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115th Congress    }                                 {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                 {          115-489
======================================================================



 
              POST-CALIPHATE THREAT ASSESSMENT ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

January 9, 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

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4564) to require a threat assessment on current 
foreign terrorist fighter activities, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     1
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     3
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Preemption Clarification.........................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4564 is to require a threat assessment 
on current foreign terrorist fighter activities. This bill 
directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination 
with the Secretary of State and Director of National 
Intelligence, to conduct a threat assessment of current foreign 
terrorist fighter activity-including information on travel and 
trends, destination countries, and changes in activity in Iraq 
and Syria-and report to Congress on its findings.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    This year the Islamic State (ISIS) lost most of its self-
declared caliphate in the Republic of Iraq and the Syrian Arab 
Republic. The liberation of Mosul and Raqqa are major victories 
for anti-ISIS forces, but the terrorist group is far from 
defeated, even in the region. Many jihadis not killed on the 
battlefield have chosen to hide, rearm, and recuperate-going 
underground for a period before reemerging to fight the next 
phase of the insurgency. Reports about the current location of 
remaining ISIS fighters vary. While there is evidence that some 
fighters are returning to their home countries, other reports 
indicate that fighters are holed up in Syria's Idlib province 
or Turkey, contemplating their next move. Still others may have 
escaped to ISIS provinces, including Libya, Afghanistan, 
Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia, in order to regroup and 
continue their recruitment and fight against the West.
    Of particular concern for the homeland are those who seek 
to return to Europe or the United States. Of the 5,000 
Europeans who left to fight with ISIS, approximately one third 
have returned home. Many ISIS fighters are currently residing 
in Turkey, with the possibility of fleeing to Europe via old 
refugee routes. Those fighters who have fled or returned to 
Europe may seek to exploit direct flights to the United States, 
as well as the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). H.R. 4564 will ensure 
that Congress and the Executive gain better clarity on foreign 
terrorist fighter travel and trends after the defeat of the 
caliphate, in light of the varying reports, which will 
strengthen our defenses as the diaspora unfolds.

                                Hearings

    The Committee did not hold any legislative hearings on H.R. 
4564 in the 115th Congress. However, this legislation was 
informed by a Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the 
United States hearing on May 3, 2017, entitled ``Denying 
Terrorists Entry to the United States: Examining Visa 
Security.'' The Task Force received testimony from: Mr. Edward 
Ramotowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Visa 
Services, Department of State; Mr. John Wagner, Deputy 
Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security; Mr. Michael Dougherty, Acting Assistant Secretary for 
Border, Immigration, and Trade, Office of Strategy, Policy, and 
Plans, Department of Homeland Security; Mr. Clark Settles, 
Assistant Director, National Security Investigations, U.S. 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland 
Security; and Ms. Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland Security 
and Justice, Government Accountability Office.
    This legislation was also informed by a Task Force hearing 
on July 13, 2017, entitled ``The Terrorist Diaspora: After the 
Fall of the Caliphate.'' The Task Force received testimony 
from: Mr. Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow, Foundation for 
Defense of Democracies; Mr. Robin Simcox, Margaret Thatcher 
Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; and Dr. Colin P. Clarke, 
Political Scientist, The RAND Corporation.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on December 13, 2017, to consider H.R. 
4564, and ordered the measure to be reported to the House with 
a favorable recommendation, without amendment, by unanimous 
consent.

                            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. 4564.

                      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. 
4564, the Post-Caliphate Threat Assessment 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. 4564 contains the following 
general performance goals and objectives, including outcome 
related goals and objectives authorized.
    The goal of this legislation is to ensure that Congress and 
the Executive have a coordinated and updated assessment of 
foreign terrorist fighter travel and trends after the defeat of 
the caliphate in Iraq and Syria, which will inform U.S. 
defenses as the diaspora continues to unfold.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 4564 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. 4564 does 
not preempt any State, local, or Tribal law.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H.R. 4564 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 
``Post-Caliphate Threat Assessment Act of 2017''.

Sec. 2.   Threat Assessment.

    This section directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, in 
coordination with the Secretary of State and Director of 
National Intelligence, to conduct a threat assessment of 
current foreign terrorist fighter activity and report to 
Congress on its findings. The assessment must include 
information on foreign terrorist fighter travel and trends, 
destination countries, and changes in activity in Iraq and 
Syria.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    As reported, H.R. 4564 makes no changes to existing law.

                                  [all]