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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 9 (Tuesday, January 16, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E44-E45]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO



                               speech of

                  HON. HENRY C. “HANK” JOHNSON, JR.

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4564-- Post-Caliphate Threat Assessment Act of 2017.

This legislation would direct the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to perform a threat assessment of current foreign terrorist fighter activities. This multi-agency assessment will include a breakdown of any country or region with a substantial increase in foreign terrorist fighter activity, travel and trends of terrorist movement, and an analysis of travel trends in and out of Iraq and Syria.

To successfully continue the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), our government agencies must understand the current terrorist threat. This conflict is complex and ISIS has lost a significant amount of territory in their self-declared caliphate, while anti-ISIS fighters have successfully regained control of the cities of Mosul and Raqqa. After these recent victories for the anti-ISIS forces in Northern Iraq and Syria, the enemy has dispersed across the region. The anti-ISIS victories have been essential to reestablishing order in the conflict zone, but unfortunately present new challenges in defeating the terrorist group. Shifts in power have caused ISIS to disperse into countries that border Syria and Iraq, such as Libya, Afghanistan, and Turkey, in order to evade total defeat. Recent reports on the whereabouts of fleeing ISIS fighters have varied, prompting the need for a post-caliphate threat assessment. [[Page E45]]

As a former member of the House Armed Forces Committee, I understand well the complexity of this conflict. By creating this assessment for our intelligence and defense agencies we will provide them with the proper tools to fight ISIS and current terrorist threats. We must continue to update our intelligence as the war against ISIS goes on and forces hide, recuperate, and go underground. Some terrorist fighters have been believed to migrate to neighboring countries, others have relocated to their homes, and members of this group might even be seeking to return to Europe or the U.S. Keeping track of this terrible enemy will be of the utmost importance and H.R. 4564 will help us assess this threat and will bolster our arsenal to combat terror abroad. ____________________

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