House approves McCaul, McCarthy bill to help prevent terrorism, extremism

The House of Representatives approved legislation on Thursday that was introduced by U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to help prevent radical Islamic extremism.

The Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act, H.R. 5471, is comprised of three smaller bills – the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root Out Terror (ALERT) Act, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act and the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act.

McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and McCarthy, the House majority leader, said that America’s city streets have become the front lines of the war against terror.

“To honor the memory of the victims in Orlando, we must rededicate ourselves to preventing terrorists from gaining a foothold in our communities,” the legislators said in a joint statement. “I commend my colleagues for proactively addressing homegrown radicalization — especially Reps. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and John Katko (R-NY) — whose legislation helps our neighborhoods stop violent radicalization and combat propaganda of terrorist groups like ISIS. Make no mistake, after this latest attack in our homeland, our resolve is strengthened and we are more determined than ever to take the fight to the enemy, no matter where they emerge.”

Katko’s Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act, H.R. 5471, would streamline domestic counterterrorism efforts within the Department of Homeland Security to combat terrorism.

“Today’s legislation encapsulates several ideas that the House has worked on for months to improve counterterrorism efforts — including legislation that I authored to integrate intelligence, operations and policy components so that our law enforcement and intelligence partners can coordinate actions more effectively and expeditiously,” Katko, the leader of the bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel, said. “It is time for the Senate to take action on this important, bipartisan package of bills so that these measures reach the president’s desk.”

The Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act would also authorize the DHS to provide counterterrorism training to help identify suspicious activities and threats of terrorism.

“Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that our armed forces, agencies and response units are equipped and ready to confront the threats facing our country,” U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) said. “We have a proud history and tradition of a strong national defense and I am confident that these bills will continue to uphold that legacy while maximizing preparedness and protections for the American people.”

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