WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday passed two measures introduced by U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to strengthen security against foreign fighters traveling into and out of the United States. One amendment, which is based on the Foreign Fighter Review Act that passed the House of Representatives with unanimous support in February, would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a review of foreign fighters who have traveled or attempted to travel to a conflict zone in Iraq or Syria from the U.S to join or provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization. The other amendment, which is based on the National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel Act that also passed the House of Representatives with unanimous support in February, would require the administration to develop and submit to Congress a national strategy to combat terrorist travel.
“As we work to combat threats from around the world, the federal government should do everything possible to prevent foreign fighters and terrorists from traveling to train and fight with Islamist terrorists and potentially to Europe or the United States to carry out attacks,” said Senator Ayotte. “I’m pleased that we were able to pass these amendments by a bipartisan, unanimous vote that will improve our capabilities to ensure that foreign fighters and terrorists cannot exploit identified security vulnerabilities.”
“The world is an increasingly dangerous place, and we must remain vigilant in defending our citizens from ISIS-led or inspired terrorist attacks,” said Senator Ernst. “These amendments, which received bipartisan support, work to ensure that the U.S. has a clear system in place to both monitor and combat foreign fighter and terrorist travel.”