[House Report 115-609]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


115th Congress    }                                     {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {     115-609

======================================================================



 
               VEHICULAR TERRORISM PREVENTION ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 March 19, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. McCaul, from the Committee on Homeland Security, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4227]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4227) to require the Secretary of Homeland 
Security to examine what actions the Department of Homeland 
Security is undertaking to combat the threat of vehicular 
terrorism, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     5
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Preemption Clarification.........................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

   This Act may be cited as the ``Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act of 
2018''.

SEC. 2. STRATEGY ON VEHICULAR TERRORISM.

  (a) In General.--Not later than six months after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall--
          (1) assess the activities the Department of Homeland Security 
        is undertaking to support emergency response providers and the 
        private sector to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the threat 
        of vehicular terrorism; and
          (2) based on such assessment, develop and submit to the 
        Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives 
        and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs 
        of the Senate a strategy to improve the Department's efforts to 
        support the efforts of emergency response providers and the 
        private sector to prevent, mitigate, and respond to such 
        threat.
  (b) Contents.--The strategy required under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
          (1) An examination of the current threat of vehicular 
        terrorism.
          (2) Methods to improve Department of Homeland Security 
        information sharing activities with emergency response 
        providers and the private sector regarding best practices to 
        prevent, mitigate, and respond to the increasing threat of 
        vehicular terrorism.
          (3) Training activities the Department can provide, including 
        possible exercises, for emergency response providers to prevent 
        and respond to the threat of vehicular terrorism.
          (4) Any additional activities the Secretary of Homeland 
        Security recommends to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the 
        threat of vehicular terrorism.
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Emergency response providers.--The term ``emergency 
        response providers'' has the meaning given such term in section 
        2(6) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101(6)).
          (2) Vehicular terrorism.--The term ``vehicular terrorism'' 
        means any action that utilizes automotive transportation to 
        inflict violence and intimidation on individuals for a 
        political purpose.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The bill directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
examine the threat of vehicular terrorism and develop a 
strategy to improve Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
support for the efforts of emergency responders and the private 
sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to such a threat. The 
strategy is required to include information sharing activities 
and training activities as well as any additional activities 
the Secretary recommends to improve the Department's support 
for efforts of emergency response providers and the private 
sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to such a threat.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Terror groups have urged supporters to carry out attacks 
using any means necessary, including vehicle ramming. The 
second edition of Inspire magazine, a terrorist propaganda tool 
published by now-deceased U.S.-born al Qaeda in the Arabian 
Peninsula (AQAP) member Anwar al-Awlaki, included an article 
promoting the use of a large pickup trucks to target 
pedestrians. Supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria 
(ISIS) have repeatedly promoted the use of unsophisticated 
terror attacks, including the use of vehicles. As recently as 
February 23, 2018, a pro-ISIS group published a poster 
promoting vehicle ramming attacks. The poster displays a truck 
and Arabic and English text stating ``Hit Them with a Truck. 
Kill Them All.''\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Site Intelligence Group Enterprise. ``Pro-IS Group Calls for 
Vehicular Attacks with Trucks in Poster,'' February 23, 2018. Accessed 
at: https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Chatter/pro-is-group-calls-for-
vehicular-attacks-with-trucks-in-poster.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Terrorists have heeded this direction and have carried out 
several vehicle-based attacks in the past several years. On the 
evening of July 14, 2016, a 19-ton cargo truck was deliberately 
driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the 
Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths 
of 86 people and the injury of 458 others. On March 22, 2017, a 
terrorist drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement along 
the south side of Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, 
injuring more than 50 people, five of them fatally. On the 
afternoon of August 17, 2017, an individual drove a van into 
pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing thirteen 
people and injuring at least 130 others.
    The radicalized individuals in the United States have also 
engaged in vehicle ramming attacks. On November 28, 2016, an 
individual inspired by ISIS drove his vehicle into a crowd of 
students on the Ohio State University campus, injuring 11 
students. Most recently, on October 31, 2017, a person drove a 
rented pickup truck into cyclists and runners on the Hudson 
River Park's bike path in New York City. The vehicle-ramming 
attack killed eight people and injured eleven others. A flag 
and a document indicating allegiance to ISIS were found in the 
truck. However, this terror tactic has not confined itself to 
one ideological group. On August 12, 2017, a self-proclaimed 
neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of individuals protesting 
the alt-right demonstrations held at a ``Unite the Right'' 
rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The vehicle ramming attack 
killed one persona and injured 35 others.
    The majority of prevention, mitigation and response 
activities related to vehicle attacks are carried out by first 
responders and the private sector. DHS has existing resources 
and programs that can be better utilized to prepare front line 
personnel in local communities to address this threat. This 
includes, guidance related to the use of existing grant 
programs, increased information sharing, promoting suspicious 
activity reporting, increasing available exercises and training 
programs, dedicated research and development targeting 
mitigation measures, and utilizing critical infrastructure 
protection programs for vehicle ramming prevention.
    H.R. 4227, the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act would 
require the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to 
Congress, a report detailing what actions DHS is undertaking to 
combat the threat of vehicular terrorism. The report must 
include an examination of the current threat level for 
vehicular terrorism; what DHS is currently doing to guard 
against vehicular terrorism; how the threat of vehicular 
terrorism may be mitigated; the extent to which DHS is doing 
any outreach or training with private sector partners in 
response to the threat of vehicular terrorism; and, any actions 
that Congress can take to help DHS mitigate this threat.

                                Hearings

    On November 30, 2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled 
``World Wide Threats: Keeping America Secure in the New Age of 
Terror.'' The Committee received testimony from Hon. Elaine C. 
Duke, Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security; Hon. 
Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 
U.S. Department of Justice; ,. Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director, 
The National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of 
National Intelligence; Mr. David B. Rausch, Chief of Police, 
City of Knoxville, Tennessee, testifying on behalf of the 
International Association of Chiefs of Police; Rabbi Abraham 
Cooper, Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda, 
Simon Wiesenthal Center; and Mr. J. Richard Cohen, President, 
Southern Poverty Law Center.
    This hearing examined current threats to America including: 
Islamist terrorism, domestic terrorism, cyberattacks, aviation 
security and border security. The hearing focused on the 
federal government to counter these threats, as well as the 
steps congress has taken to support their efforts.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on March 7, 2018, to consider H.R. 4227, 
and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with a 
favorable recommendation, as amended, by unanimous consent. The 
Committee took the following actions:
    The following amendment was offered:
 An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Mr. 
Donovan (#1); was AGREED TO by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 4227.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has held oversight 
hearings and made findings that are reflected in this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of Rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
4227, the Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act of 2017, would 
result in no new or increased budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, a cost estimate provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chairman 
of the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4227 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The goal of H.R. 4227 is for the Department of Homeland 
Security to develop a strategy to improve DHS support for 
efforts of emergency responders and the private sector to 
prevent, mitigate, and respond to the threat of vehicular 
terrorism.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of Rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 4227 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

   Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
                                Benefits

    In compliance with Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of the Rule 
XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    An estimate of Federal mandates prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chairman 
of the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

                        Preemption Clarification

    In compliance with section 423 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, requiring the report of any Committee on a bill or 
joint resolution to include a statement on the extent to which 
the bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, 
local, or Tribal law, the Committee finds that H.R. 4227 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 4227 would require no 
directed rule makings.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1.   Short Title.

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Vehicular Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018''.

Sec. 2.   Strategy on Vehicular Terrorism.

    This section directs the Secretary to examine the threat of 
vehicular terrorism and develop a strategy to improve DHS 
support for the efforts of emergency responders and the private 
sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to such a threat. The 
strategy is required to include information sharing activities 
and training activities as well as any additional activities 
the Secretary recommends to improve the Department's support 
for efforts of emergency response providers and the private 
sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to such a threat.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    As reported, H.R. 4227 makes no changes to existing law.

                                  [all]