Katko Named Lead On Bipartisan Task Force To Combat Terrorist, Foreign Fighter Threat

WASHINGTON, DC – Today (Feb. 25), U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-2), ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the creation of a bipartisan “Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel” in response to the threat from extremists fighting overseas and the danger they pose to the United States.

Rep. John Katko (NY-24) was named the Republican Lead for the Task Force.

“We face a constantly evolving terrorist threat to the United States homeland, and Congress must remain vigilant to protect the American people,” said Rep. Katko.  “Violent Islamist extremism is surging, and terrorist groups are attracting recruitsfrom all corners of the globe.  More must be done to deter, detect, and disrupt the travel of these extremists between countries in order to keep them from reaching our country but also to keep them from reaching the battlefield.  I am honored to take a leadership role on this bipartisan Task Force, and I lookforward to reviewing the strategies and programs in place to diminish the threat.”

The bipartisan Task Force is comprised of five Republicans and three Democrats, and is tasked with assessing the U.S. government’s efforts to obstruct terrorist travel and to keep violent extremists from entering the United States.

The Task Force will meet with government agencies, top officials, outside experts, and others to generate policy solutions and develop legislative recommendations to mitigate threats to the United States.  Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) will take the Democratic Lead.

Chairman McCaul stated, “Thousands of Westerners, including Americans, have traveled overseas to fight with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.  Armed with military training, combat experience, extremist connections and Western passports these individuals pose an exceptionally grave threat to America’s security and are only a plane-flight away from our shores.  In recent months, terrorists have struck multiple Western cities, including Copenhagen, Paris, Sydney, Ottawa and beyond.  We need to make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent these fighters and other terrorists from traveling to the United States to carry out more attacks.  I am eager for the Task Force to start its work and to provide recommendations on confronting this urgent threat.”

Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Wayne and Oswego counties.  He currently serves on the Committee on Homeland Security, where he chairs thesubcommittee on Transportation Security.

For more information, visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko