More and more it is being determined by those in authority that the fight against terrorism begins with local law enforcement and communications with citizens who see something and say something. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and several of his Democratic colleagues have introduced legislation to aid those in the war on terror.
Brown says, in the wake of last week’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, Ohioans are concerned about their security – in their homes and businesses.
“We need to ensure that those on the front lines protecting us have the tools they need to respond to threats and to root out terrorists at home and abroad,” Brown said. “That’s why my colleagues and I are introducing legislation to help keep Americans safe from ISIS and other terrorist threats.”
Brown said the legislation provides grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for anti-terror programs and training for active shooter incidents, so that when police arrive on the scene they know exactly what to do.
“The law allows law enforcement agencies to develop specialized anti-terrorism investigation programs with workshops and training materials,” Brown said. “Our police, our law enforcement officials need the best information and training available. The bill strengthens community partnerships to combat homegrown extremism or the recruitment and radicalization of those living in the United States.”
Brown said the law would allow local governments and non-profits to identify the root causes of violent extremism and develop effective strategies to combat them. He said it will create a new office within the Department of Homeland Security that is specially directed and dedicated to stopping homegrown extremism.
“It includes provisions to lock down dirty bomb materials; to improve intelligence sharing with our allies and partners and develop a comprehensive strategy to counter ISIS propaganda,” Brown said.
Brown is a ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee and said the bill includes means to combat ISIS financing by authorizing what he called “tough new sanctions” on foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate financial transactions with ISIS.
“If we can stop ISIS from getting financing, whether it’s anything from robbing a bank to getting oil revenues,” Brown said. “We’ve stopped a lot of their efforts to wreak havoc a lot of places, so these sanctions would include completely cutting off the finances of any foreign bank that deals with ISIS or those who facilitate transactions for ISIS from the U.S. financial system.”
Brown says the visa waiver program also needs to be reformed to include universal electronic passports to help ensure that dangerous individuals can’t enter the U.S.
Finally, Brown says anyone on the no-fly list should not be allowed to own assault rifles.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.