Tester Pushes for Additional Details to Help Defeat and Destroy ISIS
As ISIS Loses Territory, Senator Questions International Experts on Preventing the Spread of Radical Jihadist Terrorism
(U.S. Senate)-As the United States and an international military coalition continue to hand ISIS defeats across Iraq and Syria, Senator Jon Tester today pushed for additional details on the motives and tactics ISIS uses to recruit extremists and establish terror cells across the world.
Tester questioned a panel of international experts, including Religious Studies Director of the World Organization for Resource Development and Education Dr. Tarek Elgawhary, on the details of ISIS’s recruiting efforts and the motivating factors of the terrorists who seek to join ISIS.
“Identifying the root causes that push folks toward extremism is the first step to defeating terrorist groups like ISIS,” Tester said. “It is critical that we continue to use both collaborative military action and education to eliminate any motivation that folks have to join ISIS.”
Despite ISIS’s recent defeat last week at Fallujah, Iraq, Dr. Elgawhary responded that ISIS continues to forcibly coerce locals to join the terror organization.
Since 2014, ISIS has lost 45 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria due to continued efforts by the United States and coalition forces.
Tester, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has pushed a number of provisions to defeat ISIS and limit terrorist attacks in the United States, including voting this week to ensure law enforcement officials have the tools they need to prevent suspected terrorist from acquiring guns. He is also pushing legislation to provide the FBI with additional resources for their counter-terrorism efforts while also boosting grants for local law enforcement to train for active shooter situations.
Tester supports targeted air strikes to take out ISIS cells and supports updating the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
Tester also worked to address potential vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries now need to acquire a visa before entering the U.S. if they have traveled to Iraq or Syria within the past five years.
Additionally, Tester continues to push the Transportation Security Administration to install full body scanners in smaller airports across the country and he is leading the effort to crack down on insider threats by working to reform the security clearance process so folks who want to harm the U.S. don’t have access to our nation’s most sensitive information and locations.