Washington D.C. (Link) – Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement regarding his opposition to the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act:
Terrorism is about spreading fear. As we combat violent extremism and the spread of dangerous propaganda, we must recognize that hateful ideology originates both overseas and at home. Since the 9/11 attacks, domestic terrorists have killed more people in the United States than foreign terrorist organizations. Numerous domestic terror acts, including those at the Seattle Jewish Federation, Planned Parenthood in Colorado, Oklahoma City, the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, have made clear that violent extremism is not limited to a single ideology, nor does it always breed on foreign soil.
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives considered H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act. Notably, this bill weakens national security by excluding domestic terror organizations from its focus and ignoring that terrorists are inspired by a broad number of religious, political and ideological beliefs.
Our national security approach must build people-to-people ties, address the root causes of extremism and empower local partners to prevent violent extremism, both here and abroad. In the Puget Sound region, we have seen the damage that hateful and violent rhetoric inflicts on our local community centers and places of worship. We must remain vigilant in our fight against terror networks that seek to do us harm. By opening our eyes to the realities of foreign and domestic terror networks, we can work together to build a more just and peaceful society as we keep America safe.