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    Sorry-BHO. Homeland Security Ch. Michael McCaul issues early statement

    Write to Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of US House Homeland Security SubComittee

    homeland.security@mail.house.gov



    http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/20...n-responds-to/

    Fox News Sunday

    Rep. Michael McCaul on protecting the homeland from terror

    Published December 06, 2015FoxNews.com


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    Joining us now, Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
    Congressman, what have you thought of President Obama's response so far to the San Bernardino attack and what would you like to hear him say in a speech to the nation tonight?
    REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, CHAIR, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Well, first, he seemed to indicate going back to the fact that this could be an act of workplace violence. He has to get off this rhetoric.
    Make no mistake: this is not workplace violence. It was an act of terrorism and these occurrences are happening too frequently.
    I think the tentacles of ISIS now are not only in Europe but also in the United States of America. And the FBI, you know, stats show that. We have 70 ISIS-related arrests, more than one per week, a thousand investigations in all 50 states.
    I wanted to tell the truth to the American people about what the threat really is and what the threat itself is, and that's radical Islamist terrorism. It does exist in the United States.
    We didn't see this one coming. There were no warning signs or flags. And we need to do a better job identifying the signs of radicalization from within the United States. We also need to stop the foreign fighter from traveling overseas into the United States. Those are the two main threat vectors.
    And, Chris, we're just not doing an adequate job to adequately protect the American people.
    WALLACE: Let's turn to the investigation. This is what we heard on Friday from FBI Director James Comey.
    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
    COMEY: The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of a potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organization.
    (END VIDEO CLIP)
    WALLACE: Chairman, is there anything more you can tell us about this couple and about their links to terrorists either in this country or overseas?
    MCCAUL: Well, I think the wild card here is the wife Malik. She is -- they are both of Pakistani descent, but she lived in Pakistan most of her adult life, went to Saudi Arabia, they hooked up over the Internet. There's a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi, including if she attended the red mosque in Islamabad, which is a very radicalized mosque.
    We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook's radicalization from within in the United States.
    (CROSSTALK)
    WALLACE: I’m sorry, sir, let me can if I can go down a checklist of questions that a lot of people are asking. Your sense at this point, were they inspired or directed by ISIS or some other group to carry out these attacks?
    MCCAUL: Well, at a minimum, inspired. I mean, we know that Malik, the female, pledged her allegiance to al Baghdadi and ISIS in a Facebook posting.
    We have the computers. We have the devices. We are currently going through the forensics. They tried to destroy those computers unsuccessfully.
    And now, the investigation is ongoing to find out what is precisely the connection between ISIS, say, in Raqqa and in the United States, and what was going on.
    I believe at a minimum inspired but very well could be directed by these Internet communications which is simply this, Chris -- come to Syria or kill where you are.
    WALLACE: When you talk about the connections, one of the questions a lot of people are asking is, where did they get the thousands of dollars that must have taken to assemble this huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition and material for bombs?
    MCCAUL: You're right. We are looking at the terrorist financing aspect to this case. I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own. We know that one of the suspects was providing the semiautomatic weapons to him as well.
    So, that's all part of the bigger investigation in terms of who was providing, not only the finance but also the expertise. It's been reported they had a bomb-making factory, if you will, inside their home. They had already built 12 pipe bombs ready to use. And who knows what the next target could have been.
    WALLACE: As the head of the House Homeland Security, obviously, one of the questions you’ve got to be asking is why didn't we find this out? We're talking about an American citizen. It seems to have come under the radar.
    As you look at this, several days into this incident, any sign of an intelligence failure, an intelligence gap that was exploited? Or is this just something that we couldn't find?
    MCCAUL: Well, that's something we'll be looking at on the committee, the oversight, to see what could have been missed. Could we have done a better national security check over in Saudi Arabia on the female suspect to find out what her background really was before we let her in on a fiancée visa?
    These are a lot of things in Congress, I came up with a task force report to strengthen foreign travel. But also to deal with combating violent extremism, Islamic extremism in the United States, we have a little priority or focus on these programs. And I think we need to do a much better job trying to identify the early warning signs of radicalization inside the United States.
    WALLACE: But I guess at some point you just can't do it, and that's the question I’m asking as someone who is charged with protecting the homeland, is it possible to stop, he's an American citizen, he had no law enforcement record, no evident ties to terror, yes, there was the wife and that's certainly a question. Is it possible that sometimes you just can't spot these terrorists before they strike?
    MCCAUL: That's right. You just can't stop it all. And we stopped the Garland, Fourth of July plot. We stopped a lot of bad things from happening, Chris, but you just can't stop it all when you have 2,000 ISIS tweets per day on the Internet coming into the United States to kill. There were no flags, warning signs in this particular case.
    But the volume is so high and the chatter is so high that it's almost impossible to stop it all. And I think that is what we are ramping up our efforts, but you can't be right every time.
    WALLACE: Let's go through in the time we have left of a list of possible reforms, I want to get from you whether you think they are good ideas or not. As you pointed out earlier, the wife Malik came in through a K1 so-called "Fiancée Visa". Do we need to end those?
    MCCAUL: Well, I think more scrutiny needs to be placed on the national security investigation to get that visa. As you know on the floor on Tuesday, we'll be voting to a visa waiver program bill that will tighten up the restrictions so that people that have basically have those visa waiver countries -- for instance, the French attackers have a French passport wouldn't have to get a visa to come into the United States.
    That's vitally important. And the majority of the attackers --
    WALLACE: Can I just quickly ask you about that because I think a lot of you may not know, for all the talk about the refugees, for all the talk about the fiancée visa. In 38 countries, a lot of them in Europe, there's a visa waiver. They can come into this country, a lot of them come as tourists, hundreds of thousands of them come without any screening at all.
    Does that have to stop?
    MCCAUL: Well, it does. And that's what our bill fixes on Tuesday, 5,000 of these foreign fighters that have gone to Syria and Iraq have Western passports. And therefore do not have to obtain a visa before they come into the United States.
    Now, Chris, this is a huge security gap. It needs to be addressed and fixed and the Congress understands that, as does the White House, and we intend to do that. But if you think again about the majority of the Paris attackers have French or other European passports, they wouldn't have had to go get a visa before coming to the United States. That's a threat to the homeland, it's a threat to Europe, obviously, but the bigger threat to the homeland is the ease of travel visa waiver to get into the United States.
    WALLACE: Another area you were one of the majority in Congress who voted to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone data, the fact that my phone number called your phone number and spoke for X number of minutes. And that program ran out last Sunday, a week ago.
    As a result of that, that means that authorities are going to have access to only the last two years of Farook's phone records, but now, the previous three years because they have five years in their file, the previous three years, those years in their files are now off limits. Was it a mistake to end the NSA phone data collection program?
    MCCAUL: Basically what we did is we took -- I was a former federal prosecutor, I did FISA warrants, and what we did is would go to the phone companies to get that information, rather than have all the information warehoused under the federal government.
    And so, I think it's coming back to a system that worked in the past. It's just going to the private sector to get that information and not taking all that data and warehousing it under the NSA.
    I’m sure there will be debates in the Congress further about this. I feel confident about our ability to track terrorists through court orders and getting into these phone records.
    What I’m more worried about, Chris, is this dark space phenomenon of communications between terrorists from Raqqa into the United States, or Raqqa to Paris or Belgium, even with a court order, we can't see the encrypted communications they are using. And if you can't see what the terrorists are saying, you can't stop it. And that's one of the biggest challenges before the FBI today.
    WALLACE: Finally, Chairman McCaul, I want to end where I began because one of the things that struck me in your initial answer about what you want to hear from the president tonight is you said you want him to tell the truth. You don't think he's been telling the truth to the American people?
    MCCAUL: Well, you know, before Paris he said, ISIS was contained. Before San Bernardino, he said that America was safe from ISIS, was not an existential threat, it’s what he said in his own words.
    He seems to downplay this threat all throughout his campaign narrative into his presidency, and I think the American people deserve to know what the truth really is. And we also want to hear from him a military strategy to finally defeat and destroy ISIS, drain the swamp to the swamps in Syria so they can't come into the United States. And San Bernardino is an example of the swamp coming to the United States.
    WALLACE: Chairman McCaul, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you. Thank you so much for your time today.
    MCCAUL: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me.
    Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the San Bernardino attack and how President Obama will try to reassure the nation.
    Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about what we can do to protect the homeland? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.

    Joining us now, Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
    Congressman, what have you thought of President Obama's response so far to the San Bernardino attack and what would you like to hear him say in a speech to the nation tonight?
    REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS, CHAIR, HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Well, first, he seemed to indicate going back to the fact that this could be an act of workplace violence. He has to get off this rhetoric.
    Make no mistake: this is not workplace violence. It was an act of terrorism and these occurrences are happening too frequently.
    I think the tentacles of ISIS now are not only in Europe but also in the United States of America. And the FBI, you know, stats show that. We have 70 ISIS-related arrests, more than one per week, a thousand investigations in all 50 states.
    I wanted to tell the truth to the American people about what the threat really is and what the threat itself is, and that's radical Islamist terrorism. It does exist in the United States.
    We didn't see this one coming. There were no warning signs or flags. And we need to do a better job identifying the signs of radicalization from within the United States. We also need to stop the foreign fighter from traveling overseas into the United States. Those are the two main threat vectors.
    And, Chris, we're just not doing an adequate job to adequately protect the American people.
    WALLACE: Let's turn to the investigation. This is what we heard on Friday from FBI Director James Comey.
    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
    COMEY: The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of a potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organization.
    (END VIDEO CLIP)
    WALLACE: Chairman, is there anything more you can tell us about this couple and about their links to terrorists either in this country or overseas?
    MCCAUL: Well, I think the wild card here is the wife Malik. She is -- they are both of Pakistani descent, but she lived in Pakistan most of her adult life, went to Saudi Arabia, they hooked up over the Internet. There's a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi, including if she attended the red mosque in Islamabad, which is a very radicalized mosque.
    We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook's radicalization from within in the United States.
    (CROSSTALK)
    WALLACE: I’m sorry, sir, let me can if I can go down a checklist of questions that a lot of people are asking. Your sense at this point, were they inspired or directed by ISIS or some other group to carry out these attacks?
    MCCAUL: Well, at a minimum, inspired. I mean, we know that Malik, the female, pledged her allegiance to al Baghdadi and ISIS in a Facebook posting.
    We have the computers. We have the devices. We are currently going through the forensics. They tried to destroy those computers unsuccessfully.
    And now, the investigation is ongoing to find out what is precisely the connection between ISIS, say, in Raqqa and in the United States, and what was going on.
    I believe at a minimum inspired but very well could be directed by these Internet communications which is simply this, Chris -- come to Syria or kill where you are.
    WALLACE: When you talk about the connections, one of the questions a lot of people are asking is, where did they get the thousands of dollars that must have taken to assemble this huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition and material for bombs?
    MCCAUL: You're right. We are looking at the terrorist financing aspect to this case. I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own. We know that one of the suspects was providing the semiautomatic weapons to him as well.
    So, that's all part of the bigger investigation in terms of who was providing, not only the finance but also the expertise. It's been reported they had a bomb-making factory, if you will, inside their home. They had already built 12 pipe bombs ready to use. And who knows what the next target could have been.
    WALLACE: As the head of the House Homeland Security, obviously, one of the questions you’ve got to be asking is why didn't we find this out? We're talking about an American citizen. It seems to have come under the radar.
    As you look at this, several days into this incident, any sign of an intelligence failure, an intelligence gap that was exploited? Or is this just something that we couldn't find?
    MCCAUL: Well, that's something we'll be looking at on the committee, the oversight, to see what could have been missed. Could we have done a better national security check over in Saudi Arabia on the female suspect to find out what her background really was before we let her in on a fiancée visa?
    These are a lot of things in Congress, I came up with a task force report to strengthen foreign travel. But also to deal with combating violent extremism, Islamic extremism in the United States, we have a little priority or focus on these programs. And I think we need to do a much better job trying to identify the early warning signs of radicalization inside the United States.
    WALLACE: But I guess at some point you just can't do it, and that's the question I’m asking as someone who is charged with protecting the homeland, is it possible to stop, he's an American citizen, he had no law enforcement record, no evident ties to terror, yes, there was the wife and that's certainly a question. Is it possible that sometimes you just can't spot these terrorists before they strike?
    MCCAUL: That's right. You just can't stop it all. And we stopped the Garland, Fourth of July plot. We stopped a lot of bad things from happening, Chris, but you just can't stop it all when you have 2,000 ISIS tweets per day on the Internet coming into the United States to kill. There were no flags, warning signs in this particular case.
    But the volume is so high and the chatter is so high that it's almost impossible to stop it all. And I think that is what we are ramping up our efforts, but you can't be right every time.
    WALLACE: Let's go through in the time we have left of a list of possible reforms, I want to get from you whether you think they are good ideas or not. As you pointed out earlier, the wife Malik came in through a K1 so-called "Fiancée Visa". Do we need to end those?
    MCCAUL: Well, I think more scrutiny needs to be placed on the national security investigation to get that visa. As you know on the floor on Tuesday, we'll be voting to a visa waiver program bill that will tighten up the restrictions so that people that have basically have those visa waiver countries -- for instance, the French attackers have a French passport wouldn't have to get a visa to come into the United States.
    That's vitally important. And the majority of the attackers --
    WALLACE: Can I just quickly ask you about that because I think a lot of you may not know, for all the talk about the refugees, for all the talk about the fiancée visa. In 38 countries, a lot of them in Europe, there's a visa waiver. They can come into this country, a lot of them come as tourists, hundreds of thousands of them come without any screening at all.
    Does that have to stop?
    MCCAUL: Well, it does. And that's what our bill fixes on Tuesday, 5,000 of these foreign fighters that have gone to Syria and Iraq have Western passports. And therefore do not have to obtain a visa before they come into the United States.
    Now, Chris, this is a huge security gap. It needs to be addressed and fixed and the Congress understands that, as does the White House, and we intend to do that. But if you think again about the majority of the Paris attackers have French or other European passports, they wouldn't have had to go get a visa before coming to the United States. That's a threat to the homeland, it's a threat to Europe, obviously, but the bigger threat to the homeland is the ease of travel visa waiver to get into the United States.
    WALLACE: Another area you were one of the majority in Congress who voted to end the NSA's bulk collection of phone data, the fact that my phone number called your phone number and spoke for X number of minutes. And that program ran out last Sunday, a week ago.
    As a result of that, that means that authorities are going to have access to only the last two years of Farook's phone records, but now, the previous three years because they have five years in their file, the previous three years, those years in their files are now off limits. Was it a mistake to end the NSA phone data collection program?
    MCCAUL: Basically what we did is we took -- I was a former federal prosecutor, I did FISA warrants, and what we did is would go to the phone companies to get that information, rather than have all the information warehoused under the federal government.
    And so, I think it's coming back to a system that worked in the past. It's just going to the private sector to get that information and not taking all that data and warehousing it under the NSA.
    I’m sure there will be debates in the Congress further about this. I feel confident about our ability to track terrorists through court orders and getting into these phone records.
    What I’m more worried about, Chris, is this dark space phenomenon of communications between terrorists from Raqqa into the United States, or Raqqa to Paris or Belgium, even with a court order, we can't see the encrypted communications they are using. And if you can't see what the terrorists are saying, you can't stop it. And that's one of the biggest challenges before the FBI today.
    WALLACE: Finally, Chairman McCaul, I want to end where I began because one of the things that struck me in your initial answer about what you want to hear from the president tonight is you said you want him to tell the truth. You don't think he's been telling the truth to the American people?
    MCCAUL: Well, you know, before Paris he said, ISIS was contained. Before San Bernardino, he said that America was safe from ISIS, was not an existential threat, it’s what he said in his own words.
    He seems to downplay this threat all throughout his campaign narrative into his presidency, and I think the American people deserve to know what the truth really is. And we also want to hear from him a military strategy to finally defeat and destroy ISIS, drain the swamp to the swamps in Syria so they can't come into the United States. And San Bernardino is an example of the swamp coming to the United States.
    WALLACE: Chairman McCaul, we're going to have to leave it there. Thank you. Thank you so much for your time today.
    MCCAUL: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me.
    Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the San Bernardino attack and how President Obama will try to reassure the nation.
    Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about what we can do to protect the homeland? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
    (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Exclusive: California shooters likely planned multiple attacks - official

    Sunday, December 06, 2015 12:03 p.m. CST

    Weapons confiscated from last Wednesday's attack in San Bernardino, California are shown in this San Bernardino County Sheriff Department handout photo from their Twitter account released to Reuters December 3, 2015. REUTERS/SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT/HANDOUT By Mark Hosenball and Diane Bartz
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. investigators are increasingly convinced the California shooters planned multiple attacks, given their stockpile of weapons, and are looking at whether the Pakistani woman involved radicalized her American husband, officials said on Sunday.
    Investigators believe the weapons cache collected by Tashfeen Malik, 29, and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, points to more attacks but they do not have evidence on other possible targets, a senior U.S. government source told Reuters.
    The couple stormed a gathering of his work colleagues in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday, opening fire with assault-style rifles and killing 14 people. The pair were killed a few hours later in a shootout with police.
    U.S. authorities were trying to learn what contacts Malik might have had with Islamic militants in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where she grew up, the official said on condition of anonymity.
    They lack clear evidence that the wife was radicalized overseas or that she in turn radicalized her husband, though they are actively investigating that, the official said.
    Authorities are investigating the shootings as an act of terrorism. President Barack Obama scheduled an Oval Office address Sunday to outline how the country is responding to the broader threat of terrorism.
    Malik's estranged relatives in Pakistan have said she appeared to have abandoned the family's moderate Islam and become more radicalized in Saudi Arabia, where she moved as a toddler.
    She returned to Pakistan and studied pharmacy at Bahauddin Zakaria University in Multan from 2007 to 2012.
    "There's a serious investigation ongoing into what she was doing in Pakistan and in Saudi," U.S. Representative Michael McCaul said on "Fox News Sunday." "We think that she had a lot to do with the radicalization process and perhaps with Mr. Farook's radicalization from within the United States."
    "The wild card here is the wife Malik," said McCaul, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He said investigators were also looking at where they got the money to acquire the guns.
    U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said U.S. authorities have no evidence that the shooters were part of a larger terrorism cell but were working with their counterparts overseas to gather information about their lives.
    "We are trying to learn everything we can about both of these individuals," Lynch said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It will be a long process, it will be an exhaustive process."
    "And we are trying to learn as much as we can about her life before they met, after they met and frankly, after she came here as well. What we are trying to focus on again is what motivated these two individuals."
    ISLAMIC STATE LINK UNCLEAR
    McCaul said it was unclear what ties the couple had with the Islamic State, which has said the pair were "followers." At a minimum, he said, the militant group inspired the attack. Malik is believed to have pledged allegiance to the group in a Facebook posting shortly before the shooting.
    "We have the computers. We have the devices. We are currently going through the forensics," he said. "The investigation is ongoing to find out what is precisely the connection between ISIS, say, in Raqqa and in the United States, and what was going on."
    McCaul also noted that Farook had a large arsenal of semi-automatic guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and pipe bombs.
    "We are looking at the terrorist financing aspect to this case. I believe on his salary, he was not able to buy this on his own," said McCaul.
    U.S. officials have acknowledged they had no information about the couple before the killing other than routine matters related to Malik's immigration status in the United States.
    Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, said the case illustrates the difficulties in detecting self-radicalized attackers. "That's a very real challenge and it's one that preceded ISIL and I presume one that will endure beyond ISIL and its defeat," she said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."
    (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Mary Milliken)



    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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