Walker Opening Statement at Terror Threats in New York City Field Hearing

WASHINGTON Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism Ranking Member Mark Walker (R-N.C.), today delivered the following opening statement at a subcommittee field hearing entitled “Local Efforts to Counter the Terror Threat in New York City: A Retrospective and a Roadmap.” The field hearing is taking place in Staten Island, New York.

I want to thank Chairman Rose for holding this hearing and inviting me to his District.  There is no question that New York City is a major terror target.  The City’s law enforcement and first responder community have worked tirelessly to identify, prevent, deter and mitigate threats in the region. 

Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the threat landscape has shifted. We once principally faced threats planned and directed by al Qaeda senior leaders. 

The last few years have seen a rise in lone wolf actors radicalized by ISIS online propaganda.

ISIS has exploited social media to inspire these individuals to use knifes and vehicles to carry out attacks on soft targets.   

The territorial defeat of ISIS does not leave us immune to their continued attempts to coordinate and inspire attacks on our soil. 

The horrible attacks on Easter targeting Christians in Sri Lanka and the recent release of a new video of ISIS-leader al Baghdadi demonstrate that the group remains a threat. 

Additionally, we cannot forget that al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups remain intent on targeting the West.  

It is clear that domestic extremists are following in the footsteps of foreign terrorists by using social media platforms to spread propaganda and create echo chambers of hate.  

Religious institutions from all faith groups are being targeted by both domestic and internationally-inspired groups. 

Targeting innocent people in their place of worship is one of the vilest acts of terrorism and we must do a better job of identifying plots and stopping these attacks. 

Close coordination between Federal, state and local entities is vital to counterterrorism defenses – both international and domestic. 

I look forward to hearing from the witnesses on whether or not they are receiving the necessary information sharing support, training, and coordination from Federal partners. 

It is an honor to be here today to receive testimony from this distinguished panel. I want to thank them for their service and for advising this Subcommittee on terrorism threats facing the homeland, lessons learned, and emerging threats. 

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Contact: Nicole Hager

202-226-8417

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