Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young and the House of Representatives yesterday passed a series of bipartisan bills aimed at combating terrorist recruitment, assessing potential security threats at foreign points of entry, and restricting the importation of cultural artifacts stolen from Syria – a multi-million dollar industry for terrorist organizations like ISIS.
“ISIS continues to radicalize and recruit individuals across the globe through the use of social media and other online propaganda,” said Congressman Don Young. “H.R. 4820 is a concerted effort by the United States to diminish recruitment efforts by using the voices and testimony of defectors to silence this violent extremism.”
H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act of 2016, requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize testimonials from former extremists and defectors to counter-message the Hollywood-style propaganda and recruitment efforts of terrorist groups like ISIS.
“In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the United States must be ever vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety and security of all Americans,” Congressman Young said. “This must include common sense improvements to screening, security, and risk assessments; not only at home but abroad. H.R. 4698 is only one effort we’re taking in the House to enhance collaboration and coordination with our foreign partners to ensure we eliminate risks to our national security.”
H.R. 4698, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points and Guarding Airports Through Enhanced Security Act of 2016, works to enhance aviation security by requiring the Transportation Security Administration to assess security risks and coordinate enhancement plans at all foreign airports offering direct flights into the United States.
“In Nazi-like form, ISIS is spreading its hatred and destruction across massive regions of Syria and Iraq – destroying ancient cities in its path, looting culturally significant artifacts, and organizing operations to smuggle antiquities,” said Congressman Don Young. “In an effort to cut off a cash stream that has netted ISIS tens of millions of dollars and discourage further looting, H.R. 1493 temporarily prevents these artifacts from being sold or imported into the United States unless it is done for temporary safekeeping.”
HR 1493, the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act, sets import restrictions on artifacts removed from Syria in order to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk due to political instability and armed conflict.