Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Actby Representative John Katko
Posted on 2015-12-16
KATKO. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from New
Jersey for introducing this bill, and I rise today in support of it.
The tragic events in San Bernardino have brought ISIS violence to our shores. Attacks like this are aimed at undermining our democratic way of life and sowing fear among the citizens of our Nation. This threat must be defeated, plain and simple. To defeat it, we need to respond in an intelligent manner that deals with the vulnerabilities and protects the constitutional liberties that we hold dear.
The measure before us today strengthens our hand against terrorism, and I hope the House will join today in a strong, bipartisan manner to support this bill.
I had the privilege of chairing the bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorism and Foreign Fighter Travel. Over 6 months, we investigated security gaps at home and abroad to determine the best ways to make America safe. We heard from stakeholders here in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, about the unique challenges they face every day in combating terrorism.
Out of this Task Force, we came up with 32 findings and over 50 recommendations that will make our country and our allies safer, if adopted. This bill, Mr. Speaker, contains one of those recommendations, that our intelligence community should report regularly on the flow of foreign fighters to terrorist safe havens.
The bill takes action to stop ISIS' practice of encouraging fighters to go to what it calls provinces in places like Libya to carry out acts of terrorism by improving the sharing of information on the flow of these foreign fighters between nations.
Understanding where the enemy's safe havens are and tracking and analyzing foreign fighter flows will better allow our intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense to strike effectively and deadly and give us a better picture of the ISIS threat.
As we leave to celebrate the holidays with our families, let's leave having taken action on this commonsense bill that will make every American safer.