The Chairmen’s Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security—formed in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Paris last November—met today to discuss how the House can respond to the Orlando terrorism attack in the weeks to come.
America is no stranger to terrorism, but these new threats are of a different nature than the old. In Orlando, a single man fueled by a militant Islamist ideology and highly likely to have been at least in part radicalized online killed 49 of our fellow Americans. We don’t yet know exactly how he was radicalized or who, if anyone, he was in contact with.
In the past several months, the House has passed several bills developed by the Chairmen’s Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security to identify potential terrorists on American soil and prevent attacks from happening:
- H.R. 4401, The Amplifying Local Efforts to Root Out Terror (ALERT) Act, passed unanimously in the House and scales up fusion centers that analyze threats around the country to improve our counter-radicalization efforts.
- H.R. 4820, the Combatting Terrorism Recruitment Act, passed 322-79 and expands the use of testimonials from former extremists to fight back against terrorist recruiting of Americans.
- H.R. 4407, the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act, passed 389-5 and improves counter-terrorism response as well as procedures for issuing terrorism alerts by centralizing decision-making at the Department of Homeland Security.
After today’s meeting, we plan to consider more legislation that the House will vote on in the weeks to come. Islamic terrorism can be stopped, but we must make changes to defend our nation and destroy terrorism at the root.