Senator Carper Calls Attention to Emerging, Evolving, and Persistent Security Threats to the U.S.

Yesterday, at the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing “Threats to the Homeland,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Committee, posed questions to senior officials in the Administration. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray, and Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christine Abizaid spoke at length about security threats to the U.S. homeland, such as cybersecurity, border security, and domestic and international terrorism.

During the hearing, Senator Carper called attention to domestic and international terrorist threats and the role that recent events, such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas, have in perpetuating extremist rhetoric and violence within the United States. He also highlighted the importance of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program:

“The threat landscape in our country continues to evolve. It’s critical that the United States be prepared to respond to whatever comes next. In recent years, when we have held our annual ‘All-Threats’ hearing, the panel has testified before us in this room that domestic terrorism is the primary terrorist threat in the United States. Specifically, the most consistent threat comes from white supremacists who commit acts of violence, motivated by race or by religion. In the last month, as a result of the horrific terrorist attack in Israel committed by Hamas and the ensuing war in Gaza, […] we have seen a rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic rhetoric and threats in the United States. The Nonprofit Security Grant Program was established […] in 2004. It was established as a means of providing security funding for nonprofit organizations at high risk of terrorist attacks, including religious organizations. […] How is the Department of Homeland Security communicating with high risk communities about this grant program, in light of the increase in reports of threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions?”

Senator Carper also highlighted the Administration’s recent supplemental funding request that will strengthen border security and improve DHS’ ability to protect Americans from a range of threats:

“Earlier this month, President Biden announced a supplemental funding request that includes $13.6 billion to address the needs at our border. The request would allow DHS to fund efforts to counter fentanyl trafficking, support border operations and personnel needs, and support state and local organizations that pay for shelter and services for migrants released from DHS custody.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.