May 15, 2019

Bipartisan Hassan-Rubio Legislation to Strengthen Counterterrorism Coordination Efforts at DHS Passes Out of Committee

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, on which Senator Maggie Hassan serves, voted to approve the bipartisan Counter Threats Advisory Board Act. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the legislation to strengthen counterterrorism coordination efforts at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bipartisan legislation will authorize and rename the Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB), which brings together intelligence, operational, and policy-making elements from across DHS to advise the DHS Secretary on how to respond to potential terrorist attacks as well as other threats.  

“Identifying and preventing terrorist attacks and other threats before they occur is vital to the safety and security of Granite Staters and Americans, and the Counterterrorism Advisory Board plays an important role in those efforts,” Senator Hassan said. “I am grateful that the Committee voted to approve this commonsense legislation, and I’ll keep working across the aisle to get this bill signed into law to bolster efforts at the Department of Homeland Security to effectively combat terrorist threats.”

“Protecting our nation against terrorist attacks and other threats is a fundamental obligation of government, and I am pleased the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs took action on our bipartisan legislation,” Senator Rubio said. “I look forward to this legislation heading to the Senate floor so we ensure DHS components and their partners are working in coordination to devise joint strategies to deter and disrupt terrorist operations and other threats to our homeland.”

The Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) was established in 2010 after the failed “underwear bomber” attack on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2009 revealed a need for better coordination and ongoing situational awareness for senior leadership.

Since its creation, CTAB has made recommendations about whether to issue a National Threat Alert System alert, and aided in the response to aviation threats, border threats, homegrown violent extremists, and cyber threats. The Senators’ Counter Threats Advisory Board Act codifies the board for two years and ensures that DHS will continue to succeed in its counterterrorism mission and coordinate intelligence about other threats too.

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