Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Terrorism Update: February 21st- March 3rd

2017/02/21

Tuesday (2-21-17)
  • Suicide bombers attacked a court complex in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 20, police officials said, the latest incident in a new surge of Islamist violence. All three of the attackers were carrying hand grenades and AK-47 assault rifles. One attacker blew himself up outside the court, while two were killed by policemen before they could enter the building.
  • ISIS-linked Syrian terrorist groups on Monday launched a surprise attack on moderate rebels in southwestern Syria near the Golan Heights near where the Jordanian and Israeli borders converge, seizing several villages and a large town, rebels and witnesses said. Rebels said the militants were able to extend their area of control in territory that forms a natural barrier between Syria and Israel where the Yarmouk River flows after they overran the towns of Tseel, Sahem al Golan, Adwan and Tel Jamoua.
  • U.S.-backed Iraqi forces battling ISIS fighters have fought their way close to Mosul's airport on the second day of a ground offensive on the jihadists' remaining stronghold in the western side of the city, military statements said on Monday. Federal police and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response are leading the charge toward the airport on the southern outskirts of Mosul and plan to turn it into a close support base for the push into western Mosul.
  • Forty-four ISIS militants were killed by Turkey-backed operations around the Syrian town of al-Bab and in U.S.-led coalition air strikes on Monday. One Turkish soldier was killed and two were wounded during work to clear landmines and explosives in the area, the army said, reiterating that it had largely established control in the residential areas of al-Bab.
  • Hundreds of Afghan families have been displaced by cross-border rocket and artillery fire by Pakistani troops, an aid group said on Monday, as tension rose after Pakistan said militants implicated in recent attacks had taken shelter in Afghanistan. As many as 200 families have been displaced from their homes, while some civilian casualties have also been reported after Pakistani border troops fired rockets and artillery. ISIS’ regional branch claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on Thursday at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's Sindh province. The toll in that attack has reached 90 people dead and more than 350 wounded, police said on Monday.
  • Gunmen in southern Philippine waters killed one crewman of a Vietnamese vessel and abducted seven in what appeared to be the latest attack by pirates in the area, the Philippine coastguard said on Monday. Coastguard and marine soldiers rescued 17 Vietnamese who were part of the 25-man crew of MV Giang Hai, which was attacked on Sunday evening near Baguan Island in Tawi-Tawi, an area close to the stronghold of the notorious ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
  • After years of strained relations, Egypt is moving closer to Hamas in Gaza, offering concessions on trade and free movement in return for moves to secure the border against ISIS fighters who have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in northern Sinai. Egypt has been at odds with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, since a crackdown by Cairo on the armed group's Islamist allies. Egypt closed the border, opening it only rarely, but in recent weeks Egypt has eased restrictions, allowing in trucks laden with food and other supplies, and providing relief from an Israeli blockade that has restricted the flow of goods into the coastal territory.
  • The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence service, confirmed that its forces killed Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a top Pakistani al Qaeda leader, during a raid last month in the southern province of Ghazni. Akhtar’s involvement with jihad spanned four decades, and he has been directly linked to Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI-D). The NDS said it killed Akhtar and one of his “comrades” during a raid in the district of Nawa in Ghazni on January 9 however, it is unclear why the NDS took more than five weeks to confirm Akhtar’s death.
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Time for Smart Free Trade with the United Kingdom

2017/02/21

This past summer President Obama threatened to put Britain “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the United States should the British vote to leave the European Union and reclaim their independence. Despite such intimidations, on July 23, 2016 the British people spoke. They chose to throw off the EU’s shackles and take charge of their own economic future in the historic Brexit referendum. Read More

EYES IN THE SKY: FLIGHT ATTENDANT SAVES VICTIM OF TRAFFICKING

2017/02/17

Mr. Speaker, on a recent flight, flight attendant Shelia Fedrick of Alaska Airlines noticed a young girl, 14 or 15 years old, with blonde hair. Shelia approached two individuals, but the young girl refused to speak or make contact with her. The man next to the girl was defensive as she tried to make conversation. Something was just not right. Shelia quickly devised a plan. She convinced the girl to go to the bathroom where Shelia had left a note stuck to the mirror. The girl wrote back on the note, and she needed help. Read More

POE ANNOUNCES BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL COALITION TO STOP GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE AND HACKING

2017/02/16

Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) along with Congressman Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Congresswoman Lofgren (D-CA), and Congresswoman. DelBene (D-WA) introduced H.R. 1110, Stop Mass Hacking Act. This is the companion bill to legislation introduced on the Senate side by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY). Last year, the Department of Justice moved to make an administrative rule change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would give the government the ability to hack the computers of a massive amount of American citizens just by obtaining a single warrant. The change went into effect in December. The Stop Massive Hacking Act will repeal Rule 41. Read More

Lawmakers debate allowing cameras in courtrooms

2017/02/14

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said he was one of the first trial judges in his state to allow cameras in the courtroom. “We had a system that was very discrete. The jury never saw the cameras," he said. "The cameras did not film the jury, child witnesses, sexual assault witnesses or any other witness that the lawyers did not agree should be filmed.” Poe called it shameful that the public is left with a 90-second soundbite on the news of what the reporter thinks took place that day in a trial court, the Supreme Court, an appellate court or federal district court because they are not permitted to see it for themselves. Read More

NORTH KOREA IS A TERRORISM STATE

2017/02/14

Mr. Speaker, when I met with Admiral Harris of Pacific Command last year, I asked him which nation’s threats concerned him the most. He quickly replied: North Korea. Proving Admiral Harris correct, North Korea illegally launched yet another menacing ballistic missile. This was a high-tech, pre-fueled rocket that can be launched quickly. This type of rocket has a range of about 1,800 miles—thus, making it an immediate threat to South Korea and Japan as well as our troops that are stationed there. Read More

Poe and Cohen Introduce Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2017

2017/02/14

Today, Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), co-founder of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, and Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced H.R. XXX, Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act of 2016. The bi-partisan bill harmonizes the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims and sex trafficking victim minors to 28, rather than the current age of 21. Read More

Terrorism Update: February 13th-17th

2017/02/13

Monday (2-13-17)
  • Syrian jihadists seen as close to ISIS battled a rival hardline Islamist faction on Monday in northwestern Syria, a war monitor and an official with another insurgent group said. Jund al-Aqsa and Tahrir al-Sham clashed around Kafr Zeita in the countryside north of Hama, and near Tamaniaa, Khan Sheikhoun and Tal Aaas in southern Idlib Province. A statement released by Tahrir al-Sham said Jund al-Aqsa was responsible for the violence, accusing it of coordinating with ISIS and of having attacked Tahrir al-Sham with suicide blasts and a car bomb.
  • Sudanese security forces have found explosive materials and foreign passports in an apartment they raided on Sunday after a small blast detonated in South Khartoum, the Interior Ministry said. A bomb exploded while the suspect was assembling it, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the alleged bomb-maker, who is on the run, was wounded.
  • A suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded 20 others outside a bank in the capital city of Afghanistan's Helmand province on Saturday. The bomber detonated an explosives-packed car next to an Afghan army vehicle as soldiers arrived at a bank in Lashkar Gah to collect their pay. Among the dead were four civilians and three soldiers, while sixteen civilians and four soldiers were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Taliban have seized large areas of Helmand and have often threatened Lashkar Gah.
  • Australian ISIS fighter Khaled Sharrouf has become the country's first dual nationality individual to be stripped of Australian citizenship under anti-terrorism laws, the Australian newspaper said on Saturday.
  • Iranian security forces have arrested eight hardline Sunni Islamists suspected of planning attacks to disrupt celebrations for Iran's Islamic revolution in the past week, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Saturday. Alavi said the eight were "Takfiri" foreigners, some of whom were linked to a "Takfiri" leader who had been killed in Iran. He did not give details of which countries they were from.
  • Munther Omar Saleh, 21, from New York City pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and assaulting a federal officer. Prosecutors said Saleh discussed carrying out a pressure cooker bomb attack for ISIS with one of its top hackers and helped another man try to travel abroad to join the terrorist group.
  • At least 18 civilians were killed last week in air strikes by international forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an initial United Nations inquiry has concluded. American military officials say their aircraft have conducted around 30 air strikes in Helmand in the past week. A spokesman said they were looking into the inquiry.
  • The US-led coalition targeted Rachid Kassim, an aspiring rapper turned Islamic State operative, near Mosul, Iraq earlier last week. The airstrike was announced on Friday by Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway. American officials remain uncertain if Kassim was killed, although some French reports are claiming his death. French officials have tied Kassim to a string of plots in their country. They found that Kassim was part of a network of online operatives who “remote-control” attacks via social media applications. This network has coordinated small-scale attacks around the globe, including in European nations and the US.
  • Boko Haram fighters have killed seven Nigerian soldiers and wounded 19 more in an ambush on a road in the northeastern state of Borno, the military said on Friday. The attack and continued suicide bombings throughout the northeast raise doubts about how close the conflict with the Islamist group is to a conclusion, despite the military reclaiming most territory held by Boko Haram. The ambush on the Ajiri-Dikwa road hit the troops as they were on a routine rotation on Thursday night and the military said troops were in "aggressive pursuit" of the fleeing terrorists.

Tuesday (2-14-17)

  • Dozens of fighters have been killed in two days of fighting between rival jihadist factions in northwestern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday. The fighting has pitted a jihadist group seen as ideologically close to ISIS- Jund al-Aqsa - against a newly formed jihadist alliance spearheaded by a faction that is affiliated with al Qaeda. The jihadist alliance - Tahrir al-Sham - has captured at least six villages from Jund al-Aqsa since Monday, the Observatory reported. Their power struggle is focused in northern areas of Hama province and adjoining areas of Idlib.
  • According Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Turkey-backed rebels have largely taken control of Syria's al-Bab from ISIS fighters. Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish special forces, tanks and warplanes, swept into northern Syria in August in an operation, dubbed "Euphrates Shield" by Ankara, to push ISIS from Turkey's border and stop the advance of Kurdish fighters. However, on Tuesday the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the terrorists remained in control of the northern Syrian town.
  • Turkish authorities have arrested a Frenchman suspected of helping plan a New Year's Day shooting in an Istanbul nightclub which killed 39 people, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday. The man, a 22-year-old French citizen of Turkish descent, was caught in Istanbul. A police official said he had been detained weeks ago and formally charged last week, although his detention had not previously been made public.
  • An explosion near the Punjab provincial assembly in the Pakistani city of Lahore killed at least 13 people and wounded 83 others on Monday, a senior police official said. Mushtaq Sukhera, inspector general of police in Punjab province, said five police officers were among the dead when an explosion rocked a protest organized by Pakistan's chemists and pharmaceuticals manufacturers. A spokesman for Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility and also warned the Lahore attack was the start of a new campaign against government departments.
  • The United States blacklisted Venezuela's Vice President Tareck El Aissami for drug trafficking, the first crackdown by the Trump administration against a top official in President Nicolas Maduro's government for money laundering and the drug trade. The U.S. Department of Treasury said it designated El Aissami for sanctions under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Venezuelan opposition groups have long accused El Aissami of repressing dissent, participating in drug trafficking rings, and supporting Middle East terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.
  • On Monday, a top Pakistani bomb squad officer was killed along with another policeman while trying to defuse a bomb in the southwestern city of Quetta. The Sunni Muslim terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi's Al Alami faction claimed responsibility on Tuesday.
  • Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in opposition-controlled parts of Aleppo during battles to retake the city late last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday. The findings add to mounting evidence of the use of banned chemical weapons in the six-year-old Syrian civil war and could strengthen calls by Britain, France and the United States for sanctions against Syrian officials. According to the New York-based group, government helicopters dropped chlorine bombs "in residential areas in Aleppo on at least eight occasions between November 17 and December 13, 2016."

Wednesday (2-15-17)

  • Taliban insurgents attacked a village in northern Faryab province on Wednesday, killing five members of the local police force, an Afghan security official said. After a surprise early morning attack, the Taliban gained control of the village, located in the Shirin Tagab district, he added. Five terrorists were also killed and two others were wounded in the battle.
  • A suicide bomber attacked a van carrying judges in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing the driver and a passerby, police said, the second attack of the day in a new surge in terrorist violence. Security has improved in Pakistan over the past few years but a spate of attacks in recent days, and a threat by a hardline militant faction to unleash a new campaign against the government, has raised fears of bloodshed.
  • Gunmen in Afghanistan kidnapped 52 farmers on Wednesday, most of them members of the minority Uzbek community in the remote northern province of Jowzjan, regional officials said, but the motive for the abductions was not immediately clear. Afghanistan's once-stable north has become a hotbed of kidnappings and shootings in recent years, as the Taliban gains ground, along with small groups loyal to ISIS, mostly defectors from the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.
  • Russian jets pounded rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Deraa on Tuesday for a second day in the first such intensive bombing campaign since Moscow's major intervention in Syria over a year ago.
  • Bangladesh police on Tuesday shot dead a suspected terrorist commander and a close aide of the mastermind of the cafe attack last year that killed 22 people, mostly foreigners, a police official said. Police said Abu Musa, 32, was a close associate of Jahangir Alam, one of the masterminds of the July attack who was arrested last month, and wanted for killings of religious minorities and a Japanese citizen in the northern region.
  • Hamas has named one of its most hardline figures as its new leader in the Gaza Strip, a move analysts say is a sign of the growing influence of the group’s military wing. Yehiya Sinwar was released from an Israeli jail in October 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas. He had been serving a life sentence for the murder of Palestinians suspected of collaboration with Israel, and was accused of overseeing the torture and killing of a fellow Hamas commander in Gaza last year.
  • The US Special Operations head, Gen. Raymond Thomas, said Tuesday that the US and its allies had eliminated more than 60,000 ISIS fighters. His estimate represents a sharp increase over recent numbers provided by the US and its allies. The US-led coalition has ramped up airstrikes against the terror group's self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria, in recent weeks, while Iraqi troops, backed by US air power, have continued their assault on Mosul.
  • The Boko Haram terrorist group has continued their attacks in northeastern Nigeria despite the government declaring that the group, affiliated with ISIS, is about to be defeated. On Tuesday, about 30 terrorists attacked a village in Borno State, where they once had their stronghold, but were quickly repelled by a defense force comprised of villagers and soldiers. One Boko Haram fighter was killed. A day earlier, Boko Haram fighters ambushed and killed 12 Nigerian army troops and wounded 20 others who were among a convoy traveling through Borno.

Thursday (2-16-17)

  • Enrique Marquez Jr. is expected to plead guilty today to providing the high-powered rifles used to kill 14 people in the San Bernardino terror attack. Marquez of Riverside, California is the only person criminally charged in the deadly December 2015 attack that also left 22 people wounded at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees. Husband-and-wife assailants Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were killed in a gunfight with authorities later that day.
  • Russia's top security official on Thursday offered the Philippines access to an intelligence database to help it fight crime and militancy, and training for the elite forces assigned to protect President Rodrigo Duterte. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Russia had invited the Philippines to join a database-sharing system to help combat trans-national crime and terrorism, which he said could help track Islamist terrorists and their financial transactions.
  • Pakistani counter-terrorism police raided a terrorist hideout and killed six suspected members of a Taliban faction that has launched a new campaign of violence against the government, police said on Thursday. The Counter Terrorism Department in Punjab province said its officers surrounded a hideout of the Pakistani Taliban's Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction in the city of Multan late on Wednesday and ordered the suspects inside to surrender. Two hand grenades, two automatic rifles and two pistols were recovered.
  • Syrian Islamist fighters have executed scores of insurgents in the west of the country in an increasingly bloody battle between different terrorist groups, the SITE Intelligence Group said. An offshoot of the Jund al-Aqsa group killed more than 150 members of rebel factions in the village of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib province, the U.S.-based monitoring service reported on Wednesday. Dozens of those executed were members of a Free Syrian Army (FSA) faction, while the rest included members of the Tahrir al-Sham alliance, which includes al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
  • ISIS is using kidnapped Yazidi children to carry out suicide missions as the U.S.-led coalition forces continue their assault on the terror group’s remaining strongholds in Syria and Iraq. In a video posted Tuesday, two young Yazidi boys seemingly brainwashed by the Islamic terror group talk about their departure from their Yazidi identity and their desire to carry out a suicide attack for ISIS.
  • During a Congressional hearing on Wednesday Bruce Hoffman, Director Centre for Security Studies at Georgetown University, noted that al-Qaeda has used America's "preoccupation" with ISIS to regain strength in South Asia and preparing to spread its ideology in India from its "home" in western Pakistan.
  • If ISIS is driven from its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, it will switch tactics to wage an insurgency from mountains and deserts, according to a top Kurdish intelligence official. Lahur Talabany, a senior figure in Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism efforts, also expressed concerns that another group similar to the Sunni Muslim ISIS could emerge to menace Iraq again if political leaders fail to secure reconciliation between sects.
  • On Tuesday the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS conducted 17 strikes in 21 engagements in Syria and conducted five strikes in 21 engagements in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government.

Friday (2/17/17)

  • Seven suspected Boko Haram fighters blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages. The bombing took place outside Maiduguri, the population center at the heart of a government campaign to eradicate the Islamist group, whose more than seven-year insurgency has killed 15,000 people and forced some two million from their homes. The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said eight members of a local militia, the civilian Joint Task Force, were wounded in the attack.
  • Pakistani security forces killed dozens of suspected militants on Friday, a day after ISIS claimed a suicide bombing that killed more than 80 worshippers at a Sufi shrine in the latest of a series of attacks across the country. The bombing at the famed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in southern Sindh province was Pakistan's deadliest attack in two years, killing at least 83 people and underlining the threat of terrorist groups like the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS.
  • ISIS fighters are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now. Residents said the fighters have been opening passages in the walls between houses to allow them to move from block to block undetected, disappear after hit-and-run operations and track government troop movements. They have also opened sniper holes in buildings overlooking the Tigris river bisecting the city into east and west.
  • Turkey's military said on Friday it was close to taking Syria's al-Bab from ISIS, but a war monitor said the jihadists still controlled 90 percent of the town itself and that shelling and air strikes had killed dozens of civilians in recent days. Al-Bab, an ISIS stronghold 20 miles from the Turkish border, has been a prime target since Turkey launched an incursion last August to push the jihadists from its frontier and prevent gains by a Kurdish militia also fighting them. Taking control of the town would deepen Turkish influence in an area of Syria where it has already effectively created a buffer zone and allow Turkish forces to press on towards Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.
  • The government of the restive far-western Xinjiang marched thousands of armed officers through the region's southern city of Hotan in a shock and awe campaign against what it says is the rising threat of terrorism and ethnic separatism. The large-scale parade in Hotan, a hotspot of ethnic tension in Xinjiang's southern Muslim Uighur heartland, involved thousands of armed police and paramilitary officers and was designed to "show strength and intimidate", according to a front-page report in the official Xinjiang Daily on Friday.
  • U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack ISIS conducting 15 strikes consisting of 19 engagements in Syria and nine strikes consisting of 16 engagements in Iraq.

 

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NO TRAFFICKING IN OUR CITY, OUR STATE, OR OUR COUNTRY

2017/02/13

Mr. Speaker, Houston recently hosted the exciting Super Bowl LI. As Texas welcomed people from across the United States, the message was clear: no trafficking, not in our city, not in our State, not in our country. As exploiters and buyers roamed the streets looking for prey, Mayor Turner, the Department of Homeland Security, and local law enforcement were prepared to jail traffickers and rescue victims. Read More

Port Managers Make Case for Piece of Infrastructure Pie

2017/02/10

A group of port executives made a pitch to House staff members Thursday to be part of any broad package of infrastructure spending that moves through Congress this year. President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure over 10 years. Lawmakers have since said they are waiting for the president to submit a proposal. Read More

2-10-17

2017/02/10

  • At least five people were killed and 19 wounded on Friday, in two suicide bombings that hit an Iraqi army position and a restaurant in eastern Mosul, a medical source said. A man believed to belong to ISIS blew himself up inside the Sayidati al-Jamila ("My Fair Lady") restaurant at lunchtime, killing at least four people and wounding 15. The second attack was a suicide car-bomb that killed a soldier and wounded four others in the al-Nour district. Both districts were recently retaken from the terrorist group by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces. An explosive belt of the style usually worn by suicide bombers also blew up in a street of al-Zuhour without causing casualties.
  • A powerful Syrian jihadist group has made rapid gains against more moderate factions in northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces in recent days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Friday. Jund al-Aqsa, which has had links with the al Qaeda’s branch in Syria, this week captured weapons and bases from groups operating under the Free Syrian Army (FSA) banner, and has detained dozens of rebel fighters.
  • ISIS fighters have shifted to desert valleys and inland hills southeast of Tripoli as they seek to exploit Libya's political divisions after defeat in their former stronghold of Sirte, security officials say. The terrorists, believed to number several hundred and described as "remnants" of ISIS’ Libya operation, are trying to foment chaos by cutting power and water supplies and to identify receptive local communities, the officials said. They are being monitored through aerial surveillance and on-the-ground intelligence, but Libyan officials said they cannot easily be targeted without advanced air power.
  • Four people have been arrested in and around the southern French city of Montpellier on suspicion of planning an imminent terrorist attack in France, the interior ministry said on Friday. Police and judicial sources said those in custody included a 20-year-old man and his 16-year-old girlfriend, both known to authorities for connections with radical Islam, and said the attack had been due to take place in Paris. Police found TATP explosives and other bomb-making materials in the man's home.
  • Russia intervened to halt a clash between Syrian government forces and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels in northern Syria, sources on both sides said on Friday, the first confrontation between them as both sides fight ISIS in the area. ISIS is under attack from separate campaigns in northern Syria by Russian-backed government forces and Turkey-backed rebels. The clash on Thursday near the IS-held city of al-Bab underlined the risk of the parallel offensives igniting new fighting between the government and its rebel enemies. Russia and Turkey have backed opposing sides in the war but recently started cooperating over Syria, brokering a truce between government forces and rebels and working together to try to revive peace talks.
  • The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said on Thursday he needs several thousand more international troops in order to break a stalemate in the long war with Taliban insurgents, signaling the matter may soon be put before President Donald Trump. So far, the Trump administration has offered little clarity about the possibility of more forces in Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. troops remain more than 15 years after the Islamist Taliban government was toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces. A U.S. soldier was severely wounded in fighting in Afghanistan on Thursday, and Army General John Nicholson, who leads U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged Taliban gains over the past year, when deployed U.S. forces were reduced even as security deteriorated.
  • Fareed Mumuni, a 22 year-old man from New York City, admitted on Thursday that he had sought to provide support to ISIS and tried to kill an FBI agent with a knife when authorities came to his home to execute a search warrant in 2015. He was one of six young men in New York and New Jersey charged in a probe into what Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Solomon called a "group of like-minded individuals who had pledged allegiance to ISIL.”
  • The head of a new alliance of Syrian Islamist factions, including an al Qaeda affiliate, has promised to escalate attacks against the Syrian army and its Iranian-backed allies with the goal of toppling President Bashar al-Assad. Hashem al-Sheikh, leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which was formed last month, also said in his first video speech that the new grouping sought to "liberate" all of Syria's territory.
  • Katibat Imam al Bukhari, also known as the Imam Bukhari Jamaat, has claimed an ambush on Afghan troops in northern Afghanistan in a statement released through the terrorist group’s Telegram channel. The statement did not specify the Afghan province where the attack occurred. According to the statement, KIB jihadists destroyed three Afghan humvees in improvised explosive device (IED) blast before opening fire on soldiers. Additionally, the group claimed to kill four Afghan troops. Pictures showing the explosions and subsequent ambush were released alongside the statement.
  • ISIS has claimed Wednesday’s suicide assault on a hotel in the northern Somali town of Bosaso in a statement released online. The attack left at least four security guards and at least two gunmen dead. According to local media, militants affiliated with the Islamic State faction operating in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland stormed the Village Hotel in Bosaso. This prompted a fierce shootout between the militants and the hotel’s security guards, with four guards and at least two gunmen dying.
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Poe and Maloney Renew Legislation Empowering IRS to Punish Human Traffickers

2017/02/10

"Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise, and like any business the answer to exposing it is to follow the money trail,” said Rep. Poe. “This bill will better equip law enforcement in their efforts to identify, track down and take down traffickers by giving the IRS more resources to go after traffickers for income. I believe this will be a valuable tool in identifying these criminals who are now able to live freely, and make money, while enslaving innocent people." Read More

Fighting Human Trafficking

2017/02/10

Last Sunday, fans from all over the United States gathered in Houston to root on the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. I’m proud of all of the hard work that went into making this event a huge success, a safe event, and something that we Houstonians can be very proud of. Read More

2-9-17

2017/02/09

  • The Philippines is certain of "very strong" links between ISIS and home-grown militants and is concerned about regional repercussions from tension between China and the new U.S. administration, Manila's defense minister said on Thursday. Intelligence from various sources had shown Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines had been communicating with ISIS, and funds were being transferred via mechanisms commonly used by Filipino workers in the Middle East.
  • An ISIS-affiliated group claimed responsibility for firing rockets on Thursday towards Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat from Egypt's Sinai peninsula, an attack that Israel said caused no damage or casualties. The Sinai Province group said it fired "a number of Grad rockets against gatherings of Zionist occupiers" in Eilat. In an apparently unrelated incident several hours after the rockets were fired, two Palestinians were killed along Gaza's border with Egypt when a tunnel beneath the frontier was bombed.
  • Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters resumed a major offensive inside the ISIS-held city of al-Bab on Thursday, a day after they broke through ISIS defenses in its remaining stronghold in Aleppo province. A rebel commander in the Euphrates Shield forces said fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), working with Turkish commanders, were moving forward from territory near the western gates of the city they had stormed on Wednesday.
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in an overnight phone call on joint action against ISIS in the Syrian towns of Raqqa and al-Bab, both held by the terrorists, Turkish presidency sources said on Wednesday. U.S.-Turkish differences during former President Barack Obama's administration impeded the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS, and closer coordination could mean faster progress towards freeing swathes of northern Syria from ISIS.
  • Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, an Arizona man, was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison for conspiring to support ISIS for his role in planning a attack at a cartoon exhibit in Garland, Texas, featuring images of the Prophet Mohammed in May 2015. Two co-conspirators, Kareem's former roommates, were killed at the event in a shootout with police.
  • Yemen said on Wednesday it had not suspended counter-terrorism operations with the U.S. government, despite controversy over a U.S. commando raid on al Qaeda terrorists in which several civilians were also killed. The raid in al-Bayda province, approved by new U.S. President Donald Trump, resulted in a gun battle that left one Navy SEAL dead and an American aircraft a charred wreck. Local medics said several women and children were killed.
  • The Defense Department announced on Wednesday that 11 al Qaeda terrorists were killed in a pair of airstrikes near Idlib, Syria earlier this month. Ten al Qaeda men were reportedly killed on Feb. 3, when the US struck a building they were using as a “meeting place.” On the following day, Feb. 4, a jihadi known as Abu Hani al Masri perished in a second airstrike. The Pentagon says Abu Hani served al Qaeda for decades and had ties to the group’s senior leaders, including Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden.
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Hey Congress: Where’s the ban on ISIS?

2017/02/09

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) is one of those pushing for action. “Terrorist use of social media has been a problem for years. I have been fighting to expose this threat since 2010,” said Poe. “Since then, the problem has only gotten worse. We know terrorists use these platforms to fundraise, recruit, plan and carry out attacks. Telegram is no exception,” he continued, adding that “there is arguably no platform that terrorists are using more today than Telegram.” Poe noted that Telegram is not the first to face this challenge and that other social media companies have adopted proactive policies that have proven effective in reducing terrorist use of their platforms. Read More

2-8-17

2017/02/08

  • Suspected ISIS gunmen killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday as they carried supplies in the north of the country to areas hit by deadly snow storms, government officials said. Another two employees were unaccounted for after the attack in Jowzjan province. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said his group was not involved in the attack.
  • Islamist gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Wednesday, killing four guards, a senior official and an ISIS agency said. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in Bosasso, according to its news agency Amaq. Islamist leader Abdiqadir Mumin broke away from the main al Shabaab insurgency in 2015 and swore allegiance to ISIS. Experts says the group's strength is unclear, but he may have fighters numbering in the low hundreds under his command.
  • Police searched homes and other properties in Britain and the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia on Wednesday for evidence on two suspects believed to have supported the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Germany's chief federal prosecutor's office said. They were suspected of collecting donations for the group and had supplied ambulances, medical equipment and medication through groups called "Medicine with Heart" and "Medicine without Borders", it said. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the searches were still going on but declined to give further details about the case or the suspects.
  • Syrian rebel forces supported by Turkish armed forces seized control of strategically important hills around the ISIS-controlled town of al-Bab after operations launched overnight, Turkey's military said on Wednesday. It said in a written statement that 58 ISIS fighters were killed in air strikes, artillery fire and clashes as part of those operations.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility on Wednesday for a suicide attack that killed at least 22 people outside Afghanistan's Supreme Court. The bomber, identified as Abu Bakr Altajiki by the terrorist group, detonated an explosive belt as court employees were leaving work in downtown Kabul on Tuesday evening. "The apostates must know, starting with the tyrant judges, that their blasphemous judgments ... will not pass without severe punishment," the ISIS statement said.
  • About three blasts, possibly caused by mortar shells, echoed across the Somali capital on Tuesday, on the eve of a presidential election, witnesses reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties or claims of responsibility, although the al Shabaab terrorist group often stages attacks in Mogadishu and has said it wants to disrupt the vote, in which newly sworn-in members of parliament will choose the president.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a proposal that could lead to potentially designating Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. U.S. government officials said several U.S. government agencies have been consulted about such a proposal, which if implemented would add to measures the United States has already imposed on individuals and entities linked to the IRGC.
  • The Caucasus Emirate branch Vilayat Kabarda, Balkaria, and Karachay (KBK) recently released a video in which fighters from the Caucasus Emirate’s (CE) wing in Syria are shown partaking in battles in northwestern Syria. It is unknown if all the fighters shown in the video are from Vilayat KBK, other branches of the CE, or local members of the group. The video, entitled “On the frontlines in Syria,” was released by Vilayat KBK’s IslamDin media. It begins with fighters participating in a battle, which is indicated to be near the “Shia villages of Fua and Kafraya” in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province. This video marks one of, if not the first time, that a CE media wing originating in the North Caucasus has released a video of its branch in Syria.

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2-7-17

2017/02/07

  • At least 20 people were killed on Tuesday in a bomb blast outside the Supreme Court in the center of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, government officials said, in what appeared to be the latest in a series of attacks on the judiciary. The Ministry of Public Health said at least 20 people were killed and 38 injured people were taken to city hospitals. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, in which police said an apparent suicide bomber targeted Supreme Court employees leaving their offices at the end of the working day.
  • At least 30 people died in air strikes on the rebel-held Syrian city of Idlib on Tuesday, in some of the heaviest raids there in months, witnesses and rescue workers said. Around eight attacks by what witnesses believed to be Russian jets wounded scores of people and leveled several multi-story buildings in residential areas of the northwestern city, they added. Russia's Defense Ministry later claimed that the media reports that its planes had bombed Idlib were not true.
  • Syrian government forces advanced on the northern ISIS-held city of al-Bab on Monday, cutting off the last supply route that connects it to terrorist strongholds further east towards Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. ISIS fighters in the area are now effectively surrounded by the army from the south and by Turkish-backed rebels from the north, as Damascus and Ankara race to capture the largest ISIS stronghold in Aleppo province. Backed by air strikes, Syrian government forces severed a road that links the city to other ISIS-held territory in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces.
  • The U.S. embassy in Baghdad said on Monday it has limited the movement of its personnel after receiving "credible threats of possible attacks on hotels frequented by Westerners," however it did not give details on the nature of the threat.
  • Terrorist groups are using people smugglers to recruit desperate unaccompanied migrant children, who pledge allegiance to jihadists in order to continue their migration journey, a report found on Monday. At least 88,300 lone migrant children are at risk of being radicalized in Europe, according to Quilliam, a counter-extremism organization that operates across Europe and North America. The report said groups like ISIS, as well as Boko Haram recruited people living in refugee camps by paying money, and by funding the onward journey of child migrants if they joined their group.
  • A Palestinian rocket launched from Gaza struck Israel on Monday, causing no casualties or damage, in a rare attack that drew Israeli air strikes against Palestinian militant targets. A 70-year-old Palestinian man was slightly wounded in one of the Israeli strikes, but he was the only reported injury on either side of a frontier that has been largely quiet in recent months.
  • Egyptian soldiers killed 14 terrorists and arrested ten others in a raid in central Sinai, the military said on Monday. The operation over the past five days destroyed three car bombs and 10 other explosive devices and seized weapons, communication devices and military clothing, the army spokesman added. An Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula has gained pace since the military toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest Islamist movement, in 2013 following mass protests against him. Sinai Province, the terrorists group behind the insurgency, pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.
  • Al Shabaab fighters in Somalia publicly beheaded four men accused of spying for the country's Western-backed government, the United States and neighboring Kenya, residents in the south of the Horn of Africa country said. The al-Qaeda affiliate confirmed the executions, which took place on Sunday after the men were found guilty by an al Shabaab court in Jamame district of lower Jubba region, some 43 miles north of Kismayu.
  • U.S-led coalition planes bombed an ISIS-controlled town near the Euphrates Dam in northern Syria on Sunday, a day after the launch of a new phase of a campaign to capture the terrorists’ de-facto capital of Raqqa. Activists confirmed reports released by the terrorists’ news agency Amaq which said four raids in the last twenty four hours hit the town of Tabqa west of Raqqa, located near Syria's largest dam, at the southern end of Lake Assad on the Euphrates. A video released by Amaq showed extensive damage to a commercial center in the town but did mention any casualties.
  • Turkish police on Sunday detained some 400 suspected members of ISIS in anti-terror raids in six provinces, state media said, the biggest roundup to target the organization in Turkey. Those held were mainly foreign nationals and at least 60 suspects were detained in the capital Ankara, while 150 were arrested in Sanliurfa province near the Syrian border.
  • A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was embedded with Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) was killed on Saturday by an ISIS trap near the Tal Afar airport, which is to the west of Mosul, according to Iranian media. The PMF, the umbrella organization of Iraqi-Shiite militias fighting ISIS that is dominated by IRGC-backed groups, has claimed new gains near Tal Afar during the past week. The death of Guard member Kheirollah Ahmadi underscores Iran’s involvement in Iraq.
  • A faction of the Pakistani Taliban that broke away from the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP) in 2014 has rejoined the group, and its leader has been named the deputy emir of the TTP. The reunion is the latest in a series of moves that have brought wayward Taliban groups back into the TTP’s fold to help rebuild both its capacity and strength. The “Mehsud division,” which is also known as the Movement of the Taliban in South Waziristan and the Sajna or Khalid Mehsud Group, is led by Commander Khalid Mehsud, also known as Khan Said and Sajna Mehsud.
  • The Jordanian air force conducted air strikes against ISIS targets in southern Syria on Friday night, hitting an ammunition depot, a car bomb factory and a barracks, the Jordanian military said in a statement.
  • On Friday al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm released a statement condemning the recent American counterterrorism operation in Yemen. US Central Command (CENTCOM) has confirmed that “civilian non-combatants were likely killed in the midst of a firefight during” the raid in Yemen on Jan. 29. The casualties “may include children,” CENTCOM stated, but there is no reason to believe that American forces “intentionally” sought to kill innocent women and children, as al-Qaeda alleges in their statement.

 

 

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Poe, Costa Introduce Bill to Protect Crime Victims Fund

2017/02/03

This week, Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2) and Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), co-chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC), introduced H.R. 818 to protect the Crime Victims Fund from being redirected to other uses and thereby threatening to severely reduce services for crime victims of crime. Read More

2-3-17

2017/02/03

  • A French soldier shot and wounded a man armed with a machete and carrying two bags on his back on Friday as he tried to enter the Paris Louvre museum in what the government said appeared to have been a terrorist attack. The man shouted Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) and rushed at police and soldiers before being shot near the museum's shopping mall, police said, adding a second person had also been detained after acting suspiciously. The attacker was alive but seriously wounded, the head of Paris police Michel Cadot told reporters at the scene, adding the bags he had been carrying contained no explosives.
  • Warships shelled suspected al Qaeda strongholds in a mountainous region of southern Yemen on Thursday, government officials said. The officials said they believed U.S. forces carried out the operation, though Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis quickly denied any U.S. involvement. The strikes come less than a week after a covert U.S. Navy SEAL raid, also in Yemen's south, the first ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump as commander in chief.
  • The U.N. envoy for Iraq says military operations to liberate Iraq from the Islamic State extremist group will be coming to an end "in the rather short foreseeable future." Jan Kubis told the U.N. Security Council Thursday that "the days of the so-called ISIL are counted." He said progress and the government's successful campaign to retake the eastern part of Mosul "should not conceal that fighting has been and will be a massive challenge, in particular inside the old city in western Mosul."
  • U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran while crafting a broader strategy to counter what he sees as its destabilizing behavior, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The new sanctions, which are being taken under existing executive orders covering terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, may mark the opening shot in a more aggressive policy against Iran that Trump promised during the 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Faced with a diminishing number of fighters, ISIS is relying on retrofitted commercial drones to guide suicide car bombers to their targets and to launch small-scale airstrikes on Iraqi forces. The extremist group is spending freely on drone technology as it faces pressure from coalition forces, hacking store-bought machines, applying rigorous testing protocols and mimicking tactics used by U.S. unmanned aircraft. In all, a half-dozen storehouses ISIS used to make and modify drones have been found recently in Mosul, Iraqi military officials said.
  • Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a powerful faction of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP), has released a video detailing a training camp somewhere in Pakistan’s northwest tribal frontier. The video also highlighted the training of suicide bombers and an assault on a Pakistani military base that took place last November.

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2-2-17

2017/02/02

  • A Syrian opposition figure who says he controls 3,000 Arab fighters has said they are training with U.S.-led coalition forces in preparation to help drive ISIS from its de facto capital in the city of Raqqa. Ahmad Jarba commands the Syrian Elite Forces, described by the U.S. military as a significant component of the coalition assembled against ISIS.
  • Turkish warplanes killed 51 ISIS fighters in operations over the last 24 hours, the military said in a statement on Thursday. Warplanes destroyed 85 ISIS targets in the areas of al-Bab, Tadif, Kabbasin and Bzagah, including buildings and vehicles.
  • A 36-year-old Tunisian asylum-seeker arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of planning an Islamist attack in Germany is also wanted in his homeland over a deadly 2015 assault on a Tunis museum favored by Western tourists, German officials said. The Tunisian is suspected of recruiting for Islamic State in Germany since August 2015 and building up a network of supporters with the aim of carrying out a terrorist attack, the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said in a statement.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has directed the Pentagon to seek an increase in overall spending to address shortfalls and "new requirements" needed to accelerate the campaign against ISIS, according to a memo released on Wednesday.
  • Air strikes hit Syrian Red Crescent offices in the northwestern city of Idlib after midnight on Wednesday, injuring several staff and causing extensive damage, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. It was not clear which air force the jets belonged to or whether they had taken off from inside Syria or crossed its borders. Russian and Syrian warplanes have been carrying out raids against Syrian insurgents in Idlib province, a rebel stronghold, but since the new year U.S. air strikes have also targeted terrorists in Idlib affiliated to al Qaeda.
  • The Afghan government “has lost territory to the insurgency” and “district control continues to decline,” the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in its most recent quarterly report to United States Congress. An estimated 15 percent of Afghanistan’s districts have slipped from the government’s control over that time period. . According to SIGAR, the Afghan government controls or influences just 52 percent of the nation’s districts today compared to 72 percent in Nov. 2015 and, the insurgency, which is overwhelmingly made up of the Taliban, now controls nine districts and influences another 32, while 133 districts are “contested.”
  • ISIS fighters killed at least 14 Syrian soldiers in a fierce attack on a military airport northeast of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported on Monday. The British-based Observatory said the ultra-hardline group had launched the assault on Sunday near the al-Seen airport some 44 miles from the capital, taking over several positions in the area held by the Syrian army.

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Contact Information

2412 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6565
Fax 202-225-5547
poe.house.gov

Texas Congressman Ted Poe is a leading advocate in Washington for limited government, free markets, low taxes and individual liberty.

Prior to serving in Congress, Ted Poe served for 22 years as a criminal court judge in Houston where he garnered national media attention for his innovative sentences – dubbed “Poetic Justice.” Prior to that, he served for 8 years in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he became the chief felony prosecutor and never lost a jury trial.

Congressman Ted Poe serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. An outspoken advocate on border security, he travels regularly to the southern border to meet directly with local law enforcement and residents. He also often visits our troops in Afghanistan and around the world. Congressman Ted Poe established the bipartisan Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) to advocate on behalf of victims in our nation’s capital. A strong constitutionalist, Congressman Poe stands firmly in the belief of “we the people” not “we the subjects.”


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Jodey Arrington

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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