tv U.S. Senate CSPAN August 26, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
who as you heard have a deeper spending contact with the criminal justice system are addictive or mentally ill and that is driving their involvement in the criminal-justice system. i am happy to answer any questions and happy to provide you with the proof and scientific evidence of the fact i have asserted. ..
i think chairman white house, ranking member kyl and the rest of the committee for the opportunity to testify on drug and veterans courts. the views are my own and should not be construed as representing any position of the heritage foundation. my spoken testimony will focus on three points. first come with out-of-control spending, threatening our nation's stability, increased federal spending of state and local courts should not be a priority. by the end of this fiscal year, the congressional budget office warns that the federal debt will reach roughly 70% of the first domestic product. this'll be the highest percentage since shortly after world war ii. this is hardly a good time for congress to increase funding for grant programs that subsidize the routine criminal justice operations of state and local governments.
instead, congress should consider reforming the drug court discretionary grant program to focus entirely on reimbursing drug courts for the cost of serving recently returned combat that drains with substance abuse problems. this reform would get the federal government is subsidizing routine operations and quite likely save taxpayer federal dollars as well. sakic, while a large number of joke would've valuations have been formed, many of the studies had scientific rigor. before we can judge a drug court program to be a type is, we first must understand the importance of selection that can be astoundingly difficult to distinguish between what is working and what is not and nowhere is this predicament truer than when it comes to the criminal justice system trying to change human behavior. for example, individuals volunteering for a drug court program may be more motivated than individuals not seeking entry. such motivational or is there
often invisible to those assessing effectiveness. value to account for these crucial factors can produce misleading association between drug court participation outcomes. experimental evaluations, the gold standard research designs for the most capable of handling the problem of insurrection. in my review of the scientific literature, was able to obtain three experimental evaluation of drug courts. clearly, more external valuations are needed. the need for more experimental valuations to transcend political party lines. both democrats and republicans should agree on this issue. third, while under some circumstance is an particular location, tribe court may be more effective than traditional responses. congress should review the plans of effectiveness coming from advocates of increased federal spending mantra chorus. three experimental valuations
any particularly good qualified experimental evaluation repeated my written testimony provided it a mixed bag of effectiveness. obviously, some drug courts are effective while others are not. effective drug courts can produce cost savings and some may even produce more benefits than costs. however, this rule is not universal for all drug courts. a relative example is the cost findings of the newly released multi-site adult drug court evaluation performed by dearborn institute. after comparing 23 drug courts to six other types of court interventions, the class i experimental evaluation found drug courts produce an estimated average net benefit of over $2000. however, this estimate is not significant. in other words, policy makers cannot be sure the drug courts participating in this evaluation produce more benefits than costs. the cost may actually outweigh the benefits. the estimate is simply to draw strong policy conclusions.
more details on results of this evaluation in other evaluations my testimony are available to you. thank you for inviting me. >> thank you, mr. muhlhausen. i am going to be here to the end of the hearing. rather than take up the other senators time, i will wait until the end and yield to senator blumenthal and then whoever else is next. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for bringing together this really very, very impressive panel. not only for its star power, but its intellectual and scientific and persuasive power. i want to suggest that there is a danger year, which is to conflate veterans problems in drug problems and to see a drug
court is also potentially a veteran scorer. and i think what is so impressive about the work that you have done, judge lafazia if you have address not only the indivisible ruins of posttraumatic stress in a traumatic brain injury that can cause many as the addictive behaviors that result in criminal activity, but also to address the problems that are unique to veterans and they can become addict dave, but they also have other problems. and so, i would like to invite you and others on the panel to perhaps talk about why we need to address separately the issues that affect veterans as opposed to simply opening the truck courts that may deal with veterans treatment issues.
>> i think there certainly is a lot of overlap and that will involve out the cost factor during these programs. it's a huge overlap on the successes we are able to celebrate. that being said, i think the veterans have a number of unique issues that need to be dealt with and i think some of this standard counseling that we provide for substance abuse issues, alcohol issues and other issues are not always competent or able to address some of these underlying issues that veterans have to deal with. we have had tremendous collaboration in our project in rhode island. it is a small state that lens itself into that. in addition to collaboration with law enforcement and mental health providers send corrections and other state
agencies, we've also had some great support from our legislature and our governor this year. we had a law signed into effect that allowed us for court-ordered counseling on dui cases and domestic violence counseling. we now are able to do that counseling through the veterans association. and i think that makes a huge difference because they have a unique set of circumstances that most of us don't even have a point of reference for. and i think that you need to have people involved in these projects you have that background, have that insight, that understanding and know how to get to those specific firing issues. >> and making use of veterans themselves in providing that kind of counseling. >> yes, and on two fronts. one of the other elements of veterans court that i think is critical for success is the use of mentors in the review process. and we are in our infancy stages
and not developing our mentor group. but i think not only from the professional counselors that the military background and military insight, you also need the support from a marine who can speak marine talk to a fellow marine, whatever the branch may be. you need to have people who have been there, walked the walk, talk the talk and come back and help you carry. >> you know, i would like to invite any members of the panel to do what i thought that your times piece did so well, was to get a face and a voice to the veterans issues, you know, specific instances of a veterans court working for a veteran. i think it's very powerful. at "the new york times" it was depicting how a specific docket or calendar or channel for providing justice to a veteran can help address the specific
and unique problems veterans may face. >> can i take a stab at that? the >> sure. >> it takes a tremendous amount of conditioning to get somebody ready for war. a natural inclination is not to put ourselves in danger and to harm other people. our natural inclination is not to follow rigid authority. our natural inclination is not to be constantly vigilant for threats everywhere we go. we have to be taught in condition to do that over months and months if not years in the military. we have no not the beginning of war. but we haven't noticed they umass bt condition or prepared not to be hypervigilant, not to be overly obedient to authority when you return to society where those are undesirable traits. mix that with tom and substance abuse, you conflate those problems. it is very much a new syndrome. it is not a drug court, not a
mental health court. it is a reentry program for people returning to civilian life who have been wounded and damaged. that is that veterans court understand by using veterans here is an mentors, the veteran administration services. these are people who have been through the process and neither had difficulty alerts to their dysfunction or they have been trained and they come from that world and understand. it is a fundamentally different animal in these other programs. i am here to tell you we have always seen huge numbers of homeless vets and vets in the criminal justice system after ward and we see it now like we've seen it every time before and we have multiple wars. these veteran court need to ramp up and be ready quickly for a large influx. >> senator klobuchar. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. sheen, 20 thank you for
following in the footprints when they leave the oval office are these the oval office had to pursue very important causes. i just wondered why you had many things you could have pursued a sewer cause and why you chose drug courts. >> well, thank you, senator. i would just say quite frankly that it is an extension of my work with the peace and justice community, social justice as i think incumbent on all of us to participate and, to bring healing where we can, to bring understanding to bring some light in areas where there is great darkness. and this was just a natural progression of my work in the peace and justice era. you know, doc dürer marlowe's description gets right to the point of what the senator lumet was talking about. i read that article yesterday. as i mentioned, i was with judge
russell yesterday who initiated that court. he is quoted in the article about the gentleman in the perimeter surrounding the horrible situation when he was in the woods in michigan with a gun. there were officers surrounding the area and that they were being shot at and their lives were in danger and this veteran, this fellow was alive and getting help now. those officers have actually dropped other charges as well as an extraordinary level of compassion and understanding about what that guy in the woods alone with a gun was going through. he was back in iraq after three tours. he lived with extraordinary anxiety and tension and adrenaline. we have no idea, no comprehension of all of what that is like and a combat zone. we are in countries right now where it's just everyday normal life and these men and women are
serving and these men and women are serving. so we have to be serving. so we have to be aware of that. you know, it is going to cost us. anything of great value is going to be costly, otherwise you are left to question its value. i am reminded of the old irish tale about the guy who came to the gates of heaven and asked to be let in saint peters said of course, just show us your scars. he said i have no scars. st. peter said what a pity. was there nothing worth fighting for? i can't think of anything in the social justice piece aired today more worth fighting for than the drug court. it just goes to the central -- the center of this issue and a deeply compassionate understanding and humane way. they think it's the only way out. >> thank you very much.
that or marlowe, if you want to respond to some other things that dr. muhlhausen has pointed out, when you look at the effective issue engaging in a process right on washington where we have to bring our debt down and we are looking smarter solutions in the criminal justice area. i've always found people can be surprised. sometimes there's ways to spend less money, but actually get better results. could you talk about that? >> the research on the cost-effectiveness in drug court is pretty powerful research when conducted by independent organizations. they have found, as i said earlier, if i don't know anything else about drug court. i know if i have to guess how much i'm going to get back for my money, for every dollar i put in, i look at about $2.21 back. it's a particularly good drug court, and make it three, five, 12, $27 that. for the multisite evaluation that was published, the average
net benefit was just short of $6000 per participant. 100 participants and turning an average return of investment of 6000 per participant to see how much money we'd be saving. if we hit the 1.2 million, people we should be surveyed and i would definitely need a calculator to figure out how much money were saving. we may do it now is to use incarceration of the primary response. it has no effect, but at least has a saving grace of being expensive. we have drug courts which are about in some respects the cost of incarceration in any times better. so i would suggest to you that it's pretty common that doing too much tends to make people worse than also tends to cost too much money. if you bring a sledgehammer to knock in a thumbtack, you will
do more damage than you need to and picking a better humor and better tool and doing a more intelligent job will be less expensive and save you money. these are not speculative cost savings. these occur in the same budget geared for the immediately ensuing budget. you get your money back within 24 months. that is money to the criminal justice system. i'm not talking about foster care, saving children from losing their families. i am talking about money, back to the criminal justice system because he's not in jail. i don't have to have 10 violation of probation hearings and i don't have to waste a prosecutor and defense in the courtroom. i'm saving all that money right away. that is why drug courts have expanded as much as they have. federal government seed programs are rare to see the program in the state or locality doesn't pick it up. that's a rare event when they don't pick it up.
they do not do it out of inertia. they do not do it out of the goodness of their heart. they are saving an enormous amount of money. >> i want to end up with one more question will become back about the talk about the drug court graduation's. i know when we first started their drug court there were a lot of issues with the police not supporting it. we made some changes to taking some of the gun crimes out of their and the things where i believe prison was appropriate. and over the years, and made a big difference because there was actual follow-up has someone been lost in the system because he had what was perceived as a minor crime. the kid standing out there trying to go to school and get a drug -- people on drugs getting in the way of their path and potentially getting them on drugs. what happened was they started to see with the drug court there was actual follow-up. they have to come in and have the drug tests. they would be a stick at the end
if they didn't comply. it was interesting to see the evolution with law-enforcement or that time when i was county attorney. the thank you very much. >> remember i said some drug courts cut them in half. the best are the ones that have law-enforcement on their team. that's one of the biggest finding law-enforcement on the team increases the outcomes multifold and for the reasons you suggest. >> thank you. >> a dark cloud of budget and debt concerns that lies over washington right now is a very real thing and it's very important. but i would like to ask mr. sheen and judge lafazia who seem to have the most personal experience with these chords to talk a little bit about the intangible and nonmonetary value that you see in what happens in a drug court
and we hope will also have been in veterans court as the individual involved has to come to the difficult recognition and reconciliation of the wreckage that they have often made of their own lives. realize that a transformation is necessary and start the heart and courageous path of recovery. that is a rather special human accomplishment and take you to put that in the context of what you see every day in the drug courts. >> thank you, senator. my own personal experience with drug courts, besides the lobbying here in washington on occasion is confined to the state of california, which is no small spot on the map.
but i have been a participant in the compton drug court, south of los angeles, which judge deshaies are as well as the downtown drug court in los angeles and the bay area courts, including judge stevens who is here now -- i am sorry, stephen manley. he will never forgive me. i'm sorry. judge steven, i've been a great supporter as well as the berkeley and oakland situations. what i see so often are the drug courts focus on low income, fixed income, people on the short end of the ladder. very often they have a public
defender. the across-the-board rule is they are very rarely represented by a lawyer that they have to pay. they are generally all awarded in the stated that point. so when they stand in front of a compassionate, understanding judge and they are offered a very fundamental choice, mr., i'm going to pitch in the state penitentiary for three years or i'm going to give you an opportunity to turn your life around and treatment, that you can start today. what is your choice? 99% of those defendants will say give me the treatment. and when you see them come in, day or break off their mug shots. when they come dragging into courts, they still are wearing the orange jumper and generally and chains. can you come back over a period of months and you witness this
gradual, extraordinary change for a human being as emerging from this chaos, this baggage that's been discarded, thrown away. where you see that they have no -- no self-motivation, that they were totally dependent on the next hit or the next shot or the next drink. to see that development of a human being flower and reach its potential and then turned to the community after graduation, which usually takes a year a very hard and intense rehabilitation 12 stepping and begin to serve those people coming out of the cages in the orange jumpers and the shackles. it is that turned towards the brother, the sister just coming out of the cage and the look
they have with each other, it's like what dr. marlowe was talking about. there is an understanding of street dialogue. there is a drug culture. and when it is broken, that has a miraculous effect. the old saying is all you need for an aa meeting or two drugs is a pot of coffee and a lot of%. and that really hasn't changed. it is a deeply personal contact with one drug addict talking to another one that has come out of the same style in that same uniform and the hope, the possibility of returning to their humanity and then the service back to the community. the last step in all 12 step programs as we reach out to those still out there. and it is said that the only way
to keep anything of real value is to give it away with love. and that is the basic fundamental work of drug court. >> judge lafazia, hold that thought not come back to you people go to senator blumenthal, but that will be the second question to you. >> said can you know, i'd like to follow up on some of the answers that have been given, especially the description of the training and preparation that goes into preparing a warrior to go into particularly modern-day battle, where people come back from explosive situation that they might not have even survived in past wars and come back with wounds that are undiagnosed and therefore untreated. and so, i think my question is,
how do we prepare the courts, the law-enforcement professionals and others involved in the system for dealing with those individuals who may be within their jurisdiction and they may not fully understand? >> the armed services have training curricular and interventions specifically for this purpose. treating law-enforcement, training judges. first of all, how do you recognize an invisible one? how do you recognize him and was postherpetic stress disorder? what are the symptoms? the reality is all you have to do is ask the right questions and in three to five minutes you know. if you don't ask the questions come you absolutely will never know. >> what are the right questions? >> asking somebody if they get
startled. like all of a sudden you turn quickly? if there's a slight movement in the courtroom, watch a veteran in the courtroom when there's movement in the back of the room and they turn to that movement. because if they didn't in afghanistan or iraq, they could very well be dead. in the courtroom, what they may have done is set up an altercation or a negative situation. so you're looking for the startled response, the hypervigilance and you're looking for the hollowness. when you are that damaged, that program and you feel that bad, you are not sure anybody can help you. in fact, you're pretty sure nobody can. you're pretty sure you're probably going to die and not entirely sure you care. looking for the broken, empty thing and people that are mostly apathy, the sort of like whatever happens happens kind of thing when you push on it. those are not hard to diagnose, not hard to detect and we can
train reliably law-enforcement and judges to do it. if they aren't trained, they don't see it and they think the guy is just being aggressive when he is not. do you think he is being a wiseguy and not answering when in fact they are being obedient to his superior in uniform. they need to be trained, desensitized to it. have a colleague who does it for the navy. i just met somebody here who does it for the air force. there are training curricula. we need to get to the judges in every state in every county and we can do that good >> judge, do you have anything to add? >> i don't want to repeat what he said, but in rhode island, law-enforcement for a couple years has been participating in something mcauley first responder program, which was initially created to address mental health issues at the beginning of the scene. and they are trained to defuse dangerous situations.
and into that program would've put a component on recognizing veterans and veterans issues in order to be escalated at the very beginning. i think the training is critical for every stakeholder involved in this process. in addition to the training, public education is also important, particularly from a courts point of view on some of these cases, there is a ripeness for negative public perception. there is an issue out there or a potential for people to ink this is a free pass for people to think they are not being held accountable and there's a safety aspect part of it mentioned before as to the duis, which play a very big role in all of these. in rhode island because i'm duis. they are bright for public scrutiny when you bring somebody through this and make it taken out of the criminal justice
system or get a lesser sentence. if the person we offense and that possibility is always aaron got her big woman is injured. that will come right back on the front page of the paper. you need to have more public understanding as well as training for stakeholders. >> and probably training for state legislators in congress and as well. >> not also i suppose i'm yes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to submit for the record later a copy of "the new york times" article that has been referenced a couple of times by mr. sheen and dr. marlowe. >> without objection, included in the record. let me go back to judge lafazia if you wanted to add anything to mr. sheen's remarks. i may also ask you, how has it been dealing with the veterans administration in terms of coordination with this particular means of serving veterans? >> the veterans administration
has played a critical role in this project in rhode island from the beginning. they have been supportive in every step of the process, including confirming identification of veterans that they get a call from police departments to the roles they play in the courts and the services they are providing. they have been excellent on emergency care, getting people in quickly for assessment. did they have been a wonderful partner in this project. >> they get it. >> they absolutely get it. and they do play well with others and they have been cooperative and supportive and have had some initiatives they themselves have brought to the table for us. the one thing i would add to what mr. sheehan said is monday's veteran defendant are coming into the court, one of our biggest challenges has been
to identify them because many do not want to be identified as military or veteran. there is a shame element that accompanies them and they have come a background of rules and regulations and living and respecting those rules and regulations that now they found themselves in a very different situation. so that has been one of the challenges we've had to deal with. they have however been very, very motivated. must have remembered what their family lives were like before hand, with their lives in general were like before hand and they have spent very, very motivated to get into the programs. they have welcomed the treatment that's been given. there's nothing perhaps that motivates people. when that option is given, it motivates and it works and i will be happy to celebrate any motivation and been a success story that is fair. >> senator klobuchar. >> i just had one question i
wonder if we have significant native american politics in our state. i wonder to what extent drug court thursday the native american populations and if it's not high, how that could change. >> there is a number of what are called tribal healing to bonus scores. these are tribal courts. so they are not part of the u.s. court system. the use what is called a link to bonus principles. so with a lot of community elders, a lot of community-based interventions, a lot effusive spirituality and our history and what has happened to us in our history is contributed to our lives into the devastation of our community. there's a lot of emphasis on getting back restitution. we do training for them, technical assistance. we have members on our board. they are at our conferences and they are very at the price of the drug court community come to drug court world.
do we need more of them? absolutely. probably in the tribal community we had 5% or 10% everywhere. we have the resources, knowledge and the skills to do so. >> anyone else? on. thank you. >> let me call the hearing to a conclusion. i want to thank each of the witnesses further testimony here today and for their contribution to our common effort to pursue the types of efficiencies to put a cold layout transformations to put it a little bit more in life we, that the drug court mechanism can provide and to expand that mechanism that community courts and finding direct veterans back out of their criminal justice system
and an effective way. i really appreciate the testimony of everyone in the presence of so many people who have worked so hard on this issue in the room as well. so as i said earlier, the record at the hearing will stay open for an additional week. if anybody wishes to add to it, they just simply need to send in their materials. subject to that, the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> house homeland security committee chairman peter king says over 40 americans have been recruited by an islamic terrorism group to join fighting in somalia and about half of them were from minnesota. he held a third in a series of hearings on muslim radicalization in the u.s. witnesses include the police chief from st. paul, minnesota and a former u.s. assistant attorney for minnesota. it is two hours and 15 minutes.
>> the committee in homeland security will come to order. today's meeting will hear testimony on al-shabaab to recruit and the muslim community. the demonstrations from the audience, including the use of science, and t-shirts as well as berber outburst of violations of the rules of the house. the chair wishes to thank our guests for the cooperation in maintaining order and proper decorum. money also coming before you hear my opening statement, thank the ranking member for being able to accommodate the change in the timing of the hearing this morning. it was originally scheduled for 9:30. because of the republican conference going on with the debt so we push it back to 10:00 in the ranking member was kind enough to accept the change without requiring us to jump through any hoops or use any procedural moves.
i thank you for your cooperation. good morning. today we hold the third in a series of hearings on radicalization and the muslim american community. our focus is the result of a lengthy investigation the committee has been into the threat the u.s. homeland faces from al-shabaab, the somalia affiliates of osama bin laden's al qaeda in an work on a lackey of the arabian peninsula aqap. it has been briefed by agencies and interviewed dozens of experts on al shabab. i want to welcome our panel of witnesses, all for the mrs. had showed the most extensive problems by the committee's investigation and we are grateful they are sharing their knowledge today. you will hear of al-shabaab who bin laden called one of the most important enemies, to recruit
and radicalize dozens of muslim american g.i. these who pose a direct threat to the united states. some argue that al-shabaab is only a smaller problem will never strike a say the horn africa. that's what the 9/11 caused the a failure of imagination. what al-shabaab's cadre of american jihadis and it's alliance with aqap, we must face the reality that al-shabaab is a growing threat to our homeland. our investigation into this thread has led to some alarming findings. notably, al-shabaab has successfully recruited and radicalize more than 40 muslim americans and 20 canadians who joined the group inside somalia. of those, at least 15 americans in three canadians are believed to have been killed fighting with al-shabaab. al qaeda nor any of its affiliates have come close to drawing so many muslim americans and westerners to jihad.
free muslim americans became suicide bombers, such as shura auch medford minneapolis, the first confirmed american suicide bomber in our history. the rest of radicalize converts like al-shabaab commander khomeini who was baptized by obama and threatened at the u.s. three al-shabaab fighters have been arrested and one was colored in the netherlands. other radicalized muslims have been arrested in the u.s. and canada before they reach somalia, which is now much easier to go to jihad in afghanistan, iran -- excuse me afghanistan, iraq, pakistan or yemen. as many as two dozen muslim americans, al-shabaab were many cases were trained by al qaeda leaders remain unaccounted for. the committee has found that al-shabaab related federal prosecutions for funding, recruiting and attempting to join al-shabaab are the largest number in this african upper trend and homegrown terror cases
with the justice departments over the past two years. excuse me. at least 38 cases have been unsealed since 2009. minnesota, ohio, california, new jersey, new york, illinois, missouri, alabama, virginia and texas. al-shabaab workers inside somali committees like minneapolis and san diego according to the justice department. this month, a al-shabaab recruiter pleaded guilty to a large group of muslims in a nap to set off some without any known protests. a top al-shabaab leader in somalia supervise this recruiting. one minnesotan recruited a suicide honor shura auch med who sent a shockwave through u.s. homeland security agencies because of its implications. another would he bomber from minneapolis was shot and killed in mogadishu by peacekeeping troops on may 30, moments before
detonating the suicide vest. when one spoke out against al-shabaab inside the mosque, many of the john man had once worshiped, he was physically assaulted according to police. for those who are still skeptical that they were jihad sympathizers inside the community have asked for mentioning the committee learned of its assault on an audio tape of the incident of the jihad internet forums before the authorities in minneapolis avenue of the incidents. there's an enormous amount of travel between u.s. cities in these africa and most of the senior u.s. counterterrorism officials have not identified. or fallen into al-shabaab and would return to the u.s. did. they fear a al-shabaab fighter and law enforcement. zazi, and she thought the
abdulmutallab, christmas day bomber may attempt to attack here. it's deeply troubling that from the very beginning that muslim americans in somalia were trained a top al qaeda operatives, including several who were tied to him and al qaeda hq ap, which is now generally considered our biggest homeland threat. al-shabaab operative abdullah fahmi was charged this month for doing weapons deals and explosive trainings with aqap in yemen and provide material support, including personnel. the link to aqap and al-shabaab. al-shabaab is fun harbor top al qaeda leaders such as the masterminds of the 1998 u.s. embassy bombings in africa was down last month after a 13 year manhunt. al-shabaab aspirated in small you and support to aqap and sent fighters to battle the yemeni
government as well as client to battle flag of al qaeda in iraq. finally a al-shabaab and neighboring uganda one year ago targeted westerners, killed 74 people including one american. james, president of him as director of national intelligence said quote some official and that al-shabaab remains -- may expand its focus from fighting to control somalia to plotting to attack the u.s. homeland. that convinced me of the necessity to launch a careful examination of that thread. dozens of expert committees have interviewed what is real and that al-shabaab leaders hoped tax against america including retaliation for killing osama bin laden must be taken seriously. yesterday can the president's nominee to take over the national counterterrorism focused on al-shabaab and with a major threat they are to the world into our country. with a large group of muslim americans come a strong
operational partnership with al qaeda leaders in pakistan and yemen, al-shabaab now has more capability than other to strike the u.s. homeland. we look forward to hearing about the rising al-shabaab threat from our exceptional witnesses as well as the minority witness. finally, let me know for certain elements of the politically correct media, most egregiously the vacuous ideologue that "the new york times" are shamelessly attempting to exploit the aristocrat of norway past friday to cause me to refocus these hearings away from muslim american radicalization. if they even had a semblance of amnesty, the times and the others would know and admit there is no threat to our homeland director range to god man and the international terror apparatus of al qaeda and its affiliates such as al-shabaab and recruiting people in this country and its murder thousands of americans in the jihad attack. i make this clear to "the new york times" and their accolades
in the politically correct media. i will not back down from holding these hearings. i will continue to hold these hearings so long as the chairman of this committee. apart from strategic and moral reasons why these hearings are vital to our security, there is a liberating and empowering too many muslim americans who have been intimidated by leaders in their communities and are now unable to come forward. i also want all the friends, neighbors and constituents i lost on september 11. i will not back down. now you are to the distinguished ranking member from mississippi, mr. thompson. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i welcome our panel of witnesses to today's hearing. today the committee will hold a third hearing and a series of american muslim community. in previous eras, we have heard testimony about young americans have somali descent who left this country to join al-shabaab, a somali group that has been designated to foreign terrorist organizations by the department
of state. our discussion that al-shabaab and america must begin with the facts. reliable evidence indicate a small but concerning a number of young men have left america to join this group. the site could be seen to occur primarily between 2007 and 2009. al-shabaab that fewer than 3000 members. al-shabaab has never attacked the united states or u.s. interests abroad. there are other facts we must not ignore. somalia is currently in the grips of the worst humanitarian crisis in a generation. it don't himalayas backdrop of human suffering caused by natural disasters is a political instability caused by human folly. somalia has not had a stable government in 1991. it has long been ruled by family groups and clans.
unfortunately, al-shabaab is one ingredient in this toxic and tragic mix. while i acknowledge that intelligent communities seems -- sees the need to monitor a al-shabaab dvds, i also know that vigilance must be in direct portion to the probability of unlikelihood of the thread. al-shabaab does not appear to present any danger to this homeland. at the same time, we must wonder whether americans had joined al-shabaab would return to this country and commit acts of terrorism. i think that is a fair question that deserves a factual answer. a few people have been convicted in the u.s. for providing assistance to al-shabaab. many of the young men who were recruited a al-shabaab has been indicted. most remain fugitives in somalia. some have been killed.
but when they return from somalia, what will make them here? as members of this commit e-mail, we cannot discuss method in an open forum, but it is fair to say that most of these people will be identified and apprehended long before the touchdown on american soil. we must also wonder how we can stop young somali americans from joining al-shabaab. the democratic witness will give a boot on the ground gave on how we can promote inclusion of the new immigrant communities, decreased alienation and undermine radicalization. the threat is al-shabaab radicalizing young americans is a problem we can constructively address. mr. chairman, today marks the third time that this committee has taken up a ledge of links between terrorism and the american muslim community. before these hearings begin, i
request that their focus be broadened to include a look at the real and present threat of domestic back extremism, those requests have been rebuffed. her first hearings on this subject about praising the north america and the middle east. at that time, i cautioned to remember how our words reverberate in on this room. it bears repeating today. last week in norway, domestic terrorism, fueled by anti-islamic ideology waste a multi-phrased attack that included unnamed federal buildings and shooting children at point blank range at a summer camp for future national leaders. this extremists killed in its anti-islamic fervor. it's too early to say what the people of norway will take from this horrific national tragedy.
for me, this incident makes clean the missile terrorism cannot be neatly confined to any one religion, one people are one nation. let me repeat what i said before we began. this committee is to examine the threats from long rules environment. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield that. >> i think the ranking member and i remind the ranking member to use the chairman for four years and have the opportunity to hold any hearings he thought it a distinct threat to the united states. there is an organized threat against our country that cannot be recognized and we will conduct a hearing. the jewish muslim who hates christians has any reflection reflection on this committee were conducting here today. mr. chairman, before you ask
unanimous%. i allow the purpose of the question of the hearing. i asked my friend mr. green and ranking member thompson at the committee on a permanent basis between the ninth time that the congress that cabaniss consent has been requested. i note the vacancy in the minority side and while we the his interloping visit to the committee, does the ranking member have thoughts on the issue whether he will be permanent resident or green card or what is -- what his purposes as a member of this committee. >> well, he's an interested member of congress who, as you know, served dutifully as a member of this committee and the majority. and given the difference in the numbers, he had to leave. but nonetheless, his appearances before the committee clearly reflect his interest in the subject matter. >> i would advise the ranking member that there is a big fee
on your site and i can't give anyone more qualified to more distinguished to fill that vacancy than mr. green. if my recommendation means anything, i would recommend him. ask unanimous consent to ask mr. green to say today. i else questioning in the event. i believe who made this available to you a letter that the committee received from anti-defamation league. i would like to have that inserted into the record without objection suborder. thank you for your opening statement. other members of the committee reminded the statements they be considered for the record. we have a distinguished panel and i welcome our witnesses. i remind the witnesses that their full testimony will be submitted for the record and they ask you to attempt to summarize their statements in five minutes. our first witness, ahmed hussen is the cold shoulder on
committee and distinguish one of north america's most prominent and respected somalia in east africa security analyst. mr. subsite is the national president of the canadian molly congress. he is a graduate of york university, university of ottawa law school. he's involved in numerous civic activities including helping to set up a canadian somali jewish mentoring project. he is also assistant of the canadian police. we are privileged to have him here today as a witness. mr. hussen come you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman king, ranking member thompson and distinguished members of this committee. i want to begin by talking a little bit about the canadian somali community. ..
>> it is countries like the united states and canada that guarantee human rights and religious freedoms that we can actually practice our faith best in these sorts of environments. the civil rights of our community members must be protected, but obviously, it is also equally important to decimate these process where the communities emphasize the
defense and attachment to the countries of canada and the united states. the statistics associated with the canadian-somalia community are shocking. we have six times of median family income that the mainstream has and three times lower than what other visible minorities have in canada. due to this poser dislocation and a history of coming out of a brutal civil war, we have a lot of young males in our community to drop out of school and become vulnerable. they become easily vulnerable to people who feed them anti-western ideologies. they also become vulnerable to a narrative that basically makes them hate the very country that has sustained them, the very countries whose -- the very country that welcome their parents and provide a refuge to
their parents. we have tried in the canadian somalia congress to overcome that narrative by making sure that we give our youth access to jobs and professors and integrate them into the larger mainstream community. with opportunity, there's less door for radicals to come in and create vulnerability. in early 2001, canadian national security officials confirmed the disappearances of dozens of young canadian somalia males who traveled to somalia to fight with al shabaab, a group allied with al-qaeda and al-qaeda in the araib yab peninsula. three of our young people died in somalia fighting for this group. the recruiters turned attention to the recriewment of young -- recruitment of young women.
whether this is one decision to stay away from the law is one thing to be considered. the skill of canada's problem with radicalization in our community is comparable in numbers with what you're dealing with in america. also, the links between the recruiters, the radicalizing message, the fundraising, there's a lot of connections between the united states and canada. it's very disturbing to us as canadian citizens to see the children of those who fled the civil war in somalia to return to a country that they barely know and contribute further to its rise ri. the -- misery. the radicalization and recruitment of american-somalia between 2006 and 2009 mirrors the pattern of canadians from 2009 to the present time. it's the main truth for the transmission of messaging that
leads to radicalization, you still need people to chaperon the young people to east africa and provide lo gist ticks and other support. there is obviously a clear connection between the minneapolis american community in canada. most of it is positive, this trade, the social connections and so on, but there's an element that needs to be looked at. there's not been an attempt by our government to -- our governments have taken this issue and looked at it as law enforcement, but -- which is important, but there has not been a parallel attempt to counter the tokic anti-western narrative that creates a culture of victimhood in the minds of the community. it is only members of the community and members of the larger muslim community that can credibly confront and eradicate
this narrative from our communities' midst. the leaders of the effort in the community are those that emphasize integration and the adherence too and respect for canadian and american values and not those that promote separation extremism and victimology. the role we believe the canadian and american government should play is to promote -- support and encourage the leaders who are encouraging integration and commitment to the rule of law and to the institutions of canada and the united states and to shun and denounce those who are promoting extremism within our midst. i would like to close by saying these hearings are extremely important to us. they empower us and remove the stigma in our communities that prevents us from talking about these issues that are really important to our community. these hearings are very
empowering, and finally, al-shah bob and the messaging is not compatible and not in the interest of any community. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. hussen. next is a former united states attorney, a prosecutor on more than a dozen high profile terrorism cases originating in the minneapolis area and represented his office and the minneapolis joint terrorism task force. prior to being a federal prosecutor, mr. foaling served in the united states marine corp.. we scj his wife here in the audience today and, again, it was a pleasure meeting with her and you this morning, and i look forward to your testimony. >> good morning, chairman king, thank you ranking member thompson and members of the community. thank you for the opportunity to
testify this morning regarding al shabaab. i am well aware of the extraordinary threat posed to the united states security by terrorists and terrorist organizations. as a federal prosecutor, i was responsible for the prosecution of members of al-qaeda as well as al shabaab as well as domestic terrorists like an anarchists and others violates u.s. citizens of all stripes. these experiences have taught me that extremist views that fuel terrorists whether home grown or foreign, al shabaab, al-qaeda, or otherwise, require tremendous acts of violence. outside my work as an attorney, i also serve the as the chair of the board of a non-profit program educating new immigrants about the united states. we are all familiar with as
breeding grounds for terrorists and terrorist activities. these students i watched better themselves through their education so they may be contributing members of society remind me that the necessity for swift precise effective counterterrorist actions through the military, intelligence community, and our law enforcement community both within the united states and abroad must never be replaced by an attitude of guilt by association or belief one's origins or religious views make that person a likely terrorist. in light of that, it is appropriate, indeed it is important that this committee spend time learning about and educates the public about the threat posed to the united states by al shabaab. al shabaab was designated a foreign terrorism organization in february 2008. its activities included suicide bombings in somalia, suicide bombings in uganda, killing innocent people, the senseless violence acts that include
stoning innocent people in somalia, teg girls, cutting hands and feet off thieves in somalia. as we are well aware, the acting recruitment of u.s. citizens especially from my home of minneapolis to engage in its terrorist activities. they worked tirelessly to raise and rise from the chaos of somalia to become a terrorist group with an international profile. that rise is marked by the recruitment of numerous young men from minnesota. these young men in the beginning of their lives as adults whose future as americans was yet to be determined was stolen from them by the rhetoric of al sma bob. they established and has shown clear ties not only to an islamic fundamentalist rhetoric, but also to other terrorist organizations with which we are intimately familiar in the country to include al-qaeda.
al shabaab recruiting videos on the innocent future bin laden and in addition illustrate members of east africa at training camps alongside u.s. recruits. mr. chairman, the dangerousness and effectiveness of al shabaab's rhetoric is clear from minnesota's experience with organization. if you turn your attention to a seven-day period in 2008, you'll know everything you need to know about the effect of this organization. on october 29th, 2008. the first u.s. suicide bomber blowing himself up, killing innocent civilians and reeking further havoc on somalia. within one week of that in beginning of november 2008, an additional group of young men left for somalia.
that contrast of extraordinary violence tells this committee everything it needs to know about the danger of the threat and the effectiveness of the threat used to recruit young men. to fight the supporters, united states must engage in a multifaceted approach using all the united states' abilities including the military, the intelligence community, and the law enforcement community within the united states; hour, in addition to focusing our military, intelligence, and law enforcement efforts among countering the message preventing terrorist attacks, we must also ensure that the somalia community understands that the united states government's interest in that community is not limited to putting names on indictments. thank you for your time this morning. i appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. folk.
tom joscelyn is a senior fellow and foundation of defense of democracies. as a result of his extensive research and writings, he's distinguished himself as a leading terrorism expert focusing on al-qaeda and other organizations operating around the world, and senior editor of the long war journal. we welcome you back. you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i thank congressman king and chairman king and thompson for having me here today. we have been following shabaab since 2006 and 2007 fairly closely. there's two observations i want to share with you today. the first is to our mind shabaab is a threat to the interests abroad and the homeland. most of shabaab's terrorism is focused on muslims in somalia
and internationally. the first point -- the threat to the u.s. homeland. i want to point the committee to what happened previously with al-qaeda in the peninsula. prior to december 25th, 2009 against 553, many believes akap was a threat homeland. characters and analysts, cia -- that's proven to be fatal flaw. we witnessed they sought to fire direct attacks against the homeland. we don't know when they do the same, but the potential is there when you add up all the dots. i want to add points on the ties 20 al-qaeda. in 2008, here is what a prominent leader in shabaab said about his ties to al-qaeda and
the relationship between shabaab and al-qaeda. al-qaeda is the mother of the born holy. we get tactics and guidelines from them. many spent time with bin laden. that was done in an interview with the l.a. times, and they went on to say for the first time they spoke about the possibility of attacking americans saying journalists and aid workers were not immune from attacks because the animosity towards the united states. going through the testimony in the written form, i provided a number of leaders that serve as both shabaab and al-qaeda ex, and there's 13 i believe. they spoke about the ideology or have direct links. several were responsible for the embassy bombings in kenya and tanzania. they were targeted clearly at u.s. embassies. they killed more muslims than americans or anybody else. i would say to my second point
inside the clan of the inner warfare, but it's an ideological bat egg aerosought and enemies throughout somalia. they found any muslims not willing to work with them and killed them. they set about trying 20 terrorize muslims, any leaders they could inside somalia. looking at the 30 suicide bombings i could count, most of the victims were, in fact, muslims. three of the bombings, unfortunately, involved recruits from minneapolis. many of the recruits were trained by senior al-qaeda operative we know by what the doj reported last week that the same operatives targeted u.s. interests. it's easy to connect the dots
here between senior al-qaeda leaders, animosity for the u.s., desire to kill us, target american interests, and what's happening with the shabaab recruits in the west. i would say finally the other point here is that i do not believe -- i don't think there's evidence that most somalia americans support shabaab by a long shot. they have been victimized by shabaab in a lot of ways. families who lost sons to shabaab, i read reports where families basically started with holding passports from the sons so they couldn't travel abroad. the travel agency that originally sent recruits abroad stopped and tried to make sure they could stop doing this. there's pushback throughout the community and also from the somalia canadian community. shabaab is not only a threat to the u.s., interests abroad and in the homeland, but the muslims around the globe. >> thank you, mr. joscelyn. our next witness is the chief of
the st. paul police department, a chief since 2010. demaurice smith -- tom smith was police chief, graduated from the academy and ferves on the fbi security counsel. thank you forking being here today to share your insights with us. we look forward to your testimony, and chief smith, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. chairman king, ranking member thompson, we thank you for the opportunity to testify on the topic. i will speak to current efforts in st. paul to recruit and radicalize the young members of our community. i will highlight the st. paul police didn't's efforts to combat the disturbing trend and speak specifically to the cooperative outreach efforts including the program we call aim cop, african immigrant community muslim program up
funded by justice assistance grants. this conversation is especially important for st. paul as we have a significant somalia-american population. this community is engaged and has a keen interest in complex understanding of local, national, and world events. i found the majority of the men and women call twin cities home and are proud americans, some among the community have become targets for radicalization. it is well-published between 2007 and 2009 shabaab lured approximately 20 young muslim men, many who are somalia-american from the miches-st. paul area to fight in a war. this phenomena was now and represented a challenge that the st. paul police department had not had in the past. the idea, though, that young adults could be enticed into something this destructive was not. this news was troubling and disturbing and the trend had political and security implication that extended far beyond st. paul, the department
made an effort to counter the threat. they are battling a new one, the rad cammization of the somalia-american youth. we believe we can play a role in stopping the threat and the positive message to the youth through strong families, organizations, and constructive religious messages could be just as powerful as destructive messages are delivered by al shabaab. they engaged in serious outreach work with the somalia-american residents. we did not know it at the time, this initial work proved to be the foundation for more urgent work with broader everyone cations involving into aim cop, the african-american outreach program. the st. paul police department applied for a assistance grant to fund aim cop and sought to
capitalize on existing efforts with the community and cited a specific needs, the need to prevent radicalization of the youth by al shabaab. it sighted other strategies with ongoing outreach with the somalia-american community and work with the partners like the fbi, minneapolis field office, the united states attorney's office for the district of minnesota, the ramsey county service office and other service providers including the ywca, the project, and the muslim-american society. we were awarded the grant in 2009, and aim-cop was launched. the scale and scope and related programs have seen significant growth. the department meetings with the somalia advisory counsel, a counsel, by the way, that i hoped to -- helped to establish with other members of the st. paul police department and mayor coleman back in 2006. a counsel to talk to chief of
police and others within the department and others within the local government to talk concerns within the community. we have 45 officers of all ranks that are now involved in our programs. these officers asked to be a part of this pore mall outreach work. after their acceptance into the program, the officers received training specific to the work, mission, and philosophy bhiebd it. officers lead, coordinate, and directly participate in a an array of activities with the youth incoming after school study programs, open gyms, art and crafts programs, and even camping tripping. the league has over 300 somalia-american youth participants who compete in soccer, flag softball and other games refereed by police officers. by creating safe, diverse, and ongoing opportunityings for somalia-american youth and the place to interact that trust, cooperation, friendship, and mentorship increases and opportunities for al-shah bob to recruit and radicalize our
youths decreases. we faced challenges in moving forward with the work. among those 1 the fact that somalia women and girls were noticeably underrepresented in many of the initial programs. we now directly target somalia-american females and mothers with outreach efforts include a number of programs led exclusively by women police officers. aim-come enjoyed an increase in female participation and benefited from this dialogue. we expanded understanding of the somalia-american residents, background and religion with training 20 our officers. in this, we have a better understanding that to effectively prevent and combat the threat of radicalization, we have to think beyond the traditional law enforcement notions and strategies. i have no doubt that the related programs helped us counter the threat posed. we have built strong relationships with the clearly once ice lated and work together to address challenges and solve problems. youth that may be tempted by an
ideology of radicalization can look to an expanded network of trust including police officers, mentors to provide support, resources and guidance to sere them in a positive direction. there's new examples every day where youth invite in the police officer mentors about the family, school, and own personal problems and issues. they also speak candidly about their concerns for friends or family who may be on a troubled path or among those missing suspected to go overseas 20 fight. this work also played a significant role in some very important criminal investigations, and 2009 while participating in a mentor program at a local high school, i was approached by a worker and mother of 14-year-old somalia youth. the mother was concerned her child was becoming radicalized. this was turned over to the fbi joint terrorism task force and resulted in a significant investigation. also in 2009, the st. paul police department through established personal
relationships was informed by parents that girls in their community were sexually trafficked not only in st. paul and minneapolis, but tennessee and other states. this information passed in large part because of an existing climate of cooperation and trust was a genesis for a significant and large scale investigation that ultimately resulted in 30 federal indictments in minnesota and tennessee, and at least one indicted was turned over to the fbi for other concerns. i don't know when you read what happened to the young girls, but i did. horrific, horrific what happened to them. we were able to get them resources, get them back with their families. this was a significant investigation that would have never happened or furthered the investigation without a community of trust. united states attorney's office for the middle district of tennessee continues to work on this case today. the majority of those indicted are from the twin cities and all involved in gangs. beyond indictments, this investigation led to the safe return as i noted of many
somalia american girls to the family, youngest of which was only 14 years of age. somalia elders were briefed repeatedly during the course of investigation and asked to provide information in the future should this activity begin again. through this and other examples, i sit before you today and confidently attest not only to the success of aim-cop and the related programs, but also to the great future potential that this type of work holds. aim cop captured attention from international agencies working on similar radicalization issues. the british embassy invited members including myself from the st. paul police department to the united kingdom and conducted site visits in our city as well. we were visited by united states ambassador to denmark who spoke about ongoing efforts and similarities between the twin cities and denmark. discussions continue and attempts 20 identify methods both models to improve outcomes. our department continues to evolve the program to address the specific needs of the
residents and counterthe unique threat posed. i foresee a future where more sophisticated programming by enhanced partnerships with additional agencies and organizations continue to build upon the trust we've gained with st. paul somalia residents. the continuation of the work is part of the larger effort to counter terrorism and reduce crime. as i conclude, i want to share a few thoughts. i am sometimes asked if i believe our community can benefit from the somalia advisory counsel or the police athletic leagues. these efforts are different than the traditional notions of police work. to answer the questions, i asked they imagine for a moment that the police officer called to a housing complex to deal with youth problem happens to be the same young people's football coach or math tutor or leader at the camping trip. i ask them to imagine among those same youth are the sons or daughters of the elders who visit my office or i visit their
places where they reside. you don't have to imagine connections because in st. paul they really exist. these connections run throughout and they represent the very foundation of our outreach work, and in my experience, these connections pay great dividends. i expect the officers to perform their duties in line with three core principles. number one -- keep the piece. in this we don't police to the community, but commit to policing with it as we implement. >> try to wrap it pup >> yes, sir. promote public safety. we commit to the development of strong partnerships with all the communities we serve, enforce the law. i have come to believe, however, that when we do the first thing things well, we have to do less of the third. all of these involve our aim-cop program, and i can tell you that our initial work with the st. paul elders in 2004 through 2006 really helped us establish this community of trust that we have with our residents in the st. paul community. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony
and your service. i'll begin the round of questions. mr. hussen, let me begin with you, please. as you probably know, these hearings have been racist, big bigoted, pick your terminalty. you said these hearings empower your community? >> yes. >> you also said the narrative has to be changed, that those somalia-american community to show this should not be anti-western but work with the governments of canada and the united states. i would ask you, first of all to the extent the hearings helped out, but even more importantly, do you find leadership in your community agrees with you? tell us what the level of leadership is how they react to what you say about the narrative of being prowestern? >> the question is an important one. initially there's some
reluctance because they thought there was a dichotomy between islamic values and democratic values, and the me we explained that there's no distinction the two because our religion is not incompatible with american or canadian values. our religion is compatible, islam is compatible with the respect for human rights and democracy and the rule of law and respect for minorities, and when you explain it that way, when you come at it -- when you come at the values that canada and the united states have from the perspective of islamic values, and it's easier for the community members and leaders to accept, and over the years, there's been really great movement towards that acceptance of that message; however -- >> what is your relationship with care in canada? >> well, we don't have a relationship with care in canada because care has -- care comes
at it from a different perspective. >> your narrative? >> no, they don't. >> if i could ask mr. folk, how do you rate the severity of a possible attack upon our homeland because of theling up between al-shah bob and aqap? >> excellent question. i think that the focus of the potential that al-shabaab carries is viewed through the lens al-qaeda accomplished in the passed, and what if any, are between the two. if we compare them side by side, you find the same message set forth by al-shabaab as we heard previously from al-qaeda which is against the united states which is justifying violent acts against innocence and to the extent that al-shabaab adopted an al-qaeda training module and
echoes the same ideology, i think the potential that they carry is similar to what we've seen from al-qaeda. >> we've heard various estimates of three-four dozens in the united states, more in canada. if we know whose gone over, what's the threat of them coming back? >> any time an individual travels to a country that essentially lacks any functioning government like somalia, our ability to track that individual is going to be severely degraded, and certainly a country such as somalia which has a transitional federal government responsible for number of a blocks, but no authority beyond that is a nation in which essentially you have a black box. that is once somebody goes in, we may or may not have any ability to track them going forward. as a result, while i like to believe we can track anybody coming out of somalia that has been in the united states engaged in extremist behavior, the reality is last december in the best case scenario when
somebody's own family member reports them to be a threat to the united states, we sometimes miss them, and so i think that the potential is incredibly scarry in that regard. >> mr. johnson, you care to comment about the potential threat of al-shabaab ling with aqap? >> aqap and the presence of al-shabaab itself is a threat. there's two ways 20 look at it, whether or not there's -- there's the press article from may talking about the evidence that's been reviewed from bin laden's compound in which officials says bin laden was giving direction to al-qaeda affiliates in somalia. i think the -- it's clear that strategic direction involved hitting targets outside somalia and going after u.s. interests, but even without that direction, there's senior al-qaeda members who have been staffed at the most senior levels of shabaab and they themselves have
previously been involved in hitting u.s. interests. there's four on the list of 13 in my testimony previously hitting u.s. embassies since 1998. that was back in 1998 showing they went after united states interests. i look at that from a two-fold perspective. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. chief smith, in your twenty years as a professional law enforcement officer and now the chief of st. paul, do you see community engagement with the immigrant community as an integral part in assessing any potential threat to your city or this country from a terrorism stand point? >> ranking member thompson, committee members, of course as chief of police, number one i understand the importance of working with all of our
immigrant communities in st. paul. to give you a little fabric for the committee here, we have the largest population of any in the states. they have been part of the city for 30 years and work closely with the community. we have the largest corin and a group from beer ma -- berma. we work closely with them. the culture of trust you spoke about in developing relationships have shown many positive and examples where people have come forward to entrust us with information that we can share with our federal partners to make sure number one the city is safe and the country is safe as well, so, yes, we work with all our diverse immigrant communities. i hope i answered your question correctly, but it is important to have those communities of trust in place, and local law enforcement, as you noted earlier, sir, are boots on the ground. we are the first line of
defense, and we have to work with the communities that we serve. thank you. >> thank you. one of the things congress historically done is invest with local law enforcement agencies so that they can expand the notion of community engagement. have those funds congress made available to your police department been helpful in you carrying out those duties and responsibilities? >> ranking member thompson, committee members, yes, absolutely. the example i gave with the aim cop grant highlights that, our efforts, especially, again, to stop young men and young women today from becoming radicalized through partnerships and having extra funds to do things that we would not be able to do on a day-to-day basis. it doesn't mean we didn't start outreach work. we started in 2004, but the funds are critical for the programs 245 we're working -- that we're working currently in
the city and helped us to expand our efforts with many positive results. >> thank you. mr. hussen, are you aware of any community engagement programs that the canadian government is involved in? >> yes. they have been very proactive in terms of community outreach, and that has really led to better detection on arrests of individuals that were planning to go to somalia to fight for al-shabaab. the latest cases that resulted in successful detection and arrests came from community sources, however -- >> now -- >> sorry. >> so canadian government officials provide the money for community engagement programs? >> correct. >> in your testimony is that they work? >> well, my testimony is that
then looking at the second part of the equation which is providing outreach that tackles the narrative that leads to radicalization. they are looking at detention of arrest which is up adequate as far as i'm concerned. >> you say the canadian government is failing 1234 >> no, i'm saying they're partially successful, but the narrative needs to be tackled head on, and to do that, you need to empower those in the community that are willing to offer an alternative and reenforce the communities and we're not seeing that in canada and that's why this hearing is very important. >> your testimony is that the canadian government is not doing what you think they should be doing on this issue? >> well, they are doing -- partially doing the right thing on detection of arrests but they
are not empowering the community that leads to the radicalization. >> so you're critical of the government? >> i'm constructively critical of my government. >> thank you. [laughter] >> gentleman from california, former attorney general of california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and i want to thank the ranking member for indicating how important the issue of lone wolf is. we worked on years of the judiciary committee to both put into the patriot act and to extend the patriot act to lone wolf, and there's been a date on that and some say we don't have a lone wolf situation here in the united states, so i appreciate the ranking member pointing out how important that issue is to us. mr. hussen and chief smith, i want to direct the question to both of you, and that is when i was privileged to serve as
attorney general in california, there was task forces on youth violence and on gaping #* gangs, and one of the things i concluded from the work we did on that was that different gangs, different youth problems required different approaches. we found with the traditional gangs oftentimes it was the absence of a father figure or male figure in the lives of the young men, and the gangs that provided that alternative setting. with southeast asia gangs, recent immigrants, it was not the lack of a father figure in the family. it was a lack of communication that oftentimes newly arrived immigrants. parents couldn't speak english and the students found a culture disconnect with their parents they used as an opportunity to sort of avoid the presential influence and the gangs sort of rose as they came together.
what i would like to know with respect to the somalia community, do you find any particular distinct characteristic that al-shabaab or others who seek to radicalize them use lies as their entry into that youth experience and that youth mentality? is there something that you find is different than dealing with other types of gang settings even though i think this is obviously different than regular-type gang settings, but i wonder from your own experience what you've found. >> well, what i have found is the entry point becomes lack of integration. the radicals will say, well, you went to university, you played by the rules, stayed out of trouble, but, look, they will not give you a job. you don't even get an interview,
you'll never get accepted in canada. the entry point becomes that economic and social economic marginalization according to the radicals. they say this is yet more proof that you can play by the rules all you want, but you never get accepted in these societies. >> chief smith? >> thank you for that question, sir, and i agree with you 100%. in st. paul with the intervention and prevention techniques, with different groups, you have to do different things to address the actual issue. this is -- it's a big question because when you talk about somalia youth or young men, i think that this committee is well aware that you've seen examples of individuals recruited by al-shabaab that are highly educated and others who are disenfranchised. i can't give a specific answer to the question. it would only be conjecture and
opinion because we have -- the one thing that i will say in st. paul, and the reason we do the outreach work that we do is you have to talk about these issues. you have to meet with these young people, and you have to talk about what they're feeling, and you'd be amazed what they tell us. you'd be amazed how open they are about this issue, and that's the best way for me to answer that question. i apologize. >> no, no, fine. one of the things i ask is there any doubt in your mind that somalia youth are targets of radicalization by some including al-shabaab? >> well, i can't tell yo that they're not. obviously, there are some ?ol ya youth that are targets for radicalization as there are young and men women recruited into gang activity. is it a specific piece right in my city? no, it's not. we treat the city and the specific problems are all unique, and i have different strategies for both form, and i hope that answers your question,
sir. >> mr. folk, some might say we're exaggerating the threat here, that even though we've talked about the numbers of americans or canadian young people who joined al-shabaab or been, quote-on-quote, out of the country, it's a relatively few, and therefore, we're hyping it or over,age rating it. what do you say to that? >> thank you, congressman. my answer is two-fold. one, if you look at the numbers, the numbers of indictments and numbers of individuals who charged and pled guilty to criminal offenses involving directly the provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organization or crimes affiliates by providing information to a foreign terrorist organization, those numbers of indictments i believe exceed a comparable number of
indictments in terms of support to other terrorist organizations. al-shabaab visibly recruited men from the united states, and the high number of indictments were seen reflect a real threat. secondly, i don't believe it's appropriate to say that simply because there's a certain number of indictments or other people who left the united states that that number indicates a small or large threat. the reality, congressman, is that only a very small number of somalias who joined al-shabaab, only a small number of somalias left and joined the number, but even that small number compared to the large population is too many. >> gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, gentleman for being before the committee today. after the first hearing in this
series of investigating muslims, reed tom joans says i hope it doesn't impact the good things happening here in minnesota with our somalia community. do you think, chief, that the chairman's decision there's not been sufficient cooperation from mosque leaders helps you when trying to reach out in minnesota to the somalia community? >> i don't feel that that's been a problem for us specifically in st. paul. one sample if i may, ma'am. in st. paul back in june of this year, there was a somalia youth summit. we invited people throughout the twin city area to come to the summit, learn about different top ticks. there were speakers from washington, d.c. here, department of homeland security, fbi, fac, u.s. attorney bed to
jones you mentioned, and e maums who brought people from their mosque to come to the youth summit. in th is the second one we held. you would be surprised how many people come, were very engaged, so i don't see a problem with that specifically in st. paul. again, there are differences between our two cities even though we're one footstep away on a highway and a street. >> it's my understanding that your police officers even have bought soccer shirts and worked with the youth in your communities, the somalia youth in particular to ensure that you have a better relationship with that community; is that not correct? >> that is absolutely correct, ma'am. >> and, you know, there's a lot of cuts going on here in washington, d.c., some of them deserved, and i think some of them, you know, cut off today
for what is important for tomorrow. we, just this past year, had a vote on the cops program, for example where those community policing grants that we give to our local law enforcement, at least in my area. i represent santa anna, california for example, a very large police for, and we kept 13 police officers in the beat in the community oriented situation. unfortunately, the last time we had a vote on cops, it barely passed here in the house of representatives, and i think there's a movement to cut everything, 10 i'd like to get your indication. have you used community policing in order to reach out to that community, in order to know what's going on, or specifically, are you using some other method -- that's my first question. second question is have others
in police and law enforcement around the nation contacted you for best practices of how to deal with what seems to be a community that, in fact, you want to make sure stays true to the american values. >> well, let me answer the last question first, and, yes, we've had many chiefs of police that have contacted either myself or my staff to talk about the work we're doing in st. paul, specifically with the somalia community. the next question about the cops program. cop's critical to any chief of police. i'll say it like it is. it helps us to hire officers in very fiscally constrained times with our state and local governments. 2 allows us to do -- it allows us to do programs like am cop and that's why i'm here today to testify about that program. how important it is, we started to work with community policing
as i told you in 2004 and we can address not only the mayor, but chiefs of police and others, and that where we came to. we saw a problem, knew there was a problem, and the one primary thing our somalia elders agreed upon passed all clan issues. that's the work we tried to do in st. paul is the youth, is our young people. they want them to be successful. they want them to be productive members of society, so i hope that answers your question, ma'am. >> our chairman also eluded to the problems with the care organization. i note that with respect to the somalia men in minneapolis that in a press conference, that community said that they had been told of their constitutional rights, and the need to get attorneys. that has been frowned upon by some on this committee. do you think that's consistent with other arrests or other
questioning or anything that something might want to talk to their lawyer before they sit down with law enforcement or fbi to talk about something in particular if they -- even if they are not one of the suspects in something? >> so just to be clear, ma'am, the question is should somalia or any other individual have the opportunity to have right -- >> for a lawyer and to understand their constitutional rights here in america? >> depending on the situation, absolutely. i think those are the pillars of american society. >> thank you, chief. i appreciate your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> recognize the gentleman from minnesota for five minutes. yield to me for ten seconds if you would. >> toy yield, sir. >> i'd like to make three quick points. one, the recent case of the indictment and the plea of guilty in minnesota. the individual mohamed charged with recruiting in the mosquings in minneapolis.
that's number one. number two, as far as care in canada, mr. hussen acknowledged that they should be cooperating and sharing western values, and also pointed out specifically that these hearings empowered people in the muslim community to come forward. i yield back. >> i reclaim my time, thank you, sir. chief smith, thank you very much for aim cop. you're doing an exceptional job down there, and i'm proud to have that as a minnesota initiative. thank you very much. as a fellow minnesota, i appreciate the work and effects you're doing in your department, not only protecting us, but protecting the muslim youth of our great city, and so thank you for that as well. one of the things i want to ask you is has the st. paul police department run into opposition from aim cop program, from any agencies that you know of? >> none whatsoever, sir. >> that's excellent, good to
hear. so no one's ever tried to halt you going into mosques or anything of that nature? >> no. >> excellent. okay. that's great to hear, and that's good for us to know that these programs are working, and they are moving forward and protecting our muslim youth. has there been -- you claimed in your testimony there's been a lot of good feedback from aim cop, and have you engaged -- gauged any effectiveness, any benchmarks that you've had from where you your a couple years ago to where you are today? >> sure. chairman, yes, sir, our benchmarks, and i won't get into all the specifics, just more general facts here, but such as how many somalia youth that we've signed up, we had target benchmark numbers, and we far exceeded our efforts. one of the key components that we work with and i have my
assistant chief here with me today is the outreach work with somalia young women and mothers. i can't tell this committee how ponder that work is. it's amazing what in small groups individuals will talk about with us, but that starts with that truth level, to we have benchmarks there. we can tell you how many people that are part of this program. we deal with a whole gamet. again, not getting into specifics whether it's domestic violence, learning cultural norms for local law enforcement here, but that trust may be the piece of the puzzle that gives us information later to stop something bad from happening or stop some young man or young woman from becoming radicalized. >> you said something pretty significant in your testimony that just kind of -- i'm a retired navy captain, been around several countries, and 95% of us just want a safe place to lay our heads at night and a great place to raise our
children. i appreciate that. you stated the cutting of individuals in the united states to provide financial support for al-shabaab is crucial to diminish shabaab's ability to carry out the operations. you referred to individuals in the united states that have hawala, the money transfer system to transfer to al-shabaab activities. can you talk about this and the specific focus on the minnesota base for funding al-shabaab? >> yes, i can. i think the clearest is coming 234 an indictment returned within the last year out of minneapolis regarding two women from rochester, minnesota, providing material to al-shabaab and the method by which they provided that material support was through money transfers, u.ly through hawalas to
somalia. it's important to note that hawalas are a regit mat structure to transfer money, but what that case reveals is without taking care to note who is sending money and without ensuring that there are some abilities out there to track that, we may be missing opportunities to prevent terrorist organizations to receive the money they need to carry out operations. >> okay. thank you very much. in the recent mohamed case, he and other coconspirators sought to radicalize youth in mosques. we heard and read about the mips-based islamic center in connection with the radicalization of minnesota youth. any other mosques you know of actively recruiting at this time in the minneapolis area? >> no, and i think to be clear
the individuals that were responsible for recruiting members of al-shabaab from the minnesota community ill were doing so as individuals, and represented not necessarily any particular mosque as an entity, but represented al-shabaab and the ideology of that organization. >> that's good to know. thank you very much, i appreciate. i yield back, sir. >> i thank the gentleman. the gentlelady from texas is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. i have no call with this committee getting information and making sure that that information is unit tillized in the right way. mr. chairman, i'd like to submit into the record a letter that i believe has been given to your office, and that is a request to ask for this committee to hold a hearing, and i know that you've been at the forefront of asking for an investigation, but a hearing on the rupertmerdoch case of
hacking victims of 9/11. i ask for a hearing for that. >> i accept it into the record. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'll add to that that i'd like to have a hearing on right wing extremist ideologs who advocate violence and advocate in essence the terrorizing the certain groups. let me add into the record if i could quickly, an fbi, looks like an fbi statement here, members and associates of white supremist groups charged with making grenades and selling guns. i ask unanimous consent to insert this into the record. >> without objection. >> members of the illinois white supremist group plan to assassinate a lawyer who battled hate groups. i ask to put this into record.
>> without objection. >> i have close to, i think, 38 pages of -- 39 pages, excuse me, of the list of active u.s. hate groups as of 2000. i'd like to put this into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you very much. i think it's important for a committee that has the responsibilities of homeland security to be addressing these issues in a fair and accurate manner. mr. chairman, i would propose that if we are going to take the information that's been given by these witnesses and use them in a way that we can be constructive, then the next step should be a briefing for this committee by the fbi, the cia, the jttf which deals with state and local terrorism issues, and the nctc. my concerns with the focus of the hearings that we've had is that the isolation of certain
groups. mr. hussen, you are coming from canada. do you understand my line of reasoning that we must look broadly at those who may be in the target of potential terrorist or terrorist activities of being radicalized? do you think that's important. >> it's important to look at any threat, sure. >> and you indicated that your government was doing outreach, but it didn't do the next step. what is that? >> tackling head on the narrative that leads to radicalization. >> you're using the ser rei ball academic. what are you talking about? >> the narrative that turns a young person born in canada to hate the very society -- >> find out what draws them to that? >> no, we know what the narrative is, but there needs ton a counternarrative that emphasizes the importance of freedom of religion, rule of law -- >> great, excellent, so
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