Chair of Homeland Security Calls For Community Involvement

Partnerships between local leaders and government agencies like the FBI and Homeland Security can help voices in the community “provide a counter-narrative to the ISIS ideology.”


By Rhonda FanningJune 15, 2016 2:16 pm,

We’re only three days into mourning the loss of 49 innocent lives and the contest for the narrative of what happened in Orlando has become a national preoccupation.

What did Trump say? What didn’t Secretary Clinton say? Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has been looking at the massacre through the lens of national security. He moderated a Congressional briefing with the directors of both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

“We are investigating what the FBI knew and when and could this have been preventable,” he says, “not in a ‘gotcha’ exercise but rather to see if there’s anything we can fix moving forward.”

McCaul introduced HR 2899, a bill that would prioritize countering violent extremism.

“Quite honestly, it hasn’t been,” he says, “and that’s a little bit shocking given what we saw in Boston, Ft. Hood, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and now Orlando.

It would help identify early on the signs of radicalization.

“In every one of these cases, after the fact, when we go back and do an analysis, we find that there are warning signs and there are flags that were just missed,” he says, “not just by the FBI and law enforcement but by family members.”

McCaul says community programs that involve religious leaders and other “credible voices” in the community can “provide a counter-narrative to the ISIS ideology.”

“The ISIS ideology is so pervasive over the internet,” he says, “that they are winning… What we want to do is try to identify these people prior to that point in time (of radicalization).”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Post prepared by Hannah McBride.