A picture of Representative Terri A. Sewell
Terri S.
Democrat AL 7

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  • Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Act

    by Representative Terri A. Sewell

    Posted on 2015-12-16

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    SEWELL of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise in support of our Nation's security and in our ongoing fight against terrorists and extremism around the world. As a Member who serves on the Intelligence Committee, the safety and security of the American people is my top priority.

    H.R. 4239, the Tracking Foreign Fighters in Terrorist Safe Havens Act, requires the intelligence community to report on foreign fighter flows to and from terrorist safe havens abroad.

    The recent horrific terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris, Beirut, and here at home in San Bernardino, California, not only shake our very conscience, but also cause us to evaluate our own security measures and intelligence protocols.

    This bill expands on the approach to tracking foreign fighters outlined in the Intelligence Authorization Act, and requires the DNI to produce an additional written report on foreign fighter flows to and from terrorist safe havens abroad every 180 days. Each report would include invaluable details, such as countries of origin, the numbers of U.S. citizen foreign fighters, and the numbers of foreign fighters whose whereabouts are unknown to us.

    The threat of extremists returning to the United States from the battlefields in Iraq and Syria are serious, and we must do what we can to prevent it. I am convinced that a more vigilant and robust foreign fighter tracking and reporting process is critically important to fighting terrorism and combating ISIS abroad, as well as extremism here at home.

    We must evaluate our national counterterrorism strategy and policies continuously to ensure that we are doing everything within our power to protect the American people and to defeat and destroy ISIS and all terrorists that seek to do us harm.

    I want to congratulate the chairman and my colleague, Mr. Swalwell, for their leadership on this effort, and I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

    Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Katko).

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