06.21.16

CHAIRMEN BURR AND MCCAIN ENHANCE COUNTERRORISM TOOLS TO TARGET LONE WOLF ATTACKERS, VOTE EXPECTED TOMORROW

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Tom Cotton (R-NC) late yesterday in filing an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act that would clarify the authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to allow it to obtain electronic communication transactional records in the course of security investigations. The amendment would also make permanent existing authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that allow for the monitoring of non-U.S. citizen “lone wolf” attackers who do not have direct connections to foreign terrorist organizations.  A vote on the Burr-McCain amendment is expected in the Senate tomorrow.

"The United States needs a comprehensive way to battle the clear threat of lone wolf terrorists,” said Senator Burr. “This amendment gives the intelligence and law enforcement communities the tools they need to effectively combat this increasingly frequent threat to the American people. This commonsense amendment includes a proposal that the Administration asked for to enhance law enforcement's abilities to catch terrorists, and Congress should give them that tool.”

“In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations and track ‘lone wolves,’ or ISIL-inspired terrorists who do not have direct connections to foreign terrorist organizations but who seek to harm Americans,” said Senator McCain. “My amendment would do just that by enacting the ‘ECTR Fix,’ which would allow the FBI to obtain non-content electronic communication transaction records to investigate suspected terrorists, and by allowing our law enforcement to combat ‘lone wolves.’ To be clear, this amendment would not allow the FBI access to the content of private messages, but will only allow law enforcement to look at non-content electronic communication transactional records in the course of a national security investigation, such as how much time a suspicious individual spends on a website. I look forward to working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to pass this amendment.”

The amendment is here.