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                                                      Calendar No. 109
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {       116-44
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

       TERRORIST AND FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL EXERCISE ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                               H.R. 1590

            TO REQUIRE AN EXERCISE RELATED TO TERRORIST AND
             FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                  June 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed 
                  
                  
                  
                                 ______
		  		 
                       U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 
		  		 
  89-010                    WASHINGTON : 2019                 
		                   
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                  Joseph C. Folio, III, Chief Counsel
        Michael J. Lueptow, Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
           Julie G. Klein, Minority National Security Advisor
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
























                                                      Calendar No. 109
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {       116-44

======================================================================



 
       TERRORIST AND FOREIGN FIGHTER TRAVEL EXERCISE ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                  June 5, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1590]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the Act (H.R. 1590) to require 
an exercise related to terrorist and foreign fighter travel, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................5
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................5
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............6

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 1590, the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter 
Travel Exercise Act of 2019, is to require the Department of 
Homeland Security (the Department) to, in coordination with 
other Federal agencies and stakeholders, develop and conduct an 
exercise related to the threats posed by the travel of 
terrorists or foreign fighters. The Act also requires the 
Department to provide a report to Congress upon the completion 
of the exercise detailing any lessons learned from the 
exercise.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    In December 2018, President Trump issued the National 
Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel. The national strategy is 
``an integrated plan to ensure the United States stops 
terrorist attempts to travel to conduct attacks on the 
homeland.''\1\ The national strategy includes three goals: to 
``identify and deter terrorists before they travel,'' to 
``detect and interdict terrorists during their travel,'' and to 
``enhance travel security capabilities and capacity of foreign 
partners.''\2\ This Act will further the goals of the national 
strategy by bringing together local, state, Federal, and 
foreign law enforcement and other stakeholders in an exercise 
to build national and international preparedness in the 
detection and prevention of terrorist and foreign fighter 
travel.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel (Dec. 2018), 
available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/
NSCTT-Signed.pdf.
    \2\Id.
    \3\In addition, this Act conforms to the recommendation of the Task 
Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel that there 
should be a ``[n]ational-level exercise series designed around the 
foreign fighter threat to test all phases of extremist planning and 
travel to determine how partners at all levels of Government--and 
abroad--are currently responding to these scenarios.'' H. Comm. on 
Homeland Security, Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign 
Fighter Travel, Final Report (Oct. 2015), available at https://fas.org/
irp/congress/2015_rpt/travel.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2015, the Department's Homeland Security Advisory 
Council (HSAC) Foreign Fighter Task Force issued its interim 
report on the potential threat posed by foreign fighter travel, 
and its impact on homeland security.\4\ The interim report 
found that ``more than 180 U.S. persons have traveled or 
attempted to travel to participate in conflict'' and ``about 40 
have returned'' to the United States.\5\ The interim report 
also determined that ``[e]arly detection, prevention and 
intervention relating to the radicalizing pathways towards 
violent extremism or foreign fighter travel cannot be 
overstated.''\6\ In addition, the interim report found that 
success in prevention and ``off-ramping'' is ``contingent on 
strong relationships between local, state and federal law 
enforcement working in conjunction with--or supporting--
communities including those in the private, non-profit and 
academic sectors.''\7\ Based on its review, the HSAC 
recommended, among other things, that the Department ``[e]nsure 
efficient information sharing systems between local and federal 
levels.''\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Dep't of Homeland Sec., Homeland Sec. Advisory Council, Foreign 
Fighter Task Force, Interim Report (2015), available at https://
www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/DHS-HSAC-Foreign-Fighter-
Task-Force-Interim-Report-May-2015.pdf.
    \5\Id.
    \6\Id.
    \7\Id. The 2018 national strategy echoes this sentiment. See 
National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel (Dec. 2018) (noting that 
the federal government will work closely with state, local, and tribal 
governments, in addition to foreign partners to achieve the goals of 
the strategy).
    \8\Dep't of Homeland Sec., Homeland Sec. Advisory Council, Foreign 
Fighter Task Force, Interim Report (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As of 2017, the international community identified over 
40,000 foreign terrorist fighters across more than 120 
countries, according to Army Lt. General Michael K. Nagata, 
director of the National Counterterrorism Center's (NCTC) 
Directorate for Strategic Operational Planning.\9\ During the 
115th Congress, the Committee held hearings that included a 
discussion of threats posed by terrorists and foreign 
fighters.\10\ In September 2017, Mr. Nicholas Rasmussen, then-
Director of the NCTC, testified about the flow of foreign 
fighters out of conflict zones in the Middle East and back into 
Europe or, potentially, the United States:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Karen Parrish, Dep't. of Def., Official: Stopping Foreign 
Fighter Flow to ISIS Requires Collaboration (April 5, 2017), available 
at https://dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1141615/
stopping-flow-of-foreign-fighters-to-isis-will-take-years-official-
says.
    \10\See e.g., Threats to the Homeland: Hearing before S. Comm. on 
Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2018) (testimony of 
Mr. Russell Travers, Acting Director, Nat'l Counterterrorism Center); 
Adapting to Defend the Homeland Against the Evolving International 
Terrorist Threat: Hearing before S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & 
Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2017); Threats to the Homeland: 
Hearing before S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th 
Cong. (2017).

          What we expected when we saw that large inflow of 
        foreign fighters was at some point to deal with a large 
        outflow. That outflow is coming. It is, in fact, in 
        some ways already happening, but it is not nearly as 
        large in volume as perhaps we anticipated. That is a 
        good thing that we are not going to have to deal with 
        thousands and thousands of foreign fighters departing 
        the conflict zone. I would say, though, quality matters 
        here. Quality matters in some ways more than quantity. 
        The wrong set of individuals who escape from the 
        conflict zone in Iraq and Syria, if they have got a 
        particularly specialized set of skills or a 
        particularly full Rolodex or deep connections into an 
        extremist community in Europe or even potentially here 
        inside the United States, they could pose a significant 
        threat to us.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Threats to the Homeland: Hearing before S. Comm. on Homeland 
Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2017).

    Similarly, in 2018, NCTC Acting Director Russell Travers 
noted that ``[w]e have almost 20 ISIS branches and networks 
ranging from hundreds to thousands of individuals around the 
globe, al Qaeda and its branches and affiliates, tens of 
thousands of foreign fighters that flock to Iraq and Syria from 
100 countries, and Iran and its proxies.''\12\ While ISIS 
remains the most active terrorist organization worldwide, 
attacks and deaths attributed to this terrorist group declined 
across the West in 2018. ISIS claimed responsibility for or 
inspired: 14 successful attacks in Europe and North America in 
2015, 22 successful attacks in in 2016, 27 successful attacks 
in 2017, and 8 successful attacks in 2018.\13\ According to the 
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorists and Responses 
to Terrorism's data analysis, the perceived stabilization is 
best attributed to effective law enforcement action, and not to 
a decrease in the actual threat.\14\ The number of both foiled 
and successful jihadist-linked plots has increased since 
2010.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Threats to the Homeland: Hearing before S. Comm. on Homeland 
Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 115th Cong. (2018).
    \13\Rukmini Callimachi, Why a ``Dramatic Dip'' in ISIS Attacks in 
the West is Scant Comfort, N.Y. Times (Sept. 12, 2018) available at 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/world/middleeast/isis-attacks.html.
    \14\Jihadist Terrorist Plots in the United States, Nat. Consortium 
for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (Dec. 2017), 
available at http://www.start.umd.edu/pubs/
START_JihadistTerroristPlotsUS_Dec2017.pdf.
    \15\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In December 2018, the Department established the National 
Vetting Center (NVC) in accordance with National Security 
Presidential Memorandum-9.\16\ The purpose of the NVC is to 
``provide a clearer picture of threats to national security, 
border security, homeland security, or public safety posed by 
individuals seeking to transit our borders or exploit our 
immigration system'' by streamlining information sharing 
between intelligence, law enforcement and other agencies.\17\ A 
national level exercise should engage the nation's whole-of-
government ability to address threats posed by foreign fighter 
travel, including the effectiveness of the newly formed NVC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Dep't of Homeland Sec., Customs and Border Prot., National 
Vetting Center (2018), available at https://www.cbp.gov/border-
security/ports-entry/national-vetting-center.
    \17\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 1590 builds on the Department's national exercise 
framework by requiring a specific exercise focused on threats 
posed by terrorist and foreign fighter travel. The legislation 
sets a few specific guidelines meant to increase collaboration 
between stakeholders, partner agencies, and our foreign allies. 
A report to the appropriate congressional committees on lessons 
learned from the exercise will support the Department's and 
Congress' ability to adjust resources to better suit the needs 
of the Department and its partners.

                        III. Legislative History

    Representative Michael Guest (R-MS-3) introduced H.R. 1590 
on March 7, 2019. The House of Representatives passed the Act 
by a vote of 394 to 7 on April 1, 2019, and it was referred to 
the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered H.R. 1590 at a business meeting on 
May 15, 2019. The Committee ordered the Act reported favorably 
by voice vote en bloc. Senators present for the vote on the Act 
were: Johnson, Paul, Lankford, Scott, Peters, Carper, Hassan, 
and Rosen. For the record only, Senators Portman, Romney, 
Hawley, and Sinema later asked to be recorded as ``yes'' by 
unanimous consent.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the Act's short title, the 
``Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2019.''

Section 2. Exercise on terrorist and foreign fighter travel

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
in coordination with other relevant Federal agencies, to 
organize and hold an exercise on threats posed by terrorist and 
foreign fighter travel.
    Subsection (b) details the requirements of the exercise, 
including the focus of the training scenario; coordination 
between Federal, state, and local law enforcement, foreign 
governments, and fusion centers; and coordination with the 
private sector and stakeholders.
    Subsection (c) requires the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to submit a report to Congress within 60 days of completion of 
the exercise, including identifying any lessons learned and 
plans to incorporate those lessons into the Department's 
operations.
    Subsection (d) references the statutory definition of 
``material support or resources'' in section 2339A of title 18, 
United States Code as it applies to section 2(b)(1)(A) of the 
Act.

Section 3. Emerging threats in the national exercise program

    This section amends the Post-Katrina Emergency Management 
Reform Act of 2006 to require the Federal Government include 
emerging threats into national exercise program scenarios.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this Act and determined 
that the Act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 22, 2019.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1590, the 
Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 1590 would require the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency (FEMA) to develop and carry out national exercises 
designed to evaluate the nation's preparedness against the 
threat of foreign fighters and terrorists. Using information 
from FEMA, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation 
would not significantly affect the federal budget over the 
2020-2024 period because the new exercises would be integrated 
into existing programs.
    Under current law, at least every two years, the agency 
conducts a national exercise to evaluate the preparedness of 
federal, state, local, and tribal governments to respond to 
catastrophic events--including acts of terrorism--in a 
coordinated manner. The agency allocated approximately $21 
million in fiscal year 2018 under the National Exercise Program 
for such activities including education and training efforts 
related to the ability to respond to emergencies.
    Under the act, the agency would develop and conduct an 
exercise to test the ability to respond to the threat of 
persons leaving the United States to join or provide material 
support to terrorist organizations or of foreign fighters 
attempting to enter the United States. The agency also would be 
required to submit a report to the Congress following the 
exercise. Using information from FEMA, CBO estimates that the 
agency would develop and integrate the new exercises into 
existing preparedness activities and would incur no significant 
additional costs to implement the act.
    On March 28, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
1590, the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act, as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on Homeland Security on 
March 13, 2019. The two versions of the legislation are similar 
and CBO's estimates of their budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
H.R. 1590 as reported are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

POST-KATRINA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REFORM ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VI--NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subtitle C--Comprehensive Preparedness System

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 1--NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS SYSTEM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 648. TRAINING AND EXERCISES.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (b) National Exercise Program.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Requirements.--The national exercise program--
                  (A) shall be--
                          (i) as realistic as practicable, 
                        based on current risk assessments, 
                        including credible and emerging 
                        threats, vulnerabilities, and 
                        consequences, and designed to stress 
                        the national preparedness system;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]