June 08, 2017

Corker Convenes Hearing to Examine Global Reach of ISIS

Committee Discusses Next Phase of U.S. Efforts to Defeat Terror Group

WASHINGTON – Following a series of recent terror attacks on several continents claimed by ISIS, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the following remarks at a hearing today examining the global reach of ISIS. Terrorism experts Dr. Lorenzo Vidino of George Washington University and Dr. Daniel Byman of the Brookings Institution testified on the next phase of U.S. efforts to counter ISIS as the coalition military campaign begins to dislodge the organization from its power centers in Mosul and Raqqa.

“We are going to examine, as you all know, the transnational threat posed by ISIS. 

“This is an important time to talk about ISIS and its global reach. 

“In the last few weeks, we’ve all witnessed the disturbing violence ISIS is inspiring, enabling, and directing outside of the Middle East. 

“The attacks in London and Manchester. 

“The violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt. 

“The attempted seizure of a city in the Philippines.

“Here in the U.S., we’ve faced our own ISIS-inspired attacks. 

“A lot of these attacks have occurred as ISIS has lost increasing amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria. 

“This reality begs the question: What more should be done? And do our tactics need to evolve, particularly as the operation to retake Mosul nears an end and Syrian opposition forces begin to enter Raqqa?

“You might expect the threat to diminish as ISIS loses its capital, but recent events indicate that may not be the case.

“The wars in Iraq and Syria have served as a training ground for terrorists, and ISIS has a media operation unrivaled by its peers. 

“Tens of thousands of foreigners have fought on behalf of ISIS, including thousands of Westerners. 

“They can return home. They can also regroup and fight in another country. 

“The affiliates are also holding territory and continuing to conduct operations despite increased counterterrorism pressure in places like Libya.  

“The affiliates are, after all, the perpetrators of many of these attacks and a threat to stability in many parts of the world.

“So, we welcome you today. We have challenging issues to deal with.

“We want to thank you for appearing before our committee. I look forward to your testimony.”

Click here for complete testimony and video footage of the hearing.