[Congressional Record: April 12, 2011 (Extensions)]
[Page E695-E696]

                     INTRODUCTION OF THE TEAM B ACT


                           HON. FRANK R. WOLF

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, April 12, 2011

  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing the Team B Act to 
confront the growing challenge of domestic radicalization and homegrown 
terrorist attacks. I believe that we must take a fresh look at how we 
can thwart domestic radicalization.
  I have been concerned about and been following the issue of radical 
Islamic terrorism for nearly 3 decades. I visited the Marine barracks 
in Lebanon following the 1983 bombing that killed 241 American 
  I closely followed the issue of terrorism with the first attack on 
the World Trade Center in 1993 and throughout the 1990s with the deadly 
attacks against our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, where yet another 
of my constituents was killed.
  As a result, in 1998 I authored legislation creating the National 
Commission on Terrorism, also known as the Bremer Commission, and 
highlighted the threat from Osama bin Laden in my introductory 
remarks--years before many in our government fully understood the 
danger he posed.
  I was the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that 
funds the FBI and Justice Department on September 11, 2001, and I 
worked closely with Director Mueller and his leadership team from 2002 
to 2006 to transform its mission to deal with the terrorist threat.
  I am now again chairman of that subcommittee and receive regular 
briefings on terrorism and the new and growing threat posed

[[Page E696]]

by domestic radicalization and frequently visit the National 
Counterterrorism Center, which is located in my district.
  According to the Congressional Research Service, there have been 43 
``homegrown jihadist terrorist plots and attacks since 9/11,'' 
including 22 plots or attacks since May 2009.
  Director Mueller and the men and women of the FBI should be commended 
for their exceptional work in intercepting would-be terrorists before 
their attacks. They work tirelessly to protect our country and their 
record over the last decade speaks for itself.
  But despite the FBI's success at disrupting plots under way, the U.S. 
does not have an effective or coherent policy to prevent domestic 
radicalization. According to a recent report by respected 
counterterrorism experts called Assessing the Terrorist Threat:

       ``The American melting pot'' has not provided a firewall 
     against the radicalization and recruitment of American 
     citizens and residents, though it has arguably lulled us into 
     a sense of complacency that homegrown terrorism couldn't 
     happen in the United States . . . By not taking more urgently 
     and seriously the radicalization and recruitment that was 
     actually occurring in the U.S., authorities failed to 
     comprehend that this was not an isolated phenomenon . . . 
     Rather, it indicated the possibility that even an embryonic 
     terrorist radicalization and recruitment infrastructure had 
     been established in the U.S. homeland.

  That is why I am introducing this legislation to create a ``Team B'' 
to bring fresh eyes to U.S. domestic radicalization and 
counterterrorism strategy. The team would represent a new approach, 
which focuses not just on connecting the dots of intelligence, but to 
rethink the nature of threats to stay a step ahead in understanding how 
to break the radicalization and recruitment cycle that sustains 
terrorism, how to disrupt the global terrorist network and how to 
strategically isolate it.
  During the Ford administration, then-CIA director George H.W. Bush 
created a ``Team B'' composed of outside experts to reexamine 
intelligence relating to Soviet capabilities. Their conclusions were 
markedly different than those reached by agency officials. Many of 
their assessments were used in the Reagan administration to deal with 
the Soviets--ultimately leading to the end of the Cold War.
  Today, our intelligence community and federal law enforcement are so 
inundated with reports and investigations that they do not have the 
time or capacity to step back and strategically reevaluate the threat 
before us.
  I believe a ``Team B'' would provide a tremendous service to both the 
agencies and the Congress in making recommendations on how we can 
disrupt domestic radicalization.
  For more than a year, I have written numerous letters to the 
President and members of his national security team urging them to 
implement this proposal. They have not.
  As respected Georgetown University professor Dr. Bruce Hoffman wrote 
for The National Interest in October 2010:

       The logic behind Congressman Wolf's idea is simple and 
     makes eminent sense. Since both the U.S. intelligence 
     community and our national security and law-enforcement 
     agencies are overwhelmed with data, information and a 
     multiplicity of immediate ``in-box''-driven issues that 
     continually challenge their ability to think both 
     strategically and in terms of a patently evolving, dynamic, 
     multidimensional threat, the red team concept would represent 
     a new approach to counterterrorism that would potentially 
     enable the United States to stay one step ahead of our 
     adversaries' own strategy and tactics.
       First, it would have a broader remit than the red team 
     exercises currently employed by individual agencies. 
     Congressman Wolf's idea is that this red team would have a 
     strategic counterterrorism mandate and would therefore look 
     at general, global patterns of terrorism rather than the use 
     and effects of individual tactics.
       Second, it would be composed of nongovernment specialists 
     and experts representing a broad array of different 
     perspectives, backgrounds and opinions--the type of 
     ``glorious amateurs'' described by General Donovan who once 
     populated the OSS but who would now be enlisted in the war on 
       Under Congressman Wolf's formulation, these persons would 
     advise and help inform the assessments of both the National 
     Intelligence Council (NIC) and Office of the Director of 
     National Intelligence by providing broad strategic analysis 
     of terrorism trends and patterns and their possible future 
     implications. In this manner, alternative assessments and 
     strategic counterterrorism analysis could be provided to the 
     Intelligence Community that would also help to avoid ``group 

  Mr. Speaker, for these reasons I believe this legislation would be a 
constructive step to address the evolving terrorist threat and I urge 
my colleagues to support it.