Coats Notes: New Threats Demand Action

Senator Dan Coats
2014-10-03 17:46:39
A message from Senator Dan Coats <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/coats_ topbanner.jpg> Dear Friend, Thank you for signing up to receive my email newsletter. These newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including events happening in Indiana, legislation being considered in Congress, and my perspective on current issues. My hope is to keep you updated and informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome your feedback. Thanks for reading, Dan Coats _____ New Threats Demand Action There are various estimates of how many Americans, Europeans and citizens of other countries have traveled to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The European Union's intelligence chief recently said that more than 3,000 Europeans have done so, a jump of 50% in one month. Our own National Counterterrorism Center estimates that more than 100 Americans have left the United States to fight alongside ISIS terrorists, and these individuals presumably could be motivated to bring violent terrorism to American soil. When we compare these numbers to the handful of terrorists that comprised the Hamburg cell at the epicenter of planning the 9/11 attacks, we can see why hundreds or thousands of these terrorists give us reason to worry. And when we consider how easily these individuals can travel to the United States - in some cases simply by coming home - we must take action to protect our homeland from domestic terrorist attacks. Given these new dangers, I recently introduced the "Counterterrorism Border Security Enhancement Act." As a first step in confronting this growing threat, my legislation would require the administration to assess how existing border security and entry procedures can be improved and strengthened. With this reassessment in hand, the administration and Congress can determine where to plug existing gaps and the resources needed to do so. Part of that required reassessment would be to take a fresh look at the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This program currently allows citizens from 38 participating countries to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa. This means that travelers from most European countries, Australia and many other nations do not have to go through a visa application process, avoiding the extra scrutiny this application entails. The VWP is a useful tool to encourage tourism and business travel to our country. The VWP also allows the U.S. to devote greater attention to travelers from countries that lack adequate passport integrity and security systems. However, there are ways to tighten up current clearance procedures and make them more focused on counterterrorism efforts. My bill would ensure full compliance with information-sharing agreements by the countries that participate in the VWP and would suspend participation if compliance is less than 100%. It also is important that we take immediate steps to obstruct American citizens who have been recruited by violent radicals and may intend to travel to areas of terrorist conflict. My bill would amend existing law to permit the Secretary of State to revoke passports issued to American citizens suspected of engaging in terrorist activities and traveling for that purpose. Lastly, my bill would amend criminal statues to define support of terrorist organizations as an act of treason. Since 1952 there has been only one indictment and no prosecution for treason in the United States. Yet protection from treasonous acts was so important to our Founding Fathers that it is the only crime specifically mentioned in the Constitution. My bill simply changes the law to specify that the term "enemies" of our nation includes terrorist organizations. "Adhering" to such organizations or "giving them aid and comfort" will be more clearly an act of treason and punished accordingly. The danger of terrorist attacks within the United States is real and growing, and my legislation is a good starting point to address these new threats. It is imperative that we do so before it is too late. Coats in the News Coats Family Announces Passing of Miriam Crawford <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.coats senate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fpress%2frelease%2fcoats-family-announces-passin g-of-miriam-crawford> Indiana Senators Acknowledge Secret Service Needs Change <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2findianapu blicmedia.org%2fnews%2findiana-senators-acknowledge-secret-service-72648 %2f> On the Record: Coats, Donnelly on ISIS, Secret Service, elections <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ffox59.com %2f2014%2f10%2f01%2fon-the-record-coats-donnelly-on-isis-secret-service- elections%2f> Coats responds to President's comments on underestimating ISIS <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.journ algazette.net%2farticle%2f20140929%2fBLOGS01%2f140929426> GOP senators to Treasury: Put the 'squeeze' on Russia <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fthehill.c om%2fblogs%2ffloor-action%2fsenate%2f219010-gop-senators-to-treasury-put -the-squeeze-on-russia> _____ Stay Connected <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.faceb ook.com%2fpages%2fSenator-Dan-Coats%2f180671148633644> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwitter.c om%2fSenDanCoats> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.youtu be.com%2fSenatorCoats> _____ <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fjune-visits-with-hoosiers> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fcoats-tours-countrymark-refinery> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fcoats-tours-posey-county-flood-damage> To unsubscribe please Click Here <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fcontact%2fnewsletter%2funsubscribe> Contact Me <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fcontact%2f> Latest News <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2f> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/iqtrk. gif?crop=15922.17172815.5558059.7189397>
A message from Senator Dan Coats  

Dear Friend,

Thank you for signing up to receive my email newsletter. These newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including events happening in Indiana, legislation being considered in Congress, and my perspective on current issues. My hope is to keep you updated and informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome your feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Dan Coats


New Threats Demand Action

There are various estimates of how many Americans, Europeans and citizens of other countries have traveled to the Middle East to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The European Union’s intelligence chief recently said that more than 3,000 Europeans have done so, a jump of 50% in one month. Our own National Counterterrorism Center estimates that more than 100 Americans have left the United States to fight alongside ISIS terrorists, and these individuals presumably could be motivated to bring violent terrorism to American soil.   

When we compare these numbers to the handful of terrorists that comprised the Hamburg cell at the epicenter of planning the 9/11 attacks, we can see why hundreds or thousands of these terrorists give us reason to worry. And when we consider how easily these individuals can travel to the United States – in some cases simply by coming home – we must take action to protect our homeland from domestic terrorist attacks.

Given these new dangers, I recently introduced the “Counterterrorism Border Security Enhancement Act.” As a first step in confronting this growing threat, my legislation would require the administration to assess how existing border security and entry procedures can be improved and strengthened. With this reassessment in hand, the administration and Congress can determine where to plug existing gaps and the resources needed to do so.

Part of that required reassessment would be to take a fresh look at the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This program currently allows citizens from 38 participating countries to travel to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa. This means that travelers from most European countries, Australia and many other nations do not have to go through a visa application process, avoiding the extra scrutiny this application entails.

The VWP is a useful tool to encourage tourism and business travel to our country. The VWP also allows the U.S. to devote greater attention to travelers from countries that lack adequate passport integrity and security systems. 

However, there are ways to tighten up current clearance procedures and make them more focused on counterterrorism efforts. My bill would ensure full compliance with information-sharing agreements by the countries that participate in the VWP and would suspend participation if compliance is less than 100%.

It also is important that we take immediate steps to obstruct American citizens who have been recruited by violent radicals and may intend to travel to areas of terrorist conflict. My bill would amend existing law to permit the Secretary of State to revoke passports issued to American citizens suspected of engaging in terrorist activities and traveling for that purpose.

Lastly, my bill would amend criminal statues to define support of terrorist organizations as an act of treason. Since 1952 there has been only one indictment and no prosecution for treason in the United States. Yet protection from treasonous acts was so important to our Founding Fathers that it is the only crime specifically mentioned in the Constitution.  

My bill simply changes the law to specify that the term “enemies” of our nation includes terrorist organizations. “Adhering” to such organizations or “giving them aid and comfort” will be more clearly an act of treason and punished accordingly.  

The danger of terrorist attacks within the United States is real and growing, and my legislation is a good starting point to address these new threats. It is imperative that we do so before it is too late.

Coats in the News

Coats Family Announces Passing of Miriam Crawford 

Indiana Senators Acknowledge Secret Service Needs Change 

On the Record: Coats, Donnelly on ISIS, Secret Service, elections 

Coats responds to President’s comments on underestimating ISIS 

GOP senators to Treasury: Put the ‘squeeze’ on Russia 


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