WASHINGTON – In the aftermath of recent terrorist incidents, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) last week introduced bipartisan legislation authorizing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Counterterrorism Advisory Board, whose mission is to bring together the intelligence, operational, and policy-making elements from across DHS to devise joint strategies to deter and disrupt potential terrorist attacks.
“This bill is about ensuring that everyone inside the Department of Homeland Security committed to preventing and responding to terrorist incidents are able to communicate and coordinate effectively with each other,” said McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “The men and women heroically contributing to our counterterrorism efforts are the best in the world and this bill will augment their efforts.”
"The Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) is an important component of the Department of Homeland Security’s work in preventing terrorist attacks by identifying and reducing security threats and vulnerabilities,” said Senator Rubio. “This bill will ensure that the CTAB facilitates a cohesive operational strategy so that DHS components and their partners are best enabled to detect, deter and disrupt terrorist operations.”
“The Department of Homeland Security is tasked with preventing terrorist attacks on our homeland, and we must ensure that the full resources of the Department and the entire federal government are coordinated in focusing on this critical mission,” said Senator Hassan. “I call on members of both parties to support this bipartisan bill that will help ensure coordination of the Department’s counter-terrorism operations and keep our communities safe.”
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 met to make recommendations about whether to issue a National Threat Alert System alert, and has aided in the response to aviation threats, border threats, homegrown violent extremists, and cyber threats. The Senator’s Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) Authorization Act of 2017 codifies the board for four years and ensures that DHS will continue to succeed in its counterterrorism mission.