Combatting the Terrorist Threat Through Agility, Persistence, and Resilience, Statement of Russell Travers, Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Hearing Before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, October 10, 2018   [open pdf - 304KB]

"In the years since 9/11, the U.S. counterterrorism (CT) community and its many foreign and domestic partners have continued to achieve significant successes against terrorist groups around the world through enhanced information sharing, aggressive intelligence collection, targeted military action, and terrorism prevention programs. Most notably, coalition operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria are now depriving the group of its last territorial holdings in the so-called caliphate. In addition, ongoing CT efforts across Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia continue to diminish the ranks of al-Qa'ida, removing dozens of experienced leaders and operatives. Interagency efforts to enhance our defenses and vigilance at home, including strengthened aviation security measures and border control initiatives, have resulted insubstantial progress in safeguarding the Homeland from terrorist attacks. Despite these considerable achievements, the United States faces an increasingly dynamic terrorist threat from a more diverse range of groups who continue to explore methods to defeat our defenses and strike the West. Terrorists are responding to recent setbacks by adapting their tactics, seeking out alternate safe havens, and using new technologies to recruit and train the next generation of terrorists. Such trends make for a more dispersed, fluid, and unpredictable terrorist threat that requires a persistent and agile U.S. response to mitigate. Given the challenging national security landscape that confronts the United States today, the relative priority attributed to the terrorist threat is being reevaluated. Nevertheless we will need to ensure that we maintain the many improvements made across the government in countering terrorism since 9/11."

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