Homeland Security Bipartisan Delegation Examines the Spread of Islamist Terror and Threats to the U.S. and Allies
This week Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) returned to Washington, D.C. after leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation overseas to examine the spread of Islamist militant groups and the threats emerging terrorist safe havens pose to the West.
Chairman McCaul said: “ISIS may be losing some ground in Syria and Iraq, but the group is expanding its foothold globally. I remain deeply concerned that emerging terrorist sanctuaries—from Libya to the Sinai Peninsula—will be used to plot attacks against Americans and our allies, yet the Administration still does not have a clear strategy to prevent them from growing, let alone for rolling them back. Islamist militants have the wind at their backs, and we are clearly in their crosshairs. Finally, I return from North Africa and the Middle East alarmed that Europe remains wide open to the terror threat and convinced that we must urgently help our partners enhance security before another attack. Our friends are counting on American leadership—and the security of our own people depends on it.”
The Congressional delegation included Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Micheal Pompeo (R-KS), Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA), and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
The Congressional delegation flew to Cairo to meet with Egyptian leaders and security services to discuss the growing ISIS presence in the region and efforts to combat terrorist groups across North Africa. The delegation met with Egyptian President el-Sisi and discussed bilateral security cooperation and counterterrorism efforts.
The delegation meets with Egyptian President el-Sisi. (Tuesday, May 3, 2016)
Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
The delegation flew to the Sinai Peninsula to visit the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO) North Camp, where hundreds of dedicated U.S. troops are working with other nations as part of a long-standing peacekeeping operation. The delegation focused on the growing presence of ISIS in the Sinai, where the terror group has declared one of its provinces.
Delegation visits the MFO to see the front lines of the fight against ISIS. (Wednesday, May 4, 2016)
MFO soldiers are in the middle of a growing terrorist warzone. (Wednesday, May 4, 2016)
Chairman McCaul on the growing terror threat from North Africa. (Wednesday, May 4, 2016)
USS Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier
The Congressional delegation visited the USS Harry S. Truman Navy aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf and received briefings onboard from military leaders. The aircraft carrier crew is responsible for launching aerial missions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Chairman McCaul aboard the USS Harry S Truman. (Thursday, May 5, 2016)
Chairman McCaul has lunch with sailors from his home district who serve aboard the USS Harry S Truman. (Thursday, May 5, 2016)
The Congressional delegation met with top leaders in Tunisia, including the President and Prime Minister, to assess terror threats to their country and the growing ISIS safe haven next door in Libya. They also received briefings from the U.S. Libya team based in Tunisia, as well as a top United Nations official responsible for helping stabilizing the war-torn Libya.
Members of the delegation paid tribute to the victims at the Bardo National Museum, where ISIS-linked terrorists struck in March 2015, and also honored fallen soldiers with a visit to the American cemetery, where World War II soldiers are buried.
The delegation is briefed by the UN Envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, on challenges in the country, including the fight against ISIS. (Saturday, May 7, 2016)
Chairman McCaul signs memorial book at the Barbo National Museum, “We will never forget. That day we were all Tunisians.” (Saturday, May 7, 2016)
Chairman McCaul at the North Africa American Cemetery in Tunisia. (Saturday, May 7, 2016)
London, United Kingdom
The Congressional delegation concluded with a visit to the United Kingdom to meet with officials regarding the severe terror threat environment in Europe. Members met with UK Home Secretary Theresa May and discussed joint efforts to disrupt terror plots and assist allies in mainland Europe with improving their defenses.
Chairman McCaul met UK Home Secretary Theresa May. (Monday, May 9, 2016)