tv Hearing Focuses on Terrorism Threat in Europe CSPAN July 21, 2017 12:41pm-2:27pm EDT
thriving and booming business district. but it really was. there was stores owned by bloac, white, you name it. a lot of people did a lot of business here. they didn't have to leave the community. before you know it, a rock was thrown. looting, fire started. it wasn't just black folks. it was one of the most integrative instances that's ever happened in detroit. >> join us for live american history tv special on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots live sunday starting at noon eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next on c-span 3, a house foreign affairs committee hearing on terrorism trends in europe. we'll hear about online radicalization, home-grown terrorism and the flow of foreign fighters. this is an hour, 40 minutes.
>> subcommittees will come to order. without objection, all members will have five days to submit statements, questions and extraneous materials for the record subject to the length, limitation and the rules. at this time, i will make my opening statement. over the past three months, three deadly terrorist attacks have struck the united kingdom. an additional five other plots were thwarted. these were just the latest in a wave of deadly terrorist attacks that have swept european since 2014. three years, there have been more than 36 attacks across western europe killing nearly 400 people including a number of americans. the number of potential plots has skyrocketed, posing a serious challenge. according to british authorities, they're investigating as many as 23,000
suspected and 500 potential plots. while security services have been lucky all of the time to protect our freedom, the terrorists just have to get lucky once to threaten our sense of safety. terrorists are also no locker focusing on big sophisticated attacks. every day items such as kitchen knives, delivery trucks, are now used as tools of terror. the evil is directed to anyone. be it the french police patrolling the streets, our children and their families exciting a concert in manchester. they have struck bystanders in the heart of european capitals and targeted symboiymbols of eus rich history. to many, this challenge seems impossible. how can we stop such relentless murder? the first step is not giving in to defeatism. we cannot accept this terror as the new norm. some people unfortunately are accepted terror as a way of
life. we also cannot write off this as a european problem. the terrorists want to destroy our irshaed values and our way of life. they want to kill americans as much as europeans. and we must stand together with europe and fight this battle together. frankly our european partners have put up with dangerous extremism far too long. groups openly advocating islamic law calling for the end of democra democracy and supporting a brand of islam shared by isis operate freely across the european continent. breeding grounds for extremism and ground zero for terrorist reagreement. we must not allow our western val up oo ues to be exploited. we must not allow the technology born of our free and enterprising societies to be exploited for murder by terrorist groups. terrorists today use social media and apps to spread their hate, to fund-raise and to recruit and advise untrained
supporters how to carry out murder. they even offer plots on how to build bombs on social media. we must fight the terrorists both on the battlefield and online. twitter, facebook and youtube have taken such steps to shut down extremely accounts. we stand ready to assist them to do more. others need to do a lot more. specifically telegram, which has been described as the app of joy choice for jihadists, is one of the services not doing near enough. we will have to bring the fight to cyber space. last year, i introduced the c combat use of social media act. the bill eventually became law as a part of the department of state authorities act and we still are waiting for the administration to provide this critical strategy because lives are at stake. additionally, we must keep the vital intelligence sharing channels with our allies open.
since isis made its rapid advance across the middle east in 2014, a concerning amount of westerners have made their way to the terrorist battlefields. this is especially true in europe. as many as 5,000 europeans have travelled to iraq and syria. now that isis is losing on the battlefield, many of these foreign fighters, may want to bring the fight back home and kill people who are -- where they originate from. a recent report on jihadist attacks in the west says 73% of attackers are citizens of the country they are attacking and as many as 82% of attackers had been previously flagged by law enforcement authorities. sharing intelligence will help us to spot these individuals returning from battlefields. intelligence sharing can only be useful if we protect our borders from these individuals. one of the london bridge terrorists earlier this month was allowed to enter the united kingdom despite being put on a
security watch list. if someone has been flagged for terrorism, they should not be able to enter another country. what is the purpose of placing someone on watch list if that person is able to travel freelyy than ever before. we must stand together in this fight with our european allies. i will now recognize the ranking member mr. keating from massachusetts. >> thank you for being here. chairman poe and i as well as other members of our subcommittees have introduced resolutions regarding terrorist attackings, when they've been carried out against european allies including countries that stood with us in honoring their article 5 commitments under our nato alliance. we stand with them in solidarity of this recent and all too
frequent loss of innocent lives in their countries. we're convening this hearing because understanding how to address this threat to our allies is not only an issue related to their security and our own, but also an arena where there's an incredible opportunity to learn from and collaborate with our european partners. europe faces diverse and significant challenges in the fight against tear many rrorism extremism. the landscape is unique to each country. whereas for others, the individuals carrying out these attacks were radicalized without ever leaving their country. at the regional level, our allies commitments to open borders within the eu can prove to be a challenging aspect of european integration within the context of fighting terrorism. i've seen firsthand how institutions have taken this threat seriously and how they've
been working diligently to improve their collaboration around tracking individuals who may have been radicalized and identifying the best ways to tackle this threat. they've also experimented with different models for rooting out and preventing extreme terrorism and for dealing with foreign fighters returning home from isil-held area. some models relied heavily on communities themselves and investing in protective collaboration between them and law enforcement. some have focused on inclusive straight i judge tegists by wor with the women in these communities and with religious leaders. others have tried to address the profound threat in prisons. and therefore remove the threat posed by those who travel aboard to isil and other terrorist organizations instead backfired and instead exacerbated that threat. they're also exploring different ways to remove extremely content
online used to recruit vulnerable individuals to engage in terrorist activity and take down terrorist's financing and moneymaking schemes to make it possible and to take down terrorist financing and money laundering schemes that make it possible for isil and others to fund the operations that target innocent civilians in these brutal attacks. as we work here in congress and with agencies in the executive branch to make sure we're nimble and effective in countering threats here and threats to our allies abroad. we can learn a lot from the efforts of our european friends. today, i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about what we can learn from europe and their experiences with terrorism and the efforts to combat it, as well as what where he can do better here in the united states to work with our european partners to eradicate the threat of terrorism here at home and abroad. i want to thank the witnesses for being here. and i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman from massachusetts. the chair will now recognize
chairman of the subcommittee on europe and emerging threats for his opening remarks. >> good afternoon. and thank you -- i always want to call him judge poe. >> you should. >> your honor, thank you very much for holding this hearing jointly with the europe and eurasia subcommittee which i'm the chairman of. thank you to the witnesses as well. our partners and allies in europe have suffered terribly at the hands of violent islamic terrorists. we can say that. for a long time our federal government didn't seem to be able to say that. the latest outbursts of violence in the united kingdom have been shocking to all of us. the resiliency of the british people, however, is inspiring and reminds me of why america is
fortunate to call the british people our friends. this hearing serves as one more example of our transatlantic solidarity and our commitment to confront and destroy evil forces in this world. the same forces seek to brutally murder innocent people in order to terrorize the people of the world into submission to their fanatic brand of islam. while our strength and will remains consistent, the tactics and methods of extremist islamists continue to evolve. as our police and security services have been foiling elaborate plots and breaking up terrorist networks, isil and other terrorist organizations create new kinds of plots that require more ingenuity and flexibility to counter.
such insidious methods are hard for any security service to thwart. police forces in europe are being especially challenges. large migrant populations some of which have remained famously unintegrated into their new country present a perplexing challenge that pits humanitarian impulses to try to help poor refugees against the necessity of protecting their own populations. to some extent these domestic issues are the ones that european citizens and governments will have to work out to their own satisfaction and find a balance between these humanitarian impulses and these ideas of protecting their society. we americans must stand in solidarity against what evildoers do.
against those evildoers who murder vulnerable populations to achieve their ends. i look forward to learning from the witnesses today on how the united states might be able to lend a hand to our european friends who are under attack and understand, also, the threat that faces us. and one last point that i would like to add into the discussion, and that is, i had the pleasure of actually going after the -- after one terrorist attack in boston with my ranking member at the time. we were there in order to see if there could be cooperation between russia and the united states in dealing with the terrorist threat. i would say that when we left, i was very satisfied that the russian government was willing to work with us, and they
actually gave us information at that time which was very valuable in analyzing what had happened in the massacre of people at the boston marathon. with that said, since that time, our relations with russia have gone down so dramatically that it has hindered us from working together with the russians to defeat this threat to the planet. this is a threat, we're talking about radical islamic terrorism is a threat to every good person on the planet, whether whatever country they come from. and let me just note i'm interested in hearing our witnesses to see if there is something if you believe that working with russia in trying to thwart radical islamic terrorism is something that should be on our to do list. so with that said, thank you for being with us today. i look forward to hearing your testimony and i especially want
to thank judge poe for calling this hearing and letting my subcommittee participate. >> i thank the gentleman from california. the chair recognizes the ranking member, mr. meeks from new york for his opening statement. >> thank you chairman poe for calling thixhearing to address the growing threat that's coming and that is with -- at our allies in europe, terrorism. it's not only a threat to our allies in europe, however, it's a threat to those outside of nato as well. it's a threat to our free democratic system in this sense and we need our allies together. in fact, we had a meeting today with the secretary general of the u.n., when asked what was his number one fear was, it was the international aspect.
he stated it was the international aspect of terrorism and how they can try and come together to create a global terrorist threat. it is extremely timely and i think important to appreciate the effort to signal that this problem, you know, that we have specifically for our european allies because they're asking what are we thinking and how can we work together. it's especially important when we find that our president has found it difficult at times to talk about the importance of such alliances. you know, as mr. keating has indicated, after 9/11, that is the only time when article v was triggered. so i would hope that we speak with one voice in regards to our president not sending complicating messages out about nato and the e.u.
in fact, it was disturbing when i saw the new pugh polling showing how drastically confidence in the united states president has eroded around the world, not just the europe. and a fractured transatlantic alliance allows more space for terrorists to recruit and act both in europe and here at home. terrorism in europe is a multifaceted threat. that while credible and deadly in some countries have proven to be more nuances in others. most recently in the united kingdom and france for example, we witnessed the barrage or coordinated and other lone wolf attacks. however, in central europe, governing politicians point to welcoming refugee policies in other european countries as a leading contributor to terrorism in order to push their agenda of stronger border control. in fact, you have to go all the way to russia to find similar examples of terror in eastern europe.
but in turkey, another nato ally that has been under attack by terrorists have pommeled cities across the country. but we see the less attention for doing so. this brings me to the first point of clarification, threat perception. politicians on all sides in the media are attracted to shocking stories of terror in europe. these acts have taken center stage with the help of cctv and cell phones that can immediately transmit harrowing videos across the world. in this sense, advanced technology has made the terrorized aspect of terrorism a lot easier and also something that we must focus on. because the threat is very real. foreign fighters from western europe, the balkans, and russia will return home from syria having perhaps become more radicalized in their quest for glory. some may return home
disheartened, giving our authorities an easier opportunity to learn more about the attraction. we've got to figure out the difference so we can make sure it's to our advantage. one key aspect of preventing radicalization in the first place, which is something we should look at, also, is understanding the drivers that push a young man or woman into such radical territory. thankfully, we have best practice examples that show us there is no one size fits all solution. and that the problem is evolving. italy a country with thousands of refugees and immigrants is able to accept them in a humane manner, discern the proper status for the people and move the process along. the process is by no means perfect. yet, with the help of international humanitarian organizations are absolutely essential. and the american story can be of use here. i believe that despite our bumps and bruises, we can help european nations in integrating communities into their societies. on paper, european states may be
all inclusive. but this often differs in practice, which is does well -- as well here in the united states. as a result, some communities are forgotten or isolated and susceptible to radicalization. so we've got to focus on what we can do to try to prevent those from being radicalized. and so i look forward to engaging with our witnesses to discuss how the u.s. can learn from and help our european allies who are under attack. and i thank you, and i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman from new york. without objection all members may have five days to submit questions, and without all objection all witnesses' statement will be a part of the record. if you see a red light come up in front of you, that means stop. i'll introduce each witness and give them time for their opening statements. mr. hughes is the deputy
director of the program on extremism at george washington university. he's an expert on terrorism, home grown violent extremism and countering violent extremist. martin sillcox potentialized in national security policy. dr. cragen is a research fellow at the national defense university. recently left a position as political scientist at the rand corporation and has taught at georgetown university and the university of maryland. mr. homer overseas a broad portfolio of cve and rule of law related subjects and projects and research. she chairs the usip working group on counterviolent extremism.
mr. hughes, we'll start with you and you have five minutes. >> chairman, ranking members, distinguished members of the committee. it is a privilege to be invited to speak to you today. europe is facing a sustained threat from the islamic state. it's an estimated more than 5,000 europeans have travelled to syria to join isis. the percentage of european foreign fighters who have returned to their countries of departure is estimated as high as 30%. in the united states, some 250 americans have travelled or attempted to travel to isis controlled territories. of the 250, the program on extremism has identified more than 60 u.s. based individuals who successfully migrated to syria. there's not a typical profile of an american or european isis recruit. they vary in socio economic background, age, gender, location and the degree of religiosity. until recently, isis operated a relative safe haven from which to plan attacks. despite recent territorial losses it continues to maintain a codre of sympathizers
who feel an obligation to help the caliphate. this has hit europe and the united states in the last month. since 2014, we have identified 51 attacks in europe and north america. the vast majority of the perpetrators were citizens of the country in which they committed the attack. only 5% of those who carried out the attacks were refugees or asylum seekers. most had a prior criminal past. less than 10% were directly ordered by isis to commit the attacks. in most cases the attackers are isis inspired or had some touch point but no explicit direction. about 20% of the attackers were returning foreign fighters. those that did commit those attacks were more lethal in their attacks. the majority of the perpetrators who pledge allegiance to isis
before their attack and after their attack. isis took credit for about 40% of them. france has experienced the highest number of attacks at 17, followed closely by the united states with 16 attacks. attacks in the u.s. tend to be significantly more unstructured. spontaneous than europe. even though some of them, orlando, and san bernardino, being a good examples, have been no less deadly. there have been 395 jihadist related arrests in 2014. 687 in 2015. and 718 in 2016. numbers are much lower in the united states, where 18 individuals were arrested for terrorism related activities in 2014. 75 in 2015, which was banner year for us. and just 36 in 2016. unlike europe, the united states does not seem to possess extensive home grown militant organizations that provide support to individuals drawn to
isis. jihadists propaganda continues to be easily accessible through various online platforms for the last ten years. now with the advent of numerous social media applications, a would be recruit can access realtime support and have a stronger sense they're part of a wider network. an important dynamic at play, is isis has employed what we call isis virtual entrepreneurs who use social media to connect people in the west, these are people in raqqah that are reaching out to americans and europeans. they were involved in at least 21% of domestic plots in the united states. during that same time period, 19 of 38 isis linked plots in europe involved some form of online instruction. technology companies have
addressed isis' online activities in two ways, content based regulation and countermessaging. the current approaches by twitter, facebook, google, microsoft to name a few may not necessarily address the new types of encrypted channels on platforms like telegram, now frequented by extremists. even though online radicalization phenomenon received a lot of attention, offline dynamics still matter a great deal. physical networks in europe remain of importance. it's important to note that far right movements in europe have taken advantage of the recent wave of isis inspired attacks in europe to mobilize old and few followers. these groups tend to ignore distinctions between islam and jihadists seeing all muslims as a threat. it's triggered attacks against innocent muslim communities. we've seen how they have fed off
each other and used this to assist in their recruitment efforts. this dynamic of radicalization between jihadist and far right extremists needs to be monitored. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you, i welcome your questions. >> mr. simcox. >> thank you. chairman poe, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify here today. the views i express in this testimony are my own and do not represent the official position of the heritage foundation. my goal this afternoon is to highlight the severe threat that islamic terrorism poses to europe. there are several aspects of the threat, which i'll discuss today. the first is the scale. as we all know, recently there's been much discussion by governments about the threat
posed. this refers to at least five to 6,000 european whose have fought alongside isis and other groups in syria and iraq and are returning to their home countries. most devastatingly, members of the cell that committed attacks in paris in november 2015 killing 130 and wounding 368, had travel today syria from europe, fought and trained with isis and returned to europe to carry out an attack. this cell contained isis member whose had entered europe from syria after making false asylum claims. while the majority of syrian refugees are not tied to terrorism, germany has seen a sharp up tick in the threat it faces. there was an eight fold increase in plots between 2015 and 2016. largely due to a surge of those involving refugees. in fact, germany faced more plots last year than it did in the entire 2000 to 2015 period. as the u.s. has experienced with the attacks in san bernardino
and orlando, european governments also have a very significant problem with home grown radicals. to give an idea of the scale of this threat, the uk has approximately 23,000 terror suspects on the radar. within this, a 3,000 suspect assessed to be the most imminent threat. however, such assessments will never be foolproof and always lies the possibility that the likes of westminster bridge attacker khalid masood slips through the net. the second aspect is the breadth of terrorism throughout europe. data demonstrates the number of plots europe has faced has risen year on year. there had been 15 separate countries targeted, most commonly, belgium, france, germany and the uk. this year, there have been
multiple attacks on traditional targets in the uk and france. an isis link to asylum seeker from uzbekistan in a truck attack in stockholm and an italian tunisian stabbed officers in milan a. it's impossible to build that catch all profile of who will carry out these attacks. it's not just young men. khalid masood was 52. for example, in february, 2016, a radicalized 15-year-old german girl in contact with isis stabbed a police officer in hanover. you have those who have criminal records and those who do not.
those who trained with terrorists and those who have not. those who are well-educated or affluent as well as those who are poorly educated or from a lower socio economic background. all were drawn into the terrorist orbit and planned attacks in europe. the thirst aspect is the range of weapons now used by terrorists. since november 2015, belgium, france, germany and the uk have seen operatives acquiring expertise and materials to assemble suicide bombs without having their plans thwarted. there has not been a lack of willing volunteers to carry out these suicide missions, including salman abedi who committed the attack in manchester. the use of vehicles. there have been no publicly disclosed instances in which vehicular attacks have been thwarted. we've seen the consequences in niece, stockholm, london and else where. over 1,400 people were injured
and over 300 people killed in islamic attacks in europe in the past three and a half years. including in this number are nine americans. chairman poe, distinguished members, the grave danger that terrorism poses to europe is only likely to increase. the u.s. must work with europe to defeat the threat. thank you for inviting me to discuss this with you and i look forward to any question. >> i thank the gentleman. doctor? >> i'd like to thank the chair and the ranking members for inviting me to testify on the subject of the threat posed to europe and the west by the islamic state in iraq and syria or isis. over the past 20 years i've explored the topics of what motivates people to become
terrorists and how groups adapt and counterterrorism. much of the research has focused on what is often referred to as foreign fighters, or individuals who leave their homes and travel abroad to fight. my written testimony provides the details of this research and i plan to summarize it briefly today. as you know, isis stepped into the global spotlight in june 2014 after its spokesman announced a newly formed islamic caliphate. soon thereafter isis began to consolidate control over territory within syria and iraq, but it also established provinces outside of the area. isis has 25 provinces in 11 countries. the apparent focus by isis on control over territory caused many to conclude at the time that isis was less interested in attacking the west than al qaeda. this has proven to be false. the first successful attack by a foreign fighter returnee took place in may 2014 at the jewish museum in brussels. the perpetrator was part of a cell. this suggests that isis leaders intended to attack the west months before they even declared
a caliphate. the overall pattern of attacks by isis reinforces this conclusion, between june 2014 and may 2017, isis operatives conducted 225 attacks outside syria and iraq. 42% were external operations, or attacks outside of those provinces. to put this in perspective, isis has been more aggressive in its external operations than al qaeda. only 10% of al qaeda's attacks between 2008 and 2010 took place outside of countries with affiliates. 10% for al qaeda, 42% for isis. to truly understand the threat we need to examine successful and failed attacks and the numbers become even more grim. 58% of all isis external operations including both attacks and plots have taken
place in the west. let's take the november 2015 attacks in paris as an example. there were nine core operative, seven foreign fighter returnees, two iraqis. they recruited an additional 21 individuals to help with logistics once they arrived in europe. seven of these recruits were foreign fighter returnees and 14 were not. foreign fighters return home to attack, they also recruit others to help. the good news is that the paris attacks acted as a catalyst for the west. spain has detained 159 individuals and interrupted at least six plots. france has foiled 22 plots, the uk has detained almost 300 and
foiled 18 plots. in fact, the combined efforts by law enforcement intelligence and military forces led to a plummet in the number of successful external operations by foreign fighters in late 2016. this predates the mosul offensive. it tells me that the u.s. and its allies have come up with the correct formula to minimize the threat posed by foreign fighter returnees. but it's only a short term solution, because arresting individuals preempively causes short prison terms. it also presents the threat of prison radicalization and it's hard to see how this formula can be applied by less affluent countries. isis has proven itself to be adaptive and the recent attacks in england underscore there is still more to be done. i mention that successful attacks by foreign fighters plummeted in august 2016. but the overall trend in external operations continues to go up. so why? as attacks plummeted they were
replaced by attacks conducted by local recruits with directive guidance from isis fighters based in syria, sometimes referred to as virtual planners. they will identify local recruits, introduce them to individuals with technical expertise and help pick the target. all via telegram or whatsapp. i don't want to leave the impression we've solved the problem in the west by foreign fight orreturnees, we haven't. but the most urgent need is to find a way to take this formula and expand it geographically. and beyond the urgent need we need to fit these within a wider strategy to address the threat from foreign fighter returnees and virtual planners. >> and ms. holmer. >> good afternoon, mr. chairman. ranking members, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. please note that my comments reflect my own views and not
necessarily that of the u.s. institute of peace. i began my career working on terrorism in europe for the fbi over 20 years ago. that was the tail end of a wave of marxist and national political violence in europe that included kidnappings, bombings and assassinations and generated the same feelings of fear and outrage as we're experiencing. the wave of political violence in europe is greater. we're witnessing not only directed attacks but self-inspires acts of violence. the justification for the violence has changed as well and idealogy is rooted in religious militancy. unlike the wave of terrorism from the 1970s to the 1990s the targets are indiscriminate and there is more a willingness on the part of the attackers to die. counterterrorism investigations today are more sophisticated.
they are more mechanisms for international collaboration. there has been a steadily increasing awareness in understanding that effective operations are critical, but insufficient without an investment in prevention. law enforcement and security forces cannot possibly anticipate and disrupt every potential attack, especially low level attacks involving one man and a truck and a knife. understanding why individuals are willing to give their lives to a movement or cause, and working to address the issues and grievances that push them in that direction is a critical investment of american time and resources. last year, usip conducted research why kosovo had the highest rates of foreign fighters traveling to fight with isis. youth found their messages particularly compelling because
of their frustration with their own lives, lack of opportunity, complicating ideas about their idea, and an inherited legacy of conflict and violence. kosovo faces a multifaceted challenge, managing the return of those who went to iraq and syria as well as those who never left but are radicalized and intent on causing harm. and also preventing new recruits from forming new groups. kosovo is not alone, but their experience illustrates how important it is to have effective programs and strategies to prevent individuals from radicalizing and joining these groups or rejoining once they out of prison. i would like to offer that all are three critical areas in which efforts to prevent radicalization could be advanced and which our european partners have made significant progress. first, is increasing public awareness and engagement in preventing radicalization. preventing early stage radicalization, especially for those who have never engaged in any criminal activity is out of reach of law enforcement and is more appropriately addressed. much of the work in europe is led by ngos but supported by national governments and the e.u. community level programs
involving teachers and social workers, religious leaders and families who help build the resilience of youth and intervene appropriately when they show signs of influence. these efforts include, but go beyond countering the idealogy that underpins these groups to address the relationships and practical issues that make youth vulnerable to recruitment in the first place. idealogy after all is how they're recruited, not why they join. secondly, insuring effective and accountable criminal justice and law enforcement procedures. individuals touchpoints with the police. the establishment of accountable information sharing mechanisms between the public and law
enforcement helps insure that individuals are not prematurely criminalized and many european law enforcement forces have implemented programs. third, working to prevent recidivism. after prison, many individuals return to the same environment in which they were radicalized in the first place. even if they do not engage in violent activity directly they may continue to espouse ideas. that encourage violence. effective integration programs are imparrot i have been. europe has a number of programs that were originally developed that have been tailored and support their continued disengagement from violence. the u.s. has been a leader in efforts to prevent violent extremism and terrorism and continue to is support our allies in europe in this role in prevention. thank you for your time. >> thank you for staying on time. we all appreciate that. the chair will reserve its
question force last. i'll recognize the chairman of the european subcommittee. mr. rorbacher for his questions. >> first and foremost i want to thank the witnesses that you've given us a really good foundation to look at this and you know it's perplexing, people's lives are at stage, and your statistics and your analysis of it frankly we needed your help and thank you, your honor for holding this hearing. i'd like to ask some, you have some information for us on this, i'm sure. how much spine is being done -- spying is being done by our government of our own people.
every time it's come for a vote, i voted against permitting government to have more spying on american citizens. we're faced with this decision wooxter going to allow more and more people to tap our telephones or whatever they do. go into our internet systems and things. do you think that we should be, that that's a wrong vote on my part? am i wrong for not agreeing to allow the, the law enforcement and our protectors to actually have greater leverage in spying on american citizens? who might be related to someone who came, migrated here, as you know, ten years ago? who wants to answer that question? oh, come on, be courageous, we have to vote on this. >> i'll take the easy one. i agree with the chairman in terms of the question of intelligence, is wonderful, right.
the fact that you have a fisa and thousands of documents on that individual, gives you insight into the person. but it's one thing to have the intelligence and another thing to have the agentsnd resources to run that down in some parts of america you have an influx of information, social media, wire taps, but not an ability to act on that and not knowing when to act. so to the extent we can limit the data that's just exactly what we need to kind of bring down the level of general -- >> we're cooperating with europe, correctly. are we involved in spying on european citizens in order to track down these terrorists that we wouldn't be allowed to do in our own country? anybody know the answer? go for it. >> well, i know that the european government, especially the ones that work closely with the u.s., of which the uk certainly is one of those countries, tremendously grateful
for the help that the u.s. offers in terms of the intelligence capacity that it provides. which is far outstretched that of the vast majority of european countries. i tend to think and we have a lot of these debates in the uk as to the privacy, liberty, security debates. it's obviously a very tricky one. i tend to think as long as the oversight is robust and it seems to me i'm not a subject matter expert. but having looked at the u.s. intelligence community oversight seems to be quite robust certainly compared to many other european governments, some of whom perhaps complain in purpose about american spying. but in private are grateful for some of the intelligence that's passed on. >> i think it's highly likely and i'm not getting the details right now. but probably behind closed doors that we are conducting extensive and listening and hacking, if
you will, overseas and we are sharing that with our european allies and i would hope we are. let me just ask this, go to one other issue before my time comes up here. i mentioned that the ranking member and mr. keating went to russia. and we met with the head of their renamed kgb, fsb i guess they call it. and they were very generous with us, with information. and they actually gave us some information that we believe was gave us a better understanding of the boston marathon bomber and where he was coming from and his family background. and that by the way, i believe, had they shared that with us beforehand, we might have put them on a higher level of observation. and do you think we should be working with the russians? i would just tell you that i personally, i'm a lone wolf here, right, in the congress.
we need to be working with russia to defeat radical islam, because that threatens their people, and threatens our people. and there's no reason in the world, i think because we have disagreements in other parts of the world, that that cooperation should be in some way shut off. do you have any thoughts on that? and please feel free. >> i'll take that one. >> i've run out of time, but i think they'll give you time to answer. >> you can answer the question about russia. >> over the past couple of years i've been involved in some track ii diplomacy discussions with russian academics and we've wrestled with this issue of to what extent could we cooperate and how could we cooperate on counterterrorism. so i'll just tell you sort of my impressions from that. we kept getting bogged down. now we were academics, so we're not policy-makers. we kept getting bogged down and
i'll smaurize how we got bogged down. we kept getting bogged down because as an american i'm comfortable with a certain amount of instability in pursuit of democratic values. so i'm probably more risk-seeking, i'm willing to accept some risk with democratic values being established. and my russian counterpart, the ultimate goal was stability we kept getting bogged down, almost everything came down to this almost cultural or value-based tension. so i would just offer that to you as you think about the practicality of it. we just couldn't seem to come to a lot of solution on it. >> it was an interesting experience. i'll say that. >> the chair recognizes the ranking member, the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. keating. this is a great hearing to have, between this committee and the homeland security committee i'm on, i spend a great deal of time looking at issues of terrorism.
it's a complex area, no simple solutions we spending some time today on an area that i'm very intrigued in and we haven't come close to maximizing our prevention efforts in and i was listening to ms. homer's testimony as a former fbi person as my own experience as a district attorney and there's similarities between how we approach crime issues in these terrorist crimes as well. i was in europe a calm of years ago, the hollings institute was doing a study on trying to find common characteristics among terrorists, people that were radicalized, and you know, they were dealing with things like whether there was a male role model, strong male presence in the family. some of these characteristics in fact much less scientific. i remember testimony of the former fbi director comey, in front of our committee.
describing these people as poor souls. there's something to that. miss homer, could you tell us from your experience, i could tell from your testimony, some of the common characteristics, that are there. that make people more prone to being radicalized? >> i think the first answer to that question is it is unique per individual. there are some common trends that make people more vulnerable. certainly we find in the european context it has to do with issues of assimilation. it has to do with issues of opportunity. it has to do with exposure to violence. exposure to criminality. and all of those issues make people more vulnerable to recruitment. i think that the challenge when
you're dealing with such a large pool of potential recruits is that it's outside the reach of law enforcement to possibly identify them. especially when you're dealing with such low-level attacks. >> how can we empower. i think the committee as a whole here, very strong in their support empowering women and mothers. to able to recognize this radicalization as it occurs. are you familiar with any of those. >> i'm very familiar with it there's one ngo based in vienna, called women without borders that's done some very groud-breaking work in this space. and their approach is to work with mothers to help them understand early warning signs of radicalization in their families, so they might intervene. they might know when the role is appropriate for parents and when it is indeed to pull in law enforcement. >> i think that law enforcement -- i had programs like alternatives to prosecution for young people. mental health diversions and
certain probationary areas. there's a stage to deal with a lot of issues to correspond in any case, here's a question that i am perplexed with. when you look at europe and the u.s. in particular. it's the amount of radicalization that occurs in prisons, in europe versus the radicalization that occurs here. now it occurs in both places but it's not even close in scope. given my knowledge in this area. why is it, so much of a, more of a problem in europe? why is this so commonplace in europe? what are the factors there. what are they doing to correct that? anyone? >> well part of the problem is that in europe the release rates are a lot quicker than the u.s., right? so people get the example i always give is that somebody like the carried out the brussels 2016 attack had
previously been convicted for a bank robbery. where he shot a kalishnakov at a police officer in america i think that would lead to a pretty lengthy jail sentence. think in belgium he got something like three years. so he had contact with radicals in prison. he watt out very quickly and carries out these attacks. european governments are trying all sorts of different strategies to deal with this france tried isolating certain high-risk people, certain radicalizers, but that hasn't really worked. i think part of it down to numbers. the population of muslim population in prisons is way, way disproportionate in compares ton the overall population. and i know that lots of countries are arresting with different strategies and nobody has been terribly successful. i think we need to keep experimenting, to be frank. >> if i could, one more, mr. hughes. is that all right, mr. chairman? >> why not. >> in terms of the u.s. context, we tepid to segregate our convicted terrorists and use
especially administrative measures. when i'm in terra haute or super maxx. and that tends to work. i would agree with robin that the numbers are smaller. i would mention a public policy question we grapple with. the average prison sentence for an americanized recruit is 13 years, we've had about two folks that have already been released. we're going to have to grapple with a large number of americans who were arrest ford isis-related activities that are getting out of jail in the not too distant future. you talk to the bureau of prisons or department of homeland security, their eyes glaze over and it's incumbent on us to roll up our sleeves and figure this out. >> thank gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan. >> i thank the gentleman from
texas for holding this hearing and the gentleman from california, it's a broad topic. i don't think we're going to get to all the areas of discussion in this one hearing, i hope we'll do it again. my concern has been isil operatives infiltrating the muslim migration into europe that we saw last year, last 18 months, a lot of those were military-age men coming into europe. countries like hungary, recognizing their own sovereignty and securing their borders. we're seeing the free flow of people across europe was exploited by one of the i believe one of the brussel attackers or somebody headed to brussels. had a carload of automatic womens and grenades snd cemex. a lot of the folks i represent reasonable doubt concerned about those folks getting to europe and staying long enough to gain citizenship and coming to this country at some point in the future.
isil has been in existence for 24 months, 36 months and so we're getting into that timeframe where citizenship can be earned. folks could possibly come to the united states with visa waiver programs. et cetera. dr. kragen, you've dot a lot of work regarding the return of foreign fighters. europeans have gone to syria and iraq, libya and returned back. we saw it recently in england. how can congress better understand this and fight back against that threat? >> i guess i'll start with the refugee issue. in my data set of external operations, outside the provinces of about 3% of the attacks had a refugee involved in them. seem not saying it's a nonexistent threat. but it's very, very low relative to inspired individuals who are already residents and citizens. those directed by virtual
planners and foreign fighters returnees, so when you're looking at a risk assessment and putting all those in place, my tendency as can counterterrorism professional is looking at the foreign fighter returnees. now looking at the foreign fighter returnees, i do think that intelligence cooperation, in coordination with law enforcement and military activities has improved significantly. i would say since 2016, late 2015, early 2016, so we're on the right track. my biggest concern in that area are the foreign fighter returnees that are going to be going to north africa. and tunisia, 6500 and tunisia is awfully close to europe. they simply do not have a capacity nor the intelligence assets that we have. if you're interested in helping out europe, the next step is to actually broaden that cooperation to try to find a way
to help egypt. help tunisia, jord ton a certain extent, make sure that they can absorb and reintegrate their foreign fighter returnees. >> do you think you're going to see, we have seen, do you think you're going to see more border control measures put in place? less shingan free trouble, germany do a little bit of that. and france do that. and hungary, which wasn't schengen. migration to their countries or through their countries. do you think europe will address the open border situation, see more return to border controls? or do you think they're going to continue with the open border situation we have now? and dr. craigin, i'll let you address that. whichever one would want to answer. but we're on the clock. >> i haven't talked to european officials so i don't know what they intend to do as a
counterterrorism official, border security is one part in my research, the more you can push out the threat and deal with it outside of europe as i said in sort of north africa and the levant that's better than relying on border security measures as they're crossing back into europe quite frankly. that's sort of my interpretation. >> you talk about wide range and middle east and north african. we've seen the fighters coming across from libya, tunisia morocco, portugal, spain. italy's got a huge problem. malta, european union. there's a lot of issues, that's a big, broad area. the fact of the matter is there are people in europe that could be radicalized that have traveled from the middle east. through this migration, military-age men who could have been inspired before they even left. i understand what you're saying what we've seen is people who have been inspired in europe. they didn't, maybe they came from north africa at some point.
but they've been there long enough. the issue today are the people that are in the country. their ability to travel around, and they are getting inspired through online measures. mr. chairman, those are some questions i hope the europeans are asking themselves. we're not going to solve it for them, but i appreciate the information. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york mr. meeks? >> i want to agree, this has been a very interesting hearing. something that we've got to really dig into. let me just try to go a little bit further i guess on what mr. duncan was taking about. because i hear a lot of folks talking about the way to prevent terrorist attacks is by banning immigrants and refugees and individuals from coming back into, going into various different countries.
so i guess my first question is, do you think by banning immigrants, i think you said, ms. craigin, it was only 3% of individuals who were not coming from posts from the war areas. those returning from battle. but the actual refugees and immigrants, do you think that by banning all refugees -- will that cut down on terrorism in these various areas? >> or any place in the world for that matter, because terrorism is all over the place now. [ inaudible ] >> is your mike on? >> the way that you successfully put together a counterterrorism strategy is you have layers and lots of different security
measures throughout. so my data suggests of external operations that is attacks conducted by isis outside of its provinces, its 25 provinces, 3% included somebody who had come through the refugee system. so that's not zero, it's something, but then you start talking about where do you put your resources. nobody can devote just everything to this problem. do you devote it to border security measures? do you devote it to intelligence operations? do you devote it to military operations? that's sort of what we're talking about. as a counterterrorism professional, i prefer to see more devoted out towards intelligence, law enforcement investigations and military operations than border security that doesn't necessarily mean you don't do border security. now i'm talking about relative resources and what you devote to what type of operation. >> let me ask ms. holmer, one of the things that i've seen that we could be taking our eye off the ball, for example in the
western balkans. where we talk about there's a space of very high unemployment, disenchantment and religious extremism present and i think that can present a dangerous recipe what can be done in this region to help secure partways, the pat path today's nature nato and the eu minimizing the risk of terror in that area. >> one of the important things is for the kosovo government is they're not member of interpol. >> having acknowledging that the threat is not just from returnees, but from people who are already in the country who haven't left. who may be inspired to engage in acts of violence. and that speaks to not just bolstering law enforcement intelligence operations, but also to having a commensurate resource to prevention. >> as i talk to some of my, well some are friends, some are constituents, et cetera, here in
the united states. those who happen to be muslim also, they do say the words that we utilize in the united states, in europe and others, are important. some would help, words are important, some helps to recruit, well help recruiters recruit individuals. do you think words matter in how we entitle, how we title for example my friend from california says, we're free to now say radical islamic terrorists. or i heard mr. simcox, he indicated he used the word -- he used the phrase -- islamic, islamist terrorists, as opposed to islamist terror. is that just semantics for us?
do words matter in this regard when we're fighting terror? >> i think all political violence is an affront to ideological values, while it helps us to understand the motives and recruitment dynamics and help us understand and counter those eye deologies to know exactly what they are, i'm not sure there's a very big difference between the types of violence that were inspired by the marxist ideals of the 180s. while i think it's important as a part of our understanding, it's only one piece of the puzzle. over-emphasizing it is going to keep us away from the other pieces. >> out of time. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. garrett. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i'm curious, because we've spent a lot of time on the entity that i call daesh or isis. some people call itti's l. my understanding is the entire eastern mediterranean region, extending into what some would argue is iraq, libya, egypt, as well as the island of cypress and greece, et cetera is that roughly correct as to what the levant would mean? >> normally north africa is the magreb, probably up through egypt, algeria. lebanon. >> syria, lebanon, iraq. turkey, i mean in the broadest historical sense. if were you to refer to isil you would be giving a larger geographic footprint to the entity that's isis, as opposed
to isis. >> i think this is a semantic thing of do you use the word they use to call themselves. do you assign something to them. is it the daesh, isis, isil? >> sure. but having spent a little bit of time affiliated with law enforcement and warfare, unless you wish to bolster your enemy, unless you wish to strengthen your enemy, in view of the enemy in the world, you minimize, you might refer to them say for example as the jv team, right if that would be, but normally traditionally you don't want to build your enemy up, right? i guess what i'm driving at is the levant is larger than iraq and syria, and why someone would call them isil to give them greater credibility is beyond me and yet that's been done. fisa, recent reports indicate up to 5% of fisa court applications, upstream information-gathering during the last previous administration was actually used against american citizens.
in section 702 of the code allows us to use fisa, it orders that american citizens be masked, wherein those citizens' identities might have been accidentally associated with a foreign intelligence target. because why? we don't know who's called whom, a wrong number or for entirely unrelated methods or reasons. if in fact this is the case and that shakes of confidence of people like my colleague from california and myself in fisa, does that also run the parallel risk of undermining our intelligence-gathering operations and stymieing our ability to stop attacks before they happen, mr. simcox? >> i don't know enough about the fisa 702 regime. >> do you have any opinion on that? >> i would degree with robin on that. >> i would submit for the record mr. chairman, that if we weaponize foreign intelligence surveillance act processes that have existed in this country
since 1979, so for 38 years, against americans, that people like myself and other who is are reasonable and appreciate the bill of rights and specific to the fourth amendment thereto might rail against the use of those particular intelligence-gathering techniques. and if we rail against the use of those particular intelligence-gathering techniques, i would argue we'll gather less intelligence and be less effective in stopping the next attack. would determine that it was worthwhile and reasonable to completely subvert the intent of the foreign intelligence surveillance act and thus congress acted appropriately to defend the legitimate private expectations of american citizens that entity or actor might have blood on their hands. i want to switch subjects briefly to the muslim
brotherhood. a source from probably four or five different sources, i know there's a bill that would designate the muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization before this congress. i understand the political sensitivity as the muslim brotherhood engages in things certainly not directly related to terror, but i would ask you if the muslim brotherhood is transferred into allah's objective, prophet is our leader, jihad is our way and dying in the name of allah is our goal, couldn't a reasonable person think that was an implore ration to commit extremist acts, mr. simcox? >> i think that the question with the bill is, i think one of the main concerns is that you're going to be able to legally designate the brotherhood as a terrorist entity and whether that will achieve what we want to achieve. >> the -- would be more accurate? mr. hughes? sorry, he was nodding so he got the call. >> there are a number of muslim brotherhood-linked organizations.
>> mr. chairman i'm out of time. i would ask you, mr. hughes and mr. simcox, if you all would please contact my office with the name of subordinate entities that might be more appropriately designated. thank you. >> i ask that gentleman to provide that list to the chair. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from california ms. torres. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to our witnesses that are here today. i'm a new member of this committee. prior to coming here i was on homeland security. i was a local mayor, in the state legislature in california, i spent a lot of time studying and dealing with state prison issues in my district. i have a man's prison, a women's prison and a juvenile detention which is now being closed. so going back to a question that was asked by ranking member keating. regarding our prison system
versus the european prison system. if incarcerated people in europe are spending less time in prison than incarcerated people here in the u.s., wouldn't that be less time that they have inside you know a prison system to recruit? >> well, i think part of the problem is people who don't go into prison as radicals, but come out of it that way. so this is especially relevant when you think of isis' connections to the criminal nexus and their ability to recruit from criminal fraternities. you've certainly had, you have very influential people within french prisons, let's take an example, who have a very long track record now of being able to connect with people that have gone in for somewhat petty crimes that are going to be
leading to release in six months to two years. >> so in u.s. prisons or -- institutions, we try to separate mexican mafia, for example. with other gangs. the bloods and the crips, we try not to hold them in, within the same area. is this different than what is happening in europe? >> well they've experimented with different approaches. i think there's definitely been a problem when you have key radicalizers in and among the general prison population and increasing radicalization. the problem is you get some groups that are concerned if you start putting terrorist-only wings, then there are complaints that you're creating a british guantanamo bay or something like that. i don't find those to be persuasive arguments, but those are the sorts of things you hear on the other side.
>> let's talk about community policing. having coming from that environment, spent a lot of time representing a city that has high crime and numerous gangs and very at-risk youth. there is a lot to be said about at-risk youth and the lack of services and the lack of education and opportunities. here in the u.s. i think, at least the muslim community within my district is very much integrated, they're very much a part of the quilt that you know, is the makeup of our very diverse culturally diverse community. they're seen as a positive influence in our community, not as a negative influence.
they tend to want to work and be a part of the solution. with law enforcement and with fbi officials. in the case of san bernardino that really comes out -- and i've lost constituents, i used to represent the city of san bernardino as a state senator. it really troubles me that there weren't real signals out there, from a young mother with a young baby and a young father, what could we do? what is the lesson we could learn? certainly without having to racially profile someone. just because of the way they look. >> maybe i'll jump in. george has done some really good work in the community oriented policing things. i would say in the u.s. context, community engagement is --
>> is your mike on? >> talk louder then. >> yes, sir. i used to do community engagement mostly in mr. keating's district. which was you go to a mosque with 300 people in the room and you talk about terrorism and radicalization. >> you don't talk down to them? >> no, you let them talk to you. >> you have to, it has to be numbers, it has to be human stories. how do you reach a kid before he crosses the line. when you look at u.s. cases you have a bystander effect. you don't know what to do with it and don't have the tools to do with it. we haven't provided as the u.s. government, alternatives to prosecution, intervention programs, so that if you have a case, like enrique marquez who is on law enforcement radar for a number of years, you can't veer him off to someone else. our european partners have developed these interventions, they're putting resources behind it. >> thank you, mr. chairman, my time is up. >> the chair recognizes the gentlelady from illinois. miss kelly. >> thanks to you and the
rankings for holding this hearing today on terrorism and given the recent terrorist attacks in your especially the three attacks that have taken place in the united kingdom since march, combatting terrorism is increasingly important to the united states and our allies across the atlantic. over 70% of the perpetrators of terrorism in europe are citizens of the countries they attached -- afak -- attacked. this is an indication that radicalization is taking place within countries in europe and it can also happen within the united states. the former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy testified before congress that other countries can better deal with terrorists information operations than the united states. so for all of you, is the current global engagement center being run department state to the best measure to counter extremism, and how should we be
coordinating our information operations to counter extremist propaganda to help protect the homeland and our allies. and whoever feels they can answer. >> jumping on the global engagement center. we see a number of different iterations there, i tend to be a believer that the u.s. government shouldn't see the space. i'm okay stamp the u.s. government on communications as long as you also have the black, the gray and the white still going on at the same time. i think we're seeing an evolution away from this broad based 30-second video on youtube that won't get your target audience to more of how do we identify those in the online space to offline intervention boards or groups, ngos in europe and other places where we can start bringing people back in the fold. i would hope that the center moves away from large-scale programming towards more targeted programming. can you go back and say it's working in congress and needs
more money. you can say it's not working, let's shift gears. >> on the global engagement center i think you need to have, i think it's important to have an approach that's flexible that changes if necessary, region by region, it's not going to be a cookie cutter strategy. that you can implement across any area of concern i tend to agree with seamus, i don't think the u.s. government should see this space. i know that people would say somehow it's an imperfect messenger. while that may be true, what is perfect about this area we're working in, i hope the u.s. remains engaged. >> i would just add that the success of any countermessaging program is that the message itself is local. locally originated and locally given. so the success of any sort of effort like that is rooted in having partnerships in the countries that are the recipients of those messages.
>> and do you feel in light of changes that have gone on in the united states that the countries feel confident in us like our european allies? >> i think that depends country to country. >> i still think that there is, when, whenever i speak to european governments on this. i don't think that you should overestimate in the u.s. the distrust that's coming from europe. people from europe still want to work with the u.s. on these issues. there's a great level of trust that still exists and alliances have been built up over decades. that aren't, that are not dependant on one president and one party. so all the conversations i've had with european governments throughout various levels, have been people saying how do we increase contacts, how do we continue these working relationships because they know the u.s. is important on so many levels. be it diplomatic, intelligence, military. all the things that go into
forging an effective kind of terrorism policy. >> mr. chair, i yield back. >> i thank the gentlelady and recognize the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. >> we in the united states per capita faced a far less islamic extremism from plots hatched on our own soil. which of course excludes 9/11. what is it about what we're doing that is better or worse in terms of assimilating our muslim american communities, and convincing them not to engage in the behavior we see from brussels to paris to london mr. simcox? >> well, there are hopes of things, i would offer one quite simple, and i hope it doesn't seem trite, example.
the words you used, assimilation is not a word that is ever used in europe. >> thought to be politically incorrect? >> i think people just don't see, people talk about integration perhaps. but there's also a lot of debate about should we really expect people to integrate this is how you allow parallel societies to develop that essentially in the way they have in europe. there's an incredible reluctance still to even talk about, like i say, the word "assimilation" isn't used. i think that's an area where europe needs to change. there are a whole host of other issues relating to the type of immigration that's taken place, whether for example the u.s. took in people from affluent backgrounds, perhaps, as opposed to the waves of migration that came into the uk or germany. i think there's a whole host of things around that you could debate and go back and forth on. i do think the assimilation integration is an interesting
component to this. >> i would point out that we as a country have a much longer period of assimilating people while they still retain their religious traditions. what -- there's a tendency to think that if you're doing better than someone else that everything you're doing is right and everything they're doing is wrong. what can we learn? what is europe doing right that would make sense to do here in the united states? ms. holmer? or anyone else. >> sure. europe is spending a lot more resources and time on the prevention agenda. they have a lot more programs that are about diversion that are about interventions before people at early stages of radicalization. this is something that the eu has invested heavily in. something that happens on the municipal and national government level in terms of funding and support and they have a lot more programs than we do. >> and yet they have the bigger
problem. dr. cragin. >> if i could add, not to pat ourselves on the back too much or to get too critical of europe, their networks exist all the way back to the conflict in bosnia. so these networks of recruitment and radicalization have been around a lot longer than we have had in the united states. >> so let me get this straight, nato, predominantly christian or christian heritage organization, went to war with a christian country, serbia, to defend the people of bosnia, and of kosovo, two of the three muslim-majority states in europe today. instead of people saying my god, here nato is living up to its values. and defending people regardless
of their religion, instead somehow the narrative was, now it's time to blow things up in the countries that saved the people of kosovo and bosnia. the muslim people of bosnia and kosovo. >> let me explain on two levels. you're talking about motivations, and i think there is still part of that that exists that nato and the united states intervened too late. so there is that. but i'm actually talking about -- >> wait a minute. the muslim majority countries intervened not at all and saved almost no one, but those who saved people didn't do a good enough job. continue. >> i agree. i what i want to point out is the logistics network that exists and the financing network that exists, that then funneled fighters and money into that conflict and then reversed. that network is what they're trying to root out now. >> the countries of kosovo and
bosnia and the muslim majority area of bosnia exist because of nato. have their leaders and imams been helpful in pushing back against islamic extremism, given the fact that we saved them? >> i know you've done work on this. i'll just say one thing that i think is really interesting, about the dayton accord which is that they actually required all of the foreign fighters who went and he there were 3,000 who went to fight in bosnia to leave. i think that it's a good precedent and they are trying with limited resources. >> the chair recognizes itself for its questions, thank you for being here. there's been some discussion american intelligence sources spying on americans. i have a great concern about
that under the fisa courts, secret courts issuing secret warrants on secret individuals. i do believe we can have security and safety and we can have civil liberties in the united states if used by the intelligence services, specifically 702 of the foreign surveillance intelligence act must end or congress must take immediate action to stop fisa in its entirety. they are abusing the law as it already is, in my opinion and that is our obligation. because we are unique among nations we have the fourth amendment to protect people and americans in the united states. something that hasn't been talked about very much is the use of social media. we have foreign terrorists using american companies to recruit, to raise money to spread
propaganda and to teach other terrorists how to make bombs. the europeans are talking about trying to rein in social media. we have legislation that requires our government to tell us what the plan is on social media. to be very clear, the supreme court has said that terrorists do not have a constitutional right to use social media. it is not a free speech platform they are entitled to use. that is not an issue, i'm a big first amendment guy, what are we doing to rein in our social media companies, to stop recruitment, raising money, propaganda and the building of bombs? anybody want to talk about that? the europeans are talking about fining these businesses, social media companies, what are we doing? >> so given the option, social media companies would want to be libertarian. take down no content.
because of the pushback they've gotten from capitol hill and the public saying why raw letting your platforms being used by a terrorist. >> there's no free speech issue. >> we've seen it happen at least recently on twitter if asked me two years ago, what the platform of choice would be i would tell you twitter. my concern now is that it's largely -- the isis recruits are largely concentrated on telegram. >> german company? >> german, yep. it allows for encryption, you're less likely to get a kid from the midwest who is curious about isis, you're more likely to get the true believers who are looking for the connectors and the guys in raqqah. >> what can we do? many there's a couple of ways to do this. one more pressure on telegram -- >> that they held considerably liable for that. >> i think you could argue some level of civil liability to play here. >> our social media companies have brought down all of the
child pornography sites with absolutely no problem about liberty and that works, why not use the same protocol to bring down terrorist sites? why is that the not occurring? do you know? >> i think it's occurring more rapidly in facebook and less so in other places. i would encourage social media companies to do what they're doing now, which is using ai and hash tagging technologies to proactively take down content. >> are any of you in favor of criminal or civil penalties against social media companies that don't bring down terrorist sites? any of you? i guess that's a no. we shall see where we go with that. i have a question for all of you, how many isis terrorists are there in the world? does anybody know? an estimate? y'all are the experts, you've got to give me a number here. does anybody know? nobody wants to say?
i think we ought to at least know how many of the enemy there are. if we're going to be able to defeat them. what is the definition of a terrorist? give me a working definition of a terrorist as opposed to some outlaw, criminal, whatever, what's a terrorist? ms. holmer? the fbi? >> a terrorist is someone who commits an act of violence or a violent crime, justified by an extreme radical political or religious or social ideology. >> mr. hughes, you are not very encouraging. you said the problem going to get worse on terrorist activity. i believe it was you or mr. simcox, who said it's going to get worse in the future. why is it going to get worse? that will be my last question.
>> i think it's going to get worse because in terms of the subjects, the problems in europe are stark, and only getting worse. i don't see integration proving, i don't see security improving. i that obviously has an impact on the u.s. there are a number of trends in europe which look terrifying and that has an impact here. >> i want to thank all of us for being here, i will allow the ranking, the chairman of the european subcommittee to make a comment, final statement. >> a short closing statement. let me just note one of the things, let me just say with all due respect, saying that only 3% of the terrorists come from the migrant camps or have migrated in, totally distorts a view of what we're really talking about.
because i imagine that 97% then come from migrant families that came and migrated into western european societies maybe 20 years ago or 30 years ago, even 40 years ago this isn't like you have a bunch of basically what we used to have in northern ireland, where you have a bunch of catholics coming out who are basically part of the irish society. this is basically the 3% figure you say and every time you said it i think was deceptive, and i don't mean you intentionally were deceiving people. but it was deceiving us as to what the real threat is. if you have a bunch of migrants coming into your country and you're saying, only 3% of them will actually become terrorists -- fine. but if you, but if 90% of the terrorists or their children's children, yeah, you're putting
yourself on a line to have a lot more terrorism in the future. and that's why maybe when they say terrorism going to have an expanding problem, that's what we mean. i don't feel comfortable saying well only 3% of the people who are immigrants into my community are going to be susceptible to terrorism. but if their children, 97% of the children are, that's a problem. with that said, again, we are a country of freedom and i have voted against, your honor, i voted with you, to make sure we don't step on people, people who are here legally. i have, i think that's, i am in favor of legal immigration, whether there is muslims or other people. but the fact is, whoever comes here, we have to make sure we understand the potential if they are coming here from a country,
that has a lot of terrorism or upheaval and radical islamic culture, then we have to be careful with that we have to make sure that people in san bernardino, that san bernardino, we had a young man, i guess he was born here, of islamic parents, he went out with his wife and they slaughtered social service workers. they went out and slaughtered them. we should have taken more care there. we should have made sure that someone who was susceptible like that got a lot closer attention than what he obviously got. and it's a challenge for all of us. freedom versus security. like we're saying in all of our countries. so i don't think we can side totally with freedom. but i don't think we can side totally with security, either.
so thank you for helping us make up our minds to where that is. but i think the 3% number didn't help us. okay, thank you very much. the chair will recognize for the final statement, the ranking member from massachusetts, mr. keating. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to thank the witnesses. we deal with this terrible epidemic that we have that's not just domestic but worldwide, in so many different ways. today we had a chance to focus on things that weren't fully utilized as a tool against this terrorism, and that's the idea of prevention. sometimes the difficulty with prevention is you can't quantify it in statistics because if you prevented it, you may never know what indeed was responsible for stopping it. but just as the chair started the hearing saying for instance in 1,000, i'm paraphrasing, in 1,000 attempts, all the terrorists had to do was be successful once. in the prevention, some of the
techniques we're learning from europe and they're learning from us, all we have to do is be successful one of those times to stop one of those terrible terrorist acts. so programs like mr. hughes was involved in in my region and other areas, they're successful, but they need resources and commitment. and they also need an understanding that law enforcement needs help outside of the traditional system to deal with preventing this. and thank you for a glimpse of that and some ideas today. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman and the witnesses for being here. you are advised now that you may have some questions presented to you by members of the subcommittee that ran out of time. please respond promptly to those questions and send us answers and i thank the members for being here as well. this has been a very important and enlightening hearing, thank you for your expertise.
tonight on our companion network, c-span, a conversation with deputy white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders. here's a brief preview. >> so when did you say to yourself i'm going to work for donald trump? >> you know, pretty quickly after my dad got out of the race, even during the campaign i noticed there were a lot of similarities in the rhetoric between my dad and donald trump. my dad's an economic populist and so i saw a lot of similarity in that. and, frankly, one of the things i loved about my dad was that even though he'd been in politics, he was an outsider
particularly to washington. and i felt like that was something we desperately needed. i saw that same thing in donald trump even when my dad was still in the race. and after he got out, i moved pretty quickly to get onboard with now-president trump. i felt like he not only was the right person to come in and shake up washington, but i also thought he could win and i wanted to be part of that. >> but what did you see that a lot of people did not see? a lot of the media, a lot of the pundits, a lot within the gop establishment thinking this guy's not going to win. what did you see? >> well, i think i saw everyday americans. i mean, i'd spend the better part of a year and a half on the campaign trail with my dad talking to people in iowa, south carolina, new hampshire, arkansas and everywhere in between, and they were hungry for change. they were hungry for somebody to really come in and shake up washington. frankly, they wanted somebody to come in and burn the place down. they with respect necessarily even as focused as we learned through my dad's campaign, they
didn't just want somebody to change it and burn it down, they were less interested in the buildup. they just wanted a massive disruption. and i saw that every single day on the campaign trail, whether you were at a fundraiser, a state fair or, you know, the taxi driver taking you from point a to point b, this was something that the country was hungry for. and donald trump had tapped into it. >> so walk us through a typical day for sarah huckabee sanders. >> i don't know if there is a typical day, but usually starts pretty early around 5:00 a.m. i get up, i try to see at least -- i only have one early riser, so huck, my 3-year-old, i usually spend some time visiting with him in the morning before i leave and get to the office early enough to try to read through and catch up on any news that took place before i went to bed. and then we start with a series of staff meetings around 7:15 talking about the news of the day, prepping for what we want
the message of the day to look like and responding to any stories that may be coming up. and, you know, from there every day's a little different than the one before which is one of the reasons why i love what we do is that no two days are alike and every day presents new challenges and gives us a new way to be part of the administration. >> and you get home when? >> it varies, but usually anywhere between, you know, it could be 7:00 to 10:00 at night. >> as you take on this job, i mean, sean spicer's made a couple of changes, skype seats among them, how do you approach the job of deputy press secretary, and how do you approach relations with the media in general? >> you know, i think the same way relations with the media the way i approach it is to try to do that the same way i would any other relationship. i grew up in the south and so being hospitable is something that i think was engrained in me at an early age. it's something i try to take into my workplace and in
everything that i do there. and so i try even though when i disagree, i try to be diplomatic and gracious about it. sometimes we have to be pretty aggressive and push back, but i try to do that in a way that is, again, polite and hospitable, but also strong and weak. >> you can see the entire interview with sarah huckabee sanders tonight on c-span at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and tomorrow, president trump is in norfolk, virginia, for the commissioning of the navy's newest aircraft carrier, the "uss gerald ford." the ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern and it's live on our companion network c-span. if you look across the park now and in this community, it's hard to believe that this was once a thriving and booming business district, but it really was. there were stores owned by black, white, you name it. a lot of people did a lot of business here. they didn't have to leave the
community. and before you knew it a rock was thrown, a glass was broken, looting occurred, fire started. and it wasn't just black folks. it was one of the most integrated incidents ever happened in detroit. >> join us for live american history tv special on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots. live sunday starting at noon eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. labor secretary alexander acosta testified on capitol hill about the trump administration budget request for his department. and he answered questions on expanding apprenticeship programs, labor force participation rate and what repealing the affordable care act would mean for unemployment. >> the appropriations subcommittee on labor, health, human services, education and related agencies will come to order. good morning, secretary acosta,