Let's get more on this from the homeland security secretary jeh Johnson. Mr. Secretary, thank you for joining us. This morning. Thank you for having me. What more can you tell us about the threat... See More
Let's get more on this from the homeland security secretary jeh Johnson. Mr. Secretary, thank you for joining us. This morning. Thank you for having me. What more can you tell us about the threat against the mall of America? Well, George, the video that was released by Al shabab, reflects what I believe is the new phase we've E involved in terms of the global terrorist threat. Groups like isil, Al shabab, aqap, are now publicly calling for attacks. Either through the internet, video, publications. Which means that we need to respond militarily. But we also have to have a whole of government approach through law enforcement, homeland security, and frankly, countering violent extremism efforts here in the homeland in communities. I have been personally out there in places like Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, L.A., Boston. Meeting with community leaders, talking about the importance of public participation in our efforts. We're in a new phase now. And I am afraid that this most recent video release reflects that. We know that some 20 to 30 citizens and others in Minneapolis have been started by Isis and have gone overseas. How serious is the problem in that community specifically? Well, the profile of a so-called foreign fighter is a little difficult to discern. They tend to be all over the map, literally and figuratively. But, we -- through the FBI, homeland security, we have done a pretty good job of tracking those individuals who attempt to leave and go to Syria. A number have been arrested and charged with material support to terrorism. We're doing our best to track these people in their travel. We do a pretty good job. Broken travel is a challenge. Which is why it's all the more important that we work with our international partners, counterterrorism partners overseas to build systems to track the travel of individuals of suspicion. We have come a long way in that regard. But there's more to do. We had a conversation along those lines earlier this week. You talk about the new phase that Al shabab and others are in, Lindsey graham, senator Lindsey graham who is going to be on the program later, he says he's never been more worried about a terrorist attack here in the United States. That echoes what the attorney general told Pierre Thomas this summer. Is that hyperbole? Or are we doing enough to deal with this threat? Look, my view is this. 13 1/2 years ago when we were attacked on 9/11, we were attacked by core Al Qaeda through a relatively straightforward command and control structure. Where they would train operatives in their camps, dispatch them, send them overseas to commit attacks. We're now in a different phase, it is more complex. More decentralized. More diffuse, which involves pretty effective use of the internet, social media of print, and so, we have got to bring to this a whole of government approach, which includes countering violent extremism here at home. Includes law enforcement. Charging people with material support as well as the military response. The reason we're all concerned about this is because it encourages independent actors who could strike with very little notice to our intelligence community, our law enforcement community here at home. That's one of the reasons that it's imperative to have a budget for the department of homeland security, which is due to expire at the end of the week. And I'm assuming you'll ask me about that some point. I will. You just used the phrase violent extremism. As you know, the president and your team have been taking criticism for not calling it islamic extremism. How do you respond to the criticism? There's no question that the groups like Al shabab and isil are driven by theology, by their view of Islam, however perverted it may be. Why not call it that? I have two responses. With whether it's called islamic extremism or violent extremism, groups like isil, they represent a dangerous terrorist organization and a serious potential threat to homeland security. We're responding militarily as well as doing a number of other things. Now, I have to say, when I travel around the country and meet with Muslim leaders in this country and these engagements that I have, they all tend to say pretty much the same thing. Which is that isil has hijacked my religion. And so, in my view, if we start referring to isil as occupying any form of the islamic theology, we're pretty much dignifying them as occupying some form of that faith. And I know that muds limb LE in this country push back hard on that. It seems to me that we're going to a place where isil would like us very much to go, in that we're dignifying them. There are 1.6 billion muslims in this world. The true islamic faith has nothing to do with what isil represents. To start labeling them as Islam or islamic state in any respect I think gives them far more dignity than they deserve. And so do a of muslims believe that, too, by the way. You mentioned the issue of funding. Your department runs out of funding this Friday. Any closer to getting that resolved? And what happens if it's not? It's imperative we get it resolved. If not, by Friday at midnight, the homeland security budget for this nation basically evaporates. I have spent a lot of time on capitol hill. They were gone last week. They're back this week. I have spent a lot of time on capitol hill talking to democrats, republicans, about how critical it is in these challenging times, in particular, with the global terrorist threats, with the cybersecurity threat, and with the harsh winter we're facing right now, that we have a budget for homeland security. I'm a little bit frustrated. I talk to my friends on the senate side, they say talk to the house. I talk to the house, they sayings it's not me, I passed my bill. Go talk to the senate. They're literally doing this. My hope is that in the four working days they have this week, they'll finally come together and do the right thing and pass an appropriations bill free and clear of any efforts to defund our executive actions. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for your time. Thank you, George. We want to take a closer
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