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Edward R.
Republican CA 39

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  • Condemning the Recent Terrorist Attacks in Paris

    by Representative Edward R. Royce

    Posted on 2015-01-20

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    ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 37) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that resulted in the deaths of seventeen innocent persons and offering condolences to those personally affected by this cowardly act.

    The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

    The text of the resolution is as follows: H. Res. 37 Whereas, on January 7, 2015, armed radical Islamist terrorists stormed the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and slaughtered twelve people, including editorial staff of the paper, a visitor, a security guard, a maintenance worker, and a Muslim police officer; Whereas terrorists Cherif and Said Kouachi, who carried out the attack, were located and killed by police two days later and their hostages rescued; Whereas Amedy Coulibaly killed a female police officer on January 8, 2015, and intentionally targeted a kosher supermarket, taking multiple hostages and murdering four Jewish men on January 9, 2015, before French police raided the store, killed Coulibaly, and rescued the surviving hostages; Whereas Amedy Coulibaly stated that he had worked in coordination with Said and Cherif Kouachi and called them ``brothers from our team''; Whereas Hayat Boumeddiene, a fourth suspect connected with the attack and the common-law wife of Amedy Coulibaly, remains at large; Whereas the Kouachi brothers are believed to have traveled to Yemen in 2011 where they are reported to have received weapons training and met with Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Whereas al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed credit for the Charlie Hebdo attack; Whereas Amedy Coulibaly claimed to be a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; Whereas radical Islamist terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al-Qaeda and its affiliates worldwide, the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabaab in Somalia, Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, Hamas in Gaza, and others, pose a growing threat to international peace and stability; Whereas these terrorist attacks represent an assault on fundamental principles essential to a democratic society, including the universal right to free expression and freedom of religion; Whereas the increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France and throughout Europe remains of great concern; Whereas the United States and France share a longstanding cultural, political, and economic relationship that has greatly benefitted both nations; Whereas since the founding of our Nation, France has been an ally of the United States, and French soldiers have fought side-by-side with American soldiers throughout history, including during two World Wars; Whereas security cooperation between the United States and France plays an essential role in combating violent extremism in West and North Africa, the Middle East and around the world; and Whereas the United States is committed to supporting its oldest ally France in this difficult time: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Paris that resulted in the tragic loss of seventeen innocent lives; (2) extends its deepest sympathies to all those affected by this tragedy; (3) supports the efforts of the Government of France to ensure that all of those individuals who committed or supported these attacks are brought to justice; (4) remains concerned regarding the flow of foreign fighters to and from the Middle East and West and North Africa and the threat posed by these individuals upon their return to their local communities; (5) appreciates and supports France's continuing efforts to combat terrorism and promote stability throughout the Middle East and West and North Africa; (6) appreciates France's contributions to the multilateral effort to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; (7) recognizes the growing threat posed by radical Islamist terrorist groups worldwide and reaffirms the commitment of the United States to the multilateral, global fight against such violent extremists; (8) calls upon all nations to join a global effort to combat violent extremist ideologies and terrorist groups; and (9) remains committed to the defense of free expression, including religious freedom, as well as other universal values that terrorists seek to destroy through a campaign of cowardly threats and reprehensible violence.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each will control 20 minutes.

    The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

    General Leave Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to add any extraneous material to the Record in this debate.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.

    Mr. ROYCE. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this resolution. The resolution condemns the terrorist attack in France carried out by Islamist extremists earlier this month.

    On January 7, two armed gunmen entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine in Paris, and, in a brutal, premeditated attack, killed 12 people and injured 11 others.

    The following day, as we watched this play out on international media, their associate, Amedy Coulibaly, shot and killed a female police officer, and in the following days with the Kouachi brothers on the run, Coulibaly targeted a kosher supermarket where he shot and killed four Jewish shoppers and took multiple hostages. Later that day, courageous French police officers stormed the supermarket, killed the attacker, and freed the hostages.

    There are no words that we can speak today, I think, that will comfort the families and the friends of the 17 people murdered in those terrorist attacks.

    The victims included cartoonists and maintenance workers, police officers, grocery shoppers, Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

    {time} 1415 There are no words strong enough to condemn these terrorists and their radical jihadist ideology.

    The Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked because their cartoons offended. The magazine's editor was specifically marked as a target for death by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's online newspaper magazine called Inspire under the not-so-subtle headline, ``A Bullet a Day Keeps the Infidel Away.'' [[Page H417]] Indeed, the Kouachi brothers called out the editor's name before they shot and killed him.

    Mr. Speaker, the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on free speech. The right to express ideas and opinions, even if they are unpopular or offensive, is a foundation for a free society--France's and ours. Frankly, the struggle of the Enlightenment has largely been a struggle against blasphemy laws going all of the way back to the foundation of this Republic and our First Amendment and Jefferson's concept of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

    It was not the first time that this magazine was attacked by terrorists. And, unfortunately, it probably won't be the last time a media outlet like this is targeted. That is why this resolution resolves to uphold and defend the basic principle--free speech.

    The grocery store victims were murdered because they were Jewish. In the days following, France stationed thousands of police officers to guard France's Jewish schools and synagogues in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Alarmingly, anti-Semitic forces are on the rise in France and in much of Europe.

    This resolution puts the House on record as condemning in the strongest terms possible the Paris attacks and extends the sympathy of every American to those affected by the tragedy. It reiterates our support for France, America's sister republic, our oldest ally, and it calls upon all nations to join the global effort of fighting violent extremism.

    This is a time to not just express sorrow for those killed but also a time to show resolve in the face of terror. Our intelligence-sharing with allies, already strong, will need to get much sharper; border checks improved; and coalition efforts to destroy ISIS will need to be stepped up. I urge all Members to support this resolution.

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