[House Hearing, 111 Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES TO DISRUPT TERROR PLOTS ======================================================================= HEARING before the SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION SHARING, AND TERRORISM RISK ASSESSMENT of the COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ MARCH 17, 2010 __________ Serial No. 111-58 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Homeland Security [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TONGRESS.#13 Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 57-457 WASHINGTON : 2010 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, http://bookstore.gpo.gov. For more information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government Printing Office. Phone 202�09512�091800, or 866�09512�091800 (toll-free). E-mail, [email protected] COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi, Chairman Loretta Sanchez, California Peter T. King, New York Jane Harman, California Lamar Smith, Texas Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon Mark E. Souder, Indiana Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Daniel E. Lungren, California Columbia Mike Rogers, Alabama Zoe Lofgren, California Michael T. McCaul, Texas Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania Henry Cuellar, Texas Gus M. Bilirakis, Florida Christopher P. Carney, Pennsylvania Paul C. Broun, Georgia Yvette D. Clarke, New York Candice S. Miller, Michigan Laura Richardson, California Pete Olson, Texas Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona Anh ``Joseph'' Cao, Louisiana Ben Ray Lujan, New Mexico Steve Austria, Ohio Bill Pascrell, Jr., New Jersey Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Al Green, Texas James A. Himes, Connecticut Mary Jo Kilroy, Ohio Eric J.J. Massa, New York Dina Titus, Nevada Vacancy I. Lanier Avant, Staff Director Rosaline Cohen, Chief Counsel Michael Twinchek, Chief Clerk Robert O'Connor, Minority Staff Director ------ SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION SHARING, AND TERRORISM RISK ASSESSMENT Jane Harman, California, Chair Christopher P. Carney, Pennsylvania Michael T. McCaul, Texas Yvette D. Clarke, New York Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona Paul C. Broun, Georgia Al Green, Texas Mark E. Souder, Indiana James A. Himes, Connecticut Peter T. King, New York (Ex Vacancy Officio) Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi (Ex Officio) Michael Blinde, Staff Director Natalie Nixon, Deputy Chief Clerk Meghann Peterlin, Minority Subcommittee Lead C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Statements The Honorable Jane Harman, a Representative in Congress From the State of California, and Chair, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment............. 1 The Honorable Michael T. McCaul, a Representative in Congress From the State of Texas, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment..................................................... 2 The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, a Representative in Congress From the State of Mississippi, and Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security.............................................. 4 WITNESSES Panel I Ms. Margo Schlanger, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Department of Homeland Security: Oral Statement................................................. 6 Prepared Statement............................................. 8 Mr. Brett Hovington, Supervisory Special Agent, Head of Community Relations Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation: Oral Statement................................................. 13 Prepared Statement............................................. 15 Mr. Leroy Baca, Sheriff, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: Oral Statement................................................. 18 Prepared Statement............................................. 20 Mr. Omar Alomari, Community Engagement Officer, Ohio Department of Safety, Homeland Security Division: Oral Statement................................................. 22 Prepared Statement............................................. 24 Panel II Mr. Mohamed Elibiary, Co-founder, The Freedom and Justice Foundation: Oral Statement................................................. 46 Prepared Statement............................................. 48 Ms. Deborah A. Ramirez, Executive Director, Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative, Northeastern University School of Law: Oral Statement................................................. 53 Prepared Statement............................................. 54 Mr. Clark Kent Ervin, Director, Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program: Oral Statement................................................. 62 Prepared Statement............................................. 64 WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES TO DISRUPT TERROR PLOTS ---------- Wednesday, March 17, 2010 U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:04 a.m., in Room 311, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Jane Harman [Chair of the subcommittee] presiding. Present: Representatives Harman, Thompson, Carney, Clarke, Richardson, Green, Himes, McCaul, Dent, and Souder. Ms. Harman [presiding]. Good morning. The subcommittee hearing will come to order. We are meeting today to hear how Government, law enforcement officials, community engagement advocates, and academic experts are working with communities to counter violent extremism. Today's hearing is entitled ``Working with Communities to Disrupt Terror Plots.'' This subcommittee has been probing ways to prevent or disrupt terror plots in the United States. Doing so requires accurate, actionable, and timely intelligence. The best intelligence, the best warning we may have about individuals plotting an attack on our country, comes from people close to them. While there have been recent notable cases where families and neighbors have provided important information, the Federal, State, and local governments have to do more to build relationships based on mutual trust and critical communities. There are more and more examples of homegrown violent extremism. Think Fort Dix or Fort Hood, the Somali youths from Minnesota, Sharif Mobley, the U.S. citizen who tried to escape custody in Yemen, or the recent arrest of ``Jihad Jane'' which we learned about last week. I have been warning for years that the next terror attack on the United States could be carried out by a tiny blond- haired, blue-eyed American female--no, not me. So the question we are considering today is how to build better relationships. There has been some good news. Last fall it was a Muslim American advocacy group who alerted the FBI to five young men from northern Virginia who had traveled to Pakistan with the intention of fighting alongside the Taliban. It can't have been easy for the families to turn their sons in, but they did. Don't forget that the first real inkling we had about the would-be Detroit bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, came from his father. We will hear from one of our witnesses that some in the communities believe that the Government doesn't really want a respectful relationship. It just wants those communities to inform the FBI on their friends and neighbors. He will tell us they feel like a suspect pool rather than trusted partners. That is a perception that needs to be addressed, and I look forward to hearing the views of our witness from the FBI on that. Local cops may be in a better position than the Feds to forge real ties based on respect and mutual trust, and they also are far more familiar with their communities and will notice something strange. After all, it was the Torrance, California police department in my own district that figured out that a string of gas station robberies was connected to a terror plot to target military installations and religious sites just a few years ago. Those folks are serving long sentences in jail. From what I understand, there is no set of best practices that tell homeland security or law enforcement officials how they should and can engage with communities. A one-size-fits- all approach may not work. We may need to tailor our efforts to the communities involved and the missions of the agencies reaching out to them. To that end, my sheriff, L.A. County sheriff, Leroy Baca, will testify today. He started the first Muslim American Homeland Security Congress to give the community a chance to discuss their concerns with law enforcement and to improve cultural training for sheriff department staff. I would like to know whether any elements of that program could be migrated to the Federal and State level. On the State level, there is an effort in Ohio to reach out to Muslim American women that we need to hear about. At the Federal level, DHS is hosting round tables and discussions with communities across the country. It conducts conference calls between Federal leaders and affected communities after situations like the Fort Hood shooting and the Detroit airliner bomber attempt. Today's hearing follows one held in December to delve into how people who seem like anyone else--those who are capable of interacting socially with friends and colleagues and in many ways are athletes and scholars--volunteer or can be recruited to violent extremism. We don't understand that well enough, and until we do, we won't have the best strategies to keep our country and our communities safe. Let me conclude by observing that there has been a lot of discussion about how best to combat terrorism. The loudest voices say we have to treat it as a war. We all want the country to be safe. But in my view, the bad guys win if we shred our Constitution in the process. Welcome to you all, and it is now my pleasure to yield 5 minutes for opening remarks to the Ranking Member, Mr. McCaul of Texas. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Madam Chair. Examples like Hasan, Zazi, and ``Jihad Jane,'' which no one should ever confuse with you, Madam Chair, showed us homegrown terrorism is, unfortunately, all too real in the United States. Despite the efforts of our Federal, State, and local authorities to reach out to religious and civic leaders in the Muslim community, we do not seem to be making the headway necessary to counter radicalization. In fact, as the recent case of Zazi illustrates, working with the local imam actually backfired on law enforcement when he alerted Zazi that he was under Government surveillance. The threat of al-Qaeda is not just emanating from a training camp in Afghanistan anymore but from within our own communities and hometowns across America. Since September 11 we have come to understand that securing the homeland requires law enforcement involvement at every level of government and that every American has a role and responsibility to help in this fight. After both the massacre at Fort Hood just north of my district by Hasan, and again recently with ``Jihad Jane'' from Pennsylvania, we hear after-the-fact reports that classmates and neighbors knew that there was a problem with these individuals. Working with our communities should be the first line of defense to prevent the spread of radicalization and to help protect us all from terrorist attacks. The criticism we often hear of Government outreach is that they are just discussion groups solely intended to listen to grievances or to just share information. Far less often, we hear about our efforts to create equal partnerships between the Government and these communities. Certainly, both information sharing and addressing legitimate grievances, are vital. However, I hope in your testimony today you also discuss what your organizations are doing to help foster true partnerships with equal accountability between these players. We must be working together to identify and implement real solutions to counter radical violent ideology and prevent terrorism. I look forward to hearing from you about what your solutions are. We must also ensure a diversity of thought at the table. For instance, who are we partnering and engaging with? Are we strengthening our relationships with those moderate Muslims who may already be doing their part, or are we primarily, if not only, engaging with groups that have the loudest voices or perhaps even extremist ties? I hope that through this hearing we will understand which, if any, groups may be underrepresented in each outreach effort. I hope the witnesses will please give that some thought. While our European counterparts have been dealing with the threat of radicalization and violent extremism for some time now, I think we can all agree that the problem is now in the United States as well. Western European nations are ahead of the United States, in my judgment, in community outreach strategies and in disrupting terror plots because they realize the importance of combating radicalization, and they know they cannot arrest their way out of the problem. The success of our European allies in engaging local religious, business, and community leaders has direct links to reporting and disrupting terrorist attacks. I hope that in your testimony today you will address not only your efforts to understand and incorporate best practices from around the world, and perhaps right in the United States, but also how you have learned from failed programs or missteps. Without an organized and concerted effort by Federal, State, and local officials to directly confront the issues of radicalization and the spread of violent extremism in our own communities, we will be derelict in our duty of preventing future terrorist attacks. As the past year has shown us, domestic radicalization is a very real threat in our National security. I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses and to examining these--these vital issues. With that, Madam Chair, I yield back. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. McCaul. It is now my pleasure to recognize the Chairman of the full committee, Mr. Thompson from Mississippi, for an opening statement. Mr. Thompson. Thank you, Madam Chair. This committee is very focused on ensuring that American citizens can live their lives in safety and without fear. Terrorists both international and domestic, both foreign-born and homegrown, want nothing more than to shatter our security and make us fearful. Thanks to the work of our dedicated homeland security and law enforcement professionals, with the guidance of this administration and the careful oversight of this committee, we can have confidence in our security. As we have seen in just the past years, cases like Zazi, Headley, and Rana, we can stop terrorist plots dead in their tracks. Yet stopping terrorist plots is only one piece of freeing our fellow Americans from fear. Freedom from fear also means that people should not fear their Government and, in particular, should not fear the homeland security and law enforcement organizations that are working to provide their security. Community engagement efforts offer other ways of freeing us from fear. For example, community engagement efforts can vary widely. Many focus on helping communities understand homeland security or law enforcement policies, practices, and methods. Others help those who execute these policies and methods interact respectfully with the communities with which they deal. Fostering this kind of understanding is a sure way to develop--free communities from fear. It develops trust with law enforcement, confidence that they are also being protected, and a sense of participation and engagement. Individuals should also be free from fear that they are subject to homeland security or law enforcement scrutiny because of the color of their skin or their religion. We need look no further than the recent example of Colleen LaRose, also known as ``Jihad Jane''--and it is not our Chair; I agree with the comments of both the Chair and Ranking Member--to know that terrorists cannot simply be identified by gender, race, or national origin. We have learned that lesson hard, that terrorists do not fit the particular type. Terrorism does not always look the same. Terrorists are not always the usual suspects. Community engagement also helps free individuals from fear because it creates a critical dialogue between our homeland security and law enforcement agencies and individuals to help protect and preserve civil rights and civil liberties. For that reason, I am particularly pleased that Margo Schlanger, the newly appointed DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties secretary, is here for her maiden Congressional appearance to speak about her community engagement work. I hope you and your colleagues on this panel today will highlight how your agencies' community engagements work to free our citizens from the fear that privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties play second fiddle to homeland security and law enforcement efforts to root out terrorists. Thank all the witnesses for appearing before us today, and I look forward to your testimony. Thank you. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Other Members of the subcommittee are reminded that under the committee rules opening statements may be submitted for the record. I now welcome our first panel of witnesses this morning and our first witness, Ms. Schlanger, for her rookie appearance. I didn't know that. Let me introduce you all at once and then each of you will summarize your testimony in 5 minutes. Ms. Schlanger is the officer for civil rights and civil liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, as the Chairman said. She took this position on January 25 of this year. Her office is responsible for supporting DHS' efforts to secure the Nation from threats while preserving our freedoms and equality under the law. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Schlanger was a professor of law at a number of universities, including Michigan, Washington University, and Harvard. She served as a law clerk for Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg from 1993 to 1995 and then worked as a trial attorney in the U.S. Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Our second witness, Mr. Hovington, is a 23-year veteran of the FBI and currently serves as the unit chief of the Community Relations Unit at the FBI's Office of Public Affairs. In this position, he manages the community outreach program and oversees outreach efforts conducted by all 56 FBI field offices. In addition, Mr. Hovington oversees the FBI Citizens' Academy program, advises senior executives on community outreach issues and represents the FBI at National functions and initiatives related to outreach. My sheriff, Lee Baca, began his law enforcement career when he entered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1965, before the rest of us were born, ultimately rising through the ranks until he was elected sheriff in December 1998. He is now serving his third term. Sheriff Baca commands the largest sheriff's department in the United States. He leads over 18,000 officers and professional staff in the department which protects over 4 million people--very well, I might add. Sheriff Baca is also the director of Homeland Security Mutual Aid for California District 1. In August 2007 Sheriff Baca established the Muslim Community Affairs Unit to train the Muslim community on law enforcement issues and to train the officers on Muslim culture--important point. This is a two-way committee. A lot is learned by the sheriff's department from the engagement with this community. Mr. Alomari, our fourth witness, is the community engagement officer at the Ohio Department of Public Safety Homeland Security Division. Under his direction Ohio has initiated numerous programs to facilitate interaction with large ethnic communities, including the growing Somali population in Ohio. Prior to serving in this position, Mr. Alomari worked as a professor at several institutions of higher learning across Ohio, including Ohio State, where he was a lecturer in Islam and Middle Eastern cultures. Without objection, your full statements will be inserted in the record, but I would urge you to summarize in 5 minutes or less, and you will hear my little gavel if you start to go over. It is important for us to be able to ask you questions. I think that is more useful for you and for the public that is both sitting here and listening in to this hearing. There is an enormous amount of interest in this hearing. So I want to thank you again and recognize Ms. Schlanger for 5 minutes. Please turn on your microphone. STATEMENT OF MARGO SCHLANGER, OFFICER FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Ms. Schlanger. Thank you. Sorry. It is a sign that I am a rookie. Chair Harman, Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member McCaul and distinguished Members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as the Department of Homeland Security's officer for civil rights and civil liberties. As you request, my testimony will be about DHS' engagement with diverse ethnic and religious communities and I will focus on my office's activities, although activities happen throughout the Department. I will give particular attention to the outreach and communication with American, Arab, Muslim, Sikh, Somali, and South Asian communities. Congress established my position, reporting directly to the Secretary, to--and I am quoting from our statute--``ensure that the protection of civil rights and civil liberties is appropriately incorporated into Department programs and activities and to review and assess information concerning abuses of civil rights, civil liberties, and profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion by employees or officials of the Department.'' My testimony is basically to say that both of these functions are improved by and even depend upon our engagement with diverse communities. Our engagement efforts involve encouraging all Americans in many ethnicities, religions, and so on to take an active role in their Government, to ensure that the Government is responsive to and protects the rights of all Americans. I want to be clear that this kind of engagement, soliciting the views and explaining policies from communities seeking to address complaints and grievances, is a basic part of good and responsible Government. I do believe that our activities contribute to the Department's mission of countering violent extremism. But the linkage is indirect. We can and should collaborate with community leaders to address this shared problem. But countering violent extremism isn't the main reason that we engage these communities, and it is--it is not really the lens through which we view the engagement. The point of the engagement is the primary mission of making sure that we communicate with and to and hear from these kinds of communities, opening up channels of communication. The Department continues to evaluate what other activities it can undertake to counter violent extremism, and my office plays a key role in that policy discussion. The work that we do with American, Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities is, therefore, part and parcel of a much broader effort. But this particular engagement is structured as follows. We have community leader roundtables in eight cities around the country, and we facilitate broad Government and community representation at those round tables. This is a big category of activities for my office. We convene about 30 of these meetings each year. The meetings provide opportunities for community leaders to learn about significant Government policies, to raise specific issues of concern, and it is in a format that promotes accountability for answers. The Government participants will be back again the following quarter. For our engagement efforts to be sustainable, it is important that the grievances be heard, and so we collect inquiries and issues from the communities in advance, and we make sure that we have the right people at the table to talk about them. We bring back what we learn to Department leadership. We also run youth roundtables. There are fewer of these, and they are not--they are less geographically based. It is a newer initiative but a very important one in light of recent trends in domestic radicalization and domestic violence. We have some events related to this coming up next week, for example, that are--that involve people--young people on campuses in Chicago. We also run something that was referred to earlier, a rapid response communication network, which we call the Incident Community Coordination Team. This is a conference call mechanism to be able to quickly speak to community leaders involving Federal officials and the community leaders in the event of a situation where such contact might be productive. The people we speak to are people who can contact and share information with their communities and perhaps assist law enforcement as things unfold. We also promote hand-in-hand with the FBI, for whom--which we are very grateful for, a prestigious law enforcement internship called the National Security Internship for Arabic- speaking college students and graduates so that they can come and feel that there is a place for them in the FBI and in DHS. That is a very successful--small but successful program. There are millions of American Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, South Asians living in thousands of towns and cities, so by necessity Government engagement with these communities is going to have to be local. So we also facilitate and use--and build capacity for local engagement. We look for information on best practices, and we conduct live and video-based training across the country of State and local law enforcement partners. This covers both cultural competency relating to American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities and some--and a developing piece of it, something that we hope to really do more with, is a best practices approach to community interaction and outreach. This kind of work is strongly supported by the administration. I see I am nearly out of time, so I will just say the one thing that I am going to add to this mix, although I am going to augment a few of them, is that we want to do frequent issue- specific engagement efforts. We had our first such event last week bringing together religious leaders from many communities to talk about advanced imaging. Thank you. [The statement of Ms. Schlanger follows:] Prepared Statement of Margo Schlanger March 17, 2010 INTRODUCTION Chair Harman, Ranking Member McCaul, and distinguished Members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At your request, my testimony will be about DHS's engagement with diverse ethnic and religious communities, focusing on my office's activities and giving particular attention to our outreach and communication with American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, Somali, and South Asian communities. Other offices within DHS--the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Transportation Security Administration, the Office of Policy, and others--have not only participated in CRCL's engagement activities but also run their own events with these communities. But CRCL's program in this area is the most extensive, and my testimony will emphasize CRCL's activities. Congress established my position, reporting directly to the Secretary, to, among other things, ``assist the Secretary, directorates, and offices of the Department to develop, implement, and periodically review Department policies and procedures to ensure that the protection of civil rights and civil liberties is appropriately incorporated into Department programs and activities,'' and to ``review and assess information concerning abuses of civil rights, civil liberties, and profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion, by employees and officials of the Department.'' 6 U.S.C. 345(a). Both of these functions are improved by--even depend upon--our engagement with diverse communities. Our engagement efforts involve encouraging all Americans to take an active role in their Government, and ensuring that the Government is responsive to and protects the rights of all Americans. I want to be clear that engaging communities--soliciting their views, explaining our policies, and seeking to address any complaints or grievances they may have--is a basic part of good and responsible Government. Although our activities do contribute to the Department's mission of countering violent extremism; the linkage is indirect. Although we can and should collaborate with community leaders to address this shared problem, ``countering violent extremism'' is neither the principal reason we engage these communities nor the lens through which we view this engagement. The Department continues to evaluate what other activities it can engage in to counter violent extremism, and my office plays a key role in that on-going policy discussion. I would also like to note that my office has no operational role in disrupting terror plots, and our engagement activities do not involve source development or intelligence collection. Since starting in my position at DHS on Jan, 25, 2010, I have led a roundtable bringing together American Muslim, Arab, Sikh, Somali, and South Asian leaders from around the country with officials from DHS and the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), for a very enlightening discussion about the threat posed to those communities by terrorist attempts to recruit their members. The next day the Secretary's Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) hosted a session, in which I participated, with the same leaders about building a rapid response information network to communicate with the community partners in the event of an attack. Secretary Napolitano joined us for an hour-long question-and-answer session and lent her public support to on-going dialogue involving the Department's senior leadership. I also led the DHS delegation to a bi-monthly National roundtable involving American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian leaders sponsored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and chaired local roundtables in Chicago and Detroit involving community leaders and numerous Federal agencies. In addition, I put together a session for Transportation Security Administration officials and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders to discuss Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanning machines and religious physical modesty prescriptions. I will also participate in what is known as the Transatlantic Initiative, a bi-national exchange involving British and American Pakistani and Muslim communities and their governments; my office is the U.S. interagency lead on this initiative. Gatherings like these provide an excellent opportunity for government officials and their agencies to learn about the concerns of diverse communities. The community leaders we engage with likewise learn useful information--for example, our Chicago meeting included presentations on the privacy protections included as part of TSA's use of AIT scanners and on CBP's ``Trusted Traveler'' program, which facilitates expedited international travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks. This kind of work is strongly supported by the administration, including DHS leadership. Secretary Napolitano has established open and responsive Government as a top priority for DHS, and these efforts align closely with that priority. As she explained in 2009, in written testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, ``It is important to note that such engagement with the many key groups with which CRCL holds dialogues--such as Arab and Somali American communities, as well as Muslim and Sikh leaders--is important in and of itself as a matter of civil rights protection and smart, effective law enforcement. But by helping communities more fully engage with their government, DHS is also preempting alienation and creating buy-in to the broader shared responsibility of homeland security.'' Our engagement efforts build crucial channels of communication, both educating us about the concerns of communities affected by DHS activities and giving those communities reliable information about policies and procedures. They build trust by facilitating resolution of legitimate grievances; they reinforce a sense of shared American identity and community; and they demonstrate the collective ownership of the homeland security project. I thank you for the opportunity to share with you our extensive work in this area. THE DHS OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) carries out four key functions to integrate civil rights and civil liberties into Department activities:
Advising Department leadership, personnel, and partners about civil rights and civil liberties issues, ensuring respect for civil rights and civil liberties in policy decisions and implementation of those decisions. Communicating with individuals and communities whose civil rights and civil liberties may be affected by Department activities, informing them about policies and avenues of redress, and promoting appropriate attention within the Department to their experiences and concerns. Investigating and resolving civil rights and civil liberties complaints filed by the public. Leading the Department's equal employment opportunity programs and promoting personnel diversity and merit system principles. ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH CRCL devotes substantial effort to engage a variety of diverse ethnic and religious communities. The work we do with American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities is part and parcel of a much broader effort to ensure that all communities in this country are, and feel, active participants in the homeland security effort. An example is our engagement efforts related to DHS immigration and border security policies. We hold quarterly meetings with a broad-based non- governmental organization (NGO) coalition of National civil rights and immigrant-rights organizations; have established an inter-agency Immigrant Worker Roundtable to bring together DHS components, other Federal agencies, and NGOs; and facilitate an immigration Incident Coordination Call, which provides immigrant community leaders with vital information about CBP and ICE enforcement posture during emergencies. In the past it has been used only to prevent loss of life by encouraging immigrant communities to evacuate dangerous areas during hurricanes by alleviating undue fear of enforcement. We also participate in engagement activities of other DHS components; over the past several months, for example, my staff served as the designated facilitators for extended stakeholder meetings about CBP's Southwest Border activities. We carry out the same types of efforts in non- immigration areas as well; for example participated in a workshop last week for faith-based and community groups involved in disaster response and recovery. Engagement Activities with American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian Communities.--CRCL is far from the only DHS office that conducts outreach efforts involving Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities. To provide just a few examples, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has held Naturalization Information Sessions in these communities, and has published its guide ``Welcome to the United States'' in 14 languages, including Arabic, Urdu, and Somali; officials from the Office of Policy and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs have met repeatedly with members of these communities as well. But CRCL is the Office within DHS that conducts the most extensive outreach efforts involving the many Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities across the Nation. We structure these engagement efforts with several types of regular events or programs: community leader roundtables; youth roundtables; a rapid response communication network; and promotion of a prestigious law enforcement internship for Arabic- speaking college students and graduates. CRCL's activities serve as a model for constructive engagement between these communities and Government, and we strive to facilitate and build capacity for further local engagement. Several other DHS components, as well as States, regional fusion centers, and local governments already also conduct outreach and engagement with these communities--we have learned from each other's experiences and want to encourage these efforts where they are not already occurring. Of course, as with all outreach efforts, the Government must be careful to choose constructive leaders to partner with, and, by the same token, community members are careful to meet with Government officials who they believe will be reliable partners responsive to legitimate concerns. Roundtables.--First, over the past 4 years, CRCL has established regular roundtable meetings for community and Government leaders in eight regions across the country: Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Columbus (Ohio), and Washington, DC. In addition, CRCL has developed relationships with Somali American leaders in San Diego, Seattle, and Lewiston (Maine), and includes them in the regular roundtables where possible and in bi-monthly community conference calls. These locations have diverse Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and Somali communities, and we have nurtured broad community participation. These roundtable events include not just our office, but also DHS components relevant to the issues placed on the agenda by our community partners, most often U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Government participation also includes U.S. Attorneys' Offices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), State and local law enforcement, and other Federal and local officials. The roundtables cover a range of homeland security, civil rights, and other areas. With the assistance of our Federal and local Government partners, sessions have canvassed (in no particular order): Rules governing remittances to foreign relatives; immigration and naturalization policies; access to information about basic Government services in different languages; roles and responsibilities of law enforcement; detention of National security suspects; how Government can work with communities to promote civic engagement; services for newly-arrived refugees; crime prevention; how communities can work with Government to counter violent extremism; protection of civil rights in employment, voting, housing, and other areas; prosecution of hate crimes; and border searches. The meetings provide opportunities for community leaders to learn about significant Government policies, as well as to raise specific issues of concern in a format that emphasizes accountability for answers--the Government participants will be back again the following quarter. For our engagement efforts to be sustainable, it is important that the grievances of these communities be heard by policy decision- makers, so we collect inquiries and issues from the communities and keep senior leadership apprised of the impact of DHS policy and operations. In addition, at the Secretary's request, two DHS Assistant Secretaries have personally attended a number of recent roundtables, and they will attend others in the future. Youth roundtables.--Young leaders and youth organizations offer different perspectives than older community leaders. For this reason, CRCL has hosted four ``Roundtables on Security and Liberty'' in Washington, DC; Houston; and Los Angeles to connect with 150 young leaders ages 18-25 from American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities. These events offer opportunities for youth to share their thoughts with senior DHS leadership and for Government officials to learn from a population whose perspectives are invaluable to homeland security efforts. Incident Community Coordination Team.--Government contact with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, Somali and South Asian community leaders in the hours and days after an incident can be extraordinarily helpful, because community leaders can calm tensions, share information with their communities, and perhaps assist law enforcement. Accordingly, my office has established the Incident Community Coordination Team (ICCT). This conference call mechanism connects Federal officials with key leaders in the event of a situation in which contact would be productive. DHS participant components and offices include TSA, ICE, CBP, USCIS, the Office of Public Affairs, and the Office of Intelligence & Analysis. We are joined by the White House Office of Public Engagement, the DOJ Civil Rights Division, the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and the Department of State, among others. Community participants include representatives of National organizations, community leaders from key cities, and religious and cultural scholars. Our ICCT has been used seven times since we established it in 2006, and has been an effective device in several ways: It allows participating agencies to get community leaders the information they need in the aftermath of an incident. The information shared--which is not classified or restricted--is valuable because of its reliability and timeliness. It gives community leaders a channel to speak to Federal officials in a timely and effective way. They can share reactions to Governmental policies or enforcement actions, and provide information about hate crimes that should be investigated, about the mood of communities in the aftermath of a homeland security incident and, possibly, about how the Government might improve its effectiveness in investigating the incident. It facilitates development of a common understanding about the messages that Government and community leaders will send to these communities, the country, and the world. Most recently, the ICCT was convened after the Fort Hood incident in November 2009, and after the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight No. 253 in December 2009. Representatives from DHS, the White House, DOJ's Civil Rights Division, NCTC, Department of Defense, Department of State, and the FBI provided briefings to community leaders, giving them information they could share with their communities. Community leaders had an opportunity to ask questions and share reactions to the events. National Security Internship Program.--In 2007, in partnership with the FBI, my office established the National Security Internship Program to bring Arabic-speaking college students to Washington, DC to intern for a summer at DHS or the FBI, and concurrently improve their Arabic language skills at the George Washington University. Successful interns are encouraged to apply for permanent jobs at DHS or the FBI. This program brings people with both language and cultural skills to Government's policy, law enforcement, and intelligence offices. This internship program is an important part of the partnership between Government and the Arab American and Muslim American communities. Facilitating Local Engagement There are millions of American Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asians, living in thousands of towns and cities across the Nation. By necessity, Governmental engagement with these communities will have to be local. CRCL conducts training for law enforcement personnel on cultural competency relating to American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities, Islam, and some Sikh religious practices. This kind of training is a precondition for honest communication and trust between officers and the communities they serve and protect. Topics include: Misconceptions and stereotypes of Arab and Muslim cultures; diversity within Arab and Muslim communities; effective policing without the use of ethnic or racial profiling; and a best practices approach to community interaction and outreach. Much of this training is provided live, usually on-site, to Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials around the country. But we have also produced a training DVD that includes insights from four National and international experts--an Assistant United States Attorney who is Muslim; a member of the National Security Council who is Muslim; an internationally renowned scholar of Islamic studies; and a civil rights attorney who advocates on issues of concern to Arab-American and Muslim-American communities. It is worth noting, in addition, that it is our community partners--reliably informed by engagement activities about Government policy and practices, and consistently empowered by those same engagement activities to highlight for policymakers their experiences, concerns, and grievances and to obtain reasonable responses--who bear the responsibility to counter radical ideologies that subvert their values and may pave a path for their young people towards violence. Radical beliefs, after all, are protected by the Constitution. Our proper sphere of concern and intervention is violence, not radicalism. NEXT STEPS I have a number of plans to augment my office's existing engagement efforts in American Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities. Over the next year, we plan to add cities for our regularly scheduled roundtables. Conceptually, I have three strategic initiatives: (1) Frequent issue-specific engagement efforts.--Issue-specific engagement brings community leaders to the table who have particular contributions to make on specific topics. Our first issue-specific event is focused on AIT scanning technology and religious modesty prescriptions. (2) Promoting local engagement efforts.--As discussed in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review released last month, the DHS vision for homeland security is a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards, and where American interests, aspirations, and way of life can thrive. The American way of life prominently includes our cherished civil rights and civil liberties. Even so, our Department--and the Federal Government as a whole--cannot possibly do all that needs to be done in this area of endeavor. States and local governments are beginning to become active in this area, and some are doing terrific work. We must promote more local efforts, by modeling constructive engagement; providing in-person and scalable training and training materials; coordinating community-oriented activities; and promulgating best practices. We need to ensure that our State, local, and Tribal partners have the knowledge, methods, skills, and resources to productively engage their communities. (3) Youth engagement efforts.--Regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, national origin, or gender, young people communicate differently than older generations; they have vastly more exposure to social media tools and real-time on-line information and communication. And because it is youth who are at the frontlines when it comes to terrorist recruitment, they are perhaps the most vital audience for a message of inclusion, esteem, and fair treatment. It is our job as a Department to welcome young people in American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian communities to join our Nation's collective security efforts; we must empower them to be connected rather than alienated. We need to demonstrate to our youth that we value their opinions and welcome their ideas, and we need to use a variety of communications techniques to convey that message. CONCLUSION Frequent, responsive, and thoughtful engagement with diverse communities is an imperative of effective government. Such engagement gathers and shares information, builds trust, informs policy, and enables prompt response to legitimate grievances and needs; it is the right of Americans as the sovereign source of Governmental authority. Engagement with American Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities is one instantiation of that imperative, and a crucial method of reinforcing the fundamental tenet that we are fellow citizens facing a common threat. Thank you, again, for the opportunity to testify today. I welcome your questions. Ms. Harman. Thank you very much. Mr. Hovington. STATEMENT OF BRETT HOVINGTON, SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT, HEAD OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS UNIT, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Mr. Hovington. Good morning, Chair Harman, Ranking Member McCaul and distinguished Members of the subcommittee. As chief of the Community Relations Unit at FBI's Office of Public Affairs, I appreciate this opportunity to join my colleagues from the Department of Homeland Security, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office, and the State of Ohio in discussing this very important issue, particularly our efforts to build trust and open a constructive dialogue with the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, Somali, and South Asian communities, to name a few. The FBI's Community Outreach Program works to enhance public trust and confidence in the FBI, fostering open and transparent dialogue. Community engagement efforts that build trust help us to open doors, facilitating the overall mission of the FBI in keeping the communities and the homeland safe. If people understand the FBI's mission and view the FBI as cooperative and trustworthy, they are more likely to report a crime, return a telephone call, or respond positively to being approached by an FBI special agent. As we see more instances of individuals in the United States being radicalized to commit violent acts--and I repeat, to commit violent acts--our efforts to build understanding and trust become more critical than ever. At the headquarters level, the FBI engages a variety of Arab American and Muslim organizations. FBI leadership meets with leaders of National groups and has found these interactions to be mutually beneficial. We look to these organizations to assist us in communication with their members and constituents. For example, before we implemented our new attorney general guidelines for domestic operations last year, we briefed these organizations on the changes and attempted to address their concerns. Our intent was to provide them with information to place the FBI's efforts in context when issues arose publicly. At the local level, each of our 56 FBI field offices has a community outreach program coordinated by a professional community outreach specialist or a special agent community outreach coordinator. As we do at the National level, field offices identify and develop relationships with community leaders and other individuals who have influence in their communities and may be helpful conduits of information for the communities that we are obligated to protect and serve. These leaders make up a network of contacts the field office can reach quickly in the event there is a threat or operational activity impacting that community. This network of contacts is also helpful when the FBI needs public assistance to support on-going investigations, to address concerns about FBI activities reported in the news media, or to provide additional details on information released by the FBI such as crime statistics. Field offices use various initiatives to develop and maintain their liaison with community leaders and groups. Thirty-eight of our field offices have established what we call our Community Engagement Councils or Multi-Cultural Advisory Councils that consult with field office leadership on areas of interest or concerns in their communities. Many field offices have held town-hall style meetings to help foster dialogue with the broader community. FBI field offices also partner with community outreach programs run by State and local law enforcement agencies, which is very critical to the success of engaging. One of our key initiatives is the FBI Citizen Academy 8- to 10-week program that brings together community leaders to learn about the FBI mission, jurisdiction, policies, and general overall mission. All field offices conduct at least one Citizen Academy per year, while some may conduct two or three. A strong effort is made to attract a diverse group of participants to these classes. Another program is the Community Relations Executive Seminar Training, or what we call our CREST. It is a shorter version of our Citizen Academy program that is conducted at locations in the community rather than at an FBI facility. While not as in-depth as our Citizen Academies, these programs provide a vehicle to reach out to communities where trust in the Government or the FBI in particular needs to be enhanced. Topics discussed vary according to the interests of the group and often include civil rights, hate crimes, and terrorism. In the context of countering violent radicalization, a key step is to develop relationships within the community based on trust and to do so under non-stressful circumstances rather-- rather than in the aftermath of an incident. We have found CREST to be an important first step in building that process. The FBI also continues to adapt our established youth programs to help us reach groups of young people, particularly in the Muslim communities. Field offices sponsor teen academies which are designed to introduce youth to the FBI. We also have our Adopt-a-School/Junior Agent special program, which is designed to introduce youth to the FBI and to encourage good citizenship. Our community partners have become a bridge to many who have viewed the FBI with either contempt or fear. They now come through the doors of the FBI and feel free to share their views on sensitive issues. While we realize we may not always agree at times, or we must agree to disagree, our focus continues to be on the fostering dialogue and keeping the conversation going. I hope I conveyed the committee's--the FBI's strategy to engage communities and the methods we use, and I thank again the Chair and the Members of the committee for their interest in this important issue. Thank you. [The statement of Mr. Hovington follows:] Prepared Statement of Brett Hovington March 17, 2010 Good afternoon Chair Harman, Ranking Member McCaul, and distinguished Members of the subcommittee. I am happy to join with my colleagues here from the Department of Homeland Security and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office. As chief of the Community Relations Unit of the FBI's Office of Public Affairs, I appreciate this opportunity to discuss the FBI's community outreach and engagement efforts, particularly our efforts to build trust and open a constructive dialogue with American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, Somali, and South Asian communities, to name but a few. The primary purpose of the FBI's Community Outreach Program is simple: To enhance public trust and confidence in the FBI by fostering the FBI's relationship within various communities. The Community Outreach Program supports the FBI's mission by educating members of the public on how they can help protect themselves and their communities. Our engagement efforts are designed to build trust in communities that can assist in opening doors, facilitating the overall mission of the FBI in keeping communities and the homeland safe. If the public understands the FBI's mission and views the FBI as cooperative and trustworthy, they are more likely to report a crime, return a telephone call, or respond positively to being approached by a FBI Special Agent. I have traveled to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and many parts of the United States studying the various engagement strategies of law enforcement agencies. One common thread is the need to have better dialogue not just with communities, but specifically with youth. Recent situations involving young people leaving the United States to travel abroad and engage in criminal and nefarious activities is one of the concerns facing the United States today. Though violent radicalization is a growing concern, the overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans we encounter are loyal, law-abiding citizens. If we want to stop future generations of youth from choosing the wrong path and fighting against our country instead of for it, we must commit to increasing our field-based scientific research on the violent radicalization of youth. The only way we can effectively address this issue is to fully understand it. Sociologists, political scientists, and psychologists can all help us explore conflict between leaders, community members, and youth. As a Special Agent, I can attest that an individual's understanding and perception of the FBI can make everything we do easier or harder. As we see more instances of individuals in the United States being radicalized to commit violent acts, our efforts to build understanding and trust becomes more critical than ever. OUTREACH AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL The FBI engages National and local organizations in the United States that have public positions against terrorism and violent radicalization to further a positive image of law enforcement. The FBI has established contacts with a variety of National-level Arab-American and Muslim organizations. FBI Director Mueller meets with leaders of these groups and has found these interactions to be mutually beneficial. We look to these organizations to assist us in communicating with their members and constituents. For example, to provide an understanding of the FBI's investigative parameters prior to implementation of the new Attorney General's Guidelines for Domestic Operations, we offered these organizations briefings and attempted to address concerns raised by the groups. Out intent was to provide them with information to place the FBI's efforts in context when issues arose publicly. Outreach Efforts at the Local Level Each of our 56 field offices has a Community Outreach Program coordinated by a professional Community Outreach Specialist or Special Agent Community Outreach Coordinator. Our Community Outreach Program has several elements: Building relationships with community leaders; reaching out to youth and the broader community; and partnering with various community organizations and other law enforcement outreach efforts. As we do at the National level, field offices identify and develop relationships with community leaders and other individuals who have influence in their communities and may be helpful conduits of information to the community at large. These leaders make up a network of contacts the field office can reach out to on short notice to deliver a message to their community in the event there is a threat or operational activity impacting that community. This network of contacts is also helpful when the FBI needs public assistance to support an on-going investigation, to address concerns about FBI activities reported in the news media, or to provide additional details on information released by the FBI, such as crime statistics. For example: In Detroit, the executive management, including the Special Agent in Charge, attends regular meetings in the Muslim communities. They also have individuals from the Muslim Community who participate in the Multi-Cultural Advisory Councils, FBI Citizens' Academies, and the FBI Teen Academy. In the fall of 2009, the Assistant Director of the New York Office met with 40 Muslim community leaders to address the issues and concerns of the community following operational activities in the investigation of Najibullah Zazi. This kind of dialogue has become part of our set operations plan. Field offices use various initiatives to develop and maintain their liaison with community leaders and groups. Thirty-eight of our field offices have established Community Engagement Councils or Multi- Cultural Advisory Councils that consult with field office leadership on areas of interest or concern in the community. Another key initiative is the Citizens' Academy. This effort is an 8- to 10-week program that brings together community leaders to learn about the FBI's mission, jurisdiction, policies, and general operations. All field offices conduct at least one Citizens' Academy per year, while some may conduct multiple sessions. A strong effort is made to attract a diversity of members that represent the surrounding communities to these classes. After a member of the Turkish-American community graduated from the Knoxville office's Citizens' Academy in 2009, the partnership blossomed, and now the Turkish community will be hosting a session of this year's Citizens' Academy. They will also be participating during the next Youth Academy, which will include students from 25 different high schools. Another program used to foster relationships within various communities is the Community Relations Executive Seminar Training or CREST. While not as in-depth as Citizen Academies, this program provides a vehicle to reach out to communities where trust in the Government or the FBI in particular needs to be enhanced. Topics addressed in a CREST session vary according to the interests of the group, discussing such areas as civil rights, hate crimes, or terrorism. The effectiveness of the CREST program is that it is often the starting point for bridging the gaps of trust that may exist between the FBI and a given community. In the context of countering violent radicalization, a key step is to develop relationships within the community based on trust and to do so under non-stressful circumstances rather than in the aftermath of an incident. CREST is a first step in that building process. In addition to the Citizens' Academy and CREST programs, many field offices have held town-hall style meetings to help foster dialogue with the broader community. Some examples of the communities the FBI has engaged in this way are: The Atlanta office held a town hall meeting for the Muslim community at the Hamza Center in Alpharetta, Georgia. The Buffalo office partnered with the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York to host a town hall meeting with the Special Agent in Charge and an Assistant U.S. Attorney present. The New Haven office held town hall meetings with the Pakistani-American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC). The San Antonio office participated in an open forum for a group of refugees from Somalia, Tanzania and Iran, expressing encouragement to those in attendance that local/Federal agencies were available to assist with any concerns or issues. FBI field offices also partner with community outreach programs run by State and local law enforcement agencies. Since 2006, the Dallas FBI office and Arlington Police have held joint quarterly meetings with leaders of the Muslim Community in Tarrant County. The meetings are a collaborative effort of the FBI and Arlington Police to engage the Muslim community leadership. Both the Citizens' Academy and CREST graduates--along with our local law enforcement partners--are the foundation of a community support network that works as a force multiplier for us. By working through this local foundation, we are able to model a more traditional community policing effort to combat violent radicalization and terrorism. SPECIALIZED COMMUNITY OUTREACH TEAM (SCOT) In November 2008, the Community Relations Unit established a Specialized Community Outreach Team. The team, comprised of Special Agents, Analysts, Community Outreach Specialists, and personnel with language or other specialized skills, assists field offices with establishing new contacts in key communities. The pilot program focused on establishing contacts in the Somali-American communities of Denver, Columbus, Minneapolis, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, DC. These cities were selected because they were identified as the largest Somali-American communities in the United States. The intent of this new engagement strategy is to use the best practices in community outreach and tailor them to assist in efforts to engage communities that are particularly insular or where barriers of fear or suspicion of law enforcement exist. In the pilot program field offices were helped to develop relationships with organizations and individuals in the Somali community who are well-positioned to fill outreach gaps and assist in developing a more positive dialogue with the community. OUTREACH TO YOUTH The FBI continues to adapt our established youth programs to help us reach new groups of young people, particularly in Muslim communities. Field offices sponsor teen academies which are designed to introduce youth to the FBI. We also have the Adopt-a-School/Junior Special Agent program, which is designed to introduce youth to the FBI and to encourage good citizenship. Here are just a few examples: As a part of the FBI Adopt-a-School Program, the Phoenix office hosted a Jr. Special Agent Program at the Arizona Cultural Academy, an Islamic private school. A series of topics presented for the youth were: Making Good Decisions, Peer Pressure, Internet Safety, Violence Prevention, Self-Esteem, and Teasing and Rumors. The New York office participated in a Pakistani Youth Group event held by the Council of People's Organization (COPO) in Brooklyn. Agents from the San Antonio office delivered an internet safety presentation to 300 middle school students at a predominately Turkish run school, Harmony Science Academy. Agents from the Atlanta office participated in Career Day at Dar-Un-Noor School, which is also a part of the Al Farooq Masijid, the largest mosque in Atlanta, Georgia. RECOGNIZING OUR PARTNERS Our community partners have become a bridge to many who viewed the FBI with either contempt or fear. They now come through the doors of the FBI and feel free to share their views on sensitive issues. We commend our friends for their efforts, and we commend the leaders of minority and ethnic communities who have also become friends with the FBI and who are building similar relationships for their communities. While we realize we are going to have disagreements with these same communities, we are talking. Sparking that dialogue is essential. The leadership of the American Muslim community is working vigorously on many levels to emphasize that American Muslims are Americans. The opportunity to cooperate with the FBI and other authorities can ensure the safety and security of communities and the United States. One way we can formally recognize the FBI's partners across the country is through the Director's Community Leadership Award. In 2009, four recipients of this award were Muslim leaders. 2008 Muslim Recipients included: Yahya Hendi, Bilal Eksili, Dafer Mohammed Dakhil, and Mohammed Moinuddin. This year's recipients include five Muslim leaders, including: Dr. Saeed Fahia, Josefina Salma Ahmed, Bilah A. Khaleeq, and Mohamed Abdul-Azeez. The fifth recipient, Nawar Shora from the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, provided training to community outreach personnel from all 56 field offices at our annual training conference last year. This year's recipients will be coming to FBI headquarters this week to be formally recognized by FBI Director Robert Mueller for their outstanding contributions to public safety. CONCLUSION In my remarks I hope I conveyed to the committee the FBI's strategy to engage communities, counter violent radicalization and the methods we use. The process requires building trust within the community, followed by creating strong and open partnerships. Achieving these elements we can then seek to positively influence change in the community and alter the path towards violent radicalization. I thank the Chairman and the Members of the committee for their interest in this important issue affecting our Nation and look forward to answering your questions. Ms. Harman. Thank you very much. Sheriff Baca. STATEMENT OF LEROY BACA, SHERIFF, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT Sheriff Baca. Thank you. Thank you and good morning. It is a delight to be here with all of you. Simply this: Without Muslim Americans locally, Nationally, and internationally, we are not winning any war against terror. Our testimony is designed to bring forth that strong message to--to not only Members of this committee but also members of this entire Nation. Simply, local and international relationships are the strongest tools in the war against terror. Information that is relationship-derived is more reliable than information that is twice- or more removed from the original source. When the Christmas day terrorist Abdulmutallab's father reported his son's extremism, intelligence doesn't get any better than this. My point is where billions of people who--in the world are aligned in cooperation with police against terrorism, terrorists will be defeated. I have four points. I would like to briefly discuss them with you. The first, as you have heard through my colleague to the right from the FBI, public-trust policing is the goal not only for Muslim Americans but the vast, diverse societies throughout the United States. To maintain a safe and free society of terrorist attacks, police need to establish public-trust policing techniques that lead to appropriate channels of communication and participation by the public. This brochure I provided you will describe extensively what this means. But moreover, we have to reach to the point where people are advising police as opposed to police merely advising people. The sheriff's department has ethnic advisory councils that are European, South Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Russian, and particularly Iranian and Muslims from various nations which include Pakistan, Jordan, the Gulf states, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. My second point is Muslim Americans are clearly against terrorism. To further the effort of public safety, Muslim American leaders within Los Angeles County formed a nonprofit organization called the Muslim American Homeland Security Congress. I provided you with a brochure that describes what this organization does and what its educational input is on these various issues of relationship building and public safety. This organization was formed by the leaders of Muslim groups covering 70 mosques. The Shura Council, for example, of Los Angeles has 70 mosques within their environment. The leader of that council was part of the forming of this organization that I have alluded to. The Council of American Islamic Relations, CAIR, also led in this effort. Muslim Public Affairs Council. The Council of Pakistani Affairs. The Iranian American Muslim Association of North America participated in this. Various local mosques and Islamic centers were involved. The organization is an educational organization with a two- way road for public safety. As a result, significant activities are engaged in with this organization. I might also say that the sheriff's department--I want to introduce Sergeant Michael Abdeen. If you could just stand for a moment. He is the outreach Muslim American who goes out with his team of five other Muslim Americans in uniform, prays in mosques, engages with children and young teenagers and parents, and helps parents solve problems that are not necessarily related to a terrorist threat. How do we survive in the common issues of young people getting involved with drugs and other things that are detrimental to their growth? The key here is that we have to have interactive relationships, not only relationships based on professional reasons. The next point is professional international police diplomacy. I have been all over this world in the Muslim countries, trying to build a greater sense of appreciation and relationship for their strategies, and to point, this document here will explain it thoroughly to you. Countries such as Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, all the Gulf states, and we hosted a conference in Beverly Hills last Thursday of all the Gulf states police chiefs, major European police chiefs, the police chiefs of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, along with Mexico City, Tijuana, and Singapore. This is significant. Law enforcement in America needs to collaborate with our counterparts outside of our Nation. Cities like Los Angeles and New York, which are the capitals, pretty much, of the diversity of all the Nation's countries, are part of this effort. The last point, which is No. 4, is interfaith respect. Americans of faith will help when asked. The question of peaceful human coexistence worldwide cannot be fully answered without including the good will of all faiths towards one another. At this time in our history, with billions of dollars being spent on the war against terror, our Nation should ask all Americans of faith to join with President Obama's example and be the instrument of good will to Muslims throughout the world. There is my belief that the average American has the potential to be our best ambassador of good will, but we all have to go forward in our various elected jobs and our official positions in Government to set the example and communicate with mosques worldwide, within our Nation as well, and go to these places and participate in some of the activities they engage in. Extremists are what they are. But they will not survive or thrive in a world that is not indifferent. Los Angeles County is not indifferent to the assets and virtues of the Muslim American communities locally and those that are worldwide. Finally, I would like to thank Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary, for her effort as well in trying to reach out and build a better relationship with Muslim Americans. Thank you. [The statement of Sheriff Baca follows:] Prepared Statement of Leroy Baca March 17, 2010 On September 13, 2001, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, fearing a backlash against Muslim-Americans, convened a meeting led by then-Governor Gray Davis and Mayor James Hahn, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and I, in addition to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Interfaith Council. Our core message was to not involve religious assumptions regarding the attacks on America during 9/11. We succeeded in keeping 11,000,000 people intact without violence. Minor verbal abuse acts, however, were documented by deputies and police. Since then, the Sheriff's Department has worked daily with diverse Muslim-American communities in Los Angeles County. This testimony of our efforts is a model that could be helpful as our Nation continues to prevent future terrorism at home and abroad. Local and international relationships are the strongest tools in the war against terror. Information that is relationship-derived is more reliable than information twice- or more removed from the original source. When the Christmas day terrorist Abdulmutallab's father reported his son's extremism, intelligence doesn't get any better than this. Where the billions of people of the world are aligned in cooperation with police against terrorism, the terrorists will be defeated. Because we need relationships with Muslim communities to better protect all citizens, Americans, particularly elected officials, should not claim Islam supports terrorism. This is counter-productive to trust. It plays into the terrorist strategy that the West is against Islam. Moreover, the millions of Iranians who are objecting to the apparent fraudulent election in Iran, and the undemocratic behavior of its supreme religious leader(s), are not abandoning Islam as they embrace fair democracy for their country. Law enforcement alone, however, cannot generate the appropriate intelligence and response to terrorist cells without the cooperation and support of all citizens, especially the Muslim-American community. Moreover, in America, we are obligated to protect all citizens and their respective religions. To effectively detect and manage extremists, police need to have the trust and understanding of Muslim communities who live within and outside the United States, especially those who have experienced terrorist attacks within their homelands. Simply, police need public participation. To accomplish public participation, certain strategies, such as public-trust policing, need to be in place everywhere in our Nation. PUBLIC-TRUST POLICING To maintain a safe society free of terrorist attacks, police need to establish public-trust policing techniques that lead to appropriate channels of communication and participation with the public. Los Angeles County has aggressively embarked upon a public-trust policing program since 9/11. Relationships with all faiths are important to achieve interfaith harmony. Los Angeles County has many interfaith efforts. The Sheriff's Department developed an Interfaith Advisory Council consisting of more than 300 rabbis, priests, imams, ministers, monks and faith leaders of all religions. In addition, the Sheriff's Department also developed a Muslim Community Affairs unit, the first of its kind in the Nation, staffed by Muslim-American deputy sheriffs. Moreover, the Sheriff's Department has ethnic advisory councils that are European, South Asian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Russian, and particularly Iranian and Muslims from various nations including Pakistan, Jordan, the Gulf States, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. MUSLIM-AMERICANS ARE CLEARLY AGAINST TERRORISM To further the effort of public safety, Muslim-American leaders within Los Angeles County formed a non-profit organization, the Muslim- American Homeland Security Congress (MAHSC). Islamic organizations that contributed to this effort are the Islamic Shura Council which is an umbrella organization covering 70 mosques within Southern California; the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); the Council of Pakistan-American Affairs (COPAA); Iranian-American Muslim Association of North America (IMAN); and various local mosques and Islamic centers. The MAHSC organization works closely with the Muslim Community Affairs Unit which consists of Arabic-speaking deputy sheriffs and key leaders of the Sheriff's Department. Together, we engage in community forums and participate in events to discuss their concerns with law enforcement. Some of the other functions of the Muslim Community Affairs unit include attending community events and functions, conduct facility tours to familiarize them with the Sheriff's Department functions, and train Sheriff's Department staff on cultural diversity issues relating to the Muslim American population. PROFESSIONAL INTERNATIONAL POLICE DIPLOMACY Los Angeles County Police agencies are building strong relationships with the police of Muslim, European, Asian, Central American, and Canadian countries. One major reality in the fight against terrorism is that Muslim communities are in the best position to discover extremist activities within the United States, as well as all countries where Muslims reside, worldwide. The trust-based relationships police develop with their respective communities will more often than not lead to the early detection of extremism. To further validate the strategy of international public police co- dependence, the Sheriff's Department has embarked upon international police diplomacy efforts. The countries of focus, to date, are Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, all Gulf States, Mexico, all Central American states, China, Taiwan, South Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, The Netherlands, Canada, Morocco, Singapore, Armenia, and Great Britain. Simply, Los Angeles County, like the City of New York, is a capital of all the world's nationalities by heritage or birth. This resource of humanity is an asset in discovering extremist behavior. INTERFAITH RESPECT Americans of faith will help when asked. The question of peaceful human co-existence, worldwide, cannot be fully answered without including the goodwill of all faiths to one another. At this time in our history, with billions of dollars being spent on a war against terror, our Nation should ask that all Americans follow President Obama's example and be the instrument of goodwill to Muslims throughout the world. It is my belief that the average American has the potential to be our best ambassador of goodwill. However, Senators, Members of Congress, Governors, mayors, boards of supervisors, sheriffs, police chiefs, scholars, scientists, and laborers and their leaders must set the example with a desire to visit mosques and communicate with Muslims, worldwide, in the quest of better understanding Islam. Extremists are what they are, but they cannot thrive or survive in a world that is not indifferent. Los Angeles County is not indifferent to the assets and virtues of the Muslim communities, locally and worldwide. HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORY COUNCIL (HSAC) As a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, I would like to commend Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on her initiative on countering violent extremism. I dedicate myself and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to work with DHS to develop a program similar to that of the Sheriff Department's Muslim community outreach program on a National level. Attachment 1.--Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Core Values As a Leader in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, I commit myself to honorably perform my duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply common sense and fairness in all I do and courage to stand against racism, sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia and bigotry in all its forms. Attachment 2.--Letter
Ms. Harman. Thank you, Sheriff Baca. Mr. Alomari. STATEMENT OF OMAR ALOMARI, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OFFICER, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY, HOMELAND SECURITY DIVISION Mr. Alomari. Madam Chair, Honorable Ranking Member, thank you for inviting me today. It is really indeed an honor to be before you here. The Ohio Homeland Security established an office in 2005 solely dedicated to community engagement. From the beginning, the office wasn't established as a community intelligence program, and for sure it wasn't meant to be an information- gathering office. It is a program that aims at establishing a long-term relationship with citizens and residents of Ohio for the purpose of building proactive and strong communities, integrated, confident, and open, to reject extremism and violent ideologies that breed terrorism. Community engagement broadened the debate on how as a society we can respond to terrorism, at the same time enable first responders to be approachable, increases the public understanding of the Government's efforts to counter violent extremism. However, it has a broader perspective. It gives the public the opportunity to voice issues of interest and concerns that inspire citizens to make a difference and, most importantly, it humanizes law enforcement to the community and humanizes the community to law enforcement. This is a cultural capital that benefits all sides. Our work has been focused in three areas. One, building relations with civic, women, youth, and religious organizations. Consequently, we have been building regular town hall meetings--holding regular town hall meetings with organizations representing all groups. We have formed advisory councils, imams' councils, youth councils, and women councils. We work in tandem with these communities to invite representatives from private and public sectors to address all issues of concern and mutual questions. The second thing, we do research, publish, and put informational and educational material and literature to the communities and first responders. We produced a series of cultural guides--the one that I am holding in my hand here--and we are in the process of printing and posting two more cultural guides, one on Hispanic and Latino cultures, and one on American culture. We thought that a lot of communities' recent residents and refugees lack a lot of information on American culture and system, and we are writing to inform and educate the public as well. The third area we focus on is we offer training workshops, classes, and seminars on culture competency. Our office developed a comprehensive culture competency training program for law enforcement and other first responder agencies. We just completed training 3,000 Ohio State highway patrolmen, and we are working with different law enforcement agencies to do that. We have so many demands for the year 2010. The success or failure of our work is measured by the response we have been getting with law enforcement and the communities. For the most part, it has been extremely positive. I just want to emphasize that community engagement is not the answer or the solution to every security problem. It does not replace police work. However, it complements and enhances it, provides a new and effective tool for law enforcement to do their job effectively. In the last 8 years, security has become globalized and thus it requires a new look. It requires comprehensive view and multidimensional approach that is based on collaborative and cooperative efforts with law--between law enforcement and the communities. But there are a number of problems that we face to do our job effectively. One, there is a conceptual flaw regarding the quality of information the Government has been getting on cultures, religions, and the legacy of those communities. Most of the information we have been getting comes from media personalities and thus the quality of information been compromised. That definitely would affect decision-making. Second, culture information some law enforcement have been getting from agencies who really offer training in this area in the aftermath of 9/11--not based on research or facts but rather sensationalized and commercialized information. The training contradicts, in a way, what my office, our office, offer to law enforcement in Ohio. The third one is lack of financial support. Culture engagement is a new field for law enforcement, but we need more Government support to expand the work. I am a one-person office for the entire State of Ohio. My office would not have succeeded without the great support we have been getting from DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office and the other officials, of course, in the State of Ohio. Thank you so much. [The statement of Mr. Alomari follows:] Prepared Statement of Omar Alomari March 17, 2010 BACKGROUND Global terrorism had reached American shores in the early 1990's when terrorists attempted to destroy the World Trade Center. Having failed in their first attempt, they tried again and succeeded in 2001 when on 9/11 terrorism claimed the lives of almost 3,000 innocent American citizens. Since then terrorism has become part of American lexicon. As the threat continues and as new realities arise, various steps should be taken to ensure the safety and security of citizens and the homeland. In the fight against terrorism the goal is to tackle the factors that contribute to extremism and radicalism which might lead to violence and terrorism. Minimizing the factors that contribute to radicalization of vulnerable individuals requires collaborative efforts between first responders, law enforcement, and citizen groups of all cultural backgrounds. Collaboration should be extensive and inclusive of all citizens utilizing consultation, participation, and recommendations. A frank and open debate should take place over extremism, violent extremism, and the role everyone has to play in fighting this war on one hand, and reducing the contributing factors to violent extremism on the other. Moreover, a conducive and empowering environment should be established for the purpose of achieving these goals. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OFFICE OHIO HOMELAND SECURITY The Community Engagement office was born in 2005 out of a need to establish an outreach program to the whole community with a special focus to engage and consult with the Arab and Muslims communities because of the role they can play in the fight against terrorism and the violent ideologies that breed violence. The Ohio Department of Public Safety/Division of Homeland Security recognized the need to develop regular lines of communication for the purpose of engaging all communities to help achieve its mission. Primary Objective To reach out, coordinate, and engage the diverse communities throughout the State of Ohio in the mission of Ohio Homeland Security and on matters of importance and concerns to both sides for the purpose of keeping Ohio and her citizens safe and secure. OHIO HOMELAND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OFFICE MODEL ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Primary Goal.............................. Establish trust and legitimacy between the law enforcement and the communities. Emphasis.................................. Multilevel trust, genuine relationship between first responders and communities; empowering citizens to share information. Approach.................................. Holding regular town hall meetings; open dialogue; advisory councils; imams' councils; participation in cultural events. Community Engagement...................... Increase cultural awareness; education; media campaigns; forums; active liaisons. Law Enforcement........................... Increase in cultural competency, increase of communities' trust in first responders; form partnership with citizens. Community input in preventing As trust with first radicalization, and violent extremism. responders increases, communities will invest in their security and the security the entire State. Desired Outcome........................... Communities' feel confident and comfortable in helping first responders in the fight against terrorism. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Long-term Goals 1. Form advising councils that represent our communities to help build a society based on mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation. 2. Engage the community to become part of Homeland Security mission of [sic] 3. Prevention, protection, response, and recovery of acts of terrorism. 4. Present terrorism awareness programs to the community through public speaking, workshops, and training and by engaging schools and workplaces in both public and private sectors. 5. Encourage State-wide cooperation and build partnerships within the community and citizen groups. 6. Participate in celebration and cultural events observed by our diverse citizens and groups. 7. Nurture a relationship of mutual respect between the community and First Responders/Homeland Security. 8. Hold regular meeting with the members of the community. 9. Establish a task force representing community-based organizations that include leadership of the largest spectrum of society. 10. Work as a bridge to promote harmony, cooperation, understanding, and mutual respect among different religious and cultural organization in the State of Ohio. 11. Counter issues of stereotypes and profiling of communities like the Arabs, Muslims, and Somalis. 12. Establish direct lines of communications with the leaders of the diverse groups. 13. Create a working relationship with all mediums of communication to provide accurate information regarding cultural competence. 14. Offer training workshops to public employees regarding diversity, cultural competence, and community engagement. 15. Create a public speaking program that presents issues relate to the goals of the office. 16. Research, write, post, publish, and make available to first responders literature on religious and cultural issues relate to communities. Action Plan 1. Identify and list all cultural and religious organizations to work with. 2. Identify and list leadership within these organizations. 3. Identify important members of these communities in private and public sectors. 4. Choose contact persons with the necessary background for successful contacts. 5. Contacts should be personal and slow in order to build trust in mission and establish communication and working relationship. 6. Engage the leadership in as many meetings as possible to keep lines of communication open. Meetings' agendas should establish major and specific matters that are important to both Government and communities. 7. Explain the mission of the office and the role they play in working with homeland security. 8. Elicit their input, cooperation, and consultation in OHS work. 9. Coordinate and plan with community organizations to hold town hall meetings in which the largest possible number of communities attends to address their issues and concerns and OHS issues and concerns. Meetings should include representatives of various Governmental agencies and any agency of relevance or importance to both sides. 10. Formalize these councils in appointments and media announcements. 11. Councils should be divided into work groups to address issues of interest. 12. Councils should select members among them as contact persons with 24 hours contact access. 13. Attend meetings and cultural events celebrated by the communities. 14. Work closely with the communities to counter profiling and stereotyping. 15. Enable the communities to represent themselves and make their voice heard when and where it's needed. YOUTH LIAISON General goals.--To engage the youth in a multitude of programs and activities for the purpose of preventing violence and terrorism by promoting good citizens less vulnerable to extremism and fanaticism. The following are some steps Ohio Homeland Security is taking to help in achieving this goal. They focus on citizenry, service, and leadership: 1. Engage Muslim youth in civic duties and provide them with a sense of belonging to the larger community. 2. Provide the youth with a voice in expressing and discussing their issues and concerns. 3. Provide support through coordinating with other youth and service organizations to address issues not addressed by faith- based organizations. 4. Establish leadership initiative to empower and activate youngsters in political and cultural life. This initiative can be achieved through organizing training programs and by eliciting consultation of specialists in this field. 5. Create awareness of good citizenry with focus on rights and duties to confirm the concepts of ``natural rights,'' societal obligation, and social contract. 6. Engage the Arab/Muslim American communities in working with youth. 7. Engage the youth in discussing and debating ideologies of cultural and religious extremism with focus on alternative views and ramification of each possibility. OHS should develop literature to serve this purpose. Literature should include among other things mainstream Islam and its universal appeal. 8. Establish a list of printed and digital sources with easy and open access to serve the youth on a wider range of issues. 9. Establish a hotline for youth as an empowering tool of communication and participation. 10. Provide educational and informational materials published by a various educational organizations on youth in schools and detention centers. 11. Engage the youth in anti-drug campaigns and anti-gang activities. WOMEN LIAISON General Goals.--In the workplace and in popular culture, Arab/ Muslim American women seem to be either misrepresented or under- represented. While women organizations can't be labeled as homogenous or monolithic, we recognize the importance of working with these groups for the important role they play in society and especially the youngsters. Their role as parents is very important in education and preparing good citizenry. We feel the need to empower women to be active participant in issues like health, employment, harassment, discrimination, racism, misogyny, domestic violence, and religious issues in a free format. Action Plan 1. Encourage women to participate in civic duties and public service. OHLS should coordinate with workplace in public and private sector to address sensitivity to faith-based employment. 2. Create women task force comprising of members of professional women in both public and private sectors. This task force would work as an example of success to the general population and as a role model for Arab/Muslim American women. 3. Support established women organizations and solicit their participation in achieving Ohio Homeland Security's mission. 4. Affirm equal opportunity employment for women of faith especially when Islamic attire or prayer creates issues in the workplace. 5. Steer the establishment of issues-based women organizations to attract the participation of Muslim/Arab American women so a network of women's voices is heard. 6. Encourage intellectual and cultural participation for women. Ohio Homeland Security helps in providing women a podium for public speaking, writing, and publishing. 7. Work with Arab and Islamic organizations to provide educational research on political, cultural, and religious issues. OHS should create a dynamic forum to continuously engage women to debate and discuss their issues. 8. Create a manual detailing Muslim and Arab women past and present contributions to world cultures and civilizations. 9. Coordinate between Arab/Muslim women organizations and local, National, and international women organizations for the purpose of increasing the cooperation and connection with women everywhere. 10. Work with the popular media to enable women to express their views and debate their issues in public forums. 11. Create various printed and digital resources to inform, communicate, and educate women on family, health, and maternal issues. 12. Facilitate societal awareness and help for women and families who face social, cultural, or personal issues with no recourse. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND LEADERSHIP LIAISON General Goals.--Recognizing the importance of communication and information, OHS works tirelessly to connect with and activate the Arab/Muslim communities throughout the State of Ohio to work closely with first responders to protect these communities in specific and the State of Ohio in general by creating effective security measures to prepare for and prevent terrorism. In the aftermath of 9/11, Arab and Muslim Americans came under scrutiny in the media, consequently, these communities became isolated, secluded, disconnected. Contacts with Arab and Muslim Americans were minimized. Working with community organizations and their leadership should re-connect Arab and Muslim Americans with society on one hand, and with first responders on the other. OHS will help in countering profiling, stereotyping, misconception, false information, and coordinate in providing accurate information on the cultures of these communities. The following steps are being used to achieve these goals: Action Plan 1. Establish continuous lines of communication with the leadership of Arab/Muslim American organizations. 2. Develop a list of contacts with the community for the purpose of disseminating information as needed. 3. Hold periodical and open town hall meeting to enable members of these communities and the law enforcement to ask and answer questions of concern to both sides. 4. Form advisory councils with members representing the A/M communities in all cities of Ohio. These councils should advise and recommend to OHLS on matters of importance. 5. Work with communities in providing the correct knowledge of Islam and the Arabic culture by initiating educational programs, seminars, workshops, and public speaking on these issues. 6. Advise and recommend to the school systems in Ohio on curriculum and information regarding both the religion and the cultures of the Middle East and other cultures. 7. Encourage the communities to play an active in popular culture as members of diverse communities with rights, duties, and roles to play in American society. 8. Work hard to minimize discrimination against Arab/Muslim Americans in all sectors including employment. 9. Generate an interfaith dialogue among the willing to develop mutual respect, awareness, and understanding of all faiths. This should be part of a general plan to promote harmony among all communities including minorities and majority and how can they relate to each other. Mosques should be encouraged to extend themselves to the community through open house tours and dialogues. 10. Engage the Arab/Muslim communities in frank and productive discussion on extremism and fanaticism. 11. Develop a public campaign for the purpose of affirming the cultural inclusiveness and the right of every American citizen to ``belong'' to our society. 12. Bridge the gap between Arab/Muslim American organizations and other organizations by steering cooperation and close working relationship between the diverse communities. LAW ENFORCEMENT LIAISON OHS recognizes that Arab and Muslim American groups have great interest in a safer Ohio with proven support for a pluralistic society. Enabling first responders in Ohio to use all sources available to fight, prevent, and prepare for acts of terrorism, OHS should establish a dynamic connection with the diverse communities including Arab and Muslim Americans. The following steps are being used to achieve these goals: 1. Familiarize the Arab/Muslim communities with law enforcement work, mission, rights, and duties. Exchange of tours and face- to-face meetings between the two sides should ``humanize'' the other and thus minimize misconception, stereotyping, and profiling. The image of law enforcement in the Middle East is very negative and many immigrants still have the same views even though they live in the United States. 2. Develop cultural and religious awareness seminars and workshops to empower law enforcement with the correct information on do's and taboos in world cultures. 3. Coordinate with the law enforcement to develop informational public events as needed in which representatives of all agencies can educate the public and answer questions on law enforcement. 4. Develop and distribute educational materials to all law enforcement agencies to help as a source on working with and interacting with Arab and Muslim Americans. 5. Coordinate with law enforcement to maintain a balance between the fight against terrorism and the preservation of civil liberties. 6. Collaborate with colleges and universities to develop courses on homeland security and certification to law officers throughout the State of Ohio. 7. Coordinate town hall meetings to enable law enforcement to be part of panels to communicate issues and concerns to the Arab/ Muslim American communities. 8. Work as a liaison between the local mosques and law enforcement agencies for the purpose of working with the mosques and soliciting the help of imams in the fight against terrorism. 9. Engage the American/Muslim groups and illicit their participation and recommendation in the ways to fight terrorism. 10. Work with law enforcement and the media to counter negative stereotypes of these communities. highlights of the work achieved by the community engagement office at OHIO HOMELAND SECURITY 1. Built a strong relationship with Arab, Muslim, and Somali, Hispanic, Latino, and Asian communities among others. This relationship is manifested in regular contacts, dialogue, and exchange of ideas. 2. Formed Somali Imams' Advisory Group that opened the mosque to our office and enabled us to engage the imams and the congregants in regular discussion of issues of interest and concern to both parties. 3. Connected and still connecting first responders with critical communities by involving them in our efforts. First responders' representatives are always present in our town hall meetings offering presentations and engage in a dialogue with members of the communities. 4. Conduct cultural competence training to first responders, schools, and groups in public and private sectors. Our office just completed training 3,000 members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The same training was conducted for Police, Sheriffs, Terrorism Liaison Officers, Fusion Centers, and public and private schools. There is 100% increase in the number of workshops requested for the year 2010. 5. Researched, published, and posted cultural guides on Arab, Muslim, and Somali cultures as a cultural reference to first responders and the public. Two more guides are in print at the present time, one on American culture and another one on Hispanic/Latino cultures. Both will be published and posted on our website: www.homelandsecurity.ohio.gov. 6. Developed a good working relationship with Somali youth in Ohio. A Somali youth forum is planned this year to tackle issues of radicalization, violence, drugs, and gangs among members of the ``lost generation'' in Central Ohio. 7. Held first interfaith conference for faith-based organizations in the State of Ohio to generate dialogue and mutual understanding among people of all religious and spiritual background. BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 1. Humanize law enforcement to the public and humanizes the public to first responders. 2. Enable law enforcement to explain their work and role in the critical work. It also dispels a lot of misconceptions about law enforcement and other first responders. It demystifies and makes them approachable to the public. 3. Inform the public on the Government's efforts to counterterrorism. 4. Allow the public to have an input in the debate. 5. Empower communities to present their own issues without relying on commercialized or sensationalized media information. 6. Create an environment conducive to good citizenry; treats citizens on equal footing and empowers communities to invest heavily in their efforts to keep their communities safe and secure. BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TO FIRST RESPONDERS AND THE COMMUNITY 1. Effective tool for law enforcement to connect with various communities, especially Arab/Muslim Americans and Somalis. 2. Gives law enforcement a direct access to accurate and unfiltered information on the culture of the groups they serve away from the images established in the popular culture. 3. Provides law enforcement and the communities an opportunity to establish regular dialogue on issues of mutual interest. 4. Empowers the communities to invest time, effort, and resources in security matters. 5. Enables the Government to bring on-board communities who sometime feel excluded from the process or treated as outsiders. 6. Allows the communities to have an input in decision-making, and partnering with first responders on critical issues like security. 7. Creates trust and confidence among the citizens to work closely with first responders. VALUE OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS Community engagement doesn't replace the traditional law enforcement work. It complements and enhances it. It's another tool available to help advance their work. Investigative intelligence is still a very effective way to battle terrorism. However, communities that feel alienated or marginalized will be resentful and estranged from their citizenry. Proactive and engaging relationship with first responders will help build strong communities integrated, confident, open, and resistant to extremism and radicalism. What community engagement brings is trust-building and mutual respect between the communities and the first responders. It allows the Government to create an environment conducive to good citizenry and gives them a voice in the fight against terrorism. SOME MAJOR GAPS IN OUR CURRENT EFFORTS AND WAYS TO IMPROVE THEM 1. There are two conceptual flaws that affect our work: One flaw is the information we acquired on different communities like Arabs, Muslims, and their cultures. A good deal of the information came not from academic sources or reputable research but rather from media personalities who for a multitude of reasons commercialized and sensationalized these cultures. Inaccurate knowledge and misconceptions created mistrust and resentment to the Government's efforts to work effectively with these communities. The other flaw is the notion that there are no moderate Arabs or Muslims to trust or to work with. Our experience shows otherwise. We have built cooperation and collaboration with numerous Somali and other Muslim communities throughout the State of Ohio. These flaws can hinder the work or the direction the Government seeks to fight terrorism and the ideologies that breed violence. We need to have another look and seek accurate information on the issues from independent sources, we also need to work with these communities and consider them part of the solution by empowering them to come on board and help us in this fight. After all, these communities can exert tremendous influence in their neighborhoods, and affect the debate on extremism and violent ideologies. 2. We need to develop cultural competency training for first responders. One major problem we face in our work in Ohio is the conflicting and confusing information first responders are getting from agencies that surfaced the last 8 years. These agencies present unreliable and un-researched information on Arab and Muslim cultures through training workshops offered to Government agencies. Many of these workshops contradict most of what our office offer to law enforcement. 3. We need to broaden our approach at this critical time in this continuous war to include community engagement as an effective tool for the Government to utilize all the resources available including communities' efforts. Also, we need to learn from the experience of other countries targeted by terrorism. Countries like England made tremendous advances in its anti-terrorism campaign by reaching out and engaging communities like British Muslim citizens. 4. We need to allocate financial recourses to enable law enforcement to work with their respective communities. Ohio is still the only State in the Nation that developed an office solely dedicated to engaging and connecting with the communities. To succeed in these efforts, first we need to invest in this work, and second, we need to financially support and sustain it. Ms. Harman. Thank you very much. Thank you to all the witnesses for staying within the 5- minute limit. It is now time for committee questions, and you can see we have quite robust attendance, so we will stick strictly to our own 5-minute limit. I will begin by yielding myself 5 minutes. It won't surprise anyone on this committee or at the witness table or in the audience that this subcommittee has been criticized and is again criticized today for the way we put on these hearings. We try very hard, I would just say to all of you, to have a diverse witness panel--we have a panel following you; I think you all know this--and to be careful that we are reflecting the many diverse views that exist in our country. One of the criticisms today says that the committee is seeking input from a narrow viewpoint, one that is sympathetic to Islamist extremist organizations here in America. Well, I will state my own view. That is not my own view. I am not sympathetic to extremist organizations in America. I am very sympathetic to strategies of outreach that do two things, No. 1, build public trust, and No. 2, get that public to come forward and help us find bad elements in communities. Those bad elements will harm us. I am not sympathetic to the bad elements. But I think without building public trust, as Sheriff Baca said, we are not going to find the keys to preventing and disrupting plots against us. Does anyone disagree with that? Sheriff Baca. No. Mr. Hovington. No, fully agree. Mr. Alomari. All agree. Ms. Harman. All agree. Okay. The second point I would make is that as the witnesses in prior hearings have said, extreme views are protected by our Constitution. We are not talking about extreme views. We are not talking about so-called radicals either on the left or the right of the spectrum. We are talking about people who intend to engage in violent behavior. Behavior is not protected--violent behavior--by our Constitution. Only the possession of extreme views is protected under our First Amendment. So I am not seeking politically correct language, but I am trying to articulate, perhaps inarticulately, my view that we are talking about violent behavior. Does anyone disagree with that? Mr. Hovington. No. Sheriff Baca. No. Ms. Harman. Okay. So Let me ask you about the effectiveness of what you are doing. You all have described what you are doing. Could each of you tell me, just quickly, going down the row--give me an example of something you have prevented by the strategies that you are using, if you can do that, or something you have intercepted by the strategies that you are using? Let's start at the left. Ms. Schlanger. My office is a civil rights office, and we are not in the business of developing sources and leads. What we think of ourselves as contributing to this--and I think we have been effective at that--is building an infrastructure of communication where we are building trust. So I am not going to be able to give you--if there has been leads that have come out of our engagement efforts, they don't come to me, and I can't--I can't tell you about them. What I can tell you is that we bring a lot of people together who didn't know each other before, and they do a lot of talking to each other that didn't happen before. That happens in all of the communities that we go in. It is what we are about. Ms. Harman. Is it fair to say that that talking to each other leads to the building of trust, which leads to the ability to come forward---- Ms. Schlanger. I---- Ms. Harman [continuing]. To you or others, perhaps more at the local level? Ms. Schlanger. Yes. I think it is fair to say that. I want to say also that we--what we try to do is demonstrate the fact that we are collaborative actors in the homeland security enterprise. So that is a really important thing for us. We care about those concerns that get expressed. We bring them back, because we are, in fact, collaborating to protect America. Ms. Harman. Let me just stress the last thing and then go down the line. We are all trying to protect America. This is not just a feel-good exercise. This is an exercise in protecting America. Mr. Hovington. Mr. Hovington. Yes, with respect to what the FBI has done-- with respect to what the FBI has done, we have established a community outreach team comprised of special agents, analysts, community outreach specialists, and personnel with language and other specialized skills to really reach out and understand how to engage the communities, because the vast communities that we engage with have various dynamics that you have to really understand and be able to relate to. Ms. Harman. But the question is: Have you been effective? Has someone come forward? Have you prevented some harm to America? Mr. Hovington. Right. What this specialized team did was actually go out, meet with the Somali American community, and the incident that I am talking about--there was an inaugural threat--that we were able to reach back into the community because we built these relationships within the community. We were able to make a phone call, put together a group of individuals from within the community, and ask for their assistance and advise them of what some of our efforts were doing, from an investigative standpoint. Ms. Harman. Thank you. As I recall, that threat, which many of us were briefed on at the time, turned out not to be credible after the fact, but certainly there was real information to believe that something might have happened. Is that correct? Mr. Hovington. That is correct. Ms. Harman. Sheriff Baca. Sheriff Baca. Well, first of all, thank you for the question. There is a confidentiality part in the answer to any of these questions, when you say, ``Well, what specifically have you ferreted out and how did you do this?'' Ms. Harman. Well, you could describe it generally. Sheriff Baca. Okay. What we essentially believe--and this is really important to hear--intelligence gathering in itself on a domestic level is still an emerging reality. It is not something that has made its case entirely, and I don't think the theories of intelligence are clear enough, even on the Federal level, vis-a-vis the local level. Having said that the Joint Regional Intelligence Center that we have is proactive. The LAPD and Sheriff's department have counterterrorism units. We are ferreting out a lot of different cases. We have had over 450 cases that have evolved from sources within the community. I don't want to attribute them to any one aspect of the society. Ms. Harman. Okay. Sheriff Baca. But I will say this, that the theories of information gathering versus intelligence gathering is predicated on how well you have a relationship with potential sources. That is part of this testimony here, that we believe that a safe Muslim society is a participatory Muslim society. Through the participation, I can assure you that the channels of--like the father of Abdulmutallab--are going to happen, and they have happened. The problem is we are not going to sit here and tell you where, when, and how. Ms. Harman. I appreciate that. I have run over my time, so I don't mean to be rude. Mr. Alomari---- Mr. Alomari. Yes, Madam---- Ms. Harman [continuing]. Very briefly? Mr. Alomari. Yes, Madam Chair, there is a couple things I could say. Although I said that our office really is not information-gathering or intelligence-gathering, nonetheless homeland security work obviously is to connect the communities with first responders and law enforcement. One of the things we did very effectively is really to build a strong relationship with the mosques. Now we have been holding regular town hall meetings with the imams and the mosque, and we connect them with law enforcement. As a result of that, there is this collaborative and cooperative effort. The second thing, really, we are focusing on the Somali youth in Ohio based on what happened in Minnesota. We really inspired the community, really, to work with us and tackle the issues as a preventive measure, and there is a lot of programs we are really working with---- Ms. Harman. Thank you. Thank you very much. I apologize to my colleagues for running over my time. I now yield 5 minutes to Mr. McCaul. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Madam Chair. The National Intelligence Estimate came out with a report stating that the most effective weapon we have in the war on terror is the moderate Muslim. I think that is true both overseas and here in the United States. Before I ran for Congress, I was chief of the counterterrorism section in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Texas, and that was not too long after 9/11. Part of our strategy was to reach out to the Muslim community and talk to them. What I would like to know--and working with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces--what I would like to know from-- particularly from the--Agent Hovington and Ms. Schlanger, and the sheriff as well, what connection do you have at all with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces today? Mr. Hovington. There is a separation between--within the FBI--our operational side of the house and our community engagement side of the house. But we still have to have a working relationship, because our engagement efforts have to really focus on the overall mission of the FBI. It is important where we have operations on the ground and we are impacting the community--the transparency that is needed and the relationships that is needed that go back into a community or to explain to the community from an education and awareness standpoint what our mission is, and that is very important. So we do work with our Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in particular in our field offices, but there is a separation. I just want to make sure that that is clear as well. Mr. McCaul. Okay. Following up on the Chair's question, have you--any of you had a lead come out through community outreach which was then forwarded to the JTTFs for a potential investigation? Sheriff Baca. Yes. Yes, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center that was set up by Chief Bratton and myself is an all- source fusion center where we have representatives from airports, sea ports, key targeted areas, and Government, and in that organization an FBI agent is the head. Also, the Joint Terrorism Task Force question--I have deputized and Federalized deputies in that task force, as does the Los Angeles Police Department, and in the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, which is the field side of what we are doing below JTTF, we have a secret unit in there that literally has JTTF people hooking into the Federal sourcing. So the key is if anyone were to describe what we do in Los Angeles with cooperation, we, I think, are the epitome of Federal and local cooperation with all agencies. Mr. McCaul. Well, Sheriff, it sounds like you don't have that sort of wall separation that, say, the bureau and---- Sheriff Baca. Not at all. Mr. McCaul [continuing]. The agencies have. Sheriff Baca. It is phenomenal that the---- Mr. McCaul. Yes. Sheriff Baca [continuing]. FBI sent tremendous directors historically to L.A.'s office, and I can say that they don't hold anything back. Mr. McCaul. I think that is--and I think that is a good model. The question the Chair asked as well, an example of a terror plot that has been thwarted through community outreach-- you mentioned the inauguration. Are there any other specific terror plots that have been disrupted? Mr. Hovington. Not that I could discuss at this time. Mr. McCaul. Okay. No, I will take--perhaps in another forum we could discuss that. There were several warning signs in the Hasan case, and I will--with the limited time I have--which occurred just north of my district at Fort Hood, whether it was talking to the radical cleric in Yemen, whether it was business cards saying he is a soldier of Allah, whether it was his allegiances to the Koran, not the Constitution. His colleagues and his classmates saw a sort of radicalization process taking place, and yet it seems that this was never reported. I think if we are talking about community outreach or getting people to speak up--I mean, there were a lot of flags along the way in the Hasan case where this potentially could have been prevented or disrupted. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Can anyone on the panel take on the question of, you know, how can we prevent something like that in the future and get people that know this radical behavior--get them to step up and talk to law enforcement about that? Sheriff Baca. Let me say an example. In one of the mosques in Los Angeles, right after 9/11, myself and other officials were in the mosque, and I was reading a Koran, and a young man walked up to me, and he looked at me, and he says, ``You are forbidden to touch the Koran.'' I said, ``Well, since I can't touch the Koran by your standard, why don't you open up the cover?'' In it was the imam of the mosque writing this message to me about the Koran. I said, ``You know, it is guys like you that are jerks that are causing the bad reputation for people who come here to pray. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.'' He walked out of there. Now, the key to stopping radicalism is you have to confront it, even if it manifests itself in just a simple little act like this. You know, the concept of intervention and prevention is not that they bought all the tools of the terrorist act but that you challenge their thinking at the point when the thinking was emerging. That is not quantified in intelligence reports. I have always said, and I have said it to the administration, the Obama administration, don't just tell in intelligence reports what the threats are, tell us what the resources are around the threat that we could rely on instead of throwing cops into the fray or military into the fray. We have to come up with a more sophisticated response, and direct confrontation and revelation is the best. The other is the Lodi case, where the FBI sprung the Pakistani father and son that went to Pakistan, got radicalized, came back to Lodi, a farming community, and they just blew the lid on these guys. The biggest fear that terrorists have is to reveal that they are leaning in that direction. Once that happens, they are dead to the cause. I think a lot of that is not discussed in some of the literature. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Sheriff. I yield back. Ms. Harman. Thank you. Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson. Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I agree, this is an excellent panel. Ms. Schlanger, one of the challenges your predecessors had to deal with is somehow making your office more than an afterthought. I trust you have been empowered by the Secretary to be part of the entire engagement of DHS before policies are developed and not have to react after they have been implemented. Ms. Schlanger. Chairman Thompson, I thank you for the support of our office. Yes, I feel very much supported by the Secretary to be where I need to be and my staff as well, since I am only one person--for us to be where we need to be and do what we need to do to make sure that the Department carries out its statutory mission of securing the Nation without diminishing the civil rights and civil liberties of Americans. Mr. Thompson. Thank you. The other question for our other three witnesses is to not just limit this notion of terrorism to the Muslim community. I am a southerner. We have a number of homegrown terrorists in my neck of the woods. Most of them are called Klansmen. I want to make sure that when we look at this whole issue of terrorism that we look at it in its totality and not just focus on a particular group of individuals in this country. What I would like to have is each representative kind of give me the broader view of your operation with respect to this whole notion of homegrown terrorism. Ms. Schlanger. We are very much interested in engaging with all of the communities that have concerns and issues with DHS activities and with domestic--with the--with the homeland security policies as they go forward. That is the way we focus our engagement activities. We try very hard to be a resource and available to talk to any of those communities that have those kinds of interests. Now, we don't do work with the Klan. We don't do work with any terrorist organization. That is not what our engagement activities are about. I know you know that. I just want to say it. We work with the community leaders who can be our partners in collaborating against that kind of thing, rather than trying to engage with people who have crossed over the line into violent extremism and persuade them to change their ways. That is just not what my office does. But we work hard with communities of all ethnicities, races, religions, to try to deal with their concerns about homeland security policy. Mr. Hovington. It is very important to make sure that we engage with a number of different communities, because terrorism really is just fear, and that fear comes in different shapes, forms, and fashion depending on what environment that you are--that you are looking at. So whether you are talking about gang activity, whether you are talking about Klan activity, the bottom line--it is terrorism. That is one of the things I--we do at the FBI. We take a look at the various communities. I would say it is a customized outreach program. What I mean by that is we have 56 FBI field offices that serve, again, across this country, and they have to tailor their outreach efforts based on the demographics of the area of responsibilities that they serve. That is the only effective way to do engagement, because there is not one shoe fits all. So it takes into consideration exactly, Chairman Thompson, what you said about being from the South. Our southern offices have to take a look at what is terrorism and what is considered terrorism in the South or in a urban city. Sheriff Baca. I think your question is an important question. I think that those of us in law enforcement are required to uphold the highest standards of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, civil rights and human rights. In the sheriff's core values, and everyone remembers it by heart, we are against all forms of racism, sexism, anti- Semitism, homophobia, and bigotry in all its forms. This is not a thing where we can allow any sympathies that deal in the extreme either way. Really, just harmony is one of the key elements of what we are trying to achieve, as well as interethnic and interracial harmony in Los Angeles. Because we are every nation there in this population, we are trying to set the bar higher to assure civil rights are respected. Mr. Thompson. Thank you. Mr. Alomari. From the beginning, Congressman, we really realized that terrorism is terrorism regardless of the terrorist, regardless who is the victim. That is really what we carried in our mission at Ohio Homeland Security. Not only that, we went one step further. In working with the fusion center or the FBI or other first responders, we really--in their outreach efforts, in their presentations, we work with them closely just to include all the groups. In our culture competency training program--and I will be more than happy to share it with you--really we have a whole section really dedicated to all groups that really espouse all these views. Mr. Thompson. Thank you. I yield back, Madam Chair. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. There are three votes on the floor and 8--almost 9 minutes left on the first vote. But most people have not yet voted, so we will keep this going for a while. I would just observe one thing in response to this. I think we would all agree that outreach to communities needs to be diverse, and I applaud you all for diverse outreach. But it is also certainly accurate to say that much of the recent--many of the recent arrests and the attempts at acts on our homeland have come from Muslims. That doesn't mean that the Muslim community is a problem, but it does mean that some members of the Muslim community are a problem and are potential terrorists. I am not shying away from saying that. I just want to be clear personally. Mr. Souder. Mr. Souder. Thank you. I may be in a slightly unique position on the panel. Somehow I have four primary opponents who think I am too liberal, one of whom is a---- Mr. Thompson. If the gentleman will yield, I will be a witness that you are not. [Laughter.] Mr. Souder [continuing]. One of the---- Ms. Harman. I was going to agree with them. [Laughter.] Mr. Souder. One of them is a former KKK white supremacist activist who has declared. I also have a--my campaign--longtime campaign chairman, Zohrab Tazian, is Armenian and has faced, as an Arab American, discrimination. It is not that I don't understand the basic premise that my--I believe that without contacts with the more moderate community we will not know who--I don't know who is in the mosque who is--who is radical. I believe that is the case. Now, here is where we really drill down. Are Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations? Because almost all--or a high percentage of Middle Eastern countries have their stated goal as the destruction of Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah are huge organizations that are devoted to that. It is not just about whether somebody is a terrorist. It is also whether they fund terrorists. It is whether they are aiding and abetting and encouraging people to go become terrorists. We then move into a very difficult question of protected speech. Clearly, while there is protected speech, at some point in this debate there is a substantial difference between protected speech and Government officials going to fundraisers for organizations that do speech that is radical. Sheriff Baca, you have been 10 times to the fundraisers for the Council on American Islamic Relations, which even the FBI has separated themselves from. Sheriff Baca. I will be there 10 more times---- Mr. Souder. They have been cited by one FBI agent at least as a front for Hamas. The question is: At what point do you start giving legitimacy to organizations that fund Hamas? Now, in the Ohio Department of Homeland Security, that organization is one of seven listed who have either had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or have been--used extremist rhetoric. In your brochure, you specifically list the Hamas positions on the occupation of--Israel's occupation and oppression of Palestinians. You cite U.S. support for Israel. You cite the U.S. invasion and occupation of Muslim lands and support for oppressive regimes as arguments why people develop radicalism. But by putting those down without the counter arguments that you, in fact, then start to fuel whether our tax dollars and a lot of people's tax dollars are, in fact, giving credibility to these organizations by listing them, by listing their arguments--that you, in effect, undermine moderate Muslims who stand up against those organizations. I would like to hear both of your explanations. Sheriff Baca. Well, I would like to see the brochure. I think your accusation is not only false---- Mr. Souder. That wasn't yours. That was Ohio's. Sheriff Baca. Well, you said it was mine---- Mr. Souder. No, no. I said you went to 10 fundraisers, and I said---- Sheriff Baca. No, but you just said---- Mr. Souder. No, I did not. I said---- Sheriff Baca. I heard you. Mr. Souder [continuing]. The Ohio Department of---- Sheriff Baca. Sir---- Mr. Souder [continuing]. Homeland Security. Sheriff Baca [continuing]. Dialogue here, I heard what you said. Now, I am an elected official, too, okay? Mr. Souder. The tape will show I said Ohio Department of Homeland Security did a brochure. Sheriff Baca. Well, who are you attacking, me or him? Mr. Souder. Both. Sheriff Baca. Well, sir, let me say this. Mr. Souder. For different reasons. Sheriff Baca. I understand your fears better than you probably do. I have been in public office for 12 years and I have been in law enforcement for 45. I object to your characterization of me. Attacking people personally in public office is what--the very thing that helps spur radicalism, because it defeats the strategies that you weren't listening to earlier because you didn't come on time. Mr. Souder. I was here at the very beginning, sir. Sheriff Baca. All right. Well, then you heard what I said. Listen to what I say, and if you don't like it, then we can talk about it. But don't falsely accuse me of supporting--I have been to Israel more times than perhaps you have, so---- Mr. Souder. I asked you: ``Did you go to 10 fundraisers?'' and you said, ``Yes.'' Sheriff Baca. Let me tell you what I want to tell you, since you told me what you want to tell me. I am not afraid of what you are saying. I have been to Israel more times than you have. I was in Gaza when the incursion into the Gaza activity that the Israelis got into--I was there. Mr. Souder. Reclaiming my time---- Sheriff Baca. Where were you---- Mr. Souder. It is my time. Sheriff Baca. Where were you---- Mr. Souder. It is my time, not your time. Sheriff Baca [continuing]. Support Israel---- Mr. Souder. Madam Chair---- Ms. Harman. Yes. Mr. Souder [continuing]. It is my time. Ms. Harman. Mr. Souder, I---- Sheriff Baca. Where were you---- Ms. Harman. Excuse me. I would like the witness to have a chance to respond, and then I will give you extra time---- Mr. Souder. Okay. Ms. Harman [continuing]. To respond to him. Sheriff Baca. Where were you when Israel needed an ally in local law enforcement? I was there. The security of Israel has always been at the forefront of my thinking. For you to associate me somehow through some circuitous attack on CAIR is not only inappropriate, it is un-American. I served in the United States Marine Corps. I put my life on the line for people to do what you just did to me. But I am not going to let you do that here. My record is clear. CAIR is not a terrorist-supporting organization. That is my experience. That is my interaction. If you want to promote that, you are on your own. Ms. Harman. Let me let the Ohio witness respond to the comments about his brochure, and we do have a vote on following that. Mr. Souder, if you would like to say something briefly, that is fine, and then we will recess for the three votes. Mr. Alomari. Yes, I really would like to see the brochures in front of me, because I really don't think that--there was a lot of inaccuracies that were stated here. But I just want to say that in our brochures when we said-- we're trying to explain, as a matter of fact, so many things of what they say, and we are very careful to say they cite these reasons as to. There was no way that we mention Hamas, as a matter of fact, in these brochures you alluded to, Congressman. But we wrote about radicalism. We wrote about radical Muslim groups, and we explain that. So we definitely feel that we are balanced in presenting both issues. Under no circumstances we are sympathizers to any group. Ms. Harman. Let me suggest, Mr. Souder, that you provide that brochure for the record so that we can all see it. Mr. Souder. I would be happy to provide the brochure.* --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * The information has been retained in committee files. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ms. Harman. Would you like to respond? Mr. Souder. Yes. I made a very precise--and by the way, when a Member is questioning, it is his time, not the witness's time. They already had their chance, and they need to understand that. Now, No. 1, I did not try to tie Mr. Baca, Sheriff Baca, to anything other than attending 10 fundraisers. Clearly, we disagree on CAIR. I do not question your patriotism. I do not question your goal here. I question the strategy of going to an organization that we disagree about. I was not trying to circuitously tie you to Ohio. In Ohio, I did not say that you don't mention that these were the arguments that fuel radicalism. My question was much more precise and much more nuanced, and that is when you state what reasons they have without countering in the same brochure the counter arguments, you fuel and use the funds and power of a Government to basically give legitimacy to what are, in fact, the positions of Hamas, whether you said it or not. It is a nuanced argument. I think it is an important argument because what we have seen Europe do--and what we are concerned about the United States--in such a desperation to try to get legitimate information to basically throw Israel under the bus and--and start to not understand that Hamas and Hezbollah are increasingly connecting to other organizations. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. Souder. We will recess for the duration of the votes. I would just like to say, as the Chair of this subcommittee, that it is my intention to be respectful to all the Members on this panel but also to be respectful to all the witnesses. Questioning is intended to engage you in a dialogue, speaking for me, and I would hope we could keep it in that--in that vein. These are tough issues. We all understand that. We are under lots of criticism all the time from outsiders who think we don't do these hearings right. But it is certainly my intention to have balanced hearings and air the tough issues. To the Members, we are going to try to put on a hearing about the internet and its role in fomenting violent extremist behavior. That is very controversial, but we are going to try to tackle it because it is out there and it is necessary. Thank you. The Ranking Member just said good. So everybody take a deep breath. We will be back for more questions. I thank you again for your participation. [Recess.] Ms. Harman. We will now recess--reconvene the hearing. Thank you all. Apologies for the House schedule. Mr. Dent is now--of Pennsylvania is now recognized for 5 minutes of questions. Mr. Dent. Thank you, Madam Chair. Thanks for conducting this hearing. Last week I, along with the rest of the world, was informed that the FBI was holding a Caucasian American woman since October on four felony counts, including conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and providing material support to terrorists. As you know, the woman I am referring to is Colleen LaRose, a/ k/a ``Jihad Jane.'' I was even more shocked when I learned that she actually lived just a few blocks from my district office on Main Street in the quaint front-porch town of Pennsburg. That is a really lovely community--Norman Rockwell, wonderful place. That is where ``Jihad Jane'' is from, Pennsburg. In fact, my sister lives right in that area, close by, Pennsburg mail address. Never would I have imagined that homegrown terrorism was lurking literally in my family's backyard. Let me state for the record that I am grateful for the tremendous job done by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Philadelphia, as well as the invested residents in the surrounding community. I had the opportunity for a further briefing during my visit to the JTTF last Friday, and I certainly want to thank the FBI for making that opportunity available to me. Ms. LaRose was picked up largely because concerned citizens saw a YouTube video she posted on the internet and reported it to authorities. You know, once again, it was--a concerned, alert citizenry was our best defense in a situation like this. I also learned that--we all learned that another woman, Jamie Ramirez, a blond Caucasian mother from Colorado, was arrested in Ireland in connection with the ``Jihad Jane'' plot. She, too, was essentially radicalized over the internet, converted to Islam, and began posting messages on her Facebook profile page. So my questions are really simple. You know, No. 1, how does this happen? How do we stop it? I mean, that is really the issue. How do we balance the overwhelming desire to have a--a free and open internet against the threat of radicalization and homegrown terrorism? So I would like each of you to maybe comment on that. I think we all recognize the internet is a tool that is being used by terrorists to communicate, to recruit, to plan, to plot, to prepare, to train, and to--and to execute terror plots. So I would be curious to hear your comments. Mr. Hovington. Thank you. That is a major challenge for us. Again, the internet being a very open environment--and of course, a lot of it falling over from universities that operate in that type of open environment. It is a challenge to identify a lone wolf, and that is one of the biggest challenge that we face, and almost, I would say next to impossible without the help of communities and citizens that stand up and identify individuals. I think that is why it is also very important, in some of the earlier conversations that we had--is to emphasize community engagement is really about engaging ordinary people. It is about taking our 56 FBI field offices that have community outreach programs and making sure that they are reaching at the grassroots level. National type organizations are great. They are contacts that we should maintain contact with to receive information or if--anything that they report from the constituents that they have. But I think effective outreach has to really go to the arena of individuals identifying and being able to pick up the phone and calling the FBI or calling the State or local municipalities to report something that they just feel uncomfortable with. That is only going to come through building meaningful partnerships and relationships that are built on transparency and understanding. Sheriff Baca. Yes, it is a very important question. I think that, you know, our Joint Regional Intelligence Center and other intelligence-gathering mechanisms--we are surfing the net all the time. The question about this woman--you know, the characterization of what a terrorist is is something that we really need to spend a little more time on. My point of this-- there are screwballs everywhere and that there are people who are attracted to something for reasons that are almost inexplicable. Every faith has had these kinds of people, including those that want to be a part of something they believe is a faith effort. It is very important in terms of just how we discuss the issues of fighting terrorism to not drag a religion into the acts of what human beings do. Religion has its own purpose and terrorism is not one of them. This woman somehow got into this mindset but clearly, I see it like the medical doctor at Fort Hood. He is a screwball. You know, he lost his brains. I don't think that anyone would disagree with that, that human minds are fragile. So we surf the net. We have a decision to make whether you want to keep the chatter going or cut it off. What is amazing about technology, since America is a forefront leader on it, is that the servers for all these internets are coming out of our Nation. If we want to shut them off, all we have to do is call the company and say, ``By the way, you have got an issue here,'' and they will--they will cut them off. But the question is: Should we cut it off? Then what do you do with it once you know that it is a possible threat? Mr. Alomari. Thank you, Congressman. I think this is a really wonderful question. I really think that the internet is one of the most dangerous tools, obviously, to recruit people. But I think it is clear that many of these websites that we see, obviously, they promulgate different views which attracts a lot of folks. One thing is missing in the picture, in my estimate, which I mentioned earlier should be part of a comprehensive view, you know, to the issue of terrorism, and that is really to empower Muslim communities to counter the ideas and ideologies that we see on the internet, at least all these unanswered ideologies that we see on the internet. They often are unanswered. In Ohio, for instance, we really have a couple of meetings in which we discussed, for instance, the recent fatwa issued by Sheikh ul-Qadri who really condemned suicide bombing and violence and terrorism. I think the Government should do a better job, really, to connect with a lot of Muslim leaders and organizations to help us really in this fight. There is a conceptual flaw that there are no moderate Muslims there, and I really believe that there are many of them. Ms. Schlanger. I don't know if--since the time is out if you want to hear from me or not. Ms. Harman. We would be happy to hear from you. Ms. Schlanger. Thank you, Madam Chair. One of the things that we work very hard to do is cultural competency training for local and State law enforcement. I think the reason that that belongs in this mix is because it allows--an appropriately trained law enforcement agent can distinguish between what is concerning and what is not. So we try to be a part of that mix. But I want to agree that it is--it is our community partners who can be reliably informed by engagement efforts and empowered by them who really bear the responsibility to counter radical ideology, because as the Chair started us off saying, the Government has a business with violence, not with non--not with nonviolent radicalism. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Mr. Dent. The Chair now recognizes Ms. Clarke for 5 minutes. Ms. Clarke. Thank you, Madam Chair. I want to thank you for such a--such a very interesting hearing today. I am from New York, and so all of what has been stated here today really resonates with me. We are challenged in New York City with having such a very dense and diverse population, and how we communicate as New Yorkers to be able to uncover those amongst us who may seek to do us harm is always a challenge. We have been fortunate that a number of community and civic-minded individuals have stepped up to the cause. Comes to mind a woman named Ms. Devorah Halberstam, and I don't know if any of you have heard of her, but in 1994 her son was killed in a--an attack, a terrorist attack, on the Brooklyn Bridge. Ever since his death, she committed her life--and has been honored by New York's FBI and will be honored here in Washington, so much so that she was able to have a law passed in New York State addressing comprehensive gun control laws for the State of New York. That is the type of activism that, unfortunately, an incident brings about but I think begins to open up the community to more dialogue around how we want to communicate with each other and find those who may be homegrown and disillusioned amongst us, as well as identify strangers in our midst, which is very hard in a place like New York, which is a gateway for individuals who are seeking to come to the United States to make it their home. So my question for all of you are--is, you know, how can community groups and individuals engage local law enforcement in a consistent manner on their concerns without being seen as undermining their own communities from which they come? We have ethnic conclaves in New York, and no one wants to be seen as someone who either comes up with false accusations but also wants to be able to share information. What tools or what would you say the best way for individuals or community organizations to go about doing so? We have such an organization called the Council of People's Organizations in Brooklyn which basically educates local Muslim American community leaders and clergy. But what would you say are some of the other tools that you have seen that are effective? Sheriff Baca. May I answer that? In the testimony that I provided as well as in this brochure--and I hope you have one-- -- Ms. Clarke. Yes, I do. Sheriff Baca [continuing]. Public trust is what we are talking about. The concepts of public trust are such that you really need to work on the aspect of participation, not just going to lectures and meetings. Participation means the police have to learn to take advice. Advice can come from various councils, such as the one you have described. But in Los Angeles, we have Middle Eastern advisory councils. We have Iranian--that are made up of Iranians, Pakistanis, Armenians, Lebanese, people from the various ethnic and racial groups, including an interfaith council, and the objective, of course, is to exchange ideas and issues and fears and problems. A lot of people from the ethnic communities have fear of the police, and the first thing we have to do is knock that down. That won't be done unless the police represent the highest standards of America's laws. I mentioned earlier in my testimony it is the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil rights and human rights. Police that engage people in that vein of human rights and civil rights, as well as Bill of Rights and the Constitutional guarantees--then the public trusts them. So the concept of how to engage are multiple faceted concepts. But it is religion, ethnic, language, as well as racial. Thank you. Mr. Alomari. May I? I would like to echo what Sheriff Baca said, but I would like to go one step further by saying that one of the approaches that really worked for us in Ohio is the fact that we did--do not work in the communities only when there is a problem or an issue. It really is based on a genuine relationship that we built. It is dynamic. It is proactive, engaging, and really covers multitude of issues. We are really listening to the issues and concerns of the communities and we would like them to listen to our concerns and issues. It took us a long time to build trust because many of the recent immigrants and refugees--they come from countries where they distrust the Government and law enforcement. So it was a really lengthy process for us, and we had to prove ourselves. We succeeded by really giving them a voice. One thing we found out right after our office was established--we did a survey that we found out that there is a semi-consensus in the community that they feel that they have been treated and dealt with as outsiders. Our program wants to bring them on board. They are included. So we had an inclusive approach. So the issue here is in our culture competency training we tell first responders we really suggest to build relationship with the mosque, with the organization, with the youth, with the women. Go there, stop by, say hello. When there is celebration, say congratulations. But do not really just stop there. A multitude of issues have to be covered. Thank you. Ms. Harman. Thank you, Ms. Clarke. No other Members are--have returned, so I am going to excuse this panel. I just again want to observe that the discussion here, while it focuses on better understanding of diverse communities, is really intended to help all of us find those few people amongst us who would--who intend to do harm to our country. One of the corollaries of that is by finding those people within diverse communities we keep those communities safe, because we remove the few people there who would intend harm to all of us, including members in their own community. So I just want to make sure we are focused on the intention here. This is the Homeland Security Committee. This is the Intelligence Subcommittee. It is certainly my view, as I stated at the outset, that accurate, actionable, and timely intelligence is the way we prevent and disrupt plots. My view is that a very sensible tool in that effort is building trust relationships with communities. I think you all agree with that, and I want to thank you for you testimony and hope that you will continue to work with us as we thread our way through very, very difficult issues that raise Constitutional concerns and that offer some real opportunities for making real progress in the effort to protect the homeland. Thank you very much. You are excused. I would like to call the second panel. Everybody ready? Thank you all and thank you for your patience. The good news is that Congress is in recess for the St. Patrick's Day lunch. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody. But that means we will have an uninterrupted time to hear from you and ask you our questions. I now welcome our second panel of witnesses, Mr. Elibiary-- there he is--is president and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation, F&J. The foundation facilitates cooperation between State and local law enforcement and the Texas Muslim community. In 2005 Mr. Elibiary spearheaded the formation of the Texas Islamic Council, made up of Muslim congregations, with over 100,000 members, and it is the largest Muslim community in Texas. Mr. Elibiary was a 2008 to 2009 fellow at the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute run jointly by the University of Southern California and Georgetown University. A National security expert, he has recently consulted with the Global Engagement Group at NCTC in the--during the Obama administration, is a contributor for counterterrorism issues to national news organizations such as CNN and Fox. Professor Ramirez teaches at Northwestern School of Law where she lectures on criminal justice, community partnerships, and law enforcement. She serves as the executive director of the Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative, PFP. PFP fosters communication between law enforcement agencies and the American Muslim, Arab, and Sikh communities. Partnering for Prevention has published best practices studies for community engagement as well as case studies of select cities in the United States and Great Britain. Mr. Ervin--how are you, Clark? Mr. Ervin. Good to see you. Ms. Harman. Good to see you, too. I understand that someone to my left had an old association with you. Is that true? Mr. Ervin. That is exactly right. Ms. Harman. I won't reveal what that might be. Mr. Ervin is the director of the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program. The Homeland Security Program works to heighten public awareness of our Nation's continued vulnerability to terrorism and to persuade the Nation to take necessary steps to secure our homeland. Prior to holding this position, Mr. Ervin served as the first inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, and a very courageous person in that role. He also served previously as inspector general in the Department of State. In addition to his work for the institute, Mr. Ervin is an on-air analyst and contributor for CNN, where his focus is on homeland security, National security, and intelligence. Without objection, your full statements will be inserted in the record. I would ask you to summarize in 5 minutes or less. Now I ask Mr. Elibiary to begin. STATEMENT OF MOHAMED ELIBIARY, CO-FOUNDER, THE FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOUNDATION Mr. Elibiary. Thank you very much, Honorable Chair Harman and Ranking Member McCaul and the other Representatives who will probably be joining us later. Basically, my comments are going to focus on system engineering challenges that have hampered our communities' collaboration with law enforcement on advance counterterrorism issues, like interdiction, busting up terror plots, and the title of this hearing. We feel that the issue of homegrown extremism plots is a serious one, but we also caution that it is not a pandemic and that we should advance reforms very carefully around this issue. First, I would like to say that our group feels very strongly that securitizing the relationship between law enforcement and American Muslim community would end up becoming counterproductive and could actually replay some of the most troublesome aspects of the 1960s and 1970s and today cause some very devastating global consequences. We have advocated for years that our homeland security policies in the CVE, or combating violent extremism, sphere are often counter-productive, as I mentioned, and feed into the very alienation that they try to alleviate. Two examples of this is that while the Government has publicly claimed a desire for partnership with the mainstream American Muslim community, law enforcement has been left only offering the community a conduit to inform on community members of concern. Another example is that while not every radicalization problem is a nail, our use of the FBI hammer certainly frames all problems as nails in the eyes of many in the community. The FBI has been doing a tremendous job, and I am not ragging on them or anything, and myself, as the vice president of the FBI alumni association for the Dallas and North Texas region, can attest to the hard work that a lot of these men and women have done over the years and continue to do to keep us all safe. There are, however, structural problems that we need to explore if we want to see that higher level of cooperation I mentioned earlier. For example, low-hanging fruits--these are potential recruits that arrive at this category various different ways, to violent extremism movements. They are a security risk and therefore cannot be left unmonitored by law enforcement, especially the FBI. When one explores the seemingly shrinking ``radicalization process'', which I put in quotes, over the previous few years, ending with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab being less than 6 months, one can appreciate the pressures that the bureau must conduct its work under. There is a good deal of anecdotal evidence, however, that some bureau field offices, in response to such pressures, have elected to increase their surveillance of religious institutions or places where this pool might be assumed to congregate, as well as use the technique of agent provocateurs fairly aggressively. There are more subtle techniques that can be used to neutralize such unacceptable security vulnerabilities, but they do not lie within the FBI. I would strongly recommend that they do not be created within the FBI. Because this kind of work essentially is going to be--it needs an iron fist inside of a velvet glove. As one who has worked many a times with JTTF squads around not just Texas but elsewhere, there is a--I am seeing that my time is running down. So basically, I will move on to my other points, but this issue we can explore later, about where it has worked and where currently some examples with the JTTFs are impossible for us to pull off in the community. I would like to also say that the issue of the moderate and mainstream Muslims needs to be explored because that narrative framing is often counterproductive in getting as many people as--I mean, Sheriff Baca mentioned earlier to engage. Our goal is countering violent extremism. The counterideological work needs to be left up to the community. We need to have more confidence in our democratic system and its institutions to be able to withstand those challenges from foreign ideologies. All right. So in conclusion, what I would like to say is that we have--we don't feel that the Government should adopt a comprehensive countering violent extremism strategy or a counter radicalization strategy, as it was called several years ago. But we do think that there needs to be a lot of micro strategies that end up being coordinated, and we identify eight different areas where those need to happen. The one critical one that I think you guys are going to want to eventually delve into is the interdiction issue, which--my time is up now, but we can explore later. Thank you very much. [The statement of Mr. Elibiary follows:] Prepared Statement of Mohamed Elibiary March 17, 2010 Honorable Chair Harman, Ranking Member McCaul, and other honorable Representatives, it is truly an honor to testify before your committee today at the invitation of Chairman Thompson. In my testimony before you, I will attempt to share a mainstream community assessment, as well as an assessment of the current ``systems engineering'' challenges subverting more effective cooperation across the various agencies. In closing, I hope to offer some practical suggestions as next steps for this committee and Congress to examine. In summary, we feel this hearing's topic is important, very timely, and part of safeguarding our communities. We feel the issue of homegrown terrorism plots is a serious one, but would caution that it is not a pandemic and we should advance reforms cautiously. INTRODUCTION First let me start out by outlining that our group feels strongly that ``securitizing'' the relationship between law enforcement and the American Muslim community would be counter-productive and could actually replay the most troublesome aspects of the 1960s and 1970s with more devastating global consequences. I have advocated for years that our homeland security policies in the countering violent extremism (CVE) sphere are often counter-productive and feed into the very alienation they try to alleviate. For example, while the Government has publicly claimed a desire for a ``partnership'' with the mainstream American Muslim community, law enforcement has only offered the community a conduit to ``inform'' on community members of concern. Another example is that while not every radicalization problem is a nail, our use of the FBI hammer certainly frames all problems as nails. The FBI has been doing a tremendous job, and, as vice president of a non-profit associated with the Bureau, I can attest to the hard work of those thousands of men and women keeping us safe. There is however structural problems worth resolving if we truly wish to see a higher level of cooperation between the Government and communities in disrupting terror plots. Two examples are: 1. Low-hanging potential recruits for violent extremist/terrorism movements are a security risk and therefore cannot be left unmonitored by law enforcement, especially the FBI. When one explores the seemingly shrinking ``radicalization process'' over the previous few years, ending with Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalib less than 6 months ago, one can appreciate the pressures the under which the Bureau must conduct its work. There is a good deal of anecdotal evidence that some Bureau field offices, in response to such pressures, elected to increase their surveillance of religious institutions and expand their use of more coercive techniques such as Agent Provocateur Informants. More subtle techniques to identify and neutralize such unacceptable security vulnerabilities as low hanging potential violent extremism recruits are available, but not within the FBI. While these subtle techniques are not being utilized, the mainstream community is left bewildered, confused, and distrustful of enhanced community collaboration on CVE. 2. Either through a civil liberties office at DHS or a community relations office at the FBI, grievance redress is a major hurdle to community relationship-building on advanced CVE efforts. During the recent January 20 meeting with the DHS Secretary, mainstream community leadership clearly relayed the grassroots sentiment that not a single category of community grievances with DHS has ever been fully ``resolved.'' Unlike in other Western nations such as the United Kingdom (UK), in the United States, there are clear operational policy firewalls at major law enforcement agencies and the community relations conduits engaging with communities across the country. This divide is not lost upon the communities whose assistance is most needed to disrupt terror plots and simply feeds the perception that these communities are to be ``managed'' as a ``suspect pool'' and not ``trusted'' as true ``partners.'' At the request of our Government I spent the past week in London, at a conference and at U.S. Embassy meetings, analyzing the issue of on-line youth radicalization and CVE. It would be a shame for us to not heed the hard lessons learned by the U.K. Home Office, and others, in terms of their outreach methods in their PREVENT Strategy, which is the CVE portion of the U.K.'s Counter-Terrorism (CT) CONTEST Strategy. In spending time with some U.K. Muslim leaders, visiting the London Central Mosque and meeting with U.K. Think Tank Radicalization Researchers, the message was clear across the board that Government must first strive to ``do no harm'' and tread very softly. That is the attitude we have consistently shared with various intelligence and law enforcement agency officials, including a couple of years ago at the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC)-sponsored working conference with U.K. intelligence officials, subject matter experts, and select community leaders on what Counter-Radicalization lessons the United States can draw from the U.K. Prevent model. We reiterate this cautious tone here today, but would like to remind the subcommittee that Congress should not legislate a comprehensive U.S. CVE Strategy, because that will surely ``securitize the relationship.'' However, by doing so, we can improve many other issues by promoting the establishment of ``coordinated micro-strategies.'' The U.S. Government deserves some credit for recognizing and moving to address several CVE blind spots in the United States' current CT strategy and the overarching National Security (NS) strategy. Congressional authorization designated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be the lead department to counter ideologically- driven violence and stems from the 9/11 Recommendations Reform Act of 2007 (HB1) and subsequent Presidential Executive Orders. While we strongly advise against a Government-wide CVE Strategy, we feel that DHS should establish its own CVE Strategy for a number of reasons. 1. Legally, DHS is currently mandated to, and has previously attempted to, craft such a strategy unilaterally without public disclosure and community input. 2. To align the various entities both within and outside DHS, such as fusion centers, so they are on an effective, constitutionally compliant course in this growing area of law enforcement concern. 3. To develop the subject matter expertise on CVE sorely needed by the Government on what works and what does not in the United States. 4. Without an ``official'' CVE Strategy within DHS, the Department is effectively executing a strategy that is unfocused and counter-productive at times. Our foundation, as outlined in the November 2009 Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report on Terrorism Information Sharing via the Nationwide Suspicious Activities Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI), has been a leading proponent of adopting proven community-oriented policing in the domestic CT sphere. We worked with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's (ODNI) Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) on multiple initiatives improving information-sharing, analytical capacity, and community relations. Two upcoming developments along these lines will be a definition of ``radicalization'' for the State and local law enforcement community as well as the ``Building Communities of Trust Initiative'' best-practices recommendations report, both expected to be released by April 2010. HIGHLIGHTS OF RADICALIZATION DEFINITION Defining ``radicalization'' for the law enforcement (LE) community--ODNI's PM-ISE release at National Fusion Center Policy Conference (February 2010) with full public release expected by April 2010.
William H. Webster, Chairman, Homeland Security Advisory Council: ``tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, institutions or conditions.'' Non-conformity to mainstream perspectives is protected by the First Amendment and according to ISE SAR Functional Standard Version 1.5, First Amendment-protected activities should not be considered ``suspicious'' ``absent articulable facts and circumstances that support the . . . suspicion that the behavior observed is not innocent, but rather reasonably indicative of criminal activity . . . ''. Government communicating an assumption that violent extremism views are supported by the minority community creates a public perception that the minority community supports violent extremism and undermines the relationship between the community and law enforcement. When First Amendment freedoms (speech and assembly) are unconstitutionally used as grounds for launching investigative actions, then effective ``counter-radicalization'' efforts are undermined and the ability of violent extremists to target society is actually made easier. Effective and constitutionally compliant CVE policy recognizes that there is a division of labor between the United States' Government (USG) and the community. This healthy division of labor is explained by the pie chart below where the Government acts when the ISE functional standard metric is met and the community challenges the ideological struggles associated with violent extremism independently.
DHS'S CVE POLICY FORMULATION EVOLUTION
ROADMAP FOR MOVING FORWARD
We believe that eight (8) different micro-strategies are needed by the United States to effectively address the vulnerabilities recently highlighted by homegrown violent extremism cases. 1. U.S. Violent Radicalization Interdiction Framework.--Currently, there is a non-standardized ad-hoc protocol covering the point at which the community's efforts end and the Government, primarily through law enforcement, begins. For most communities the only option before them is to call the FBI, which is often not the most effective method. In researching this issue, including discussions with community leaders and the FBI, CT investigators, as well as our foundation's experience working on successful and unsuccessful violent radicalization interdiction cases, we believe that such an effort will involve multiple agencies and the coordination of multiple Congressional committees. In short, we lack in the United States, a program like the United Kingdom's CHANNEL Project. This is an effort that needs to be an ``iron fist inside a velvet glove,'' and as we previously shared with folks at the NCTC, it requires a degree of interagency ``operational coordination'' that no entity within the Government is currently capable of performing. So we are recommending that both DHS and the various Muslim mainstream groups around the country continue their engagement efforts, but recognize that this issue will need to be addressed sooner or later within DHS. 2. Law Enforcement Information Sharing.--As we shared in the CRS Report referenced above and the three primary offices on this issue (DHS, FBI and PM-ISE), we feel that there are some clearly identifiable schisms in the system needing to be addressed. Since this issue is not the focus of this hearing, we won't elaborate more here. 3. Interagency Strategic Communications Working Group.--The United Kingdom's Home Office has a department specifically tasked with coordinating the messaging between the various key agencies with a direct impact on CVE work. In the United States, we need an inter- agency coordinating entity that would put DOJ-FBI, DHS, the Department of State, and other agencies' public affairs offices on a similar wave length. 4. State-Level Law Enforcement Engagement Strategies.--Across the country, the Federal Government has thus far failed State, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in providing clear guidance on their role in CVE and how best to execute that role using community-oriented policing principles. Thankfully, in the near future, the ODNI's PM-ISE office will be releasing such guidance to State and local law enforcement and fusion centers in a report compiling the lessons learned from the multi-city ``Building Communities of Trust Initiative.'' 5. Effective DHS & DOJ Redress Processes.--As mentioned earlier, the lack of an effective redress process leaves a minority community with one of three conclusions to draw: That the authorities don't care, are incompetent or intentionally wish to humiliate the community. Any of these conclusions are severely detrimental to building up the trust needed to deepen community-law enforcement collaboration on advanced CT efforts such as terror plot disruption. 6. Social Delinquency/Prevention/Integration Programs.--While these programs do not directly impact the hard-core radicalized individuals pursuing a terror plot, they are essential in creating a healthy eco- system within communities and restraining the growth of violent extremism movements. The United States has a long tradition of immigrant integration through a multi-generational identity formulation process. It is clear that today at least two factors are slowing down this natural process. The first is that with the communications revolution, old world connections and politics resonate within the immigrant psyche longer. The second is that our country is currently engaged militarily in multiple conflicts overseas with a direct threat to the homeland consistently highlighted in the public discourse. Both of these challenges will drive the multi-decade developed American Muslim identity to expand its narrative within American Muslim communities to include addressing geo-political conflicts across the majority-Muslim regions globally. To achieve this, non-Muslim communities and policymakers must support the expansion of the geo- political public discourse space, especially within locations where the Muslim identity group might congregate (ex. Mosques). We should remember the resilient strength of our democracy and not fear any public ideological discussion, because it is when such discussions are shut down within brick and mortar locations that they go underground on the internet. Organized communities cannot be reasonably expected to disrupt the counter-ideological messaging of violent extremism networks when these communities' patriotism will be called into question. We have a long history in this country of mitigating radical ideologies with various youth and immigrant integration programs (ex. Boys Scouts/Girl Scouts, Big Brother/Big Sister, etc.), and we can simply expand such programs to include the current generational and cultural breakdown occurring within many Muslim families. 7. U.S. Congress Engagement & Information Sharing.--The Executive Branch's law enforcement agencies driving CVE policy should become more engaged with the Legislative Branch and share an annual report not highlighting its successes but the self-identified shortcomings in working with communities to counter violent extremism. Such an assessment, while politically sensitive, would aid Congress to focus on the hurdles primarily hampering closer community collaboration to disrupt terror plots. 8. U.S. Public's (Media, Academia, etc.) Engagement.--Congress should work with DHS to fund competitive grant programs for academic institutions to conduct fact-finding missions at the grassroots level on improving community-law enforcement cooperation. Similarly, as with the engagement of Congress (in No. 7), the Executive Branch's inter- agency strategic communications coordination office (in No. 3) should share their research with mass media trade associations and journalism schools to create a ripple effects beyond the Government's reach. This would not be ``guidance'' from the Government to the media, but simply a window for the media, and by extension the public, into how our violent extremism enemies capitalize on our messaging. CONCLUSION I'd like to thank the subcommittee once more for inviting me to share our experiences in struggling to find the right formula to advance community-law enforcement cooperation in the mutual goal of disrupting terror plots. When we started years ago, we were quietly advised that we were attempting to address an issue, homegrown violent extremism, that doesn't really exist, or worse yet, was part of President Bush's War on Islam. Though it was a slow slog in the beginning, I feel fairly confident that the mainstream American Muslim community assets are slowly shaking off deep-seated fears, stemming from some post-9/11 law enforcement efforts, to mobilize with confidence and address the challenges, and improving our country's counter-terrorism architecture in the process. On a daily basis, I see a network- and resource-rich community wanting to help make our law enforcement agencies become more effective, but sadly, it is not so easy to connect sometimes with the management of these agencies. Disrupting terror plots is something both law enforcement and the community have proven multiple times is achievable. Lastly, I'd like to publicly commend the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) for being brave enough to step forward and allow us to facilitate the cooperation with the FBI concerning the recent disappearance case of 5 young men to Pakistan from Alexandria, Virginia. CAIR, like numerous other community groups who've requested us as a liaison between them and law enforcement on sensitive cases, knew of our previous interdiction efforts with American Muslim youth. To their credit, despite the overwhelming political assault they've weathered since 9/11, they recognized that the community's interests are safeguarded when community leaders act with an objective and nuanced understanding of the law enforcement community. The same needs to be achieved from within the law enforcement community if we are to truly advance from our current ad-hoc state to one of ``operational coordination'' between the two communities in disrupting terror plots. Ms. Harman. Thank you very much. Ms. Ramirez. STATEMENT OF DEBORAH A. RAMIREZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PARTNERING FOR PREVENTION AND COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVE, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW Ms. Ramirez. Madam Chair, Members of the subcommittee, thank you for giving me the time to testify this morning. The best way to obtain community information needed to thwart terrorism threats is by applying community policing techniques to counter terrorism. Homegrown Muslim terrorists are likely to reside in Muslim communities. Muslim terrorists from abroad are likely to conceal themselves in those same communities. We are blessed in the United States with a Muslim population that, with very few exceptions, is committed to combating terrorism. But we failed to take advantage of this blessing and to develop a systematic strategy to obtain and use community information to thwart terrorism and to fight extremism. Our British counterparts, having learned the lessons of the 2005 bombings, have made enormous efforts to develop such a systematic strategy, which they appropriately call a PREVENT strategy. To be blunt, they are miles ahead of the U.S. law enforcement, whose efforts in this regard are local rather than National. We can learn from the British example. The benefits of such a strategy can and should be measured in terrorist acts averted and lives spared. The British first reaped the benefits of their strategy in April 2008, when members of a U.K. mosque went to local law enforcement with information about Isa Ibrahim, a student who planned to blow himself up with a suicide vest. He was arrested. He was convicted. This was the first time that a tip from the Muslim community in the United Kingdom led to a major terrorism arrest. We tasted the fruits of our own community outreach efforts in December 2009, when the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR, put families in touch with the FBI to report that their sons had left for Pakistan with the intent to join the fight against America. This tip led to the arrest of the young men in Pakistan and spared their lives as well as lives of soldiers. Because community information can thwart terrorist threats, it is an essential tool to put in the counterterrorism tool box. Yet in the United States today, the few community-law enforcement partnerships focused on preventing terrorism, hate crimes, and extremism are all operating independently of each other, without any central coordination or collaborative structure. There are no National programs to provide the training, protocols, tools, and research necessary to demonstrate to other communities how to begin, nurture, sustain, and strengthen these efforts. Nor is there a central clearinghouse for information about such efforts, which could be used to disseminate best practices, promising practices, and lessons learned. More fundamentally, we lack a National collaborative infrastructure in which to organize these efforts. Some are done by the sheriff's office, DHS, FBI. We need a single unified structure. How could we design a coordinated infrastructure for this purpose? We would need the FBI's 56 field offices to meet on a regular basis with community members to develop local collaborative strategies for preventing terrorism, extremism, and hate crimes. In those meetings, bridges of trust and communication need to be built. Specifically, we need them to create community message centers staffed by agents trained to evaluate the reliability and credibility of community information. This means we have to train the community members about what to be on the lookout for. We have to inform them about who to call. We have to designate officers on how to evaluate community information and create protocols for responding to these kind of tips. To make this work, we need a National training and resource center to coordinate and support these efforts, and such a center needs to be located in an academic environment that is neutral and detached and can provide expertise to both law enforcement and the community about how best to collaborate. In closing, one may ask, ``Why should we do this?'' Because if there were another attack, all of us would want to say we did everything we could to prevent it. But if we fail in this room to garner the political will to create this infrastructure, we can't say that. [The statement of Ms. Ramirez follows:] Prepared Statement of Deborah A. Ramirez The best way to obtain the community information needed to thwart terrorist threats is by applying community policing techniques to counter-terrorism. Homegrown Muslim terrorists are likely to reside in Muslim communities; Muslim terrorists from abroad are likely to attempt to conceal themselves in these same communities. We are blessed in the United States with a Muslim population that, with very few exceptions, are committed to combating terrorism. Yet, we have failed to take advantage of this blessing and develop a systematic strategy to obtain and use community information to thwart terrorism and fight extremism. Our British counterparts, after the painful lessons learned from the London subway bombings in 2005, have made enormous efforts to develop such a systematic strategy, which they aptly call their PREVENT strategy. To be blunt, they are miles ahead of U.S. law enforcement, whose efforts in this regard are local rather than National. We can learn from the British example. The benefits of such a strategy can be measured in terrorist acts averted and lives spared. The British first reaped the benefits of their strategy in April 2008, when members of a mosque in the United Kingdom contacted local police and provided information about Isa Ibrahim, a student who planned to blow himself up with a suicide vest. Ibrahim was arrested and convicted. This was the first time a tip from the Muslim community in Great Britain led to a major terrorism arrest. We tasted the fruits of the efforts of our own community outreach efforts in December 2009, when the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), put families in touch with the FBI to report that their sons had left for Pakistan with the intent to join the fight against America. This tip led to the arrest of the young men in Pakistan, and probably spared both their lives as well as the lives of U.S. and Pakistani soldiers. Because community information can thwart terrorist threats, it is an essential tool to put into the counterterrorism tool box. Yet, in the United States today, the few community-law enforcement partnerships that are focused on preventing terrorism, hate crimes, and extremism operate independently of each other, without any central coordination or collaborative structure. There are no National programs to provide the training, protocols, tools, or research necessary to demonstrate how to begin, nurture, and strengthen these community efforts. Nor is there a central clearinghouse for information about such efforts, which could disseminate promising practices, best practices and lessons learned in the United States and abroad. More fundamentally, we lack a National collaborative infrastructure in which to organize these efforts. Some of these efforts are being made by local police departments, others by DHS, still others by FBI field offices. We need a single unified structure. How could we design a coordinated National infrastructure to support and nurture these efforts? We need each FBI field office with a Muslim community to meet on a regular basis with community members to develop local collaborative strategies for preventing terrorism, extremism, and hate crimes. In these meetings, community and law enforcement need to build bridges of trust and communication. Specifically, we need each of these field offices to create community message centers staffed by agents trained to evaluate the reliability and credibility of community information. This means training community members about what to look for, informing them as to whom to call, designating trained law enforcement officers on how to evaluate community information, and creating protocols for responding to important community tips. To make this program work, we need a National training and resource center to coordinate and support these efforts, and we need such a center to be in partnership with a university and located within a university setting. WHY SHOULD WE DO THIS? (1) Because we stand a greater chance of conducting rational, well- reasoned, thoughtful counterterrorism, civil rights, and counterintelligence investigations if we have long-standing, trusting relationships with the community. Engagement with the community provides law enforcement with valuable information and expertise that may not otherwise be available. (2) Because a lot of people out there are counting on us to get this right. (3) Because all of us in this room are men and women of good will who have spent endless hours trying to prevent another attack. If there were another attack on American soil, all of us would want to say that we did EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING in our power to prevent it. But if we fail to garner the political will to create this infrastructure, we won't be able to say that. Attachment 1.--The Partnering for Prevention & Community Safety Initiative, ``Community Partnerships Thwart Terrorism'' by Deborah Ramirez \1\ and Tara Lai Quinlan \2\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \1\ Professor Deborah A. Ramirez, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts, [email protected] \2\ Tara Lai Quinlan, Director of Research, Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative, [email protected] --------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARCH 2010 As law enforcement officials across the globe contemplate ways to prevent terrorist attacks, the gathering of relevant and effective intelligence from reliable sources has become even more crucial to counterterrorism work. One of the best tools to help stop domestic terrorism in countries like the United States and Great Britain is for counterterrorism officials to develop authentic trust relationships with communities. When law enforcement works with the community to establish trust on a variety of issues--from neighborhood blight, to youth violence to police response times, community members are more likely to come forward to report incidences of unusual behavior within the community that they find suspicious or potentially dangerous. When the community feels trust and support from law enforcement, community members feel more comfortable acting as law enforcement's ``eyes and ears'' in the community because they possess the knowledge of community norms, and the ``linguistic, cultural, and analytical skills''\3\ to assess community anomalies that law enforcement, as outside observers, might not see. This paper explores some of the instances where community members provided valuable tips to law enforcement officials that helped thwart terrorist incidents. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \3\ Debbie Ramirez & Tara Lai Quinlan, The Greater London Experience: Essential Lessons Learned in Law Enforcement-Community Partnerships and Terrorism Prevention, May 2008, 42. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- I. BRITISH EFFORTS TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH MUSLIM COMMUNITIES After large-scale arrests were made in Britain after October 2000, and very few of those individuals were convicted, Britain sought to ensure that there was not a backlash against local Muslim communities.\4\ Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, met with MI5, the British intelligence agency, to pursue a collaborative strategy between the Muslim community and the British counterterrorism programs.\5\ Sacranie raised concerns over the arrests, and stated that few of those arrested were charged with any crime, while even fewer were eventually convicted of anything.\6\ Sacranie was concerned that the large numbers of arrests could wrongfully lead the public to mistakenly view the Muslim community as a whole as fanatical.\7\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \4\ Michael Evans & Sean O'Neill, Muslim Leader Meets MI5 Chief to Aid War on Terror, THE TIMES, Apr. 19, 2004 available at https:// www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-1079809-2,00.html. \5\ Id. \6\ Id. \7\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sacranie emphasized that Muslims, like every other British communities, wanted to ensure that there were no terrorist attacks on British soil.\8\ He wrote members of every mosque in Britain requesting that they use the utmost vigilance ``against any mischievous or criminal elements from infiltrating the community and provoking any unlawful activity.''\9\ Further, he urged the members of those mosques to communicate with authorities and ensure cooperation to avoid the common terrorist threat.\10\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \8\ Id. \9\ Id. \10\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- A. Nick Reilly (aka Mohammed Rasheed), Exeter Nick Reilly (aka Mohammed Rasheed) is a Muslim convert who suffers from Aperger's Syndrome and has a mental age of approximately 10.\11\ In May 2008, Reilly followed through with instructions he received from Britain-based radicals he met with in internet cafes and chat room to set off a nail bomb in Exeter.\12\ These radicals of Pakistani decent advocated violence against Western nations for their continued support of Israel.\13\ On May 22, 2008, Reilly went to Giraffe restaurant, ordered a drink, and went to the bathroom to assemble his bomb.\14\ But his bomb went off prematurely in the bathroom stall, and he was the only person injured in the attempted attack.\15\ Counterterrorism officials stated that extremists had taken advantage of Rasheed's low IQ of 83 to groom him for terrorist activities.\16\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \11\ Minette Marrin, Nicky Reilly, Muslim convert, jailed for 18 years for Exeter bomb attack, TIMES ONLINE, Jan. 31, 2009, http:// www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5619151.ece. \12\ Id. \13\ Id. \14\ Id. \15\ Id. \16\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- After the incident at Giraffe restaurant, police arrested three men, and detained another who cooperated with the police, and searched the Muslim Community Centre in Plymouth.\17\ In response to the search, the Centre trustees issued a statement that ``[w]e are as shocked as everyone by the recent events that have unfolded at Exeter and Plymouth. We have been working in partnership with the police and community to build the centre and we are now committed to assisting the police with their inquiries.''\18\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \17\ Third Man Quizzed Over Explosion, BBC NEWS, May 28, 2008, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/ 7424769.stm. \18\ Exeter Restaurant Bombing: Police Search Muslim Centre And Home In Plymouth After Third Arrest, UK NEWS, SKY NEWS, May 29, 2008, http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky-News-Archive/Article/ 20080641317471.[sic]. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- A BBC investigation later revealed that police had received prior warning of the Giraffe restaurant attack by a tip from a psychiatrist who had evaluated Reilly.\19\ During a psychiatric evaluation, Reilly had expressed a desire to study engineering to learn to make a bomb.\20\ The psychiatrist relayed this information to the police, but the police did not interview Reilly in response to the tip because they felt that the remark was a ``one-off''.\21\ In a statement, the Devon and Cornwall police they stated: --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \19\ Police warned about Exeter bomber in 2003, BBC NEWS, Feb. 8 2010, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/ 8505209.stm (hereinafter BBC News Exeter). \20\ Id. \21\ Id. ``Systems such as the government's Prevent strategy, which have been implemented since 2003, look at intelligence like this, but Reilly was not a person of interest and gave no other cause for concern. As part of Prevent, should there have been any further cause for concern, he would have been part of a review process. From the information at that time, there was no indication that Reilly was, or was likely to become, capable of making a bomb. Although in hindsight we are always seeking to learn as an organisation, we are confident we would not have dealt differently with the information as we had it at the time.''\22\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \22\ BBC News Exeter, supra note 35. At least one source indicates that Reilly was under surveillance prior to the attack, but the extent of Muslim community involvement remains unclear.\23\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \23\ See Face of the `nail bomber': Police were tailing Muslim convert before restaurant attack, LONDON EVENING STANDARD, May 23, 2008, http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23486974-face-of-the- nail-bomber-police-were-tailing-muslim-convert-before-restaurant- attack.do. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- B. Isa Ibrahim, Bristol In April 2008, student Isa Ibrahim was arrested for planning to detonate a ``suicide vest.''\24\ Ibrahim had researched online how to make explosives from household products, and had also done reconnaissance at the Broadmead shopping centre in Bristol.\25\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \24\ Jail for `Suicide Vest' Student, BBC News, http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8155978.stm (Hereinafter BBC Suicide Vest). \25\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leading up to his arrest, Ibrahim had engaged in a series of suspicious actions, but none of the third parties involved had alerted authorities to his activities.\26\ When Ibrahim then talked about suicide bombing with members of his mosque, they challenged him on his views and alerted authorities.\27\ After also noticing cuts on Ibrahim's hands, the members of the mosque contacted a local police officer. \28\ Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Hazell, of Avon and Somerset police, said: ``The calls to us came in when he showed some people the injuries on his hands, including marks from shards of glass, which he said were caused when a bottle blew up when he was mixing chemicals.''\29\ Tipping off the authorities to Ibrahim's behavior was a ``sensitive subject'' with members of the mosque, but they eventually provided the police with Ibrahim's full name and photograph.\30\ Police described the incident as a landmark ``because it was the first time a tip-off from the Muslim community had led to a major anti-terrorism arrest.''\31\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \26\ Duncan Gardham, Terrorist Andrew Ibrahim was turned in by the Muslim community, TELEGRAPH TIMES ONLINE, July 18, 2009, available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/5851168/Terrorist-Andrew-Ibrahim-was- turned-in-by-the-Muslim-community.html. Prior to Ibrahim's arrest: he asked a visiting lecturer what were ``the best'' biological agents for killing people, but the university ultimately did not take action; he bought up stocks of hydrogen peroxide from several Boots stores, but staff disregarded their own regulations and did not contact the police; at an electric shop he asked about a light bulb with the glass removed, which is a key indicator of a detonator; and Ibrahim had even discussed suicide bombing and the ingredients of his bomb with friends, but was not taken seriously. Id. \27\ Id. \28\ Id. \29\ Sean O'Neill, Teenager's plot to blow up town centre--Muslim elders reported former public schoolboy to police, The Times London, July 18, 2009, available at http://0- infoweb.newsbank.com.ilsprod.lib.neu.edu/iw-search/we/InfoWeb. \30\ Gardham, supra note 42. Initially, on April 14 the mosque only provided police with Ibrahim's first name, but submitted his full name 2 days later. Id. \31\ BBC Suicide Vest, supra note 39. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- When Ibrahim's apartment was searched by police in April 2008, officers found the highly explosive hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) in a biscuit tin in the refrigerator, a detonator underneath Ibrahim's sink, and a vest on the bedroom door.\32\ The night before his arrest, Ibrahim had even obtained shrapnel to add to the explosives.\33\ Ibrahim was convicted in July 2009 of making explosives with intent and preparing terrorist acts, and received a minimum sentence of 10 years.\34\ Following the verdict, the Council of Bristol Mosques released a statement that said, ``[w]e stress that at all times we must behave honourably and as law-abiding citizens. We believe strongly in community ties and community cohesion. Anything falling below these standards is morally and socially unacceptable.''\35\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \32\ O'Neill, supra note 45. \33\ Id. \34\ BBC Suicide Vest, supra note 39. \35\ BBC Suicide Vest, supra note 39. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- II. UNITED STATES EXAMPLES A. Missing Somali Youth in Minneapolis Since the 1990s the population of Somalis living in the United States has grown significantly, with the largest Somali-American community located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.\36\ Beginning in late 2007, reports began to surface about young Somali-American men traveling to Somalia ``to enlist in the Shabaab, an Islamist group battling the country's government.''\37\ There are believed to have been at least 20 departures by young men since 2007, which occurred in at least two waves.\38\ The first wave began in late 2007, 6 months after an Islamic group seized control of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.\39\ The men in the first wave were in their 20s to 30s, and had all left the United States by the spring of 2008.\40\ Included in the first wave were Shirwa Ahmed, believed to be the first suicide bomber with U.S. citizenship, and Zakaria Maruf, a former gang member.\41\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \36\ Andrea Elliott, Joining the Fight in Somalia, N.Y. Times, July 12, 2009, available at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/12/ us/20090712-somalia-timeline.html (Hereinafter Elliott Graphic). \37\ Andrea Elliott, Joining the Fight in Somalia, N.Y. Times, July 12, 2009, available at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/07/12/ us/20090712-somalia-timeline.html (Hereinafter Elliott Graphic). \38\ Id. \39\ Id. \40\ Id. \41\ Andrea Elliott, A Call to Jihad, Answered in America, N.Y. TIMES, July 11, 2009, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/ us/12somalis.html?pagewanted=all (Hereinafter Elliott Article). --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zakaria Maruf was well known in the Muslim community in the Twin Cities because he used to drive to and from Abubakar mosque, and some young Somalis recorded Maruf's call to prayer as a cell phone ringtone.\42\ During this period, Maruf began to reach out to young men through listservs and conference calls ``arranged by a teenage boy who distributed 800 numbers and passwords'' for people to listen in.\43\ Some of these young men ended up leaving the United States for Somalia in the second wave.\44\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \42\ Id. \43\ Id. \44\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- This second wave was a younger group of men who had been more successful in the United States.\45\ Most of the men had been raised in the United States and had also performed well academically in high school or college.\46\ Members in this group began dropping out of school in August 2008 and November 2008.\47\ Notably some of the departures in the second wave occurred after Shirwa Ahmed died as a suicide bomber in October 2008.\48\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \45\ Elliott Article, supra note 56. Elliott Graphic, supra note 52. \46\ Id. \47\ Id. \48\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Community members took notice of the departures and became concerned. Community member Abia Ali noticed that two boys that she recognized from her mosque came into the travel agency where she worked as an accountant to make travel plans.\49\ Ms. Ali was concerned that the boys were planning on following Zakaria Maruf to Somalia, and accordingly she warned the mosque leaders, who then alerted the boys' parents.\50\ The mosque then summoned a meeting with the mosque's young members, where imam Sheikh Abdirahman Sheikh Omar Ahmed, told the crowd ``All this talk of the movement must stop . . . Focus on your life here. If you become a doctor or an engineer, you can help your country. Over there you will be a dead body on the street.''\51\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \49\ Id. \50\ Elliott Article, supra note 56. \51\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- After hearing about the young men leaving the country, Somali parents began hiding their sons' passports.\52\ Some parents pleaded with their departed sons to return home from abroad.\53\ For example, Mohamoud Hassan's parents had been trying to convince him to return back home after he already left, but he feared that he would spend his time in Guantanomo.\54\ The conversations would be short with few responses, but at some point they convinced Hassan to come back to the United States and wired him $800.\55\ However, shortly thereafter, someone phoned them to tell them that their son had been shot in the head; some believe to prevent Hassan from working with the FBI.\56\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \52\ Elliott Article, supra note 56. \53\ Id. \54\ Id. \55\ Id. \56\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Members of al Qaeda have reportedly been attempting to recruit youths with U.S. or European passports because they could cross borders more freely.\57\ Since the first wave of Somali youths left Minneapolis in 2007, six recruits have been killed in Somalia (including Shirwa Ahmed), and four defendants have entered guilty pleas.\58\ But recruiting of United States citizens and nationals of Somali decent in the United States continues, and is now believed to have broadened to other States including Nevada and Georgia.\59\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \57\ Id. \58\ See Andrea Elliott, Charges Detail Road to Terror for 20 in U.S., N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 23, 2009 at A1 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/ 24/us/24terror.html (Hereinafter Elliott Charges). \59\ See id. (noting that five young Somali men were stopped en route to a wedding in San Diego from Nevada); see also Maggie, Lee, After Minneapolis, FBI Eyes Atlanta's Somalis, NEW AGE MEDIA, June 24, 2009, available at http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/ view_article.html?article_id=0c35ffa6e64aac24f1d332f6b32e7d29 (last visited Feb. 22, 2010) (noting that recruitment efforts have begun in parts of Atlanta Georgia). --------------------------------------------------------------------------- B. Washington, DC Area Students Go Missing in Pakistan On December 7, 2009, five American students from the Washington, DC area were arrested by Pakistani authorities.\60\ Pakistan authorities had observed them for 2 days and then arrested the five men: David Headley, an American of Pakistani descent; Umar Farooq, a Pakistani- American; Aman Hasan Yemer, an Ethiopian-American; Waqar Hussain Khan, a Pakistani-American; and Ahmed Abdullah Mimi, an Ethiopian-American each holding a United States passport.\61\ The men had been staying in a house in Sargodha, Pakistan owned by one of their uncles. When authorities searched the house, they found jihadist literature, and maps of cities and installations.\62\ Evidence in the investigation suggests that some of the men wanted to fight U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.\63\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \60\ Zahid Hussain, Siobhan Gorman & Neil King Jr., Students Linked to al-Qaeda, WALL STREET JOURNAL, Dec. 11, 2009 at A3. \61\ Hussain, supra note 77. \62\ Id. \63\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Before arriving in Pakistan, the men had been in contact with Pakistani militants with connections to al-Qaeda through internet chat rooms and YouTube.\64\ The militants allegedly told them to come to Pakistan where they could assist them in getting to Afghanistan to fight jihad.\65\ One of the young men left behind an 11-minute video that ``quoted Koranic verses, cited conflicts between Western and Muslim nations and showed wartime footage.''\66\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \64\ Waqar Gillani & Jane Perlez, Pakistan Police Say 5 Detained Americans Intended to Fight U.S. in Afghanistan, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 11, 2009. \65\ Id. \66\ Jerry Markon, Pakistan Arrests 5 North Virginia Men, Probes Possible Jihadist Ties, THE WASHINGTON POST, Dec. 10, 2009 http:// www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/09/ AR2009120901884.html. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was the families of these five young men who initially reported them missing, fearing that they had gone to Pakistan. The Council on American-Islamic Relations put the families in touch with the FBI. The parents showed the FBI and Muslim community leaders the 11-minute video. The authorities conducted their investigation with extensive help from the families, whose assistance included turning over the men's writings and computer files.\67\ Around the same time, in Sargodha a neighbor alerted Pakistani authorities after the uncle of one of the men told the neighbor that his nephew and four friends had voiced bad intentions.\68\ After the five men were reported missing in the United States, the FBI contacted Pakistani officials and shortly thereafter, the men were arrested.\69\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \67\ Id. \68\ Hussain, supra note 77. \69\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- C. Christmas Day Bomber On December 25, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded an airplane from Nigeria (to Amsterdam) to Detroit with 80 grams of high explosive chemicals strapped to his crotch.\70\ Abdulmutallab tried to blow up the airplane as it was approaching Detroit, but his detonator failed and instead his pants caught on fire and other passengers quickly subdued him.\71\ The other passengers and crew members detained him until the airplane landed.\72\ In January 2010, Abdulmutallab was indicted on six counts, including one of attempted murder and one of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.\73\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \70\ Russell Goldman & Huma Khan, Timeline of Terror: Clues in Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's Past, Did officials miss important clues in tracking down Nigerian before failed plot?, ABC NEWS, Dec. 30, 2009 available at http://abcnews.go.com/US/timeline-terror-clues- bomber-umar-farouk-abdulmutallabs-past/story?id=9449255. \71\ Id. \72\ CNN, Source: Terror suspect's father tried to warn authorities, CNN.COM, Dec. 27, 2009, available at http://www.cnn.com/ 2009/CRIME/12/26/airline.attack/index.html. \73\ United States v. Abdulmutallab, No. 2:10-cr-20005 (Jan. 6, 2010) (Indictment). Copy of indictment available at http:// blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/01/the-abdulmutallab- indictment-.html. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Abdulmutallab was granted a multiple-year, multiple-entry tourist visa at the U.S. Embassy in London in June 2008, which would last until 2010.\74\ Abdulmutallab was a student in the United Kingdom at the time the United States granted him a visa, and after getting his visa, he traveled to Houston.\75\ In May 2009, the United Kingdom denied Abdulmutallab's application to renew his student visa because he listed a non-existent college on his application.\76\ Later that year in August of 2009, he went to Yemen to be trained by an al-Qaeda leader, and was admitted into the country because he had a valid U.S. visa in his passport.\77\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \74\ CNN, supra note 89. \75\ CNN, supra note 89. \76\ Goldman & Khan, supra note 87. \77\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Abdulmutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab was a prominent Nigerian banker and had become increasingly alarmed about his son's political views.\78\ In November, 2009, Mutallab went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria after he received an alarming phone call from his son stating that ``it would be their last contact and associates in Yemen would then destroy his phone.''\79\ Mutallab feared that his son was preparing for a suicide mission in Yemen, stating that he was concerned about his son's ``radicalization and associations'' and that he feared that Abdulmutallab went to Yemen to participate in ``some kind of jihad.''\80\ Following the November 19, 2009 warning, information about Abdulmutallab was given to the National Counter- Terrorism Center, and he was also added to the watch-list of more than half of a million individuals, or the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment.\81\ However, officials believed that Mutallab had not presented enough information to place Abdulmutallab's name on the smaller Terrorist Screening Data Base, which includes a smaller no-fly list.\82\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \78\ BBC News, Father alerted US about Nigerian plane bomb suspect, BBC NEWS, Dec. 27 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8431470.stm (Hereinafter BBC News Nigeria). \79\ Goldman & Khan, supra note 87. \80\ Dan Eggen, Karen DeYoung & Spencer S. Hsu, Plane suspect was listed in terror database after father alerted U.S. officials, WASH. POST, Dec. 27, 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2009/12/25/AR2009122501355.html; Goldman & Khan, supra note 87; CNN, supra note 89. \81\ BBC News Nigeria, supra note 95. \82\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Once Abdulmutallab was detained by other passengers, and the airplane landed, he spoke freely to the FBI.\83\ However, after he had surgery for his burns and was read his Miranda rights he ceased cooperating with law enforcement officials.\84\ The FBI flew two counterterrorism agents to Nigeria ``to gain an understanding of the suspect'' and then located two of Abdulmutallab's family members.\85\ The relatives agreed to come back with the agents to the United States to get Abdulmutallab to cooperate because they ``disagreed with his efforts to blow up American targets.''\86\ After meeting with Abdulmutallab for several days, the family members convinced him to talk with the investigators. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \83\ Minette Marrin, Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab offering `useful intelligence' to FBI, TIMES ONLINE, Feb. 3, 2010, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/ article7013063.ece. \84\ Id. \85\ Jeff Zeleny & Charlie Savage, Official Says Terrorism Suspect Is Cooperating, N.Y. TIMES, Feb. 2, 2010 at A11, http:// www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/us/03terror.html. \86\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- An official stated that ``The intelligence gained has been disseminated throughout the intelligence community,'' and further that ``The best way to get [Abdulmutallab] to talk was working with his family.''\87\ Officials confirm that Abdulmutallab has provided them with information about people he met in Yemen.\88\ In addition, Robert S. Mueller III told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Mr. Abdulmutallab provided ``valuable intelligence'' but Mueller did not elaborate further.\89\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \87\ Id. \88\ Id. \89\ Zeleny & Savage, supra note 102. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- D. ADAMS Mosque, Virginia The All Dulles Areas Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque developed a relationship with the FBI in early 2002, when the FBI approached Imam Mohamed Magid and several other imams about developing contacts with the Washington-area Muslim community. As part of their process of developing mutual trust, Imam Magid invited the FBI to the mosque on multiple occasions for dialogues and questions from mosque members. While the agents promised to be less heavy-handed in their investigations and more culturally sensitive, the community agreed to provide tips alerting FBI officials if they spotted anything unusual in the community.\90\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \90\ Douglas Waller Sterling, An American Imam, Time Magazine, November 14, 2005. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- In one instance mosque members alerted Imam Magid to a new member who acted unusually--dealing only in cash and listing the ADAMS mosque as his mailing address. The next time Imam Magid saw the new member, he spoke with him in his office while the FBI arrived to question him. In the end it turned out that the man was going through a messy divorce and had child support payments, and did not want to be located because his wages would be garnished.\91\ This incident is just one of the benefits that have flowed from the strong relationship between the ADAMS mosque and the FBI's Washington, DC field office. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \91\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- III. OTHER EXAMPLES E. Mubin Shaikh, Toronto Mubin Shaikh is a prominent Muslim leader in Canada. In 2006, it was revealed that Shaikh worked with officials in Canada as an informant to thwart a potential terrorist attack involving 17 terrorism suspects.\92\ The 17 suspects were arrested after purchasing three tons of ammonium nitrate.\93\ Police alleged that the men, ranging in age from 15 to 43, were planning on blowing up buildings in Toronto and then storming Canada's parliament.\94\ Shaikh told the Toronto newspaper, ``I don't want Canadians to think that these [suspects] are what Muslims are. I don't believe in violence here. I wanted to help, and I'm as homegrown as it gets.''\95\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \92\ Rebecca C. Dube, Leader Turned Informant Rattles Muslims, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, July 31, 2006, http://www.csmonitor.com/ 2006/0731/p06s01-woam.html. \93\ Id. \94\ Id. \95\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaikh had already worked with the police to help improve awareness in the community; however, he first became involved with the accused group after reading about one his friends being arrested.\96\ He contacted the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and informed them ``I have a solid foundation in Islam. I'm born and raised here. Toronto is home. I understand what concerns [the police] have. But as a Muslim, I understand what concerns Muslims have.''\97\ The CSIS agreed to let Shaikh assist in the efforts to infiltrate this group, but after they agreed, he also sought the counsel of a spiritual advisor.\98\ ``I knew that throughout my work with the authorities, if I was ever instructed to [entrap or set up the suspects], which I was not, I would not [do it].''\99\ If he did, his spiritual advisor threatened to accuse him of hypocrisy.\100\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \96\ Jackie Bennion, The Radical Informant, FRONTLINE, aired Jan. 30, 2007 on PBS, available at http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/ stories/canada602/shaikh.html. \97\ Id. \98\ Id. \99\ Id. \100\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaikh's participation in thwarting the potential attack was controversial with members in the Muslim community.\101\ Some in the Muslim community stated that they have no issues with reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement officials; however, they draw the line at Shaikh's level of involvement.\102\ Others argued that instead of working with police, Shaikh instead should have utilized his influence over the men to try to convince them to not go through with the plot.\103\ However, Shaikh informed the Canadian Broadcast Company that the suspects had already chosen their path, and that they needed no outside influence from him.\104\ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \101\ Dube, supra note 9. \102\ Id. \103\ Id. \104\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaikh's involvement also raised some ethical issues regarding the permissibility of utilizing prominent members of the community as informants. Professor Natapoff of Loyola Law School states that ``There's a very corrosive effect in urban communities when the government makes snitching a central law enforcement tool.''\105\ While informants can be useful for criminal investigations, the use of informants makes it easier to slide into ethically dangerous situations.\106\ Where individuals like Shaikh help out the Government, it is possible to erode trust between members within the community, and further degrade the level of trust between the community and the Government. This highlights an important concern for communities and warrants further discussion. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- \105\ Id. \106\ Id. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONCLUSION The best way to obtain the community information needed to thwart terrorist threats is by applying community policing techniques to counterterrorism. Homegrown Muslim terrorists are likely to reside in Muslim communities; Muslim terrorists from abroad are likely to attempt to conceal themselves in these same communities. We are blessed in the United States with a Muslim population that, with very few exceptions, are committed to combating terrorism. Yet, we have failed to take advantage of this blessing and develop a systematic strategy to obtain and use community information to thwart terrorism and fight extremism. Specifically, we need each of the FBI field offices to create community message centers staffed by agents trained to evaluate the reliability and credibility of community information. This means training community members about what to look for, informing them as to whom to call, designating trained law enforcement officers on how to evaluate community information, and creating protocols for responding to important community tips. To make this program work, we need a National training and resource center to coordinate and support these efforts, and we need such a center to be in partnership with a university and located within a university setting. Attachment 2.--A Promising Practices Guide Executive Summary* --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Available at www.ace.neu.edu/pfp. Ms. Harman. Thank you. Mr. Ervin. STATEMENT OF CLARK KENT ERVIN, DIRECTOR, ASPEN INSTITUTE HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM Mr. Ervin. Thank you, Madam Chair, Mr. McCaul, Ms. Clarke, for having me here today to discuss this important topic. My main point, and I think the whole point of the hearing, is that the business of counterterrorism must be every American's business, not just that of those privileged to serve in Government. Average Americans in every community must be the eyes and ears of law enforcement officials and intelligence analysts. We ordinary citizens must be Government's force multiplier. This is especially true for Muslim-Americans, and I would like to associate myself with Ms. Ramirez' comments. The overwhelming majority of Muslim Americans, like all Americans, are loyal and patriotic citizens more than willing to do their part to protect and defend us all. If anything, they are even more disposed to decry and condemn violent extremists in their own community who would do this country harm than we non-Muslims, precisely because those extremists are in their community and they blacken the name of their community and pervert their faith. We must shine the spotlight of National attention on the efforts of law enforcement authorities in New York City and Los Angeles in particular--I am delighted that Sheriff Baca was here--who embrace the racial/ethnic/religious diversity in their communities and, as you said, use it to their advantage by enlisting such minorities in their counterterrorism efforts. NYPD and LAPD are effective terror fighters in large part because their ranks include men and women who come from these communities and know them best. Further, these police organizations engage in constant dialogue with these communities, hearing their concerns, addressing their complaints, soliciting their advice and counsel, and earning their trust and good will in the process. So when differences arise, as they inevitably will, the positive relationships that have been established over time serve to keep disagreements in perspective and passions cool. Such outreach can encourage--can encourage community members to come forward and foil terror plots--and we have heard examples of that, so I won't add to that further. I would also like to commend an effort that we haven't heard about to date this morning, and that is the effort of NYPD to find out what the root causes of radicalization are. I commend the 2007 report by their intelligence apparatus, which identified a number of factors--lack of economic opportunity, limited education, strained family ties, a sense of impotence and alienation and grievance, a desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves and that they consider to be noble. All of this leads impressionable minds down the path of terrorism. Government, industry, schools, places of worship, and non- profit organizations must work together to provide positive alternatives--jobs and job training programs, constructive social organizations, athletic programs and the like--to counter lives of aimless--aimlessness and anomie. An idle mind is truly the devil's workshop. I would also like to underscore and agree with what else has been said today about the fact that Muslims are not--that not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all terrorists are Muslims. It is as if recent events conspired to prepare us very well for today's hearing. The two recent cases of Colleen LaRose and Jamie Pauline-Ramirez underscore the fact that even blond- haired and blue-eyed females can be terrorists, as you yourself said, Madam Chair. If anyone can be a terrorist, then everyone can fight terrorism. Whether it is the TSA Behavior Detection Officer specifically trained to spot signs of terror intent at airports; the New Jersey electronics store clerk who questions video he is asked to duplicate showing men apparently training for jihad and who brings that to the attention of authorities, in the process foiling the Fort Dix plot; the beauty supply owner noticing the same person repeatedly buying large quantities, unusually large quantities, of hydrogen peroxide; or the mail carrier going about his daily route and noticing that the trees in front of a particular house have suddenly turned white and wonders whether this might be the result of a bomb production lab inside--anyone and everyone, inside Government and out, can and must play a role in preventing terror if we are to have any hope of preventing it more often than not. Thank you very much for having me, and I look forward very much to your questions. [The statement of Mr. Ervin follows:] Prepared Statement of Clark Kent Ervin March 17, 2010 Thank you, Chair Harman, Ranking Member McCaul, and Members for inviting me to testify today on the very important and timely topic, ``Working with Communities to Disrupt Terror Plots.'' The recent spate of aborted terror plots, especially the Christmas day bombing attempt, all serve to underscore the fact that terrorists remain determined to strike the homeland again, and the odds of preventing them from ever succeeding are low. To kill, injure, and destroy, terrorists have to ``get it right'' only once, while those in the business of counterterrorism must ``get it right'' 24/7. My main point today, and I think the point of this whole hearing, is that the business of counterterrorism must be every American's business, not just that of those now privileged to serve in Government. Our country is too big; and (commendably) too open and free, with too many tempting targets, for us to think that Government officials alone can defend us from this omnipresent, and, perhaps even existential, threat. Average Americans in every community must be the eyes and ears of law enforcement officials and intelligence analysts; we ordinary citizens must be Government's force multiplier. This is certainly true for Muslim-Americans. The overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans, like all Americans, are loyal and patriotic citizens, more than willing to do their part to protect and defend us all. If anything, they are even more disposed to decry and condemn violent extremists in their own community who would do this country harm than we non-Muslims are precisely because those extremists are in their community and they blacken the name of their community and pervert their faith. We must shine the spotlight of National attention and cast the warm glow of approval on the efforts of, for example, law enforcement authorities in New York City and Los Angeles who embrace the racial/ethnic/religious diversity in their communities and use it to their advantage by enlisting such minorities in their counterterrorism efforts. NYPD and LAPD are effective terror fighters in large part because their ranks include men and women who come from these communities and know them best. These police organizations engage in constant dialogue with these communities, hearing their concerns, addressing their complaints, soliciting their advice and counsel, and earning their trust and goodwill. When differences arise, as they inevitably will, the positive relationships that have been established over time serve to keep disagreements in perspective and passions cool. To be commended, too, at the Federal level, are like efforts by the National Counterterrorism Center; the Department of Homeland Security; and the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Such outreach can encourage community members to turn to the authorities when they spot signs of radicalism in their midst and can serve to foil terror plots before they go too far. We saw an example of that recently when Somali parents in Northern Virginia, concerned about the disappearance of their young sons, confided their fears of terror ties to a Muslim organization, which then confided in the authorities, ultimately resulting in the arrest of the young men in Pakistan before they could carry out acts of terrorism. It is, needless to say, highly unlikely, that the community would have turned to the authorities in this instance had the relationship between the two beforehand been one of mistrust and confrontation rather than trust and cooperation. Also noteworthy and highly commendable is NYPD's effort--the 2007 report by two of its intelligence analysts, ``Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat''--to determine why and how people become radicalized to the point of becoming terrorists. There must be continual such efforts in communities across the country to identify and to counteract the factors--lack of economic opportunity, limited education; strained family ties; a sense of impotence, alienation, and grievance; a desire to be a part of something big and noble--which lead naive and impressionable minds down the path of terrorism. Government, industry, schools, places of worship, and non-profit organizations must work together to provide positive alternatives--jobs and job training, constructive social organizations, athletic programs, and the like--to lives of aimlessness and anomie. An idle mind is truly the devil's workshop. It is not just Muslims, of course, who should be alert for signs of terrorism in their communities. All of us must be vigilant. First of all, we must underscore the fact that, just as not all Muslims are terrorists, so not all terrorists are Muslims. If by ``terrorists'' we mean all those who terrorize, then certainly Joseph Stack, who flew a small plane into an IRS building in Austin recently, and John Bedell, who wounded two police officers at Pentagon more recently still, then it should be clear to all now that terrorists come in all races, ethnicities, and genders, and they can have all different kinds of grievances. ``Terrorist'' is not a ``one size fits all'' term. And, even those terrorists who at least claim to be Muslims can likewise defy stereotypes, as the even more recent cases of the female, blond- haired, and blue-eyed ``Jihad Jane,'' Coleen La Rue, and Jamie Pauline- Ramirez highlight. Such cases help make the point that terrorist stereotyping is not just politically incorrect; it is simply incorrect. If anyone can be a terrorist, everyone can fight terrorism. Whether it's the TSA Behavior Detection Officer specially trained to spot signs of terror intent at airports; the New Jersey electronics store clerk who questions video he is asked to duplicate showing men apparently training for jihad and brings it to the attention of authorities, foiling the Fort Dix plot; the beauty supply store owner noticing the same person repeatedly buying unusually large quantities of hydrogen peroxide; or the mail carrier going about his daily route and noticing that the trees in front of a particular house have suddenly turned white and wonders whether this might be the result of a bomb production lab inside, anyone and everyone--inside Government and out--can and must play a role in preventing terror if we are to have any hope of doing so more often than not. We cannot know for sure from the recent spate of incidents whether terror plots are increasing in number and seriousness, but it is more than reasonable to draw than inference. Since 9/11, both the Bush and Obama Administrations have done a commendable job of killing and capturing terrorists. But, the next, and even more important step-- stopping the terrorist production line at its source--remains very much a work in progress. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in a hearing that, appropriately, is focused on exactly this. Ms. Harman. Thank you very much. It will now be time for questioning. We will each take 5 minutes, and I yield myself 5 minutes. Mr. Elibiary, you used some words that got my attention. Securitizing the relationship with minority communities or disparate communities, you said, is counterproductive. Then you said what you would hope we would do would be coordinate micro strategies. Let me just kind of go there. I don't think any of us is trying to securitize relationships. I think we are trying to build trust--and I am asking the panel to comment on this--with law-abiding citizens who are members of diverse communities in our country. The point of that is we can learn a lot from that. We can show respect to our fellow citizens. But we also can invite, in appropriate circumstances, those communities, those parents, those sisters and brothers to come forward and alert us to a family member who might be a lone wolf terrorist or might be associating with other terrorists. We do have examples of that in recent time. Most of them are in the Muslim community, as Mr. Ervin pointed out, but they don't have to be limited there. Does what I just described constitute, by your lights, securitizing the relationship with those communities? Mr. Elibiary. No, it does not, Madam Chair. The securitizing the relationship is when--for this category of how do you disrupt terror plots, the only conduit available currently for the community to engage with is to offer a tip. So there is only the law enforcement channel, and it is really with the FBI. Even if it is offered to local law enforcement or fusion centers, it is going to funnel back to the JTTF. So in this particular case, there is--as I wrote in my prepared remarks, the line between where the counterideological work that the community would be engaging in and the essentially predictive behavior that--standard that law enforcement tries to uphold is--there is a gray area in between, and that gray area, as well as while a youth, for example, is going through their radicalization process, cannot just be to connect with the FBI. Then that is a total securitized relationship. There is a gap there. It needs to be addressed. It should be addressed outside of the bureau, outside of a law enforcement agency. Ms. Harman. Well, I think many people believe, as Sheriff Baca obviously does, that local level policing is the first line of contact, or even community organizations, which then trust local level police, not the FBI, so I am not sure I agree with you that there is this direct link between locals and the FBI only. But at any rate, to continue with this, there was a testy exchange between Mr. Souder and Sheriff Baca. No one missed it. It was about CAIR, the organization CAIR, which is--has been controversial. I think no one would argue that. You are all nodding your heads, so you agree. I am asking you whether you think organizations like CAIR do play a vital role and/or whether organizations like CAIR, which may be linked to funding, or at least these are the claims, terror organizations or terror activities should be cut out somehow of the set of organizations that intersect communities and those in communities who are trying to let us know about improper behavior in those communities. Mr. Ervin. Well, I will start, Madam Chair. I would say a couple of things. I, too, was struck by Mr. Elibiary's use of the term securitized--securitizing this whole subject. I guess what I would say in response to that is I completely agree with your response to that. I might add that if law enforcement's only contact with the Muslim community is focused on the discrete issue of terrorism, that is one thing. That is why I stressed in my statement that not just law enforcement but Government generally, and not just Government but a whole range of institutions outside Government must also work to do positive things with the community--jobs, economic opportunity, positive alternative social organizations. I could understand from the Muslim's community if they perceive law enforcement as being solely focused on counterterrorism that that would be perceived by some as securitizing. I hope that that is helpful, what I have just said there. With regard to your specific question on CAIR, I would distinguish between CAIR--I do distinguish between CAIR and Hamas and Hezbollah. That was also mentioned. There is no question in my mind that Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. CAIR is not. There is no question but that it is a controversial organization. There are people in that organization associated with controversial views. You made the very important distinction at the--at the beginning of the hearing that we are not here to talk about views, however controversial. We are talking about behavior. CAIR certainly is an organization that is not engaged in, and is opposed to, and has thwarted violent behavior. That is here what--that is what we are here to talk about. Ms. Harman. Thank you. My time has expired, and I want to be respectful of others. Do you have a short comment, Ms. Ramirez? Ms. Ramirez. Yes. My short comment is that I do not believe CAIR is a terrorist organization, and I also think that it is not an accident that families went to CAIR with information that then went to the FBI. The community respects CAIR. It is a large, well-respected grassroots organization. Without CAIR at the table or by excluding or demonizing CAIR as a terrorist organization, you exclude the grassroots members of the community who have the information that is necessary for thwarting counterterrorism. The FBI does not consider CAIR to be a terrorist organization. The FBI field offices regularly meet with CAIR. There are individual members of CAIR who have been under criminal investigation for criminal behavior. But that is different than saying that the entire organization is a terrorist organization. Ms. Harman. Thank you. I now yield 5 minutes to Mr. McCaul. Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Madam Chair. Welcome to the panel. I wanted to add to Mr. Clark--Mr. Ervin's resume the fact that he served as deputy attorney general under Attorney General John Cornyn along with myself, and it is great to see a former colleague here today, and---- Mr. Ervin. Thank you very much. Mr. McCaul. Thank you. Thanks for your service both in the Department of Homeland Security and other aspects as well. We heard testimony from the previous panel which I thought was sort of interesting. The FBI and DHS seemed to indicate that there is a wall of separation, and I don't like the use of the term wall of separation after 9/11, between what they are doing and what the Joint Terrorism Task Forces are doing. We also heard that--when we asked them can you think of an example of a terror plot that has been disrupted through community outreach, the only example I heard was the inauguration, which really turned out to be a non-issue. It wasn't a threat, in--in fact. Given that being the case, I am just questioning if we are really approaching this in the right way. I understand we need to have outreach to the community in a non-threatening way to the Muslim community, but at the same time it can be very valuable in terms of obtaining information and evidence related to a potential terror plot and which we can disrupt. Mr. Ervin, I know you just recently went out to the NCTC center and actually talked to them on this very issue, so this hearing is very timely, I think, for your testimony. I just, you know, care if you comment on that point. Mr. Ervin. Yes, Mr. McCaul. I am glad you gave me an opportunity to do that. In the interest of time, I didn't talk about that in my statement. But I want to commend, and I think we all should, the efforts that the Federal Government-- specifically the National Counterterrorism Center, and even more specifically Dan Sutherland, who heads the Countering Violent Extremism Unit, if I can call it that, at NCTC, who formerly, of course, was the first director of the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security. Commendably, Director Leiter has made this issue, countering violent extremism, a central focus of the National Counterterrorism Center. The work, as we heard this morning, of the--of Mr. Sutherland continues now at the Department of Homeland Security. We heard that Secretary Napolitano has given her full support to that office. I think that is commendable. So I think that is tremendously important that the Federal Government amplifies the efforts of the local community. That is no substitute for the local community, because there is no question but that the likelihood is that the interaction between terrorists and the government is likeliest, of course, to happen at the local level. Mr. McCaul. What I was struck by--and thank you for that-- Sheriff Baca seemed to have a different approach than what the FBI and DHS were talking about, and he does seem to be able to fully integrate this community outreach, which I think he does very well, in addition to the law enforcement side of--of the house. I think that may be a model, Madam Chair, we should--we should look at on the Federal level. Ms. Ramirez, appreciate your experience, particularly as an assistant U.S. attorney, as I was at one point in my life, and you mentioned a National training and resource center, and also that the 56 FBI offices have more of a community coordinator. I know that some of the offices do, but I assume from your testimony that not all of them--and can you explain to me what the center would do that you are proposing? Ms. Ramirez. Okay. First of all, some of the--some of the 56 field offices do meet regularly with their community--Los Angeles, Dearborn, Chicago are examples of that. But all of these efforts are ad hoc and uncoordinated. What would a National center do? Well, the way in which we configured this was through briefings with the FBI. What the FBI thought would be useful at the time or might be useful, or at least what I think would be useful, is for the offices to be trained with their community counterparts, so that instead of-- for example, many of the things that Sheriff Baca said--and I think his efforts are laudatory and ought to be replicated. But if we had a National center, he could come and talk to law enforcement about how to coordinate the counterterrorism and community outreach together. He has a lot of good ideas. He has a lot of programs. But they are not shared in any National forum, so that each one is operating independently of the other. The Dearborn model, which is headed up by the Department of Homeland Security in Dearborn, Michigan, also has been in existence since 2001 and has accumulated a lot of information and experience which has no way of being transferred to other areas. Then there are many offices that don't meet at all with their counterparts. As a former assistant U.S. attorney, one of the things that seemed puzzling to me is that when we went to Dearborn, for the first time I saw the hate crimes officers, who have to go in the community and enforce hate crimes and give training about hate crimes, were at the table with the counterterrorism officers, because after 2001 the counterterrorism agents were complaining that they were flying blind in these communities. They did not know the communities. They did not have a context in which to put the information that they were gathering from the community. The people who were doing hate crimes were introducing them to the community. So you had these two parallel tracks within the FBI that weren't talking to each other. What the center recommended is that they come together to work with the community in parallel, and that does address, to some extent, the securitization aspect, because they are not there only to get information, but they are there to stand with the community against hate crime and hate speech. Mr. McCaul. Madam Chair, I think that is a--it is a very interesting idea, and I would like to follow up if we can on this--on this idea. I see my time has expired. I don't know if we will have another round of questions or not. Ms. Harman. Well, why don't you take a few extra minutes? That would be fine. Mr. McCaul. Okay. That would be great. Mr. Elibiary, first let me commend you for your work in my home State of Texas and your outreach efforts in the Muslim community. You mentioned also the JTTF component. Can you comment or elaborate on that? I know your opening statement you didn't have an opportunity. Mr. Elibiary. Thank you very much. A couple of points, if I--if you will allow me, in just a few seconds. I wanted to say that the LAPD and the NYPD are exceptions to State and local law enforcement. As one who has advised the PMISC's office looking at bridging these communities of trust issues and different parts of the law enforcement hierarchy of the agencies, Federal, State and local, the--most of your local law enforcement agencies around the country do not really do CVE work, don't really know what their role is. They don't do anything as well as fusion centers but pass on the information to the JTTFs. So my comments were not focusing on those exception ones. The two examples that I gave of the securitizing, as I heard it articulated from community members at the grassroots, are the low-hanging fruit one as well as the firewall that I can guarantee you and share with you offline which agencies and where they exist, if you would like. On CAIR, I would like to just share the comments that I shared with Director Mueller at the FBI SIOC last year, early last year, on this issue. This is our mainstream community position on the issue, that CAIR is a community organization. It was totally funded by the community. It is developed over the years by the community and does community civil rights work. Now, the founders, leaders, any individuals having association problems or have done anything criminal should be indicted. But the organization should exist. The organization should be left alone. We have a standard in this country for criminal activity, and that is the standard we should uphold for CAIR just like everybody else. Now, last point is the philosophical spectrum in the Muslim community. I think we need to engage with everybody according to the metric that Chair Harman mentioned earlier, which is violence. So as long as they--they understand and they oppose that kind of activities, I really don't care what their viewpoints are on anything. I engage with all kinds of people, from the most fundamentalist to the most progressive in our community, because I have a goal, and it is to counter violent extremism, and that is it. Now, the JTTF--here is an example of--that we were not able to help with. Most mosques around the country, because of the post-9/11 magnifying glass that they are under in the media, will not allow for any kind of controversial discourse to happen in their facilities. So therefore, if somebody steps forward and wants to kind of develop their own study circle, so you have, like, an ad-hoc spiritual sanctioner--that term is often thrown out there in the analytical community--and they get a little group of five or six folks sitting around them in a--in a little session, what the mosque will do is they will go and say, ``You have to sign up your little study sessions on a map,'' I mean, ``on a calendar,'' and then slowly weed that group, not authorize it, and those folks leave the facility where we can engage with them, and they go to somebody's apartment. So in this particular case that I am referencing, the mosque leadership came to me and said, ``We have this issue. This guy is kind of painting himself in this particular way and he has gotten a few weak-minded individuals around him, and we are concerned it could develop into something--some extremism, and eventually lead into violence.'' I said, ``Okay.'' We connected with the field intelligence group and the JTTF in the region, and so they had the information of this individual and the people around him. Then basically, the mosque kind of pushed them out. The JTTF supervisor came to me and said, you know, ideally now what should have happened is that the community and the FBI would have worked together to find out where the weak link in that circle would have been, that study circle, and then have that individual engaged. Then that individual can then raise the flag to the JTTF when they start veering away from just the discussion of extremist identity issues and religious discourse, and then we would have a flag, an early warning system. But we currently do not. We couldn't help to create that mechanism because, like was mentioned earlier, the level of cooperation between the community and law enforcement is not up to this level yet. Mr. McCaul. Perhaps that is why we haven't seen an example of a plot thwarted from this community outreach. The Hasan case was screaming, you know, with flags going up and yet no, you know, action was taken, and---- Mr. Elibiary. I can give you an example of one that does-- it does not come through the community engagement--or the community relations offices. The tips that do come in concerning these issues that I am aware of have all come in through the channel of either the FIG or the JTTF, because there is a deep relationship that either that supervisor or special agent had built up, so there is a personal rapport. It is very personality-centric between the two components of the community leader and the FBI official. As I mentioned in here, this is an ad-hoc system. We can do better---- Mr. McCaul. No, I think we can do better, and I think you raise a very good point. Last point--and I have to raise this because I want you to explain this. I was in the Justice Department when the Holy Land Foundation was indicted and prosecuted, and there was an article in the Dallas Morning News that says Holy Land verdict is another U.S. defeat. I disagree with that, but I want to give you an opportunity to explain that. Mr. Elibiary. I appreciate that, Representative McCaul. I have written plenty of op-eds and have yet to see an editor allow me to publish the title that I put on my pieces. So I have never picked a title for any of my op-eds anywhere, including the one I just wrote for Fox News. So let me just put that out there. Now, here is my view on the Holy Land Foundation. The Holy Land Foundation--and of course, I sat through both trials, reviewed the evidence, engaged with the FBI investigators and, of course, heard from the community side and the defendants and everything. We are using the Al Capone approach a lot of times in these material support cases where we are trying to get people prosecuted for one thing because of some other issue we have with them. Sometimes it is because of the lack of evidence that is available to convict them directly, as well as we have in the Holy Land Foundation trial lumped in a whole bunch of unindicted co-conspirators and caused a great deal of damage to community relations between law enforcement and the community. So those two approaches, I think, are--like I mentioned in my comments, you can achieve--we can achieve our end-goal using much more subtle and Constitutionally-compliant or considered fair approaches, because the community feels it is being treated in a certain--to a certain standard that is different than the rest of society, so--and then that is counterproductive, and it is a defeat for us long-term as a country to increased cooperation. Mr. McCaul. Yes, thank you. I thank the Madam Chair for being so generous with her time. Ms. Harman. Well, I thank you, Mr. McCaul. Your questions were interesting. To remind, the focus of this hearing is: How do we find those few individuals in--who live amongst us who are intending to commit acts of terror against us and prevent and disrupt those plots? That is what we are focused on. Although we may all have views of different organizations, I did ask the question I asked about CAIR because it had come up and I didn't think we had fully aired the situation. It is a controversial organization, and there are many, including many in Congress, who question its purposes. I did hear your testimony that you think it is a valuable community organization, but I also heard your testimony, two of you, who said there may be individuals inside of CAIR who have committed, possibly, criminal acts and should be prosecuted. So I think that is--that is pretty straight up. I just want to conclude this hearing by making a couple of comments. First of all, your testimony is very careful and very helpful, all of you. I was just looking through it again. You know a lot about this subject--and you work in your communities, especially Mr. Elibiary and Ms. Ramirez, and, Mr. Ervin, you have a long experience with this, and you still work on the same issues--and it will inform us. First point. Second point, this whole issue is a minefield. It is a minefield for you and it is surely a minefield for us. We are frequent target practice from the left and the right and our selection of witnesses and topics are regularly under fire. Having said that, we are going to forge ahead. Our whole subcommittee feels, I believe--I think I can speak for Mr. McCaul who is very friendly to me today because I gave him so much extra time--that we have to figure this out. I often say that security and liberty are not a zero-sum game. That is not my original idea. Ben Franklin said a variation of that. We will either get more of both or less of both. I want more of both. I want to find bad guys and have the right approach to getting there, and I want to protect our Constitution while we do it. It seems to me if all we do is securitize this problem, and round up bad guys, and shred our Constitution, we really haven't protected the society that we love. So getting this right is going to require all of us to take a little heat and work very hard on a path forward. I think we have a lot of work to do. So I invite you to stay in touch with us. We are going to have a hearing in the next month or so on the internet. We are going to try to frame the issue carefully and have a balanced set of witnesses. I promise you that we will be criticized for the people we select, but we are still going to try to get this right. I just want to close with this. I said it at the beginning, and you repeated it, Mr. Elibiary, so I know that you heard me, and I hope others did, too. Our goal is not to censure radical beliefs. A witness in a prior hearing quoted Barry Goldwater, who said that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater is right. But if those radical beliefs are converted to an intent to engage in violent behavior, we are going after that. That is fair season. That is not protected by our Constitution. That harms America's homeland security. That is our mandate, to protect America's homeland from harm. So stay tuned. Please think kindly on us, not just on St. Patrick's Day but on every day, because we are forging a difficult path, but so are you. Thank you very much for coming. The hearing stands adjourned. [Whereupon, at 12:48 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]