McCaul, Keating Introduce Bill to Prevent the Spread of Violent Extremism

Jun 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Bill Keating (D-MA) announced the introduction of H.R. 6018, the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Act of 2018.

The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP), which was created in 2005, is a multi-agency effort to assist partners in West and North Africa increase their immediate and long-term capabilities to address terrorist threats and prevent the spread of violent extremism.  This bill would codify the TSCTP and allow for this partnership to endure as we continue to deal with the looming threat of terrorism coming from Africa.

Congressman McCaul: While terrorism is not new to Africa, ISIS fighters are moving South following the defeat of the caliphate into a region already encountering threats from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab. The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership – created in 2005, but never authorized by Congress - is key to preventing the rise of another safe haven for Islamic jihadists.

Given the threats we face, I hope we can work quickly to get this legislation to the Floor and codify our efforts to boost the capabilities of our African partners.

Congressman Keating: As Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Terrorism Subcommittee, we’ve examined how important it is to think of terrorism outside the lens of the traditional networks. Combatting terrorism effectively and keeping Americans safe is also about eliminating terrorist financing flows, strengthening the rule of law, and promoting community level engagement - including through the meaningful participation of women in countering violent extremism and more generally in their countries. As ISIS has lost territory in Syria and Iraq, terrorists will be leaving the region and seeking safe haven elsewhere to recruit and plan attacks, so failing to invest in our counterterrorism capabilities and partnerships in Africa now would be a grave mistake. This bill advances our security by authorizing the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership to bring our own Departments of State and Defense as well as USAID together to make sure we are pursuing a robust strategy for counterterrorism cooperation in this critical region in Africa.