Rep. Cook Votes to Stop Terrorist Recruiment
WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 5471, the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act. The bill passed with overwhelming support.
H.R. 5471 directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take steps to combat terrorist recruitment in the United States. Specifically, the legislation combines three bills that previously passed the House this Congress including: H.R. 4401, the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terror, or ALERT, Act; H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act and H.R. 4407, the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act.
H.R. 4401 “scales up” U.S. government efforts to counter radicalization and terrorist recruitment nationwide by authorizing the Department of Homeland Security to better use existing fusion centers to reach out to communities. There are nearly 80 fusion centers nationwide that bring together law enforcement agencies, intelligence representatives, first responders, and other state and local organizations, and these nodes can be an important point of outreach to help communities with spotting signs of radicalization and disrupting potential attacks.
H.R. 4820 requires the Department of Homeland Security to do more to counter-message terrorist organizations like ISIS that are using social media propaganda to recruit and radicalize potential operatives within our own communities. It requires DHS to use the testimonials of former extremists to fight back against terrorist recruitment.
H.R. 4407 establishes the Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) and ensures DHS is effectively integrating intelligence, operations, and policy to fight terrorism. The legislation ensures CTAB keeps pace with today’s evolving threats, outlines its core duties, and requires the Secretary to appoint a DHS-wide Coordinator for Counterterrorism to oversee the board.
Cook said, “The Orlando terror attack is a tragic reminder of the need to be vigilant in fighting terrorism, not only threats that exist outside the US, but also homegrown threats that are inspired by radical ideologies. We need to ensure that law enforcement has all the tools they need here at home to prevent future attacks and that we’re doing everything we can to fight against terrorist organizations who are seeking to influence those in the US to commit attacks here at home.”
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.