the reasons you suggest. but it could mean that some members of this population are still subject to some vetting process. >> thanks. i'm over my time. i would like to follow up in a classified setting with all of you. >> let me just say i echo the gentle lady from arizona's concerns. i'm glad to hear this program is suspended. i met with the director of uscis yesterday and encouraged him to get the classified briefing on this program. with that, the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. gallagher. >> thank all of you for being here. so we talked a lot about the evolving terrorist threat. it does seem isis is steadilying territories in iraq and syria which opens attune for us to exploit a lot of valuable intelligence on battlefield in the form of biometrics, fingerprints, documents, media devices. this is vital we collect it and
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find a way to get that information to those outposts that are vetting people who want to come into this country. and visa applicants, refugees, an sigh lees. in the past we've had examples where people come into the country tied to terrorist groups. i would address to acting secretary duke. to what extent do you think this information captured by operators in the field being incorporated into your respective agencies operations and investigations? >> i think this is one of the areas that has improved most to be honest with you. dhs is now an active members of the national security council as is director rasmussen and we get the same intelligence both before and after an incident. and i think that counter terrorism efforts overseas is led by department of defense are probably the area i've seen the most progress in. >> what i would add to that is that the battlefield
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intelligence of the sort that you're describing, mr. gallagher, is most useful to us when it contains spec identity intelligence when we can learn names, dates of birth, passport numbers identity document information and so ha that can be used to feed our database of known and suspected terrorists. that is the intelligence database that all of acting secretary duke's immigration programs is bouncing off of as they are making decisions and vetting potential admissions to the country. so the better the richer the deeper that database, the more likely it is we're going to have the information that will identify a potential bad actor. it still is imperfect in that you can never have the totality of the information that you would want but there's no question but that's what happened in iraq over the last several months as given us a wealth of new information that's helpful in this regard. >> i would just add that and i agree with the sentiments that both of my copanelists expressed
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but i would add that the fbi has people employed with the military so we're trying to collect biometric information wherever we can and that has to identify people who are then returning or going elsewhere who weren't on people's list, whether in the u.s. or in our foreign partners as well. and i think going forward that's going to be another place where we can be more effective. >> let me jump in on one other issue that's come up in a hearing today. much of what we've learned about terrorists' potential use of uavs o uas devices as an aviation threat has been learned from what we've seen on the battlefield in iraq. rapid exploitation of that material, rapid sharing in the homeland so local law enforcement knows there's threat to a high school football game, a lot of that is derived from battlefield intelligence. >> heart tong hear you all three seem to think it's headed in the right direction and there's room for improvement.
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as a veteran of the ops center and many a night spent poring over those databases. thank you for highlighting your testimony in the committees' task force on denying entry to the united states. as chairman of that task force i'd like to thank if department for your cooperation while we've been conducting the review. we're looking forward to releasing the task force's report in the future, looking forward to working with you all you to implement recommendations. earlier you discussed how some of our foreign partners lack the necessary capabilities to close gaps in their security and stop terrorist travel. this matches one of the key findings in our report and some of the recommendations will focus on dhs' cooperation with our foreign partners. can you briefly describe some of the work dhs is currently doing with our foreign partners to address any overseas vulnerabilities that pose a threat to our homeland? >> one of the main areas is using systems that either we
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have an offer for them to use that track people, that track known terrorists, what director rasmussen talked about, we have international partners feeding into that same known terrorist database. we think that that info sharing is number one. additional additionally, having biometrics and actually the other part is not only inputting but using the databases to make their own determinations with the borders so open, especially in europe. those are a few of the areas. >> thank you. i yield the balance of my time. >> before i close, i also want to share the concern, secretary duke, you raised in your prepared testimony about the relationship foenchly between transnational criminal organization and potential terrorists that could bring terrorists into the united states but also weapons of mass
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destruction that we saw highlighted in the ma czene where they talked about the ease with which that could be accomplished and i think that certainly raises a warning sign and i think demonstrates the need to get the borders secured. also want to thank director ray. i also shared your concern about 702. as for me, this member, this chairman, i'll be working closely with other like-minded members to make sure that happens. and director rasmussen, this will be your last testimony before this committee. i just want to -- >> this or any committee. >> or any committee. hopefully. and i just want to thank you for your service. you'll be missed, but i know you'll be close by. i want to thank all three of you for your service and most importantly the men and women who serve in your organizations. with that, this -- we'll take a
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brief break and then begin with our second panel.
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this hearing on worldwide threats is taking a short break while the second panel gets in place. so we'll be continuing our live coverage with that. the senate is in session right now working on the gop tax reform plan which also includes
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a repeal of the individual health care mandate and oil and gas drilling in alaska. expected throughout the day with a final passage vote likely by friday morning. you can watch the senate live on c-span2.
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dmen, we're waiting for this hearing to resume. the second panel will be up shortly. the senate is working today on the senate republican tax reform bill, day two of the 20 hours of debate equally divided with the final vote expected on the $1.5 trillion package by the end of this week. if the senate approves the bill, congress would then work out differences between the senate and house bills.
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the committee will come to order. we have vote es scheduled probably in about five to ten minutes so i'm going to try to get through this as quick as i can, then we'll come back after votes and start with our q&a series. pleased to welcome our second panel of witnesses on domestic terrorism. they include mr. david roush, chief of police for the city of knoxville, tennessee, rabbi
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abraham cooper, associate dean and director of the global social action agenda at the simon wiesenthal center, and mr. richard cohen, president of the southern poverty law center. thank all of you for being here today. the chair recognizes police chief roush for his testimony. >> good afternoon, chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak about with worldwide threats, specifically domestic terrorism and the threat posed by extremist groups. i'm the chief of police in knoxville, tennessee, also a member of the executive board of directors for the international association of chiefs of police and currently the general chair for the midsized agencies division, which represents agencies with 50 to 999 sworn officers. the ic spshgs the world's largest association of law enforcement members. i've been fortunate to have been trained by the fbi and domestic and international terrorism as
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well as participated in training at the u.s. army war college in addition to my over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. today's law enforcement officers face an incredible set of challenges, one of the many myriad of challenges we confront is how to best respond to planned rally, spontaneous crowds and civil disturbances by extremist groups while balancing first amendment rights. all too often what may have been started as peaceful demonstration can spawn protests and counterprotests. groups with varying social and political agendas wish to express their concerns over war, abortion, environmental issues, policy decisions and numerous other issues can and have sparked violent and even deadly actions and reactions. most recently we witnessed that in charlottesville, virginia. a few weeks after that incident on august 26th we had a protest over a monument in, noville and used what we learned from charlottesville, boston, and from durham, north carolina, to ensure a safe, peaceful gathering. each of these cities were faced
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with rallies addressing civil war statutes by groups known for hate. i'll share what we learned from those events and discuss some of the challenges we face policing extremist groups and where we could benefit from assistance from the federal government. civil disturbances and demonstrations have changed over the years as have the tactics and techniques of extremist groups that organize these protests and gath eeringsgather. they've i invoked tools not available before. social media is used to mobilize proi protesters. communities -- some of the issues there of course are with the social media allowing the expression of hate in forms that are -- that we've noticed recently. law enforcement needs the
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assistance and cooperations of those who manage the social media mediums to monitor their sites and not allow them to be used for this purpose. the companies need protection from frivolous lawsuits that prevent them from taking needed action to do this. we need the ability to have those pushing the violent hate agenda being be held accountable for violence that results from their efforts. additionally, continued resources from the department of homeland security and department of justice in the form of community policing grants save streets funding and other resources are vital to address these efforts. it is vital that all levels of government and the private sector work together to identify and address individuals and organizations involved in violence and hate. this information needs to be provided immediately in real time to all who may be impacted especially those who are responsible for the safety of our communities. there should be no barriers of the sharing of information. fusion center have been effective at providing this information. they're only as good as the information they are provided or they learn through their
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efforts. ability to gather intelligence information must not be hindered. we certainly understand the concerns of too much government intrusion and can't allow this distrust of government to allow those who seek to harm us to thrive. there can be appropriate intelligence gathering to properly monitor to protect us all. we must not allow those tools law enforcement used to get taken away. the ability of a local community to control events in their jurisdiction is vital. the power to require notice of an event to assess the level of concern for a community is paramount. for many it's a process that allows this to be done effectively. the process gives local government the appropriao appro protect all those based on factual concerns for the overall safety of community. failure to obtain a permit should be reason to decline death claire a gathering illegal. permitting allows for clear communication between the jurisdiction and the event organizers. contact with leaders of a demonstration is important to gather information and establish
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ground rules for the event. in particular, nonnegotiable matters with the intention that a common understanding be reached by both parties on the ground rules. our protest in knoxville was advertised on social media, a local white supremacist group announced they would be upholding a support the monument rally to the monument vandalized after charlottesville. we were familiar with the group planning this and they had gatherings previously. three other groups began organizing counterprotests against the white supremacist hate group. we were familiar with some of these groups. support for the counterprotesters were substantially larger than the white supremacist hate groups. our intelligence unit began monitoring all the known problem groups in our area and they were inciting each other by posing as members of the opposite group and making statements about the need for violence. one of the counterprotest groups contact ld us at the request approval to conduct a march and that was denied because of the recent events we had seen in
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other locations. the support the monument group never sought a permit. they advised they were just going to meet at the monument and then we decided to take control of that. too many of these group who is gather spew hate and violence now hide under the cloak of the first amendment. we need to be able to delineate between exercising freedom of speech and violent behavior. having the ability to put reasonable rules in place and control these gatherings is important. i know i've gone over my time there, mr. chair. i will just tie it up just saying we believe that there are a lot of tools that could be made available to us as, you know, i'm sure there will be some questions i can get further into that. >> appreciate it. your full statement will be included in the record. chair recognizes rabbi coomer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member thompson and the rest of the distinguished members of congress. it to thank you for allowing us
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to be here on behalf of our 400,000 constituents of the simon wiesenthal center. we're named in honor and now in memory of simon wiesenthal, the great nazi hunter who lost 89 members of his family during world war ii. when he was liberated by u.s. troops, he was too weak to stand and embrace his liberators and he dedicated the rest of his life by seeking justice and not vengeance, brought 1,100 of the perpetrators before the bar of justice and changed the way civilization looked at the responsibilities of dealing with the crimes of genocide. he warned, quote, i know that the hate did not die with hitler, and tragically, how right he proved to be. before i go on, i just think this also is an appropriate moment to thank your father, mr. chairman, who i learned from you flew 32 missions over
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europe, participated in "d" day, representing the greatest generation, and it might be a little bit late but it's the appropriate time to say thank you. the threats of extreme anti-semitism in the u.s. in our time dates back to the '80s. the extremely violent order assassinated talk show host al an berg in '84. neonazi, skin head and militia movements in the late '80s and '90s often combined white supremacist doctrine with anti-jewish theory and practice. it's already been 30 years but anti-jewish hate crimes forced many jewish institutions across our country to undertake costly security measures to protect people in prayer and kids at school. for a generation, jews attending synagogue services dropping their children off at school have accepted the necessity of
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having guards, often armed, security cameras and other paraphernalia. annual fbi stats move from it's not paranoia. jews unfortunately every year are the number-one target of religion-based hate crimes. but i would add that african-americans unfortunately every year are the number one continuing target of race-base ld hate crimes. in 1999, buford furrow trained in william pierce doctrine of leaderless resistance came down to los angeles with the plan to attack our museum of tolerance. he landed up using a softer target, which was a jewish summer day camp. children as young as 6 years old were shot before he murdered a filipino american postal service employee. two years later, 9/11, changed our world forever. one of the reasons we're here today. against this backdrop, earlier
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this year, there were over 120 bomb threats made to -- against jewish community centers across our country. these threats evoke painful memories of earlier deadly attacks at jccs including grenada hills, california, seattle, washington, and ore oberlin, kansas. thousands of young families including a young colleague of mine at the wiesenthal center were deeply traumatized as their 4-year-old and 5-year-olds were suddenly evacuated from their classrooms. despite strenuous efforts and federal and local law enforcement for which we are incredibly grateful, it took months to identify the main culprit of these threats of domestic terrorism. the majority of those threats emanated not from here but from overseas, traced back to one young suspect in israel. but 2017 has witnessed more than bomb threats.
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it was a year where the oldest hate manifested on too many of our nation's campuses, were delivered to our personal e-mails and spouted from public and religious leaders. the sources, extremist elements of the new alt-right, self-proclaimed white nationalists and nazis, thee logically fuel and dominated islamic hate rhetoric, extreme anti-israel campaigns on campus that demonized the jewish state and her zionist supporters. what has changed? we heard a phenomenal panel before detail in great professionals the internet. the internet is used to incubate and validate hate, to inspire and empower and even train lone wolf attackers. it has created new global relationships among extremists, unimaginable 20 year ago. it offers anonymity. we have the -- we saw that the
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new generation of young nazis were able to utilize charlottesville in a way to capture national and global attention by staging nazi-like torchlight parades and uploading video in real time via social media with little or no consequences to the perpetrators. i want to go directly to the fact that a few weeks ago we participated in hearings that the house judiciary committee, which was considering undertaking some steps to hem jewish kids endanger on campus. unfortunately, to this point, a bill which passed 100-0 in the senate is still being held up by chairman goodlatte, and as a result the u.s. department of education has not adjudicated a single case involving anti-semitism in the united states against students on
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campus. and then the islamist rhetoric attacks such as the one in davis, california, in which people have used religious pulpits in order to call for genocide against the jewish community. i'm a rabbi so i'm very sensitive to the fact that we don't want to curtail either first amendments or tell religious leader what is they should do. but i'm also a sports fan. i believe in a level playing field. kind of rhetoric that has been used to attack our community and christians by certain islamist personalities, imams in our country, has simply not elicited the kind of response that the muslim leadership in this country should show, especially since the american muslims themselves have suffered a spike in hate crimes targeting them in the last year. finally, is there a role for
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dhs? i'm aware that dhs' role in combatting domestic terrorism and anti-semitism is secondary to that of the doj and fbi. i'm also aware that dhs' role is not to dictate policies that would hold extremists accountable for their acts. nonetheless, dhs was born in the wake of the brutal essence brought from the ashes and agony of 9/11. we learned as a nation ta that america had to mnuchin correct serious flaws in our fundamental approach to securing our nation from ever-morphing multiple threats. it is our view that local units and federal agencies must be able to quickly update and expand their understandings of extremist ideologies from the far right to the extreme left that would actually help them better understand the raw intelligence that comes their way. the simon wiesenthal center is
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urging the committee and through you, mr. chairman and ranking member, to consider ways to enable the homeland security operation, to be able to intake from ngos, human rights afld cats, and other community-based groups throughout the united states with the kind of information which i think would better help the brilliant and committed people we of heard who deal with materials we will never see but by virtue of the fact that the wiesenthal center looks only at open-source material, sometimes we can provide a little bit of perspective since we're not doing industrial fishing. we actually do it the old-fashioned way. so it is our hope that together with all of the other organizations and those who are not able to attend here today would be given an opportunity to
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have a platform where the agencies that we heard from earlier today and the other relevant groups probably through fusion centers would be able to have access to the kinds of perspective and information that we would like to share with it. thank you. >> thank you, rabbi. we have about two minutes on the clock to vote. so what i'd like to do is go vote. that's why the ranking member and i are the only two left here. so we're going to go vote. there are four votes. we'll come back and hear from mr. cohen. we'll stand in recess.
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so, the homeland security committee hearing on terror threats taking a break now for members to vote on the house floor. we'll be back live shortly with q&a with the security panel. the senate is in session now working on the gop tax reform plan which also includes a repeal of the individual health care mandate and oil and gas drilling in alaska. amendment votes are expected throughout the day with a final passage vote likely by friday


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