[House Hearing, 117 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                          WHAT IT MEANS FOR AMERICA



                              BEFORE THE

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


                             SECOND SESSION


                            FEBRUARY 2, 2022


                           Serial No. 117-42


       Printed for the use of the Committee on Homeland Security


        Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.govinfo.gov


                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
47-364 PDF                 WASHINGTON : 2022                     


               Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi, Chairman
Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas            John Katko, New York
James R. Langevin, Rhode Island      Michael T. McCaul, Texas
Donald M. Payne, Jr., New Jersey     Clay Higgins, Louisiana
J. Luis Correa, California           Michael Guest, Mississippi
Elissa Slotkin, Michigan             Dan Bishop, North Carolina
Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri            Jefferson Van Drew, New Jersey
Al Green, Texas                      Ralph Norman, South Carolina
Yvette D. Clarke, New York           Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Iowa
Eric Swalwell, California            Diana Harshbarger, Tennessee
Dina Titus, Nevada                   Andrew S. Clyde, Georgia
Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey    Carlos A. Gimenez, Florida
Kathleen M. Rice, New York           Jake LaTurner, Kansas
Val Butler Demings, Florida          Peter Meijer, Michigan
Nanette Diaz Barragan, California    Kat Cammack, Florida
Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey          August Pfluger, Texas
Elaine G. Luria, Virginia            Andrew R. Garbarino, New York
Tom Malinowski, New Jersey
Ritchie Torres, New York
                       Hope Goins, Staff Director
                 Daniel Kroese, Minority Staff Director
                          Natalie Nixon, Clerk
                            C O N T E N T S



The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, a Representative in Congress 
  From the State of Mississippi, and Chairman, Committee on 
  Homeland Security:
  Oral Statement.................................................     1
  Prepared Statement.............................................     2
The Honorable John Katko, a Representative in Congress From the 
  State of New York, and Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland 
  Oral Statement.................................................     3
  Prepared Statement.............................................     5


Mr. Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Executive Director, Global Internet 
  Forum To Counter Terrorism:
  Oral Statement.................................................     6
  Prepared Statement.............................................     8
Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt, Chief Executive Officer, Anti-Defamation 
  Oral Statement.................................................    13
  Prepared Statement.............................................    15
Ms. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, PhD, Professor, American University:
  Oral Statement.................................................    27
  Prepared Statement.............................................    29
Mr. Bill Roggio, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of 
  Oral Statement.................................................    34
  Prepared Statement.............................................    37

                             For the Record

The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress 
  From the State of Texas:
  Article, Washington Post.......................................    46


Questions From Chairman Bennie G. Thompson for Cynthia Miller-
  Idriss.........................................................    87
Questions From Chairman Bennie G. Thompson for Nicholas J. 
  Rasmussen......................................................    87



                      Wednesday, February 2, 2022

                     U.S. House of Representatives,
                            Committee on Homeland Security,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:01 a.m., via 
Webex, Hon. Bennie G. Thompson [Chairman of the committee] 
    Present: Representatives Thompson, Jackson Lee, Langevin, 
Correa, Slotkin, Green, Swalwell, Titus, Watson Coleman, Rice, 
Demings, Barragan, Gottheimer, Malinowski, Torres, Katko, 
Higgins, Guest, Bishop, Van Drew, Miller-Meeks, Harshbarger, 
Clyde, Gimenez, LaTurner, Meijer, Cammack, and Pfluger.
    Chairman Thompson. The House Committee on Homeland Security 
will be in order. Without objection, the Chair is authorized to 
declare the committee in recess at any point.
    Today the committee is meeting to examine the dynamic 
terrorism threat landscape and discuss why the threat is 
dominated by domestic violent extremists, including White 
supremacists. Almost 1 year ago, this committee held its first 
hearing of the 117th Congress, examining the threat of domestic 
terrorism in the wake of the January 6 Attack on the Capitol. 
Since that hearing, I have taken on a new role, Chairman of the 
Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the 
U.S. Capitol, where I am working across the aisle to get the 
bottom of that attack.
    Here, on the Homeland Security Committee, our mandate is to 
carry out broader oversight to better understand what DHS, the 
FBI, and other Federal agencies must do, together with their 
State and local and private-sector partners, to detect, 
prevent, and respond to terrorism.
    Too often our public spaces are subject to shootings or 
hostage-taking or other violent plots that see grocery stores, 
schools, houses of worship, or concerts become crime scenes. In 
June 2015, a young man sought refuge in a Charleston church, 
expressing what seemed to be genuine interest in their regular 
bible study meeting. Motivated by a desire to start a race-
fueled civil war, he opened fire, killing 9 African American 
members of the bible group that had just welcomed him in. Since 
that tragic attack, there have been countless other acts of 
terrorism and violence carried out by people with a variety of 
extremist views.
    The FBI director testified before this committee that last 
year, his agency had the largest number of open domestic 
terrorism cases ever. He went on to say that the majority of 
those cases involve White supremacist extremists. He also 
described how violent extremists are choosing aspects of 
different ideologies that fit their unique grievance, as if 
choosing individual items from a salad bar. Emergence of what 
the FBI has come to call salad bar ideologies is a paradigm 
shift of terrorism threats that have made it harder for law 
enforcement to prevent attacks.
    Over the past year, threats posed by converging violent 
ideologies have increased as ideologies that once were thought 
of as fringe have become more mainstream. I appreciate the 
steps DHS and others have taken over the past year to try to 
address this issue, especially after the previous 
administration ignored it for 4 years. Certainly, the issuance 
of the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic 
Terrorism last June was an important step forward.
    I also appreciate the work many in the private sector and 
civil society are doing to protect our communities and prevent 
the internet from being used to spread disinformation, 
radicalize people, or plan attacks. But much more must be done, 
and we are eager to hear from our witnesses and solutions 
    We must be clear-eyed about the threat from violent 
extremists and focus our efforts on finding appropriate 
solutions that improve our homeland security and allow people 
to go about their lives. Just last month, a man flew from the 
United Kingdom to the United States and made his way to a 
synagogue in Texas, specifically targeting worshippers for 
their Jewish faith. He pretended to be a homeless man seeking 
shelter and appealed to their humanity. Like we saw in 2015, at 
the Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, the attacker preyed 
upon kindness of people of faith to carry out his attack. 
Thankfully, this time there was no loss of life.
    Our job on this committee is to focus on security and keep 
our fellow Americans safe. We must prioritize helping people 
congregate in a manner that allow at-risk communities to live 
their religious tenets and show kindness to those in need.
    Today, we have an expert panel of witnesses that will 
outline the dynamic terrorism threat landscape we face and 
present their ideas about what we ought to do moving forward. I 
look forward to their testimony and responses to our questions 
so that we can find a path to keep us all secure. American 
lives, our way of life, our very democracy are at stake.
    [The statement of Chairman Thompson follows:]
                Statement of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson
                            February 2, 2022
    Today, the committee is meeting to examine the dynamic terrorism 
threat landscape and discuss why the threat is dominated by domestic 
violent extremists, including White supremacists. Almost exactly 1 year 
ago, this committee held its first hearing of the 117th Congress, 
examining the threat of domestic terrorism in the wake of the January 6 
attack on the Capitol.
    Since that hearing, I have taken on a new role--Chairman of the 
Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack--where I am 
working across the aisle to get to the bottom of that attack. Here, on 
the Homeland Security Committee, our mandate is to carry out broader 
oversight to better understand what DHS, the FBI, and other Federal 
agencies must do, together with their State and local and private-
sector partners, to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorism.
    Too often our public spaces are subject to shootings or hostage 
taking or other violent plots that see grocery stores, schools, houses 
of worship, or concerts become crime scenes. In June 2015, a young man 
sought refuge in a Charleston church, expressing what seemed to be 
genuine interest in their regular Bible study meeting. Motivated by a 
desire to start a race-fueled civil war, he opened fire, killing 9 
African American members of the Bible group that had just welcomed him. 
Since that tragic attack, there have been countless other acts of 
terrorism and violence carried out by people with a variety of 
extremist views.
    The FBI director testified before this committee that last year 
that his agency had the largest number of open Domestic Terrorism cases 
ever. He went on to say that the majority of those cases involve White 
supremacist extremists. He also described how violent extremists are 
choosing aspects of different ideologies that fit their unique 
grievance, as if choosing individual items from a ``salad bar.'' The 
emergence of what the FBI has come to call ``salad bar'' ideologies is 
a paradigm shift in terrorism threats that has made it harder for law 
enforcement to prevent attacks. Over the past year, threats posed by 
converging violent ideologies have increased, as ideologies that once 
were thought of as ``fringe'' have become more mainstream.
    I appreciate the steps DHS and others have taken over the past year 
to try to address this issue, especially after the previous 
administration ignoring it for four years. Certainly, the issuance of 
the first-ever ``National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism'' 
last June was an important step forward.
    I also appreciate the work many in the private sector and civil 
society are doing to protect our communities and prevent the internet 
from being used to spread disinformation, radicalize people, or plan 
attacks. But much more must be done, and we are eager to hear about 
potential solutions today.
    We must be clear-eyed about the threat from violent extremists and 
focus our efforts on finding appropriate solutions that improve our 
homeland security and allow people to go about their lives. Just last 
month, a man flew from the United Kingdom to the United States and made 
his way to a synagogue in Texas--specifically targeting worshippers for 
their Jewish faith. He pretended to be a homeless man seeking shelter 
and appealed to their humanity. Like we saw in 2015 at the Mother 
Emanuel Church in Charleston, the attacker preyed upon kindness of 
people of faith to carry out his attack. Thankfully, this time there 
was no loss of life.
    Our job on this committee is to focus on security and keep our 
fellow Americans safe. We must prioritize helping people congregate in 
a manner that allows at-risk communities to live their religious tenets 
and show kindness to those in need.
    Today, we have a panel of expert witnesses that will outline the 
dynamic terrorism threat landscape we face and present their ideas 
about what we ought to do moving forward. I look forward to their 
testimony and responses to our questions so we can find a path to keep 
us all secure. American lives, our way of life, and our very democracy 
are at stake.

    Chairman Thompson. With that, I recognize the Ranking 
Member, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Katko, for an opening 
    Mr. Katko. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know, and I thank 
the witnesses for being here as well. I anticipated that the 
Chairman would speak to the domestic violent extremism that is 
rampant in our country right now. So, I chose not to replow 
that ground for the most part. But I do want to make sure that 
the Chairman and everyone knows that I agree with your comments 
and we need to mindful of that.
    I want to talk more about what I see as kind-of the concern 
in the arena of the international extremism coming home here 
once again. So, our committee and the Department of Homeland 
Security were created to address terrorist threats facing the 
homeland. It is incumbent upon us to remember precipitating 
events and warning signs which led to our existence.
    In 1993, a van containing over 1,000 pounds of explosives 
was detonated in a parking garage of the World Trade Center, 
killing 6 people and injuring 15 others. Ramsey Yousef, one of 
the plot's leaders and a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 
later told the FBI he had hoped to topple one tower into the 
other killing approximately 250,000 civilians. In 1998, 224 
people died, including 12 Americans when nearly simultaneous 
bombs blew up in front of the American embassies in Kenya and 
Tanzania. Soon after, these attacks were linked to al-Qaeda.
    In 2000, the U.S.S. Cole was refueling off the coast of 
Yemen when suicide terrorists launched an attack killing 17 
American sailors. U.S. Government investigation determined that 
al-Qaeda was behind the bombing. Less than a year later, on a 
Tuesday morning in September, America learned exactly what al-
Qaeda was capable of. Now, 20 years after 9/11, terrorist safe 
havens still exist in locations spanning from West Africa to, 
sadly, once again, Afghanistan.
    I understand that Americans are exhausted by endless wars 
but we must remember wars are two-sided. The terrorist threat 
will not cease because we pick up and leave. We need to 
recognize that while it is possible to degrade terrorist 
operations when we utilize the power of American intelligence 
and military enterprises, it is just as easy for terrorism to 
reconstitute when it is given sanctuary. That is my concern 
    The war on terror is not a war which is going to end with a 
treaty signing and a ticker tape parade. It is not a war which 
we have won or lost. In fact, it is not over and probably never 
will be. However, the Biden administration has seemingly 
disengaged to some extent. The Biden administration's botched 
withdrawal from Afghanistan has cost the lives of 13 service 
members and has reinvigorated terrorist networks in the region 
and around the world. We must be clear-eyed about what is an 
evolving threat landscape and admit the failures that happened 
in Afghanistan.
    There are two lessons we must learn from past experience. 
The first is, given safe haven, terrorist networks will 
undoubtedly utilize that time and space to plot attacks against 
the homeland in a more intricate nature. The second lesson is 
that we cannot ignore the signals foreign terrorist 
organizations are now sending. Many of these warning signs are 
seen internationally, but many are also seen here at home, 
unfortunately. Just 2\1/2\ weeks ago, a British citizen named 
Malik Faisal Akram barricaded himself along with several 
hostages inside the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in 
Colleyville, Texas. Akram demanded the release of Aafia 
Siddiqui, a terrorist, who has been tried and convicted of 
attempting to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan. As American 
citizens, we are incredibly grateful to our brave Federal, 
State, and local law enforcement agents for their actions 
during this incident. But we cannot take this outcome for 
    Having experienced a Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting 
just a couple of years ago, we know that these attacks can be 
deadly. I am, to say the least, concerned about how Akram was 
able to obtain clearance through the Visa Waiver Program. He 
clearly had a troubled past and a very serious criminal record 
and the British knew about that. At a minimum, this should have 
triggered a heightened level of screening and vetting. Why it 
did not is something we need to examine and discuss. These are 
issues which I am addressing with the Department of Homeland 
Security and their agency partners, but which we all should be 
considering as we influence Homeland Security policy.
    Additionally, the troubling lack of clear communication, 
information sharing, and effectiveness displayed by Homeland 
Security among its interagency partners and Congress during 
recent events such as the one in Colleyville, gives me cause 
for continuing concern. The terror threat is one that we face 
on many fronts. We cannot ignore the battlefields in the Middle 
East, Afghanistan, and Africa. We must be cognizant of the 
growth of extremism in the West and work with our international 
partners to identify and neutralize the threat there. We must 
arm our Homeland Security colleagues with the tools they need 
to recognize the threat at ports of entry and keep those actors 
from making it to the interior of the United States.
    Finally, we must combat the threat of terrorism whether 
foreign-born, or home-grown as my colleague, Mr. Thompson, 
pointed out, or domestic, which exists within our borders. If 
we don't maintain a holistic approach to combatting this 
threat, we will face more acts of terror on American soil. I 
hope that we can work together in this committee in the 
bipartisan manner we always do to get things done and continue 
to attack these very difficult problems. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman, and I yield back.
    [The statement of Ranking Member Katko follows:]
                 Statement of Ranking Member John Katko
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased that the committee is holding 
this important hearing today. Our committee and the Department of 
Homeland Security were created to address terrorist threats facing the 
homeland, and it is incumbent upon us to remember precipitating events, 
and warning signs, which led to our existence.
    In 1993, a van containing over a thousand pounds of explosives was 
detonated in the parking garage of the World Trade Center, killing 6 
people and injuring 1,500 others. Ramzi Yousef, one of the plot's 
leaders and the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, later told the FBI he 
had hoped to topple one tower into the other, killing approximately 
250,000 civilians.
    In 1998, 224 people died, including 12 Americans, when nearly 
simultaneous bombs blew up in front of the American embassies in Kenya 
and Tanzania. Soon after, these attacks were linked to al-Qaeda.
    In 2000, the U.S.S. Cole was refueling off the coast of Yemen when 
suicide terrorists launched an attack killing 17 American sailors. The 
U.S. Government investigation determined that al-Qaeda was behind the 
    Less than a year later, on a Tuesday morning in September, America 
learned exactly what al-Qaeda was capable of.
    And now, 20 years after 9/11, terrorist safe havens still exist in 
locations spanning from West Africa to, once again, Afghanistan.
    I understand that as Americans we are exhausted by ``endless 
wars,'' but we must remember--wars are two-sided. The terrorist threat 
will not cease because we pick up and leave. We need to recognize that 
while it is possible to degrade terrorist operations when we utilize 
the power of the American intelligence and military enterprises, it is 
just as easy for terrorism to reconstitute when it is given sanctuary. 
The war on terror is not a war which is going to end with a treaty 
signing and a ticker-tape parade. It's not a war which we have won or 
lost. In fact, it's not over. However, the Biden administration has 
seemingly disengaged.
    The Biden administration's botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has 
already cost the lives of 13 U.S. service members and has reinvigorated 
terrorist networks in the region and around the world. We must be 
clear-eyed about what is an evolving threat landscape.
    There are two lessons we must learn from past experience. The first 
is, given safe haven, terrorist networks will, undoubtedly, utilize 
that time and space to plot attacks against the homeland. The second 
lesson is that we cannot ignore the signals foreign terrorist 
organizations are sending. Many of these warning signs are seen 
internationally, but many are also seen here at home.
    Just two-and-a-half weeks ago British citizen Malik Faisal Akram 
barricaded himself, along with several hostages, inside the 
Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Akram 
demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a terrorist who has been tried 
and convicted of attempting to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan. As 
American citizens we are incredibly grateful to our brave Federal, 
State, and local law enforcement agents for their actions during this 
incident--actions which ensured that there were no casualties. But we 
cannot take this outcome for granted. Having experienced the Naval Air 
Station Pensacola shooting just a couple years ago, we know that these 
attacks can be deadly.
    I am, to say the least, concerned about how Akram was able to 
obtain clearance through the Visa Waiver Program. He clearly had a 
troubled past, including a criminal record. At a minimum this should 
have triggered a heightened level of screening and vetting. These are 
issues which I'm addressing with DHS and their agency partners, but 
which we all should be considering as we influence homeland security 
policy. Additionally, the troubling lack of clear communication, 
information sharing, and effectiveness displayed by DHS among its 
interagency partners and Congress during recent events such as the one 
in Colleyville gives me great cause for concern.
    The terror threat is one that we face on many fronts. We cannot 
ignore the battlefields in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa. We 
must be cognizant of the growth of extremism in the West and work with 
our international partners to identify and neutralize the threat there. 
We must arm our homeland security colleagues with the tools they need 
to recognize the threat at ports of entry and keep those actors from 
making it to the interior of the United States. And finally, we must 
combat the threat of terrorism--whether foreign-born, home-grown, or 
domestic--which exists within our borders. If we don't maintain a 
holistic approach to combatting this threat, we will face more acts of 
terror on American soil.

    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. The gentleman 
yields back. Other Members of the committee are reminded that 
under the committee rules, opening statements may be submitted 
for the record. Members are also reminded that the committee 
will operate according to the guidelines laid out by the 
Chairman and Ranking Member in our February 3 colloquy 
regarding remote procedures.
    I welcome our panel of witnesses. Our first witness is Mr. 
Nicholas Rasmussen, executive director of the Global Internet 
Forum to Counter Terrorism, or GIFCT. Mr. Rasmussen had held 
senior counterterrorism positions at the White House and in the 
U.S. intelligence community over the course of his 27-year 
career, including his service as director of the National 
Counterterrorism Center.
    Our second witness is Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national 
director of the ADL. Mr. Greenblatt brings extensive experience 
from the private sector and Government. Under Mr. Greenblatt, 
ADL has worked in new and innovative ways to counter and combat 
extremism in all forms.
    Our third witness is Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, professor 
at the American University. Dr. Miller-Idriss is a professor of 
both School of Public Affairs and the School of Education at AU 
and has studied the dynamics of violent extremism globally for 
over 20 years.
    Our final witness is Mr. Bill Roggio. I hope I didn't do 
too much damage to you, Mr. Roggio. He is also a senior fellow 
at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where his work 
focuses on the global war on terrorism.
    Without objection, the witnesses' full statements will be 
inserted in the record. I now ask Mr. Rasmussen to summarize 
his statement for 5 minutes.


    Mr. Rasmussen. Thank you, Chairman Thompson. Thank you 
Ranking Member Katko and Members of the committee. It is, 
indeed, my privilege to join this important hearing this 
morning. As you said, Mr. Chairman, I am here today in my 
capacity as the executive director of GIFCT, the Global 
Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. In that current role, my 
focus is particularly on the on-line dimensions of the threat 
landscape that both you and Mr. Katko outlined in your opening 
statements, both here at home and around the world.
    Of course, this is not my first appearance before this 
committee. During my tenure as the director of the National 
Counterterrorism Center, I had the honor to appear before you 
and the committee on many occasions. I had countless other 
informal conversations with Members during that time. I am 
grateful for the support of the committee during my time at 
    GIFCT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the 
mission to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from 
exploiting digital platforms. We offer a unique multi-
stakeholder setting to identify and solve the most complex 
problems that sit at the intersection of technology and 
terrorism. We were founded in 2016 by four major technology 
companies, but we are now a nonprofit organization with our own 
staff, professional staff, of terrorism and technology experts 
working with our 18-member companies in a much wider global 
stakeholder setting.
    Before I highlight our key priorities and work streams, I 
will touch just very briefly on a few elements of the current 
landscape that both you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Katko, 
highlighted in our opening remarks. The on-line dimension of 
this landscape is a very dynamic environment. The community of 
violent extremist and terrorist voices is becoming ever more 
diverse and it represents an ever-wider array of violent 
extremist ideologies. Groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda continue to 
exploit the on-line environment as do White supremacist and 
neo-Nazi organizations around the globe, accelerationists, 
ethnonationalists of various forms, violent extremists of the 
incel movement and others who propagate conspiracy theories 
that lead to violence.
    The extremists and terrorists that operate today in the on-
line domain, are agile and adaptable. They migrate readily and 
easily from one platform to another depending on their purpose. 
Terrorists and violent extremists, as we know, have always 
adapted themselves to the tactics that intelligence and law 
enforcement services use to disrupt them. They, of course, do 
the same when it comes to their use of modern technology. This 
poses a challenge to those charged with enforcing platform 
policies for tech companies.
    The diversity and variety of violent extremist actors 
operating on the internet is matched by an equally diverse and 
varied set of platforms on which they operate. None of us, Mr. 
Chairman, use just one platform or app on our phone today. 
Violent extremists are the same and most often they use several 
different services, including services that go well beyond 
social media platforms.
    Responding to this environment, of course, requires a 
global and diverse response. For that reason, a top priority 
for me and our GIFCT team this year is to expand our membership 
to bring in a much wider and more diverse range of tech 
companies. It is not enough for GIFCT to be focused on social 
media or on Silicon Valley alone. The effort must extend 
globally and it must involve companies and technologies of all 
sort. In my written statement, I set forth in detail key 
initiatives we are pursuing to achieve our mission to include 
helping companies develop more useful definitional frameworks 
that will help them respond to on-line terrorism and violent 
    Another critical effort of our work is to strengthen the 
capacity of member companies to respond in real time to a real-
world terrorism crisis. By facilitating real-time situational 
awareness and information sharing among our member companies 
during an attack, we identify any on-line dimensions so that 
members can take swift action against content that a 
perpetrator might be looking to pose to the on-line 
    The multistakeholder nature of our work is perhaps best 
highlighted by our GIFCT working groups where we bring together 
experts from very diverse stakeholder groups, geographies, and 
disciplines to focus on discreet and specific challenges we are 
facing. It is this attribute of multistakeholderism that makes 
GIFCT unique, and I would argue, in many ways, an experiment. 
It is a forum in which all of the relevant stakeholders who 
share in the problem set are invited to participate. We have 
certainly valued having participation from the U.S. Government 
and from Federal law enforcement.
    Solving these terrorism problems requires a whole-of-
society approach not just a whole-of-Government approach. As I 
left Government service a few years ago, it was clear to me 
that more of the work necessary to do this takes place outside 
Government than perhaps I appreciated. This means collaboration 
with the private sector, academia, and civil society. With the 
continued support of this committee, Mr. Chairman, and that of 
other critical stakeholders here in the United States, I am 
optimistic we can make the on-line environment safer and 
healthier for all of us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your 
attention this morning, for the invitation to appear, and I 
look forward to the conversation.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Rasmussen follows:]
              Prepared Statement of Nicholas J. Rasmussen
                            February 2, 2022
    Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Katko, Members of the committee. 
It is indeed a privilege for me to join you today for this important 
hearing. I am here today in my capacity as executive director of the 
Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, known by its acronym of 
GIFCT. GIFCT is a 501(c)(3) organization with a membership of 18 
technology companies and the mission to prevent terrorists and violent 
extremists from exploiting digital platforms.
    But as some Members may recall, this is not my first appearance 
before this committee. During my tenure as director of the National 
Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), I had the honor to appear before you 
several times along with other senior Government officials as the 
committee addressed important issues of homeland security concern. It 
is a pleasure to be back here with you virtually and I especially want 
to thank former Chairman Mr. McCaul for the very positive and 
constructive relationship that the committee had with NCTC during my 
years of Government service, as well as the strong support he provided 
personally to me as the NCTC director.
    I am also pleased and honored to share the panel this morning with 
other distinguished experts and voices who work on the complex and 
challenging landscape of terrorism and violent extremism, both here in 
the United States and around the world. I deeply admire their expertise 
and I am eager to share my perspective from GIFCT with them and with 
the Members of the committee.
    In my prepared testimony, I will cover three things this morning:
    First, I will offer a quick sketch of the on-line threat landscape, 
as seen from our perspective at GIFCT, working with scholars and 
technology companies around the world.
    Second, I will share with the committee the various work streams 
that GIFCT is pursuing to counter what terrorists and violent 
extremists are doing in the on-line space and our ambition to generate 
even more impact in the years ahead; and
    Third, and last, I will speak to the specific way in which GIFCT is 
pursuing our mission and our agenda, as a multistakeholder forum 
committed to transparency and inclusivity across all of our work 
    GIFCT is a tech-led initiative offering a unique multi-stakeholder 
setting to identify and solve the most important and complex global 
challenges at the intersection of terrorism and technology. GIFCT's 
mission is to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting 
digital platforms. We also firmly believe that respect for universal 
and fundamental human rights must be central to how we work to fulfill 
this mission. Our vision is a world in which the technology sector 
marshals its collective creativity and capacity to render terrorists 
and violent extremists ineffective on-line.
    It is with this mission and vision that we bring together key 
stakeholders--from industry, Government, civil society, and academia--
to foster essential collaboration, deliver concrete progress, and 
facilitate information sharing to counter terrorist and violent 
extremist activity on-line. While multistakeholder work does not always 
move at the desired pace and satisfy every individual or stakeholder 
community on every occasion, this approach does mean that we can bring 
all the actors and sectors who share a piece of this problem set 
together and pursue well-informed, collaborative progress. It is clear 
to me that the threat landscape we face today requires this whole-of-
society approach to effectively address its on-line and off-line 
    This brings me to my first area of focus this morning, the threat 
landscape. On-line terrorism and violent extremism are cross-platform 
and transnational by nature. No individual has just one app on their 
phone or their computer, nor uses only one type of on-line service, and 
bad actors are no different. The current threat landscape is growing 
more dynamic every day with an increasingly diverse array of violent 
extremist ideologies circulating in the on-line environment. We are not 
in a place where we have the luxury to focus on only one set of 
ideological actors who are exploiting the internet to advance their 
violent agenda. ISIS or Daesh continues to find ways to exploit the on-
line environment to their benefit, as do White supremacist and/or neo-
Nazi organizations across the globe, accelerationists, ethno-
nationalists of various forms, and others who propagate violence-
inducing conspiracy theories. Even as our attention is drawn to 
particular variants of violent extremism that may seem novel or new to 
some, like those tied to the Incel movement, terrorist groups with long 
histories of activity on-line continue to pose new challenges to both 
companies and to law enforcement authorities.
    The violent extremists and terrorists that operate today in the on-
line domain are often agile, adaptative, and savvy. They increasingly 
understand where policy red lines have been drawn by mainstream 
platforms and at what point policy enforcement is likely to drive them 
off a particular platform or cause them to lose access. These extremist 
actors migrate readily from one platform to another depending on the 
purpose they are pursuing with on-line engagement. They know when to 
take particularly sensitive topics, such as operational coordination, 
off of more mainstream platforms and continue the engagement on more 
permissive platforms. In many cases, they prepare in advance for loss 
of access to a platform by having a bank of alternate accounts at the 
ready. None of this should surprise us, as terrorists and violent 
extremists have always adapted themselves to the tactics that 
intelligence and law enforcement professionals use to disrupt them. 
They operate in the same way when it comes to their use of modern 
technology and communication tools, and this poses a significant 
challenge to those charged with enforcing policies and terms of 
    Countering terrorism and violent extremism on-line requires a 
global and heterogenous response, a response that recognizes that 
services developed and intended to be used by good actors seeking to 
operate productively are also susceptible to abuse and exploitation by 
bad actors seeking to cause harm. Indeed, even as digital platforms 
empower people through tools to communicate, share information, run 
businesses, and organize, the on-line environment that these platforms 
comprise inevitably provides those same empowering tools for use by 
terrorists and violent extremists. Technological innovation, over the 
course of history and through to today's discussion of digital 
platforms in 2022, unfortunately, can serve both as a force for good, 
and as a potential accelerant to radicalization and mobilization to 
violence. That is the unfortunate reality that we confront.
    The second set of comments I wanted to offer today relates to what 
GIFCT is doing in response to this threat picture and landscape. It is 
with this understanding of the challenges and threats we face today 
that GIFCT has set its strategic priorities, two of which I will 
highlight here this morning.
    The first key priority for GIFCT this year is to recruit and 
welcome into GIFCT new member companies from around the world that 
represent different kinds of technologies. If the work of our 
organization is focused exclusively on social media platforms or on 
companies based in Silicon Valley, we will have failed to realize 
GIFCT's full potential and we will fall short of achieving the impact 
that we seek. The effort must extend globally and must involve 
companies and technologies of all sorts.
    A second pressing priority guiding our work at GIFCT is to provide 
greater thought leadership on the issues and challenges associated with 
on-line terrorist and violent extremist activity. We do this in order 
to support our member companies as they develop their own solutions for 
content moderation and illicit user activity that fall within their own 
policies and terms of service. Focused on on-line content and behavior 
tied to off-line violence, we are taking steps this year to develop a 
more useful definitional framework for identifying terrorist and 
violent extremist activity on-line that GIFCT member companies can draw 
upon to inform their on-going efforts to monitor, assess, and take 
action against content and activity that violates their policies.
    Both of these objectives--growing the scale and diversity of 
technology platforms committed to our mission and providing forward-
looking thought leadership that our members can leverage to address the 
corpus of activity they confront on their platforms--reflect, in part, 
our role in addressing the on-line factors and behaviors that shape 
today's challenging threat landscape. But it is imperative that I 
emphasize that ignoring the off-line factors that contribute to that 
same landscape will not take us very far. It is neither strategically 
sound nor intellectually honest to view the on-line and off-line threat 
landscapes as separate and distinct entities. The on-line ecosystem can 
only play the role of facilitating greater communication, information 
sharing, and organizing for terrorism and violent extremism when other 
factors that contribute to this threat are present as well. On-line 
consumption and exchange of information can surely be pointed to as an 
accelerating factor to the process of radicalization. Yet it is also 
clear that information drawn from other sources, including broadcast 
news outlets and rhetoric employed by political leaders and public 
figures, also plays a role in that pathway to extremist behavior.
    A pressing example of this interplay between the on-line and off-
line space is the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic created a 
set of conditions that seems almost tailor-made for violent extremists 
seeking to advance their work. Between health restrictions, economic 
impacts, social isolation, and increased political polarization, it is 
clear that the pandemic has exacerbated existing cleavages and 
anxieties across society. While many throughout the pandemic and its 
lockdowns have found solace and positive community through on-line 
engagements, other groups, smaller in size or number but higher in 
terms of risk, also use on-line communities to perpetuate 
misinformation and coordinate hate-based violence.
    One consequence of this environment is increasing engagement and 
interaction on-line among individuals who otherwise may adhere to 
distinct and separate ideologies. Experts in our GIFCT academic 
network, the Global Network on Extremism and Technology, continue to 
see such on-line behavior and their conclusions very much align with 
and reinforce the insights offered by my fellow witness Dr. Miller-
Idriss and others who have pointed to a post-organizational 
transformation within the threat landscape and to new coalition 
building as a result of disparate individuals and groups finding unity 
in their understanding of major world events and in their preferred 
solutions to societal problems.
    It is with this clear-eyed understanding of today's current 
counterterrorism challenges and threat landscape that I chose to accept 
my role as the inaugural executive director of the Global Internet 
Forum to Counter Terrorism. Having served as long as I had inside 
Government, it was clear to me that Government alone could not solve 
those challenges and manage that threat landscape in a way that would 
keep us all safe from terrorists and violent extremists.
    The current organization that is GIFCT, an independent non-profit 
organization, is less than 2 years old but has been able to take the 
early progress of its original establishment as a consortium of 
technology companies to make meaningful contributions to addressing the 
on-line threat landscape. GIFCT was originally founded in 2017 by 
Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, who then announced at the 
United Nations General Assembly in 2019 that the consortium would 
evolve into an independent organization. During the 3 years as a 
consortium, in-house teams at GIFCT's member companies initially 
focused on developing cross-platform tools such as the hash-sharing 
database and establishing a forum where technology companies, 
governments, academia, and civil society could discuss the state of the 
on-line threat landscape, share insights, and produce solutions. During 
this time, GIFCT's original membership criteria was established, our 
on-going mentorship program with Tech Against Terrorism was created, 
the first phase of a GIFCT-funded academic network was launched, and 
GIFCT's first counterspeech campaign toolkit for practitioners in 
partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue was created. 
After this initial progress, the transition to an independent non-
profit organization was pursued so that GIFCT could achieve more impact 
for its member companies and do more to support efforts to fulfill the 
nine-point action plan signed by technology companies in the 
Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content 
    Today, GIFCT is a young and growing non-profit organization run by 
its own team of counterterrorism and technology experts. Working with 
our 18 technology company members, we embrace the task of moving the 
industry forward on how to address threats posed by terrorism and 
violent extremism and arm our members with cross-platform tools, 
solutions, and resources to: Prevent further exploitation of their 
platforms; strengthen how companies respond to terrorist and mass 
violent attacks; and learn about new evolutions in the threat landscape 
and approaches to combating them.
    We do this work with a full commitment to remain diligent in 
upholding the human rights and fundamental freedoms that terrorists so 
often seek to undermine. We believe that counterterrorism and human 
rights must be complementary and mutually-reinforcing goals. Preventing 
terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms 
enhances the protection, fulfillment, and realization of human rights. 
But this requires on-going work to address and understand the human 
dimension and impacts of our efforts with a focus on both the victims 
of terrorism and violent extremism as well as those victims of efforts 
to address terrorism and violent extremism. Even in the short time 
GIFCT has been operating we have delivered real action to meet this 
commitment, commissioning a non-profit entity called BSR (Business for 
Social Responsibility) to conduct a human rights impact assessment of 
the organization that now serves as a guide for all aspects of our work 
from engaging stakeholders and technology companies across the globe, 
to the tools and resources we develop.
    At GIFCT we continue to pursue development of cross-platform tools, 
such as the GIFCT hash-sharing database, so that a range of different 
digital platforms can take information on known terrorist and violent 
extremist content and activity and identify whether the same content 
exists and requires action on their respective platform. GIFCT's 
database is the safe and secure industry database of ``perceptual 
hashes''--often understood as ``a digital fingerprint''--of known 
terrorist content as defined by GIFCT's hash-sharing database taxonomy. 
Content found by a member company is ``hashed'' ensuring there is no 
link to any data from the original platform or user, including 
personally identifiable information. Hashes appear as digital 
signatures or numerical representations of the original content, which 
means they cannot be easily reverse engineered to recreate the content. 
Each company that is part of the hash-sharing database determines its 
use of and engagement with the database, depending on their own terms 
of service, how their platform operates, and how the threat of 
terrorist and violent extremist exploitation may manifest for them.
    This work also requires refined parameters and a definitional 
framework for what constitutes terrorist and violent extremist content. 
With multistakeholder input, we provide members with thought leadership 
and resources as we continue to develop our taxonomy to address a more 
diverse range of terrorist narratives and ideologies while avoiding the 
use of overly broad definitions that pose risks of over-censorship. 
This is why hashes of terrorist and violent extremist content that 
qualify for the hash-sharing database must meet a taxonomy that 
recognizes the original producers of the content as well as the type of 
content and severity for harm.
    Currently, our taxonomy addresses videos and images produced by 
individuals and entities on the United Nations Security Council's 
consolidated sanctions list as well as perpetrator-produced content 
captured or livestreamed during an off-line violent attack. Material 
that meets these criteria is subject to hashing and sharing within the 
GIFCT framework. In the coming months, the taxonomy will expand to 
include attacker manifestos in PDF form, terrorist and violent 
extremist publications in PDF form, and URLs identified by our partner 
Tech Against Terrorism and confirmed to link to terrorist content. 
Member companies are then able to see if any hash may match to content 
on their platform, thus providing a signal to identify where to focus 
and prioritize their policy enforcement efforts and combat potential 
terrorist and violent extremist activity on their platforms.
    To give an example of how the hash-sharing database operates, when 
a member company may identify a video produced by an entity on the 
United Nations Security Council's consolidated sanctions list that 
glorifies and celebrates a previous terrorist attack, that member can 
create a hash of the video--the digital fingerprint of the content that 
does not contain user data--and share it in GIFCT's database. This hash 
is now available to the other members of the GIFCT hash-sharing 
database who can then determine if the hash matches to content on their 
respective platforms, thus identifying if the video has been shared on 
their platform. If that is the case, the member can review the video 
and the context it was shared within to determine what actions to take 
in line with their policies and terms of service. Such a cross-platform 
tool enables our members to share and leverage each other's on-going 
efforts and expertise and increase our collective impact to prevent the 
further exploitation of digital platforms when this video is shared. 
This is an important part of our work to support our member companies 
on an on-going basis, as well as during the especially urgent instances 
in which a digital platform is being exploited as part of an off-line 
violent attack.
    A second critical mission for GIFCT is to improve the capacity of 
member companies to respond in a real-world terrorism crisis that may 
be playing out in the on-line environment. Through our Incident 
Response Framework, we facilitate situational awareness and information 
sharing across our members in real time during an off-line violent 
event in order to identify any on-line dimensions. In the event of a 
significant on-line dimension to the off-line attack, the framework 
serves to strengthen the ability for our members to take swift action 
against on-line content produced by the perpetrators as part of their 
    Since initially establishing this framework in the Spring of 2019, 
we have continued to mature and develop it in partnership with our 
members. To date, GIFCT and its member companies have initiated 
communications in response to over 195 off-line violent events across 
the globe in as close to real time as possible sharing situational 
awareness and information in an effort to identify any on-line 
dimension. In that time, the highest level of our Incident Response 
Framework, the Content Incident Protocol (CIP), has been activated 
twice in response to the perpetrators livestreaming their attacks and 
the content being shared on a GIFCT member platform. When the Content 
Incident Protocol is activated, GIFCT members can contribute hashes of 
the perpetrator-produced content to the GIFCT hash-sharing database in 
order to support all members in identifying the content on their 
platforms and taking action in line with their respective policies and 
terms of service.
    The multistakeholder nature of our work is best highlighted through 
the thematic GIFCT Working Groups we convene to focus on specific 
challenges we see in our efforts to counter terrorism and violent 
extremism on-line. GIFCT Working Groups bring together experts from 
diverse stakeholder groups, geographies, and disciplines to collaborate 
and produce output with practical value and utility on an annual basis. 
This output is published on our website and is available to all. GIFCT 
Working Groups are refreshed each year with updated themes and focus 
areas with the opportunity for new participants to join and new 
problems to be addressed. GIFCT's 2021 Working Groups convened more 
than 200 experts and practitioners from across the world, holding more 
than 55 meetings with representatives from 10 technology companies, 13 
governments and international governing bodies, 26 civil society 
organizations, and 41 research and academic institutions.
    GIFCT's 2022 Working Groups are currently convening on a monthly 
basis with participants from 35 countries across 6 continents, with 57 
percent drawn from civil society, academia, or practitioners, 26 
percent representing governments, and 17 percent from industry. These 
groups have been meeting since August 2021 and are currently pursuing 
substantive projects on key challenges to countering terrorism and 
violent extremism on-line focused on: Technical approaches including 
tooling, algorithms, and artificial intelligence; best practices and 
implementation hurdles for transparency; crisis response protocols; 
positive interventions and strategic communications on-line to support 
disengagement and intervention campaigns; and assessing legal 
frameworks. Last year's outputs from GIFCT Working Groups provided 
proof of concept that through multistakeholderism, we can achieve 
substantive results that offer practical analysis and well-informed 
recommendations on where tech and other sectors, often including GIFCT 
itself, can improve and the direction to take next.
    I hope this brief summary gives committee Members and staff some 
idea of the substantive work under way at GIFCT and the various 
initiatives we are pursuing to limit the ability of terrorists and 
violent extremists to operate successfully in the on-line environment. 
That is the ``what'' of GIFCT's work and I am extremely proud of that 
work. In my view, however, the manner in which our work is carried out 
is equally important. How we do our work matters as much as what we do. 
That is the third and final thought I want to leave with you today.
    Several times in the course of this statement for the record, I 
have referred to GIFCT's work as being multistakeholder. I would argue 
that this attribute is in fact what makes GIFCT unique and in many 
ways, an experiment. There are very few venues or fora, if any, that 
offer the sort of multistakeholder platform for problem solving and 
information sharing that we are working to build. It is a forum in 
which the full set of relevant stakeholders is invited to participate. 
We have appreciated having representation from the United States 
Government and from Federal law enforcement within our Working Groups 
and on our Independent Advisory Committee.
    As I left Government service a few years ago, it was clear to me 
that more and more of the work necessary to deal with our terrorism and 
extremism challenges needed to take place outside of Government, rather 
than within Government. That meant collaboration and cooperation with 
the private sector, including technology companies, engagement with 
academics who understand how information and technology are used to 
radicalize individuals, and dialog with civil society organizations 
that care deeply about the free and open circulation of information and 
ideas in a context of full respect for the rights of others. Solving 
our terrorism problems, and particularly our domestic terrorism 
problems, requires a whole-of-society approach--not just a whole-of-
Government approach--and I was eager to join the effort from outside 
Government to try and make some real gains in this area. What was 
lacking was any sort of venue for helping organize and drive key work 
streams involving all of these different stakeholders.
    GIFCT offers us that opportunity. The chance to bring together 
industry, Government, civil society, and academia in common cause to 
make the on-line environment safer and healthier. That is what my 
colleagues and I at GIFCT are working every day to do. I would be the 
first to tell you that a tremendous amount of work to achieve that 
objective lies ahead of us and that much more remains to be done for us 
to realize the potential embodied in multistakeholder engagement of 
this kind. We are not yet fully there. But there is real urgency to 
what we are all here talking about today, because the threat 
environment we are all confronting is only growing more challenging and 
more dynamic every day. With the continued support of this committee, 
and that of other critical stakeholders here in the United States and 
around the world, I am optimistic that we can continue to deliver 
genuine multistakeholder progress that makes the on-line environment a 
safer and healthier place. Thank you for your attention this morning 
and I look forward to your questions.

    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. Mr. Greenblatt, you 
are recognized for 5 minutes.

                     ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE

    Mr. Greenblatt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member 
Katko, Members of the committee, and my fellow panelists. Good 
morning. I am Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of 
the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL. ADL is the oldest anti-hate 
organization in America. It is an honor to appear before you 
this morning to address the threat of extremism and terror in 
the homeland.
    Since 1913, ADL has worked to stop the defamation of the 
Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. 
We have a world-class team including analysts and experts and 
investigators who track extremist threats and have been doing 
so for decades, monitoring threats from all sides. But let's be 
clear, violent domestic extremism is on the rise and it 
threatens all of our communities. The Jewish community 
continues to be a primary target of extremists across the 
ideological spectrum. Just 2 weeks ago in Colleyville, Texas, 
an Islamist-inspired terrorist fueled by anti-Semitic 
conspiracy theories about Jewish power, traveled thousands of 
miles to take 4 people hostage at gunpoint in a synagogue 
during a Shabbat service in an attempt to free an al-Qaeda 
operative who herself espoused incredibly hateful views about 
Jews in her public trial.
    The crisis in Colleyville was a painful reminder that the 
threat to the Jewish community in America remains significant 
and lethal. In fact, ADL has recorded a 115 percent increase in 
anti-Semitic incidents from 2015 to 2020. That is an alarming 
spike. But the data obscures the human toll. I am talking about 
thousands of acts of hateful anti-Jewish harassment, of ugly 
anti-Semitic vandalism on synagogues, on schools, on homes. 
Hundreds of acts, brutal acts of assault against Jewish people 
and at least 18 anti-Semitic murders that devastated families, 
shattered communities, and stunned the country from Pittsburgh 
to Poway to Orange County to Jersey City to Monsey, New York. 
The human toll is considerable.
    In a country riven by political differences, I am sad to 
report that anti-Semitism knows no partisan bounds. As I have 
told this committee in previous hearings, neither side of the 
spectrum is exempt from intolerance, nor above anti-Semitism. 
Politicizing the oldest hatred is a tool that we regrettably 
see from politicians on both sides and it needs to stop. At 
ADL, we are particularly troubled by the rise of domestic 
violent extremism, including as Nick mentioned, White 
supremacists, armed militia groups, accelerationists, QAnon 
enthusiasts, sovereign citizens, and others who demonize the 
Jewish people. Some of these actors, they trumpet the 
replacement theory that posits that a cabal of Jews are seeking 
to commit White genocide. It is frightening to think that this 
concept has been mainstreamed in recent years, yet some 
prominent conservative voices continue to make outlandish, 
grotesque claims that suggest that Jewish philanthropists are 
seeking to flood America with migrants, not true, or other 
bewildering charges. From Charlottesville to Capitol Hill, 
there is a through line and it is played out with deadly 
    At ADL, we are also troubled by the rise of hateful anti-
Israel forces that demonize the only Jewish State in the world. 
From pro-Iranian outlets spreading slanderous lies on social 
media to self-described activists groups targeting Jews in 
public places. To NGO's like Amnesty International issuing 
reports making wild incendiary accusations against the Jewish 
State accusing it of apartheid or genocide, deeming it 
    It is frightening to think that these concepts also have 
been mainstreamed in recent years. As some so-called 
progressive voices make outlandish grotesque claims that 
suggest that Zionists are seeking to enslave the Palestinian 
people, not true. Or other bewildering charges from Time Square 
to Colleyville, there is a through line and it is played out 
with terrifying results. So, we can and we must do more to 
prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening again.
    When I had the honor of appearing before you last year, I 
called for an all-in Government approach and a whole-of-society 
strategy to combatting domestic extremism. We have made real 
progress since then but much more needs to be done to meet the 
moment. So, with that in mind, I again respectfully call on 
Congress to take meaningful action to combat extremism in a 
domestic context. This should start by adopting the principles 
of PROTECT, ADL's comprehensive seven-point plan to mitigate 
the threat posed by domestic terrorism while protecting civil 
liberties and staying true to American freedoms and values. Our 
recommendations include passing the bipartisan Domestic 
Terrorism Prevention Act, ending the complicity of social media 
services in facilitating extremism and hate, creating an 
independent clearing house for on-line extremist content, and 
doubling the funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
    You see, people should not be risking their lives when they 
choose to worship in a synagogue or shop in a kosher 
supermarket or simply live openly as Jews in America. So, yes, 
we need safety through security and DHS grants can help. But we 
also need safety through solidarity. We can never build walls 
that are high enough or secure our networks tightly enough to 
ward out all evil. This is why we need all of you and public 
figures to call out hate whenever it happens regardless of the 
source and while we help other communities, we will stand with 
the Jewish community as we have sought to rally by their side 
in the face of racism and intolerance leveled in their 
direction. I look forward to your questions. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Greenblatt follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Jonathan Greenblatt
                            February 2, 2022
                          introduction to adl
    Since 1913, the mission of ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) has 
been to ``stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure 
justice and fair treatment to all.'' For decades, one of the most 
important ways in which ADL has fought against bigotry and anti-
Semitism has been by investigating extremist threats across the 
ideological spectrum, including White supremacists and other far-right 
violent extremists, producing research to inform the public of the 
scope of the threat, and working with law enforcement, educators, the 
tech industry, and elected leaders to promote best practices that can 
effectively address and counter these threats.
    Domestic violent extremism has been on the rise in recent years. 
The Jewish community continues to be a primary target of extremists, 
regardless of ideology. Our hearts are with the Colleyville, Texas 
community that was recently shaken by the trauma of being targeted by a 
terrorist who took hostages at a local synagogue, one that thankfully 
had security-related equipment and training--resources that many faith-
based communities Nation-wide do not have access to.
    Without a doubt, right-wing extremist violence is currently the 
greatest domestic terrorism threat to everyone in this country. From 
Charleston to Charlottesville to Pittsburgh, to Poway and El Paso, we 
have seen the deadly consequences of White supremacist extremism play 
out all over this country. Moreover, at ADL we are tracking the 
mainstreaming, normalizing, and localizing of the hate, disinformation, 
and toxic conspiracy theories that animate this extremism. We cannot 
afford to minimize this threat. We need a bipartisan ``whole-of-
Government approach''--indeed, a ``whole-of-society'' approach--to 
counter it, and the work must start today.
                             current trends
Colleyville and Anti-Semitic Violence
    Anti-Semitism is an on-going threat to the American Jewish 
community. According to the FBI's annual data on hate crimes, defined 
as criminal offenses which are motivated by bias, crimes targeting the 
Jewish community consistently constitute over half of all religion-
based crimes. The number of hate crimes against Jews has ranged between 
600 and 1,200 each year since the FBI began collecting data in the 
1990's. There were 683 hate crimes against Jews in 2020, 963 in 2019 
and 847 in 2018. The FBI's data is based on voluntary reporting by 
local law enforcement and appropriate characterization of crimes as 
also being hate crimes. For a variety of reasons, dozens of large 
cities either underreport or do not report hate crime data at all. For 
that reason, experts, including at ADL, know that the real figure for 
crimes targeting Jews, as well as other minorities, is even higher than 
the FBI reporting indicates.
    A violent attack against the Jewish community occurred just 
recently, on January 15, when a gunman entered Congregation Beth Israel 
in Colleyville, Texas, during services, taking 3 congregants and the 
rabbi as hostages. Though the stand-off ended with all hostages freed 
and physically unharmed, the violent act reinforced the need to 
forcefully address the threat of anti-Semitic violence--experienced by 
the Colleyville community and far too many others. The fact that the 
Colleyville attacker travelled from the United Kingdom underscores that 
there can be foreign influences on domestic terrorism, either through 
incitement, coordination, or direct participation.
Rising Anti-Semitism
    ADL has recorded a 60 percent increase of anti-Semitic incidents 
over the past 5 years. While anti-Semitism has commonalities with 
racism, anti-Muslim bias, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, 
misogyny, and other forms of hate and discrimination, it also has 
certain unique characteristics as a specific set of ideologies about 
Jews that has migrated across discourses--and across centuries. In 
almost every part of our society, this hatred has been conjured and 
adjusted to suit the values, beliefs, and fears of specific 
demographics and contexts. The underlying conspiracy theories employing 
Jew-hatred morph to fit the anxieties and upheavals of the time--for 
example, that Jews were responsible for the Black Death in medieval 
times and for ``inventing,'' spreading, or profiting from COVID in the 
21st Century. Or that Jews exercise extraordinary power over 
governments, media, and finance--from the charges of a conspiracy to 
achieve world domination set forth in the Protocols of the Elders of 
Zion and used by the Nazis, to thinly-veiled anti-Semitism blaming 
``globalism'' and ``cosmopolitan'' elites for all the ills of the world 
and for planning a ``new world order.''
    We cannot fight anti-Semitism without understanding how it is both 
intertwined with other forms of prejudice and how it is unique.
    Each year, ADL's Center on Extremism tracks incidents of anti-
Semitic harassment, vandalism, and assault in the United States. Since 
1979, we have published this information in an annual Audit of Anti-
Semitic Incidents. In 2020, ADL tabulated 2,024 reported anti-Semitic 
incidents throughout the United States. This is a 4 percent decrease 
from the 2,107 incidents recorded in 2019 but is still the third-
highest year on record since ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents 
in 1979.
    Known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist 
ideology were responsible for 331 incidents in 2020, up from 270 
incidents in 2019. This represents 16 percent of the total number of 
incidents in 2020.
    More recently, analysis from ADL's Center on Extremism reveals that 
anti-Semitic incidents in the United States more than doubled during 
the May 2021 military conflict between Israel and Hamas and its 
immediate aftermath compared to the same time period in 2020. After 
peaking during that period, incident levels gradually returned to a 
baseline level.
Murder and Extremism: By the Numbers
    In 2021, based on ADL's preliminary research, domestic extremists 
killed at least 29 people in the United States, in 19 separate 
incidents. This represents a modest increase from the 23 extremist-
related murders documented in 2020 but is far lower than the number of 
murders committed in any of the 5 years prior (which ranged from 45 to 
78). While this could be cause for optimism, more likely it is the 
result of COVID lockdowns reducing mass gatherings and the increased 
attention of law enforcement following the January 6, 2021 
    Most of the murders (26 of 29) were committed by right-wing 
extremists, which for more than a decade in this country has been the 
White Supremacist Propaganda
    ADL's Center on Extremism (COE) tracked a near-doubling of White 
supremacist propaganda efforts in 2020, which included the distribution 
of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ+ fliers, stickers, banners, and 
posters. The 2020 data shows a huge increase of incidents from the 
previous year, with a total of 5,125 cases reported to ADL (averaging 
more than 14 incidents per day), compared to 2,724 in 2019. This is the 
highest number of White supremacist propaganda incidents ADL has ever 
recorded. The number of propaganda incidents on college campuses 
dropped by more than half, perhaps due to COVID restrictions.
    Propaganda gives White supremacists the ability to maximize media 
and on-line attention, while limiting the risk of individual exposure, 
negative media coverage, arrests, and public backlash that often 
accompanies more public events. The barrage of propaganda, which 
overwhelmingly features veiled White supremacist language with a 
``patriotic'' slant, is an effort to normalize White supremacists' 
message and bolster recruitment efforts while targeting marginalized 
communities including Jews, Black people, Muslims, non-White 
immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people.
Modern White Supremacy
    Extremist White supremacist ideology is more than a collection of 
prejudices: It is a complete ideology or worldview that can be as 
deeply seated as strongly-held religious beliefs.
    Different variations and versions of extremist White supremacist 
ideology have evolved and expanded over time to include an emphasis on 
anti-Semitism and nativism. These extremists themselves typically no 
longer use the term ``White supremacist'', as they once proudly did, 
but tend instead to prefer various euphemisms, ranging from ``White 
nationalist'' to ``White separatist'' to ``race realist'' or 
``identitarian.'' Even in the face of these complexities, it is still 
possible to arrive at a useful working definition of the concept of 
extremist White supremacy.
    Through the Civil Rights era, White supremacist ideology focused on 
the perceived need to maintain the dominance of the White race in the 
United States. After the Civil Rights era, extremist White supremacists 
realized that their views had become increasingly unpopular in American 
society and their ideology adapted to this new reality.
    Today, White supremacist ideology, no matter what version or 
variation, tends to focus on the notion that the White race itself is 
now threatened with imminent extinction, doomed--unless White people 
take action--due to a rising tide of people of color who are being 
controlled and manipulated by Jews. Extremist White supremacists 
promote the concept of on-going or future ``White genocide'' in their 
efforts to wake White people up to their supposedly dire racial future.
    The popular White supremacist slogan known as the ``Fourteen 
Words'' reflects these beliefs and holds center stage: ``We must secure 
the existence of our people and a future for White children.'' Secure a 
future, as White supremacists see it, in the face of their enemies' 
efforts to destroy it.
    This twisted and conspiratorial ideology was on display in 2017 in 
Charlottesville as White supremacists marched with tiki torches 
chanting ``Jews will not replace us,'' a rally that ended in the death 
of counter-protester Heather Heyer. It was on display in 2019 during 
the horrific mass shooting in El Paso. When a White supremacist opened 
fire in a shopping center, killing 23 people, he was motivated by what 
he called ``the Hispanic invasion of Texas.'' And when the mass shooter 
at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue massacred 11 Jews on the 
Jewish Sabbath, he shouted not only ``All Jews Must Die!'' but claimed 
to be murdering Jews because they were helping to transport members of 
the large groups of undocumented immigrants making their way north 
toward the United States from Latin America.
Anti-Government Militias
    The militia movement is a right-wing anti-Government extremist 
movement that formed in 1993-94, primarily in reaction to Federal gun 
control measures and to deadly stand-offs between civilians and Federal 
agents. Much of the movement focuses on paramilitary activities. 
Militia movement adherents have traditionally believed that the Federal 
Government is collaborating with a shadowy conspiracy (the ``New World 
Order'') to strip Americans of their rights, starting with their right 
to keep and bear arms. Once rendered defenseless, Americans would be 
absorbed into the tyrannical New World Order's one-world government. 
The movement grew rapidly in the 1990's but suffered a serious decline 
in the early 2000's. Beginning in 2008, however, the militia movement 
enjoyed a major resurgence that attracted thousands of new, often 
young, recruits. It has been quite active in the years since.
    The 2016 election of Donald Trump changed the emphasis of the 
militia movement, which strongly supported Trump's candidacy. After 
Trump's election, the movement was less interested in opposing the 
Federal Government and spent much of its energy looking for other 
perceived enemies, such as Antifa and racial justice protesters 
associated with the Black Lives Matter movement--particularly in the 
wake of the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. In 2020, the militia 
movement focused on opposition to State-level gun control measures, 
State-level pandemic-related restrictions and Black Lives Matter 
    The militia movement has a long history of serious criminal 
activity, including murders, armed stand-offs, terroristic threats 
against public officials, illegal weapons or explosives, and terrorist 
plots or acts. More information about various active militia groups--
and their participation in the January 6, 2021, insurrection--is 
available below.
Online Hate
    In recent years, extremists' on-line presence has reverberated 
across a range of social media platforms. This extremist content is 
intertwined with hate, racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny--all also 
through lines of White supremacist ideology. Such content is enmeshed 
in conspiracy theories and explodes on platforms that are themselves 
tuned to spread disinformation. We can look no further than the deadly 
insurrection at our Capitol, which ADL has repeatedly called the most 
predictable terror attack in American history, because it was planned 
and promoted out in the open on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, 
Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as fringe platforms such as 
Parler, Gab, 4Chan, and Telegram. There is little doubt that fringe 
platforms have helped radicalize users and normalize both on-line and 
off-line extremist actions.
            Fringe Social Media Platforms
    In the weeks following the 2020 Presidential election, the social 
media site Parler drew millions of new users--both ordinary users and 
extremists, allowing for worrisome commingling. These newcomers were 
frustrated with what they perceived to be ``anti-conservative'' bias 
exhibited by mainstream social media platforms. For example, these 
users thought that Twitter and Facebook were being ``anti-
conservative'' when they limited posts by President Trump and other 
conservative influencers who violated terms of service prohibiting the 
spread of misinformation.
    Shortly after the Capitol insurrection, Amazon Web Services (AWS) 
announced that Parler had violated AWS's terms of service and removed 
the platform from its hosting service, taking it off-line. Apple and 
Google similarly suspended Parler's app from their app stores. Parler 
returned on-line in February 2021, after securing an alternative 
hosting service. Proud Boys, QAnon adherents, anti-Government 
extremists (Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and militia) and White 
supremacists (from members of the alt right to accelerationists) 
continue to openly promote their ideologies on Parler. Additionally, 
Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of bigotry are 
easy to find. Today, Parler claims to have around 16 million active 
    Gab serves as a forum where White supremacists and extremists 
publish manifestos or gather to plan and organize hateful acts. In 
October 2018, White supremacist Robert Bowers killed 11 people at the 
Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after posting anti-Semitic, anti-
immigrant rants on Gab. Two years later, the social media site gained 
traction among right-wing extremists, including White supremacists. In 
fact, 60 percent of the 47 right-wing extremist groups ADL has 
identified on Gab were created in 2020.
    In the wake of the Capitol insurrection, ADL called on the U.S. 
Department of Justice and the FBI to launch a criminal investigation 
into Gab and its CEO to determine whether the social media platform 
intentionally aided or abetted individuals who carried out the January 
6 attack on the Nation's Capitol.
            4Chan, 8Chan, and 8Kun
    4chan, one of the oldest and most popular imageboards, was launched 
in 2003 and introduced viral memes (many of which still circulate 
today). However, parts of 4chan--especially its Politically Incorrect 
board, known as pol or /pol/--developed a reputation for offensive and 
hateful posts and memes.
    In March 2019, Brenton Tarrant, an Australian White supremacist, 
allegedly posted a manifesto to 8chan before murdering 51 people at two 
mosques in New Zealand. In April 2019, White supremacist John Earnest 
opened fire inside a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, killing 1 
person and wounding 3 more before he surrendered. He posted a manifesto 
to 8chan before his attack, which referred admiringly to Tarrant, and 
to Robert Bowers, the mass shooter who murdered 11 people at a 
Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 (referenced above).
    8chan began as an offshoot of the imageboard 4chan. ``Imageboards'' 
are types of on-line discussion forums centered around posting images. 
After 8chan shut down in August 2019--as a result of being deplatformed 
by the web infrastructure and security company Cloudflare following the 
extremist mass murder in El Paso, Texas--many users migrated over to 
    These users are typically anonymous, with no screen names. That 
anonymity allows people to post outrageous, disgusting, or hateful 
photos and messages, ranging from hate speech to posts about 
    Telegram, an on-line social networking app with well over 200 
million users, may not be a household name just yet, but it has a 
significant audience. And it is gaining popularity. Telegram has become 
a favored on-line gathering place for the international overtly White 
supremacist community and other extremist groups who have been 
displaced or banned from more popular platforms. The platform, which is 
a cloud-based chat and group messaging app, was created in 2013 by the 
same two Russian brothers who founded the Russian-based social 
networking site VKontakte, or VK. VK is also known for its lack of 
moderation of White supremacist content. At present, the various 
platforms' leadership teams appear to be uninterested in addressing 
this issue.
            Mainstream Social Media Platforms
    Fringe platforms, despite having relatively small user bases, 
leverage Big Tech platforms like Twitter and Facebook to increase their 
reach and influence. But Big Tech platforms are no longer unwitting 
accomplices. In the case of Big Tech, White supremacist propaganda has 
found its viral channel. It's a perfect storm. First, there is the 
well-researched human propensity to engage with the most incendiary, 
inciting, and hateful content. This in turn meets the business model of 
Big Tech, which depends on increasing engagement of users to surveil 
them and collect copious amounts of data about them--and their 
associates and activities--all to sell as many hyper-targeted 
advertisements as possible. The profit incentive demands engagement, 
hate, and extremism delivers it, and then algorithms amplify that 
hateful content to generate even more engagement. Toxic speech is thus 
given reach and impact unparalleled in human history. For example, in 
2020, a single ``Stop the Steal'' Facebook group gained more than 
300,000 members within 24 hours. Thousands of newcomers a minute joined 
this group and some of them openly advocated civil war.
    Facebook claims that it is addressing hate on its platforms. ADL 
and others, however, continue to expose egregious examples of on-line 
hate, misinformation, and extremism across the company's products. In 
June 2020, Facebook announced that it took down hundreds of groups and 
pages on its platform associated with the violent anti-Government 
Boogaloo movement. Despite efforts by the Boogaloo movement to 
camouflage itself to retain a Facebook foothold, the social media 
company's efforts were largely effective, and after the de-platforming, 
it became difficult to find large and active Boogaloo spaces on 
    Concerningly, however, additional Boogaloo pages have since emerged 
on Facebook, hiding among libertarian groups and pages that also share 
memes advocating for violence. Perhaps most worrying, Facebook 
algorithms appear to be recommending these Boogaloo pages to like-
minded users, despite the company's June 2020 assertion that it would 
no longer do so, followed by broader statements around not recommending 
groups tied to violence in September 2020 and an even broader statement 
in March 2021 stating that Facebook would be ending all recommendations 
for ``civic and political groups, as well as newly created groups.''
    In less than 6 years, TikTok--the social media app that allows 
users to create and share short videos--has amassed hundreds of 
millions of users. It is particularly popular among young people. As 
ADL documented in August 2020 and May 2021, while much of the content 
on TikTok is lighthearted and fun, extremists have exploited the TikTok 
to share hateful messages and recruit new adherents. Anti-Semitism 
continues to percolate across the app, with posts perpetuating age-old 
anti-Jewish tropes and conspiracy theories. Recordings of Louis 
Farrakhan, Rick Wiles (of TruNews), and Stephen Anderson--all anti-
Semitic individuals whose bigotry has been thoroughly documented by 
ADL--were readily available on TikTok in 2021. One such post, shared on 
May 23, 2021, showed a clip of a TruNews segment in which Rick Wiles 
states: ``And our leaders are lowlife scum that screw little girls so 
the Jews can screw America . . . we've allowed Kabbalah practicing Jews 
to defile the Nation.'' TruNews, a fundamentalist Christian streaming 
news and opinion platform that produces anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, 
anti-LGBTQ+ and Islamophobic content, has been banned from YouTube and 
Facebook for violating the platforms' content rules.
    Twitter has taken significant steps to decrease extremist 
conspiracy theory content on its platform; however, policy enactment 
and enforcement remain inconsistent. In July 2020, for example, Twitter 
announced it would take further action on ``QAnon'' activity and 
permanently suspend QAnon-affiliated accounts. The company subsequently 
claimed that QAnon-related content dropped by more than 50 percent as a 
result. The platform also announced additions to its coordinated 
harmful activity policy. Unfortunately, there were many prominent 
Twitter accounts, with significant reach, espousing QAnon content but 
left untouched. It is evident that Twitter did not regularly enforce 
its QAnon policy after the July 2020 announcement. Data collected 
before and after the attack on the Capitol shows that leading up to 
January 2021, Twitter's actions fell far short. By the time Twitter 
finally started removing QAnon-supporting accounts on January 8, 2021, 
the consequences of misinformation had already become frighteningly 
    YouTube, has remained under the radar for its role in spreading 
disinformation and misinformation, compared to Facebook and Twitter. 
YouTube waited more than a month after the 2020 Presidential election 
to remove videos claiming electoral fraud--by then, millions of people 
had been exposed to false information that eroded trust in our 
democracy. Furthermore, ADL research shows YouTube continues to push 
people into extremist content despite the company's claim that it has 
overhauled its recommendation algorithms.
    As our February 2021 Belfer Fellow report indicates, exposure to 
videos from extremist or White supremacist channels on YouTube remains 
disturbingly common. The report's authors conducted a study that 
measured the browsing habits of a diverse National sample of 
participants and found that approximately 1 in 10 participants viewed 
at least 1 video from an extremist channel (9.2 percent) and 
approximately 2 in 10 (22.1 percent) viewed at least one video from an 
alternative channel. Moreover, participants often received and 
sometimes followed YouTube recommendations for videos from alternative 
and extremist channels. Overall, consumption of alternative and 
extremist content was concentrated among highly engaged respondents, 
most frequently among those with negative racial views. In total, 
people with high racial resentment were responsible for more than 90 
percent of views for videos from alternative and extremist channels.
Extremism in 2021
    The January 6, 2021, siege on the Capitol was an assault on our 
country and our democracy, incited in broad daylight by the former 
President and many of his supporters. Many of those who were roused to 
violence that day did so as the result of weeks and months and years of 
similar incitement.
    The ADL Center on Extremism (COE) has identified 544 of the roughly 
800 individuals who are believed to have breached the U.S. Capitol. The 
emerging snapshot of the insurrectionists shows a range of right-wing 
extremists united by their fury with the perceived large-scale betrayal 
by ``unprincipled'' Republican legislators.
    Of the 544 individuals identified by COE, at least 127 (or 23 
percent) have ties to known right-wing extremist groups, including Oath 
Keepers (22 people), Proud Boys (42), Groypers and other White 
supremacists (12) and the QAnon conspiracy theory (31). A number of 
Proud Boys members and Oath Keepers have been charged with conspiracy 
in connection with the January 6 insurrection. More information on 
these extremist groups is provided below.
    The remaining 77 percent of those identified by COE are considered 
part of the new pro-Trump extremist movement, a decentralized but 
enthusiastic faction made up of self-described ``patriots'' who 
continue to pledge their fidelity to the former President and his false 
assertions that he actually won the election and that it was stolen 
from him by, among other things, massive voter fraud. This new breed of 
extremist is foundationally animated by devotion to Trump, placing him 
over party or country. They are living inside an ecosphere of 
misinformation, disinformation, lies and conspiracy theories, one 
fertilized by Alex Jones, QAnon, the former President and his enablers, 
and many others.
            Oath Keepers
    The Oath Keepers are a large but loosely organized collection of 
right-wing anti-Government extremists who are part of the militia 
movement, which believes that the Federal Government has been co-opted 
by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of 
their rights. Though the Oath Keepers will accept anyone as members, 
what differentiates them from other anti-Government extremist groups is 
their explicit focus on recruiting current and former military, law 
enforcement, and first responder personnel. While there is a formal 
National leadership, on the local level many Oath Keepers are 
essentially self-organized and form official, semi-official, or 
informal groupings of Oath Keepers.
            The Proud Boys
    The Proud Boys represent an unconventional strain of American 
right-wing extremism. While the group can be described as violent, 
nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic, its members 
represent a range of ethnic and racial backgrounds, and its leaders 
vehemently protest any allegations of racism. Their founder, Gavin 
McInnes, went so far as to file a defamation lawsuit against the 
Southern Poverty Law Center when the SPLC designated the Proud Boys as 
a hate group.
    In McInnes' own words, the Proud Boys are a ``pro-Western 
fraternity,'' essentially a drinking club dedicated to male bonding, 
socializing, and the celebration of all things related to Western 
culture. In reality, the Proud Boys is an extremist group that bears 
many of the hallmarks of a gang, and its members have taken part in 
multiple acts of brutal violence and intimidation. While the Proud Boys 
insist that they only act in self-defense, several incidents--including 
one in which 2 members of the group were convicted of attempted gang 
assault, attempted assault, and riot--belie their self-professed 
peaceful nature. Indeed, many members have criminal records for violent 
behavior and the organization actively pursues violence against their 
perceived enemies. Ideologically, members subscribe to a scattershot 
array of libertarian and Nationalist tropes, referring to themselves as 
anti-communist and anti-political correctness, but in favor of free 
speech and free markets.
    In recent years the Proud Boys have established themselves as a 
dominant force within what has been referred to as the alt lite. Often 
easily recognizable thanks to their black and yellow Fred Perry polo 
shirts and red Make America Great Again baseball caps, members are 
regulars at far-right demonstrations and Trump rallies. After several 
years of forging alliances with members of the Republican political 
establishment, the Proud Boys have carved out a niche for themselves as 
both a right-wing fight club and a volunteer security force for the 
GOP. Despite their associations with mainstream politicians, Proud 
Boys' actions and statements repeatedly land them in the company of 
White supremacists and right-wing extremists. Jason Kessler, the 
primary organizer of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right Rally in 
Charlottesville, is a former Proud Boy. (Indeed, the Federal civil 
rights case brought against the neo-Nazis who organized that rally is 
entitled Sines v. Kessler. The case, for which ADL provided expert and 
financial support, was a historic win for the plaintiffs in November 
2021.) Several members attended the violent August 12, 2017, 
demonstration that ended in the death of counter-protester Heather 
    During an October 2018 brawl outside the Metropolitan Republican 
Club in Manhattan, for which 2 Proud Boys members were convicted and 
sentenced to substantial prison terms, and 7 others pled guilty, the 
Proud Boys were joined by 211 Bootboys, an ultra-nationalist and 
violent skinhead gang based in New York City. In October 2019, members 
of the Denver chapter of the Proud Boys marched with members of Patriot 
Front and former members of the now-defunct neo-Nazi group 
Traditionalist Worker Party. These relationships show the Proud Boys to 
be less a pro-Western drinking club and instead an extremist, right-
wing gang.
    In 2020, the Proud Boys solidified their status as the most visible 
and most active right-wing extremist group in the country. As the 
Nation grappled with the pandemic, members of the Proud Boys became a 
regular sight at anti-lockdown protests, using the demonstrations not 
only to raise their profile, but as recruitment opportunities. The 
group is not unique in this sense--Boogaloo bois and militia members 
were also frequent participants at these rallies. Another key factor in 
the Proud Boys 2020 activity was their embrace of the #Saveourchildren 
campaign, alongside QAnon adherents. The new links with QAnon allowed 
the Proud Boys access to untapped segments of the pro-Trump extremist 
    Events held in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd allowed 
the Proud Boys to brand themselves as a ``law and order'' counterpoint 
to Black Lives Matter protesters, although the Proud Boys themselves 
generally precipitated the most egregious acts of violence and 
intimidation against protesters. This dynamic produced some of the most 
brutal clashes between Proud Boys and their adversaries, particularly 
in Portland, Oregon, which saw over 100 days of continuous unrest. 
There were violent and armed clashes on August 22, and a MAGA convoy on 
August 29 led to the death of Aaron ``Jay'' Danielson, a member of the 
right-wing group Patriot Prayer, a frequent ally of the Proud Boys.
    The Proud Boys' profile was given an additional boost when 
President Trump, in his September 29, 2020 debate against Joe Biden, 
instructed the Proud Boys to ``stand back, and stand by.'' Emboldened 
by the attention from the President, the Proud Boys rallied for Trump 
twice in Washington, DC following his election loss. The first rally 
took place on November 14, 2020 and the second on December 12, 2020, 
with the second rally ending with 4 members of the Proud Boys suffering 
stab wounds from a brawl.
    During that same rally, Proud Boys members allegedly set fire to a 
BLM banner they stole from Asbury United Methodist Church, a 
historically Black church. Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, took 
responsibility for the incident and was later charged with destruction 
of property. He was arrested, carrying 2 extended gun magazines, on the 
eve of the January 6, 2021, rally that led to the storming of the U.S. 
Capitol. As a condition of his release, a judge barred Tarrio from 
attending the January 6 protest. Tarrio ultimately pleaded guilty to 
destruction of property and attempting to possess a high-capacity gun 
magazine, both misdemeanors. A civil case brought by the Church against 
the Proud Boys and Tarrio last April resulted in a default judgment 
against the Proud Boys.
    In December 2021, ADL joined District Attorney General Karl Racine 
and other pro bono counsel in bringing a civil lawsuit arising out of 
the January 6 insurrection on behalf of the District against the Proud 
Boys, Oath Keepers, and individuals associated with both groups. The 
case, which brings allegations under the Reconstruction Era KKK Act, 
among other laws, seeks to hold accountable the groups and affiliated 
individuals for their role in planning and executing the attack on the 
Capitol in an attempt to overturn a lawful Presidential election.
Groypers/Groyper Army
    The so-called ``Groyper army'' (the term ``Groyper'' is explained 
below) is a White supremacist group, led by Nick Fuentes, that presents 
its ideology as more nuanced than that of other groups in the White 
supremacist sphere. While the group and its leadership's views align 
with those held by the White supremacist alt right, Groypers attempt to 
normalize their ideology by aligning themselves with ``Christianity'' 
and ``traditional values'' ostensibly championed by the church, 
including marriage and family.
    Like the alt right and other White supremacists, Groypers believe 
they are working to defend against demographic and cultural changes 
that are destroying the ``true America''--a White, Christian nation. 
However, Groypers differ in a number of ways from the alt right. They 
identify themselves as ``American nationalists'' who are part of the 
``America First'' movement. To the Groypers, ``America First'' means 
that the United States should close its borders, bar immigrants, oppose 
globalism and promote ``traditional'' values like Christianity and 
oppose ``liberal'' values such as feminism and LGBTQ+ rights. They 
claim not to be racist or anti-Semitic and see their bigoted views as 
``normal'' and necessary to preserve White, European-American identity 
and culture. However, some members have expressed racist and anti-
Semitic views on multiple occasions. They believe their views are 
shared by the majority of White people.
QAnon and Other Conspiracy Theories
    QAnon is a global, wide-reaching, and remarkably elaborate 
conspiracy theory that has taken root within some parts of the pro-
Trump movement. It is an amalgam of both novel and well-established 
theories, with marked undertones of anti-Semitism and xenophobia. 
Fundamentally, the theory claims that almost every President in recent 
U.S. history up until Donald Trump has been a puppet put in place by a 
global elite of power brokers hell-bent on enriching themselves and 
maintaining their Satanic child-murdering sex cult. Q is a reference to 
``Q clearance'' or ``Q access authorization,'' terms used to describe a 
top-secret clearance level within the Department of Energy.
    According to QAnon lore, this global elite, known as ``The Deep 
State'' or ``The Cabal,'' control not just world governments, but the 
banking system, the Catholic church, the agricultural and 
pharmaceutical industries, the media, and entertainment industry--all 
working around the clock to keep the people of the world poor, 
ignorant, and enslaved.
    Conspiracy theories, rampant in the United States, have an unusual 
power to motivate people to action. Some conspiracy theories are 
associated with various right-wing or left-wing ideologies, while 
others transcend ideology, like those surrounding the 9/11 attacks or 
the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Under the right circumstances, 
such theories can motivate people to violence, especially if the 
conspiracy theories single out specific people or organizations as the 
    Most extremist movements develop or depend on conspiracy theories 
to some degree. In the United States, extreme right-wing movements have 
a particularly close relationship to conspiracy theories. Anti-Muslim 
extremists promote ``Sharia law'' conspiracy theories, for example, to 
increase anti-Muslim animus, while anti-immigrant border vigilantes 
justify their patrols with conspiracy theories about Mexican drug 
cartels waging a secret invasion of the United States.
    For some right-wing extremist movements, conspiracy theories lie at 
the heart of their extreme worldviews. The modern White supremacist 
movement, for example, centers its beliefs on the notion that the White 
race is in danger of extinction from growing numbers of people of color 
who are controlled and manipulated by a nefarious Jewish conspiracy. 
Anti-Government extremist movements, such as the militia movement and 
the sovereign citizen movement, are based on conspiracy theories that 
focus on the Federal Government.
    As a result, much of the violence stemming from extremist White 
supremacists and anti-Government extremists can be attributed, directly 
or indirectly, to such conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories often 
sharpen anger that extremists already feel to the point where they 
become willing to take violent action.
    In 2021, disparate groups of QAnon adherents, election fraud 
promoters, and anti-vaccine activists organized events around the 
country to promote their causes. This phenomenon underscores the extent 
to which the line separating the mainstream from the extreme has 
blurred, and how mainstream efforts to undermine our democratic 
institutions are bolstered by extremist and conspiratorial narratives 
and their supporters.
    These narratives include:
   That the 2020 Presidential election was stolen by the 
        Democrats (touted at the Health and Freedom events organized by 
        right-wing entrepreneur Clay Clark);
   That a global cabal of pedophiles (including Democrats) who 
        are kidnapping children for their blood will be executed when 
        Donald Trump is reinstated as President (popular at The Patriot 
        Voice: For God and Country conference, organized by QAnon 
        influencer John Sabal, a/k/a ``QAnon John,'' and at the We the 
        People Patriots Day event and the OKC Freedom conference);
   That the coronavirus was co-created in a lab by director of 
        the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. 
        Anthony Fauci and Microsoft founder Bill Gates;
   That the coronavirus vaccine contains dangerous ingredients 
        that change your DNA and make vaccinated people ``shed'' 
        dangerous toxins;
   That Satanic socialists are attempting to take over the 
        country; and
   That if Democrats and ``the left'' remain in power, a 
        confrontation, potentially violent, will be necessary to 
        ``reclaim'' the country.
    These narratives go well beyond the mainstream into extreme 
Long-Term Trends: The Growing Threat of Domestic Terrorism
    While it is impossible to say with absolute certainty what lies 
ahead, we know that White supremacists and some other extremists, 
including anti-Muslim extremists, anti-immigrant extremists, and anti-
Semites, are driven by conspiracy theories as well as manufactured 
fears around demographic change, which some extremists fear will only 
accelerate as the Biden administration is perceived by them to enact 
more humane policies toward immigrants and refugees who are people of 
color. Extremists equate those policies to ``White genocide.''
    Militia and other anti-Government groups may also be very active in 
the next few years. The militia movement has historically derived much 
of its energy and vitality from its rage toward the Federal Government. 
However, the movement's support of President Trump during his 
administration dulled that anger. As it progresses, the Biden 
administration's existence may give militias an excuse to return to 
their foundational grievances: the belief that a tyrannical government 
in league with a globalist conspiracy is coming to enslave them by 
taking first their guns and then the remainder of their rights.
    Finally, anti-Semitism will likely continue to be a central part of 
the conspiratorial views that fuel right-wing violence, as it has been 
for so long. It is crucial to recognize not only the threat to Jews and 
Jewish institutions this poses, but also both the foundational and 
animating impetus it gives violent White extremism, whatever its 
targets. It is also vitally important to understand the role that anti-
Semitic conspiracies play in the wider threat to our democracy. Anti-
Semitism isn't just bigotry directed toward Jews; it uses that hatred 
and bigotry against the Jewish community to undermine democratic 
practices by framing democracy as a conspiracy, as Eric Ward of the 
Western States Center notes, ``rather than as a tool of empowerment or 
a functional tool of governance. In other words, the more people buy 
into anti-Semitism and its understanding of the world, the more they 
lose faith in democracy.''
                         policy recommendations
    We need a whole-of-Government approach to address the threat. ADL 
strongly recommends urgent action to prevent and counter domestic 
violent extremism. The framework that ADL has created--the PROTECT 
plan--is a comprehensive, 7-part plan to mitigate the threat posed by 
domestic extremism and domestic terrorism while protecting civil rights 
and civil liberties. Together, focusing on these 7 categories can have 
an immediate and deeply significant impact in preventing and countering 
domestic terrorism--more so than any one action, policy, or law--and 
can do so while protecting civil rights and liberties and ensuring that 
Government overreach does not harm the same vulnerable people and 
communities that these extremists target. Our suggestions come under 
these 7 areas:
    P--Prioritize Preventing and Countering Domestic Terrorism
    R--Resource According to the Threat
    O--Oppose Extremists in Government Service
    T--Take Public Health and Other Domestic Terrorism Prevention 
    E--End the Complicity of Social Media in Facilitating Extremism
    C--Create an Independent Clearinghouse for On-line Extremist 
    T--Target Foreign White Supremacist Terrorist Groups for Sanctions
Prioritize Preventing and Countering Domestic Terrorism
    First, we urge Congress to adopt a whole-of-Government and whole-
of-society approach to preventing and countering domestic terrorism.
   In mid-June 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released 
        the first-ever National Strategy to Counter Domestic Terrorism. 
        The strategy is laudable, and a step in the right direction. 
        However, many critical details were left unaddressed. Congress 
        must press for further details into how the plan will be 
        implemented, and the steps that will be taken to ensure 
        protection for civil rights and civil liberties. Further, 
        Departments and agencies must create their own implementation 
        plans for the Strategy.
   The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack 
        on the United States Capitol must be allowed to operate in good 
        faith, absent politicization of its important work. The 
        American public needs a careful review of the brazen and lethal 
        attack on the very seat of our democracy. We urge Congress to 
        search for answers, publicly release information whenever 
        possible, and to issue bipartisan recommendations to ensure 
        that no attack like that on January 6, 2021, can take place 
   As Congress considers appropriations bills, resources to 
        prevent and counter domestic terrorism are critical to 
        mitigating the threat. ADL urges committee Members to consider 
        supporting significant increases for these necessary resources 
        across the Government in the Commerce, Justice, and Science; 
        Homeland Security; Defense; State and Foreign Operations; 
        Interior; and Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations 
        processes. As one example, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program 
        (NSGP) is woefully under-funded and should be doubled to $360 
        million total.
Resource According to the Threat
    We must ensure that the authorities and resources the Government 
uses to address violent threats are proportionate to the risk of the 
lethality of those threats. In other words, allocation of resources 
must never be politicized but rather based on transparent and objective 
security concerns.
   Congress should immediately pass the Domestic Terrorism 
        Prevention Act (DTPA) to enhance the Federal Government's 
        efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by formally authorizing 
        offices to address domestic terrorism and requiring law 
        enforcement agencies to regularly report on domestic terrorist 
        threats. Congress must ensure that those offices have the 
        resources they need and can deploy those resources in a manner 
        proportionate to existing threats. Further, the transparency 
        that comes with regular reporting is crucial for civil society, 
        Congress, and the public writ large to help oversee the 
        National security process and hold leaders accountable.
   Congress must exercise careful oversight to ensure that no 
        resources are expended on counterterrorism efforts targeting 
        protected political speech or association. Investigations and 
        other efforts to mitigate the threat should be data-driven and 
        proportionate to the violent threat posed by violent extremist 
Oppose Extremists in Government Service
    It is essential that we recognize the potential for harm when 
extremists gain positions of power, including in Government, law 
enforcement, and the military.
   To the extent permitted by law and consistent with 
        Constitutional protections, take steps to ensure that 
        individuals engaged in violent extremist activity or associated 
        with violent extremist movements, including violent White 
        supremacist and unlawful militia movements, are deemed 
        unsuitable for employment at the Federal, State, and local 
        levels--including in law enforcement. Appropriate steps must be 
        taken to address any current employees, who, upon review, match 
        these criteria.
   To the extent permitted by law and consistent with 
        Constitutional protections, take steps to ensure that 
        individuals engaged in violent extremist activity or associated 
        with violent extremist movements, including violent White 
        supremacist and unlawful militia movements, are not given 
        security clearances or other sensitive law enforcement 
        credentials. Appropriate steps must be taken to address any 
        current employees, who, upon review, match these criteria. Law 
        enforcement agencies Nation-wide should explore options for 
        preventing extremists from being among their ranks.
   The Department of Defense (DoD) released its internal 
        extremist threat review on December 20, 2021. While the review 
        represents significant progress, we need more information to 
        truly determine the threat posed by extremists within the 
        ranks. DoD should provide further detail on how it will 
        evaluate White supremacists and related threats, as well as how 
        commanders' ability to adjudicate extremism-related guidelines 
        will be overseen.
   Similarly, DHS announced that it will be vetting employees 
        for extremist sympathies. ADL applauds this effort and welcomes 
        any details on how the implementation of this vetting will take 
        place, as well as any findings from the review.
   ADL has worked with law enforcement experts to provide tools 
        for identifying and weeding out extremists in the recruitment 
        process as well as within law enforcement ranks. While there is 
        no evidence that White supremacist extremists have large 
        numbers in our law enforcement agencies, we have seen that even 
        a few can undermine the effectiveness and trust that is so 
        essential. We have provided resources to LE agencies with 
        guidance on approaches that do not violate First Amendment 
Take Domestic Terrorism Prevention Measures
    We must not wait until after someone has become an extremist or a 
terrorist attack has happened to act. Effective and promising 
prevention measures exist, which should be scaled.
   Congress can provide funding to civil society and academic 
        programs that have expertise in addressing recruitment to 
        extremist causes and radicalization, whether on-line or off-
        line. By providing funding for prevention activities, including 
        education, counseling, and off-ramping, Congress can help 
        empower public health and civil society actors to prevent and 
        intervene in the radicalization process and undermine extremist 
        narratives, particularly those that spread rapidly on the 
   These initiatives must be accompanied by an assurance of 
        careful oversight with civil rights and civil liberties 
        safeguards. They must also meaningfully engage the communities 
        that have been targeted by domestic terrorism and the civil 
        society organizations already existing within them, and those 
        communities which have been unfairly targeted when prior anti-
        terrorism authorities have been misused and/or abused. These 
        initiatives must be transparent, responsive to community 
        concerns, publicly demonstrate careful oversight, and ensure 
        that they do not stigmatize communities. Further, DHS should 
        not be the only agency working on prevention; ADL urges the 
        Department to partner with Health and Human Services and other 
        non-security departments whenever possible.
   While Congress has funded a small grant program for 
        prevention measures domestically, the program is too small to 
        have an impact at scale. Now that the administration has 
        launched the Center for Prevention Programming and Partnerships 
        within DHS, Congress should significantly scale its grant 
        program; ADL has recommended a $150 million annual grant level.
End the Complicity of Social Media in Facilitating Extremism
    Congress must prioritize countering on-line extremism and ensuring 
that perpetrators who engage in unlawful activity on-line can be held 
accountable. On-line platforms often lack adequate policies to mitigate 
extremism and hate equitably and at scale. Federal and State laws and 
policies require significant updating to hold on-line platforms and 
individual perpetrators accountable for enabling hate, racism, and 
extremist violence across the internet. In March 2021, ADL announced 
the REPAIR Plan, which offers a comprehensive framework for platforms 
and policy makers to take meaningful action to decrease on-line hate 
and extremism. Like ADL's PROTECT Plan, REPAIR focuses on domestic 
extremism and terrorism but goes beyond these issues to address other 
manifestations and harms of on-line hate, including on-line harassment, 
anti-Semitism, racism, and disinformation.
   Congress has an important role in reducing on-line hate and 
        extremism. Further, officials at all levels of Government can 
        use their bully pulpits to call for better enforcement of 
        technology companies' policies.
   Congress can work with independent extremism experts to 
        protect vulnerable targets from becoming either victim of abuse 
        or perpetrators of violence. Legislation from the 116th 
        Congress like the National Commission on Online Platforms and 
        Homeland Security Act, for example, would establish a 
        commission to investigate how on-line content implicates 
        certain National security threats, such as targeted violence.
   We also need to provide better recourse for victims and 
        targets of on-line hate and harassment. In the 115th Congress, 
        Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) introduced and led H.R. 
        3067, the Online Safety Modernization Act, which, among other 
        things, would have provided Federal protections against doxing 
        and swatting. It is time to pass laws that cover these types of 
        harms. It is crucial that such legislation provide private 
        rights of action.
   To adequately address the threat, the Government must direct 
        its resources to understand and mitigate the consequences of 
        hate on-line. To do so, all levels of Government should 
        consider designating funding, to ensure that law enforcement 
        personnel are trained to recognize and to effectively 
        investigate criminal on-line incidents and have the necessary 
        capacity to do that work.
   Beyond the Federal Government, businesses have a critical 
        role to play. We need to compel the social media companies to 
        enforce their own terms of service specifically around hate and 
        misinformation--or face repercussions for failing to do so. The 
        firms should go further and fix the algorithms that amplify 
        this noxious content to drive clicks and increase engagement. 
        There is no moral reason to lift up content that brings people 
        down. The companies themselves should commit to ending 
        algorithmic amplification of hate, full stop.
   Congress must carefully but considerably amend Section 230 
        of the Communications Decency Act to make tech companies 
        legally accountable for their role when they enable stalking, 
        facilitate violence and civil rights violations, or incite 
        domestic terrorism. Self-regulation simply has failed on this 
        score. The platforms have been far too laissez-faire for 
        decades, hiding behind Section 230 which immunizes them from 
        legal accountability for even egregious and otherwise unlawful 
        content and actions. They have failed to abide by the basic 
        behaviors that govern nearly all other businesses in every 
        other sector of our economy. We need a drastic reconsideration 
        of Section 230 that enables a free flow of user-generated 
        content but disables the kind of extremism and hate that has 
        festered across social media platforms.
   We urge lawmakers to seriously consider Section 230 reform 
        proposals that prioritize equity and justice for users and bar 
        immunity when platforms place profit over people. This could 
        include enacting measures such as the Protecting Americans from 
        Dangerous Algorithms Act, which would address the previously-
        mentioned issue of algorithmic amplification of discriminatory 
        content or to aid and abet terrorism.
Create an Independent Clearinghouse for On-line Extremist Content
    Congress should work with the Biden-Harris administration to create 
a publicly-funded, independent nonprofit center to track on-line 
extremist threat information in real time and make referrals to social 
media companies and law enforcement agencies when appropriate.
   This approach is needed because those empowered with law 
        enforcement and intelligence capabilities must not be tasked 
        with new investigative and other powers that could infringe 
        upon civil liberties--for example, through broad internet 
        surveillance. Scouring on-line sources through an independent 
        organization will act as a buffer, but will not prevent the 
        nonprofit center from assisting law enforcement in cases where 
        criminal behavior is suspected. This wall of separation, 
        modeled in part on the National Center for Missing and 
        Exploited Children (NCMEC), will help streamline National 
        security tips and resources while preserving civil liberties.
Target Foreign White Supremacist Terrorist Groups
    Congress must recognize that White supremacist extremism is a major 
global threat of our era and mobilize with that mindset.
   To date, no White supremacist organization operating 
        overseas has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist 
        Organization. Only one has been designated as a Specially 
        Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). Congress should review how 
        these designation decisions are made, whether any additional 
        racially- or ethnically-motivated extremist groups outside the 
        United States, particularly White supremacist groups, have 
        reached the threshold for either designation, and whether such 
        designations would help advance U.S. National interests.
   The Department of State was required to develop a strategy 
        to counter global White supremacist extremism and to add White 
        supremacist terrorism to annual Country Reports on Terrorism. 
        That State has implemented the Country Reports guidance is 
        laudable, and State may have created the strategy. However, the 
        strategy has not been released publicly, making it impossible 
        to evaluate. We urge more transparency from State in this 
        process and for Congress to seek accountability for any gaps in 
        the strategy, and to provide resources to implement it.
   The Department of State must mobilize a multilateral effort 
        to address the threat of White supremacy globally. Multilateral 
        best-practice institutions, such as the Global Counterterrorism 
        Forum, the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, and 
        the International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law, may be 
        helpful mechanisms through which to channel some efforts. 
        Moreover, the Global Engagement Center should be charged with 
        undermining the propaganda of violent extremist groups--not 
        just designated terrorist organizations, but overseas White 
        supremacist violent extremists as well. DHS should participate 
        in these efforts, supporting overseas exchanges, partnerships, 
        and best practices sharing to engage in learning from other 
        countries and sharing U.S. best practices, where applicable.
    Thank you for the opportunity to testify before this august body 
and for calling a hearing on this urgent topic. ADL data clearly and 
decisively illustrate that the impact of hate is rising across the 
United States, and that domestic extremism and terrorism will continue 
to pose a grave threat. It is long past time to acknowledge that these 
threats overwhelmingly come from right-wing extremists, especially 
White supremacists, and allocate our resources to address the threat 
accordingly. We must also address these threats holistically rather 
than piecemeal. This is precisely what ADL's PROTECT plan does, 
applying a whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach to the 
fight against hate and extremism. On behalf of ADL, we look forward to 
working with you as you continue to devote your attention to this 
critical issue.

    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I now ask Dr. 
Miller-Idriss to summarize her statement for 5 minutes.


    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you, Chairman. Chairman Thompson, 
Ranking Member Katko, and Members of the committee, I would 
like to thank you for calling attention to the critical issue 
of changing trends in global and domestic terrorism. I am 
honored to be here with you and with my fellow esteemed 
panelists as well. I am a researcher and an academic, but I am 
also an applied scholar who directs a research lab at American 
University called the Polarization and Extremism Research and 
Innovation Lab, or PERIL, which designs and tests early 
interventions and preventative tools to disrupt and prevent 
violent extremism across the ideological spectrum.
    Domestic violent extremism and terrorism has escalated 
rapidly across the West and now significantly outpaces other 
forms of terrorism in the United States, including terrorism 
from far-left movements and from individuals inspired by the 
Islamic State and al-Qaeda, with right-wing attacks and plots 
accounting for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the 
United States since 1994, according to data from the Center for 
Strategic and International Studies. This does not mean that 
the threat from Jihadi terrorism has abated either in the 
United States or abroad. But it does mean that we are seeing 
growth across the West at 250 percent over the last 5 years in 
the domestic violent and far-right terrorist spectrum in ways 
that pose an escalating and serious threat.
    Historically, counterterrorism officials across the world 
have organized their work around clearly identifiable groups 
and movements, which were considered ideologically distinct 
from one another. But today, as the Chairman pointed out 
earlier, there is growing blurriness across previously distinct 
ideologies in on-line extremist networks. A new report issued 
just last week from the U.K.-based International Center for the 
Study of Radicalization traces convergence between neo-fascist 
accelerationists and Salafi-Jihadists that includes shared 
support for anti-Semitism, belief in a natural hierarchy, 
racial and cultural supremacism, anti-modernism, 
heteronormativity and support for traditional family 
structures, and anti-Government sentiment.
    Both domestic and international terrorist groups and 
movements, in other words, are united by an overlapping set of 
beliefs involving supremacist hierarchies and anti-Government 
beliefs. These extremist ideologies often also share 
fantastical ideas about restoration, whether it is the 
Caliphate or a White ethnostate, and desire a post-apocalyptic, 
post-race-war civilization, in which violence is a solution to 
accelerate the end times.
    The muddling of ideological rationales, what some call 
salad bar terrorism, is partly a result of the way that people 
encounter extremist content and propaganda on-line, largely 
outside the boundaries of organized groups, not just in 
manifestos, but also in memes across a large and broad 
ecosystem of video, audio, and text-based platforms. 
Recommendation algorithms and hyperlinks mean that everyone is 
just a few clicks away from an ever-expanding series of rabbit 
holes that offer up entire worlds of disinformation, 
propaganda, and hate that they increasingly piece together in 
fragmented ways.
    Counterextremism tools designed to address threats from 
bounded fringe groups, as they currently exist, cannot 
meaningfully confront the evolved threats that we face today 
without a broader multisectoral, whole-of-society, and 
community-based commitment to prevention and early intervention 
that can reduce the fertile ground in which anti-democratic and 
violent extremist ideologies thrive. To do this, Congress 
should take immediate steps to invest in a public health 
approach to preventing violent extremism. This includes 
investments in digital and media literacy and other scalable 
interventions to reduce people's vulnerability to on-line 
propaganda and conspiracy theories. It includes broadening 
tested inoculation interventions to make people less likely to 
be persuaded by extremist content and manipulative tactics from 
extremist groups. It calls for a reinvestment in civic 
education and other efforts to strengthen democratic norms and 
values that could reduce high rates of polarization and the 
kinds of moral disengagement and dehumanization that are 
demonstrated precursors to political violence.
    These kinds of interventions are not an immediate fix to 
the growing problem of extremist violence in terrorism, rather 
they reflect a need for investments across the short, medium, 
and long terms. It is important to note that these are not 
options that involve censorship or teaching ideological beliefs 
in any way. After all, no one wants the Federal Government to 
be involved in policing people's beliefs. But the narrow 
definition of prevention of violence and our conventional 
counterterrorism tools are unable to address the unchecked 
spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories and other 
precursors to violence. We need to broaden our efforts and 
adapt counterterrorism frameworks to address these evolving 
threats with preventative approaches that can address 
radicalization while still protecting freedoms of speech and 
expression. Understanding the nature of the evolving threat is 
a central first step toward these goals and to reducing these 
persistent and changing threats to our Nation's democracy and 
stability. I look forward to your questions. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Miller-Idriss follows:]
              Prepared Statement of Cynthia Miller-Idriss
                            February 2, 2022
    Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Katko, and Members of the 
committee: I would like to thank you for your service to our country 
and for calling attention to the critical issue of changing trends in 
global terrorism. I am honored to be here. My name is Cynthia Miller-
Idriss, and I am a professor in the School of Public Affairs and the 
School of Education at the American University in Washington, DC, where 
I also direct the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation 
Lab (PERIL). I have been studying the dynamics of violent extremism 
globally for over 20 years. I am the author of Hate in the Homeland: 
The New Global Far Right, along with two books focused on extremism in 
Germany (Blood and Culture and The Extreme Gone Mainstream). I want to 
acknowledge the support of my research team at PERIL, whose assistance 
was invaluable in preparing my testimony today.\1\
    \1\ With gratitude to researchers and staff at American 
University's Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab 
(PERIL) who helped prepare this written testimony: Sarah Bartholomew, 
Emily Caldwell, Meili Criezis, Pasha Dashtgard, Brian Hughes, 
Jacqueline Belletomasini Kosz, Emily Pressman, Wyatt Russell, Katie 
Spann, Sarah Ruth Thorne, JJ West, and Kesa White.
                            scope and scale
    Today's terrorism landscape includes a diverse ideological range of 
international and domestic movements and groups. There is no 
agreement--even across agencies within the U.S. Government, but also 
internationally--on terms or definitions across the terrorism and 
extremism spectrum. Violent extremist movements that use terrorism (the 
use of violence in order to intimidate or coerce civilians or influence 
the policy of a government) as a tactic are motivated by a range of 
supremacist, anti-government, anti-establishment, and anti-democratic 
ideologies that take a variety of organizational forms both within the 
United States and globally.\2\ This includes groups advocating for 
attacking Western governments and societies, overthrowing the U.S. 
Government, calling for race wars or a White ethnostate, and seeking to 
collapse economic and social systems. In the domestic violent extremism 
(DVE) spectrum, the organizational forms of these movements include 
unlawful militias, violent anarchists, sovereign citizens, White 
supremacist extremists such as neo-Nazis, violent environmental and 
animal rights extremists, some single-issue extremist groups like 
violent anti-abortion groups, as well as violent male supremacists and 
violent involuntary celibates (incels). In this testimony, I follow the 
terminology from research and reports being cited, though it is 
important to note that these terms are not fully interchangeable. 
Domestic violent extremism (DVE), for example, includes extremism from 
across the ideological spectrum. I use the terms ``far left'' or ``far 
right'' to refer to parts of the DVE spectrum when citing sources that 
use those terms, like the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). I also use 
terms like racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE), 
right-wing extremism, and White supremacist extremism (WSE) when citing 
reports or studies from U.S. and global agencies and experts that use 
those terms.
    \2\ See the U.S. definitions of international and domestic 
terrorism at https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/
    Trends in the U.S. terrorism landscape have changed rapidly over 
the past several years. While Islamist terror has been the historical 
focus of U.S. and global counterterrorism efforts in the post-9/11 era, 
and continues to have the greatest lethality globally,\3\ far-right 
terrorism has escalated rapidly across the West. Far-right terrorism 
now significantly outpaces other forms of terrorism in the United 
States, including terrorism from far-left movements and from 
individuals inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, according to a 
recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies 
(CSIS). That report notes that ``right-wing attacks and plots account 
for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 
1994.''\4\ Within the DVE landscape, the most pressing threats to 
civilians and elected officials--in terms of lethality, plots foiled, 
recruitment, and the circulation of propaganda, as documented in 
multiple threat assessments issued by the U.S. Office of the Director 
of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) over the past 2 years \5\--comes from White supremacist extremist 
and anti-Government extremism movements and groups, which sometimes 
overlap and mutually reinforce one another.\6\ These trends are 
reflected in law enforcement investigations. As of September 2021, the 
FBI reported it had 2,700 open investigations into domestic violent 
extremism, which is more than double the number open in the summer of 
2017.\7\ Also in 2020, authorities Nation-wide arrested nearly 3 times 
as many White supremacists as they did in 2017.
    \3\ Institute for Economics & Peace. ``Global terrorism index 2020: 
Measuring the impact of terrorism'' (November, 2020). National 
Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. 
Available at: https://visionofhumanity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/
    \4\ Jones, Seth and Catrina Doxsee. ``The escalating terrorism 
problem in the United States.'' June 17, 2020. Center for Strategic and 
International Studies. Available at: https://www.csis.org/analysis/
    \5\ Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ``Annual 
threat assessment of the US intelligence community'' (April, 2021). 
Available at: https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/ATA-
    \6\ Department of Homeland Security. ``Homeland threat assessment'' 
(August, 2020). Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/
    \7\ Wolfe, J. ``U.S. domestic terrorism investigations have more 
than doubled-FBI director.'' Reuters (September 21, 2021). Available 
at: https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-domestic-terrorism-
investigations-have-more-than-doubled-fbi-director-2021-09-21/; Also 
see Miller, M. (2021). September 21). Wray says FBI Domestic Terrorism 
Caseload has `exploded' since last year. The Hill. Available at: 
    This does not mean the threat from jihadi terrorism has fully 
abated, either in the United States or abroad. In Europe, jihadi 
terrorism still outpaces far-right terror as the most critical 
threat,\8\ but far-right terrorism and extremism are growing rapidly 
there as well. The top British counterterrorism official, Neil Basu, 
recently described right-wing extremism as the United Kingdom's 
``fastest-growing threat,'' and in Germany, violent crimes motivated by 
right-wing extremism rose by 10 percent from 2019 to 2020.\9\ Across 
the West (Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, and North America), 
far-right terrorist incidents have increased globally by 250 percent 
over the past 5 years and were responsible for 82 percent of deaths 
from terror in 2019, according to the most recent Global Terrorism 
Index report.\10\
    \8\ Europol. ``European Union terrorism situation and trend report 
2021'' (2021). Available at: https://www.europol.europa.eu/cms/sites/
    \9\ Miller-Idriss, C. ``From 9/11 to 1/6: The War on Terror 
Supercharged the Far Right.'' Foreign Affairs (September/October, 
2021). Available at: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-
    \10\ Institute for Economics & Peace. ``Global terrorism index 
2020: Measuring the impact of terrorism'' (November, 2020).
    The United States has witnessed increases in the pace, scope, and 
scale of far-right violence and the normalization of the extremist 
ideas that drive it. 2019 was the most lethal year for domestic 
terrorism in the United States since 1995--48 people were killed in 
attacks carried out by domestic violent extremists, 39 of which were 
carried out by White supremacists. In 2020, the number of domestic 
terrorist plots and attacks in the United States reached its highest 
level since 1994; two-thirds of those were attributable to White 
supremacists and other far-right extremists. And last year, reports to 
the Anti-Defamation League of White supremacist propaganda--in the form 
of fliers, posters, banners, and stickers posted in locations such as 
parks or college campuses--hit an all-time high of more than 5,000, 
nearly twice the number reported in the previous year. Traditional 
counterterrorism tools in the United States foiled only 21 of the 110 
known domestic terrorist attacks and plots \11\ in 2020, according to 
the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    \11\ Jones, S.G. et al. ``The military, police, and the rise of 
terrorism in the United States'' Center for Strategic and International 
Studies (April, 2021). Available at: The Military, Police, and the Rise 
of Terrorism in the United States/Center for Strategic and 
International Studies (csis.org).
                   trends and ideological convergence
    Historically, counterterrorism officials across the world have 
organized their work around clearly identifiable groups and movements, 
which were considered ideologically distinct from one another. Today, 
however, there is growing convergence across previously disparate 
ideologies in on-line extremist networks,\12\ including across far-
right accelerationist and Salafi-Jihadi extremist groups.\13\ A new 
report from the UK-based International Center for the Study of 
Radicalization (ICSR) traces convergence in common beliefs and 
frameworks between neo-fascist accelerationists and Salafi-Jihadists 
that includes shared support for anti-Semitism, belief in a natural 
hierarchy, racial and cultural supremacism, anti-modernism, 
heteronormativity and traditional family structures, and anti-
Government sentiment. There is cross-movement admiration, especially 
from far-right accelerationists toward Salafi-Jihadists, whose 
``militant successes'' they see as clear evidence for the possibility 
of the success of committed traditional goals and violent tactics 
against Western governments.
    \12\ Criezis, M. and Hughes, B. ``Erstwhile allies and community 
convergence: a preliminary study of online interactions between Salafi-
Jihadists and white supremacists'' Global Network on Extremism & 
Technology (August 31, 2021). Available at: https://gnet-research.org/
    \13\ International Center for the Study of Radicalization. `` `One 
struggle': examining narrative syncretism between Salafi-Jihadists'' 
(January 26, 2022). Available at: https://icsr.info/2022/01/26/one-
salafi%E2%- 80%91jihadists/.
    Both DVE and international terrorist groups, in other words, are 
united by an overlapping set of beliefs involving supremacist 
hierarchies that falsely claim inferiority and superiority between 
groups of people and promote anti-democratic beliefs that support 
authoritarianism, refuse to protect minority rights, or reject other 
core tenets of democracy (like freedoms of speech and press or the rule 
of law). They share commitments to misogyny and male supremacism, anti-
Semitic conspiracy theories, xenophobia, and anti-Government beliefs. 
These extremist ideologies are also often rooted in conspiratorial and 
fantastical beliefs about calls for restoration (of the Caliphate or a 
White ethnostate) and a desire for a post-apocalyptic, post-race-war 
civilization. This vision includes an obligation to use violence as a 
solution to accelerate the end times through the collapse of social, 
political, and economic systems that will precede the Phoenix-like 
rebirth of a new civilization.
    The increasing blurriness of divisions across previously separate 
ideological movements--as well as actual coalitions that are emerging 
in spontaneous and planned ways across distinct groups and movements--
challenge traditional counterterrorism approaches that that rely on 
distinct groups that can be infiltrated, surveilled, and monitored over 
time.\14\ Ideologically, this kind of hybridization and blurriness is 
being revealed in many ways. For example, recently far-right extremists 
have simultaneously valorized the Unabomber \15\ and praised the 
Taliban.\16\ A re-launched White supremacist group announced a new 
``Bolshevik focus''\17\ calling for the liquidation of the capitalist 
class. A burgeoning ecofascist youth subculture--spread largely through 
social media imageboard accounts and commercial merchandise--celebrates 
nature worship and rootedness within a physical homeland while calling 
for a White ethnostate. Some anti-Government ``Boogaloo'' (code for 
civil war) adherents who advocate a new civil war marched alongside 
2020 racial injustice protesters because of shared anger at law 
    \14\ This section of testimony adapts recent work covered in 
Miller-Idriss, C. and Hughes, B. ``Blurry ideologies and strange 
coalitions: the landscape of domestic extremism'' Lawfare (December 19, 
2021) Available at: https://www.lawfareblog.com/blurry-ideologies-and-
    \15\ Christ, K. ``Why right-wing extremists love the Unabomber'' 
Lawfare (October 17, 2021). Available at: https://www.lawfareblog.com/
    \16\ Sands, G. ``White supremacist praise of the Taliban takeover 
concerns US officials,'' CNN (September 1, 2022). Available at: https:/
    \17\ The Soufan Center ``IntelBrief: salad bar redux: is Heimbach's 
extremism emblematic of the current threat landscape?'' (July 29, 
2021). Available at: https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-2021-july-
    \18\ Bellingcat ``The Boogaloo movement is not what you think'' 
(May 27, 2020) Available at: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/05/
    In many ways, the phenomenon is nothing new. Extremist scenes and 
movements have experienced internal fissures, infighting and 
fragmentation for years due to differences in beliefs about tactics 
(such as the use of violence), conflicting views on parts of their 
ideology (such as about Jews and Whiteness) or restrictions on who can 
be members (such as women). Increasingly, this conflict is occurring 
not just across relatively bounded groups but among a broad muddling of 
ideological beliefs within domestic and international extremist scenes, 
movements, and individuals.\19\ These trends are different from 
previous iterations of extremist fracture and reformation. We are 
seeing a fragmentation and reassembling of groups and movements that 
are willing to unite for specific reasons even when their overall 
objectives do not align. The transformation is taking place both 
organizationally and in ad hoc, or ``post-organizational'' forms.\20\ 
On the organizational side, political violence is emerging from a loose 
new coalition that spans the extremist spectrum in ways that confuse 
the ideological basis typically understood to be at the root of 
terrorist and extremist violence. On the post-organizational side, 
exposure to extremist content on-line and radicalization to ideologies 
and violence outside the boundaries of organized groups is 
increasing.\21\ Through on-line encounters with propaganda, 
disinformation and extremist ideas, individuals are increasingly able 
to access extremist content and become radicalized without needing 
group membership or interaction.
    \19\ Hughes, B. ``A long wolf in the hypertext: radicalization 
online'' University of California: Santa Barbara global-e (August 10, 
2017) Available at: https://globalejournal.org/global-e/august-2017/
    \20\ Ghul, J. and Davey, J. ``A safe space to hate: white 
supremacist mobilisation on Telegram'' Institute for Strategic Dialogue 
(February 16, 2021) Available at: https://www.isdglobal.org/wp-content/
    \21\ Comerford, M. ``Confronting the challenge of `post-
organisational' extremism'' Observer Research Foundation (August 19, 
2020) available at: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/confronting-
    There are at least 4 reasons for the increased muddling of 
ideological rationales:
   the increasing ability of cross-ideological concepts to 
        mobilize violence
   rising event-driven violence
   tactical convergence and cross-group learning around 
        accelerationism, and transformations in communication 
        infrastructure (e.g. on-line ecosystems).
    Mobilizing concepts refer to ideas that have a simultaneous call to 
action.\22\ They are different from traditional ideological frameworks, 
which are rooted in more clearly articulated beliefs or theories about 
how political or economic systems should work, such as anarchism, 
communism, or fascism. Mobilizing concepts, on the contrary, can be 
applied to a wide range of ideological frames or justifications. They 
include the notion of the ``Boogaloo'' (a code word for a second civil 
war), the concept of the ``three percenters'' (based on the false claim 
that it took only 3 percent of colonists to rise up against the 
British), and the idea of a threat to ``Western values.'' All three 
justifications have the potential to mobilize significant cross-
ideological support around a concept, rather than an ideology. These 
kinds of concepts can draw people together into violent action even 
when they do not agree on specific ideological beliefs.
    \22\ Miller-Idriss, C. and Hughes, B. Lawfare (December 19, 2021)
    Event-driven political violence and extremism refers to relatively 
spontaneous coalitions across ideological groups and movements that 
emerge around a common protest or demonstration. State and National 
protests related to coronavirus mandates or second Amendment protests 
are examples, as is the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Event-
driven ideological coalitions emerge based on opportunities to assemble 
larger groups of people by focusing on the lowest common denominator 
that unites them, thereby creating a temporary convergence across 
different extremist ideologies and groups.
    It's not only concepts and events that lead to cross-ideological 
muddiness and coalition building. There has also been increasing 
strategic and tactical convergence across ideologies, especially around 
the idea of accelerationism.\23\ Accelerationism is a goal and a tactic 
drawn on by a variety of movements that are united around the objective 
of overthrowing the country's prevailing political and social 
order.\24\ Anarchists may promote the tactic to accelerate violence 
against capitalism or law enforcement, while anti-Government extremists 
may use it to target elected officials or Government buildings. 
Accelerationist objectives converge around the idea of inspiration; 
their promoters see their goals not as mere terrorist retaliation or 
intimidation but, rather, as focused on inspiring others to undertake 
similar violence and accelerate the collapse of systems that extremists 
believe must be demolished and reconstructed. As a strategic 
orientation, the tactic has been growing across the political and 
ideological spectrum.
    \23\ Miller-Idriss, C. and Hughes, B. ``Uniting for total collapse: 
the January 6 boost to accelerationism'' CTC Sentinel 14(4) (April/May, 
2021). Available at: https://ctc.usma.edu/uniting-for-total-collapse-
    \24\ Hughes, B. `` `Pine tree Twitter' and the shifting ideological 
foundations of eco-extremism'' Interventionen (14) (2019) Available at: 
Interventionen--14-2019.pdf (violence-prevention-network.de).
    Fourth and finally, the new information infrastructure has also 
helped muddle ideological rationales. Today, extremist content is 
readily available on-line, in the form of manifestos, memes, videos, 
and audio that anyone can produce and share. Everyone is just a few 
clicks away from an ever-expanding series of rabbit holes that offer up 
whole worlds of disinformation and hate. Digital media shapes how 
people encounter and share ideological content, propaganda, and 
disinformation that can mobilize to violence.\25\ For example, the 
broad use of hyperlinks, algorithmic recommendation systems, and other 
features of on-line technology make it much easier for someone with a 
grievance to leapfrog from left-wing environmental extremism to 
conspiracy theories to anti-civilizational deep ecology \26\ to far-
right ``National anarchism''\27\ to the ``Boogaloo movement'' and 
beyond. Increasingly, ideological motivations for terrorist and 
extremist violence follow a `choose-your-own-adventure' approach in 
which individuals accumulate an ever-evolving set of fragmented 
ideological commitments, extremist identities, and conspiracy beliefs.
    \25\ Hughes, B. ``The storm and the web: communication technology 
and the ecumenical far right'' University of Oslo C-REX--Center for 
Research on Extremism (January 26, 2021) Available at: https://
    \26\ Institute for Social Ecology ``Theses on social ecology and 
deep ecology'' (August 1, 1995) Available at: https://social-
    \27\ Macklin, G. ``Co-opting the counter culture: Troy Southgate 
and the National Revolutionary Faction'' Patterns of Prejudice 39(3) 
(September, 2005).
    In addition to these overarching trends, it is worth noting that 
global conflicts--as always--also play a role in these kinds of 
spontaneous and evolving mobilizations. The escalating conflict between 
Ukraine and Russia, for example, is being actively discussed in 
encrypted White supremacist extremist channels on-line in ways that 
raise concerns. Like other global geopolitical conflicts, the Ukraine-
Russia situation creates an opportunity for extremists to leverage 
momentum to recruit White supremacist foreign fighters who seek 
training to use ``back home.'' These foreign fighters want to meet one 
another and network, to mobilize and recruit others, and otherwise 
intensify their engagement to the cause. The looming conflict has 
created an opportunity for extremists to spread anti-Semitic 
conspiracies about a so-called Jewish plot against Russia or a ``Jewish 
war'' that pits Whites against Whites. We should be alert to other 
potential ripple effects for extremist groups, particularly given the 
transnational nature of on-line communication across White supremacist 
extremist groups.
                         policy recommendations
    The rapid transformations in on-line extremist communications and 
the on-going fragmentation and blurriness across various ideologies 
challenge current counter-extremism approaches. As violence becomes 
more spontaneous, less organized, and more tied to on-line 
radicalization, terrorist acts become harder to prevent with strategies 
that rely on countering organized plots and identifying formal group 
hierarchies. Counterextremism tools designed to address threats from 
fringe groups--as they currently exist--cannot meaningfully confront 
the evolved threats we face today without a broader, multisectoral, 
whole-of-society commitment to prevention and early intervention.
    Our country requires serious investment in strategies to reduce the 
fertile ground in which anti-democratic and violent extremist 
ideologies thrive--through what are known as public health approaches 
to preventing violent extremism.\28\ In the medical world, experts have 
learned that it is not sufficient to only treat the symptoms of 
diseases like diabetes or cardiac disease once they appear--rather, 
communities work to educate everyone through public health classes and 
campaigns that teach the behavioral and attitudinal choices people can 
make about diet and exercise that can reduce their vulnerability to 
diseases. The same is true for prevention of terrorism. We can build 
more resilient communities that recognize and reject disinformation, 
propaganda, and reduce the fertile ground in which violent extremism 
thrives. To do this, Congress must take immediate steps to build multi-
agency and multi-sectoral initiatives that work to prevent 
radicalization to violence and intervene by creating early off-ramps in 
radicalization processes. This includes investments in proven 
inoculation strategies that reduce people's vulnerability to both the 
ideologies and the persuasive tactics of extremist groups and 
movements. We need scalable interventions to reduce people's 
vulnerability to on-line propaganda, anti-Semitic and other conspiracy 
theories, and other forms of on-line manipulation, including through 
digital and media literacy training. We also need to work to reduce 
high rates of polarization and the kinds of moral disengagement and 
dehumanization that are demonstrated precursors to political violence. 
Federal, State, and local governments should be funding serious and 
sustained educational and community prevention and intervention 
programming, along with a reinvestment in civic education and other 
efforts to strengthen democratic norms and values. We also need to 
commit to trans-Atlantic and global collaboration and mutual learning 
on these shared challenges, by regularly communicating not only about 
law enforcement and intelligence strategies, but also about prevention 
and intervention approaches. There are good lessons from the multi-
agency, multi-sectoral, whole-of-Government and whole-of-society 
approaches that our allies have taken, especially in New Zealand, 
Germany, and Norway, from which we can learn as we create and adapt 
strategies of our own.
    \28\ Miller-Idriss, C. ``America's most urgent threat now comes 
from within'' New York Times (January 5, 2022) Available at: https://
    These kinds of interventions are not an immediate fix to the 
growing problem of extremist violence and terrorism--rather, they 
reflect a need for investments across the short, medium, and longer 
terms. And it is important to note that these are not options that 
involve censorship or teaching ideological beliefs in any way--after 
all, no one wants the Federal Government to be engaged in policing 
people's beliefs. But the U.S. Government's focus on using conventional 
counterterrorism tools alone fails to account for the current, 
unchecked spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories, propaganda 
targeting racial and religious minorities and the increasing 
dehumanization of those with whom one disagrees.\29\ Such precursors to 
violence need to be addressed by modernized counterterrorism tools and 
frameworks created specifically to address the threats to this Nation 
laid out in this testimony.
    \29\ Miller-Idriss, C. ``White supremacist extremism and the far 
right in the U.S.'' Gale (2021). Available at: https://www.gale.com/
    In sum, there is clear convergence across the extremist and 
terrorist spectrum in supremacist and anti-Government beliefs, along 
with cross-ideological commitments to anti-Semitism, misogyny, and 
xenophobia. These areas of convergence are part of what fuel 
increasingly blurry ideologies and the emergence of strange coalitions 
across previously distinct groups, as more and more people encounter 
fragmented bits of ideologies on-line and mobilize around common 
grievances and events where spontaneous and planned violence can occur.
    Policy makers will not be able to solve today--or tomorrow's--
extremism with the surveillance and securitized tools honed in 
yesterday's battles. We must refocus those tools and broaden our 
efforts to include early prevention of--and intervention in--pressing 
extremist threats, with direct investments that work to reduce such 
threats to democracy in the first place. Understanding the nature of 
the evolving problem is an essential first step toward those goals.

    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I now ask Mr. 
Roggio to summarize his statement for 5 minutes. I hope I 
didn't do you too much harm in my pronunciation.

                         OF DEMOCRACIES

    Mr. Roggio. Thank you, sir. No, it is just fine. It is 
Roggio. Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Katko, and 
distinguished Members of this committee, and my fellow panel 
members, thank you for this invitation to speak on this very 
important issue. In addition to being a senior fellow at 
Foundation for Defense of Democracies, I also edit the FDD's 
Long War Journal. This is where we document and track the war 
on terror, not just Jihadist groups and their operations, but 
what state sponsors and terrorists are doing.
    One of the things you all are probably very familiar with 
my work even though you don't know it. If you were watching 
Afghanistan over the summer and all of the news outlets were 
running a map, that was something I created beginning in 2014, 
because I saw the flawed U.S. counterinsurgency strategy and 
Afghan counterinsurgency strategy. They were ceding ground to 
the Taliban, which allowed them to build their insurgency. So, 
when our leadership stands up and they tell this to Congress 
and they have said, we couldn't have foreseen the failure in 
Afghanistan, no one knew it was happening. That is untrue. That 
is false. My colleague Thomas Jocelyn and I, we understood 
exactly what was happening. We predicted the failure in 
negotiations. We documented the ties between the Taliban and 
al-Qaeda, and the support for Pakistan and Iran in the 
Taliban's operations. You know, we did this over the course of 
time. So, this is where I base a lot of my work from.
    The threat posed by international terrorist organizations 
has increased over the past year as the U.S. continues to 
disengage from multiple theatres. Nowhere is this more visible 
than in Afghanistan, where the United States precipitously 
pulled out. Afghanistan is now a terrorist safe haven. The 
withdrawal from Afghanistan was disastrous on many levels. The 
United States now has virtually no capabilities. I will call it 
very limited capabilities to strike our enemies there, as well 
as enemies that were in Pakistan. We should all remember the 
U.S.-inserted drone campaign under the Bush and Obama 
administrations that targeted top al-Qaeda leaders. Al-Qaeda is 
still in Pakistan and it has never left Afghanistan and we have 
virtually no ability to strike them there.
    Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's emir, who was the deputy emir 
on 9/11, 20 years after 9/11, he is still alive and he is 
somewhere between Afghanistan and Pakistan and we have limited 
ability to target him. The Taliban and al-Qaeda they have 
withstood 20 years of war against the superpower and they have 
come out on top. The withdrawal has given al-Qaeda and its 
allies a massive propaganda victory. The Islamic-Emirate of 
Afghanistan, that is the name the Taliban call--that is what 
the Taliban called itself up to the day of 9/11 until the 
United States rejected it, it has been restored. That was the 
goal of the Taliban all the time and we refused to recognize 
    The Taliban are not our ``partners'', and I use partners in 
quotes, as CENTCOM Commander General Frank McKenzie has 
referred to them. The Taliban remain closely allied with al-
Qaeda. Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy emir of the Taliban and 
its current interior minister, he was described by the United 
Nations early to mid-last year as an al-Qaeda leader. This is 
the deputy emir of the Taliban and it is the head of its 
interior ministry. He is an al-Qaeda leader as the United 
Nations calls him. The links between the Taliban and al-Qaeda 
run deep. Those links aren't just with the Haqqanis. There are 
other key Taliban subgroups that have close ties to al-Qaeda.
    The Islamic State, it appears to be making a comeback in 
Iraq and Syria. We all witnessed this over the last 2 weeks 
with the al-Sina'a prison break. This should open our eyes to 
the rising threat. Al-Qaeda prior to the Islamic State, it was 
part of al-Qaeda and in Iraq, and it replenished its ranks 
using very similar operations after the U.S. surge ended in 
2011. So, after the United States exited Iraq, the Islamic 
State or al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, began targeting prisons 
inside of Iraq. They have been conducting operations just like 
we saw in al-Sina'a. They replenished the ranks and within 3 
years they were in control of a territory in Iraq and Syria the 
size of Britain.
    Iran and Pakistan, the world's two largest state sponsors 
of terrorism, even though Pakistan isn't officially called 
that, they should be. It should be. They have won in 
Afghanistan. Pakistan support through the Taliban is well-
known. Iran is less so. I recently testified in Federal court 
in a trial where U.S. service members who were wounded or 
family members of those killed sued Iran for its support for 
the Taliban. I can tell you that support is significant. Iran 
provided the Taliban safe havens, weapons, finances, and 
training. Both countries remain the world's premier state 
sponsor of terrorism. This is something we ignore at our own 
    I have a graphic that shows Iran how it shelters top al-
Qaeda leaders. This graphic is from U.S. designations that 
began during the Obama administration and continued under the 
Trump administration. These leaders have been designated by 
State and Treasury Department. Also, I believe it was the 
Treasury Department detailed a--this is a direct quote: ``A 
secret deal'' between Iran and the Taliban that allowed--I'm 
sorry--Iran and al-Qaeda that allowed al-Qaeda to operate 
inside of Iran in exchange for al-Qaeda not targeting Iranian 
    This agreement remains in effect to today. It is mentioned 
in the 2021 State Department's country reports on terrorism. 
Again, this isn't something that just came from the Trump 
administration or the Bush administration. It was detailed 
under the Obama administration and that report was issued by 
the Biden administration.
    Somalia and Mali are in danger of becoming the next 
Afghanistan. Jihad in the Western Sub-Saharan Africa is 
blossoming. Meanwhile, we are rudderless and devoid of 
leadership in this war. The desire to end these so-called 
endless wars has spanned three administrations. When your No. 1 
goal is to disengage, your enemy has the initiative. We have 
lost the initiative for years. We have pretended our enemies 
aren't our enemies, such as the Taliban. We have refused to 
recognize links between our enemies because it was politically 
expedient to do so. Twenty years after 9/11, we still can't 
properly define our enemies or recognize our enemies' goals and 
objectives. Afghanistan is case in point here. We wanted to 
leave Afghanistan. The desired policy was to leave. We 
pretended the Taliban wasn't our enemy. We pretended that the 
Taliban wasn't linked to al-Qaeda, and then we witnessed that 
horrific withdrawal over the summer. The Taliban is now back in 
control. Al-Qaeda now has safe haven.
    We must have accountability especially from our military 
and intelligence leadership. Again, Afghanistan case in point. 
There is numerous incidences where the U.S. military has failed 
and not a single commander has paid a price for this. Until we 
have accountability, we will not be able to succeed in this 
war. If you think that what happened in Afghanistan remains in 
Afghanistan, you haven't been paying attention. Our military 
leadership, our intelligence leadership, they are going to have 
to deal with threats such as China and Russia and the lessons 
they have learned over the last 2 decades is that 
accountability is not an issue for them. These are the people 
that may have to deal with crisis in the Ukraine or China. We 
should all be worried about that. Thank you for your time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Roggio follows:]
                   Prepared Statement of Bill Roggio
    Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Katko, and other Members of the 
committee, thank you for inviting me here today to speak about the 
dynamic terrorism landscape and what it means for America.
    As the American foreign policy establishment has shifted its focus 
from international terror organizations to great power competition with 
China and Russia, the terrorism threat has not receded. In some cases, 
it has intensified. To be clear, the challenges created by America's 
enemies and adversaries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea 
must be addressed. However, we turn our back on the dangers posed by 
Islamic terror groups at our peril.
    Make no mistake, withdrawing from conflicts against terrorist 
groups has not ended what has been wrongly called the ``endless wars.'' 
Disengaging from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and other countries 
has strengthened our enemies. Our withdrawal has given our enemies new 
life. Our enemies are waging an endless jihad, one where they seek to 
overthrow existing Muslim governments and establish emirates, with the 
ultimate goal of imposing a reborn Islamic caliphate. These emirates 
would be extremely hostile to America and would give terror groups safe 
haven, which the 9/11 Commission identified as a key element that 
allowed al-Qaeda to execute its deadly attack against the American 
homeland. Today, al-Qaeda has safe havens in several countries, 
including Afghanistan, Somalia, and Mali. And al-Qaeda continues to 
benefit from state sponsorship of terrorism, with Iran and Pakistan 
topping the list.
    As wrong and counterproductive as the ``endless war'' narrative is, 
the desire to end the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, 
and elsewhere is understandable, as America has spent an enormous 
amount of blood, treasure, and political capital since al-Qaeda 
attacked us on September 11, 2001, and killed nearly 3,000 of our 
countrymen. Poor political, military, and intelligence leadership, 
compounded by bad strategy and weak allies and partners, has led to 
exhaustion amongst our political class. Since 2009, the primary impulse 
among three successive administrations was to disengage from these so-
called endless wars. Victory, they believed, or even holding the line 
against our jihadist enemies, is no longer feasible.
    We can argue the merits of overthrowing Saddam Hussein, ousting the 
Taliban and standing up a now-defunct Afghan government, or supporting 
the weak Somali government. But once engaged in these conflicts, it was 
in America's interests to see them through and not to abandon partners, 
as imperfect as they are, to satisfy political expediency.
    negotiating with the taliban and the withdrawal from afghanistan
    The Trump's administration's decision to negotiate with the 
Taliban, and the Biden administration's decision to quickly withdraw 
U.S. forces without giving the Afghan government ample time to prepare, 
was disastrous. Both decisions directly led to the collapse of the 
Afghan government and military and the loss of a key partner in the 
    President Trump's negotiations with the Taliban, which excluded the 
Afghan government, legitimized the Taliban in the international 
community. The negotiations also delegitimized the Afghan government 
both at home and abroad. These negotiations were predicated on the 
ideas that the Taliban would negotiate in good faith and join an Afghan 
government, respect its constitution, and preserve women's rights, all 
while acting as a reliable counterterrorism partner against al-Qaeda 
and other international terror groups. As we all witnessed last summer, 
these assumptions were false. The Taliban always sought to regain full 
control of Afghanistan and re-establish its emirate. It achieved these 
goals with the help of al-Qaeda and allied terror groups, all who 
played a key role in the Taliban's summer offensive.
    President Biden doubled down on President Trump's misguided deal 
with the Taliban by following through on it. Biden hastily withdrew 
U.S. forces as the Taliban launched its offensive to seize the country. 
The Afghan government was not prepared--it just did not believe America 
would abandon it after 20 years of commitment--and was routed within 4 
months from the day Biden announced the withdrawal. An unknown number 
of American citizens and residents--hundreds, if not thousands--and 
tens of thousands of Afghans who helped America's efforts to establish 
a democracy remain trapped in Afghanistan, at the mercy of the Taliban. 
They are essentially hostages.
    The United States withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the immediate 
collapse of the Afghan government and military and the swift return to 
power of the Taliban, which calls its government the Islamic Emirate of 
Afghanistan. This is the same name the Taliban used for its previous 
regime, under which al-Qaeda plotted and executed the 9/11 attacks from 
Afghan soil. The Taliban's alliance with al-Qaeda has not been broken, 
but in fact has strengthened as it was forged in 20 years of war 
against the United States and its allies. Afghanistan is again a safe 
haven for al-Qaeda.
    Setting aside the very serious issues of Taliban control of 
Afghanistan and al-Qaeda's safe haven there, America's abandonment of 
Afghanistan has had second- and third-order effects on America's 
allies, adversaries, and enemies. American's adversaries and enemies 
now sense weakness and are seeking to drive wedges between America and 
her allies. The desire to end the so-called endless war in Afghanistan 
has called into question America's commitment to its allies and its 
leadership on the global stage.
    More than 20 years after 9/11, al-Qaeda possesses a potent global 
network. It maintains branches in the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle 
East, Africa, and Central Asia, and its network remains embedded in 
many other countries. Al-Qaeda continues to maintain effective 
insurgencies in multiple countries, while using these bases to plot 
attacks against our homeland and our allies. The Taliban's victory in 
Afghanistan has been a boon for al-Qaeda. The next generation of al-
Qaeda leaders, military commanders, and operatives are taking the field 
while key elements of the old guard remain to guide them. Despite a 
concerted manhunt of over 20 years, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was Osama 
bin Laden's deputy on September 11, 2001, and took control of al-Qaeda 
after bin Laden's death in May 2011, remains alive and in control of 
al-Qaeda's global network.
    While much of the attention in the press and in counterterrorism 
circles remains focused on the Islamic State due to the group's 
exceptional brutality, al-Qaeda is ultimately the more dangerous enemy. 
The Islamic State's demand of absolute fealty to its emir and its 
organization, along with the group's unwillingness to work with State 
sponsors of terror, limits its ability to expand. Al-Qaeda's patient 
approach and willingness to compromise have allowed its top leaders to 
operate from Iran and facilitated the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan.
    In addition to Afghanistan, al-Qaeda maintains safe havens in 
several countries. Syria's Idlib province hosts both Hurras al-Din, an 
al-Qaeda branch, and Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist faction allied 
with al-Qaeda. The U.S. military occasionally targets al-Qaeda leaders 
and commanders in Idlib province.
    In Yemen, al-Qaeda's local branch, al-Qaeda in the Arabian 
Peninsula, or AQAP, controls rural areas of the country. AQAP has 
plotted several attacks against the U.S. homeland over the past two 
decades. Most recently, it claimed credit for a December 6, 2019, 
shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola that killed 3 people.
    In Somalia, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda's branch in East Africa, controls 
significant portions of southern and central Somalia. The U.S. 
Government withdrew its forces from Somalia in January 2021 and is 
conducting ``over-the-horizon'' operations to keep al-Shabaab at bay. 
Military operations by the United States, Kenya, and the African Union, 
the latter of which is losing its will to fight in Somalia, are all 
that is keeping al-Shabaab from controlling all of southern and central 
Somalia, as it did between 2008 and 2011. In Mali, the French are close 
to withdrawing their forces, putting the already fragile security 
situation in central Mali in peril.
    These terrorist successes put our homeland at increased risk. With 
safe havens and the ability to draw on local resources to fund its 
operations, it is only a matter of time before al-Qaeda and the Islamic 
State use these advantages to attempt to execute another deadly attack 
against the U.S. homeland or American interests across the globe.
                  the islamic state of iraq and syria
    In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State, or ISIS, as it is more 
commonly known, is making a comeback after losing overt control of its 
last town in Syria in 2019. Insurgent attacks in both countries have 
increased over the past year as ISIS regenerates its strength. Lest 
this be dismissed, we have seen this happen before, between early 2012 
after the United States withdrew from Iraq, and mid-2013, when ISIS, 
which was then still part of al-Qaeda, stepped up its operations 
following setbacks during the American ``surge'' in Iraq. To increase 
its combat power, the group attacked prisons to free thousands of its 
fighters. We just witnessed this happen at the al-Sina prison in 
northeastern Syria. Hundreds of ISIS fighters assaulted the prison, 
seized nearby neighborhoods, sprung an unknown number of prisoners, and 
fought the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces for over a week.
    Outside of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State maintains a robust 
network, particularly in Africa, where it has subsumed elements of al-
Qaeda's network, such as in Nigeria, Mozambique, the Sahel, and Sub-
Saharan Africa. One year ago, the Islamic State's branch in Mozambique 
took control of the city of Palma and held it for 10 days. In 2017, the 
Islamic State battled Filipino security forces for 5 months for control 
for the city of Mawari. The Islamic State also has a presence in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it is dwarfed by the Afghan and Pakistani 
Taliban as well as by al-Qaeda and allied groups. America's focus on 
the Islamic State's network in Afghanistan as its primary enemy 
contributed to the Taliban's victory.
                      state sponsors of terrorism
    Like safe havens, state sponsorship of terrorism is a key factor 
that allows terror groups to survive and thrive. Iran and Pakistan are 
the world's two leading state sponsors of terrorism.
    Iran's support for Islamist terrorists, both Sunni and Shiite, 
continues unabated. Iran continues to shelter top al-Qaeda leaders, 
including the group's deputy emir. Since 2011, the U.S. Government has 
highlighted the ``secret deal'' that has allowed Iran ``to funnel funds 
and operatives [to al-Qaeda] through its territory.'' With this deal in 
effect, al-Qaeda continues to use Iran as a regional hub while being 
sheltered from U.S. reprisal. The agreement, according to the U.S. 
Treasury Department, specified that al-Qaeda

``must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory 
and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities 
informed of their activities. In return, the government of Iran gave 
the Iran-based al-Qa'ida network freedom of operation and uninhibited 
ability to travel for extremists and their families. Al-Qa'ida members 
who violate these terms run the risk of being detained by Iranian 

    Multiple al-Qaeda leaders who have operated or continue to operate 
from Iran have been designated as global terrorists. The U.S. State 
Department, in its 2021 Country Reports on Terrorism, noted that the 
Iran-al-Qaeda deal remains in effect to this day.
    Direct evidence of the Iran-al-Qaeda deal was on full display on 
August 7, 2020, when Israeli operatives killed Abu Mohammad al-Masri in 
Tehran. Masri was wanted by the U.S. Government for the past 3 decades 
for his role in the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings. Masri was 
not an ordinary al-Qaeda leader: He was the terror group's second in 
command and likely successor to Ayman al-Zawahiri. While in Tehran, 
Masri ``had been living freely in the Pasdaran district of Tehran, an 
upscale suburb, since at least 2015,'' according to The New York Times. 
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps provided him with security.
    Iran also played a significant role in the Taliban's takeover of 
Afghanistan. In October 2021, I was an expert witness in Cabrera v. 
Iran and detailed how Iran provided safe haven, weapons, financial 
support, and training to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In Cabrera v. 
Iran, the families of American soldiers and civilians who were killed 
or wounded by the Taliban sued the Iranian government for supporting 
Taliban and al-Qaeda violence in Afghanistan.
    Iran also continues to support a bevy of Shiite militias and terror 
groups throughout the Middle East. Lebanese Hezbollah, which directly 
threatens Israel and U.S. interests throughout the Middle East, remains 
Iran's premier terror proxy. In Iraq, Tehran supports a multitude of 
militias, including the Hezbollah Brigades and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, which 
are both listed by the U.S. Government as Foreign Terrorist 
Organizations and are collectively responsible for killing more than 
600 U.S. soldiers. One day, these Iraqi militias will likely eclipse 
Hezbollah. The Houthis in Yemen control half of the country with the 
help of the Iranians and are responsible for one of the world's worst 
humanitarian crises.
    Pakistan, which has played a double game with the United States and 
was complicit in the killing of thousands of American and allied 
soldiers in Afghanistan, played a key role in the Taliban's takeover of 
the country. While Iran played a crucial role in aiding the Taliban, 
Pakistan's use of the Taliban as its proxy was decisive. Pakistan 
provided the Taliban with safe haven, weapons, financial support, 
training, and other key forms of aid. Taliban leaders and their 
families, as well as Taliban military commanders and fighters, lived in 
Pakistan with the knowledge and support of the Pakistani state. While 
political reasons have prevented the U.S. Government from listing the 
Pakistani government as a state sponsor of terrorism, Pakistan meets 
all of the requirements to be listed as such.
    Pakistan myopically supports a host of terrorist groups on its own 
territory as well as in Afghanistan and India to further its goals in 
the region. Pakistan backs these groups even though they are allied 
with and aid the very terrorist groups that fight the Pakistani state. 
In addition, many of the jihadist groups sponsored by Pakistan are 
allied with al-Qaeda. Groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harakat-ul-
Mujahideen, and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which wage jihad in Afghanistan and 
India, continue to receive support from the Pakistani state.
    Pakistan's victory in Afghanistan is worrying. The lesson that 
Pakistan has learned is that supporting terror groups to advance its 
foreign-policy goals pays well. The United States delivered to Pakistan 
more than $30 billion in military and economic aid since 9/11 even as 
Pakistan sponsored our enemies. Pakistan used some of these funds to 
finance the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.
            u.s. efforts to defeat terror groups have failed
    After 2 decades of war, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency 
actions, sanctions, policing, and legal proceedings, America and her 
allies have failed to defeat al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other 
terror groups that threaten us. The threat posed by jihadist groups has 
expanded, not contracted. Al-Qaeda's geographic footprint across the 
globe has increased dramatically since 9/11, while its bastard child, 
the Islamic State, vies for leadership of the global jihad and expands 
into countries previously untouched by the fighting. Meanwhile, state 
sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and Pakistan have paid little to no 
price for their continuing support of jihadist groups.
    Regime change, democracy promotion, counterinsurgency, and support 
of local partners, once hailed as the solution to our problems, have 
failed spectacularly. The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan less 
than 20 years after the U.S. invasion. Iraqi security forces collapsed 
under the weight of the al-Qaeda and Islamic State offensive, which 
opened the door for Iran to enter the war and regain significant 
influence in Iraq. In Syria, the United States had so few options that 
it was forced to back the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party, 
or PKK, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. To hide this 
fact, the United States relabeled the group the ``Syrian Democratic 
Forces.'' The Marxist PKK is anything but democratic. The U.S.-backed 
Somali government is in danger of falling to al-Qaeda's regional 
    The United States has had limited tactical success in conducting 
counterterrorism operations. Occasionally, key leaders are killed in 
airstrikes or limited raids. However, counterterrorism operations are a 
tactic, not a strategy. As our enemies gain more ground and we pull 
back, our ability to conduct these operations is diminished, in some 
cases significantly. The U.S. military and the CIA were able to execute 
the raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, because they 
had a presence in Afghanistan. Numerous top al-Qaeda leaders were 
killed in drone strikes inside Pakistan and in raids in Afghanistan. 
With the United States no longer in Afghanistan, our ability to target 
al-Qaeda's leadership has dropped to nearly zero. Al-Qaeda emir Ayman 
al-Zawahiri is undoubtedly operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Other 
top al-Qaeda leaders also continue to operate from the region.
    Perhaps more importantly, the United States has failed on two other 
fronts: We have failed to understand the nature of our enemies, and we 
have refused to wage an ideological war against them. Again, 
Afghanistan is case in point. Carter Malkasian, who served as a key 
adviser both to General Joseph Dunford when he was chairman of Joint 
Chiefs of Staff and to General Austin Miller when he was commander of 
Operation Resolute Support and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, penned an 
article last summer wherein he admitted that he and the U.S. military 
leadership failed to understand the Taliban harbored deeply-held 
religious motivations that drove its strategy and objectives. It is no 
wonder the U.S. Government was keen to negotiate with the Taliban and 
trusted it to be an effective counterterrorism partner. It is no wonder 
why we lost Afghanistan.
    This refusal to acknowledge our enemies' religious motivations has 
led us to neglect the ideological component of counterterrorism, 
leaving that playing field almost entirely to our adversaries. The U.S. 
Government and military are fearful of recognizing our enemies' 
religious motivations, lest they be branded as ``Islamophobes.'' This 
has allowed al-Qaeda, the Islamic Front, and other terror groups to 
dominate the narrative and effectively recruit and indoctrinate 
    America has the lost will to prosecute the fight. Our leaders are 
no longer accountable for their failures. This has particularly 
disturbing repercussions for our military. Not a single general was 
held to account for the massive tactical and strategic failures that we 
witnessed last spring and summer in Afghanistan. Our current and next 
generations of military leaders have learned that failure will not be 
punished. This is toxic and will have negative implications in future 
fights, perhaps with more serious and dangerous enemies such as Russia 
or China.
                             a path forward
    Without a major attack on the U.S. homeland to refocus our minds, I 
am highly pessimistic about our ability to correct course in what used 
to be known as the War on Terror. But if we are to regain our footing, 
we must, at the minimum, do the following:
   Place facts and objective assessments over desired policy 
        outcomes. Unfortunately, in Washington, the desire to end the 
        so-called endless wars has driven our policy, and the facts 
        about our enemies were modified to achieve desired policy 
   Refocus our efforts to analyze and understand our enemies 
        and their objectives, strategy, tactics, and relationships. 
        This analysis must be based on facts, not on preferred 
   Hold leaders in the military and intelligence services 
        accountable. After 9/11, not a single intelligence official 
        resigned or was fired. Instead, they were rewarded. Fast 
        forward 20 years, and U.S. military and intelligence leaders 
        got a pass for the obvious tactical and strategic failures in 
        Afghanistan. This must change if we are to have a chance to 
    There are other issues that must be addressed if we are regain the 
initiative in fighting global jihadists. We must develop a strategy 
that balances the demands of competition with China and potential 
conflict with Russia with the need to maintain the persistent fight 
against our jihadist enemies. We must learn to identify and more 
productively engage with regional partners in key battlefields in the 
Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The military and intelligence services 
must be properly resourced to sustain the fight. And the military must 
re-evaluate and revamp its training programs for foreign forces. 
Despite billions of dollars spent to stand up the Afghan and Iraqi 
security forces, they wilted quickly when forced to stand on their own. 
But these issues are secondary to the 3 identified previously. If we 
are to have success, we must first be able to objectively analyze the 
threat, properly define our enemies, and hold our leaders accountable 
for their failures.
    Our enemies continue to seek to hurt us. As they continue to rack 
up wins, it is only a matter of time before they muster the strength 
and capabilities to strike us here in the homeland. Our enemies are 
committed and resourceful, and they believe we are weak. We must 
refocus our efforts if we hope to avoid another devastating attack.

    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I thank the 
witnesses for their testimony. I remind each Member that he or 
she will have 5 minutes to question the witnesses. I will now 
recognize myself for questions.
    Mr. Greenblatt, the United States faces increasingly 
complex and dynamic threat landscape where misinformation like 
QAnon or anti-Semitic conspiracies have stoked violent acts and 
spread at lightning speed through social media. What 
obligations, if any, do you believe on-line platforms have to 
minimize the spread of disinformation and misinformation that 
has homeland or National security implications?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the question. 
If we are trying to understand why is the threat environment so 
different today than in previous years or decades or even 
generations, I would posit that some of what the prior panelist 
was talking about, the exogenous environment has something to 
do with that. I would also get back to what Professor Idriss-
Miller talked about in terms of the rise of these domestic 
extremists for various reasons.
    But make no mistake, the social media services have been a 
superhighway for extremists and hateful organizations. They 
have allowed them to move, Mr. Chairman, with lightning speed 
from the margins to the mainstream. Literally, extremists 
promoting hateful ideas about African Americans, about American 
Jews, about Muslims, about immigrants, Latinos, LGBTQ, I could 
go on and on and on, have exploited the lack of any liability 
at these companies. Leveraged their platforms to push out the 
kind of hate that could never find its way on any mainstream 
media platforms.
    The loophole in the law created by Section 230, and the 
lack of any moral leadership from these businesses, has helped 
to create this problem. Now, Mr. Chairman, it is both a matter 
that--is an issue that matters to Americans on an individual 
basis and on a systemic basis. On an individual basis, ADL 
tracks hate and harassment on-line every year. Every year, we 
see in our latest survey, which came out in 2021, roughly 41 
percent of users of social media report being harassed on-line 
and 28 percent report being victimized by serial, sustained 
    Mr. Chairman, these are children who often find themselves 
deluged with White supremacist content. It is not just 
happening on the social media service, the gaming platforms are 
a problem. I got to tell you, as Facebook, which is the place 
where it happens the most, Mr. Chairman, moves into the 
metaverse, they seem to be unwilling to do the basics on their 
current platform, which means you can better believe the 
metaverse will be filled with even worse issues than what we 
see right now. Mr. Chairman, if you did one thing as a 
committee, one thing, focus on the social media companies. Hold 
them accountable for what they are doing. That will be a 
gamechanger to mitigate the rise of extremism in America and 
really, around the world.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. Speaking of platforms, Mr. 
Rasmussen, you talked a little bit about it and can you, in 
short order, and I know this is a challenge, tell us what these 
companies ought to be doing to help us identify this content.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Sure, Mr. Chairman. Again, in my role at 
GIFCT, I work with the companies to bring them together to try 
to develop cross-platform solutions. Because the environment 
that Jonathan described is one in which material or these 
hateful ideologies can migrate and spread across multiple 
platforms and create much greater impact and reach and it is 
just very difficult to contain once those kinds of toxic 
ideologies are spreading through that environment. So, one of 
the things we are trying to do at GIFCT is to find ways for the 
companies to cooperate with each other. To share information 
across their platforms so that when something appears on one of 
them that is of concern to others of them, that they can act on 
it more quickly, particularly in a crisis management or crisis 
response scenario such as we saw with Colleyville 2 weekends 
    Each of the companies has their own platform rules, terms 
of service, policies if that they enforce. They should be 
engaged on those policies, rules, in terms of service on their 
terms as companies. We don't at GIFCT set those rules, 
policies, or terms of service. What we do try to do is together 
make us more effective as an industry in managing this on-line 
environment and to trying to better identify when it is that 
this on-line activity actually translates into real-world harm. 
Because at the end of the day this is, as your committee knows, 
about keeping Americans safe. So, we have got to find better 
ways to figure out when it is that this activity on-line 
actually goes further and takes the next step, which is actual 
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. The Chair 
recognizes the Ranking Member for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Katko. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was having technical 
difficulties unmuting myself and some of you probably would 
wish that I would stay muted. But I appreciate, Mr. Greenblatt, 
right off the bat, I got to tell you, your passion is exactly 
what your organization needs. I have worked with groups all my 
years as a prosecutor because of the anti-Semitic violence. I 
just want to make a quick observation that everything you said 
I agree with and what the testimony the Chairman elicited from 
you I agree with.
    I also think one of the components that we have in this 
country now is absolutely irresponsible rhetoric from leaders 
in politics and leaders in communities and even people such as 
celebrities like we have now seen in the last couple of days. I 
think all that helps contribute to this ignorance and 
misinformation, which then fuels bad acts. So, I think it is 
incumbent upon us to have that holistic discussion at some 
point as well, you know?
    But I do applaud what you are doing and the only thing I 
could tell you is keep going. Because when I was a prosecutor 
back in Syracuse, one of my best friends I went to law school 
with was of Jewish heritage was inspired to get involved in law 
enforcement because of a fire bombing of a mosque, I mean,--a 
mosque--excuse me--a temple in Syracuse. So, it is a long 
problem but my concern is it is on the rise and everything you 
said we got to think about. But we have got to really hammer 
people when they engage in irresponsible rhetoric because I 
think it is really important.
    Mr. Greenblatt. I would just respond, Mr. Katko, Mr. 
Congressman, by saying No. 1, how much we appreciate your 
service, your work as a prosecutor in up-State New York, and 
your service in Congress. I regret that you are retiring 
because you have been such an important moral voice in so many 
ways. I will also thank you for the kind words.
    Look, I mean, we have to be passionate. I once had a social 
media executive say to me, why are you so emotional about this 
issue? My response was, why are you not more emotional about it 
this issue? Like and I just need to clarify something that my 
very good friend Nick said just a moment before me and I want 
all of you to hear this. There is a clear causal relationship, 
and I could show you the screenshots where we have seen White 
supremacists groups, you know, radical Islamists groups, 
organizing on these platforms, whether it is in public places 
like Facebook groups or private services like Telegram and 
Signal, or even in the dark web making threats and then it 
turns into real-world violence.
    I could tell you about how the shooter in Pittsburgh posted 
a manifesto and he was communicating on, I think, it was Gab or 
Discord and said I am going in and then he shot and killed 11 
people in a synagogue. Or the manifesto that the guy in Poway 
    So, this is real and Mr. Chairman and Congressman Katko, 
please do not let the social media companies tell you they just 
can't get their arms around this. These are the most 
profitable, most innovative, most technologically capable 
companies in the United States or the world. Like Facebook has 
built the most sophisticated advertising platform in the 
history of capitalism. It is hard to build a business that 
generates $100 billion a year. You know what is not so hard, 
knocking off the Nazis. So, it like it literally is treating us 
like dummies to say that they don't have the means to deal with 
    Mr. Katko. I agree with that. Thank you very much. I may be 
leaving but I am too much of a loudmouth to shut up the rest of 
my life. I will be in politics the rest of my life. That I 
promise you.
    Mr. Roggio, I wanted to speak with you for a moment and I 
appreciate your testimony as well. I am vitally concerned about 
Afghanistan and the vacuum that has been back there. So, from 
an intel, surveillance, and reconnaissance standpoint, have 
there been significant shortfalls since we left Afghanistan? 
Talk about that and talk about the Over the Horizon, which I 
think is a, you know, failure to admit the lack of intel. You 
know, what is going on with respect to Afghanistan? What does 
it mean for the homeland?
    Mr. Roggio. Yes, sir. Thank you. It is a pertinent question 
and it is one of the most important questions to be asked here 
today when on the international aspect, the Jihadist aspect of 
this. In mid-December, General McKenzie was quoted as saying 
that the U.S. capabilities, ISR, intelligence, surveillance, 
and reconnaissance capabilities inside Afghanistan was reduced 
to 1 to 2 percent of its previous capabilities when the United 
States was in-country.
    Keep in mind that when the military says something like 
this, they are giving the most optimistic perspective on this. 
So, what we are talking about here is that ISR capabilities 
have been reduced to nearly zero.
    So, what that means in layman's terms is we can't find and 
observe terrorists who are operating in, not just in 
Afghanistan, this also applies to Pakistan as well. Keep in 
mind the raid to kill Osama bin Laden was launched from 
Afghanistan. Intelligence was gathered largely from units that 
were operating inside of Afghanistan across the border.
    So, the idea that we can conduct Over the Horizon strikes 
and effectively target al-Qaeda and allied groups as well as 
the Islamic State, which really is a tertiary threat in the 
region. The Islamic State has been overhyped and al-Qaeda has 
been underrepresented when it comes to how the threat has 
metastasized in the region. The reason being is that al-Qaeda 
and the Taliban are in bed together. They are virtually 
indistinguishable in some regards. Al-Qaeda gives--or the 
Taliban gives al-Qaeda safe haven.
    So, if we don't have the ability to observe what they are 
doing, it becomes increasingly difficult to conduct those so-
called Over the Horizon strikes. The ability to carry out Over 
the Horizon strikes, I actually call it Over the Horizon's 
horizon. We don't have bases in any countries to conduct such 
strikes. The Stans, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, 
aren't going to base the United States. I mean, if you are 
them, why would you base U.S. forces in your country after the 
United States abandoned Afghanistan? Iran, obviously, isn't 
going to do it. Pakistan, they played that game and they don't 
want to do this any longer. So, the United States would have to 
launch these strikes from carriers or long-range bombers or 
drones that were flown from outside. So, you have poor 
intelligence, right? That takes time to gather. You can't keep 
eyes on your target. Then the platform that you are going to 
launch your strike from is coming from a long distance. It is a 
recipe for failure.
    We saw failure of intelligence in Kabul on August 29 when 
the United States launched that strike against the purported 
Islamic State planner who had wound up being a civilian. That 
is what happened when we were in-country. These mistakes 
happen. Think of the mistakes that could happen when you have, 
at best, 1 to 2 percent visibility and the platforms you are 
using to launch the strikes are far outside the borders of 
    Mr. Katko. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Roggio. I appreciate 
it. I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your indulgence.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much, Mr. Ranking Member. 
That was a professional courtesy you received.
    Mr. Katko. I know.
    Chairman Thompson. It will not be extended to any other 
Member. We will adhere to the 5-minute time. The Chair 
recognizes the gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Jackson Lee.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank 
you for this hearing along with the Ranking Member. Let me 
quickly go into my line of questioning by first of all saying 
to Mr. Rasmussen, that I have the passion and the Members of 
this committee and our Chairman and Ranking Member have the 
passion and we are very grateful for your testimony.
    I want to emphasize where we are today by referring to the 
FBI's comment about the salad bowl. I want to offer my deepest 
sympathy, again, for my friends in Colleyville, that horrific 
terrorist act. I am glad that the FBI corrected its language. 
It was domestic terrorism. It was terrorism. Of course, January 
6 and the big lie and the Boogaloo movement, along with the 
enormity of domestic terrorists or are growing every day. You 
are right, it is being fueled by social media. Although, I want 
to emphasize, as well, a First Amendment protection.
    So, social media ran ads in the last 2 months, pretty ads 
introducing their content people and saying we want the Federal 
Government to give us our directions, our guidance, our laws. 
Can you be specific as it relates to these mega sites as to 
what you would like us to do, very quickly? Thank you.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Thank you, ma'am. Actually, I am not sure I 
can be specific because I don't speak for tech companies in 
terms of what they would want to see from a new legislative 
framework. Each of the companies will have their own view on 
the wisdom of particular pieces of legislation. We don't take 
an organizational view in that regard.
    I will say, though, that when companies in the past have 
been dealing with issues like terrorism and violent extremism 
on-line, they benefit from clarity when it comes from 
definitional frameworks or prescribing of groups so that they 
know clearly and unambiguously what content can be deemed 
illegal by the Federal Government, for example. In the case of 
the GIFCT, we operate with our house-sharing database using a 
U.N. list of global terrorists and global terrorist 
organizations. That is a way for us to rely on a framework that 
is transparent, visible to all, and doesn't involve kind-of 
random decision making inside companies. So,----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you.
    Mr. Rasmussen [continuing]. Ma'am, I am not sure I can give 
you more than that.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you. Mr. Greenblatt, let me ask you 
the same question in how we can be effective on helping to 
ensure that there is responsiveness. Let me comment on my 
desire as I sit on the Judiciary Committee and Homeland works 
very carefully overlapping on some of these issues, frankly, 
believe the FBI should become more intense. There should be 
more funding. There should be a larger section dealing with 
domestic terrorism. As well, having a component that deals with 
what is happening on these sites. Mr. Greenblatt, would you 
respond, please?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, thank you, Congresswoman, for the 
question. What the ADL has said time and time again, that the 
social media companies are fully aware of what is going on. So, 
I will--and they know. One of the outcomes or the insights from 
the whistleblower, her revelations last summer, Madam 
Congresswoman, was that we learned that Facebook was tracking 
everything. Frankly, Madam Congresswoman, they knew more. It 
was worse than we thought and they knew it all along. So, I 
would credit the Algorithmic Justice in Online Transparency Act 
that would prevent or at least prohibit harmful and 
discriminatory algorithms, among other measures. I mean, we 
need legislation like that and others to address on-line hate 
immediately. Because the big--we have to keep in mind, big 
tech's business model optimizes for engagement and hateful, 
racist, anti-Semitic content is highly engaging. Therefore, it 
is, you know, amplified by the algorithms.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you.
    Mr. Greenblatt. While we deeply believe in freedom of 
speech, Congresswoman, let's keep in mind, freedom of speech is 
not freedom of reach. So, the companies are making a decision 
when they privilege that information. They don't have to 
publish it.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. You can't cry fire in a crowded theatre. I 
am truly with you. I want to----
    Mr. Greenblatt. Exactly.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. I will accept your challenge and will be 
working with you. Mr. Chairman, I want to add into the record 
an article from the Washington Post that indicates the heinous 
acts of bomb threats to historically Black colleges. I ask 
unanimous consent and I would like to read it into the record. 
Rust College, Tougaloo College, Jackson State, Alcorn, 
Mississippi Valley State, Fort Valley University, Spelman, 
Morgan State, Coppin State University, Harris-Stowe State 
University in Missouri, Kentucky State, Xavier, Philander 
Smith, Edward Waters, Howard University, which is having a bomb 
threat right now.
    [The information follows:]
                    Article From the Washington Post
    fear, anxiety follow third wave of bomb threats targeting hbcus
By Lauren Lumpkin and Susan Svrluga, February 1, 2022 at 7:33 p.m. EST
    For the third time in just a month, Howard University warned its 
campus on Tuesday of a bomb threat. Each time, a law enforcement search 
found no sign of the threatened explosives.
    But as students spilled out of academic buildings and headed to 
their next classes, or lined up for burritos at a nearby Chipotle, the 
campus was still on edge.
    ``Most of us are feeling anxiety,'' said Troix McClendon, a 19-
year-old freshman. ``There's not really a lot of information.''
    The bomb threats at Howard are part of a wave to hit historically 
Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) this year. On Jan. 4, at least 
eight HBCUs were threatened. On Monday, at least six were.
    Tuesday's threats, most coming early in the morning on the first 
day of Black History Month, broadened and deepened the sense of unease: 
At least 16 universities closed or swept their campuses. In all, more 
than two dozen have faced similar threats this year.
    No bombs were found, and law enforcement agencies did not identify 
possible motives. But the threats weigh heavily on many, particularly 
given the emotional attachment and deep loyalty many students, faculty, 
staff and alumni feel for the campuses--a haven, a calling, a family.
    ``February 1st, it's a moment when we usually celebrate the 
innovation and the resilience of our people, and now to be faced with 
an issue of this kind at our HBCUs nationwide, we want our community to 
know that we're standing together,'' said Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Howard's 
executive vice president and chief operating officer.
    The university in the District has increased the police presence on 
campus, reminded students of the safety resources on campus and offered 
support, Dubroy said.
    The FBI has said it is working with law enforcement partners to 
address potential threats, according to the agency, and it asked the 
public to report anything suspicious to law enforcement immediately.
    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also is 
aware of bomb threats received by some HBCUs, Carolyn Gwathmey, a 
spokeswoman for the agency, said in a written statement. ``We take all 
potential threats seriously and we regularly work with our law 
enforcement partners to determine the threat credibility.''
    She said it could not comment on the specific details at this time 
because it is a fluid situation with ongoing investigations.
    The threats in the past month have touched some of the country's 
most iconic schools, such as Howard and Spelman College, as well as 
regional institutions all across the country, triggering cancellations, 
lockdowns and fear.
    On Tuesday, the schools targeted included: Rust College, Tougaloo 
College, Jackson State University and Alcorn State University in 
Mississippi, as well as Mississippi Valley State University; Fort 
Valley State University and Spelman College in Georgia; Morgan State 
University and Coppin State University in Maryland; Harris-Stowe State 
University in Missouri; Kentucky State University; Xavier University of 
Louisiana; Philander Smith College in Arkansas; Edward Waters 
University in Florida; Howard University and the University of the 
District of Columbia.
    ``We stand in solidarity with our historically Black 
institutions,'' Jay A. Perman, chancellor of the University System of 
Maryland--which includes Coppin State and Bowie State, another school 
targeted by a threat this week--said Tuesday in a written statement.
    He added: ``Knowing that their strength is our strength, and that 
their power--on display like never before--will not be diminished by 
cowardly acts meant to menace and harm and intimidate. If the intent of 
these threats was to restrict access to our historically Black 
institutions--to restrict access to higher education itself--it will 
fail. If it was meant to sow division, it will fail. If it was meant to 
terrorize students and communities of color, it will fail.''
    At the University of the District of Columbia on Tuesday, officials 
cleared a threat placed about 3:20 a.m. and opened the campus.
    Xavier University of Louisiana evacuated the area of the threat and 
issued a shelter-in-place order for students living on campus, 
according to Patrice Bell, the school's vice president and chief of 
staff, until it was cleared to reopen by law-enforcement officials.
    Tougaloo College, one of several HBCUs threatened Tuesday in 
Mississippi, received a call about 4:20 a.m. that brought FBI and other 
law enforcement to sweep campuses. Even after the threat was found to 
be unsubstantiated, the campus remained in virtual mode for students, 
faculty and staff on Tuesday, with college officials pledging to remain 
vigilant. Mississippi Valley State University locked down after a 
threat was received through its guardhouse.
    Philander Smith College, in Arkansas, lifted its lockdown and 
resumed classes and operations at noon Tuesday. Kentucky State 
University issued an all-clear Tuesday and planned to resume normal 
operations and classes Wednesday.
    Morgan State University was also targeted. Leaders received the 
threat around 4:50 a.m. and issued a shelter-in-place order. Classes 
went virtual and employees were told to work from home.
    ``My main concern is my students' mental health. As college 
students, we already have so much mentally to deal with,'' said Jamera 
Forbes, a senior at Morgan State and student body president. ``We've 
tried to push through and overcome so much with covid over the years, 
and we're just trying to get back to a norm.''
    At Howard, freshman Jalen McKinney, 18, said the threats are making 
him worried, but some on campus seem less concerned.
    ``People are kind of brushing it off because it didn't happen,'' 
McKinney said. D.C. and university police performed a sweep after the 
threat was made about 2:55 a.m. ``But at the same time, it could 
    An expert in campus security was reassuring about the potential 
    ``I've always subscribed to the theory that bombers bomb and 
threateners threaten,'' said Robert Mueck, director of public safety at 
St. John's College and a member of the International Association of 
Campus Law Enforcement Administrators' Domestic Preparedness Committee. 
Calling in a bomb threat is ``more of a nuisance crime,'' he said, 
``like back in high school, kids pulling a fire alarm to get out of an 
    Of course, he said, officials cannot ignore it--they must ensure 
there is no explosive.
    But Mueck cautioned against overreactions by college officials, 
because the warnings, building closures and lockdowns are disruptive 
and alarming.
    These particular threats are troubling, though, he said, because 
they appear to be targeting HBCUs, and might be motivated by bias. The 
menace is there: ``It's almost like reaching out and saying, `We can 
get you,' '' he said.
    While law enforcement have not identified suspects or named their 
motives, the recent threats evoked the long history of intimidation and 
violence against Black schools, said Greg E. Carr, chair of Howard's 
Afro-American studies department and associate professor of Africana 
    ``There is this deep-seated racial insecurity that has historically 
come from segments of White populations that feel that somehow the 
self-improvement of Black folks will cost them something, either in 
prestige or social position,'' Carr said. ``Whether any of these 
threats would manifest into anything tangible or not, it's just the 
idea that `Ya'll are a little too big for your britches.' ''
    As officials continue to monitor the situation, students and 
faculty are hoping to get back to business.
    ``Our response has been, historically, to simply redouble our 
efforts,'' Carr said. ``The intimidation never works.''

    Ms. Jackson Lee. This is a crisis and I want to join with 
my colleagues for legislation dealing with our social media, 
but as well, I am going to ask that the officials from Homeland 
Security in collaboration with the FBI develop a deeper dive, a 
much more intense area of focus on domestic terrorism. We have 
to stop it. Lives are being lost. It is absolutely untenable 
for this to continue. Thank you so very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired. The 
Chair recognizes the gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Higgins, for 
5 minutes.
    Mr. Higgins. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the Ranking 
Member as well for holding this hearing. Mr. Chairman, I am 
going to abandon my planned line of questioning because I have 
been quite startled by some of the testimony here today. Dr. 
Cynthia Miller-Idriss. Am I pronouncing your last name 
properly, ma'am, Idriss?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. It is Idriss, but it is fine either way.
    Mr. Higgins. Idriss.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Yes.
    Mr. Higgins. Yes, ma'am. Well, the right way is the right 
way. So, Dr. Idriss, respectfully, I listened to your 
testimony. I felt that you painted quite a dystopian image of 
America's future. It seems like you were promoting positions 
that are quite contrary to the fundamental values that have 
made America great. I say this respectfully. I am sincerely 
curious as to your response. Do you believe that Americans 
should live free of Government oppression?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Of course I believe. I mean, I believe 
very much in the--thank you for the question, of course, Mr. 
Higgins. I do believe that, you know, our fundamental rights 
and protections, including freedom of speech and assembly. I 
mean, what I am talking about is equipping people with skills 
to make decisions that lead them to be less manipulated by bad 
    Mr. Higgins. OK. Let's engage a little bit about this.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Sure.
    Mr. Higgins. Because to me you presented a future of 
America with a great deal of big brother-type Government 
surveillance. You used the term that I had to look up. You 
called heteronormativity. Do you believe heteronormativity is a 
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. That term is----
    Mr. Higgins. It is a legitimate question.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. From a research report that 
is talking about the beliefs of Salafi-Jihadists and 
accelerationists, neo-Nazis and neo-fascists, so----
    Mr. Higgins. Well, as it----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. It is a----
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. As it----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. It is a research.
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. Relates--as it relates to 
American Government interaction in the lives of the citizenry 
that we serve that Americans we intend to live free. We intend 
to communicate freely. We intend to communicate freely across 
any platforms. We intend to travel the land freely.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Of course. Of course.
    Mr. Higgins. Some of us believe in American exceptionalism 
and America first policy. Do you believe, doctor, that American 
exceptionalism as a core belief, do you think that is a threat?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. No, I----
    Mr. Higgins. Do you find it threatening?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. Think that when I was 
talking about those components of the salad bar or the blurred 
ideologies, what I am talking about are ideas that are 
inspiring hateful and terrorist acts interact.
    Mr. Higgins. Hateful as determined by----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. But not from the Government.
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. By whom?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. By Salafi-Jihadists and neo-fascists. 
That is what that research was referring to by extremists and 
terrorists groups. This is not about--those terms were not 
referring to any components of legitimate mainstream 
governments or policies. Those are referring to----
    Mr. Higgins. OK.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. The ideologies----
    Mr. Higgins. So, you----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. Of extremists groups, not--
so, just to be clear, sorry, citing that prior research.
    Mr. Higgins. Well, yes, but extremists groups, Americans 
are being identified as members of extremists groups on this 
committee that is being openly discussed here today. Americans 
expressing free thought are being categorized as hateful 
Americans. It is incredible to me that language describing 
international terrorists who have identified themselves as 
contrary to the best interests of American citizens and 
America's future, have sworn to bring us down and to either 
convert us or destroy us. It is incredible to me that Americans 
expressing free thought across any platforms could be 
associated or equivocated with foreign national terrorists----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Well, I think what----
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. That work to destroy----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. We are talking about 
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. Our country.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Sure, please.
    Mr. Higgins. You also mentioned, I just wanted to ask you 
this before my time is----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Sure.
    Mr. Higgins [continuing]. Up. You mentioned early 
interventions. Should the Government intervene in the life of 
children being raised by parents in households that have 
particular principles, religious principles, including 
Christian principles?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. I do not believe the Government should 
be involved in any of the ideological----
    Mr. Higgins. Thank you.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. Beliefs of Americans.
    Mr. Higgins. Thank you, ma'am. I appreciate you clarifying 
some of your statement. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking Member, thank 
you very much. I yield.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman's time has expired. The 
Chair recognizes the gentleman from Rhode Island for 5 minutes, 
Mr. Langevin.
    Mr. Langevin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our 
witnesses today for their very sobering testimony on a very 
troubling, troubling issue. Anti-Semitism is something to be 
taken extremely seriously. Today's testimony has really 
underscored the alarming degree to which individuals can be 
radicalized by misinformation, disinformation, and 
malinformation, and motivated to commit extremist acts. I am 
concerned that this burgeoning digital extremism along with the 
increasing availability of hacking tools and malware as a 
service, business models could together increase the 
motivations and lower the technical threshold required for acts 
of cyber-enabled terrorism and sabotage against U.S. 
    I am also concerned about the prospects of organized 
terrorist groups specifically recruiting to increase their 
capacity for malicious cyber activity targeting U.S. persons, 
communities, institutions, and infrastructure. So, if I can 
start with Mr. Rasmussen, what capabilities in your opinion 
exist for the Government and multistakeholder community to 
analyze and share information about cyber-specific terrorist 
threats to the United States? I also wanted to ask, have 
observers identified pervasive on-line narratives or 
coordinated misinformation campaigns intended to encourage 
cyber attacks against U.S. persons, institutions, or 
    Mr. Rasmussen. Thank you for the question, Mr. Langevin. I 
mean, we have long known that--this goes back actually more to 
my time in Government service more than my current role. But we 
have long known that terrorist organizations, including some of 
the ones we have talked about in this hearing today, have the 
aspiration to carry out aggressive cyber operations against 
Western countries to include the United States. They have often 
not matched that aspiration with genuine capability. So, I 
think that is something our intelligence community who watches 
and monitors very carefully to see when that intention might 
translate into a real capability.
    From the technology company perspective, the companies that 
I work with, we work very closely with them to try to 
understand adversarial shifts. When particular terrorist 
organizations are moving in a particular direction so that 
companies can be aware and then be on the front foot to act 
against that activity. We lean into the academic world to help 
us do that. Because, again, so much of this conversation among 
extremists and terrorists takes place in the open-source world. 
Why don't I stop there.
    Mr. Langevin. OK, good, thank you. I wanted to ask, what 
about efforts among established or burgeoning extremist groups 
to recruit cyber talent to commit malicious cyber acts? Have 
you seen anything at that degree which is of concern to the 
    Mr. Rasmussen. Again, I draw more on my Government 
experience, when I was in the Classified world where that was a 
real phenomenon, Mr. Langevin. Obviously, as the cadre of 
violent extremists and terrorists becomes younger, they are, of 
course, more digitally literate and more digitally savvy. So, 
that kind of pool of recruits or adherence to those extremist 
ideologies who are available for that kind of work on behalf of 
a terrorist organization, is a bigger pool than perhaps we saw 
in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, for example. So, I would 
imagine that is a growing concern for my colleagues in 
    Mr. Langevin. Before my time expires, let me ask maybe we 
can answer this for all of our witnesses. How can Congress 
support on-going multistakeholder efforts to better understand 
and analyze the spread of radicalizing mis- and disinformation 
and extremist ideologies? Likewise, what opportunities are 
there for Congress to support on-going proposed initiatives to 
promote societal resilience against mis- and disinformation? We 
can start with one of our other witnesses and go until the time 
runs out.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. I can weigh in----
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, I----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Oh, go ahead, I'm sorry.
    Mr. Greenblatt. No, please.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. I can weigh in very quickly just to 
say--thank you for the question, Mr. Langevin. I think that 
when we are talking about a multistakeholder needs, what we see 
in other countries is often on these issues we have 9 to 12 
agencies involved. We really need at the very minimum, some 
sort of commission that brings in not just security and 
intelligence experts, but also educational, social work, health 
and human services, youth experts, people who really understand 
what makes for this kind of vulnerability and how people become 
susceptible to and can be dissuaded from those types of beliefs 
in addition to tech experts, et cetera. I don't think we can 
solve this just with the very important lens of law enforcement 
and security.
    Mr. Langevin. Very good. Thank you. I see my time's 
expired. So, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Bishop.
    Mr. Bishop. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Greenblatt, your 
policy recommendations in your testimony go under the rubric 
PROTECT, an acronym for a number of suggestions. Included among 
them is to oppose extremists in Government service. Then there 
is detail on this point on page 14 that says the ban should be 
extended to individuals engaged in violent extremist activity. 
I would be surprised if anybody would disagree with that. Some 
might want to be careful to limit that though to those who have 
engaged in serious violence and not inadvertently extend it to, 
for example, Scott Smith, arrested at the Loudon County School 
Board meeting after officials denied from the podium that his 
ninth-grade daughter had been raped and sodomized in a bathroom 
at school. But first, do you say that someone like that, like 
that example I just gave, should be barred from Federal, State, 
or local public service?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, Mr. Congressman, thank you for the 
question. I might just say to start this off, how much I 
appreciate Dr. Miller-Idriss for her leadership and her 
research on all of these issues. So, thank you, Dr. Miller-
Idriss. So, Mr. Congressman, I don't know the specifics of this 
gentleman at the school board, but I absolutely think--I 
absolutely think if you are involved in a White supremacist 
group, if you are involved in a group that threatens to 
overthrow the U.S. Government, you should not----
    Mr. Bishop. I just asked you about that one incident.
    Mr. Greenblatt [continuing]. You shouldn't serve in law 
    Mr. Bishop. Mr. Greenblatt, what about that? The one I just 
gave the example of? Someone who was arrested for resisting 
because he had something like that happen from a dais at a 
public meeting.
    Mr. Greenblatt. I just know--I don't know anything about 
this person, Mr. Congressman, and his background.
    Mr. Bishop. I understand. So, you are too----
    Mr. Greenblatt. If your information----
    Mr. Bishop [continuing]. Confident here to say that person 
should not be barred from Federal, State, or local service?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Yes, I really don't know enough to say. But 
the situation----
    Mr. Bishop. OK.
    Mr. Greenblatt [continuing]. With his daughter sounds 
    Mr. Bishop. Beyond that, you recommend that those 
associated with violent extremist movements should be barred. 
You applaud the DHS announcement that it will vet employees for 
``extremist sympathies.''
    Mr. Greenblatt. Yes.
    Mr. Bishop. So, you recommend barring not only the violent 
or even those who sympathize with the violent, but those who 
sympathize with movements that are associated with violence. Is 
that right?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Sure, if you have Nazi tattoos, or if you 
have KKK tattoos, I think that should be a disqualifier. Yes, I 
do believe that.
    Mr. Bishop. OK. How do you propose it be decided what it 
means for a movement to be associated with violence? Or whether 
a person sympathizes with the violent acts of a movement as 
opposed to its nonviolent views?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, Mr. Congressman, I would ask you if 
you had an intern who showed up with Nazi tattoos on his neck, 
would you think that person was qualified to represent you and 
your office in the United States Congress?
    Mr. Bishop. OK. Let me ask you something that maybe we can 
find to make it a little bit tougher than that obvious example.
    Mr. Greenblatt. OK.
    Mr. Bishop. You take extremism, on your website it says it 
is a concept used to describe religious, social, or political 
belief systems that exist substantially outside of belief 
systems more broadly accepted in society, i.e., mainstream 
beliefs. So, it is something out of the mainstream. It goes on 
beyond that. Then it comes to this sentence, which is 
interesting. Not every extremist movement is bad. The 
abolitionist movement is one example of an extreme movement 
that had admirable goals. But most extremists movements exist 
outside of the mainstream because may of their views or tactics 
are objectionable.
    All right, and here is another example, Mr. Greenblatt. 
Women's suffrage too was an extremist movement at one time, 
    Mr. Greenblatt. I don't know if I would characterize it 
that way, but it is certainly out of the mainstream in the----
    Mr. Bishop. OK. Out of the mainstream. There were 
proponents of it who used violence. Are you aware of that?
    Mr. Greenblatt. No, I am not aware of that.
    Mr. Bishop. OK. So, I was reading a book on Winston 
Churchill. They threw bricks at him. There was a bombing or 
two. This was in Europe. I don't know all the details of it 
here. So, how would you--would you then say that anybody who is 
associated with women's suffrage would be then barred from--or 
sympathize with it, would be barred from Government service?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, I certainly think if you believe it 
is appropriate to bomb Government buildings or to assault prime 
ministers, you shouldn't be in Government service, yes. I don't 
    Mr. Bishop. But I am asking you for something a little more 
refined than that.
    Mr. Greenblatt. OK.
    Mr. Bishop. Someone who sympathizes with the women's 
suffrage movement and then some people who are advocates of 
women's suffrage or activists for it engaged in some violence. 
Does that mean the person who sympathizes with the movement 
should be barred from Government service?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, I most certainly think if you are 
unable to disassociate yourself with movements that espouse 
violence or supremacy of any group, yes, you should be barred 
from Government service. You can support women's----
    Mr. Bishop. I am not asking you to----
    Mr. Greenblatt [continuing]. Suffrage and not support 
harming Government officials.
    Mr. Bishop. Sure. I think what you are posing is easy. What 
is hard is how do you say that or who judges and by what 
standard whether they have adequately disassociated themselves 
with the violent acts of some extremists associated with the 
movement, but not the broader goals of the movement?
    Mr. Greenblatt. It is a fair question. So, again, I am--
like if we talk about al-Qaeda, we talk about ISIS, we talk 
about some of the horrific anti-Israel people out there who say 
the Jewish State is committing genocide. You know, Mr. 
Congressman, I don't think they belong as interns in your 
office or any public office for that matter. That is just I 
feel very strongly about that. That kind of extremism should 
have no place.
    Mr. Bishop. I join you, sir. I think the problem is that 
the margins, you have raised a lot of very difficult questions, 
and you pose the possibility of imposing very significantly on 
fundamental Constitutional freedoms. Your recommendation does 
not include much of a road map in terms of how to separate that 
out. My time has expired. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I yield 
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Correa, for 5 
    Mr. Correa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Can you help me, OK? 
Can you hear me?
    Chairman Thompson. Yes, we can.
    Mr. Correa. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and our 
Ranking Member. In 2017, White nationalists marched in the 
United the Right rally and flooded our television screens with 
images of neo-Nazism and Klan paraphernalia. The result, one 
person killed and 35 injured. Following the attack in 
Charlottesville, I was the first Member of Congress to call for 
action, to demand action. Any American lost whether here or 
overseas is a tragedy. It is a crime. We have to act as 
Congress and as a Nation.
    We continue to have these issues over and over again in our 
country. Today, this is an important issue because as much as 
we want things to get better, I just don't feel in my heart and 
my gut that this country is coming together. I know that we 
continue to have hate speech, hate ideology, and social media 
continues to be the breeding ground for this kind of thought. 
So, my question to all the panelists today, when it comes to 
social media, Section 230, immunity, responsibility, liability, 
what are your thoughts? Mr. Roggio.
    Chairman Thompson. Unmute yourself. You need to unmute 
    Mr. Roggio. My apologies. It is a very good question. You 
know, the question, we all know what the easy answer to hate 
speech is. But what is the difference, what happens when 
political speech that you disagree with becomes defined as hate 
speech? Who defines what is hate speech? This is where I have 
very grave concerns. I realize this is a little bit out of the 
area of my expertise here. But I certainly have a very strong 
opinion on this. I know this from looking at what Jihadist 
groups are doing. You know, it is a fine line to say, you know, 
I mean, here is an idea that I disagree with and this is 
actually hate speech. Who gets to be the gatekeeper to define 
what is and isn't hate speech?
    Mr. Correa. But at the same time, we do need to make some 
value judgments. Mr. Greenblatt, thoughts?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Thank you for asking me the question. So, 
publishers make these decisions every day, Mr. Congressman. 
From the New York Times to Newsweek to NBC to every which way 
because they have liability concerns. I am going to credit 
Congressman Malinowski who I believe is on this committee and 
Congresswoman Eshoo. Their Protecting Americans from Dangerous 
Algorithms Act removes immunity from liability when the 
algorithms amplify recommended content, OK?
    So, there is just no question that you can say there has 
always a lunatic fringe, Mr. Congressman. We just need to keep 
them on the fringe. I think the Eshoo-Malinowski Act would go a 
long way to removing liability when algorithms bring it out of 
the fringe. Just make the companies play by the same rules that 
every other media company in America plays by and that will 
take care of the issue before this would occur.
    Mr. Correa. Mr. Greenblatt, let me focus right now on that 
specific question.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mm-hmm.
    Mr. Correa. Separation, definition, at what point does that 
freedom of speech essentially translate into yelling fire in a 
crowded theatre? What point do you cross that line? How do you 
see that?
    Mr. Greenblatt. The way I see it is the companies have to 
make decisions about what voices they choose to privilege and 
publish, just like, you know, you are in Anaheim, I think. The 
Anaheim Bee has to decide what articles it puts or what essay 
they put in op-ed page. The decisions on what letters they 
publish. They make those decisions every day, Mr. Congressman, 
with great effectiveness. If you can't get your letter 
published in the Anaheim Bee, then you can go do it somewhere 
else. So, the same rules should apply here.
    Mr. Correa. Let me say that I concur with you because you 
know hate speech when you see it, so to speak. When you read an 
op-ed, when you read something, write something that is clearly 
designed to incite hate, anger, violence, you know it's wrong. 
I am hoping we, as a legislative body, are able to come up with 
some rules and a strong message to social media saying this 
cannot be tolerated, respecting the First Amendment, but this 
kind of hateful division that speaks and divides our Nation 
cannot be tolerated.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Just make them liable, Mr. Congressman. 
Just make them liable and it will change overnight.
    Mr. Correa. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I am out of 
time. I yield.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Van Drew, for 5 
    Mr. Van Drew. Thank you, Chairman Thompson and Ranking 
Member Katko. Thank you to the witnesses for testifying today. 
Dr. Miller-Idriss, in your report, you go into great detail 
about how far-right terrorism and violent extremism are 
escalating rapidly across the United States and how they pose a 
severe threat to our country's democracy. I read through your 
entire 13-page testimony and could not help but notice that not 
once, not one single time, did you mention Antifa, Black Lives 
Matters, or any other leftist extremist organization or 
movement and their contributions to political violence and 
political unrest.
    Your own definition of terrorism included in your written 
testimony is, ``the use of violence in order to intimidate or 
coerce civilians or influence the policies of Government.'' You 
did not discuss these organizations. Coordinated efforts, which 
led to the Federal courthouse damage in Portland, Oregon during 
the summer of 2020, during which 18 rioters were arrested. Or 
the $50 million worth of damage that left rioters cost to the 
city of Kenosha, Wisconsin in the year 2020.
    You also did not address the fact that the cofounder of 
Black Lives Matters who is a self-proclaimed Marxist has 
publicly called for the destruction of the nuclear family and 
the structure of the nuclear family and the National defunding 
of police. And has used the organization to promote its 
policies using violence on multiple occasions. Can you please 
help me understand what part of these groups' actions have been 
unworthy of your attention? Can you explain to me and this 
committee whether you think any of these examples constitute or 
contribute to violent extremism?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you, Mr. Van Drew, for the 
question. I do think that we have to be concerned about rising 
far-right--sorry--rising violence from the far left as well as 
from the far right. I believe the FBI's testimony earlier last 
year indicated that there were 800 investigations into criminal 
activity related to the summer of 2020 protests and that there 
have been 250 arrests. I think that those figures are 
important. I think the CSIS data has also shown trending upward 
violence coming from the far left that we should be pay 
attention to given the history in which in the 1970's, of 
course, far-right terrorism was the predominant form of 
terrorism. We know that because of evolving trends, these 
things can change at any time.
    I focus on the far right in my testimony or these terms or 
one of the terminology issues, I think, that Mr. Bishop raised 
is that we don't really have a good universal definition of 
extremism even across our own agencies. But one of the reasons 
why I focus on the far right here is because both under the 
Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security 
and then the Office of the Director of National Intelligence 
after the January 6 events, declared that unlawful militia 
movements and White supremacist extremists pose the most lethal 
and pressing threat to the Nation from within the domestic 
violent extremism spectrum. So, to the extent----
    Mr. Van Drew. I understand you had----
    Ms. Miller-Idriss [continuing]. That as long as that data 
is there, that is where we have to focus our efforts on the 
domestic side, of course.
    Mr. Van Drew. I thank you for that. I would just maintain 
that in general, that we be fair and even-handed at how we look 
at this because there are problems on both sides. I am not 
saying there aren't problems, but those problems exist on both 
sides. I think we should deal with that in a fair and even-
handed way.
    Mr. Greenblatt, something that comes to mind with me 
because whenever Government steps in and takes a people's 
rights away, it is a very tender and sensitive issue. It is 
really difficult. It is not easy. Because our rights are so 
very important. No, I wouldn't hire somebody with Nazi symbols 
going down their neck or anything of that nature and either 
would you. I think either would anybody on this panel. But the 
real quick question I have for you is how about somebody who 
really believes in Black Lives Matters or even in what Antifa 
did, but otherwise has a good record, what would you do with 
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, look, I got to be honest, you are 
entirely correct, Mr. Congressman. Violence is not the sole 
domain of any one extremist movement. It is an issue across the 
spectrum. The people who would burn down stores and the people 
who would deface Government buildings, the people who would 
commit these acts, they need to be identified, arrested, and 
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. No, I wouldn't 
hire any Antifa, you know, enthusiast as an intern or as an 
employee at ADL, to be perfectly honest with you. I don't know 
that any have ever applied. But I certainly would not want 
anyone espousing violence in my organization, period, end of 
    Mr. Van Drew. OK. Thank you. I am glad to see that it seems 
that hopefully maybe we are on a close to a same page on that. 
I just would like equal attention given to both. Thank you.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Van Drew. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from 
Michigan, Ms. Slotkin, for 5 minutes.
    Ms. Slotkin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and for our witnesses 
joining us. You know, I have been listening to the conversation 
and as someone who is a former CIA analyst and Pentagon 
official, I spent my time, you know, focusing on foreign 
terrorist organizations, particularly from the Middle East, 
including al-Qaeda. It just seems like when we are talking 
about foreign terrorist organizations and the use of violence 
against American citizens abroad or threatening our homeland, 
there is significant agreement on the need to prevent that and 
on, frankly, on the extreme work that continues to go on, 
largely below the headline level by our intelligence community, 
by our military, by a whole bunch of folks who have never taken 
their eye off the ball. I am conscious that we haven't had 
another major attack after 9/11, which still is kind-of amazing 
to me.
    But the minute we start talking about threats to American 
citizens inside our own borders, it becomes deeply political. I 
think the thing that, I guess, affects me as a CIA officer is 
that we have to go by the data. While folks like Mr. Van Drew 
are talking about an even-handed approach, I have no problem if 
a group on the left is using violence, go after them. But the 
data reflects, the data from like the director of the FBI, not 
some group that is political, that the vast majority of those 
cases of domestic terrorism are coming from the far right. They 
are mixing, many of them, not all, many of them are mixing 
their ideology with anti-Semitism and White supremacy.
    So, I guess, I am concerned that it feels like such a hard 
thing to talk about threats to American citizens because they 
are Americans perpetrating the attacks. It is still a threat to 
safety. According to the head of the FBI, it is a bigger threat 
than foreign domestic terrorism right now. So, I just felt like 
I needed to say that.
    That said, the similarities between extremists and this 
ladder of escalation that they climb from being kind-of regular 
old Joe to feeling like they need to commit violence against 
another group or another person is strikingly similar between 
foreign terrorists and domestic terrorists, that ladder of 
escalation. Social media like you said, I think, Jonathan, is 
rocket fuel on that climb up that ladder.
    My question is this, as someone who comes from a State with 
a lot of militia problems, extremism problems, many who were 
arrested participating in January 6. Has anyone seen anything 
that works that deprograms people and takes someone who 
threatens violence against another person or another group and 
gets them from that to back to healthy American citizen in a 
multiethnic place? I never saw it successfully done on the 
foreign terrorism side. So, starting maybe with Mr. Rasmussen 
and then going to Cynthia and Jonathan, please tell me is there 
a model that works? Because this is like affecting our 
communities at the grassroots level.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Thanks, Congresswoman Slotkin, thank you. It 
is great to see you and I am happy to try to contribute to this 
conversation. When dealing with social media companies or 
technology platforms, we always tend to focus on what they 
should be stopping or taking down or preventing on their 
platforms. Of course, that makes sense for all the reasons we 
have been talking about. But some of the work we are doing at 
GIFCT brings those same companies together to talk about how to 
better structure positive interventions on-line to try to 
intervene in that cycle, that radicalization process that you 
just described. That needs to be to your point, a data-driven 
effort because you can wing it and not necessarily know that 
you are achieving results. So, one of the things we are trying 
to do is bring companies together, bring the academic community 
into that conversation, and begin with a research-driven agenda 
that tells us, OK, what works? How can you redirect someone? 
What kind of platform intervention? Is it an ad placed off the 
side that says, if you need help call this number. Or if you 
feel disenfranchised or at odds with the society you live in, 
you know, reach out for help in this way. The prevention 
architecture might be what we need to think about here.
    Ms. Slotkin. Yes, and I am going--I know I went long, so, I 
am going to ask that Mr. Greenblatt and Ms. Miller address, 
just send me, if you have good data to send me because I am, 
frankly, very interested in that. I just would say on the 
social media companies, is it true that the more extreme the 
article on the right or the left, the more clicks it gets? 
Therefore, these companies do not want to take this content 
down because it gets them more clicks and more engagement.
    Mr. Greenblatt. It is----
    Ms. Slotkin. Is that----
    Mr. Greenblatt. I will volunteer. It is true. If it bleeds, 
it leads, we learn from social media, right? So, the clicks are 
driven, Congresswoman Slotkin, by the most sensationalist, 
scary, terrifying content. It travels far and wide. Change the 
business model, you would change the behavior. Make them liable 
for what they promote, you would change the behavior.
    Ms. Slotkin. Thank you. I know my time has expired. Thank 
you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The gentlelady's time has 
expired. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Mississippi 
for 5 minutes, Mr. Guest. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady 
from Iowa, Mrs. Miller-Meeks. Unmute yourself.
    Mrs. Miller-Meeks. I did. It just didn't unmute or clicked 
too much and it remuted. But thank you very much, Chair 
Thompson. Mr. Roggio, during the Biden administration's 
incompetent disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, as a 24-
year military member, I don't know what else to call that, they 
described the Taliban as a partner in its retreat. It came to 
light that U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of 
American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies to 
grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of 
Kabul's airport, naively putting our allies and friends at the 
mercy of a terrorist organization if they did not get into the 
perimeter and get evacuated. What impact did this have on 
Afghans who were left behind?
    Mr. Roggio. Yes, this was a horrific decision amongst the 
many horrific decisions. Yes, as a former military person and 
every person in the military I have spoken to who was not 
involved with the withdrawal, it was, indeed, has been 
characterized a debacle. We can see it as the Taliban 
immediately took control of the country and was taking control 
of the country as we were drawing down. It was a direct 
causation. We leave, the Taliban take control.
    The decision to hand over names was horrific. I was 
involved with helping American citizens get out of Afghanistan, 
as well as Afghans who had helped us in-country. So, people who 
were vetted who had the special immigration visa and things of 
that nature, as it was happening. As a matter of fact, the day 
after the withdrawal, I was helping an American family of 5 
with 3 small children. They tried to get to the airport 4 
times. It was on the fourth try that they were able to get out. 
Think about dragging your 3 small children through the chaotic 
streets of Kabul with the Taliban prowling the streets and 
having to turn back from your own embassy.
    But the people who were there, the people who had been 
left, those names, the names of their family members, are out 
there. The Taliban is currently hunting members of the military 
and members of the government who supported the coalition, who 
supported us. They are hunting our allies.
    The United Nations recently issued a report saying about 
100 former Afghan soldiers and officials have been killed. That 
number is--that is the number they can confirm. I hear stories, 
and hear, you know, from very credible sources that these 
numbers is very likely in the thousands. So, when we gave the 
names of Afghans who were working with us who we wanted to slip 
past to the Taliban, the Taliban gets a registry. If they 
didn't already know that there were individuals who were being 
hunted, they have that information. These people are living in 
fear 4+ months after the U.S. withdrawal. They will live in 
fear of the Taliban coming and taking them away until either it 
happens or they are able to leave the country.
    Mrs. Miller-Meeks. Yes, and I think that underscores the 
point you made about trying to conduct Over the Horizon 
counterterrorism, what this does to our ability to do 
intelligence gathering, or to do counterterrorist measures with 
no eyes on Iran, Russia, or the Chinese Communist Party, and 
then betraying our allies as well as our military and American 
citizens and their families in Afghanistan by this botched 
withdrawal and whether or not they can trust the United States 
again and their word to be able to remove all of its citizens 
and help our partners.
    Myself and many other military members in a bipartisan way 
had been pushing the administration since earlier in the year 
in April to, you know, process SIVs, to begin that process of 
trying to get Americans, their spouses, and family members and 
our Afghan interpreter allies out of Afghanistan. So, I think 
it very much underscores how we have hampered ourself going 
forward in order to conduct counterterrorism, especially in the 
Middle East. Mr. Rasmussen----
    Mr. Roggio. If I may,--oh, I'm sorry.
    Mrs. Miller-Meeks. If I have time, Chair. Mr. Rasmussen, we 
have seen unprecedented increases in migrant travel patterns at 
the United States Southwest Border including migrants from all 
over the world and known or suspected terrorists at a level we 
have never seen before, quoting former border patrol chief. CBP 
has encountered over 2 million migrants at the border in fiscal 
year 2021, which is another record-breaking number for the 
Biden administration. Courageous members of our Border Patrol 
are stretched thin and criminals are taking advantage of the 
situation to partake in human trafficking and drug smuggling 
and we know and has been documented that also terrorist 
organizations and transnational organizations are taking 
advantage of the lax border efforts. Has GIFCT noticed any 
correlation to digital activities by transnational criminal 
organizations? When we make trips to the border, we have been 
notified that criminal organizations are using TikTok and other 
social media in order to recruit.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Thank you for the question. I am not sure I 
can point to any clear trends that we have seen in the use of 
on-line engagement by individuals or groups trying to cross the 
Southern Border for nefarious purposes. But it is something we 
can take up with our academic network, which tracks this very 
closely, or tracks world-wide activity very closely. Again, 
often the effort is to try to figure out platforms they are 
operating on because, again, they know they are risk of 
scrutiny from U.S. law enforcement when they operate on 
mainstream platforms.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    Mrs. Miller-Meeks. Thank you. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Texas, Mr. Green, for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Green. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Am I audible?
    Chairman Thompson. You are.
    Mr. Green. Thank you very much. Mr. Greenblatt, I thought 
of you this morning. I was reading an article on how the 
Holocaust moved from concentration camps to Jewish victims. I 
credit it was some time ago, but still relevant. But today, I 
want to visit with you about this phenomenon known as the salad 
bar. This salad bar concept has persons who have different 
ideologies that would ordinarily be antithetical to each other, 
they can find a way to put aside their differences and ideology 
and work together for a common cause, a common evil cause, I 
might add. This was expressed by the supremacists in the 
adherence to some of these ideologies related to persons who 
are about the country as they talked about what happened to 
Jewish people. I am concerned about it and would like to get 
your opinion as to how concerned are you with reference to this 
and what is the impact of this? If you would, please.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, look, I think when FBI Director Wray 
talked about the salad bar concept in his testimony, he was 
describing this very real phenomenon, Mr. Congressman, where in 
the past people were, you know, curated in a specific movement 
over a long period of time. But now, thanks to social media, 
thanks to these different services, they can go and grab like 
walking through a grocery store and take all these crazy ideas. 
But there are some ideas, Mr. Congressman, that seem to be 
permanent in these views.
    No. 1, there is an anti-Semitism at the beating heart of 
White supremacy, QAnon, accelerationism. All these other kind 
of movements, believe that there is a cabal of Jews running the 
world or they have overtaken the Government. No. 2, that 
African Americans, Black Americans, are inferior to the White 
race and a driver of White genocide. This is a widely-held view 
amongst people on the far right. So, it may be that al-Qaeda 
and the White supremacists share this hateful view of Jews, but 
the racism of the White supremacists, Mr. Congressman, is 
something that is diabolical and deeply frightening. These 
ideas just boomerang off of one another. The third idea is that 
migrants, immigrants from abroad, are coming here to somehow 
change the country. Mexicans, Muslims, people from Asia, it 
goes on and on.
    So, these different ideas create a very toxic and explosive 
mix that we have seen lead to the murder of people. You know, 
again, I think about Texas. I think about El Paso. I think 
about what almost happened in Colleyville. I think about what 
you have had to endure in your community. You know what I am 
talking about.
    Mr. Green. Yes, sir, I do. It would seem to me that given 
this phenomenon, that we have to make sure that we are 
together. That we don't allow lines of division to exist among 
people who have common enemies.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Yes.
    Mr. Green. I think that we can't silo. I can't decide that 
I am just going to fight racism because that is what impacts 
me. At some point, there has to be this reality, this 
realization that the common enemy has to be addressed by people 
who are being impacted with a common message. We all have to 
have a similar message to deal with this enemy that we 
    Mr. Greenblatt. Absolutely, racism is not your problem as a 
Black man. It is my problem too as a White man. Like anti-
Semitism isn't just my problem as a Jew. It is your problem too 
as a non-Jew. So, you are right, we are all in this together.
    Mr. Green. Well, I do thank you. If you get a chance, check 
the article out, How the Holocaust Moved from Concentration 
Camps to Jewish Victims' Homes.
    Mr. Greenblatt. I will.
    Mr. Green. Very powerful in the Washington Post. Thank you 
very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from Mississippi for 5 minutes, Mr. 
    Mr. Guest. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Roggio, I want to 
visit with you just a few moments on something that I heard you 
mention in your opening statement. Something that was also 
addressed a few moments ago by Dr. Meeks, which is the 
withdrawal from Afghanistan. In your opening statement, I 
believe you said that it was a major propaganda victory. I know 
in the written testimony that you prepared you refer to it as 
being disastrous. You go on to say that the U.S. withdrawal 
from Afghanistan led to the immediate collapse of the Afghan 
government and military and the swift return of power to the 
Taliban. You then go on to say later that the Taliban alliance 
with al-Qaeda has not been broken but, in fact, has been 
strengthened as it forged in 20 years of war against the United 
States and its allies. Afghanistan is again a safe haven for 
    Then the following paragraph you talk about America's 
abandonment of Afghanistan has created what you refer to as 
second- and third-order effects on our allies, our adversaries, 
and our enemies. You say America's adversaries and enemies now 
sense weakness and they are seeking to divide to drive wedges 
between America and her allies. The desire to end the so-called 
endless war in Afghanistan has called into question America's 
commitments to its allies and its leadership on the global 
    So, what I would like to ask you and give you a few minutes 
to expand upon is first, the short- and the long-term impacts 
that the Afghanistan withdrawal will have on threats to our 
homeland. Then more in a broader stage, the impact that this 
will have on America's leadership on the international stage.
    Mr. Roggio. Sure. I am going to take the second question 
first, the impact on the international stage. American allies 
were deeply shaken by the U.S. withdrawal. We have, you know, 
look, there has been news report after news report about how 
our allies were upset and felt left in the dark by the United 
States. It was a unilateral decision to withdraw. The reality 
is that President Biden made the decision to leave Afghanistan 
and NATO allies and other allies and partners who were in 
Afghanistan they were not able to maintain a presence without 
the United States. So, the United States made the decision and 
they had no choice but to follow through. NATO and other 
countries could not stay in Afghanistan without a U.S. presence 
because we provided the bulk of the forces, the security, the 
maintaining of the large air bases, things of that nature.
    So, yes, this is an issue and we are seeing it develop in 
the Ukraine issue. We are having allies speak to Russia sidebar 
without the United States. In negotiations with Iran, the 
European countries are talking to Iran directly and the United 
States is sidelined. This is all a direct result of countries 
being concerned about U.S. leadership.
    As far as our adversaries and enemies go, immediately after 
the withdrawal from Afghanistan, this was reported in the press 
as well, they were--Russia and China were issuing whisper 
campaigns to countries like North Korea and the Ukraine and 
other allies and partners of the United States. Can you count 
on the United States to be there for you? Look what they did to 
their so-called partner in Afghanistan. This could be you next. 
So, this is the second- and third-order effects that I was 
referring to in my written testimony.
    As far as the short- and medium- and long-term impact of 
the Afghanistan being under control of the Taliban, again, the 
key issue to me here is safe haven. Al-Qaeda was able to carry 
out and execute 9/11 because of its safe haven in Afghanistan. 
It was plotted, financed, and recruits were gathered. Many of 
the recruits from 9/11, they were people who fought on 
battlefields in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban who attended 
al-Qaeda training camps. The 9/11 Commission Report is very 
clear that safe haven is a key function. So, the greater the 
safe haven that Jihadist groups have, the greater their ability 
to plot and execute attacks against the U.S. homeland.
    Afghanistan isn't just partially controlled by the Taliban 
as it was pre-9/11. Remember you had the Northern Alliance 
contesting about or controlling about 10 to 15 percent of the 
country and in battle with the Taliban. So, the Taliban and al-
Qaeda had to devote resources to fighting the Northern 
Alliance. That doesn't exist anymore. Now, al-Qaeda can devote 
its resources to launch what is called external operations. 
These operations may not just be directed at the U.S. homeland. 
These can be directed at U.S. military bases overseas, U.S. 
businesses overseas, or just civilians overseas. But 
ultimately, al-Qaeda wants to establish a caliphate. 
Afghanistan is the first of many emirates or States within its 
caliphate. It is a massive blow to the United States in short-
term. You know, I think what we are seeing is al-Qaeda is 
organizing and sort-of reaping the benefits. It is sort-of the 
mid- and long-term that I really am concerned about the 
Taliban's control of Afghanistan and al-Qaeda's role in that.
    Mr. Guest. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield 
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from California, Mr. Swalwell, for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Swalwell. Thank you, Chairman. I actually agree with 
Mr. Roggio that Afghanistan was an absolute disaster. If this 
committee has time, we should have hearings on why Donald 
Trump, the twice-impeached former President, released 5,000 
Taliban troops and set such a public withdrawal date. So, he 
and I are aligned there, Chairman.
    But today we are here to talk about the evolving realities 
of terrorist threats to the United States. I wanted to draw the 
committee's attention and some of the witnesses to an article 
that I published last year in the Harvard Journal on 
Legislation, titled, ``Homeland Security 20 Years after 
September 11 Addressing Evolving Threats.'' I laid out and 
proposed that domestic terrorism has become a more complex, 
more diverse, and more disbursed threat. I would ask Dr. 
Cynthia Miller-Idriss, if you agree with the premise that 
domestic terrorism is now the largest threat to the homeland?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Yes, I believe the data on that is very 
clear, thank you.
    Mr. Swalwell. I would also like your expertise in tracking 
global terrorism on the internet and its overall effect on the 
United States. Do you agree that we must adapt our National 
security focus to address anti-Government extremism and White 
supremacy violent groups?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Yes, I think that it is imperative that 
we do so.
    Mr. Swalwell. Mr. Rasmussen.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Any ideologically-driven movement that would 
result in violence or terrorist activity directed at innocent 
populations is, of course, worthy of that level of scrutiny and 
policy attention.
    Mr. Swalwell. Dr. Miller-Idriss, given what is happening in 
Ukraine and as Russia is amassing both cyber efforts and ground 
troops for a potential invasion there, what can you share about 
how this geopolitical conflict is being characterized by far-
right violent extremist groups?
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you for the question. I think like 
any other geopolitical conflict, we see that there are 
potential ripple effects for terrorist actors and extremist 
actors. In this case, on the White supremacist extremist side, 
we have already been seeing quite a bit of chatter on-line 
including dedicated chat rooms talking, spewing really, anti-
Semitic conspiracy theories about the conflict and about 
Ukraine's leadership being Jewish. I think we can see the ways 
in which it is fueling both recruitment efforts, invitations to 
come train for White supremacists foreign fighters, and the 
potential for further instability, in fact, in other parts of 
the region.
    So, it is very early. We don't know how that will all pan 
out. I don't want to sound overly alarmist. But I think that it 
is something that should be watched closely.
    Mr. Swalwell. Mr. Greenblatt, is there value in America's 
leaders in condemning violent rhetoric among different groups 
in America that try and associate with one political party or 
    Mr. Greenblatt. There is no question, Mr. Congressman, that 
we need elected officials, policy makers, and public figures of 
all sorts to call out extremism whenever it happens. In 
particular, I will just say we need, you know, conservative 
voices to call it out when it comes from the right. We need 
progressive voices to call it out when it comes from the left. 
We need Jewish voices to call it out when you hear Jewish 
extremism. Muslim voices when we hear Islamist extremism. All 
of us have a responsibility to do this.
    Mr. Swalwell. I agree. It was suggested earlier that, you 
know, there is not a condemnation of Antifa. Let make it clear 
that I absolutely denounce Antifa. I denounce any violence used 
in the name of any political movement that associates with 
democratic politics. I would hope that my Republican colleagues 
could denounce the Proud Boys and could denounce the Oath 
Keepers and could denounce the whatever percenters group that 
is out there. Also, could denounce this crazy idea that the 
former President would give pardons to people who were at the 
Capitol on January 6 carrying a confederate flag or were part 
of group or mob that killed a police officer.
    So, I do agree with you, Mr. Greenblatt, that it takes both 
sides. I will make sure that you and others hold me accountable 
when there are groups on the left who engage in violence or 
violent rhetoric and make sure that we loudly condemn it. I 
would just invite my colleagues across the aisle to do the same 
because I think we will be safer as a country when that 
happens. I will give you the last word.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mr. Congressman, I will just give you a 
data point. You know, at ADL we track extremist-related 
murders. In the past decade we found one Antifa adherent was 
involved in murder. That happened in 2020. Whereas right-wing 
extremists have been involved in 75 percent of the 429, you 
know, domestic extremist-related murders in the United States. 
OK. Domestic Islamists extremists, 20 percent. So, just to put 
it in perspective, like Antifa, sure is it a problem in theory, 
but in practice the White nationalists, the armed militia 
enthusiasts, the QAnon adherence, the accelerationists, et 
cetera, these literally are a threat to the homeland in a way 
that dwarfs anything else.
    Mr. Swalwell. Well said. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentlelady from Tennessee, Mrs. Harshbarger, for 
5 minutes.
    Mrs. Harshbarger. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the 
witnesses for being here today. I want to start with Mr. 
Roggio. Throughout this Afghanistan evacuation and relocation 
efforts, there has been major concerns that terrorists would 
exploit this chaotic environment. Of course, they did. On 
August 26, an ISIS-K affiliated suicide bomber, who was 
released from a high security prison, killed 13 of our 
servicemen and -women. I have a question. I do want to preface 
that by telling you that the question is this: Do you have a 
sense of where those individuals disbursed to? How many have 
resumed their participation in terrorist plots around the 
world? That question comes to you because in a recent hearing, 
I asked Secretary Mayorkas whether or not he believed these 
prisoners posed a threat at the Southern Border by illegally 
crossing. He absolutely said, no, Congresswoman, I do not. So, 
what are your thoughts of where these men have ended up?
    Mr. Roggio. So, the answer to your question is we really 
don't know where they have ended up. Again, our visibility in 
Afghanistan has dropped to near zero. We have very little 
information about where the prisoners who have escaped those 
prisons have left.
    I have seen things like Osama bin Laden's former security 
chief who was not detained. He was hiding in Pakistan, return 
to his home in a parade that was held by the Taliban. Now, 
Osama bin Laden's security chief who defended him at the Battle 
of Tora Bora. That is a very significant individual who is out 
there now. Is he back involved in al-Qaeda's global operations? 
We don't know the answer to that.
    That is what is most frightening to me is that we don't 
know what is happening in Afghanistan today. But we do know 
that historically al-Qaeda has committed to--it said that it--
it is a very patient organization. I go back to Congressman 
Katko in his opening statement, he talked about Ramzi bin al-
Shibh and after the attack, the first attack on the World Trade 
Center, he was helicoptered past the World Trade Center. An FBI 
agent, the story goes, the FBI agent said to him, look, those 
towers are still standing. He said, yes, but we will try again. 
They will be coming down. That happened what 7, 8 years later. 
Al-Qaeda members don't retire. The Islamic State they fight and 
rage Jihad until they are either killed or they are infirmed. 
This is it. We know they are not going to stop plotting against 
    What I believe has happened now is in the short term, they 
are operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Taliban is 
consolidating its gains. Al-Qaeda is helping the Taliban with 
that. Al-Qaeda is patient. It doesn't need to attack us today, 
tomorrow, or next week, or even next year to be that threat. 
That is what we--that was the lesson of 9/11. They tried to 
take down the World Trade Center 8 years before it actually 
happened. This is a patient organization. Our lack of 
visibility into the situation inside of Afghanistan is a direct 
threat to the U.S. homeland.
    Mrs. Harshbarger. Well, you know, I am looking at this 
briefing. It says, just a few weeks ago CNN reported that 5 
detainees who had been held at Guantanamo for more than a 
decade have been cleared for release. With these, 18 out of the 
currently 39 detainees have been cleared for transfer and are 
eligible for release pending diplomatic arrangements. The 
diplomatic process is under way to work a transfer or 
repatriate them as appropriate, said John Kirby, the DOD 
spokesman. So, where is the accountability? How do we track 
those individuals that will now be sent or repatriated? What 
should we be looking for?
    Mr. Roggio. There never have been accountability on this 
issue. At one point in time, the Department of Defense put the 
recidivism rate of Guantanamo detainee release back into the 
wild at somewhere around 30 to 40 percent. Again, that is an 
optimistic assessment that you are going to get from the 
Department of Defense. The number is very much likely, is much 
likely very higher. Former Gitmo detainees who were released, 
members of the Taliban, immediately joined the group. They 
became part of the negotiating team. Historically, the 
recidivism rate among Guantanamo Bay detainees is quite high. 
So, unless they are arrested into the countries that they are 
released to, which very often does not happen, they will return 
to wage Jihad at some point or another.
    Mrs. Harshbarger. Yes.
    Mr. Roggio. Again, this is a part of the lack of visibility 
on this. Many of these detainees are released and we don't know 
what is happening. I have personal experience with one 
Guantanamo detainee when I was embedded with the U.S. military 
as a reporter in Iraq. A Guantanamo detainee who we released to 
Kuwait became a suicide bomber at a base that I was at just 2 
days prior. I was on scene there. It was one of the largest 
suicide attacks in Iraq in its history. It left a massive 
crater. It looked like the Kansas City bombings. That is what 
happens to these Gitmo detainees in one way or another, they 
wind up rejoining the fight.
    Mrs. Harshbarger. Yes, they never retire. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired. The 
Chair recognizes the gentlelady from New Jersey, Mrs. Watson 
Coleman, for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Hi. Can you hear me, Chairman? Thank 
you. First of all, I want to thank you for this hearing. It has 
been very illuminating. I want to thank all of the witnesses. 
Mr. Roggio, I do want to agree with you about how we mishandled 
the Afghanistan move. But I want us to get beyond that in this 
discussion today because I think primarily we are concerned 
about this convergence of extremism that seems to target 
people, the same kind of people, the same anti-authority 
issues, even if they don't share the same ideology. It is very 
concerning to someone like me, a Black woman in America. I see 
it from the school boards now. Whoever thought you would see 
that kind of just abuse and potential violence at school boards 
all the way up to the Capitol and beyond.
    I am very concerned that since the January 5 to today, 
which is the second day of celebrating Black History Month, 
that there have been bomb threats at 15 HBCUs. I have no HBCU 
in my district or in the State of New Jersey, but I have a lot 
of students that go there because the majority of our Black 
students that get educated from doctors, lawyers, to undergrads 
go to the HBCUs.
    Clearly, I am disappointed that I am not seeing enough 
coverage of it. That it doesn't seem to take on the kind of 
media interest that other situations have. That is very 
disappointing. But Dr. Miller, I am certain that you all find 
this very alarming. Mr. Rasmussen, I am sure that you all find 
this very alarming and that you are paying attention to what is 
happening on the various platforms of sharing information.
    So, I would like to know to what extent we know anything 
about sort-of any coordination, any similarities in who is 
involved, and are we significantly recognizing this as the 
terrorist threat it is the way we recognize, rightfully so, 
anti-Semitic terrorist threats, terrorist threats against 
Asians, terrorist threats against Muslims, terrorists threats 
against African Americans. It is particularly disturbing and 
disgusting that it is happening at the same month that we stand 
apart and take note of all the contributions of African 
Americans in making this country the great country it is. So, I 
would love for you to respond, Dr. Miller and you, Mr. 
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you for the question, 
Congresswoman. It is especially abhorrent to see these bomb 
threats coming in during Black History Month. I would say that 
although right now we don't know and our definition of 
terrorism in the country relies on intent. We don't know the 
intent because of the accountability issue. Investigations are 
still on-going.
    But we know the impact is to terrorize people. We know that 
the impact is to terrorize students and communities across the 
country much like the Jewish community is terrorized every time 
that there is an attack. Any Asian-American or any minority 
community is terrorized by on-going attacks. So, I think we 
have to focus not just on these accountability and 
investigations and that part of it but look at how are we--what 
are we doing to invest to prevent more of this rising what 
appears to be coordinated. At least those phone calls came in 
within minutes of each other either from the same person or 
from some sort of coordinated attack. As we find out more about 
the investigations, we will know more about the motive. But I 
think it is really important to understand the impact and how 
horrifying that is and how disruptive that is to the equitable 
learning experiences of any young person at a Black college or 
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you. Mr. Rasmussen, I know that 
you all monitor sort-of internet platforms and internet 
companies and what is happening there. What are you seeing as 
it relates to these threats against the HBCUs and the threats 
against just sort-of the Black communities wherever you find 
them in general? Are you all tracking anything as it relates to 
    Mr. Rasmussen. So, I will speak both generally and 
specifically, ma'am, because I think broadly speaking, this 
unfortunate set of threats this week to the HBCUs fits a 
pattern we have long seen, and that is just a steady expansion 
of the amount of racially and ethnically-motivated violent 
extremist language and engagement in the on-line world. That is 
why we are here in many ways today.
    With respect to this specific case, Dr. Miller-Idriss 
pointed out exactly what I would have, which is we are early 
days in the investigation. I will be very curious to see what 
law enforcement turns up by way of connections between the 
individuals making these calls. Was there prior on-line 
engagement? Were they gathering in communities of, you know, 
fellow travelers sharing these ideological leanings, you know, 
on the internet? We will learn more in the weeks ahead. But 
unfortunately, I think it fits a pattern we have seen for quite 
a while now growing in both size and scale.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. So, thank you. Mr. Greenblatt, I know 
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Oh, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield 
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. For those on the call, in a 
briefing with the FBI yesterday, they indicated that these 
threats that are being made to historically Black colleges has 
risen to the top of their list in terms of priority. They will 
give it whatever resource needed to come to some definition and 
ultimate capture of the individual or individuals who have 
started that. So, we look forward to hearing from them.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, because my 
concern was going to be questioning about do we need additional 
resources and what they might be. I thank you and I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The Chair recognizes he gentleman from 
Florida, Mr. Gimenez, for 5 minutes. The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Clyde, for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Clyde. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My gentleman colleague 
from California just a couple of Members ago seems to think 
that Donald Trump was President last summer during the 
disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. You know, personally, I 
would have preferred if Donald Trump were the President last 
summer. If he had been, if that had been the case, we would not 
have had the disastrous withdrawal that we saw. But it was Joe 
Biden who was the President. Joe Biden who is completely and 
totally responsible for the crisis on the world stage known as 
the Afghanistan disaster. President Biden showed weakness then 
and he continues to show weakness and we all know that weakness 
promotes aggression. Unlike Ronald Reagan's policy of peace 
through strength, Joe Biden's weakness on the world stage has 
promoted the current Ukraine crisis and the real possibility 
that we may very soon see another war in Europe. Crisis after 
crisis is the legacy of our current President Joe Biden.
    Mr. Roggio, you know, the world watched in horror as the 
Taliban's ragtag bunch of undisciplined fighters forced the 
American military into a self-made and self-chosen corner at 
Kabul airport last summer. Considering the optic of that 
disastrous withdrawal, what impact do you believe it had on 
foreign terrorist organizations?
    Mr. Roggio. Thank you, sir. The foreign terrorist 
organizations were buoyed by what happened after the Taliban 
took control of the country. The United States was boxed into a 
corner in Kabul. The images of that withdrawal, the videos of 
this withdrawal were distributed widely by Jihadist--by 
individuals. Jihadist sympathizers, members of the Taliban, 
suspected Jihadists on social media platforms. I saw these 
myself. They were crowing over the fact that the United States 
which, you know, that they had beaten a superpower. We can't 
deny this. What happened in Afghanistan was a defeat for the 
United States. We wasted 20 years of blood and treasure, 
whatever number you want to put to that, whether it is a 
trillion, 2 trillion. I have seen all kinds of crazy estimates. 
But the reality is we spent 20 years trying to stand up an 
Afghan government and we failed. We failed because we left 
    We never gave the Afghan government an opportunity to 
defend itself. The decision was we are leaving and we are 
leaving in a short amount of time. It took 2 months to execute, 
or 2\1/2\ months from the day that President Biden announced 
the withdrawal. We left a small force behind. So, after the 
United States left by July 4, within a month and a half, the 
Taliban were in control of Afghanistan. We are forced to leave.
    The propaganda boon for al-Qaeda, for the Taliban, and 
other Jihadist groups that has come out of Afghanistan, Afghans 
falling out, clinging to the wheels of planes, and falling from 
the sky. The airport being overrun. U.S. soldiers holding 
weapons pointing at Afghans. This is recorded material that 
they are going to use both, you know, internationally to wage 
their local Jihads, as well as to sponsor attacks against the 
U.S. homeland.
    Mr. Clyde. Thank you. I think we will see this time and 
time again over your lifetime and my lifetime both. Thank you 
for confirming that, indeed, it was President Biden who 
announced the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It was not President 
Trump who was President at the time. He did not have the 
executive authority. He was not the commander in chief. It was 
President Joe Biden who was the commander in chief who gave the 
military the order and as a military officer myself, I fully 
understand how the military operates. It was Joe Biden's order. 
It was his directive that the military fulfill. Therefore, the 
responsibility falls 100 percent at the feet of President Joe 
Biden. It was a disaster then. It is a disaster now. It will 
continue to be a disaster for years and years and years to come 
because of how it will be exploited by terrorist organizations 
and they will buoy their ranks with it and it will be a 
detriment to the United States. With that, thank you, and I 
yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. Members are 
reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the 
President. We do have decorum and I encourage you to do so. The 
Chair recognizes the gentlelady from Nevada, Ms. Titus, for 5 
minutes. The gentlelady from Nevada.
    Ms. Titus. Excuse me. I thought I had clicked it. Before I 
ask my question about something related to my district in Las 
Vegas, I would just point out that the deadline date for 
withdrawing was set by President Trump. That Pompeo met with 
the Taliban and when all of this was negotiated, it was 
negotiated with the Taliban by the Trump administration and the 
Afghan government was not even at the table. So, let's be sure 
we get all our facts out there if we are going to talk what 
happened with the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    Now, my question that is related to Las Vegas has to do 
with the fact that just about any time we see a terrorist 
attack, there is some connection to my district. That was true 
in Oklahoma City, some of the terrorists had been through 
Nevada. Same was true in 9/11. Now, the latest was the mass 
shooting on October 1, 2017, at a music concert when the 
largest number of people were killed in that one incident.
    Now, following that we had a large volume of hoaxes, 
conspiracy theories, and misinformation that popped up all over 
the internet about the identity of the gunman, what was his 
religious affiliation. Some people even called this horrific 
event a false flag. We have seen the same thing happen in 
countless other tragedies of gun violence. So, I will ask all 
the panelists, how do you separate gun violence from terrorism? 
How do you respond to all the misinformation that comes out 
that is used to radicalize people and recruit people in the 
wake of some of these gun violent attacks?
    Mr. Rasmussen. Maybe I will jump in there first, ma'am. I 
think the distinguishing feature that we would look for in 
defining something as terrorism versus gun violence or criminal 
gun violence is the ideological motivation or the set of ideas, 
beliefs, or views that is driving the person to take action. As 
you know better than anybody from the case in Las Vegas, that 
was the huge conundrum there for Federal law enforcement was 
never able to put their hands around a specific set of reasons 
why that horrific act took place.
    So, when thinking about it, you can't really, in our world, 
call that a terrorist attack in the same way that you might 
when you are talking about someone who is motivated by 
particularly hateful ideology. But I am sure Dr. Miller-Idriss 
has a lot to say on the definitional piece of this as well. 
This is her life's work in many ways.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you for the question.
    Ms. Titus. Even if it is not a terrorist attack though it 
often motivates people the way a terrorist attack would.
    Mr. Rasmussen. It can still inspire terror, no question.
    Ms. Titus. Right.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. That is particularly true for 
accelerationists who sometimes have taken advantage of those 
types of mass shooting attacks to try to prompt additional 
violence because violence is part of their ultimate goal and 
not just a means to an end. I would just say that, you know, I 
think one of the reasons why DHS and others have sometimes used 
the words terrorism and targeted violence is because exactly of 
this slippery problem. But also, because our definitions evolve 
over time too.
    So, we have come to recognize violent incel, involuntary 
celibate terror, as a form of domestic extremism and terrorist 
violence in some cases. But for many years, those attacks like 
on a sorority in California and a yoga studio in Florida and 
elsewhere, we have seen those as personality problems of the 
individual actors until there was a recognition that a male 
supremacist misogyny was at root of a targeted hateful violent 
act against a group of people.
    So, this is also part of the problem is that these things, 
it is not just the salad bar and the blurring of the 
ideologies, but sometimes our own understanding has to catch up 
with the efforts as they happen on the part of violent actors.
    Ms. Titus. I see.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Congresswoman, I will just jump in and say 
that firearms are far and away the weapon of choice for violent 
extremists in this country. Regardless of your personal views 
on firearm ownership or the Second Amendment, there is simply 
no doubt based on the data that there are some common-sense 
measures that could be taken to make it much harder for those 
who seek to harm our communities with hateful extremist 
backgrounds to have easy access to lethal weapons. I mean, 
first and foremost we need to close the loophole that allows 
guns to be sold without a criminal background check. That 
doesn't make sense to me. The perpetrator in Colleyville never 
should have been able to buy a gun as a foreign visitor to this 
country. He was easily able to purchase the handgun used in the 
attack 2 days prior on a street corner with no paperwork, no 
questions asked. Adding insult to injury, the man who sold this 
gun to Akram, you know, who was, again, this al-Qaeda 
sympathizer, was himself prohibited from gun ownership because 
of his own criminal history. So, he shouldn't have had one.
    I mean, all of this is absurd. Requiring a criminal 
background check prior to every gun sale is just common sense. 
I would think there would be bipartisan interest in that to 
make it harder for domestic terrorists, again, across the 
spectrum, to get their hands on these weapons. I must say, 
Congresswoman, like we have seen Boogaloo Bois, we had an 
incident in Las Vegas, I think it was in 2020, where 3 people--
    Ms. Titus. Yes.
    Mr. Greenblatt [continuing]. Getting back to your question, 
3 members of the U.S. military were arrested because they were 
planning a plot and they were planning with the Boogaloo Bois. 
I think last weekend we had an incident by the Goyim Defense 
League with anti-Semitic flyering in Las Vegas and a bunch of 
other cities across the country. So, we have extremism right 
there in Nevada, right there in Las Vegas, like you said. Some 
simple, easy bipartisan measures like requiring the criminal 
background check would make all of our communities safer.
    Ms. Titus. I would like----
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired.
    Ms. Titus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Texas, Mr. Pfluger, for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Pfluger. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Simple, easy, 
bipartisan measures I couldn't agree more. On the committee 
that was formed in the wake of 9/11, I have spent my entire 
career in a post-9/11 military fighting in so many different 
places. Mr. Greenblatt, do you know how many people voted for 
an amendment on this committee, my colleagues across the aisle? 
Not a single person voted on amendment to figure out the 
country of origin, the terror affiliation, and any sort of 
derogatory information in the Darwa detention facility at Pul-
e-Charkhi prison in the Afghanistan withdrawal. Not a single 
person. So, these are, you know, what are we doing on a 
committee for homeland security if we are not figuring out 
where the terror threat is?
    So, Mr. Roggio, as a FDD fellow myself, I will start with 
you. Are you worried about those 5,000-plus people that were 
released? Or did they just kind-of disappear back into their 
normal lives and have no terror ambitions at all from this 
point on?
    Mr. Roggio. Oh, I am extremely worried. You know, one of 
the things I keep detecting from this committee is that, well, 
Afghanistan's Afghanistan and it is not a threat to the U.S. 
homeland. But we had the largest terrorist attack occur on U.S. 
soil because Afghanistan was a safe haven for terrorists. 
However many were killed--have been killed in domestic terror 
attacks, it is dwarfed by the 3,000 that have been killed by 
al-Qaeda on 9/11, and subsequent attacks by al-Qaeda and the 
Islamic State.
    Yes, I am absolutely worried about those 5,000 prisoners 
who were released. We don't know where they are. Some of them 
were Islamic State and I am told, again, I can't confirm this, 
but I have no doubt because of information we know about the 
accounting network of the Islamic State. That some members of 
the Islamic State were absorbed by the Taliban. Some members of 
al-Qaeda have been returned, have gone back to their jobs. Some 
members of the Islamic State rejoined the Islamic State and 
that is the element that opposes the Taliban government.
    None of that is good for security here on the U.S. 
homeland. We have armies of terrorists, not just in 
Afghanistan, but in Somalia, in Mali, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in 
Syria, in Pakistan. I am talking tens of thousands of fighters 
often in each place that can be recruited and pointed at the 
United States to conduct attacks against the U.S. homeland. 
This is one of their goals is to hit us here to make the price 
for fighting them overseas too costly.
    So, we should be concerned about every single individual 
who left. Do we even know the names of all of them? I hope the 
U.S. Government, the U.S. military, and intelligence services 
was able to obtain that information of these individuals. With 
the Taliban controlling passports, these people can leave the 
country and enter other countries and possibly have access to 
the United States. All of these things should be deeply 
worrying to every Member of this committee. These are groups, 
terror organizations that are committed to hurting us here in 
the United States and to targeting U.S. interests overseas as 
    Mr. Pfluger. So, what I am hearing is that they haven't 
taken their eye off their mission, which is their desire to 
attack Americans. We saw it with the 13 service members that 
were killed in the tragic, yet very predictable, way that we 
had in the botched withdrawal. I just think that, you know, we 
are kidding ourselves. I do think that these are easy 
bipartisan issues. For the life of me, I can't understand why 
there would be any sort of disagreement on these. Luckily, that 
amendment actually passed in the NDAA. But not a single person 
on this committee on the other side of the aisle voted for that 
amendment on this committee when presented.
    Mr. Greenblatt, let me turn to you. Thanks, Mr. Roggio, for 
your answer to that. I couldn't agree more, I mean, we have to 
focus on terrorism. Any sort of extremism is wrong. Any 
extremism is wrong. Let's look at it for what it is. But, Mr. 
Greenblatt, you know, I live in Texas. My district is not a 
border district per se geographically. Is it safe to say and do 
you agree that there are people who want to enter this country 
by all means? We saw the Colleyville attacker that entered with 
a passport and we need to get to the bottom of that. But what 
do you say about known or suspected terrorists entering our 
country? Do they have a desire to enter our country? Should we 
be worried about the Southern Border?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Congressman Pfluger, first thing I want to 
do is thank you for your service. I know you are a military----
    Mr. Pfluger. Thank you.
    Mr. Greenblatt [continuing]. Veteran and I served in the 
air force. Second, I could not agree more with the fear of 
foreign terrorists trying to get into America. If I might just 
for a moment, I can't say the specifics about attempted entries 
from the Southern Border because I am not familiar with that, 
but we are very worried about the Islamic Republic of Iran. The 
largest state sponsor in the world, which continues to try to 
put people inside the United States. There was an FBI case last 
year where they identified an Iranian dissident, Masih 
Alinejad, who was being targeted for kidnapping and rendition 
to Tehran by the Islamic Republic. Mr. Congressman, I would 
implore you to look at the danger of Iran and their efforts 
to--they have surveilled Jewish institutions like synagogues, 
Chabad houses, JCCs. Their people have been arrested in 
Chicago, in New York, in Los Angeles. I am deeply worried about 
that and would be delighted to work with you to explore this 
issue because it is a threat to all of us.
    Mr. Pfluger. So, we should be worried any method of entry 
and the 2 million people that have enter illegally, you know, 
there is a chance that one or two of those might have terror 
ties. There is a chance that one or two of those might have 
popped on a known or suspected terror watch list. You know, our 
eye is so far off the ball, we have not had a single hearing 
yet on border security. So, I am kind-of wondering about that.
    So, last question, Mr. Greenblatt. Do you believe that the 
Houthis should be on the foreign terrorist organization 
designated--should they be a designated terror organization?
    Mr. Greenblatt. The Houthis, absolutely should be a foreign 
designated terror organization. They have--they would--look, we 
know they are bombing, trying to fire allies on our missiles in 
Abu Dhabi. We know they are agitating and militating against 
our ally Israel. We know they are anti-American propaganda is 
extensive. They are a proxy state like Hezbollah and Syria of 
the Iranian regime. They absolutely should be on the list. No 
questions asked.
    Mr. Pfluger. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentlelady from New York, Miss Rice, for 5 
    Ms. Rice. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you to all the 
witnesses for coming here today to talk about this very 
important issue. A lot of what I have been hearing from the 
witnesses is, you know, steps that you think that we can take 
here as Members of Congress to address the issues of which we 
speak. Last June, the Biden administration released the first-
ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which 
was a comprehensive framework for how the Federal Government 
can understand and respond to domestic terror threats and 
attempt to cut them down at their roots. Mr. Rasmussen, Mr. 
Greenblatt, you know, it has been more than 6 months since they 
announced this framework. What did the White House get right in 
this strategy? What did they not get right? What do we need to 
focus on to supplement what I think everyone would agree was a 
long-overdue National strategy? So, if I could start with you, 
Mr. Rasmussen, and then go to Mr. Greenblatt.
    Mr. Rasmussen. Sure, thank you Congresswoman Rise. I read 
that document very closely when it came out and took note of 
several features. One, I think was a clear recognition of the 
need to kind-of be in a sense threat-agnostic. That the 
domestic terrorism threat looks a lot of different ways. It 
crosses the ideological spectrum. As Dr. Miller-Idriss points 
out, the data suggests that there is far more to be worried 
about in terms of volume on the far extreme right than in other 
parts of the ideological spectrum.
    I think the strategy also did well to make clear that this 
needs to be a lot of work done outside of Government with 
Government to get a better handle on this. That includes, of 
course, cooperation with industry, the technology sector, the 
group of colleagues I work with in that sector. That we aren't 
going to necessarily make progress on this if we simply look to 
Government programming alone.
    Then the last piece I would point to is the call for 
greater investment in the prevention architecture. A lot of 
that work, of course, is done at the Department of Homeland 
Security working with communities around the country. I think 
there is a clear signal that the administration wants to lean 
into that set of programs. I think that is encouraging.
    Ms. Rice. Mr. Greenblatt, can you unmute?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Madam Congresswoman, nice to see you. Thank 
you for the question. You know, I used to work in the West 
Wing, right? I used to develop strategies like this. So, I have 
some particular views on it. I do think it was a landmark. We 
have never seen a White House strategy on countering domestic 
terrorism. So, it deserves, they deserve, rightly deserve 
credit for that. I give them credit because it had a whole-of-
Government approach. That really matters and it draws a lot 
from ADL's PROTECT plan, which I mentioned before. It 
acknowledged systemic racism and these structural issues which 
are again, part of the problem.
    But there were things that it missed. So, No. 1, it was a 
strategy. It is not an implementation plan. You should ask the 
White House. You should ask, you know, the folks there. You 
should ask the OMB. Like, so where are the budgets? So, what 
are the implementation plans for every agency to act on this? 
That should be No. 1, right?
    No. 2, you should--I think it missed the big tech piece. 
So, again, as I said before, social media is a information 
superhighway for domestic extremists, for foreign agents from 
places like the Islamic Republic of Iran and others. Like big 
tech needs to be accountable on this, engaged and accountable. 
So, my friend, Nick, I really appreciate what he is doing, 
Congresswoman, at GICFT. Yet the companies need to do far more 
on their own platforms.
    Then No. 3, I think ultimately we need a whole-of-society 
strategy. Not socially with the whole business community 
involved and we need civil society involved. So, I would want 
to see like a three-part process going forward so that we are 
all working together. Because this threat threatens all of us, 
Congresswoman. We all need to be engaged in it together.
    Ms. Rice. Mr. Greenblatt, just along that note, I think, 
you know, you can have a strategy, but if you don't understand 
the trends and how they are----
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mm-hmm.
    Ms. Rice [continuing]. Overlapping, intersecting. Can you 
just expound a little bit in the short time that we have left, 
on the trends, you know, pointing to the growing--you point out 
the growing connections between anti-Semitism and other violent 
extremist ideologies. Can you just talk a little bit more about 
that trend?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, there is no question that anti-
Semitism is at the beating heart of White supremacy. So, from 
Charlottesville to Capitol Hill, it is not an accident that 
these men were wearing t-shirts that said 6MWE or yelling Jews 
will not replace us. Anti-semitism is at the beating heart of 
radical Islamism. It is not an accident that the guy in 
Colleyville was trying to get an al-Qaeda operative. An al-
Qaeda operative who was arrested, Congresswoman, because she 
tried to kill American soldiers because she had--she was--had 
information in her possession that suggested she was 
surveilling American sites. She wanted to kill Americans. Yet 
at her trial, she said that the jurists, or the potential 
jurists should be DNA tested to see if they were Zionists. I 
mean, it is lunatic.
    So, radical Islamism, violent White supremacy, they have 
this hatred of the Jews at their core. Even other groups that 
we may think are less frightening like QAnon, espouse lunatic 
theories about Jewish space lasers or other stuff. So, look, in 
this moment, and I know you represent Long Island, we have seen 
anti-Semitic flyering and harassment right in your district in 
the broader New York area as well. When Jews are being attacked 
in broad daylight on our streets, that should be a problem for 
all of us.
    Ms. Rice. Great, thank you. Thank you.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady's time has expired. The 
Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kansas, Mr. LaTurner, for 5 
minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from Florida, Ms. 
Demings, for 5 minutes.
    Mrs. Demings. Well, thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. Thank 
you to the Ranking Member and to all of our witnesses here 
today who are engaging in this very important discussion. This 
past weekend the day after we recognized International 
Holocaust Remembrance Day, neo-Nazis held rallies in central 
Florida. I represent Florida. They shouted anti-Semitic slurs, 
waived agnostic flags, and chanted a Jew is the devil.
    I have to say as a career law enforcement officer, I am 
disappointed when homeland security has become such a political 
partisan issue. Because I think that we can all do better.
    Now, make no mistake, as a former law enforcement officer, 
I am not unfamiliar with hate organizations. I have been in 
their presence on numerous occasions. But let me be clear of 
all the protections that our Constitution guarantees us in this 
great Nation, violence is not one of those protections. The 
group that broke the peace this weekend is not merely a half 
dozen malcontents as some have categorized them. The group 
leader was indicted in Arizona just days before for pointing a 
gun at a group of Black men outside a hotel.
    Mr. Greenblatt, you have already talked about how important 
it is to really speak up and speak out against this type of 
behavior. So, I would really like to direct my question to the 
other witnesses. If you could also tell us how important it is 
for community leaders, faith-based, elected officials, to 
identify and condemn, have zero tolerance for these type of 
threats whether it is anti-Semitic, racist White nationalists, 
or otherwise. Ms. Idriss, we will start with you.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Thank you. I thank you for the question, 
Mrs. Demings. I think it is essential, as we have heard those 
words from Jonathan Greenblatt so clearly. One of the things we 
saw in Texas was the incredible solidarity from the interfaith 
community, Catholic priests, and an Imam, and a minister, 
evangelical minister sitting across the street in command 
center throughout the, you know, throughout the hostage crisis 
and really condemning that actively. We have seen some media 
coverage of that. It is so important to see those interfaith 
expressions condemning Islamophobia, condemning anti-Semitism, 
to have anyone from, you know, across the political spectrum 
condemn hate and violence when we see it to raise their voices 
against what is happening in HBCUs. To really be clear, what 
are the values that we all stand for as a community across 
political lines, across our differences. Because we have to 
start setting some of those norms and values in order for us to 
begin to heal and move forward.
    Mrs. Demings. Thank you so much. I am going to move on for 
the sake of time. Mr. Greenblatt, the Nation was horrified last 
month as we have already talked about with an armed gunman held 
congregants hostage at a Texas synagogue. As someone who has 
been a life-long supporter of nonprofit security grants, I was 
heartened that the Rabbi was able to put the security practices 
he learned from training funded by those grants into action to 
resolve this situation or at least without loss of life. How 
should Congress be looking at the program, given the dynamic 
threat landscape?
    Mr. Greenblatt. So, Congresswoman Demings, first and 
foremost, thank you for the question. Thank you for your 
leadership in law enforcement for so many years. You know, ADL 
partners with law enforcement in Orlando, in Florida, around 
the country. We couldn't do our work to fight hate without that 
cooperation. So, I am grateful for that.
    To your question, and I would also say, we watched this 
rally by these Nazis in your area over the weekend. It was 
disgusting. To anyone who is confused about the threat of 
right-wing extremism, listen to what the Congresswoman said. 
Literally, please just listen. Google what happened.
    It is shocking and stunning that anyone would not--would 
simply dismiss these people as jackasses. They are not 
jackasses. They are sinister, violent extremists with a lethal 
agenda. I am sorry, I just had to get that out. Because I don't 
think it is political to call out prejudice. I don't think it 
is nuanced to say we should get rid of the Nazis.
    That being said, as it relates specifically to what should 
Congress do, double the funding for the nonprofit security 
grant program, the DHS dollars that help provide security and 
training for religious institutions. By the way, not just 
synagogues, but mosques, Black churches, you know, Hindu 
temples, Sikh Gurdwaras, et cetera. Last year, there were $400 
million in applications alone. Yet, we only have a $180 million 
program. I think the Government should fund at 90 percent of 
that. So, if you could bring it from $180- to $360 million, as 
we like to say, dayenu.
    Mrs. Demings. To all of our witnesses, thank you so much. I 
yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you. The gentlelady yields back. 
The Chair recognizes the gentlelady from California, Ms. 
Barragan. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York, for 
5 minutes, Mr. Torres.
    Mr. Torres. Thank you, Mr. Chair. More and more conspiracy 
theories are circulating than ever before caused by threats 
foreign and domestic. Foreign threats like Russian influence 
operations and domestic threats like social media algorithms 
that amplify disinformation. Those conspiracy theories are 
spreading faster and faster than ever before and escalating 
into more violence than ever before.
    History tells us that a conspiracy theory can be a gateway 
drug to anti-Semitism because anti-Semitism is itself a 
conspiracy theory of its own. So, my first question is to Mr. 
Greenblatt, do you worry as I do that the increasingly 
conspiratorial politics of America has become a breeding ground 
for violent anti-Semitism?
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mr. Congressman, thank you for the 
question. I just want to thank you for your principled 
leadership on these issues, which I know all of us in the 
Jewish community so respect. Yes, I would suggest that 
conspiratorial minds whether you demonize the Jewish people or 
the Jewish State, it leads to violence. We saw that happen last 
May, Mr. Congressman, when wild unhinged claims about the state 
of Israel led to Jews being beaten up in broad daylight in 
Midtown Manhattan, in Los Angeles, all over the United States.
    So, again, when you have conspiracies in your head about 
Jewish power or Jewish influence, it often leads to real-world 
violence. All of us should unequivocally and singularly call 
that out, right? Not qualify it with, well, there are complex 
issues in the Middle East. I am sorry. You might not light what 
happens in China, but that is no excuse to beat up Asian 
Americans. You might not like what happens in Mexico, that is 
no excuse to beat up Latinos. You might not like what happens 
in the Middle East, that is no excuse to attack Jews, full 
    Mr. Torres. As you pointed out during the conflict in May 
2021, if I remember correctly, the #hitlerwasright was 
retweeted 18,000 times. Is that correct?
    Mr. Greenblatt. More than that. More than that. Scores of 
thousands of times. Which gets us back to why if big tech just 
did their job they could have helped to mitigate this right 
    Mr. Torres. You know, your organization has recorded that 
since 2019, anti-Semitic incidents have risen to levels not 
seen in 4 decades. The Tree of Life synagogue shooting in 
Pittsburgh and the Congregation Beth Israel hostage crisis in 
Colleyville, these events did not happen in a vacuum. These 
events were part of a larger wave of violent anti-Semitism that 
has taken hold in America. But there was a journalist who wrote 
the following, which I found striking. She said, ``Ten years 
ago, my synagogue and my kids' Jewish school had no armed 
guards. Now, both have a near platoon of special forces guys. 
In the last 5 years, my kids' Jewish camp and my kosher grocery 
have hired armed guards because of threats. This is how Jews 
live now. Americans should know.'' Mr. Greenblatt, do these 
words reflect what you are observing on the ground?
    Mr. Greenblatt. These words exactly reflect what I am 
seeing on the ground, Mr. Congressman. Like Jews are concerned 
that shopping in a kosher supermarket puts them in harm's way. 
They are concerned that showing up for a Shabbat service is 
putting your life at risk. They are concerned that like in 
Brooklyn walking with your children in a stroller, they might 
be spit at by someone who tells them they should have burned in 
Auschwitz. I mean, it is astonishing to see the level of animus 
that is out there.
    Again, so we need--whether it is extremism from the right 
or illiberalism from the left, or again, anti-Semitism from 
Islamist radicals or whomever, I don't know--we can't afford 
any politicians to politicize this or to weaponize it. That is 
why I appreciate how you have spoken out again and again, Mr. 
Congressman. I wish others would do the same.
    Mr. Torres. I want to note for the record that I strongly 
support a doubling of funding for the nonprofit security grant 
program. It is a vital tool protecting vulnerable communities 
from violent extremism, which includes protecting the Jewish 
community from violent anti-Semitism.
    My final question is for Mr. Rasmussen. If Russia invades 
Ukraine, and if the United States severely sanctions Russia in 
response, do you worry, as I do, that a Russian invasion of 
Ukraine could trigger a sequence of events that could raise the 
risk of cyberterrorism from Russia or from Russian state-
sponsored cyber actors? Is that a reasonable fear?
    Mr. Rasmussen. Well, Mr. Torres, it certainly a reasonable 
fear that if Russia is able to use these tools in the context 
of aggression against Ukraine, it allows them to refine these 
tools and potentially learn what works and doesn't work and 
they can store that knowledge away for a future conflict, 
including conflict that might involve the United States. We 
already, of course, know the Russians are sophisticated actors 
in this space. The Ukraine theatre right now simply allows them 
to, in a sense, hone their tradecraft and hone their tactics in 
ways that will certainly add to their capability over time in 
ways that we are not going to find very comforting.
    Mr. Torres. My time has expired. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Chairman Thompson. Thank you very much. I look forward to 
working with the Vice Chair on increasing the amount of the 
nonprofit grant program from where it is now at $180 million. 
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kansas, Mr. LaTurner, 
for 5 minutes.
    Mr. LaTurner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rasmussen, 
terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIS have 
historically harnessed modern technology to recruit and 
invigorate their members, as you know well. Did GIFCT or its 
partners notice any changes in on-line activity from terrorists 
and extremist groups either during the withdrawal from 
Afghanistan or in the months since?
    Mr. Rasmussen. You are absolutely right, sir, that 
established terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS have long 
used the on-line domain as a way to generate recruits, you 
know, spread their message, engage in even operational planning 
and training. In response to the Afghanistan events, what we 
have seen is that the narrative generated out of that is, of 
course, being turned to advantage by terrorist groups. They are 
using this as, in a sense, their proof that they have defeated 
a superpower. That they have expelled the United States from 
South Asia. That they have, in a sense, won.
    That narrative, of course, serves as a powerful recruiting 
tool for new adherence to their cause. Now, it is hard to kind-
of draw a linear connection between using that narrative on-
line and actually how does that manifest itself in real 
terrorist capability. But there is no question that the 
narrative serves their purpose.
    Mr. LaTurner. Have you noticed, you talk about the 
narrative and, obviously, you are correct about the narrative 
being helpful. But do you have any way to quantify how helpful 
it has been in an uptick over the last several months?
    Mr. Rasmussen. I don't know that we do. It is maybe 
something I can consult with our research network to try to 
find a little more precision to put around that. Because what I 
am offering is I know a bit more impressionistic and, perhaps, 
not as data-driven as might be useful. So, let me take that one 
and come back to you, sir.
    Mr. LaTurner. I would appreciate that information. Thank 
you. A follow-up for Mr. Roggio, could you please tell the 
committee about how foreign terrorist organizations 
traditionally recruit more members? How is their process likely 
implicated as a result of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan?
    Mr. Roggio. Sure. Yes, thank you, sir. The traditional 
recruitment, it occurs, obviously on-line. That is a big place. 
That is where they try to reach, particularly try to reach 
Westerners to get people in their home countries to attempt to 
conduct attacks or join the organization. But a lot of the 
recruiting is done locally in individual countries where they 
have a presence. So, in Yemen, they will recruit from their 
Tribes or families in Yemen. Same thing, Somalia.
    This is why, again, I keep going back to the issue of safe 
haven. When these groups are able to operate in the open, they 
are able to more easily recruit, train, and indoctrinate local 
fighters. Not all of them are going to be used to launch 
attacks against the West. But as we saw with 9/11, only a small 
fraction of--it is estimated that tens of thousands of al-Qaeda 
fighters went through camps prior to 9/11 and were trained 
through al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. They selected I believe 
it was 17 of them were from Afghanistan camps. It may have been 
all 19. That is all they needed to execute 9/11.
    So, again, I know I keep going back to the issue of safe 
haven. But that is the lifeblood for Jihadist groups to 
organize, train, and project their power in order to conduct 
attacks against the U.S. homeland or U.S. citizens, businesses, 
military installations overseas.
    Mr. LaTurner. I appreciate that response and agree with it. 
Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I yield back the remainder of my 
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentlelady from California, Ms. Barragan.
    Ms. Barragan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to start by 
thanking you, Mr. Chairman, and Representative Bonnie Watson 
Coleman for bringing up the issue of the bomb threats against 
historically Black colleges and universities and other 
minority-serving institutions to this committee. These threats 
are disturbing. They should outrage us all. I believe we must 
talk about them in the context of domestic extremism and the 
potential for domestic terrorism. I know that several HBCUs in 
your district, Mr. Chairman, were impacted as well a school in 
my district, Charles Argue University, which is a historically 
Black graduate institute and minority-serving institution where 
the majority of medical and health care students are Black and 
Latino have received a bomb threat as well. They have been 
having to clear campuses, up late at night. This is just 
something that shouldn't be happening. So, thank you, Mr. 
Chairman, for immediately raising the seriousness of this 
threat with the FBI and DHS and know that I am here to work 
alongside you on this issue to address these acts on 
intimidation and domestic terrorism rooted in racism and 
    I now want to turn my questions to the issue of 
misinformation for all the witnesses. If you could, given the 
short time, maybe respond with a yes or no. Does misinformation 
and disinformation play a role in the active or past 
recruitment of people into extremist groups or subcultures? 
Anybody want to start?
    Mr. Rasmussen. I would say, yes, it does, ma'am.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. Absolutely, yes.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Yes, it does.
    Ms. Barragan. OK. I don't think I hear anybody disagreeing. 
Have you seen the use of misinformation and disinformation 
increase over the last several years? Would anybody say that it 
has not?
    Mr. Rasmussen. Absolutely.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. It has, for sure.
    Mr. Greenblatt. There is no question that with social media 
it just continues to increase and expand.
    Ms. Barragan. Is there any evidence that any increase or in 
the misuse, the misinformation or disinformation fueled by on-
line platforms, social media, and traditional media has led to 
an increase in domestic extremism and the potential for 
domestic terrorism?
    Mr. Rasmussen. Yes.
    Ms. Miller-Idriss. That is also very clear, yes.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Yes.
    Mr. Roggio. Yes.
    Ms. Barragan. You know, I think this is just to highlight 
the misinformation and what is happening and the role that 
these on-line platforms have, I think, in addressing this. The 
Congressional Hispanic Caucus is going to be holding a hearing 
in conjunction with House admin in Miami upcoming on Monday to 
address the issue of misinformation and what is happening. So, 
this is something that we will continue to work on. I just 
wanted to kind-of highlight that issue.
    Moving on to another topic, this is also to all the 
witnesses. In 2020 and early 2021, we saw violence at some 
State capitals stemming from protests focused on COVID-19-
related restrictions. In the second half of 2021, school boards 
and city council meetings have been the site of violence and 
chaos related to COVID-19 restrictions and other local 
measures. Can you describe why this violence has become so 
localized? Is it wide-spread as it seems?
    Mr. Rasmussen. I will answer first and then just welcome 
comments from the other panelists. But I actually highlighted 
this, ma'am, in my written testimony, the longer version. The 
way in which during this COVID period, we have actually seen 
groups or individuals with radically different ideological 
takes on the world are uniting around issues related to COVID 
or grabbing onto pieces of the COVID story that we have all 
experienced over the last 2 years and using it to fuel their 
own progression toward extremism. So, it has made for some very 
strange bedfellows in that on-line environment who would 
otherwise have very little in common but for their grabbing on 
to a particular narrative about COVID, whether it is Government 
overreach or vaccination conspiracy theories, et cetera. So, it 
is an interesting phenomenon and one we are still trying very 
hard to understand.
    Ms. Barragan. Thank you. Mr. Greenblatt.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Look, from the start of the COVID-19 
pandemic, disinformation about the virus circulated widely on 
social media. We had elected officials, mainstream media 
outlets promoting lies including a theory that the vaccine was 
an effort by the Government to control the population. As a 
result of that you had conspiracy theorists, extremists, 
members of the public targeting physicians, nurses, hospital 
workers, public health officials, and scientists. Harassing 
them, threatening them, assaulting them.
    In 2021, we had public schools and school board meetings 
where you saw extraordinary vitriol with outrage never seen 
before around masking mandates and vaccines. Conspiracy around 
CRT. Again, you can have strong feelings about what your kids 
learn, but to think there is some plot to take over the system, 
I don't agree with. We don't have the data at ADL that bears 
that out. I think it is the disinformation being like fed 
intravenously, Congresswoman, to communities today because of 
the 24/7 nature of social media that has warped the way they 
think. Turn these like localized extremism and turned, again, 
these like the local, political process into a battleground.
    Ms. Barragan. Well, thank you. I apologize to the rest of 
the witnesses as I am out of time. But I also want to also join 
with you, Mr. Greenblatt, in standing with you on anti-Semitism 
and what is happening to our American Jewish community. So, I 
will work closely with the committee on that issue as well. 
Thank you. With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentlelady yields back. The Chair 
recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Malinowski, for 5 
    Mr. Malinowski. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I didn't know we 
would be talking about Afghanistan today, but since we are, I 
just wanted to ask Mr. Roggio a couple of questions. Obviously, 
the release of those prisoners in early September by the 
Taliban was a very bad thing for all the reasons that have been 
stated. But I just want to make sure that we are clear that the 
United States did not ask for those prisoners to be released or 
order those prisoners to be released. That was done arguably as 
a consequence of our withdrawal, it was not something that we 
intended to happen. Is that a fair statement?
    Mr. Roggio. That is correct. The release of the prisoners 
happened because the Taliban overran those prisons.
    Mr. Malinowski. Right. Has the U.S. Government ever asked 
or ordered authorities in Afghanistan to release large numbers 
of militants to the battlefield?
    Mr. Roggio. That is correct. The Trump administration, as 
part of its deal with the Taliban, requested that the Afghan 
government release 5,000 prisoners in exchange for 1,000. I 
want to be perfectly clear that the decision to negotiate with 
the Taliban and to cut that deal with the Taliban to withdraw 
was--I disagreed with that. I disagreed with the method of and 
the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. Both were disastrous 
    Mr. Malinowski. Good, well, we agree then. I just want to 
make sure we are fair that this was over two administrations.
    Mr. Roggio. That is correct.
    Mr. Malinowski. Back to the domestic threat. I think, you 
know, it is striking from the testimony of all of our witnesses 
that, you know, we are facing a very decentralized threat. I 
think it is a fair assessment of your testimony. The idea that 
most violent extremists are card-carrying members of a specific 
organization that they take orders from a particular boss that 
they have training camps, all these sort-of old images that we 
associate with terrorist groups is not really the reality in 
the United States today. Is that a fair statement? I put that 
maybe to you, Mr. Rasmussen?
    Mr. Rasmussen. Exactly right, Mr. Malinowski. The features 
you have described are what makes navigating that environment 
more challenging not only for law enforcement and intelligence 
services operating in that environment, but for companies 
trying to figure out, OK, how do we manage the on-line 
environment when you don't have group affiliation?
    Mr. Malinowski. So, back to the--I mean, I was heading 
toward the on-line environment problem. I mean, it seems to be 
that right now that the organizational structure of terrorism 
is a Facebook group. The training camp is a YouTube channel. I 
wanted to turn to you, Mr. Greenblatt, you covered a lot of 
this in your testimony. I wanted to ask you to talk to us a bit 
about the role that social media companies recommendation 
algorithms play in drawing people to these groups, to these 
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mr. Congressman, there is no doubt. I mean, 
these technology platforms are wired to optimize for user 
engagement. They frequently amplify, you know, hate and bias-
motivated violence as a strategy to generate revenue. I am not 
saying there are people doing it behind the scenes, but the 
algorithms are engineered to amplify and increase virality. As 
I said before, if it bleeds, it leads.
    The tech community should not have blanket immunity from 
liability when their algorithms contribute to civil rights 
harms. When their algorithms promote violence. When their 
algorithms facilitate how if you like a White supremacist group 
or racist content, you will be recommended to Facebook groups 
where to your point, these individuals, these organizations are 
doing the kind of planning today they never could have done 
    I will say one other thing and, Mr. Congressman, I direct 
this to you, but particularly to the other Members on both 
sides. ADL has done the surveying in the data. Nearly 80 
percent of Americans think the laws need to be changed to hold 
these companies responsible. That is not 80 percent Democrats. 
That is not 80 percent of Republicans. Eighty percent of 
Americans. So, there was never a better way that you could get 
something that all Americans would agree to. I daresay, Mr. 
Congressman, nothing you could do that would better secure our 
society than making these companies accountable once and for 
    Mr. Malinowski. Well, thank you. Of course, we have a bill 
that does just that, which we hope will move this year, 
Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act, which would 
begin to hold them accountable not for the fact that there is 
bad content on their websites, which is probably an insoluble 
problem, but for the fact that their recommendation algorithms 
are designed to introduce that content to the very people in 
our society who are most susceptible to it. So, thank you so 
much for highlighting that.
    Mr. Greenblatt. Mr. Congressman, I just want to build, your 
bill and that with Congresswoman Eshoo is so important. Imagine 
if NBC news was programming content promoting suicide to 
depressed teenagers. Imagine if a newspaper was delivering 
content how to traffic human children to pedophiles. Like you 
wouldn't allow it if it happened in those places. There is no 
excuse. There is no world in which it is reasonable for 
companies like Facebook to promote violent Islamism or White 
supremacy to people who are prone to violence. They should be 
responsible for that. Thank you for your legislation and 
hopefully we will make them responsible for that.
    Mr. Malinowski. Thank you, sir. I yield back.
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman's time has expired. The 
Chair recognizes another gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. 
    Mr. Gottheimer. Thank you. It is good to have a Jersey Day 
here, Mr. Chairman. Thank you so much for this important 
hearing to discuss terrorist threats to our National security. 
Whether it is from terrorist groups abroad or lone-wolf 
terrorist attacks or domestic extremists, the threats to the 
homeland are more pressing than ever. I was very proud to lead 
a bipartisan effort in this committee to address lone-wolf 
terrorists using trucks and other vehicles as weapons. This 
legislation, which has passed the House and is now in the 
Senate, is named in memory of New Milford resident Darren 
Drake, a victim of the 2017 New York terror attack.
    Mr. Roggio, if I can start with you. Many of the threats we 
are seeing today in the homeland look like the ones I described 
with Darren Drake, lone-wolf terrorist actors and senseless 
acts of violence. What recommendations do you have for this 
committee to best address the many Americans who are being 
inspired by ISIS and other extreme terrorist groups abroad? 
What more can be done to prevent this type of radicalization?
    Mr. Roggio. Thank you, sir. As a fellow New Jerseysian, it 
is good to be bookended by New Jersey Congressmen. Thank you. 
Yes, to me the biggest component of this radicalization, 
particularly of individuals in the West is on social media. It 
is on Twitter. It is on, you know, Facebook. It is on all of 
the social media platforms. This is a very--YouTube, 
particularly. For instance, an American cleric, Anwar al-
Awlaki, his teachings are still available. He was a very 
influential cleric, well-spoken, his family from Yemen. His 
teachings he inspired the attack at Fort Hood and others as 
well. His teachings are still on-line. I could follow the 
Taliban's spokesmen for years, years and years at a time, they 
are not taken off-line. It is obvious to everyone. We are not 
talking about these are individuals that are just putting out 
innocuous news like the Taliban spokesmen are promoting 
violence. Promoting violent videos and things. There is a host 
of Jihadists in a range of groups that have information that is 
readily available to all and everyone knows who they are and 
nothing is done about it.
    I will say it makes my research a lot easier. But I would 
much rather not see this information on-line and these 
individuals out there who are able to reach people in the 
United States or Europe or any country and inspire them to join 
these terrorist groups. This is why a lot of Westerners 
traveled to Iraq and to Syria when that was under Islamic State 
control. They were seeing what was happening there via 
recruitment videos or just information. They were told the 
caliphate has been restored. As long as these individuals are 
able to post this information on social media, you will have 
individuals who are prone to being susceptible to this type of 
information being offered by Jihadist organizations.
    Mr. Gottheimer. Thank you. As part of Mr. Malinowski's 
legislation and other legislation that I have been behind to 
help stop that and to take on, frankly, a lot of our social 
media companies that continue to allow handles from terrorist 
organizations to be on-line. They take them down, they come 
back up. They are not policed properly or monitored. They are 
actually foreign terrorist organizations that are violating 
State Department law and rules and I think we need to be very 
aggressive against them.
    I am going to turn now to Mr. Greenblatt. It is a great 
honor to have you here today as a witness. Thank you for your 
leadership and your thoughtfulness, especially in light of the 
horrible threats and attacks against the Jewish community. This 
month it is more important than ever to address anti-Semitism 
head-on. So, thank you for your work.
    As you mentioned in your opening remarks, Amnesty 
International released a completely biased and wrong report 
calling Israel an apartheid state. We know that Amnesty 
International fails to recognize the Arab party and the 
governing coalition or Arab-Israelis serving in the military, 
amongst many other realities of civil society in Israel, and of 
the impact of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. In fact, 
this is the 208th report the group has issued about Israel 
since the 1970's. They had only 40 reports on North Korea and 
61 on Venezuela. Can you please talk about how this report may 
lead to a rise in anti-Semitism and in increase in terror 
attacks against the Jewish people and what do you think is 
driving Amnesty International to take such an aggressive 
    Mr. Greenblatt. Well, first of all, let me just say, Mr. 
Congressman, I realize following Mr. Malinowski and my fellow 
panelists and you, like I am racing in the street in the 
badlands of this New Jersey moment. So, I am going to try. I 
think I am on fire here. But I am going to try to specifically 
keep my remarks focused on this Amnesty report. Look, I mean, I 
almost don't want to dignify it with time today. The problem is 
that when you make wild aspersions and groundless accusations 
against the Jewish State, it has an immediate knock-on effect 
against the Jewish people. To release this report 6 months, 
again, after Jews are being beaten and brutalized in broad 
daylight, not by people wearing MAGA hats, and not by people 
espousing White supremacy, but by people coming from anti-
Israel rallies is shocking. A report which doesn't call into 
question, you know, other countries around the world which have 
Christian principles or Muslim principles. It is only the 
Jewish State that they seem to call out. It would be 
interesting, I didn't know it was the 280th report. But what I 
do know is I will be dealing with the cyberbullying targeting 
Jewish activists on-line. I will be dealing with the Jewish 
kids on colleges' campuses who are afraid to identify as being 
Israeli or having any real--even showing up at Hillels because 
of fear of being bullying and intimidation by anti-Israel 
types. I think it is frightening. You know, so, I think it is a 
terrible report. It is going to cause, I promise you, I predict 
it, I will be back on this committee talking about threats 
against Jews spawned by this kind of wild accusations.
    Last, let me just say, I say this as someone, 
Representative Gottheimer, who believes in a two-state 
solution. Who believes we need dignity and equality for 
Palestinians. But if you think demonizing and delegitimizing 
the only Jewish State in the world is the way you are going to 
achieve it, like the folks from Amnesty are as far from reality 
as you could imagine. It may be Amnesty International, but it 
is like reality somewhere else. Because I don't understand how 
to make sense of it.
    But, look, there will be no surrender to these people. They 
may be in their glory days with all this hateful rhetoric, but 
I think the brilliant disguise of them showing up as human 
rights advocates will not work for the majority of, you know, 
the good-thinking Americans who realize what they are doing.
    Mr. Gottheimer. Thank you, sir, and I yield back. Thank 
    Chairman Thompson. The gentleman yields back. Let me thank 
our witnesses for today. We don't have any other person 
scheduled but, clearly, the length and involvement of Members 
shows the importance of this topic. So, I want to thank you for 
your testimony, as well as the Members for their questions. The 
Members of the committee may have additional questions for the 
witnesses and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing 
to those questions.
    The Chair reminds Members that the committee's record will 
remain open for 10 business days. Without objection, the 
committee stands adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 1:04 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]

                            A P P E N D I X


  Questions From Chairman Bennie G. Thompson for Cynthia Miller-Idriss
    Question 1. To what extent have you seen Islamist or Jihadist 
terrorist groups adopt the operational or aesthetic techniques or 
tactics of far right-wing violent extremists in the United States or 
elsewhere? What about the reciprocal direction?
    Answer. Response was not received at the time of publication.
    Question 2. The COVID States Project recently released a report 
that found nearly 1 in 4 Americans polled said that violence was either 
definitely or probably justifiable against the Government and nearly 1 
in 10 said that it is justified right now. Normally this group 
researches questions related to COVID, but given the trends we have 
seen on the news, they also asked about violence related to COVID and 
mis- or disinformation. Based on your research, can you describe the 
trends you are seeing, and how mis- or disinformation related to COVID-
19 can contribute to large swaths of the American public thinking that 
violence against the Government is justified?
    Answer. Response was not received at the time of publication.
    Question 3. A recent Global Network on Extremism and Technology, or 
GNET, report assessed misogyny as a ``gateway drug'' into the world of 
violent extremism. Does your research reflect the same trends? What, in 
your opinion, is the step that leads from misogynist thought to real-
world violence?
    Answer. Response was not received at the time of publication.
  Questions From Chairman Bennie G. Thompson for Nicholas J. Rasmussen
    Question 1. The U.N.-backed group that monitors terrorist abuse of 
technology, TECH AGAINST TERRORISM, recently released a summary of 
their work over the past year in which they found 198 websites that 
they assessed to be operated by terrorist actors or other violent 
extremists that pose a threat to society. Of those 198, they found 101 
to be linked to violent, far-right groups or actors. These sites are 
not on the dark web but are easily accessed through common search 
engines. Does GIFCT engage domain hosting providers for GIFCT 
membership to try to prevent these sites from spreading their terrorist 
or violent content?
    Answer. GIFCT regularly engages with domain hosting providers, 
(notable members include Amazon and Microsoft). In addition to these 
members, GIFCT is working with the I2 coalition, industry groups, and 
other DNS providers to further support this part of the tech sector and 
would welcome additional members that meet our membership criteria to 
join our effort.
    In addition to engaging with a range of digital platforms including 
domain hosting providers to join GIFCT as members, we also work with 
Tech Against Terrorism to provide information about such websites and 
specific pages operated by terrorists and violent extremists to our 
existing members. As we announced in July 2021, GIFCT is expanding the 
taxonomy of our hash-sharing database to include hashes of the URLs 
Tech Against Terrorism identifies. What this does is enable GIFCT 
member companies to identify whether these URLs have been shared on 
their own platforms and review that activity against their policies and 
terms of reference. This is an important effort to address the 
funneling and migration practices often seen by terrorists and violent 
extremists who attempt to direct others to a specific on-line page by 
sharing its URL with users on other digitial platforms.
    Question 2. A Jigsaw research team recently released a report about 
how harmful content traveled in clusters across different platforms. To 
what extent does GIFCT work to track threats across platforms and not 
just work with individual platforms to improve their content moderation 
policies and practices?
    Answer. As part of GIFCT's mission to prevent terrorists and 
violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms, we actively work 
alongside stakeholders from industry, Government, civil society, and 
academia to track threats of terrorist and violent extremist 
exploitation across the on-line ecosystem. While GIFCT does work with 
individual member companies to improve some of their internal policies 
and practices (i.e. content moderation, transparency, and human 
rights), GIFCT takes a whole-of-sector approach to preventing and 
mitigating harmful content on-line, across platforms. This includes 
recruiting and welcoming into GIFCT new member companies from around 
the world that represent different kinds of technologies.
    Additional work GIFCT does to track and prevent terrorist and 
violent extremist exploitation of digital platforms includes:
   Funding action-oriented research from a global network of 
        experts who study a range of factors and influences to the 
        nexus of extremism and technology. For example, since 2019, 
        GIFCT has brought forward research mapping how violent 
        extremist groups migrate across platforms and for what 
   Developing a more useful definitional framework for 
        identifying terrorist and violent extremist activity on-line 
        that GIFCT member companies can draw upon to inform their on-
        going efforts to monitor, assess, and take action against 
        content and activity that violates their policies.
   Building cross-platform tools, such as the GIFCT hash-
        sharing database, so that a range of different digital 
        platforms can take information on known terrorist and violent 
        extremist content and activity and identify whether the same 
        content exists and requires action on their respective 
    Question 3. Can you describe for us the rough composition of your 
hash-sharing database with specificity on how much of it relates to 
ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other Islamist terrorist groups and how much 
relates to far-right violent extremists linked to White supremacist 
    Answer. Currently, the hash-sharing database taxonomy addresses 
videos and images produced by individuals and entities on the United 
Nations Security Council's (UNSC) consolidated sanctions list as well 
as perpetrator-produced content captured or live-streamed during an 
off-line mass violent attack. Historically, there has been a greater 
composition of Islamist extremist entities on the United Nations 
Security Council's consolidated sanctions list versus far-right violent 
extremists; however, further expansions of our taxonomy have allowed us 
to address far-right violent extremist and terrorist content including 
the videos produced by the perpetrators of the Christchurch, NZ and 
Halle, DE attacks in 2019 and the Glendale, Arizona attack in 2020. In 
the coming months, the taxonomy will expand to include attacker 
manifestos in PDF form, terrorist and violent extremist publications in 
PDF form, and URLs identified by our partner Tech Against Terrorism and 
confirmed to link to terrorist content. Member companies will then be 
able to see if any hash may match to content on their platform, thus 
providing a signal to identify where to focus and prioritize their 
policy enforcement efforts and combat potential terrorist and violent 
extremist activity. These new categories to our taxonomy enable us to 
address a greater amount of content originating from far-right violent 
extremist and White supremacist ideologies by including URLs and 
publications from terrorist organizations on the Five Eyes government 
designation lists, which include White supremacist terrorist groups, 
and attacker manifestos, often from White supremacy-motivated 
terrorists not previously on Government-maintained designation lists.
    Question 4. Can you describe the extent to which your hash-sharing 
database is applicable to content in the metaverse?
    Answer. As technology has continued to change and advance, so too 
have the ways in which terrorists and violent extremists have adapted 
to exploiting on-line platforms. For that reason, GIFCT will continue 
to devote research and develop solutions to address where and how 
terrorists and violent extremists seek to exploit digital platforms. 
When it comes to GIFCT's hash-sharing database, if users have the 
ability to share user-generated content and or link to such content, 
terrorist and violent extremists will inevitably try to use those 
features and our hash-sharing database applies. That said, the exact 
form that the metaverse will take is still emerging and the activities 
that users will be able to engage in, and that terrorists seek to 
exploit, will continue to evolve. As such, GIFCT is always looking to 
support our members in their approach to safety by design when 
developing new tools and technologies, while also improving and 
developing new ways that we can enable cross-platform collaboration by 
member companies to prevent and mitigate new attempts at exploitation 
by terrorists and violent extremists.
    Question 5. Have any other industries reached out to GIFCT in order 
to try and replicate their model to mitigate other on-line threats such 
as ransomware, child sexual exploitation on-line or financial crimes?
    Answer. GIFCT routinely works alongside and expands engagements 
with other tech-related industries that either have a nexus to 
countering terrorist and violent extremist activity or who approach 
other on-line harm types with similar needs for cross-platforming 
tooling and information-sharing across technology companies. Examples 
of these growing collaborations include active dialogs with Tech 
Coalition, NCMEC, and cross harms groups like TSPA to further develop 
models and methodologies to respond to and prevent harmful content and 
activity on-line. In addition to these relationships, GIFCT is also 
working alongside All Tech is Human, ForHumanity, ADSA, ISOC, and W3C 
tech organizations and non-profits focused on building responsible 
technology and associated policies for developers and consumers alike. 
Relatedly, earlier this year, GIFCT in collaboration with IEEE 
conducted an event on mitigating societal harms in social media by 
bringing together policy makers and technologists to examine cutting-
edge solutions built on promising technologies such as AI and machine 
learning. While GIFCT is open to working with new partners and other 
organizations trying to mitigate on-line threats it is important to 
note that harm types do significantly vary in their on-line 
manifestations and therefore replicating efficient models (like the 
hash-sharing database) to address one type of on-line harm does not 
always lead to success in addressing another.