House passes bill to combat ISIS recruitment online

House passes bill to combat ISIS recruitment online
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The House of Representatives late Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill intended to counter the online recruitment efforts of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).


The bill, from Rep. Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannDemocrats may bring DHS bill to House floor GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says public health threat of loneliness compounded by COVID-19; Trump says task force will 'evolve' MORE (R-Tenn.), orders the Department of Homeland Security to use the testimonials of “former or estranged violent extremists or their associates” to battle terrorist recruitment.

“This is a common-sense measure to help destroy terrorist recruitment methods, by using the testimony of those who have seen the evil of these groups firsthand,” Fleischmann said in a statement.

The legislation, which passed on a 322-79 vote, faced some 11th-hour pushback from Democrats who believe it undermines the Obama administration’s anti-extremism efforts by singling out foreign terrorists.

“This bill ignores the fact that domestic terror groups, just like foreign terrorist organizations, kill Americans and are a threat to the homeland,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a Tuesday statement that called the bill "politically charged."

Pressure has been building to combat ISIS’s online recruitment efforts following the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. Shortly following the December shootings in California, which killed 14, the FBI said the suspected shooters had been radicalized for “quite some time.”

The bill had the support of House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

“We do nothing in the homeland to stop this radicalization from within,” McCaul said Tuesday on Fox’s "America’s Newsroom." “This is the most effective way to the counter the narrative that ISIS is sending every day over the internet.”