Rep. Cook Votes for Bill Aimed at Stopping Terrorist Groups from Recruiting Americans
WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted in favor of H.R. 4820, the Combatting Terrorist Recruitment Act of 2016. This bill passed the House with overwhelming support.
In March 2015, Congress launched a bipartisan Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel. This commission was charged with examining the threat to the United States from foreign fighters. The commission issued a final report on September 29, 2015 with recommendations on closing identified potential security gaps.
One of the top recommendations of the Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Task Force is to use the testimonials of former extremists and their families to combat terrorist recruitment. It requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to incorporate the testimonials of former extremists and defectors into Department of Homeland Security efforts to stop terrorist recruitment. Such testimonials can be used to fight the propaganda of groups like ISIS. It gives the Secretary the ability to counter-message the full array of terrorist groups that threaten our people at home and abroad.
Cook said, “To keep America safe, we must stop extremists from peddling their violent propaganda in our own back yard. These former extremists and their families know firsthand the dangers of violent radicalism and the hypocrisy of terrorist organizations like ISIS. This bill harnesses these powerful voices to combat the insidious lure of violent extremism and stop terrorist recruiters in their tracks.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.