tv House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on Counterterrorism CSPAN November 14, 2018 9:00pm-10:03pm EST
c-span, where history unfolds daily. created.c-span was today, we continue to bring you coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> nathan sales testified at a house board and subcommittee hearing about national policy on terrorism and his role coordinating efforts.
>> subject to the length and limitation in the rules. time to makee my an opening statement and then i will turn it over to the ranking member. before i go into the details of this hearing, i want to publicly comment on it the good work and relationship the share has had with the ranking member. prosecutors former and he brings a good town this committee. i want to thank him for the easy
way we have been able to work together while i have been chair. we get along quite well. subcommittee of especially, and the foreign affairs committee, do an excellent job of bipartisan work. you never hear about it, because we aren't fussing and fighting, and so i want to thank him in they for his role last several years on the subcommittee. i don't know what the future holds, but you may be chair of this committee or another, come january 2. thank you very much for the bipartisanship and the relationship we have had. in the last four years, we have seen the ability of terrorist
groups, many of which we thought to go and attract thousands in recruits. qaeda, iran, their affiliates of proxies are active in waiting for in the shadows for opportunity to strike again. although we have made much progress against these terrorist battlefields, the gains are fractal. lastly, a report was made by isis fighters that a were regrouping. have runhe terrorists out of the middle east and have fled to africa, and are causing mischief there. we must not become complacent, we must continue to be vigilant. until those who motivate violent extremism are cast into the dustbin of history.
we applaud the new white house strategy for counterterrorism. a clearly recognizes the broad and diverse challenges we face from terrorism, including iran's growing network of terrorist proxies and the ability of terrorists to exploit cyberspace . the strategy prioritizes for counterterrorism and fundraising, things i have long made clear that that is why they use the internet. many times, they use our own platforms to radicalize, recruit, and funders. -- fund raise. introduced into the state a bill last congress and i'm glad to see white house is taking this seriously.
the strategy also makes it clear that this is not america's of her alone. international partners play an important role and we can empower them. after all, we are all in this together. that is really state department counterterrorism bureau comes in , created and 72. the bureau forges partnerships with foreign governments, multilateral organizations, and ngos to coordinate advanced counterterrorism objectives that enhance global security. mission, it has several court responsibilities, ,ncluding coordinating strategy conducting counterterrorism and diplomacy, building capacity to just terrorist threats. given the enduring threat from terrorism we face, it is crucial
that the bureau does its job effectively and efficiently. it is our job to make sure the american taxpayers are getting their money's worth. when we're talking about millions going towards programs abroad, people in my district our right to demand how it contributes to her personal security. all the more important given that the bureau has significantly had funding cuts over recent years. with limited resources, everybody must be spent wisely. for example, the inspector general filed a report said much of the anti-terrorism assistance we had given to pakistan was not being used, including dozens of courses that implemented. i'm pleased to hear that the bureau has since a repurposed many of those resources to other programs.
effective monitoring programs are crucial in spotting what is not working and making changes that they'll. -- that do. for instance, we need assurance that the programming to prevent radicalization actually works. if so, has the bureau developed any mechanisms to prove these .rograms are working as you know, i am eager to see our government go a step further terroristdesignating activity. if we mean business, we must go after iran's proxies. iran is playing us because they use terrorist proxies.
i do applaud the treasury's designation. now, the state department must are,w suit for what they foreign terrorist organizations the very least, the affiliation should be enough to meet the criteria to designate them. we look forward to your testimony. thank you, chairman. i just want to thank you for your work. a republican from texas joins a democrat from massachusetts. >> pretty bipartisan, isn't it? >> but in a good way.
of these things might have been lost in the news because we work together so smoothly, it has not been long internationally. work together our trying to bring support to countries in georgia, work together. working on the tariff issue. strongly,was noticed particularly by the union countries. as well as keeping saudi arabia's feeds the fire on the issues and promises. we have worked together on those and many other issues together. we're just decided to go another way, that's just the way it is. i thank you for holding this hearing.
we returned to discuss the bureau's budget. look forward to your testimony today, now that you are a full year into your duties. terrorism is not solely andfunction of the military it's not long-term strategy for how it can be worked successfully. the capacity building for law enforcement and improving government and rule of law to address systematic agreed is critical. -- systematic communities is critical. -- therefore confirmed concerned by the state department's request for less funding and for antiterrorism programs. you can expectw any gains made by the military to last.
there arere, increased concerns over cyber attacks. we are still working tirelessly to make a significant dent in soiliar terrorist threats, requests for less funding to meet these demands gives me pause. i'm also saddened as threats for terrorism are actually getting whereas, athanistan the expense of tens of thousands of lives lost and millions impacted. producing the perfect stage for extremism to take root. neither country receives the attention or strategies, nor do any of the regions were isis fighters have traveled to or
where their caliphate have emerged. our government has struggled for a long time trying to get counterterrorism right. , americansare right are victims of foreign terrorists and domestic terrorists, and we learn more and more of how many ways we can try to tackle this problem. there is no easy answer, but there are themes, and i look forward to discussing what you're bureau is doing along these lines. for example, what you're bureau is doing to coordinate with other state department's, usaid and defense department entities to minimize fragility and instability in places where radicalism efforts may more easily take hold. these, and many other issues, we hope to cover today. i look forward to discussing with you whether and how these and areshape
sufficiently resourced and coordinated as part of the administration's whole of government approach. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, gentlemen. the chair will recognize the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you, and i want to echo the remarks of my colleague. i have appreciated working with you and wish you well. you will be missed here greatly, but thank you for all that you have done. ambassador sales, thank you for joining us. i have reviewed your testimony and remarks. terrorist threats are increasing around the world in geography and complexity and intensity. and yet, the request and the administration appears to be or reducing investment in fighting against those threats, i'm very concerned about that. i appreciate your remarks yesterday about iran, the number
one state sponsor of terrorism. they are a threat not just around the world, but in the region, their support for developing indigenous manual -- missile manufacturing is of great concern. request that we continue to stay focused and i look forward to hearing your remarks. >> thanks, gentlemen. ambassador nathan sales is the coordinator for counterterrorism at the state department. the ambassador was previously a , androfessor at syracuse before that, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the department of homeland security. ambassador, we have your written testimony. you could live in your testimony to five minutes, then we will ask you questions. you are recognized. thank you, chairman and ranking members for hosting this
hearing today. let me just say, mr. chairman, we will miss you. have the state department's words of well wishes as we move on. your service over the years, particularly on the problem of terrorism. keening, itmember is a pleasure to see you again. thank you for the opportunity to be here, to talk to about the work of the state department's counterterrorism bureau and our ongoing efforts to protect the american people and our interest the threat of terrorism. would like to start by highlighting a few key points in the administration's counterterrorism strategy which we released on october 4. this is the fourth strategy the u.s. government has released since 9/11, the first one since 2011. fluid andtoday's
complex terrorist landscape and lays out the administration's plan for defeating terrorist adversaries. the strategy sets forward the comprehensive government approach that relies not just on military tools but on civilian tools as well. we are not focusing on one or two groups, but the spectrum of organizations. are not focusing on particular geographic regions, instead, as strategy sets out foundational principles and priorities we will pursue globally. the strategy pursues our commitments towards defeating organizations like al qaeda and isis. is no secretit that iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of state terrorism. tehran spends billions a year to support its terrorist proxies, $1 billion. the regime has a truly global reach and we must elevate our efforts to counter its to shift
of influence. our strategy is an america first strategy, but that does not mean america alone, quite the contrary. terrorism is a global threat and all nations have a role to play. as strategy specifically highlights the need to leveraging existing partnerships and to develop new ones and to develop new capabilities. our goal is for our partners to be able to confront the threats toy face without needing return for assistance. let me run through our most important efforts. first, countering iran is a top priority for this direct administration. where using all of our tools to counter these threats. we are pressing for greater international action in develop -- in delivering this message. also helping our partners develop the capabilities they need to uncover and dismantle so far, therks
administration has announced over 120 designation actions against iranian backed entities, 120. just yesterday, the state department announced to new designations. we denounced a rising hezbollah figure. mentioned the brigades, a group operating in the palestinian territory, whose numbers have plotted a number of attacks against israeli targets. these actions are in addition to the treasury department actions you have already mentioned. second, the administration is focused on cutting off the flow of money to terrorism. we do not want to stop the bomber, we want to stop the money men who pays for the bob. -- bomb. we have announced 50 actions under a report -- terrorist designation authorities. building the capacity of
our partners to investigate, prosecute, and interject funding to facilitators of tears. third, we are working to disrupt terrorist travel. we are leading the charge of information sharing and approving watchlist and around the world. these efforts have received a powerful boost when the security resolution 2396, which includes a number of new tools which will be mandatory. including the use of passenger data. of measuresumber pioneered and make some global standards. fourth, we are addressing the threats from terrorist fighters and homegrown terrorist. although foreign terrorists fighters are no longer streaming in large numbers, we are focusing on them leaving the war zone and returning to their home countries.
the last thing i will say is that we are focusing on and keeping the next generation of terrorists from emerging in the first place, which is why our efforts to combat terrorist ideology is so critical. member, theanking terrorist threat is constantly evolving. my bureau and i greatly appreciate congresses efforts and support in a shared endeavor. 6 i recognize -- >> i recognize myself for some questions. thank you ambassador sales for being here. that the iranian government spends a billion dollars a year on their proxies. >> that's right. >> and we spend 230 million a year for your bureau. is that right question mark >>
for fiscal year 2019. years -- it is a quarter of what the iranian spend on causing terror, we are spending a quarter trying to go after their. we have no ct bureau in south america, is that correct? >> my bureau is actively involved with south american partners. are trying to get the governments of south america to work with us to confront the full range of threats. 6 we are trying to get them to do it. not actively involved, we are working to other countries. our goal is to enable our partners to do it themselves rather than turning to us. >> i understand.
how many proxies to the iranians have customer >> dozens. for a number.king i know hezbollah is the back guy in the neighborhood,, but how many do they have around the world? it is a very undistinguished list of bloodshed. on,ps like hezbollah, like the groups in bakr in -- bahrain and around the world, they are not shy about using proxies. >> rather than use the irgc, a group, they just use a different group and then can deny culpability.
is that a fair statement? >> sometimes they do that. sometimes they asked directly, sometimes they use proxies. >> why hasn't the government, our government, designated ahh and hhs as terrorist proxies of iran? we're certainly concerned about the violent activities group is carrying out. as you know, iranian backed militias launched rockets at our embassy in baghdad. the threat environment has gotten to the point where we judged it necessary to spend operations at the consulate. have we notlly, why designated with two iranian proxies as terrorist groups? toi don't have anything announce for you today, but i assure you we are looking at the full range of terrorist proxies and the way to take appropriate
action against the. me that theto -- baghdad ishdad pushing against designating these organizations as terrorist proxies. we have part of the staff go to baghdad asked that they support designating these two groups as terrorist organization. they got pushback from the state department, that that is not going to happen. , thesertly thereafter rockets came into baghdad from adh. butasking you to speculate, do you know why the state department and baghdad is obstinate about naming these proxies? >> i am reluctant to put words
in the mouth of my colleagues, but i think that the rocket attacks in recent weeks and months have had a clarifying effect on our awareness of the threat iran poses to the region. and to our forces. seems to me we are fighting an uphill battle when we have 15 members of these proxy groups in the government of iraq and we are not calling them out for being terrorist with american blood on their hands. the unitedt hope states government would designate these two organizations as terrorist groups, proxies of iran. said,agreed with what you iran is everywhere, they're all
over the world and causing terror. they have shifted, as the ranking member has said, they have shifted their focus from maybe the middle east and syria ,o africa, about 9/11, pre-9/11 there were apparently about 100 al qaeda members, and now there are 10,000 affiliates. that is very disturbing, it's like they're moving from different place to different place. and iran is behind all of this. we need to make sure iran is held accountable and the other organizations are held accountable as well. do you have enough money? congressman, what i want is every dollar i need to accomplish the mission. not a dollar more. >> very diplomatic of you.
i want to turn over to the ranking member, let him ask questions. >> thank you, chairman. i agree with both of my colleagues here on iran. it is a great concern, but i want to move around. what i'm hearing in my district from people in terms of questions, and concerns, maybe furious, is this one, i'll ask you straight up is there any reliable evidence that individuals traveling in the are from central america known or suspected terrorists? concrete evidence. right,country has the and indeed, the responsibility, to protect its borders and make sure only those persons are admitted -- >> that is not what i asked you we should know, as members of congress.
tell us if there are any suspected or actual terrorist's traffic in that care. -- caravan. >> we would be honored to give you an answer in that appropriate setting. >> you can answer this, publicly, said the president has the public, yes or no, we don't have to know the details, but he is causing fear in the american public. i can tell you, in my district. a yes or no is not classified. i want to know, in your position, what you said. no.or >> i would be happy to answer that question as well in the classified service -- setting. with that satisfied answer, because our commander in chief seems couple telling the ierican public, but you don't cannot force you to do it, but that is why we are here as
members of congress that may shift gears, disappointingly. i want to know what activity you have on counterterrorism efforts in afghanistan and yemen, as i include inand also that, directly or indirectly, through arms sales or other means, how russia could be involved in what evidence you >> we have been providing training, resources and equipment to local officials to help them interject operatives
before they come into protected areas, to respond to crises in the heat of the moment, to be screening of potential threats and respond after a terrorist incident takes place. in then, al qaeda arabian peninsula has long been one of al qaeda's most deadly affiliates, with global reach and global ambitions. you will recall a plot several years ago run out of yemen. we continue to be engaged using approaches,ment connecticut and non-kinetic civilian sector tools as well. in yemen we are doing things like boosting border security capability, so we can control movements of potential terrorists across borders, crisis response capability and so on. >> you didn't answer my question about russia? russia's involvement directly or indirectly, through arms sales or other activity, in
afghanistan for instance. afghanistan and yemen, yes. long historical interest in afghanistan, not all of it a nine. the best way to answer the question would be to, it may not be a pleasing answer but i would be happy to answer it in more .etail in a classified setting congressman: thank you. how are you progressing with online terror activities? and its use of social media has been a game changer, in terms of inspiring attacks a remotely, as well as to recruit people to come to the war zone. we need social media companies to take down radicalizing and extremist content that violates u.s. law or the terms of service
they offer to users. we have seen decent results but there is more work to be done. siliconr, a group of valley companies formed an for incumbent and prosperous companies to provide best practices to new entrants resourcest have the and expertise, to help them spot content and take it down in a responsible way. host: to get back to the budget issue, the chairman has mentioned the disproportionate nature with what iran is spending and what we are spending. touch on some of the many areas around the globe that are of concern to our country. how do you make any kind of sense to a budget cut in this important area? andis the budget being cut
an area where the danger is great and where our actions, particularly stateside, could save money in the long run and save lives? ambassador: i offer two questions -- i offer to answer to the question. our fiscal year 19 budget request is in alignment with historical preparations -- historical appropriation levels. in 2013, 200 51 million. 2014, 200 $32 million. we saw a2014, 200 $32 million. spike in 2017, a one-time appropriation. the number for fiscal year 19 that we requested represents a return to the pre--2016 norm. r money congress appropriates, we will expend to the mission given our bureau.
funding to counter iran in particular, although our budget million, afor $237 fraction of the $1 billion iran spends on terrorist proxies, we not the only agency charged with countering iran around the world. not the only agency the defense department, the justice department, the treasury department, all team players in this effort. host: i -- >>
with bureau's involvement cbe issues, we are one cook in the kitchen with a bunch of chefs. so it is important for each player to bring to bear their comparative advantage, like what we bring to this conversation that is special to us. the value my bureau brings to this effort is a focus on a couple of different priority areas. first of all, countering ideology. adversaries have a worldview informed by philosophic, religious, economic circumstances. what can we do to counter the ideological architecture that eventually leads to radicalization and terrorist attacks? we are working on the
radicalization -- working on de -radicalization. what can we do to bring them back into the fold? this is a matter for government authorities, but it's also a problem to which we have to bring to bear all of society's expertise. congressman: i have limited time. thank you. shifting gears, compared to when au're about -- compared to year ago, can you describe iran's compared a strategic position in iraq, yemen, syria, are they stronger or weaker? ambassador: what is different today is that the u.s. government has brought to bear more of the tools at our the moneyo cut off iran uses to fund terrorists around the world. the snapback of
sanctions last week. our goal is to get iranian oil exports down to zero. for is an economic windfall the regime. i believe 80% of their revenues derived from energy exports. as we squeeze them, they are going to make hard choices about how they diverged their scarce resources to address domestic needs, or project power and bloodshed around the world. what has given you confidence they are cutting , theires for hezbollah proxies in syria, and other places? is out on: the jury that. we are very early in our pressure campaign. we want to see a drawdown in forces in syria, a drawdown in s who areo the houthie launching missiles into saudi arabia, a drying-up of financial resources that hezbollah seeks
from all around the world. there is a robust fundraising network for them in south america, africa, around the world, so we are attacking different nodes of the iran-threat network. congressman: the snapback of sanctions last week was anticipated. have you seen a is with iran, signaling to proxies that they are going to have to make do is there aor continued investment in those organizations to continue nefarious activities? a rush for the exits in the private sector. i'mressman: that's not what asking. has the leadership in iran done anything to indicate they are going to cut their investment in these activities? talked about, is there any signal they are going to reduce that $1 billion? >> what i can tell you in an unclassified setting is that we are seeing businesses respond to the pressure we are bringing.
companies are forced to choose, do i do business in the united states and iran? and they are voting with their feet. congressman: across the globe looking forward, do you see the terrorist threats we face as a nation, and our allies around the grown, increasing or decreasing? >> decreasing in certain respects and changing and other respect. let's use isis as an example. we have liberated virtually all the territory they once held in syria and iraq. at least 50% those territorial games have come -- territorial have come since january 2017. what we still have work to do on is isis-inspired attacks around the world, people radicalized by videos they saw on the internet. all it takes is a rental truck and they can commit a nefarious act. congressman: isis has lost
territory. isis has not lost intent. that with the internet and other resources they are able to reach and threaten not just americans, but our allies. should we be reducing our investment to counter them, or should we be looking to increase our investment, look for leverage with allies and bring to bear, as you said, the full government approach to address the threat not just devices, but that -- address the threat not just devices but groups around the world? >> is the military phase in the campaign draws down, it is important to bring to bear other law enforcement, prosecuting isis fighters, making sure they face justice, border security tools so we can track them as they move internationally, designations and sanctions tools to cut off the flow of money to isis affiliates that have
metastasized around the world. wegressman: you indicated up in 2015, 2016 because of isis. now we are going back to levels of spending pre-isis, and it seems to me we may be counting our chickens early. we need to think of different ways to counter the threat, but not resting on our heels, looking forward to where we need to be in the future. the thing i would add to that conversation is, if i felt like i didn't have the resources to do my job properly, i would tell my boss, i would tell congress. i'm satisfied with the resources we have requested and will expend whatever resources i am allocated. i look forward to continuing the conversation to see what impact we are having, and hopefully have measurable results. thank you.
chair: thank you, gentlemen. i have a fume questions going back to this list of proxies i asked for. can you provide the committee a list of the iranian proxies, and where they are in the world? >> we are happy to do that, sir. congressman: i look forward to seeing that. ahn -- ahhk ah and and ahn should be designated terrorist organizations? can you answer yes or no, whether they should be listed or not? >> i can't answer that. let me respectfully explain why i can't answer that question. commentin a position to on internal, executive-branch deliberations that may or may not be taking place. if there is an announcement we will be making it in due course. if there is not an announcement, we would do that in due course
as well. congressman: i think they should be listed. we are having proms with our representation in baghdad, and have a cozy up to iranian proxies. i'm concerned about iran in iraq, trying to control the iraqi government. part of the way they are doing it is with iranian proxies that are in iraq. in iraq, trying to control the iraqi government. like i said, they have already got 50 members of the parliament holding office. we need to push back on their .nfluence in iraq afghanistan, we have been in afghanistan a long time. how long are we going to stay in afghanistan? >> as long as conditions warrant. of the southing asia strategy is our policy for
afghanistan's conditions based. we are not going to set an arbitrary deadline because that will cause terrorists to wait us out. we want a conditions-based approach under which the afghan participates in a negotiated settlement with the taliban and, with other interested parties in the region, to ensure we have a strong, unity government that can deny safe haven. from a counterterror standpoint, that is a critical piece of the conversation. we can't afford to go back to a pre-2001 environment in afghanistan or elsewhere, where terrorists enjoy safe haven. when terrorists enjoy safe haven, they attack us and our friends. congressman: i'm not asking you to give us a definite date, but on the horizon it looks to me, as general miller indicated to the senate in june, that we are going to be there for a long because ofhanistan, the terrorists that are in that
country. afghanistan has got to work their problems out. re terrorists still coming from pakistan into afghanistan? are they still coming from pakistan into afghanistan, terrorists? >> we are concerned about support for terrorism in any region of the world. and i can tell you, we have communicated to the pakistani government at the highest levels that we expect them to do more, just like we expected them to act with us after 9/11. pakistan has been a very effective counterpart in taking the fight to al qaeda. we need them to do the same thing with other terrorist groups active in the region. congressman: they are not doing their job despite terrorism, because the terrorists come in
from pakistan to afghanistan and just run across the border. they have been doing that for years. they take our money. billions of dollars we give pakistan every year. me why we do that when they allow safe haven for terrorists in their own country, that invade another country, namely afghanistan. i yield to the gentleman from massachusetts. thank you, mr. chairman. i share those concerns as well. stop where it is classified, getting back to the caravan in the president's comments. terrorists,erms of there could very well be, quote unquote, among the group. and he said i think there is a very good chance you have people in there now. there areyou know, if
no people in there you have evidence of, then how could it be classified? would you say no, there are no people in their? >> i'm not trying to be coy, congressman. i used to be a law professor and ughtof the subjects i ta was the espionage act. i know the criminal penalties of unauthorized public release of any classified information. i'm going to do for that want to beut i responsive to the question, get you the information you are asking for, i just want to do it in the right setting. welcome thati information, and i hope that is information -- i hope there is information. waste my time or the committee's time and find out there is no information there, and there is nothing that can be done. i want to make sure that is the case. that is it for my time, mr. chair. i appreciate this. i look forward to what i assume
will be information. thank you. yield back. i want to ask another question. are there iranian proxies working with the iraqi police? are they working together, some of them have infiltrated the iraqi police. >> i would be happy to address that in closed session. congressman: we are going to have a long closed session. we look forward to talking to you again in a classified setting. but i would like to reiterate, i would like a list of those iranian proxies, and where they are.
and i will echo what the ranking member said about the money. the arabians are spending at least $1 billion on causing terror in the world -- the iranians are spending at least $1 billion on causing terror and the world, and we are spending wharton quarter of that -- and we are spending one quarter of that to fight their actions. i think we are in for a long duration of iranian terrorist activities throughout the world. after all, they are the number one state sponsor of terror in the world. did you want to say something else? >> of course. thank you, ambassador. can you describe how the bureau for counterterrorism is addressing the woman's role for preventing counterterrorist activities? are you working to increase the number of women receiving training under the antiterrorism assistance program?
this is something the full committee chairman is to royce and i have been working on, as well as representative frankel. if you could comment on that, that would be appreciated. >> i would be happy to. let me briefly react to chairman e's question. iran is the leading sponsor of terrorism. it is a title they are probably proud of and not one they are looking to relinquish. we are spending $237 billion. we have requested $237 billion for the bureau, but the entirety of u.s. government efforts to counter iran terrorism is much more extensive. i would like to contextualize our request in the context of the broader effort against iran-backed terrorism. as to the question of women,
this is an important issue and i'm grateful to you for raising it. it is one we need to focus on carefully. within both our potential victims in unique ways -- women both potential victims in unique ways of terrorism, and also potential perpetrators in unique ways. bureau hasthings my done has been to work with civil society organizations around the do a to help families better job detecting warning signs of radicalism. be the casel mothers are in a position to know when their children are taking a turn toward extremism. we need to empower those communities, empower those families to intervene to prevent somebody from taking the next step. women can be victims of terrorism. we are aware of the horrific crimes isis committed against so itin iraq and syria,
is important for our counterterrorism spots to terrorist groups that commit mindfulatrocities, be of what those atrocities are so we can prevent them next time, and power communities to prevent those and empower governments to prevent those sorts of crimes. chair: the chair will recognize the gentlelady from nevada. thank you, mr. chairman, and ambassador, for being here. i want to ask about the refugee crisis. there in the midst of world's worst refugee crisis, and get the administration just announced they would lower the fromdy record-low number 45,000 to 30,000 we are accepting. meantime, you have syrian refugees, yemen, some of them coming to our southern border, the president wants to choke
admission, limit asylum and cap foreign assistance. i'm wondering how you feel about the refugee situation, and as it worsens, does it increase threats of terrorism? you think these issues are getting enough attention or enough resources so you can do your job? ambassador: we are worried about refugee flows and their relation to terror threats. this is not a hypothetical, this is a problem we have seen materialize in real-world terms. the syrian crisis has precipitated an enormous outflow of migrants from iraq and syria, through turkey, through the balkans into the heart of western europe. it is regrettable but true to say isis was able to exploit those migrant flows to bring operatives to the heart of europe. yesterday was the three
-year anniversary of the attack in paris. to address this problem, we need to get control of borders. we need to know if terrorist financiers, terrorist operatives are trying to infiltrate our homelands, whether in the united states or europe. and we need in the case of syria a negotiated political settlement that will alleviate the humanitarian crisis causing these people to flee, or terrorists to exploit that help. congressman: do you think it is moving in the opposite direction to cut off aid to these countries producing refugees, threatening to cut off aid to central american countries? don't we need to address the problem before it gets to our border? >> certainly. is best form of prevention protection. the refugee problems my bureau is focused on involve syria, also the problem in southeast
asia. problem is putting it mildly, with atrocities being committed against the rohingya, and we are watching that closely to make sure terrorists can't exploit those atrocities to radicalize and recruit. woman titus: are you looking at terrorist groups on the far right, neo-nazis and nationalists? what about those terrorist groups that we are seeing an increase of in this country and europe? the administration is certainly watching that threat. it is one that is a very troubling threat. the recent attack in pittsburgh is a particularly heartrending domestic threat. when it comes to the domestic aspects of this threat, this is an issue my bureau doesn't focus
on, but i can assure you my areeagues at the fbi focused very intently, along with state and local officials. what it isan titus: increasing in europe and that is part of your domain. issue,u discuss this does the president toward ministration's rhetoric, as encouraging this behavior? the national counterterrorism strategy describes far right, far left, secular and various other forms of radicalism and extremism that produce violence. we condemn it and lay out a strategy to confront it. titus: thean terrorism report mentioned islamic groups 22 times and neo-nazis only once. how much priority are you making those kinds of terrorists? >> i deferred fbi and the of jay
and dhs, but those references are in the national counterterrorism strategy for a reason, the guys countering far right and far left groups and groups in between of a violent nature are a priority of this administration. congresswoman titus: i hope so. thank you. the chair recognizes the gentle man from new york. he yields back his time. thank you fores, being here. we are going to take you up on your willingness to talk to us in a classified setting, and just so it is clear, the issues we want to talk about are terrorists, if any in the caravan moving toward the united states. we want to talk about the extent of the russian involvement in yemen and also afghanistan. talk about the
third issue, the iranian proxies that are in the iraqi police forces. asse are the three issues, soon as we can do this. ambassador: we are ready to do it, sir. chair: i appreciate it, ambassador sales. the subcommittee is adjourned. [gavel sounds] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
plaskett of the house oversight and government reform committee on how democrats might approach investigating the trump administration now that they are in the majority. of the congressional management foundation talks about his group's role in approaching newly elected members and their staff in preparation for the new congress. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. "q&a," california democratic congresswoman jacky's beer talks about her memoir "undaunted." >> i was on an airstrip in the remote jungles of guyana having just concluded a congressional delegation tour with congressman leo ryan. we were ambushed on that airstrip and shot. congressman ryan was shot 45 times and died on that airstrip.
i remember some press died, one defector of the people's temple died, i was shot five times on the right side of my body. bone jutting out of my right arm, a wound in my leg the size of a football. "oh my god, i'm 28 years old, this is it." >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q1 day." -- q&a." >> several democratic leaders spoke today at the national action network's policy conference in washington about issues, including voting rights dominic criminal justice, and health care. we hear from house minority leader nancy pelosi and senators bernie sanders cory booker, and kirsten gillibrand. it begins with national action network president al sharpton. good morning.