Skip to main content

tv   House Homeland Security Hearing on Domestic Terrorism  CSPAN  May 30, 2019 9:13am-12:04pm EDT

9:13 am
coming up later today on c-span 3, a look at tax revenue in states how it affects the legislative budget. that's live at noon eastern. later, acting deputy defense secretary david norquist talks about the pentagon's $750 billion budget request for the next fiscal year. that's also live here on c-span 3 starting at 1:30 p.m. eastern. ♪ the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government.
9:14 am
next the house homeland security program on domestic terrorism with officials from the fbi, justice department and homeland security. they testify on tracking lone terrorists balancing free speech with extremist language and the challenges of labeling extremist groups. this is just under three hours. >> the committee on homeland security will come to order. the committee's meeting today to receive testimony on confronting the rise of domestic terrorism in the homeland. good morning. this issue of domestic terrorism is not new. in fact, democrats on the committee have been following this issue for years. over the last eight years, democratic members of this committee have sent request after request asking for then republican majority to hold hearings on domesticter rich in
9:15 am
the homeland. each and every request was ignored or denied. i'm looking forward under my leadership and the ranking member's leadership to address any problem that we might see in the homeland or internationally. so we want to address terrorism wherever we find it. instead, the victims and survivors of domestic terrorist attack time and time again have been offered moments of silence and prayers rather than congressional actions. for those of you in the hearing room, when you see the monitor screens, the images or headlines of the domestic terrorist attacks that have been torn through our nation while the republicans in charge of this committee and the house of representatives, to all the victims, survivors and communities who have felt like the terror you suffered was ignored or minimized, know that it ends with today's hearing.
9:16 am
today is a new day and this committee's silence on domestic terrorism now ends. because in recent years, we've seen a dramatic and disturbing rise in domestic terrorism. particularly far right extremists, violence tied to white supremacist extremism -- domestic terrorism is an urgent and growing threat to the homeland. in the last two years, there have been more domestic terrorism-related arrests than international terrorist-related arrests. last year, nearly all extremism-related murders in the united states were committed by right wing domestic terrorists. of course, we only need to look at the news to know that this is a serious problem. just two weeks ago, a domestic terrorist attacked jewish
9:17 am
worshippers at a synagogue near san diego killing one woman. in february, a former coast guard lieutenant was indicted after stockpiling weapons and drugs planning attacks. -- planning attack be on politicians, including a member of this committee, congresswoman jackson lee. last october a domestic terrorist killed 11 jewish worshippers at a synagogue in pittsburgh. they sent pipe bombs to domestic politicians all across the country. that is just in the last few months. from charleston to oak creek to charlottesville to garden city, we've seen the violent ideologies rear their ugly heads over and over. unfortunately, president trump has tried to play both sides with domestic terrorism. on april 26, 2019, president trump doubled down on his stance
9:18 am
that they will find people on both sides of the august 2017 unite the night rally in charlottesville, virginia. his unwillingness to denounce and distance himself from these extremists has been taken by many as tacit support. the president and all of us must be willing to stand up to all ideologically motivated violence in america. unfortunately, for right extremism is not limited to the united states. it is evolving into a global phenomenon. earlier this year, the terrorist who killed 50 people and wounded 50 more at two mosques in new zealand wrote that he was inspired by american and european far right extremists. it is well pastime to take action. in order to really get a handle on this evolving threat, we need to understand it. the lack of public information
9:19 am
on domestic terrorism out of the failed agencies is nothing short of alarming. what is the nature of the threat and what is the government doing about it? this hearing is a first step toward transparency, but there is much more information we need. that is why i'm developing legislation to require the failed government to regularly and publicly report data on domestic terrorism. i'm optimistic that it will become a bipartisan effort. finally, i want to welcome our witnesses from the department of justice, federal bureau of information and department of homeland security. i look forward to your testimony. i want to be clear about my frustration with your agencies. after an attack on mosques in new zealand, i asked to speak with the director about domestic terrorism. to date, the fbi director has not made himself available for a
9:20 am
conversation. in early april, during a classified briefing on domestic terrorism, members of this committee asked you for several follow-up items and get backs. my staff followed up many times over the last month. we only received getbacks from the fbi on monday night. we received incomplete get backs from ina last night. it has been more than a month. in fact, while all of the witnesses have known about this hearing and topic since april 3rd, more than a month ago, we receive all your testimony late yesterday evening. mere hours before this hearing. further, despite a decade long history of bipartisan briefing on threats to our nation, including domestic threats, threats from the international terrorist organization and counterintelligence threats, the fbi decided to stop briefing this committee on a monthly basis after the democrats took the majority.
9:21 am
stone walling this committee and our efforts to carry out our constitutional oversight duties is unacceptable. i urge the justice department, the fbi and the department of homeland security to recommit to working with this committee on behalf of the american people. with that, i now recognize the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers, for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman for calling this important hearing today. i condemn all acts of violence. i condemn all acts of violence done in the name of disturbed political, racial or religious ideologies. i know every member of this committee agrees with me and to imply otherwise is inaccurate. today's hearing is important. we must use this opportunity to have a meaningful discussion and learn how we as congress can help root out evil in our society. i sincerely hope this hearing isn't used for political
9:22 am
grandstanding. a youtube clip won't solve the problems. but a serious discussion with serious people can help inform how congress and this committee can ask. this is not a new phenomenon. throughout our history, deeply disturbed individuals -- real or imagined grievances. what has changed is that almost 20 years ago, terrorists attack four planes and murdered nearly 3,000 americans. since then americans have awoken to foreign terror organizations but have not fully understood the influence they have on our society. they have adopted strategies from foreign terrorist organizations. terrorists at home are learning from terrorists abroad. the internet and social media made connecting extremists fast, free and anonymous. movements preaching violence have found new homes and broader audiences online. the same tools that allow us to -- allowing networks of
9:23 am
radicals to connect once isolated fringe groups. the recent wave of attacks targeting religious institutions by social media and fringe websites. websites have become havens for the most abhorrent behaviors. it reveals hundreds of results for the most disturbing and hateful ideologies. the searches lead to communities built around hate, conspiracy theories and most worryingly images of graphic murder and suicide. these are not facebook or twitter. these fringe sites house videos of terrorist propaganda, shooter manifestos and gory content. many posts are dares to commit violence or suicide. others respond with ideas of how to carry out violence. this image which has been edited and you can see on the tv monitors, promoting the killers was recently shared in response to a post by the terrorist
9:24 am
attack. it rists the attackers, alleged eye dee ol, photo and name. it then awards points to mass shooters, terrorists and murderers. points are provided for each person killed, a killer's mental status, killing cons and if the attacker killed himself. these images and their vile call to action -- the sinister force is clearly capturing the minds of troubled people at a greater rate than ever before. this is not a single sure-fire way to stop violence before it occurs. there are steps to take to reduce future violence. working with industry and law enforcement, we can build a comprehensive strategy to detect, monitor -- for terror and violence. we u.s. expand outreach to communities and educate them about the radicalization process and find ways to help troubled individuals early enough to stop their attacks. we must continue to encourage individuals to say something to law enforcement if they ever see
9:25 am
or hear something suspicious. finally, we must encourage the state and local law enforcement to continue their participation in the fbi's joint terrorism task force program and state and local fusion centers. both initiatives bring state and local law enforcement together with federal law enforcement to share intelligence and lefrnl authorities to counter threats, including domestic terrorism. it's not the time for cities to withdraw to score political points. i look forward to working with our colleagues on the judiciary committee on ways to end the scourge of domestic terrorism. other members of the committee are reminded under had the committee rules opening statements may be submitted for the record. i now welcome the first panel of witnesses and our only panel to this hearing. without objection, the witness's full statement will be inserted in the record and let me introduce for the committee
9:26 am
members our panel. our first witness is mr. brad wiggleman who currently serves as deputy assistant attorney general for the national department of justice. prior to joining the department justice, he had a career government attorney for the past 20 years. next witness is mr. michael mcgarrity who currently serves as assistant director of counterterrorism for the federal bureau of investigation. prior to joining the division, mr. mcgarrity most recently served as a special agent in charge of criminal division of the new york field office. finally, we're joined by mr. brian murphy who currently serves as the principal deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis with the department of homeland security. prior to this selection, mr. bush murphy served as the acting principal deputy for intelligence and analysis.
9:27 am
i thank you, gentlemen, for agreeing and i remind each witness that you have five minutes for your statement. mr. weg willman? >> thank you, chairman thompson. ranking member rogers, members of the committee. thanks for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the department of justice. protecting the american people from terrorism and threats is top priority of the department. domestic terrorism continues to pose a threat to the public as recent plots demonstrate. we've sienna tax far too many times motivated by anti-government animus, racism or other ideologies. regardless of the motivation, our goal is to prevent the attacks and bring those responsible to justice. this morning, i'd like to give a brief overview how the department of justice is
9:28 am
organized to handle the cases and the legal authorities on which we rely. on the frontlines are 94 u.s. attorney's offices. each office creates a group in the district called the anti-terrorism advisory council or atac. it works in with the joint terrorism task force. they promote training and information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement. each u.s. attorney's office also has designate aid senior prosecutor to serve as the koord nor. this designee is specially trained and serves as the lead prosecutor for the district. many offices have also designated national security section that is focus on counterterrorism and other national security threats. the main justice here in washington, it was created in 2006 to integrate the department's counterterrorism and other national security work nationwide. we have a counterterrorism section with more than 40 attorneys. all of whom are equipped to work upon both domestic and
9:29 am
internation international terrorism. we have a council for domestic terrorism and two domestic terrorism coordinators. nsd attorneys are note nied and available to provide assistance when any investigation or prosecution is initial shatd. in addition, other divisions of the department play an important role. for example the civil rights division is responsible for overseeing hate crimes, some of which may qualify as acts of domesticter tichl. finally we have a -- which reports to the attorney general. it's not operational but has information sharing on domestic terrorism matters. turning quickly to our legal authorities, we have prosecuted domestic terrorist it is using a wide range of statutes. including weapons and explosive charges, threat, hoax or riot charges and charges on federal officials or facilities. they may be appropriate where conduct is motivated by biases
9:30 am
against a race, religion or ethnicity. it's a crime to provide knowing support or resources in support of certain offenses designated as terrorism-related. some cases don't involve violations of federal but are prosecuted under state law. others may involve both federal and state law. a state charge may be the most effective way to prosecute. in those circumstances, we support our state and local partners where we can. the criminal code includes a definition of domestic terrorism and federal crime of terrorism. they provide us with an array of expanded investigative tools and sentencing enhancements. for example, judges can issue nationwide search warrants. government attorneys have additional authority to share grand jury information. congress has also created a rebuttable assumption of pretrial detention for crimes listed as federal crimes of terrorism.
9:31 am
the sentencing guidelines provide a significant sentencing enhancement for these offenses. in my written testimony, i've provided examples of recent cases we have brought. in many of the cases we've worked with fbi to arrest and charge the individuals before violence occurred. consistent with long-standing department policy, our practice is always to charge and pursue the most serious readily provable offense available based on the facts of the case. it's important to emphasize that we prosecute domestic terrorists for their criminal acts, not for their beliefs or based on their associations. in fighting domestic terrorism, we respect the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and assembly of all americans. the fbi may not investigate solely on the basis of first amendment protected activity. with that i'll close and i appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues today. i look forward to answering your questions. thank you very much. schar now recognizes mr. mcgarrity.
9:32 am
>> good morning chairman thompson, ranking member rogers and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be here before you today. the as chairman thompson mentioned, i'm assistant director of the fbi counterterrorism division. i have the honor and privilege to represent all the men and women that work counterterrorism with the fbi in the joint terrorism task forces around the nation. i will be providing an overview of the fbi's efforts to counter domestic terrorism by explaining what we do and how we do it. we're the lead -- the fbi categorizes terrorism investigations into two main categories. international terrorism and domestic terrorism. international terrorists include members of foreign terrorist organizations, ftos, state sponsors of terrorism and homegrown extremists. they commit violent criminal acts in furtherance of ideological goals of racial
9:33 am
bias. despite the similarities, the fbi distinguishes domestic terrorism extremists from homegrown extremists and that the -- are jihad inspired while it emanates from domestic influences like racial bias or anti-authority. the fbi organizes it into four categories. it's defined by the fbi as threats derived from bias relating to race or the actor against others. these threats are directed at threats or racial minorities. anti-authority extremism is defined as threats advocating for eye dee colling contrary -- third, threats derived from a belief that criminal actions are necessary to end cruelty and exploitation of animals and the environment. and the fourth, abortion extremism is defined as threats
9:34 am
derived from pro-life and pro-choice individuals who seek to advance their social and political agenda wholly or in part through the force of violence or in violation of federal law. though domestic terrorism activity may fall outside of the four categories, the vast majority of our investigations can be characterized as one of the above. domestic terrorisms as previously stated is defined by 18 usc 2331, section 5. it's important to note that no investigation can be opened based solely on first amendment protected activity. this includes hateful rhetoric and participation in rallies and protests. the fbi assesses domestic terrorists collectively posing persistent and evolving threat of violence and harm to the united states. in fact, there have been more arrests and deaths in the united states caused by domestic terrorists than international terrorists in recent years. -- are responsible for the
9:35 am
lethal and violent activity. recently motivated bomb extremists are responsible for the attacks perpetrated since 2000. tactics and tlends continue to evolve. but most drivers remain const t constant. including perception of government or law enforcement overreach, racial tensions, social, political conditions and reactions to legislation. radicalization of domestic terrorists primarily occurs through self-radicalization online which can present mitigation difficulties for law enforcement to identify, detect and disrupt. the internet and social media enables individuals to engage other domestic terrorists without face to face meetings. we've seen devastating attacks committed by domestic terrorist this is recent months, most recently in the synagogue in california and in pennsylvania. in 2018, domestic violence extremists conducted six lethal
9:36 am
attacks. in 2017, extremists conducted five lethal attacks killing eight victims. central to our effort is the joint task force model. we work hand in hand to effectively combat the threat. in fact, 50% of our terrorism investigation rs open based upon information received from the public or from referrals from our partners on the federal, state and local side. despite successes that result from the hard work of men and women of the fbi, our partners across the government, domestic terrorism continues to pose a consistent threat to the homeland. we have 850 predicated investigations and as we just saw a few weeks ago in california, the threat of it exists in every region of the united states and affects all walks of life. our commitment to you and to our fellow citizens is we will continue to confront the threat
9:37 am
with determination and dedication to our mission. to protect the american people and uphold the constitution of the united states. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today. the men and women of the fbi are grateful for the support that you have provided us and continue to provide. i look forward to answering any questions you might have. thank you. thank you very much. chair now recognize for five minutes mr. murphy. >> thank you, chairman thompson, ranking member rogers and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to present to you today. the dhs enterprise efforts to ensure that all forms of violence that are threats to the homeland security -- i can assure the committee and the american public that throughout the careful calculus of resources and adapting to an ever changing threat landscape, remains acutely focused on the threat of terrorism. it may come from a diverse range of movements as you heard from
9:38 am
the fbi colleagues. as described before, lone actors from the movements subscribing to the ideologies pose the greatest threat to the homeland due to their ability in many instances to remain undetected by law enforcement and to operational. the general willingness to attack soft targets of simple weapons. the dhs intelligence have -- improve our ability to provide information and intelligence to a wide array of partners as fast as we can and complement u.s. government efforts to prevent all threats to the homeland. ensuring that our resources are best aligned and not duplicating the efforts of our partners. to that end, in 2018, the department established mission centers to drive the integration of intelligence across the dhs enterprise and look at threat streams as they come at us. my testimony will outline the holistic and agile manner in which we continue to apply resources against the serious threat of domestic terrorism and avoiding unnecessary
9:39 am
duplications. the importance of an integrated and collaborative approach cannot be under stated in the ct environment as we enter the post september 11th era and ct investments across the government are being record and in some cases reallocated against developing threat streams such as foreign influence, cyber security, and organized crime. of note, ct practitioners recognize that the threat is not going away. the ability to execute this demanding mission remains the same and the future of ct efforts are based on efficient, modeling. historically, as noted by the fbi and department of justice, the fbi has been well-positioned to produce intelligence on hate crimes. will the fbi owns a preponderance of the information and resources to support the investigation and analysis. dhs domestic terrorism-related -- waslicativ
9:40 am
relied on the data from colleagues. we're producing more original unique reporting. as part of our establishment of mission centers, we have a 24/7 open source collection team which was established to identify potential threat intelligence. due to this shift, the dhs intelligence enterprise increased to open source collection or reporting on domestic terrorism. as a result, our increase in production has risen by 40% on this issue since last fiscal year. we have done this and still kept our intelligence products consistent since 2014. overall, i believe fy 18 represents the highest level of production ever achieved by the department in the domestic terrorism context. additionally, the number of personnel assigned in support of the portfolio has substantially increased. for example, we maintain a robust presence in field engaged with all state and local partners deployed at fusion
9:41 am
centers and among our police colleagues and work on it throughout the country. additionally, through the homeland security exchange or as i will call hidden intel, we enable the sharing of products and information between all levels of government. intel utilized by 4,000 professional across the country and includes products on a range of homeland security threat issues. that includes domestic terrorism. since 2016, we have increased that number of -- by 64% of the number of products shared. we measure the effectiveness of the products and fiscal years 2017 and 2018 we saw a 325% increase in terms of how these products -- how often they're being viewed. additionally, feedback from the product we post receive above 90% in terms of how they're viewed and their usefulness to our partners. we recently announced internal to our intelligence enterprise,
9:42 am
to realign our efforts and we are introducing a new program to enhance reporting of tips and leads. partnerships with our colleagues here regarding potential mass shooting casualty events thanks to terrorism and other incidents. lastly, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and represent the men and women of dhs pending your questions k thank you. thank you very much. thank the witnesses for their testimony. i remind each member that he or she will have five minutes to question the panel. i now recognize myself for questions. one of the reasons for having this hearing is since 2005, we've not had the production of domestic terrorism data available not just to this committee but to the public. we're trying to get from an informational standpoint what's
9:43 am
out here. and from i've heard from the witness today it's been very good in terms of what you know. one of the things i want to do as a take away from this hearing, as i indicated in my opening statement, is to make sure that if it's a resource issue for the department that you can't produce this information, then we need to make those resources -- i'm talking to mr. mcgarrity, in terms of the fbi providing that data. because for members of this committee, we need to understand what the threat is, if it's changing and those kind of things. so i thank you for that information. one of the more looming comments you made is that there's some 850 investigations under way. you know, that tells me you're
9:44 am
doing your job. but as important is the history of this committee is we've always had access to this information. some of it in a classified setting for over ten years. the department now has pulled back on that and i'm indicating that we would still like to have the briefings on a monthly basis from the department on these and any other areas that you think might be beneficial to us. but not to have this information doesn't allow us the full breadth of what we need. some of the members have been on the committee and have participated in the briefings and they've been very helpful. so we're going to renew that effort to try to get you to the briefings to share that information with the committee.
9:45 am
now, the last briefing we did have, we asked for certain information. it was over five weeks ago. we just got it yesterday. that's too long. we need to work out a process that when there are get backs relative to whatever, the getbacks come within a reasonable period of time. and we're not asking for information that's not currently available. if you can assure the committee to the extent practicable, mr. mcgarrity on that kind data, you will make it available to us, i would appreciate it. >> chairman, just first, as far as what we did provide that you received on monday, please take a look at it and certainly open to a conversation and the details that we are giving if that's helpful or not. certainly my commitment is to make that product and see if there's anything else that would be beneficial.
9:46 am
as far as the monthly briefings, certainly working with congressional affairs office and the department of justice to have that dialog, we'll continue to do that, to see if that's appropriate. >> thank you very much. mr. wiegman. thank you for the prosecutions that you all have generated over time. are there any resources identified or you lack to continue to pursue those prosecutions? >> no, sir. not at this time. >> can you share the demographics of the prosecutions with the committee? >> share information concerning the cases that we bring. yes, we can. consistent with if there are cases under seal and obviously there can be exceptions about what information we can share. we can share information about cases that we've brought. >> i'm really talking about the cases that you've prosecuted. not the ones that you're looking
9:47 am
to prosecute. >> our charges are public. we can make them -- >> can you neighboring that available to us? >> we can. >> mr. mcgarrity, let me again compliment what you do on providing this information. but one of the challenges we have is the changing of the threat landscape. when we started as a committee, we were focused on the international terrorist threat to the homeland. and over time, it appears that that threat based on testimony is changing to a different threat. nonetheless, it's still the homeland. and i would reaffirm the committee's interests in having access to that kind of information. so if there are some policy changes we need to implement we
9:48 am
have access to that data in a reasonable period of time. again, i'm going to do the legislation to provide the resources to help the department produce that legislation. that information that you used to do up until 2005. but that's just a comment. i yield to the ranking member for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the trump administration released an updated national stlat ji for counterterrorism in october of last year. for the first time it included domestic terrorism. how significant is the inclusion of that in the national strategy for counterterrorism? mr. mcgarrity? >> i've been working this since 9/11. it's the first time i'm aware that domestic terrorism is included in the national security strategy. >> what does that mean for you? >> so from that point, first it's in there. whatever we talk about, i think, everyone would agree is what we're focused on, right?
9:49 am
we're highlighting that there is a threat, that it's persistent. the strategy calls out that domestic terrorism notably is on the rise. what we are seeing and we've seen it on the international terrorism side and on the domestic terrorism side. we're seeing an evolution of the threat from what we perceived the threat used to be. what i mean by that, on the international terrorism side, we have isis, al qaeda. what we have and have seen in the last four to five years is the homegrown bomb extremist and they can get on the internet and self-radicalize. we're seeing where individual actors, lone wolves, insular people can find their ideology to justify their violence and actions online. we're actually seeing similar type threats within the homeland that we frankly have not seen in this regard if you look 20 years ago and part of that is due to the internet. they become kaldized quickly. we're seeing it on the
9:50 am
international terrorism side and the lone actors. >> you nmade the point you weren't seeing it 20 years ago. when did you first see this where domestic adopting, domestic terrorists were adopting the techniques of international terrorists, to the radicalized people? was it five years ago, ten years ago? when do you think that started occurring? because it is really a relatively recent phenomenon. it seems to me. >> i would put it with the internet and people all over the world communicating without face to face meeting, the same thing we saw on the hv side, we're seeing on the domestic terrorism side. i would not say they are necessarily copying international terrorism, i think they are seeing the same platform and the medium that they can use to exploit and gain information that fits their ideology to pursue violence. >> do you have any recommendations for what could be done to address the viral hate speech and incitement of violence found on fringe sites like eight chan and gab and that's for any of you.
9:51 am
>> ya'll have any suggestions for us? that's scary. we can't make policy without good advisement. >> i would just add within the department we actively pursue forums that are available to the public where we see central acts of violence and we're continuing to refine that and get better at it. we operate in obviously within the corners of our civil rights, civil liberty and privacy efforts. but those efforts are increasing. and that was one of the things i think in the written statements that we provided as well as in my testimony today. our numbers bear that out. and we continue to look at those areas where the domestic terrorism and other forms of violence, aggregate, and talk among themselves, and spot and identify those and we in the department then provide that to the jttf, state and locals, for enforcement if appropriate.
9:52 am
>> well, there has to be some point at which your right to free speech ends, when you start threatening violence, particularly in a mass setting, so i think there is a place for policy to be implemented that could help, be helpful and i urge you to be thinking about what we can do to help you do your job more effectively. i yield back. mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, the chair recognizes the gentle lady from new mexico, ms. tores-small. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. as you know recently, there has been an up tick in attacks against nonprofit institutions, specifically faith-based organizations. these types of institutions are eligible for federal funding to improve their physical security through fema's nonprofit security grant program. and that's important. for example, my church back home recently did a safety and security assessment, only to find that there were a lot of needs and no money to help fill those needs.
9:53 am
the problem exists, however, where institutions located outside of urban areas, security initiative jurisdictions which traditionally have less resources and are unprepared for an attack, usually have less access to federal funds. that's why i was proud to support chairman thompson's recently-introduced bipartisan legislation, that would increase federal funding for organizations outside of the was-y jurisdictions like many of the rural nonprofit organizations in new mexico. aside from federal funding information sharing between intelligence agencies and local law enforcement is essential to keep our community safe. can you all please speak on how your respected agencies share information with law enforcement, houses of worship, and community centers? specifically in rural locations? >> thank you. good questions. and certainly something we have been actively engaged on, certainly over the last couple of years. we rely on the joint terrorism
9:54 am
task force motto. obviously to work with our state, local partners and our tribal partners as well. that mechanism when you had two officers, task force officers and agents sitting with analysis, in the field, in the local community, is the best way to move the information quickly and we will also do the same with our fusion cells. how we move information out to the state and local partners, specifically threats, or after an attack occurs, is to our joint intelligence bulletins and these are bulletins we go out and we go out from the fbi and we do it jointly dual sealed with the department of homeland security and we push them out so the in last year, in 2000, the fiscal year 2018, we had an increase from the year before and am 2019 we are certainly well above where we were in 2019, in putting out these joint intelligence bulletins that go to state and local partners and the fusion cells. specifically as to the faith-based organizations, i can tell you, mr. murphy and i had been on several calls, with our religious security officials,
9:55 am
set up either through dhs where they're sponsoring the call or the fbi where we get on the call, specifically after an attack and we will walk through different things. on what we've seen. if there is any intelligence that is out there. and we've done that. we rely on our partnerships. the fbi sent both locally through our special agent in charge and the joint terrorism task force, working with our local police, state, locals, to go out to the religious community and make sure we're engaged with them at the local level. because even though there are national threat, the local threat on the domestic terrorism is where it is going to percolate and will have to address that. and then just in a more broad sense, where we hit the chiefs of police, the international association chiefs of police, the major city sheriffs, i personally brief them, and will continue to do that every year, through our fbi partner engagement. which when we do that, and we set that up, they all come, and we have, we give them threat briefings, on domestic
9:56 am
terrorism, on international terrorism. we talk about specific threats and cases and we absolutely have talked about domestic terrorism in the last year. >> if anyone else is going to contribute, can you also just specifically address anything different do you in rural communities who are sometimes harder to reach? >> yes, ma'am. as we speak right now we have an effort ongoing to compliment the intelligence networks rural sheriffs to combat the threats. new mexico is a part of that campaign. it is not specifically designed to combat domestic terrorism but rather look at all threats, that the rural counties are facing. so we have several efforts like that, that we traditionally do. and we just happen to be in the middle of one of them. >> just my last question, how can we improve the security of
9:57 am
rural nonprofit organizations, which often don't have the extensive resources for robust security systems? >> well, i'm not going to speak to grant money or anything, but certainly engagement with our joint terrorism task forces, wherever, when i said, that i said state, local, as well as tribal partners so when we do that, obviously, engagement with the joint terrorism task force, to make sure there is a dialogue going on. we push, we push threat information out to our 56 field offices through the over 200 joint terrorism task forces across the u.s., to push that information out. we just got to make sure there is a dialogue at the local level. >> yes, ma'am, i would add one other thing, the department does a lot of effort, as well as doj does, with the faith-based community. one thing that i would bring out as a possibility is connecting
9:58 am
with these groups, rural, urban, whatever, is always an ongoing effort and challenge. so anything we can do to partner with members of congress to improve that, we're happy to engage in. >> thank you. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. cain. >> thank you. mr. chairman. and there was outset of the statement, i take with that, and i put on the record that my recollection during the four years you were chairman, you never had one of those hearings either. secondly, at all of the hearings i was chairman for two years and then four years later on, there was, every year, there is at least one hearing on threats i don't recall you bringing any witnesses at all to talk about domestic terrorism. and let's go back to the start of this. this committee was formed after the department of homeland security was form theed because we always had terror groups, ku
9:59 am
klux klan, nazi party, weather underground, animal rights lag and in the 1970s, we had more than 65 nypd cops killed in the line of duty. there has always been a form of domestic terrorism. this department of homeland security was formed at probably the greatest and largest reorganization of government in the history, because of the magnitude of the attack on 9/11. and because we saw that we were in the 15 months that i was chairman, that must have taken six, search, eight months alone to get that done. not only did we have to fight off industry, would he had to fight off the other committees in the congress who were trying to restrict our jurisdiction. and that was implemented after a long, tough fight. the same with port security. the same with airline security. the same with rail and mass security. this was a new phenomenon in our community and we were dos all we could to address it. we were setting up a system of grants to make sure that the funding was set to the cities and the states and local governments that needed that funding.
10:00 am
for instance, in new york alone, we set up the secure the cities program, over the objections of the obama administration. and this was $26 million was put in to protect us against dirty bomb attacks. if you're talking about domestic attack, the attack that was stop ed, he and three others were planning a liquid explosive attack that came within hours of 2009. that would have made 9/11 look less than it was.
10:01 am
we worked together.
10:02 am
it does injustice to what we're trying to tdo.
10:03 am
10:04 am
one of the biggest challenges we face as we confront domestic terrorism is the ease and speed with which the racist, misogynist, and other extremist ideologists are spread online. in march representatives from social media companies briefed this committee on online extremism. while i appreciated their willingness to join the conversation, i was frankly really disappointed by how unprepared they were to provide sufficient answers in that briefing. online extremism is not a new issue by many means, yet many social media companies have been slow to respond the serious threat it poses to american lives. they may not have uniform community standards or adequate content reviewing processes or good information sharing with law enforcement, so new first questions are to the whole panel. how can social media panels like youtube, facebook, and twitter improve their efforts to work with your agencies to counter domestic terrorism? and what are they doing right and what needs to get better?
10:05 am
>> thank you for the question. the department over the last few years has engaged with social media companies to encourage the social media companies to continue to police their websites. i think we've seen some fruit of that by working with them. i think those efforts are ongoing, and we welcome the continual dialogue can the social media companies to improve upon that process. >> so you think that the level of engagement is sufficient? >> so the department is engaging with the social media companies. it's a coalition of the willing. we're making strides and would like to continue to make those strides. >> thank you. >> sure, so we obviously have very robust engagement with the social media companies, both as a training platform where we'll go out and give briefings on international terrorism and domestic terrorism, as we do with many of our private sector partners, banks, online
10:06 am
companies, shippers, anything that could be a trip wire that could help really to inform people for the see something, say something strategy. we certainly do that, and we're very robust with that. when we do have an interest in something on social media or on the internet through a company, we obviously have judicial process that we will go through the u.s. attorney's office or through a national security letter on the international terrorism side to do a process, a legal process to request records and content, whether it's a search warrant or a subpoena. >> thank you. >> i guess the only thing i would add is to note that when you're talking about extremist content online, the first
10:07 am
amendment does impose some significant constraints. we can't initiate even if a social media company were to report to us this terrorist as put a manifesto or this person put up something criticizing various groups. that's not something we can initiate an investigation, solely on the basis of that information. it doesn't necessarily give us the basis to investigate activity. >> and in your perspective, how would you compare their ability to respond to foreign terrorist threats to their ability to respond domestically? would you say they're equal, more, or less? >> i've been in this role 15 months. when i got here, even on the international terrorism side, the self-regulation of the term of use agreements, they've gotten much better. on the domestic terrorism side, i will say there's likely going to be an increase. there's a learning curve there as to what the social media companies have to do. it appears they're hiring a lot of retired analyst agents to do that. so that's a good thing they're doing it. just a few years ago, you did not see these social media
10:08 am
companies self-identifying content. they're doing that now. it will just take time, i think, with this evolving threat on both the homegrown threat and the domestic terrorism threat here in the u.s. >> thank you. facebook recently announced it would begin redirecting users who search for white supremacist terms to an anti-extremism organization called life after hate based in my home state of illinois. life after hate is one of the only organizations in the country dedicated to helping people leave white sprem cyst ideologies. but the trump administration canceled critical grant funding for the organization in 2015 and never replaced it. facebook alone has over 2 billion users and life after hate is one of the relatively small organizations.
10:09 am
so with this cut in funding, this internet organization -- i'm sorry, this organization cannot be expected to neutralize every neo-nazi on the internet. did any of your agencies or departments engage with life after hate following facebook's announcement to make sure they have the resources to make this partnership successful? do you know? >> i'm not aware that we did. >> and the others? >> ma'am, we'll have to get back to you. i'm not sure. >> okay. we know that domestic terror incidents related to white supremacists are on the rise. we know congress is willing to fully resource dhs. i've only been here a few months and i've already voted to increase funding for the agency, but resources are important but so is directing them appropriately. dhs and other agencies need to ensure these issues are being taken seriously and doing so in an open and transparent way. mr. chairman, i'm looking forward to working with you and other colleagues on this committee to make sure that happens. thank you. >> thank you very much. chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to get away from my notes just for a second and speak freely. i understand what this hearing
10:10 am
is about, and there was a time when our government, specifically even the doj and even the church looked the other way at some of the atrocities from some of these hate crimes and the terrorist activity that we saw in our communities. i was raised in the deep south and saw it myself at times. however, i want to acknowledge this country has made great strides in stamping out this bigotry and these racist thugs in the damage they would try and do. and i would hope you know that we'll stand arm in arm with you when we see this, whether there's a 17% increase or a 17% decrease. i believe we also have to make sure we don't infringe on the free speech component as well. that is a concern. so my first question for mr. wigman is how does your agency define a hate crime when prosecuting one of these cases? >> thank you for that question. i actually have the definition
10:11 am
of hate crime here in the federal code. >> if it's less than 15, 20 seconds, ied like to hear it. >> this is in section 249. whoever willfully causes bodily injury to any person through the use of fire or firearm, dangerous weapon, et cetera to any person because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person. so causing violence to people on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin is essentially what a hate crime is. >> based on the definition you just gave, i want to give you an example from this week. brian simms, a pennsylvania state representative, verbally attacked three teenage girls, threatening to basically go after them on social media or on the internet, even offered $100 if somebody would give up their names to be able to embarrass them, to trash them.
10:12 am
would you say that would fall under a hate crime? >> i'd have to have all the facts. i'm reluctant to comment. >> even the facts i gave you just there. you don't want to comment on them today? >> just really reluctant, particularly if there's an investigation. i don't know that particular matter. >> okay. how does the department of justice draw the line between the right to assemble, protected by the u.s. constitution, and prosecution of a case as domestic terrorism? >> so people have the right to assemble, petition in support of a particular cause, whether it's one that people generally find popular or not. that's something they can do. what they can't do is cross the line over into violence. so the line that we draw and the fbi draws is you're free to assemble, petition. >> so you can say pretty much anything. in the case of mr. simms, he said bring it. you are bigots, sexist, misogynists, and i see through
10:13 am
your broken values. so he has clear lanes to say anything he wants. >> you can say a lot of things that most people in this room would find repulsive. but unless you're crossing that line to a threat -- if it's a threat, that can be prosecuted. we have a number of threat statutes. or if you're intending to incite violence. >> basically people are okay to say something stupid. check our facebook pages if you need evidence of that. what i'd like to transition is for a couple questions for mr. murphy. how would you define the dhs' role in combatting domestic terrorism? >> thank you for that question, sir. so we have several roles in the department. one of them is to work with our state and local colleagues to have all the information they need at that level. they're the closest ones to the fight against domestic terrorism. we work every day to provide
10:14 am
them that information. >> have you seen an increase, decrease, or the same number of your resource being devoted to domestic terrorism over the last decade? >> i'd say within the last two years, we've approximately doubled that number of people that are in my office that work on the domestic terrorism aspect of things. >> and what is the process like for your agency to be able to share that information? >> so right now one of the ways which we do it -- there's not just one way. we work with all our partners here at this table. for the department, we looked at an intelligence sharing platform for law enforcement. we take the metrics we put on them very seriously and continue to evaluate those numbers. our number of products we're sharing is up by 64%. the quality of the products is far increased. one of the metrics we use is how often they get looked at and the return we see. those numbers are soaring. around 90% approval rating.
10:15 am
>> mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from michigan. >> hey, thank you for being here. thank you, mr. chairman, for having this hearing. can you tell me, mr. murphy, on the intelligence side, we're seeing an increase in domestic terrorism. can you explain to me why based on your analysis? >> so ma'am, i think i'd answer the question this way. we looked for -- we look continually for threats of violence, continue to readjust how those threats of violence manifest themselves in the homeland. part of our efforts have looked at that agile nature of which homegrown violent extremists pick up a reason to perform acts of violence against others and how quickly that manifests. as we've been more targeted in the way we do it, we've seen our numbers in terms of those that could be acting on violence increase.
10:16 am
we refer those leads over for investigation to state and local law enforcement and the fbi. >> so just so i understand, your answer is you're looking harder so you're finding more cases, that's the reason we've had an increase in domestic terrorism cases? >> ma'am, as we said before, we've adjusted to a 24/7 cycle. part of that has been explained by myself and others here in terms of how the internet has been a major factor in all threats of violence and the ability to -- of adversaries to talk to each other over the internet, anonymously sometimes, and avoid those face-to-face meetings. that's changed society writ large. we've adjusted to that. >> so you're referencing the use of social media. so we should see a straight line increasing from the advent of the internet to today. do we see a straight line in an increase in domestic terrorism? or has it been -- i mean, i'm
10:17 am
just trying to be honest here about the nature of the threat. i think you guys have done a phenomenal job on prevents another foreign terrorist attack. we have to give you guys a ton of credit for the fact we haven't had another large-scale attack in the united states. but i want to be honest about the way the increase has happened. has it been continuous since the advent of the internet, or is there other factors -- has it been precipitous in the past few years? >> i can't speak back to the internet, but that's a good question to look at. what i can speak to, if you look at points in times as far as our case numbers now, i gave a number of 850, and if you just look six months ago, we're actually down in cases, but cases are a point in time, right. we can literally open, close cases every day. it's two data points but certainly worth looking at.
10:18 am
what i can tell you is the velocity in which our subjects and the velocity in which we're working our cases both on the domestic terrorism side and international terrorism side. that velocity is much quicker than it's ever been before. mr. murphy and i spoke before about the insular nature and the internet. when you can go on the internet and find content that justifies what you want to do, your specific ideology, whatever that is, the ability not to have to travel to meet someone, not to have to go into a group setting. first, it makes us harder for us to defect you from a law enforcement perspective. but second, less conspiratorial. you're less engaged with other people to conspire. you're finding the ideology. you're radicalizing fairly quickly, quicker than we've ever seen before. on the domestic terrorism side,
10:19 am
that mobilization of violence is much quicker. >> so you said you had 850 cases that were open. i understand they're just a spot check, a moment in time. how many of those cases are white supremacist cases? >> so from our racially motivated, of the 850, approximately half are anti-government, anti-authority. another 40% are racially motivated. so 40% of the 850. within that, a majority, but it's a significant majority, are racially motivated extremists who support the superiority of the white race. >> okay. thank you for that. and i've seen a report, but please correct me, out of 2,000 counterterrorism analysts or specialists that you have, agents, excuse me, you have 350 of those 2,000 focused on domestic terrorism. is that figure right, wrong? please correct me if i have that wrong. >> so again, i'll put it in a different way, but i think it answers your question.
10:20 am
if you look at the way we're set up on our counterterrorism, our agents in the field, it's about an 80/20 split as far as the number of cases in international terrorism. so 80% of those cases we work are international terrorism cases, which includes homegrown violent extremists, which are about a thousand. i gave you a number of 850. if you look, the agents in the field marry up about 80%, 20% as to our case ratios and then the agents working. so we have about 20% of our counterterrorism agents working domestic terrorism in the field. that marries up almost exactly to the number of cases we have in the field. back at headquarters, we have an entire section for domestic terrorism operations just like we do in international terrorism operations in the homeland. they're both sections. we have an analyst, and we use our human section to augment that.
10:21 am
we're mirrored right now in our domestic terrorism operation to do the same work we do as our international terrorism operation center. >> okay. eni think my time is expired. is that correct? sorry. the clock is -- i'm happy to go by the clock if you want me to go by the clock. thank you. >> thank you. chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to commend the chairman and the ranking member. this is an important hearing, and i'm finding the questions very fair and bipartisan and focused on the issue at hand. that certainly comes from the example set by leadership here. i thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service to your country, your testimony today. our research shows the fbi currently has approximately 900 domestic terrorism investigations ongoing. is that correct? >> it can hover.
10:22 am
>> and just for perspective for the american people and for this committee, how does that number compare to investigations past? let's say a decade ago. >> that i can't speak to, but we certainly can get that number and get back to you. >> would you agree that investigations into domestic terror has grown, though, at the fbi over the course of the last decade? investigations into domestic terror. >> we've always been set up to work domestic terrorism. we've always obviously -- the history will show we -- >> do you believe there's a heightened awareness within the investigative community of the fbi? >> i would say it's a very heightened -- >> okay. that's a fair statement. would you agree? of course, all of us here need to assure these investigations are conducted thoroughly. it's critical for the safety of all americans. i'm concerned regarding some
10:23 am
exit from the joint terrorism task force nationwide. in my opinion, that's the front line of this mission, to combat domestic terror. working with and sharing critical information with local law enforcement agencies as they conduct criminal investigations, which can lead ultimately to the reveal of domestic terror intent. recently, certain jurisdictions have withdrawn from the joint terrorism task forces. to what extent, in your opinion, does withdrawal from joint terrorism task force -- how would that impact our ability as a nation considering the relationship between local law enforcement, where these investigations commonly begin, and federal law enforcement? what's your opinion on how important the joint terrorism task forces are, sir? >> i would say our joint terrorism task force, as stated before, is really the recipe for success in what we've done over
10:24 am
the last years since 9/11. nothing the fbi does in the counterterrorism world we do alone. we do with partners. in those cases, i spoke about the referrals we get. 50% of our referrals for our cases come in not only from state and local partners. so whether on a jttf or not, but from the public. there's no one better than state and local law enforcement that knows the public. so information intake into the joint terrorism task force is crucial. having membership there, nothing beats two people sitting side by side, working a case together.
10:25 am
there's no one better than state and local law enforcement that knows the public. so information intake into the joint terrorism task force is crucial. having membership there, nothing beats two people sitting side by side, working a case together. >> i concur with that assessment. thank you for clarifying for us all. in my home state of louisiana, actually in my neighborhood, recently three christian predominantly african-american churches were burnt to the ground. that investigation was conducted with incredible professionalism by louisiana state fire marshal and his team working with local law enforcement and ultimately federal law enforcement. this initially began as an arson investigation. when a second church burned, of course the team was on the ground. the shares of data at the local, state, and federal level was just an uplifting thing to
10:26 am
behold, and ultimately the rest was made and the suspect was found to be involved. so my question to you, again, are there additional investigative or prosecutorial authorities needed to better address -- is there a piece of this puzzle that we're missing that this body can help you fill? >> as far as any certain legislation from this body, certainly defer to the department of justice. i know they're committed to working through possibilities. from my perspective, whether i'm working gangs, ms-13, or terrorism, any tool in the tool box helps me when i'm looking at that threat every day as to when my options are and how i can disrupt that threat before an attack. >> thank you, gentlemen, for your service and your testimony today. mr. chairman, i yield. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from missouri. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> my teacher taught me, what's
10:27 am
in a name? that this we call a rose by any other name smells as sweet. we learn that out of "romeo and juliet" because we were studying semantics. that's where i'd like for this conversation to go, if you will. the fbi, in your report, there's a category of domestic terrorism called racially motivated violent extremism.
10:28 am
then in the 2017 fbi counterterrorism division, a report was distributed called black identity extremists likely motivated to target law enforcement officers. semantics. i don't understand -- first of all, can you tell me what black identity extremist is? >> so it's a term we don't use, haven't used in how we look at the threat since i've been here. it was a term that came out from an effort to better define the threat that we saw specifically in 2015 but specifically in july of 2016, the july 7th attacks against law enforcement and the july 17th attack as well.
10:29 am
so you had attacks in tennessee, baton rouge, as well as dallas. it was something where shae they saw a change. the analysts attempted to highlight that change and analyze is. i can tell you since i'm hearing it, i think your next part is why are we calling it racially motivated violent extremism? because that's what we're focused on, the violence. you could be a white supremacist, i'm not going to investigate you because you have an ideology. i'm going to investigate you because you have an ideology that you're pursuing violence to attack others. that's where i'm going to investigate. >> i can appreciate that because i think -- i have a 3-year-old
10:30 am
grandson, and i'm wanting him desperately to grow up in a nation where we're not bitterly divided by partisan politics and race and so forth. so i appreciate your response. it's out in the world, and i'm hoping that, you know, we can -- if we're going to use race -- for example, we don't say, you know, white supremacists extremism. we say racially motivated. so do you think it would be more helpful if we put everything in one category, and that is racially motivated violent extremism. in other words -- in here we say racially motivated violent extremism. so would it leave out white supremacy? but in 2017 we have black, you know, black identity extremists. i don't understand why we're separating it. >> so right now i can tell you the way we're set up, the way we
10:31 am
look at it t racially motivated violent extremism, and that's a term when -- >> no, no. you said racially motivated violent extremism. i'm talking about 2017. it says black identity. >> that was a report that was done, as i said, based upon the acts in 2016 to analyze a set of circumstances and events. i can tell you we don't use that term since i've been here. and we use the term racially motivated violent extremism. >> which would include everything? >> well, it includes everything, but it allows us to track if there's an ideology where someone is looking to push forward the supremacy of the white race or if someone has a perceived injustice because of something to use violence. if we need to track numbers, we
10:32 am
can do that because we do need to understand the threat. but what i need to do is i need to train my task force offices, my analysts, my agents that it's the violence we're focused on. it's the violence, not the ideology. the ideology will likely get you to the violence and the hate, but we need to focus on the violence. that's why we use the term we use now. i've had a conversation with members of noble on the black law enforcement executive committee. we've reached out to the black congressional caucus, and we've had one of our senior executives in charge of terrorism speak at the noble conference. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. joyce. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
10:33 am
and thank you, ranking member rodgers. i would like to thank the witnesses for being here today to continue this ongoing dialogue. recently, members of this committee had the opportunity to hear representatives from social media. their concerns were our concerns as well. regarding this, what level of cooperation do you receive from the major social media companies when they identify threats or acts of violence that are on their platforms that are being actively discussed? do they proactively share this information with you, and what steps do you then take? >> i can't speak to every company, but certainly many of the major companies do give us leads, tips when they see something. now, when we get that information, that doesn't mean we can do something. if it's strictly first amendment
10:34 am
activity. but we can run checks. we might be able to take an assessment and predicate a full investigation or a preliminary investigation. i can't say they all do. there are certainly companies out there that don't. we're seeing a tide change in social media companies being more proactive, policing their own. when they see something, partly because they're retired law enforcement analysts, when they see something that's noteworthy and alarming, beyond first aem, they'll give us leads. >> can you quanitate that? >> i can tell you from where i sit on the threats we're working at, we do get leads coming in from some of the major social media companies. i haven't looked at the statistical analysis or trends, but it's certainly more than i'm sure we got in years past. >> is that something that will
10:35 am
be easily quantitaed? >> resources, you're obviously taking people off to do certain things. certainly something we can look at to see see if it's possible. >> are there additional measures you think the social media platforms should be dialoguing with you regarding that? >> we are certainly training them on what the threats are when we talk about the international terrorism and domestic terrorism threats. as far as what they do on their own use agreements and with their lawyers, that's what they do internally. we certainly educate people to the threat whether they're a social media company or a bank or a shipping company. >> you talked earlier about the radicalization and how easily that is to be obtained, that information on the internet. do you think they are taking the appropriate response from the
10:36 am
social media platforms in addressing this with the education you provide them? >>. >> there's a lot of hate out there on the internet. i can tell you on open source, different companies have been more forthcoming in what they're producing as far as self-identifying content that's unacceptable. but i can't tell you exactly what they're doing inside the companies. >> mr. murphy and mr. wigman, would you be interesting in commenting to this as well? >> i would say that the department in the last few years has looked at working with major social media companies through the coalition and willing of others, which is largely known as the global internet forum to counterterrorism. we see those efforts are bearing some fruit. i think we have a long way to go with it. we look forward to continue to engage with the social media
10:37 am
companies and that environment. >> mr. wigman? >> i don't have anything further to add. >> thank you. thank you for your comments. mr. chairman, i yield. >> thank you. chair now recognizes the gentlelady from new york, ms. clark. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. i thank our ranking member, mr. rodgers, and i thank our panelists for bringing their expertise to the panel today. you mentioned something that has not set well with me, and i wanted to give you an opportunity to explain. i understand the delicate balance between first amendment rights and operationalizing things. but if it was brought to your knowledge that there was a manifesto online, is there a process that you have to sort of vet that? you made it sound as though, oh, anyone can print a manifesto and this is like a common practice. but we're finding that these
10:38 am
manifestos are sort of a precursor to operationalizing events. so can you give me a sense of exactly what you were saying? >> yeah, so i totally get your concern because these online statements, as explained, are exactly the kinds of things that can lead people to radicalize and turn to violence. the challenge really lies in -- and i'll just talk briefly about the first amendment jurisprudence here. >> i don't want to go that far. i don't want you to go that deep. i'm saying you mentioned that if you saw a manifesto online, it is commonly viewed as freedom of speech. what i'm saying is that what we have found, that the trend has been that as these manifestos appear, something -- or we usually find out after the fact that someone operationalized the use of a manifesto. so what i'm asking is have there
10:39 am
been new protocols put in place? i don't want it to be set out there that, oh, manifestos can pop up online. we have nothing in terms of vetting or there's no process. >> yeah, my point is just that we're going to need more than just a statement depending on what the statement says. if it's a statement that indicates threats of violence, we can investigate that. if we have additional investigation about the individual, he has this manifesto, but we know the person is out buying a gun. >> so there is a process. >> there is a process. the fbi is doing an individual case. we are pushing up against that line in every case to say, do we have enough? >> it's not as though the fbi hasn't done it before. >> they're going to be looking in those cases to see whether they have enough information and material consistent with the
10:40 am
policy. >> why don't i switch over because we don't have a whole lot of time. >> if you look at some of the manifestos we've seen more recently in the last year, a lot of those manifestos will actually have the intent of violence in there as well. when we get that, that's a clue. that's a lead that we can look at and start. it's still going to come in to look at it. as we build upon that, we can likely take it into -- >> because i want to sort of do a comparison when you're giving that type of intelligence from an international perspective. your job then is to mobilize, to disrupt any act of violence that you believe can be operationalized from that type of chatter, that type of material. is that the same type of sort of intelligence that you use when one comes across these types of materials? >> so if i'm looking at a threat, whether it's i.t.,
10:41 am
international terrorism or domestic terrorism, i'm looking at that threat the same way to stop it. the difference on the international terrorism side is the foreign terrorism organizations, those that are designated foreign terrorist organizations, whether it's al qaeda or isis. that does give us more latitude because you're actually saying i'm going to do something for isis or i'm with isis. that gives us more latitude. >> how does it give you more latitude? >> they're actually designated as a terrorist organization. >> so we don't designate white supremacist organizations as terrorist organizations? >> a white supremacist organization is an ideology. it's a belief. >> but they're not designated as a terrorist organization? >> we don't have designated terrorist organizations -- >> that are domestic. >> correct. >> that's good to know. i'm concerned about the fbi not being -- having dedicated sufficient personnel and
10:42 am
resources to combatting domestic terrorism, along with the fact that we don't even label our organizations as domestic terrorists. what is the breakdown of fbi agents, analysts, headquarters and analysts in the field dedicated to white supremacist, militia threats, or other forms of domestic terrorism versus forms of islamic extremists? >> good question. i alluded to it before. we are set up -- we've actually looked at that. those agents in the field that work domestic terrorism, about 20%. we have about 80% working international terrorism. if you look at our case numbers, right, so if you look at those things that come in that we can predicate to an investigation, they line up about 20% domestic terrorism, 80% international terrorism. we have domestic terrorism squads in major field offices. we at least have one counterterrorism squad in every field office, 56. we have single domestic terrorism squads in the larger ones. if you're working in a rural area, say you're in an area with five agents covering that area
10:43 am
and that threat comes in, whether it's domestic terrorism, international terrorism, public corruption, or white collar and that's a threat, that's taken priority. as much as we're set up that way with cases, we're certainly set up to deal with the threats as they come in. at headquarters, we've done a realignment within the counterterrorism division. we've always had a domestic terrorism operation section. but we're lined up how we work at our source, our collection, our analysis, and our ops. we also have another section that's overseas for those investigations. >> very well. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for convening this hearing. it's very important that we give the domestic terrorism its due as a problem in this country that's escalating. i want to pause for a few seconds to thank someone from my office, tim wang. today is his last day. since he's been with me, he spent every day helping to keep our country safe. thank you, tim, and good luck. you said about 80% versus 20% international/domestic split as
10:44 am
far as resources and these investigations. is that true for the jttfs as well? >> yeah, so the jttfs are the components that work these cases in the field. so it would marry up. what it doesn't count is our task force officers assigned to both domestic terrorism and international. i don't know the numbers on that, but i would assume that would line up pretty much the same as well. >> very fine. thank you very much. and mr. murphy, i want to talk more about the social media component. to me, one of the biggest problems we've had with domestic terrorism and the spread of international terrorism in the united states is the ability of the internet to unlock the latent tendencies of somewhat dormant people that are angry. they can scratch their itch by going to a certain site or talking to a certain person. then you go from someone with feelings to someone with actions. it's very, very hard to detect. i think social media companies need to be held accountable and be more active. i know from what i've seen with cybersecurity issues, different performance is based on companies.
10:45 am
some companies are much more diligent about it. some people care a lot less about it. is there anything we should or could be doing in congress to hold those social media companies' feet to the fire more about being better stewards of what's being posted and how it's being posted? >> sir, thank you for the question. so the department continues to work with the social media companies. i brought up before the larger social media companies seem to be more engaged. i can't explain the exact reasons for that. companies' feet to the fire more about being better stewards of what's being posted and how it's being posted? >> sir, thank you for the question. so the department continues to work with the social media companies. i brought up before the larger social media companies seem to be more engaged. i can't explain the exact reasons for that.
10:46 am
>> self-preservation probably, but that's okay. it's good they're engaged. some just aren't though, you know. >> we would continue to -- we look to continue to expand those relationships to include all social media companies, if possible, and working with our partners here to educate the social media companies about the threats. what they do with that information, as my colleague said, it does vary from social media company to social media company. >> i want to switch gears one more time. that is if you see something, say something, campaigns throughout the country. an outgrowth of that is something i've pushed very hard for, red flag bills. my bill has due process considerations in it to keep firearms out of the hands of people that are about to go into a school to a shooting and try and find those needles in a hay stack, listen to the concerns, listen to the warnings. and then try and act upon them before they actually happen.
10:47 am
is a red flag concept something that might be advisable in a domestic terrorism realm? >> red flag as to training people to understand what the indicators are? >> right, but also intervening with these people before they act. if they're exhibiting sufficient signs of about ready to commit acts of violence or that they have mental health issues and engage in extreme language, they're exhibiting signs they might be ready to pop off. is there something we can do to intervene with them and perhaps get the firearms out of their hands before they actually act? >> so certainly that's a possibility. what we want to do is we want to train people to see what those indicators are. nctc, the fbi, and the dhs put out indicators to mobilization of violence. it's a couple years old but specific to the homegrown extremist threat, which mirrors the domestic terrorism threat as to these lone offenders. so what we want, we want our schools, our teachers, our communities to know that.
10:48 am
the bystander effect we talk about, many times when you look back and we've studied this on the homegrown violent extremism side, there's at least one person who sees that radicalization change, sees that mobilization. likely one indicator -- >> like san bernardino. >> yes. so this is what's out there. that's what we want to do, get them to know what those indicators are and what behavior changes could be there. if someone -- i'm all for if someone can get to someone before i see them and stop something, that's great. >> or get the information to you. >> absolutely. >> and if you look at our tips that come in, obviously 50% come from state, local, or public tips, so when i look at a state or local tip through the joint terrorism task force, many of those secondarily are from the local community. we've seen an increase in community tips coming in. that's a good news story from years of see something, say something. it's also getting it out that
10:49 am
there's likely one person who saw this. >> thank you very much. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from new york, ms. rice. >> i would like to start by saying that i would ask every one of my colleagues on this committee to take the bold step, and i hope colleagues from the other side of the aisle will join us, in being willing to be courageous enough to condemn any kind of incendiary rhetoric coming from either side of the aisle. that's what the public expects. yet what we do time and time again is rs pick on ds and ds pick on rs. they make a distinction, where there is no difference. i think in the positions we're in, we owe it to the public to be courageous enough to stands up and say, yes, you are from my party, but what you said is wrong. i hope that we can do that and set the tone because if we're doing that, i think the influence we'll have over the general public will be much more
10:50 am
positive in nature. and this question is to everyone on the panel. on april 16th, a militia group called united constitutional patriots, was videotaped on the southern border, holding migrants in their custody at gunpoint. these men were shown wearing military-style uniforms surrounding migrants with rifles and issuing commands to stop or sit. needless to say, this is extremely disturbing. private citizens acting in the role of law enforcement. shortly after, the leader of the group was arrested by the fbi for illegal firearms possession. we know that unauthorized militias pose a problem to law enforcement across the country, and the militia movement has resurged in the past decade. recently in separate incidented in nevada in 2014 and oregon in 2015, 2016, cliven bundy and his sons engaged in large-armed
10:51 am
standoffs with federal law enforcement officials. in 2016, three white men, members of a militia called the crusaders, were arrested for a plot to bomb an apartment complex in garden city, kansas, that was home to many somali immigrants. to the extent possible in a public setting, could all three of you summarize the current domestic terrorist threat posed by militias across the country and on the southern border specifically? what are your respective agencies doing to confront the threat posed by unauthorized armed militias? i'll just stop there and ask all three of you to opine if you have anything to say. >> sure. thank you. so certainly militia extremism, the folks on paramilitary training, acquisition and weapons, confrontations with the government is concerning. we have the first amendment. if it's a militia that's training but there's no
10:52 am
direction towards violence, we are prohibited from looking into that. where we do see them move into the violence, and you've seen those in those arrests, we will go out and investigate those that are using militias to pursue violent ends to meet their ideology or of course the government to do something. so we've seen that. we've actually seen a decrease in militia extremism in the last couple years, partly because we think of some of the prosecutions, notable prosecutions that we have done. so it's a slight decrease in the last couple years. >> ma'am, we actively look out at those groups out there that are threatening both citizens as well as members of the department. you referenced the southern border. we, as a department, receive threats from a variety of people that have certain passionate feelings about the department of homeland security. we take all of that, we'll immediately provide state and local law enforcement as well as the joint terrorism task force, which the department has a
10:53 am
number of folks on that, supporting the fbi's efforts. any investigation, i would yield back, as it's already been talked about. >> just to add from our perspective, we're prepared working with the fbi to prosecute those cases. the ones you mentioned in your statement are the ones the department has pursued successfully. there have been older cases. we work closely with the fbi in terms of pursuing charges. >> thank you. since 2014, at least four mass murders leading to 45 deaths have been committed by men who have identified or sympathized with the n-cell movement, which is a group who blame women for their involuntary celibacy. there's often overlap between this gruf of misogynist extremist and other violent hate groups. john earnest, the self-identified white supremacist and anti-semite,
10:54 am
charged with last month's shooting in a southern california synagogue, also referenced misogynist beliefs in his manifesto. you've spoken at length today about working with these platforms in terms of identifying this kind of speech. it seems to me there have been a number of incidents where these killers have given us a road map very clearly. these are not even on the dark web. it's on facebook, these platforms that are well known to everyone and reach enormous numbers of people. i just think we have to figure out a way to hold them accountable and work more closely with them because we're getting a big red flag waving, and we're not able to act on that information in a timely fashion. so i'm encouraged about the work you're doing with a lot of these, you know, social media
10:55 am
platforms, but obviously we have to continue to do more. thank you all very much, and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i'd like to comment that the ranking member of the subcommittee and the ranking member of the full committee, along with a number of us are concerned about the very same thing. and we've tried to engage the social media companies to talk to us on what they're doing, best practices, other things, but some have, some haven't. there are some challenges that we'll have to overcome, and we look forward to -- >> and mr. chairman, just briefly, if i may. i would certainly encourage a committee to have another hearing on this and dig deeper into this area because i think they need to get a kick in the butt to understand how serious this is. >> yeah, i can assure you it's on the way. chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. crenshaw. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. thank you, all, for being here. this is a very important
10:56 am
subject. i'll jump right into some questions. after i was injured, i worked primarily in the intelligence community, and we have ways of classifying different types of attacks. most deadly and most likely courses of action. briefly comment on what you believe to be the most deadly courses of action or possible domestic terror attacks as well as the most likely. >> i would say most deadly, most likely are both the lone offender who self-radicalized online who has access to a weapon. >> concur fully with that statement. >> okay. and that is the trend we're seeing then. this is the concern. this is why we're having this hearing. there's this tendency to self-radicalized where we can't connect this them with a broader network. we can't trace that back the way we used to do in the past. now, a question i have as well, as we've effectively, not quite
10:57 am
totally, but effectively and geographically defeated the caliphate in syria, prior to this, we were seeing quite a few of these self-radicalized attacks because of their ability to radicalize people internally. have we seen a downward trend in that specifically from isis in recent past? >> i would say we have certainly not seen a decrease. that is the problems that we have, so from what you saw, an inspiring social media platform, you can recycle that. with the arrest that we just did a week ago in l.a., it was radicalized and on the
10:58 am
interment. that w -- interment. so the home grown extremely violence threat is still being radicalized. >> the content has to come from somewhere, though, are you able to track where it is coming from? >> it is coming from all over the world. geographically it is disbursed. >> do you have anything to add to that? >> i want to mention collection efforts. there are more coming out of dhs, moving away from the analysis side of things, i want to ask about recruitment,
10:59 am
personnel from these jobs. >> speaking for jttf, we're fortunate to get a large pool of talent. we have no problem with -- in terms of numbers of people applying for jobs. >> trying to do open source analysis for such an enormous problem, we're trying to analyze the entire internet on who might be self-radicalized. do you need more? >> we're always willing to get more resources and happy to work with you and congress to get you a more precise, you know, explanation of that. but we could -- there is always more as you described that could be done on the internet. >> on jttfs, in particular, in my past i worked a lot in the inner agency and in my experience, the inter-agency really only works because of
11:00 am
personal relationships. the problem i always saw is there is not an institutionalized reason to cooperate. there is not an institutionalized requirement to share information. has that improved at all? are there ways to improve that? >> i would say from the operational side and the joint terrorism task forces i worked on in the one in new york city and stationed with the cia i would say within our state and local partners, the partnerships are the best we've ever seen. >> sir, as a member of the dhs now, the previous 20 years i was in the fbi and was part of a multiple jttfs, i would agree with that. i know from the departmental perspective now, through the fbi's leadership on these task force, it continues to just be, for the most part, a few people i'm sure out there really well-led and it is a good process. >> thank you. i'm out of time. thank you, mr. chairman.
11:01 am
>> thank you, the chair now recognizes the gentleman from rhode island. >> i want to thank our witnesses for being here today and your testimony. if i could, mr. wiegmann and mr. mcgarrity, based on the testimony you have all given today, it is clear that the justice, fbi and dhs, office of domestic terrorism threat, and so therefore, i want to talk about prioritization. mr. wiegann, you state that only two of the more than 40 national security division attorneys assigned to counter-terrorism focus on domestic terrorism. is this reflective of the threat? >> no, just to be clear, all 40-plus attorneys in our counter-terrorism section are available to work on both domestic and international terrorism matters. we don't have kind of dedicated like split up between domestic
11:02 am
terrorism prosecutors and international terrorism prosecutors. we do have a domestic terrorism council that focuses exclusively on our national program and two attorneys who support him and work on that work but they're available for international terrorism matters as well. the way we do it at the department of justice is all of our attorneys who are specialized in counter-terrorism can work in international or domestic terrorism. to all 40-plus are available for both and what they work on depends on what threats and cases are coming in. >> so the cases that you charge, do you charge 20 times as many foreign terrorism cases as domestic-related terrorism cases? >> i couldn't give you an exact number on that. in terms of how many we charge. you have to remember also that a lot of domestic terrorism cases are charged at the state level as well. more so than probably on the i.t. side. so you have to take those into
11:03 am
account. and on the domestic terrorism side, some of those are charged as hate crimes under the civil rights division, could be a tax offense, tax protesters, anti--government, so in comparing the numbers you really would have to look across a broader spectrum. >> mr. mcgarrity, the november 2018, "new york times" magazine article reports that the fbi counter-terrorism agency candidly admitted that domestic terrorism is seen as a back water and that the only path to advancement was through international terrorism cases. is that true? and how do you and the fbi and leadership balance international terrorism and domestic terrorism? >> first, let me go to as far as the prioritization, from the fbi perspective, counter terrorism, preventing a terrorism attack in the u.s. was, still, and will be, as far as i can see, the number one priority of the fbi. so that is still our number one priority. we don't differentiate between domestic terrorism attack, trying to stop or international terrorism attack. it is a terrorism attack we're looking to stop. as far as our priorities it is
11:04 am
our number one priority in the fbi. as far as being domestic terrorism being sleepy, i don't know who the source of that article was. i can tell you the passion and the way we run our day from early in the morning to late at night, through phone calls at night, no one asks whether it is domestic terrorism or international terrorism when the threat comes in, we work the threat. i would also argue that if you look at our leaders, a good example, former deputy director of the fbi, mark giulano came in and was the domestic terrorism section chief in charge of domestic terrorism operations, moved into my position as the assistant director of counter-terrorism, moved into the executive assistant director of the national security branch, until he became the deputy director of the fbi. so i would argue whoever made that comment, maybe that was the case years ago, i can tell you it certainly is not the case now, in this fbi right now, and certainly not in the case in the counter-terrorism division.
11:05 am
>> thank you for clarifying. mr. mcgarrity, in your testimony, you referenced the fact that firearms remain a weapon of choice of the domestic terrorists. like many of my colleagues here, i believe that we need to do more for gun violence prevention. however, i'm also worried about the emerging avenues of attack such as through the use of cyber tools. does the fbi currently evaluate domestic terrorist cyber threat actors through its responsibilities under ppd-14, and how are terrorist capabilities to conduct disruptive or destructive cyber incidents evolving? >> in the fbi we have a counter-terrorism division and cyber division. i will tell you most criminal violation, the fbi work have some form of cyber do it. and that's just the way we are working now. as far as the threat, i have not seen domestic terrorism using cyber per se to do an attack, but certainly if we saw it, we would be working like any other threat and would certainly leveraging the expertise of our
11:06 am
cyber division. >> my time is expired. thank you for your testimony and mr. chairman, thanks for holding this hearing. i yield back. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank the witnesses. i have been chairing this committee for six years, we saw this come up multiple times, and one time in my hometown of austin, texas, the austin bomber, and when asked is this an act of terrorism, it's, of course it is, and it was random, and i wanted to comment the fbi for the great work you all did in bringing that chapter to a close and saving lives. it was a great joint effort on the jttf and with austin police.
11:07 am
but as that unfolded, we looked at the issue of domestic terrorism, and i know as a former federal prosecutor there's a definition and cases can be open as domestic terrorism case, but there is no charge of domestic terrorism. there's international terrorism, and we see that many times in the cases we prosecute against isis and al qaeda and other extremist groups, but there is no charge for domestic terrorism. i think that's kind of getting to the heart of this hearing. and i was just curious what your thoughts would be on congress enacting a domestic terrorism charge. what would be the benefits or risks of doing that, if i can just go down the panel? >> i can take that.
11:08 am
so we are always looking to improve our authorities, and so i think we're certainly open to having a discussion with the congress, if there is interest in the congress, in pursuing a domestic terrorism statute, we're certainly open to having that discussion. i think you have to think about exactly what issue you're trying to fix, as i talked about in my opening testimony, we do have a number of statutes that we use in these domestic terrorism cases so the question is what gap would it fill exactly. we probably would not want, the one thing that i would say, something that is similar what we have on international side which is designating foreign terrorist organizations, we are not going to want to for good policy reasons that i think the committee on both sides of the aisle would share. designating domestic groups as domestic terrorist organizations and picking out particular groups that you say disagree with their views and so forth will be highly problematic in a way that it is not with al qaeda or isis or an international terrorist organization.
11:09 am
so there is not a precise analog on the domestic side. that is not to say there are not other ways that we could do analogizing to our current hate crime statutes that we could do that is broader on domestic terrorism. >> under a hate crime -- >> kind of like hate crimes except for focused on domestic terrorism and the definition that we have in the code, so it is certainly a discussion that we're open to having with the congress -- >> i tend to agree. i think that is a better approach than labeling domestic terror organizations within the united states. it gets sort of problematic. can you tell me how many domestic terrorism charges we have brought, like last year, for instance? >> so i don't know have an exact figure on that. i would imagine it is somewhere between zero and 100. but i don't know, i don't have an exact number. >> and how many international terrorism cases did we bring last year? >> i just don't have that handy with me either today. unfortunately. we can try to get you that
11:10 am
number. >> i think this is, the issue the chairman and i have talked a lot about, we'd like to get to a place that, bipartisan, to resolve some of this, because i think when you look at cases like the austin bomber, it's hard for me to say that wasn't an act of terrorism. it certainly was. and so how do you go beyond just the definition, you know, of domestic terrorism, and perhaps it is under a hate crime type law, and of course, in that case, i think you would have been charged with capital murder, under texas law, and that's the ultimate punishment. and a hate crime didn't have that sort of penalty provision to it. >> no, it does. if death result, the death penalty is available. >> under the hate crime. >> it can be, i think dylann roof for example. >> perhaps mr. chairman this can be a way it look at this perhaps under the hate crimes statute. i think that is a good answer. i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the
11:11 am
gentleman from staten island, new york, mr. rose. >> mr. chairman, thank you so much for the opportunity. mr. murphy, you mentioned earlier the global internet forum to counter-terrorism ct, is that correct? >> yes, sir. the social media companies recently came before us, and they humble-bragged about this forum that they had established it, so my first question is, to >> okay. on the fbi perspective, we're absolutely involved in that process. >> mrs. mcgarrity, were you aware of this actual organization is my question. >> yes. there is a recent meeting just here in california, i was present there with members of dhs, secretary nielsen and others, with the social media companies. i was actually at that meeting. >> great. >> so yes, i'm aware of the
11:12 am
organization, we've had at least some contact with companies that are part of the forum, the counter-terrorism forum. so we're aware of it and have tried to working principally through the fbi to encourage them to address it. >> one thing that we're seeing here there isn't an institution in place for strong public/private partnerships as it pertains to social media. as far as we can see. do you see any establishe >> one thing that we're seeing here there isn't an institution in place for strong public/private partnerships as it pertains to social media. as far as we can see. do you see any established public/private partnerships with
11:13 am
social media, in other words, is there an institutionalized way for law enforcement to quickly and efficiently share information with social media companies, or vice-versa? mr. mcgarrity, we will start with you. >> there is a way to do it and we do do it. when we see threats, we go through our private sector engagement offices within the fbi to do that. specifically, with the active process, what the social media companies are wrestling with are different countries. so you have europe which is looking to report legislation, from the european union mind set, u.s. and the first amendment and you have other countries so they are trying to wrestle different terms of service and different parts of the world and what that means, so that as they go through that. but we certainly, when we see something, we have, within the counter-terrorism division, we stood up an entire section we
11:14 am
call strategic partnerships. that's to work with the banks, to work with the shippers and to work with the social media companies. >> does anyone else have anything to add on that? >> i would just say from under my office as well, my knowledge of the process, we have a similar effort that we work in tandem with our partners here. in terms of outreach. we work every day to try to educate them on the threats. and make sure that they have the information they need to make their private company decisions off of that. >> let's talk about hn. is anyone aware of any direct outreach or communication with the owners of hn, or the administrators? have they contacted you? mr. mcgarrity, we'll start with you. >> i'm not aware of specific contact between the fbi and hn but i can follow up and see. >> i mean, i'm specifically concerned about this because all of this is based off of relationships. we know that much of this is happening on hn, and if we have want had any direct contact with the administrators of hn, then i'm not sure what protocols we
11:15 am
have in place to make sure that materials are taken off hn as quickly as possible. >> so certainly, first, we are prohibited from reviewing, looking at, first amendment activity. so if it is speech, if it is ideology, and it might be alarming as it is, we are prohibited from that. but our contact with hn on an operational side if we are seeking something through judicial process or legal authority, i can get back to you on how much interaction there has been. >> that would be great. thank you. mr. murphy, do you have anything to add? >> sir, i'm not aware of -- i'll have to get back to you to determine that or not. >> great. thank you. lastly, ghost guns. none of you mentioned it directly in your testimonies. is there anything you would like to note particularly about ghost guns? do you view this as a threat for the future? mr. mcgarrity? >> ghost guns are certainly something we would be briefed up within the counter-terrorism
11:16 am
division as well as the criminal division within the fbi that something that is concerning that you could have a weapon out there that is not traceable, absolutely. >> i would say from the department's perspective, we are tracking it, and we have concerns about it, both from an infrastructure protection side, and the department's continually trying to refine its efforts to stay abreast of technology so that we don't have an adversary's ability to get, whether it is a ghost gun or whatever the weaponry is into infrastructure. >> fantastic. anything else? all right. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from nevada. ms. titus. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. we are just about the end of the line and you get to hear everybody ask your questions but i made a few points i want to go back over if you don't mind.
11:17 am
i heard repeatedly that this is a collaborative effort and i know that's the case with federal agencies, local law enforcement, and i visited the fusion center in las vegas, and it is so good, not only at trying to prevent incidents, but reacting to instances like the shooting that occurred in my district. so i appreciate that. i also heard you talking about collaborating with the private sector. i would say that nobody does security in terms of expertise and technology better than the people in my district, the eye in the sky sees just about everything that goes on there. so i would encourage you to work with them as well, and i suspect you probably do. going back to mr. campco's companies about see something, say something, i know when that first came out, there was a lot of emphasis on it, a lot of excitement about it, but you admitted that that book was out of date, and we haven't seen much about it recently. i think we need to maybe revisit that. i heard about a test not long ago in israel, they put a backpack under a seat if an airport, and within two minutes somebody had seen it and reported it.
11:18 am
they did the same thing under a seat in an airport in the u.s., and within two minutes somebody had seen it and stolen it. that's kind of what we're up against. maybe we need a little more emphasis in this. one other thing was mentioned about the militia. i've heard the term sovereign citizens, they're anti-government. in fact, our attorney general aaron ford said they are probably the largest threat, domestic violence threat in nevada, and in my district alone, in clark county, there are 500 identified people who belong to this kind of movement. and i just wondered if you would address them? or is it the same as militia? or do you deal with them a little differently? one other thing is, i haven't heard mentioned animal cruelty. so often, when you track people who have aberrant behavior and you see them on the internet and you see some evidence of real animal cruelty in their past, do you have any way of overlaying this kind of information as you look for those red flags that
11:19 am
have been mentioned? and finally, one form of domestic terrorism that hasn't been addressed is against abortion clinics and abortion doctors. and that seems to have been stepped up with the president's rhetoric has just been very inflammatory, and some outright lies, but a recent report said that providers had experienced 823 acts of trespassing, 1700 acts of obstruction, 62 death threats, and 104 clinic blockades. maybe you could address what you all are doing in that area as well. thank you. >> so i think i can certainly start. so obviously, sovereign citizens environmental rates, as well as animal right type cases, those extremist cases in that category as well as abortion rates, extremists, they are categories for us, in our -- in how we look at domestic terrorism so to have
11:20 am
that category, we are absolutely working those type cases. as far as the sovereign citizen extremist case, obviously the harassment and target of law enforcement and government personnel is of concern. we do see those cases. we have a fair amount of those cases when you look at the 850 total, a fair amount of them are sovereign citizen cases. and those are cases that certainly, by differentiating themselves from the u.s. government and not abiding to the laws certainly could become violent when confronted with law enforcement, whether it is serving a subpoena, a lien or any judicial process. certainly of concern. and certainly from the numbers, certainly something we're looking at. as far as animal rights and environmental rights extremists, certainly less on that. that threat has gone down in the sense of what we saw in years past. as far as organized groups doing things, we don't see as much from some of those groups you would think about from 15, 20 years ago.
11:21 am
but from our sense still a priority. in fact, we just did a transfer of custody, from an environmental rights subject who has been on the lam for 15, almost 20 years, we tracked him around the world into south america, central america and we brought him back from cuba of all places to stand trial in portland. those type of cases are very important for us. and the abortion extremist cases, obviously whenever you're looking to, on either side of that issue, when you're looking to use violence to pursue your goal, it's of interest to us. we again may have less of those cases, but once you get into the violence for us, you're into our realm, an that's where we're looking to disrupt you. so it doesn't matter on which side, if you're pushing violence to pursue your idealogy, we're aggressively investigating you. >> and very briefly, so yes, you mentioned reports in my written testimony which has been submitted as well that we're looking upon to build upon the suspicious reporting system of -- which started after 9/11. we have a new program, i mentioned it before to the
11:22 am
committee, we're happy to get with your staff and yourself and give you a full briefing on it. specific to the las vegas fusion center, we have full-time folks there, and we look forward to continued supporting the las vegas fusion center and the work they're doing to look at violent behaviors and in any way we can support that fusion center as best practice, we're taking a look at that right now. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. taylor. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate you having this hearing. i wanted to go to a case that i know relatively well because it is close to my house. there was a plano west high school student who was arrested last year. he had self-radicalized into islam and had made plans to conduct an attack on a hindu mosque in my community and then go attack a mall where i like to take my daughter to go ice
11:23 am
skating. he was arrested. he was caught by the fbi. arrested. but then he ended up being prosecuted, not by the department of justice, but by the colin county, the colin county district attorney, because federal law does not allow prosecution of terrorists who are 17. so he was actually sentenced, i believe, a few weeks ago, in colin county, with the central prosecution, obviously, with, it seems with the blessing of the fbi and the d.o.j. and their support in that prosecution. so my question, to take that specific case, which is very close to my house, i drove past plano west high school on the way to get to work here yesterday, taking that specific example to my community, what laws are getting in the way of you prosecuting terrorists that requires, you know, the state to step up and prosecute terrorists? >> so without commenting on that specific case, juveniles under
11:24 am
the federal system can sometimes be transferred to adult status, is my understanding. and so it is really in every case we're going to evaluate on the facts of the case, whether it is a dt case or less often an i.t. case, whether the best means of mutualizing the threat is a state charge or a federal charge. so it could be in the case you're talking about the decision was a discussion between the prosecutors at the state level and the federal level, and they said the state charges are the most effective way of dealing with this threat because they will get the longest sentence or have flexibility or based on the evidence, whatever it might be, that the state charge is best. so that is a dialogue that occurs between state prosecutors and federal prosecutor, particularly on the domestic terrorism side. that is a frequent occurrence to have those discussions. so that's our overall approach. i don't know if that answered your question. >> i have a lot of confidence in the county, the judge, a great team of prosecutors and
11:25 am
obviously justice was done in that case. but my broader question is what frailties exist in federal law now that make it so that you're literally looking to the state of texas to prosecute a case rather than the department of justice? >> so it really depends on the facts of the case as to whether an individual case is going to be prosecutable under federal law. not every case under the domestic terrorism side as we've talked about, we can use gun charges, we can use explosive charges, we can use threat and hoax charges, we can use hate crimes. there's a whole array of charges but there could be a fact pattern. i don't know if the case you mentioned is one of them. it doesn't meet the standards for any of those cases so it falls between the cracks, and it might be a garden variety murder case, and it's easy to prove that murder offense under state law, but it doesn't qualify under federal law, so they will bring it as a state case. >> if you don't mind looking into this and seeing what frailties there are in the federal statute where we're trying to go after terrorists and end up, instead of doing it again? i think counter-terrorism is
11:26 am
truly a federal responsibility. i appreciate that sometimes our state partners are the right people to go do these things, and i know judge willis was glad to serve justice in this case, but if you could look at that and circle back with my team, i would like to have a further conversation with this committee about making sure we bring terrorists to justice at the federal level. i have a minute left. just wanted to go into another, hate crimes, under the fbi, 70% increase, 2017 over 2016. i also noticed that we have a thousand more new law enforcement agencies reporting that kind of data to the fbi. so sometimes, you know, in an effort to be more holistic and collect more data, you increase your numbers, and then people say, oh, there's been an increase, but really -- have you looked at what it would have been if you hadn't added those thousand agencies? in other words, is it just how
11:27 am
we're collecting it or is it because we're collecting more data we have a bigger number so it looks like there was an increase when actually there wasn't? >> from my vantage point, sir, under the counter-terrorism division, i don't know the civil rights hate crimes, but i do know from hearing about it, obviously we're doing more of it and more departments and their agencies are reporting it, so they want to get some time to see if there are actual increases or not due to the new data that wasn't there before. again, that doesn't fall under the counter-terrorism division where i work. >> have you gone back and relooked at these numbers and excluded the thousand new agencies? is that possible? >> i don't know what they're doing on the criminal side of the fbi. i do know they're cognizant of the increase and determining whether it is just an increase
11:28 am
in the data collection and the reporting, or is there actually an interest in hate crimes. i can't answer that. i just know it is an issue they're looking at. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for having this hearing. i'm going to hold this up for a second so everybody can get an idea. mr. murphy, are you acting undersecretary or are you the real deal? >> i am the number two in terms of the intelligence enterprise, the undersecretary galawi is in place -- >> but you're not acting. >> i'm not. >> that makes two of you in the entire administration that's not acting. but that's for another day. mr. murphy, in early 2017, we learned that personnel in your office sent several emails concerning a document referred to as the race paper.
11:29 am
over a year ago, racial justice organizations filed a lawsuit against dhs to release the contents of the agency's memo referred in the government documents as the race paper. thus far, only a completely redacted memo, which i just held up, of nine pages, has been released. understandably, we are concerned that the dhs has a document which we have not seen called the race paper. can you please describe the content of the race paper, and to the extent possible? >> sir, thank you for the question. i am aware of the paper that you are talking about. and we follow the freedom of information act to the letter, so everything we provide goes through our privacy and civil liberties office for release. with respect to i think the paper you're holding up, i will
11:30 am
say that it was a draft of a paper that was done by a very junior individual within our organization. the folks in the chain reviewed the paper, rightfully decided did not meet the parameters for publication and the project was terminated. that paper along with a lot of other drafts that our analysts review and try to bring out, they go through a very rigorous process before we hit send on that product and put our seal on it. i would note that within the -- >> who requested the draft? >> i'm sorry, sir? >> how does the draft get created? >> so all of our analysts look at the various threat lines that we are monitoring, and have the latitude to help explain those threats. one of the issues i brought up
11:31 am
in the beginning of this, of my testimony -- >> so there is a need for a race paper? >> one of the -- i don't think that the email tag line that you're referring to is the way that i would characterize that draft paper. >> how would you characterize it? >> i would characterize the draft paper that when it was reviewed by the first line supervisors, was killed. >> can dhs release an unredacted copy to members of congress? >> sir, so we will continue to follow the foia regulations with respect to that. with the oversight responsibilities of congress, we were happy to go back and i'll work with staff to see what is possible. >> okay. two years after we've learned that the dhs had a secret document simply known as the race paper, congress and the public still haven't seen the
11:32 am
contents of this document. but we do know that some of the circumstances surrounding the release of the race paper, and they suggest that race is very concerning. for one thing, it was released in connection to a foia request related to the black lives matter movement. why would that be? >> so, sir, the paper was never released. >> does the race paper include information on targeting individuals who peacefully protest against police violence or other racial injustice? >> sir, any paper that is professional that i put my name on and the seal of the department goes through a rigorous process. i would also advertise that in the 17 intelligence agencies in the united states government, last year, and as well as the
11:33 am
year before, we are either number one, number two, in terms of the quality of the information that the men and women of my office put out. part of that includes whether we reached the standards. >> okay, my time is coming to an end. does the race paper suggest techniques for surveilling black activists who protest against police violence? >> so, sir, again, we don't have a race paper. >> well, this thing exists. to some degree. whether it was a draft or whoever it was, somebody thought to do it. but my time is coming to an end. this is very troubling. you know, i pledge my allegiance to a flag every single day that says that we all are created equal and are allowed to be citizens and justice is meted
11:34 am
out equally. this doesn't sound like this is the case and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentle lady from florida ms. demmings. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. and thank you for having this very important and timely hearing. thank you to our witnesses for joining us today. mr. murphy, i'm directing my questions to you. as a former law enforcement officer, i certainly understand the importance of timely and appropriate information sharing, how important those intelligence reports are to local, particularly local law enforcement in terms of helping them to plan and strategize for an appropriate response. information, it is so valuable. it can really be a force
11:35 am
multiplier for law enforcement agencies having to deal with oftentimes the unknown in their communities. so i, first of all, want to thank you for the work that you are doing in that area. the good work that you are doing, there still continues to appear to be some gaps in the process. and i am particularly concerned that information regarding white nationalist gangs and violent fringe white movement groups is not being shared with state and local law enforcement, even when they specifically seek it. and i know i missed the earlier discussions about trying to balance first amendment rights. but of course, we are also trying to keep our communities safe every day. and in november "the new york times" reported that the
11:36 am
gainesville police department, which gainesville is a city in florida, was not provided relevant information leading up to the speech of richard spencer, a white nationalist, who public comments often, ended in bloodshed. of course, gainesville is a college town. it is a short drive from my district in orlando. but a police commander with that department said that the person had 24 years of experience so knows the job very well, described the lack of information from the fbi and dhs as the bermuda triangle of intelligence. so unable to receive what he thought was appropriate or relevant information, useful information, he went online himself and did indeed find that the violent white nationalist had ultimately descended on the campus were not hiding, they
11:37 am
were on social media networks, on message boards talking about how they were going to test florida's stand your ground law. eventually descended upon the city, opened fire on protesters, thank god no one was killed that day, they were ultimately arrested. but i would like to ask you, mr. murphy, what of the, as we balance first amendment rights, and i certainly understand what the constitution requires us to do, what are the lessons learned for you, and your department, as it pertains to events like the one in gainesville, and even the one that we're all familiar with, charlottesville? and could you talk a little bit about how the department actively collects, reviews and shares information specifically involving these type of groups? >> yes, ma'am. thank you for the questions. so in my written statements and some of the charts i provided,
11:38 am
we basically -- one of the many things we do is run what's called the homeland security network or hsn intel. and we have posted approximately 40,000 products on that site. they're not just dhs products they're state and local product, they are also the products of virtually every federal agency that does work in the domestic space and we continue to improve that site. since 2016, that site has -- and the quality of products we're putting on there has increased and we know that by measuring it in a couple of different ways. one is the metrics that we've increased the volume by approximately 64%. we also look at how often and what actual products are reviewed and so we've seen a, approximately 325% increase in the number of views, and then we ask for metrics back from, and qualitative and quantitative responses from our colleagues which is exclusively state and local law enforcement, is do
11:39 am
these products matter. and we see the products get upwards of a 90% approval rating. that being said, that is just one technical fix. we're also mindful that we have to continually advertise that this exists to state and local colleagues. as people change, coming out, they're busy, you know, we want to make sure it is user friendly and we provide it as often as we can. we have increased the number of our -- >> these were lessons learned in terms of sharing of information, post-gainesville, post-charlottesville, or were these processes in place prior to those events, but somehow failed? >> i would say, ma'am, that they've been ongoing since 9/11 on forum, so we continue to learn from all information-sharing experiences that we have. we are increasing the personnel we're deploying to the field. they're not responsive specifically to the two incidences that you described, but we certainly understand the
11:40 am
importance of deploying our personnel so that they have that firsthand experience in exposing and hearing back from our state and local colleagues what they need. in response to your question, there's not a day that goes by that i challenge my entire team to make sure that any classified information, reporting from other other agencies, we encourage those agencies to get out that information to our state and local colleagues. we don't get pushback. i think it is just awareness in my experience with the inter-agency at large. the last thing i'll say to this is it is a continuing effort that we need to make. and we strive every day to push that along. we engage in virtually every state and local organizational meeting that's out there. and we look forward to continuing those. i know most of the leadership on a first name basis. and i will continue to try to
11:41 am
make myself and i know my boss, the undersecretary, and our staff enjoys those experiences and we learn how we can help our state and local colleagues. >> thank you. >> the chairman recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. correa. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for having this very important hearing. as you know the increase of domestic terrorism is alarming. last year, i called for a hearing immediately after the charlottesville and pittsburgh domestic terrorism acts. none were held. and that's why i thank you for doing this today. gentlemen, this last week, i was back home and i held private town halls with the jewish community, and the muslim communities in my district since poway was right down the street from us, so to speak. these issues hit home for all of us. speaking to my local school district, constituents lived
11:42 am
around my local high school that i attended. a lot of constituents are upset because the high school is building a fence around the school and it makes it look like a prison. when i talked to the administrators, they said, lou, this is about safety. not only are we putting in a fence around most of our schools, we're also putting in hundreds of cameras. at all of our schools. we've gotten to a bad situation in society, where our fear for domestic terrorism, people that live in our own communities, we're afraid of. the biggest challenge is going after the lone wolves. the folks that you just can't figure out what triggers that act of hate that leads to deaths. and of course, my prayers go out to the families in colorado that suffered the last few hours. my question to you gentlemen is
11:43 am
how are we working with the locals? in orange county, sheriff barnes has a fusion center. he had say we're doing a great job, lou, but we need more resources. we need more resources to track the lone wolves. what is it that we can do? what is it that we need to do to go after these domestic terrorists? because i get a sense from there that i hear that we're very focused on foreign terrorists, and that our resources are going there, but again, when you look at the carnage in our society today, it's the domestics that are really hurting us. those domestic terrorists are the ones that are changing our lives, how we act, how we behave, and how we invest our resources. my school district, instead of going for books and teaching, a big chunk of that money is now
11:44 am
going to building fences and putting in cameras and try to figure out where to put those security guards. give me your thoughts. how do we harden our society, how do we go after these lone wolves? >> so, you know, i think you characterized the threat and the state that we're. in i will tell you on the domestic terrorism side, we arrest more people per year, in at least the last two years that i've looked back, than international terrorism. more people arrested that are domestic terrorism subjects than international terrorism subjects. >> are we putting enough resources domestically or are most of our resource going to the foreign terrorism? >> no, if you look at our case numbers, our case numbers rely on tips from the community, our law enforcement partners, our analysis from within to see if
11:45 am
someone is talking to someone, all of those things. 50% come from the community, state, or local, as far as our injects -- >> so does our investment, our expenditure reflect that? you talked about cases. you talked about arrests. how about dollars spent? are we spending enough on local. >> i don't split the different between international terrorism and domestic terrorism when we have agents in the field working their cases. there might be a budget line item somewhere within our books back here for travel and stuff, but it is the same. it's agents -- >> i'm glad to hear that, that you're not splitting it based on that, but clearly, there's got to be a focus on where the danger is coming from. >> well, i think you said it. the lone actor is the problem set that we're dealing with. insular in nature. nonconspiratorial. not necessarily being directed or engaging with others so you have lone offenders, lone actor, very hard to detect from a law enforcement perspective. we rely on our partners to do that. but we will time and time again, we said it before, see something, say something, it is likely an individual, maybe a family member, more specifically, a religious leader, a teacher, that will see
11:46 am
a change in behavior, see a triggering event, where they see an individual become radicalized quickly and mobilized to violence. and we need that person to speak up and tell us. >> i'm out of time. one quick follow-up. offline, i would like to talk to you a little bit more about how we continue to refocus on those specific issues. work with the local fusion centers to. make sure that we're able to track down some of those folks that may blow up in our society before they blow up. mr. chair, i yield. >> thank you very much. and we join you in your interest in pursuing that, too. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from texas, ms. jackson lee. >> again, mr. chairman, let me thank you along with the ranking member for this important committee. if my recollection serves me well, under your leadership, certainly as ranking member, and
11:47 am
as members of this committee, we have championed or cried out for help in relief from the growing proliferation of domestic terrorism. it breaks my heart on the amazing silence that we've had to encounter and the loss of life. so let me, first of all, join mr. payne. i'd like to ask whoever has the document, the race paper, to release it in its entirety. i do know we have the black identity extremists report. so let me pursue a line of questioning. and first of all, let me thank you gentleman, for your commitment to the safety and security of the american people. we always are proud of those who offer themselves to serve. let me ask you the question of your knowledge of the importance of a bully pulpit for good reasons and you just have to, the importance of a bully pulpit, mr. murphy, it is yes or no, important and good comments, that that can be far-reaching?
11:48 am
>> i believe so, yes, ma'am. >> mr. mcgarritty? >> i don't think i understand the question. >> the use of the bully pulpit for a good reason, is that a positive thing? >> yes, anyone advocating for something good i would say is positive. >> and the next witness? mr. murphy? >> wiegmann, i agree. >> and i agree as well. so let me be very clear. the president of the united states has not done enough to deal with quashing the rising acceleration of domestic terrorism and hate in this country. he has a very important responsibility. he heads the government. he gives guidance to the department of justice under the attorney general. is and there has not been enough done. in fact, we see in the last decade domestic terrorism being an increasing concern in the united states, in 2018 domestic
11:49 am
extremists killed at least 50 people in the u.s., a sharp increase from 37 extremist related murders in 2017. it goes on to show how many were in 2015, and 2016, 70 and 72. right wing terrorists, between 2010 and 2017 committed a third of all acts of domestic terrorism in the u.s. 92 out of 263. the aclu and the southern poverty leadership group has indicated that hate crimes have moved up exponentially. now, let me correct the record. i understand that previously, it was indicated that the individual who did the dastardly act in baton rouge was a black identity extremist. i understand he was a separatist but also a member of the sovereign nation. so the question is, are we still blaming and using the terminology black identity extremists. anybody have an answer for that? >> i can state from the fbi we haven't used that term since i've been here in 15 months. >> so i don't want to -- >> to prep for the briefings. >> thank you very much. i don't want to point
11:50 am
specifically to the exclusion of other hate groups, but i do believe it is important to focus on the rising emphasis of white nationalism and naziism. they are glaringly in the limelight starting from dylan who professed that ideology. going to the coast guard individual that's right in the mix right now that is frankly having attacked or attempted attack various public figures to the gentleman frofessing his love for trump in florida attacking members of congress and to charlottesville. my question is, when is the president to emphasize to the attorney general and to each and everyone of you that your major and chief responsibility besides
11:51 am
all the technical things that we have to do is dealing with white nationalism and naziism? i'm asking all three of you that question. >> i can take it. the first part, i can just highlight as far as domestic terrorism -- >> white nationalism and naziism. use that terminology please. >> from the national security strategy for counter terrorism this year which was put out, obviously, it highlights violent extremism such as racially motivated extremism and domestic terrorism in the united states is on the rise. that's a statement, but obviously that's a strategy. what is going to be done to implement it? i can tell you the national security council and dhs and the fbi are now working towards an implementation plan on that strategy as well as the rest of
11:52 am
the united states' intelligence community. so it's actually in the strategy first time in years that it is highlighted in the strategy. as far as what we're being directed to do, like anything, we are being directed to preempt violent attacks by people who have an ideology that are trying to pursue whatever that ideology is. that has been our mandate. >> may i make an inquiry to you because the other gentlemen were not able to answer. i would like to have their answers in writing if i'm not able to hear it at this point. but i would cause the committee, if we could, to ask, secure a specific request. i know that -- specific request for their plan to move quickly on the issue of white nationalism and naziism in terms of a response to those particular issues keeping in
11:53 am
mind everyone's right to the first amendment. >> i'm happy to answer which is from a d.o.j. perspective absolutely we're committed as i said in my opening testimony regardless of the motivation of the threat if it is white supremacy or white nationalism or any kind of threat we are committed working with fbi and colleagues at dhs to investigate, prosecute those cases. some of the ones you mentioned are cases we have prosecuted and those are mentioned in my opening testimony. we are absolutely committed to addressing that threat. >> ma'am, i'm happy to answer now, as well. it's in my statements, as well. we don't base how we pursue individuals who are pursuing violence or pursuing solely based on ideology. those that seek to harm citizens or anyone in the world based on whatever the motivation is and
11:54 am
there is violence involved, we certainly go after that on a daily base and we'll continue to do that. i think our numbers in the overall domestic terrorism space bear that out. the report has sharply increased approximately 40%. we look forward to working with all of our partners here to continue that reporting. i would ask we work aggressively with the faith-based community and with our partners to make sure they happen to be a target, we can give them those resources they need as well as other community coalitions that are out there. we look forward to continuing to do that. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. green. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the ranking member and i thank the witnesses for appearing. dear friends, as witnesses, if
11:55 am
you are familiar with and i believe you are -- i just want to build the record -- if you are familiar with the kkk, will you kindly extend a hand into the air? i believe you are. let the record reflect that all are. are you familiar with their cross burning? they call it cross lighting if you are familiar with them i'm sure you are familiar that they do. would you kindly raise a hand? all hands are in the air, for the record. is it true -- they use this as a means of symbolizing their faith. they claim to be christians, the members of the clan. and burning or lighting the cross, they are exemplifying faith. i believe as persons familiar with the clan doing the kind of work that you do, you probably know this, too, but let me just ask you to raise your hands if
11:56 am
you know this. raise your hands, please. okay. all hands. now, have we ever called or have you any information where it has been widely said that when a clansman commits an act of terrorism, that this was christian terrorism? has that ever been widely used, christian terrorism? if the answer is no, do not raise a hand. no hands are up. so it has not been widely used. we do know that if persons of the islamic faith commit an act of terrorism, there is a commonly-used term, islamic terrorism. have you heard this term, islamic terrorism? if so, would you raise your
11:57 am
hands please? all have raised their hands. i'm putting you through this exercise because it seems to me that there is a mindset that has to be dealt with. when white men calling themselves christians commit acts of terrorism, we don't define it as such. we don't say christian terrorism. but if a person who is of the islamic faith does it, we connect the faith to the violence. i don't think that the clan is a christian organization. i'm the grand son of a preacher. i know that they don't live up to the tenants of christianity. then i don't think that those persons who are of the islamic faith who may commit some violent act or who claim they are, i don't really think that that's islam. so i'm mentioning this to let you know that we have a problem in terms of our mindset that we
11:58 am
have to deal with. next point, quickly, and i will tie it all together. if i said there some very fine people among the bigots, racists, clansman in charlottesville, very fine people among them, would that be an appropriate thing for a member of congress to say? if you think so, raise your hand. let the record reflect that no one has raised their hand. so if the president says it, some very fine people among those who were preaching yous will nyous -- yjews will not replace us, the president says it. is it appropriate for the president to say such a thing? if you think that it is not appropriate, raise your hand.
11:59 am
if you think it's not appropriate for the president to say what you just said would be inappropriate for a member of congress to say, if you think it's not appropriate for the president to say there were some fine people among those folk in charlottesville where a person lost her life, raise your hand. you think it is inappropriate for the president to say that -- >> from the dhs perspective, i think the way we look at -- >> excuse me, please. i greatly appreciate your perspective, but i'm limited on time. you have no problem saying that members of congress should not use such language, but you refuse to acknowledge that the president should not use such language? >> if i can just jump in. >> quickly. >> i would say for me, personally, it's not my place to comment on what either members of congress or the president -- >> you already did.
12:00 pm
too late now. you already said it is inappropriate for members of congress. but when it comes to the president. >> you are on the record. you raised your hand. here is the point. we who hold public trust have to have the same standard for everyone, same standard for the kkk that we have for persons who claim to be of islamic faith. same standard for -- and they are not. same standard for the president that we have for members of congress. if you can't uphold the same standard, you are doing your country a disservice, my friends. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you very much. let me thank the witnesses for their valuable testimony today. i'd like a couple items inserted
12:01 pm
in the record. one is letters from 2011 to 2018 asking for hearings before this committee on domestic terrorism, just for the record. we have been made aware that on march 19th, a number of civil rights groups, naacp, leadership conference, a number have requested a meeting with the fbi director. and some -- well up until this day the letter has not even been acknowledged. i think part of their interest is around this whole effort of domestic terrorism. and we want to instill confidence in all our law enforcement people.
12:02 pm
but we also recognize the fact that organizations who are interested in this issue should not be ignored. so i'd like to provide you with a copy of this letter for you to share with the director and ask him to engage those organizations who vote him in good faith for an opportunity to discuss this issue of domestic terrorism with him. and i'd also like to include a copy of the letter for this hearing. without objection. again, let me thank you for your participation and the members who actually overall most of them came and had questions. the members of the committee may have additional questions for the witness. and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to
12:03 pm
those questions. without objection, the committee record shall be kept open for ten days. hearing no further business, the committee stands adjourned. and next up here on c-span 3 we are live in washington for a discussion on state budget priorities, taxes and spending programs. it's an event hosted by the urban institute in partnership with the urban brookings tax policy center live on


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on