The House Committee on Homeland Security said on Wednesday that a task force has been established to address efforts by the government to prevent terror attacks.
The bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel is made up of five Republicans and three Democrats. Leading the task force are Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY).
“Thousands of Westerners, including Americans, have traveled overseas to fight with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the committee's chairman, said in a statement after the task force's announcement. "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 (Denmark), Paris, Sydney (Australia), Ottawa (Canada) 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.”
Other members of the task force include Reps. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Will Hurd (R-TX), John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Donald Payne (D-NJ)