Rise of Radicalism: Growing Terrorist Sanctuaries and the Threat to the U.S. Homeland, Joint Hearing Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Committee on Foreign Affairs, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, November 18, 2015   [open pdf - 776KB]

This is a testimony compilation of the November 18, 2015 hearing "Rise of Radicalism: Growing Terrorist Sanctuaries and the Threat to the U.S. Homeland," held before the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. From the opening statement of Michael McCaul: "Before we begin, I would like to have a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the attacks in Paris and in honor of those who were wounded. Today we must make this much clear: we are at war. The world was reminded last week that Islamist terrorists are seeking to harm our people, destroy our way of life, and undermine the foundational principles of the free world. The Paris attacks also confirmed our worst fears--that of the thousands of foreign fighters who have gone to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria], some would be deployed to bring terror back to the West. For more than a year, my Committee has warned of this growing threat. We launched a bipartisan Congressional task force to focus on closing security gaps--both at home and abroad--to make it harder for terrorists and foreign fighters to slip across the border undetected. More than 5,000 individuals with Western passports, including Americans, have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. And some have already returned battle-hardened and prepared to strike. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, we traveled to Paris and met with counterterrorism officials on the ground who have known that Europe was wide-open to this danger. And we conducted site visits along the 'jihadi superhighway,' from Western Europe to Turkey and then into the conflict zone. Our findings were alarming. This September, the Committee's final task force report concluded that we are losing the struggle to stop Americans from going overseas to join jihadist groups, and it announced that gaping security weaknesses overseas are putting the U.S. homeland and our allies in danger." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Matthew Olsen, Jack Keane, and Peter Bergen.

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