Ted Poe

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

October 16th- October 20th

2017/10/16

Monday (10.16.17) 

  •  Twin car bomb blasts in the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed over 270 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, although al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, al Shabaab, regularly conducts attacks in the capital and other parts of the country.
  • Four Egyptian policemen and two civilians were killed and 22 injured on Monday in an attack by terrorists on a security post in North Sinai. This followed another deadly attack on Sunday which killed six Egyptian soldiers and at least 24 terrorists who attacked a military post as Egypt continues to fight an insurgency against ISIS-affiliated terror groups in the Sinai.  
  • Counter-terrorism squads from the Istanbul Police detained a total of 39 ISIS terrorist suspects on Monday in 15 distinct operations in eight city districts. Thirty-two of the suspects were foreign nationals who the police have detained and initiated deportation proceedings against. 
  • Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, two ISIS-linked terrorists, were killed Monday in clashes with the armed forces of the Philippines. Hapilon, who was one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, had been acknowledged as the emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia by ISIS leadership while Maute was a leader of the ISIS-affiliated Maute Group.   
  • On Sunday, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for bombings that killed four Pakistani soldiers and wounded three others who were searching for the kidnappers of Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, the couple recently freed after being held hostage by the Haqqani network for five years. 
  • Moroccan authorities dismantled a cell on Saturday linked to ISIS that was active in eight towns and cities. Security forces found guns and ammunition as well as materials for making suicide belts and explosives during the raid. Eleven people were arrested, including one explosives expert. 

Tuesday (10.17.17) 

  • American-backed forces said on Tuesday that they had seized the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, a major blow to the militant group, which had long used the city as the de facto capital of its self-declared caliphate. The apparent rout of the last Islamic State fighters touched off celebrations in Raqqa, where residents had lived under the repressive rule of militants who beheaded people for offenses as minor as smoking.
  • Taliban militants struck government targets in many provinces of Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, including a senior police commander, and wounding scores of others. The deadliest attack hit a police training centre attached to the police headquarters in Gardez, main city of Paktia province. Two Taliban suicide car bombers paved the way for a number of gunmen to attack the compound, officials and militants said. At least 21 police officers were killed, including the Paktia provincial police chief, with 48 others wounded, according to government officials.
  • Two suspected U.S. drone strikes on Tuesday killed 11 people on the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border, following a strike a day earlier that killed 20, government and militant sources said. The attacks came days after a Canadian-American couple held hostage by the Taliban were freed from the area in Pakistan’s northwest, striking a rare positive note in the country’s often-fraught relations with the United States.
  • The Department of Defense announced today that “dozens” of Islamic State “members” were killed in a strike on two training camps in Yemen. The US military says the operation was intended to disrupt the “organization’s attempts to train new fighters.” The camps were used “to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” according to the Pentagon’s announcement.
  • The Baghdad government recaptured territory across the breadth of northern Iraq from Kurds on Tuesday, making rapid gains in a sudden campaign that has shifted the balance of power in the country almost overnight. In the second day of a lightning government advance to take back towns and countryside from forces of the Kurdish autonomous region, Kurdish troops known as Peshmerga pulled out of the long disputed Khanaqin area near the Iranian border.
  • A lethal bomb generally associated with Iran and its proxies has reemerged in Iraq after a six year hiatus, killing an American soldier. The Washington Post first reported that an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) was used in a roadside attack that occurred in Salah ad-Din province on Oct. 1. The commander of Operation Inherent Resolve Land Component confirmed during his briefing today that a steel EFP struck a US vehicle at a dip in the road along Route Tampa. The bombing occurred as the Islamic State’s territorial control in Iraq wanes.
  • Flanked by soldiers and officers, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Tuesday declared the southern city of Marawi “liberated from terrorist influence,” five months after Islamic militants stormed the town, killing scores and sending thousands fleeing. The president’s visit to Marawi came one day after the authorities declared government forces had killed the insurgency’s leaders in a gunfight. But gunfire could still be heard in pockets of the city, where about 30 militants, some of them foreigners, continued a last stand. 
  • The number of U.S. service members operating in Somalia has quadrupled since the beginning of the year to 400 troops, making it the biggest contingent deployed to the war-torn country in nearly 25 years. The Pentagon confirmed the total Monday, two days after a massive truck bomb in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu killed more than 300 people.
  • Civilian flights were suspended for several hours at the Libyan capital’s Mitiga airport on Monday evening and Tuesday morning as rival armed groups clashed nearby, a spokesman said. Sporadic shooting could be heard early on Tuesday near Mitiga, a military air base near the center of Tripoli that has also hosted civilian flights since the international airport was largely destroyed by fighting in 2014.

Wednesday (10.18.17) 

  • ISIS de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run. But rather than declare the Islamic State and its virulent ideology conquered, many Western and Arab counterterrorism officials are bracing for a new, lethal incarnation of the jihadi group. The organization has a proven track record as an insurgency able to withstand major military onslaughts, while still recruiting adherents around the world ready to kill in its name.
  • A U.S.-backed campaign against Islamic State in eastern Syria will accelerate now the jihadist group has been defeated in its former capital Raqqa, a spokesman for U.S.-allied Syrian militias said on Wednesday. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which announced the defeat at Raqqa on Tuesday, will redeploy fighters from the city to frontlines with Islamic State in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, Talal Silo told Reuters by telephone.
  • The UK's intelligence services are facing an "intense" challenge from terrorism, the head of MI5 has warned. Andrew Parker said there was currently "more terrorist activity coming at us, more quickly" and that it can also be "harder to detect". The UK has suffered five terror attacks this year, and he said MI5 staff had been "deeply affected" by them. He added that more than 130 Britons who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with so-called Islamic State had died. MI5 was running 500 live operations involving 3,000 individuals involved in extremist activity in some way, he said.
  • Iran’s military chief warned Israel against breaching Syrian airspace and territory on a visit to Damascus on Wednesday, raising tensions with Israel as it voices deep concern over Tehran’s influence in Syria. General Mohammad Baqeri pledged to increase cooperation with Syria’s military to fight Israel and insurgents, Iranian and Syrian state media said.
  • Kurdish forces pulled out of disputed areas across northern and eastern Iraq on Tuesday, a day after handing the northern city of Kirkuk over to federal forces amid a tense standoff following last month’s vote for independence. The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, withdrew from Sinjar as well as three towns on the border with Iran, allowing Iraqi government forces and state-sanctioned militias to assume control. The vastly outnumbered Kurdish forces appear to have bowed to demands from the central government that they hand over the so-called disputed territories outside the Kurds’ autonomous region, including areas seized from the Islamic State group in recent years.
  • A Pakistani Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said. The attack killed five police officials and two passers-by on the outskirts of the city of Quetta, police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said. He said 22 people were wounded, eight of them critically.
  • Military planners mobilized members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, an elite group of commandos, to mount a rescue of an American woman and her Canadian husband, according to senior American officials. But the operation was called off amid concerns, and days later, the C.I.A. watched in alarm as militants drove the family out of the camp and across Pakistan’s lawless tribal lands. The top American diplomat in Pakistan, Ambassador David Hale, turned to his host country, one of the officials said, delivering an urgent message to the Pakistani government: Resolve this, or the United States will.
  • At least two U.S. citizens were among the 276 people killed in a huge truck bomb blast last weekend in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, the State Department said Tuesday. It is believed to be the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation. At least 300 people were wounded in the blast Saturday, which occurred on a busy street near key ministries.
  • Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is to monitor interpretations of the Prophet Mohammad’s teachings to prevent them being used to justify violence or terrorism, the Culture and Information Ministry has said. In a decree, King Salman ordered the establishment of an authority to scrutinize uses of the “hadith” - accounts of the sayings, actions or habits of the Prophet that are used by preachers and jurists to support teachings and edicts on all aspects of life.

Friday (10.20.17) 

  • Yemeni tribal leaders say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed three alleged al-Qaida fighters in the country's southeastern Bayda province. They say the men were traveling on Thursday in the Soum area when a missile hit their car, engulfing it in flames. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.The Taliban overran an Afghan army base in Kandahar last night and killed, wounded or captured all but two of the troops stationed there. The attack is the latest in the southern province, where the Taliban has stepped up its attacks on Afghan military outposts. The Taliban opened the nighttime attack on the base, which is located in Maiwand district, by detonating a HUMVEE packed with explosives on the perimeter, Afghan officials told TOLONews. A Taliban assault team then entered the outpost and battled the surviving Afghan forces.
  • Senior militant commander Asad Afridi has emerged as the favorite to become the new leader of a deadly Pakistani Taliban faction, militant sources said on Friday, days after a U.S. drone strike killed the group’s chief. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban, has killed hundreds of people in bomb attacks and is considered one of the most dangerous militant groups in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.
  • Unidentified men threw a grenade into a laborers’ hostel in the Pakistani port of Gwadar wounding 26 of them, police said on Friday, in an attack likely to raise concern about security for the Pakistani section of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, one of three on Thursday in the gas-rich southwestern province of Baluchistan, a key section of the plan for energy and transport links connecting western China with the Middle East and Europe.
  • Pakistani security forces have killed one terrorist, arrested seven others and seized arms during a search operation in southwestern Balochistan province, the military said on Friday. "During operations one terrorist was killed and seven apprehended. Cache of arms and ammunition including explosive recovered," a statement from the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said.
  • Pro-Syrian regime ground forces, backed by Russian airpower, have taken the Islamic State-held town of al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria. They laid siege earlier this month and captured it this past weekend, facing relatively light resistance. They are preparing to cross the Euphrates River, heading toward the Omar oil fields according to Syrian propaganda. Previously, the Islamic State used Mayadeen as a major hub and its personnel retreated there as the group lost ground in Iraq and Syria. The US-led coalition has run a targeted air campaign in and around Mayadeen.
  • Greek police said they arrested a 32-year old Syrian man suspected of involvement in terrorist acts abroad. The man was arrested on Thursday in the northern city of Alexandroupolis and is expected to appear before a state prosecutor on Friday, police said in a statement. “We are investigating his participation, and its extent, in past terrorist acts outside Greece,” police said.
  • Russian-backed militants launched 15 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in ATO area in Donbas in between Thursday evening and Friday morning. The tensest situation was observed in Donetsk direction, where illegal armed formations used heavy machine guns and small arms to shell Ukrainian strongholds near Butovka coal mine (11.4km north-west of Donetsk). Militants also launched attacks on Avdiivka (18km north of Donetsk) and Verkhniotoretske (22km north-east of Donetsk), using different types of grenade launchers and machine guns.
  • A federal judge scolded a former college student, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, from suburban Chicago as he sentenced him to a maximum 15-year prison term Thursday for seeking to join terrorist-linked militants fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, saying he would have given him even more time behind bars if statutes allowed it. The judge said the group Tounisi aspired to join, Jabhat al-Nusrah, wasn't merely one of many militant organizations seeking to oust Assad — some of which the United States has supported. It was one affiliated with al-Qaida, which has "openly called for the destruction of this nation," Der-Yeghiayan said.
  • A man has been found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism after chatting online with a covert police officer. The Old Bailey heard how Luton man Mubashir Jamil, 22, offered to wear a suicide vest and "press the button". The jury heard he wanted to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) to rid himself of "evil spirits". After being found guilty on Thursday, he was told he would be sentenced next month.
  • The US embassy has warned its citizens in Senegal of a "credible threat" of a terror attack in the capital Dakar, advising them to take special care when visiting places and areas popular with Westerners. The embassy also told its own staff members to stay away from seaside hotels in Dakar.
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$15 Billion in Federal Disaster Funds Secured for Texas

2017/10/13

Dear Neighbor,

After a late night meeting with leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, and consulting with Governor Abbott, members of the Texas delegation have identified nearly $15 billion of emergency funding for Texas to be included in the emergency disaster funding bill voted on in the House yesterday. 

In a telephone call with members of the Texas Delegation, Governor Abbott expressed his commitment to continuing to work with the Texas Congressional Delegation and Congressional Leadership to ensure that Texas has the resources needed to recover and rebuild.

The measure includes $11 billion to pay anticipated claims for flood insurance for Texans victims of Hurricane Harvey, and an estimated $4 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund for Texas. The new FEMA funding for Texas will provide direct housing assistance, home repairs, debris removal and public assistance grants to eligible communities to begin repairs of roads, utility work, schools and public buildings. 

The flood insurance program is expected to run out of money within weeks - meaning Texas claims would not be paid - and FEMA funding will be exhausted soon due to the faster than expected drawdown to address Hurricane Maria claims.

In addition to the $15 billion, Texas cities will also have access to a $4.9 billion pool for grants for Community Disaster Loans.  These loans help communities with revenue losses due to disasters, so the communities can pay for police and fire protection and other critical local needs during their recovery.

Yesterday, I joined my colleagues in the House to approve this second disaster relief funding package that includes emergency funding for Texas. This package provides short term, emergency help for Texans affected by Harvey - including continuing funding for FEMA - and more money is expected soon to help Texas. Within the last 24 hours, House leadership has committed to Governor Abbott and to the Texas delegation that it will bring up a third, targeted relief package in the coming weeks, ensuring that Texas's funding concerns will be satisfactorily addressed. I will hold my colleagues in the House to their commitment and will not rest until Texas receives the full amount of federal aid that we need.

GOD and TEXAS,

Signature

TED POE
Member of Congress
TEXAS

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REP.POE APPLAUDS DESIGNATION OF IRGC AS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

2017/10/13

President Trump’s decision to de-certify the Iran nuclear deal is the right decision at this time. It is not in the interest of the United States to enable Iran a patient pathway towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. The regime in Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted and that its true intentions are the ultimate destruction of Israel and the United States. Through decertification we are sending Tehran a strong signal that the United States will not appease its threatening behavior. I also applaud the President’s designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, better known as the IRGC, as a terrorist organization through Executive Order 13224 – a step I proposed in my bill H.R. 479 earlier this year. The IRGC is a leading cause of instability in the Middle East through its support of the murderous regime in Syria, its development of ballistic missiles, and its provocative action towards our sailors transiting the region. It is past time we hold this band of thugs to account. Congressman Ted Poe s Read More

TEXAS DELEGATION SECURES $15 BILLION IN DISASTER FUNDS IN EMERGENCY FUNDING BILL

2017/10/12

WASHINGTON, DC – After a late night meeting with leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, and consulting with Governor Abbott, members of the Texas delegation have identified nearly $15 billion of emergency funding for Texas to be included in the emergency disaster funding bill expected to be voted on later today in the House. In a telephone call with members of the Texas Delegation, Governor Abbott expressed his commitment to continuing to work with the Texas Congressional Delegation and Congressional Leadership to ensure that Texas has the resources needed to recover and rebuild. The measure includes $11 billion to pay anticipated claims for flood insurance for Texans victims of Hurricane Harvey, and an estimated $4 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund for Texas. The new FEMA funding for Texas will provide direct housing assistance, home repairs, debris removal and public assistance grants to eligible communities to begin repairs of roads, utility work, schools and public buildings. The flood insurance program is expected to run out of money within weeks – meaning Texas claims would not be paid – and FEMA funding will be exhausted soon due to the faster than expected drawdown to address Hurricane Maria claims. In addition to the $15 billion, Texas cities will also have access to a $4.9 billion pool for grants for Community Disaster Loans. These loans help communities with revenue losses due to disasters, so the communities can pay for police and fire protection and other critical local needs during their recovery. “Today, I joined my colleagues in the House to approve a second disaster relief funding package that includes emergency funding for Texas,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “This package provides short term, emergency help for Texans affected by Harvey – including continuing funding for FEMA – and more money is expected soon to help Texas. Within the last 24 hours, House leadership has committed to Governor Abbott and to the Texas delegation that it will bring up a third, targeted relief package in the coming weeks, ensuring that Texas’s funding concerns will be satisfactorily addressed. I will hold my colleagues in the House to their commitment and will not rest until Texas receives the full amount of federal aid that we need.” Read More

REP. POE APPLAUDS ACTION FROM EPA ON SAN JACINTO WASTE PITS

2017/10/12

“It’s high time that action is taken on the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund Site,” said Rep. Poe. “This decision by the EPA will benefit the entire community and ensure highly toxic dioxin contamination is removed from our environment. The heavy flooding experienced during Hurricane Harvey may have led to the spread of these dangerous toxins, proving that the time for action on these waste pits is now. The companies that have contributed to this pollution should be forced to foot the bill for this costly clean up.” ### Read More

HOPE FOR TRAFFICKED VICTIMS

2017/10/11

Mr. Speaker, for years, Lynda could not bring herself to speak about her past turmoil and nightmares. Lynda is finally telling about her tortured life. When she was 16, two neighborhood boys drugged and sexually assaulted her. Highly drugged, the boys convinced her to have sex for money just once. But it wasn’t for just one time, Mr. Speaker. They set up online advertisements to sell her and other girls. When one of the other girls tried to escape, they tied her to a chair and beat her up mercilessly. They mixed drugs into the food to maintain control over the girls. It was years before Lynda finally escaped her turmoil. Today, the rape and torture still haunts Lynda, but she works every day to become a survivor. I recently introduced the Abo Read More

October 10th- October 13th

2017/10/10

Tuesday (10.10.13

  • Swiss police have detained two Tunisians wanted in connection with a deadly knife attack at Marseille train station in France on Oct. 1, a source close to the investigation said on Tuesday. The knifeman, 29-year old Ahmed Hannachi, was shot dead by a French soldier after killing two young women outside the station in southern France.
  • Several hundred suspected ISIS terrorists surrendered last week to Kurdish authorities after the terrorist group lost its last stronghold in northern Iraq, a security official said on Tuesday. The suspects were part of a group of men who fled toward Kurdish-held lines when Iraqi forces captured ISIS’s base in Hawija, the Kurdish official said.
  • Two staff members of a Kenyan university were killed south of Mombasa on Tuesday when gunmen fired on vehicles carrying them and students to their campus, the area police chief said. Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, al Shabaab, frequently carry out attacks along the Kenyan coast and have been recruiting new members there.
  • Al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, al Shabaab, attacked a checkpoint in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, killing at least seven people in the early hours of Monday, police said. The fighters then ambushed officers rushing in to help colleagues on the outskirts of the city of Bosaso, an officer at the scene stated.
  • Five suspected al Qaeda terrorists were killed by a drone strike in Yemen’s Marib province early on Sunday, residents said. There was no immediate statement from the terrorist group or from U.S. forces who have repeatedly launched drone and air strikes against Yemen’s al Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
  • Malaysia has arrested four foreigners and four Malaysians for suspected involvement in terrorist activities linked to Abu Sayyaf, ISIS, and Jemaah Islamiah, the police said on Saturday. Among the foreigners arrested were three Filipinos, one of whom is a permanent resident in Malaysia, and an Albanian.
  • Three men have been arrested since May of last year on charges of plotting attacks in New York City for ISIS in the summer of 2016, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday. The planned attacks, which were thwarted by law enforcement, included detonating explosives in Manhattan’s Times Square and in the city’s subway.
  • The U.S. military said on Friday that a fourth soldier was killed during an attack on Wednesday in Niger, raising the death toll from an incident that has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counterterrorism mission in the West African nation. The United States had previously announced that three U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers had been killed and another two wounded when a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol came under attack near the village of Tongo Tongo.
  • The bodies of 21 Egyptian Christians killed by ISIS in its former Libyan stronghold of Sirte have been recovered, the attorney general’s office said on Friday. The bodies were found in the same orange jumpsuits the victims were wearing when they were filmed being killed in the coastal city in February 2015. ISIS took control of Sirte in 2015 and lost the city late last year to local forces backed by U.S. air strikes.
  • A suicide bombing at a shrine in southwest Pakistan killed 18 people and wounded more than 30 on Thursday in the latest sectarian attack in Baluchistan province, authorities said. Minority Islamic groups in the province are routinely attacked by terrorists groups including ISIS.

Wednesday (10.11.17)

  • Three terrorists blew themselves up near the police headquarters in central Damascus on Wednesday, Syrian state media said, in the second such attack to hit the capital this month. The blasts killed one person and injured six others, state television said, citing the interior ministry.
  • The US military killed a local commander for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and four of his fighters in an airstrike in central Yemen on Tuesday. The AQAP commander was identified as Mohammed Ammar al Adani. The strike is the latest in a series that have targeted the entirety of AQAP’s network in the war-torn country.
  • The State Department announced on Tuesday that it is offering millions of dollars as rewards for information concerning the whereabouts of two senior Hezbollah leaders. State is offering a $7 million bounty for Talal Hamiyah, the head of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization and $5 million for Fuad Shukr, “a longtime senior advisor on military affairs.”
  • The Taliban has released yet another propaganda video that shows its fighters parading openly in broad daylight in an Afghan military base after overrunning it in a nighttime assault. The Taliban occupied an overrun Afghan outpost for an extended period of time without fear of being targeted by Afghan or Coalition air or ground power.
  • Switzerland is sending a Tunisian couple who include the brother of a man presumed to have killed two people in a knife attack at a French train station back to their home country for security reasons, Swiss federal police said on Tuesday. The couple was arrested in the Swiss town of Chiasso near the Swiss-Italian border on Sunday night where they sought asylum.

 Thursday (10.12.17)

  • Sally Jones, a British jihadi who recruited online for ISIS, has been killed in Syria by a U.S. drone along with her 12-year-old son. A convert to Islam from southern England, Jones was nicknamed the “White Widow” by the British press after her jihadi husband Junaid Hussain, also an ISIS terrorist, was killed by a drone in 2015.
  • Pakistan “rescued” a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children from the Pakistani-backed Haqqani Network on Thursday. The couple were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. U.S. intelligence on Wednesday told Pakistan that the hostages had been moved over the border into northwestern Pakistan, according to an army statement. It did not say when the rescue took place.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack on the police headquarters in central Damascus, the second such attack this month. A statement on an ISIS channel on the Telegram messaging service said three fighters carrying explosive belts and machine guns had attacked the police center.
  • A Turkish court has sentenced a journalist from the Wall Street Journal to two years and one month in prison in absentia on charges of carrying out propaganda for terrorists, the newspaper said on Tuesday. A German journalist also went on trial for terrorism charges in Turkey on Wednesday, saying she was innocent and demanding her immediate release. All of this comes after a U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul was arrested on charges of links to a cleric blamed for last year’s failed coup.

Friday (10.13.17)

  • A Pakistani court on Friday delayed the extradition hearing of a Pakistani-American man accused of plotting attacks in New York City for ISIS without fixing a new date, the man’s lawyer said. Talha Haroon, 19, was arrested in Pakistan in 2016 after U.S. authorities identified him as one of three men, along with a Canadian citizen and a man from the Philippines, planning attacks on Manhattan’s Times Square and the city’s subway.
  • Six Egyptian soldiers were killed on Friday when gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula where Egypt is fighting an insurgency, an army statement said. Attacks targeting security forces have been common since Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was ousted in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
  • ISIS terrorists killed at least 50 people in a triple car bomb attack on Thursday among a group of refugees in northeast Syria, a medical source in the Kurdish Red Crescent said. A large number of people were also injured by the three car bombs set off by the attackers, the source said.
  • Chad has withdrawn hundreds of troops from neighboring Niger, where they were helping local forces fight Boko Haram Islamist terrorists, humanitarian sources and officials said. The pull-out over the past two weeks could weaken a region-wide struggle against the terrorists who have killed tens of thousands of people, forced many more to flee and triggered a humanitarian crisis.
  • A lethal bomb generally associated with Iran and its proxies has reemerged in Iraq after a six year hiatus, killing an American soldier. The commander of Operation Inherent Resolve Land Component confirmed during his briefing that a steel EFP struck a US vehicle. The bombing occurred as the ISIS’s territorial control in Iraq wanes.
Read More

40+ Days After Harvey

2017/10/06

Dear Neighbor,


It’s been 40+ days since Harvey devastated our community. As our community continues to clean up and rebuild, I wanted to share answers to some of the most frequently asked questions my office has received about assistance in the past week. Remember to call my office at (281) 446-0242 if you have questions or if you have contacted a federal agency but haven’t received a response yet.

Questions also remain about accountability and transparency for those organizations that released water during Harvey. You deserve answers, and we can’t expect to fully be able to rebuild and move on without ever knowing if homes can be flooded again by those organizations’ decisions. I introduced the bipartisan Texas Flood Accountability Act to require the Army Corps of Engineers, San Jacinto River Authority, City of Houston and others to submit a report within 90 days for all dams, reservoirs, lakes and other water retention facilities in Southeast Texas. This bill requires that these entities report on the water capacity, overflow levels, notification processes during flood emergencies, and recommendations to prevent future unplanned releases of water from the facilities. Failure to submit this information will result in a loss of federal funding to the agency. 

Frequently Asked Questions from this Week:

Q: I registered for assistance with FEMA but haven’t heard from an inspector. What can Ido?

A: Harvey’s impact was historic. Nearly 800,000 individuals in Texas have registered for FEMA assistance. FEMA has deployed more than 2,900 inspectors to Texas and has completed approximately 65% of applications, but due to the magnitude of the damage, it is now taking up to 45 days for a FEMA inspector to contact an applicant and schedule an inspection. If you have registered and are still waiting to hear from an inspector, call my office at (281) 446-0242.

My office will contact FEMA on your behalf. Remember that you should not wait to clean up. Be sure to take a lot of pictures of the damage and any receipts to show the inspector. 


Q: SBA rejected my loan application. Why? What can I do?

A: The letter provided by SBA will list the reasons for the denial and inform you that you have 6 months to request a reconsideration. If you would like to request a reconsideration, my office can help you route the completed documents to the appropriate office for consideration. Call my office at (281) 446-0242.


Q: Is FEMA assistance income-based? Why did my neighbor get more assistance than me?

A: FEMA’s assistance is damage-based, not income-based. FEMA has advised that they look at each home and assess damage individually. Your neighbor’s home may have had more damage. But if you have received FEMA assistance but are unsatisfied with the amount provided, you can still appeal it. Call my office at (281) 446-0242 for help submitting an appeal to FEMA.


Q: Is FEMA assistance a loan? Is FEMA assistance taxable?

A: FEMA assistance is a grant, not a loan. A FEMA grant does not have to be repaid and is not taxable.


Q: Does FEMA pay for mold remediation? Are there contractors that FEMA uses?

A: FEMA provides financial assistance to individuals through a grant that you can use for your needs. FEMA does not pay contractors or vendors directly. There is no list of approved contractors.


Q: Do I need a permit from Harris County to start sheetrock and flooring repairs? How long does it take to receive a building permit?

A:For all permit-related questions, please call (713) 274-3880 or visit here.


Q: I’m trying to get my D-SNAP benefits but the line is way too long. What can I do?

A:After hearing several complaints about the long wait lines at D-SNAP distribution facilities, my office contacted the Governor’s office, which oversees this program. The hours at area facilities will be extended, and the lines are expected to lessen quickly.

For those unfamiliar with the program, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)  offers short-term food assistance benefits to families affected by a disaster. D-SNAP offers a one-time benefit for food assistance to families recovering from a disaster. The amount is equal to two months of the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, based on household size. It is designed to help when people return ot heir homes and have access to electricity and grocery stories. It is only available for those who were not receiving regular SNAP benefits at the time of the disaster. Benefits are issued via an electronic benefit transfer card, called a Lone Star Card, which you can use to purchase food at any SNAP-authorized retailer. To apply, visit YourTexasBenefits.com or call 2-1-1 (1-877-541-7905) and select Option 2.


Q: What is happening with debris cleanup?

A: Harris County is conducting three rounds of debris cleaning and is approximately halfway through the first round. For residents in unincorporated Harris County, you can also call (713) 274-3880, a hotline set up by the county to advise on debris removal process. If you in incorporated Harris County, please visit here.

I heard from several veterans in our community who lost some of their educational benefits after Harvey when Lone Star College-Kingwood closed. Veteran education assistance is based upon presence in a physical classroom, so when only online classes were offered, some veterans found themselves ineligible for half of their funding and scrambling to pay their rent and bills. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a 4-week waiver to allow veterans to receive full benefits after a natural disaster, but I introduced the bipartisan Veterans Education Disaster Assistance Actto extend that waiver to cover an entire semester. This simple yet necessary legislation provides relief for student veterans who are simply trying to continue their education but are denied assistance based on circumstances outside of their control.

Lastly, Congress will vote again next week on another funding bill for $29 Billion that will help Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico with its recovery efforts. This is the second funding package, after we passed $15.25billion in emergency aid a few weeks ago. There will also be a third bill to provide even more funding before the end of the year. I, along with many fellow members of the Texas delegation believe that while the $29 billion package is a start, Texas needs additional funding as soon as possible. Therefore, the Texas Delegation and Governor Abbott sent a letter to House and Senate Members of the Appropriations Committee asking for even further funds for:

(1) communities and neighborhoods to continue to rebuild;

(2) the Army Corps of Engineers to rehabilitate and repair damages, dredge navigation channels, and to take actions to protect areas from further flooding;

(3) to help repair damaged schools so they can reopen and serve students at all levels;

(4) SBA low-interest, disaster loans to help individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits get back on their feet;

(5) economic assistance for areas that suffered economic hardship; and

(6) to improve the infrastructure of our highway and transit systems so they are serviceable and restored to help ensure movement of emergency supplies.

As always, please stay in touch with your thoughts and recommendations. And remember, if you need help with federal assistance from Harvey, please call my office at (281) 446-0242.

GOD and TEXAS,

Signature

TED POE
Member of Congress
TEXAS

Read More

HARVARD RAPE VICTIM

2017/10/04

Mr. Speaker, graduating from high school and going to college is an important goal for many, many American teenagers. College offers the promise of an education, new friends, and new experiences. When parents drop their children off at their new dorms, they are entrusting those universities with the wellbeing of their kids. The dark reality is that, in many cases, this trust is woe-fully misplaced. Mr. Speaker, approximately one in five women are sexually assaulted in college. That is one out of every five of our daughters, sisters, and friends. This shocking statistic would lead most people to assume that colleges have extensive protections to support those people on campus who may be sexually assaulted. This is just not the case. Last year one of these victims published an anonymous op-ed at Harvard about her attack. The title of her article was, ‘‘It’s Me, One of Your Statistics.’’ She described the night of her attack. A friend invited her to his dorm room to study for an upcoming science mid-term test. She thought nothing of it, but when she started to become uncomfortable, she decided it was important for her to leave. But he did not let her leave. He sexually assaulted her. After the attack, she ran to a friend’s room for help. She refused to shower, knowing that she had to immediately get a rape kit done. Assuming the university would be able to help her, she called their health services department, but the news she received from them shocked her. Harvard University Health Services didn’t provide rape kits. They didn’t provide any post-rape care whatsoever. There was nothing they would or could do for her. The university essentially threw up their hands and just turned her away. She was forced to call an Uber and paid someone to drive her to the hospital across town. But once she arrived, there was no staff at the hospital trained to deal with sexual assault victims or trained to collect forensic evidence. Sexual assault forensic examiners, or SAFEs as they are called, are specifically trained to properly collect forensic evidence from victims and provide the victim with care and support that is sensitive to the trauma that they have experienced. She had to wait over 3 hours for somebody to arrive. This is unacceptable, and it is sad. It is estimated that less than 25 per-cent of victims of rape report their crimes. They fear this exact scenario, that they will be turned away, dismissed, ignored, or not believed. To address this problem I have introduced legislation that would require a hospital to provide access to a sexual assault forensic examiner or have a plan in place to quickly get a victim to a nearby hospital that can provide forensic services. This bill is named for Megan Rondini. It is called the Megan Rondini Act, in honor of a 21-year-old sexual assault victim who was denied proper post-rape treatment at a hospital in Alabama. This bill will ensure victims can access the care that they need. Megan’s hospital didn’t have a sexual assault nurse examiner on staff either, so when she reported the rape to the authorities, the authorities did not believe her. Anguished, Megan returned to Texas, despondent, and tragically took her own life. The only thing she knew for certain in her case was that she was failed by the university, the hospital, and the law enforcement agencies. Universities should have a sexual as-sault victim advocate on staff—all universities. A SAFE should be available for victims at a nearby hospital, and law enforcement must quickly analyze sexual assault kits because there are hundreds sitting on the shelves all over the country that have never been tested. Mr. Speaker, sexual assault victims are people. They are mainly young people at universities. As the Harvard student said, they are not just statistics on a hospital spreadsheet. Society can no longer ignore the silent, painful cries for help of victims of rape on our college campuses anymore. These days need to end. And that is just the way it is. Read More

REP POE FILES LEGISLATION TO EXTEND VETERANS EDUCATIONAL WAIVERS AFTER NATURAL DISASTER

2017/10/04

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), along with Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Al Green (D-TX), filed H.R. 3940, the bipartisan Veterans Education Disaster Act, which ensures that veterans continue to receive the housing stipends and supply fee payment waivers that they are entitled to receive when they face extended school closures due to natural disasters. Recent natural disasters have ravaged our towns, cities, and communities, leaving them in a state of turmoil and destruction. Homes, small businesses, and schools have all been impacted, and many remain closed today. When educational institutions close, our veterans are often displaced, and in many cases, forced to take online classes. This may be fine for the average student, but veterans education assistance is based upon their presence in a physical classroom. When they can no longer attend classes, based on circumstances outside of their physical control, they are only eligible for half of the available funding, leaving them scrambling to pay their rent and bills. The Department of Veterans Affairs currently has a 4-week waiver that would allow veterans to receive their full Basic Housing Allowance despite taking online courses after natural disasters. The V Read More

What Has Changed Since Megan Rondini's Death

2017/10/02

Just before August recess, U.S. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3415, in honor of Megan Rondini, a young woman who should have graduated college last May. She and I were freshman at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in August 2013, both out-of-state students on scholarship: despite both also being in Honors College, we never once met. Megan transferred schools the spring of our junior year in 2016, and died by suicide that February. She was 21, a new student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and an alleged survivor of sexual assault. The Tuscaloosa News published documents related to the case earlier this week. Poe’s bill, which would require that hospitals have or have access to Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) by 2019, was inspired by Megan’s story, told in-depth by BuzzFeed Newsearlier this summer. After a night out celebrating the end of her summer class at The University of Alabama in July 2015, Megan reportedly found herself at the local hospital for a sexual assault examination, and then at the police station reporting her alleged sexual assault. Soon after, she withdrew from the University of Alabama, transferred to Southern Methodist University for the spring semester, and died less than two months later. Megan's death, Poe believes, can be attrib Read More

MASSACRE IN LAS VEGAS

2017/10/02

Mr. Speaker, as the band played the latest country western song, gunfire erupted from the 32nd floor window across the street. Twenty minutes later, when the shots stopped and the smoke cleared, 59 people were murdered and over 520 were wounded. The SWAT team quickly found the hiding place of the evil villain, and as they approached, the outlaw shot him-self. Thus, he avoided a date with the hangman. Justice occurred. The casualties would have been much worse but for quick action by members of the crowd. People, including former military and off-duty police officers, helped hide and cover others while endangering their own lives. The first responders, police, doctors, emergency medical technicians quickly tended to the wounded. These unnamed quick responders, both civilian and law enforcement, and medical, without regard to their own life, saved others. The band had stopped playing music, but the cries of the wounded and the tears of the mourning continue, Mr. Speaker. We must have prayers for Las Vegas, and God bless them one and all. And that is just the way it is. Read More

October 2nd - October 6th

2017/10/02

Monday (10.2.17)

  • Two suicide bombers attacked a police station in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, killing a number of civilians and policemen, state television said, citing the interior ministry. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
  • ISIS terrorists set fire to three oil wells near Hawija, west of the oil city of Kirkuk, one of two areas of Iraq still under their control, military and oil officials said on Monday. Iraqi security forces were using bulldozers to control the fires started by the terrorists in the early hours of Saturday to slow the advance of U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Shi‘ite militia groups toward Hawija town, military officials said.
  • An air strike carried out by an unidentified warplane killed seven Hezbollah terrorists in eastern Syria, three sources familiar with the incident said on Monday. The identity of the warplane was not confirmed, but the sources did not rule out the possibility that it was Russian “friendly fire”. The sources did not say when the air strike happened.
  • A man shouting “Allahu Akbar” stabbed two women to death at the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France on Sunday. Security forces quickly shot and killed the terrorist. Not long after, ISIS’s Amaq News Agency released a statement claiming that one of its “soldiers” had carried out the assault in response to calls to target nations participating in the coalition.
  • A Somali refugee who had been on a watch list over extremist views faced five counts of attempted murder and terror charges on Sunday after Canadian police said he stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians with a car in Edmonton, Alberta. The suspect, a 30-year-old man whom police did not identify, had been investigated two years ago for promoting extremist ideology but was not deemed a threat, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.
  • An American citizen was found guilty by jurors in Brooklyn federal court on Friday of supporting the terrorist group al Qaeda and helping to prepare a 2009 car bomb attack on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, 31, was convicted of charges that included conspiring to murder Americans and use a weapon of mass destruction, and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.
  • The US-led coalition announced that “three senior and highly skilled ISIS officials” were killed in airstrikes near Mayadin, Syria between Sept. 12 and 14. All three were “drone experts” responsible for weaponizing small drones, which ISIS has deployed throughout Iraq and Syria.

Tuesday (10.3.17)

  • French counter-terrorism investigators questioned five people on Tuesday after police over the weekend found what appeared to be a ready-to-detonate bomb at an apartment building in one of Paris’s poshest neighborhoods. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said one of those arrested was on an intelligence services list of “radicalized” persons - a list that includes the names of potential Islamist terrorists.
  • Belgium took steps to expel a Saudi imam who preaches at the country’s biggest mosque for spreading extremist ideology, the immigration minister said on Tuesday. The imam’s residence permit was withdrawn as a prelude to expelling him. He had lodged an appeal against that decision which, if it failed, would oblige him to leave the country.
  • Indian police on Tuesday killed three suspected terrorists in army uniforms after they infiltrated a security camp beside the main airport in the disputed region of Kashmir, officials said. One Indian security official was killed and three wounded in a gun fight that followed. Pakistani jihadist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has taken responsibility for the attack, Kashmir police chief Muneer Khan said.
  • ISIS said three of its fighters carried out an attack on a Damascus police station on Monday in which 17 people were reportedly killed. In a statement distributed on an ISIS channel via the Telegram messaging service on Tuesday, the terrorist group said two of the fighters fired shots in the station before blowing themselves up. The third blew himself up later as “reinforcements” arrived.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility for a shooting in which a 64-year-old American man killed at least 58 people and wounded at least 515 in Las Vegas, but U.S. officials said there was no evidence linking the gunman to any international terrorist group. In its claim, ISIS said the gunman had converted to Islam a few months ago, according to the group’s news agency, Amaq.
  • Five Bahraini policemen were lightly injured in a “terrorist explosion” outside the capital Manama on Monday, the state news agency reported. The agency said the blast occurred in the village of Daih on Budaiya road while the policemen were guarding a procession by Shi‘ite Muslims marking the annual Ashura festival, which commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein some 1400 years ago.
  • The Egyptian terrorist group, Hasm, claimed responsibility on Sunday for its attack against Myanmar’s embassy in Cairo a day earlier, noting that it was a response to Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar’s military has sent more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh since August. 

Wednesday (10.4.17)

  • At least three people were killed and more than 20 wounded in an attack on Wednesday at a court in the Libyan city of Misrata, a witness said. ISIS has claimed the attack.
  • Iraqi forces launched a final assault on Wednesday to capture the town of Hawija, one of two pockets of territory in Iraq still under ISIS control, the country’s military said in a statement. The offensive on Hawija is being carried out by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops and Iranian-trained and armed Shi‘ite paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation.
  • France’s parliament adopted an anti-terrorism bill on Tuesday that will bolster police surveillance powers and make it easier to close mosques suspected of preaching hatred, but rights groups warned it would lead to civil freedoms being infringed. More than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks since 2015 by terrorists who pledged allegiance to, or were inspired by, ISIS.
  • ISIS released a video on Tuesday that it said showed two Russian soldiers captured by its fighters in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, where Russia has been backing the Syrian military against the terrorists. But the Russian Defence Ministry denied their soldiers had been captured.

Thursday (10.5.17)

  • On Thursday, a joint US-Nigerien patrol near the Malian border came under fire by suspected jihadists emanating from Mali. According to reports, at least three US Special Forces soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in the ambush. The region the ambush took place in has long been home to many terrorist elements which conduct operations on both sides of the border, but it is not immediately clear who is responsible for the ambush.
  • Australian police will create a national photo database using existing identification records held by state authorities to identify terror suspects, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday, fanning privacy concerns among rights groups. Turnbull said the database was intended to accelerate the process of identifying potential terror suspects, replacing a time-consuming system that could take up to a week when national authorities requested information from their state counterparts.
  • Iraqi forces have captured ISIS’s last stronghold in northern Iraq, the military said on Thursday, leaving the terrorist group holed up in pockets of land by the Syrian border, across which its self-proclaimed “caliphate” once stretched. The town of Hawija and the surrounding areas were captured in an offensive carried out by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops and Iranian-trained and armed Shi‘ite paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation.
  • During a hearing on Wednesday, in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff said that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) continues to support terrorist groups. Despite this announcement, Dunford and Secretary of Defense James Mattis remain hopeful that the US can rein in the rogue nation.

Friday (10.6.17)

  • Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had dismantled an ISIS cell in the capital Riyadh, in connection with a plot to launch a suicide attack on the defense ministry. Two terrorists were killed and five others arrested in raids on three locations on Wednesday, an official source in the newly-created Presidency of State Security said in a statement on state-run television.
  • A suicide bombing at a shrine in southwest Pakistan killed 18 people and wounded more than 30 on Thursday in the latest sectarian attack in Baluchistan province, authorities said. Minority Islamic groups in the province are routinely attacked by terrorists including ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for several bombings.
  • A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of trying to carry explosives onto a plane in western Sweden, police said. The man was stopped as he tried to get onto a flight to another European Union state at Gothenburg’s Landvetter airport on Thursday morning, police spokesman Peter Adlersson said.
  • In a new video released by the Taliban, the group assembled a large number of fighters and vehicles in Nimruz province in southwestern Afghanistan and paraded them in broad daylight. As with previous propaganda videos, the Taliban demonstrated that it can organize its forces for assaults on bases and district centers and execute attacks over extended periods of time, or parade its troops in the open, without fear of being targeted from the air by Afghan or Coalition forces. 
Read More

HURRICANE HARVEY BRINGS NEW LIFE

2017/09/27

Mr. Speaker, as Hurricane Harvey’s hammering floodwaters crept closer and closer to their home, Annie and her husband, Gary, became nervously anxious because, you see, Annie was pregnant and needed to get to the hospital. But the 2-mile drive to the hospital was no longer possible due to high rising water. So they called 911, but the lines were busy. Both doctors in training, the Smiths started preparing for a home delivery. Finally, a call to Annie’s school brought a rescue team to their door. But the waters were still high and moving fast. Risking their own lives, numerous neighbors and firefighters formed a human life chain, passing Annie along in the raging floodwaters to a highwater truck. A few hours later, Annie brought new life—Adrielle Smith—into the world. That is the thing about Texas, Mr. Speaker, we help each other. Read More

THE 911 DISPATCHERS OF HARVEY

2017/09/27

Mr. Speaker, in the inky darkness of night, during the hammering rain of Harvey, reservoirs released even more water with little notice to people downstream. Mean-while, hundreds of first responders battled the incessant rain, rising flood-waters, and raging currents to rescue people from homes. Inside the dimly lit call center, 911 dispatchers answered call after call after call, racing to keep up as tense thousands dialed in. Dispatchers like 26-year-old Erika Wells worked 20-hour stretches, then trying to grab a nap or two. With phones constantly ringing, the dispatchers sent rescue teams to homes packed with people in need of escape, a woman in labor, and families trapped on their r Read More

CONGRESSMAN POE INTRODUCES THE TEXAS FLOOD ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2017

2017/09/26

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Representative Ted Poe (TX-02) along with Reps. Brian Babin (TX-36), John Culberson (TX-07), Al Green(TX-09), Gene Green (TX-29), and Pete Olson (TX-22) introduced the bipartisan Texas Flood Accountability Act of 2017, requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Jacinto River Authority, and City of Houston, among others to submit a report within 90 days for all dams, reservoirs, lakes and other water retention facilities in the Southeast Texas region. This bill requires that these entities report on the water capacity, overflow levels, notification processes during flood emergencies, and recommendations to prevent future unplanned releases of water from the facilities. Failure to submit this information will result in a loss of federal funding to the facility. “It is high time that the people of Texas are given answers,” said Rep. Poe. “While 50 inches of rain will substantially impact any city, the people of Texas are left wondering what improvements to existing facilities could have prevented some of the severe flooding that occurred. We cannot move forward until we figure out exactly what went wrong and whether it can happen again. We must not only improve our existing infrastructure but take the steps necessary to build one or even two additional reservoirs. The Texas Flood Accountability Act will give Texans affected during Harvey answers to these questions and help them to move forward with the recovery process.” “I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing the Texas Flood Accountability Act. This bill is an important first step in reviewing policies and procedures regarding the operation of dams and reservoirs and how to best manage them in a way that leads to less flooding,” said Rep. Babin Read More

TEXAS COACHES FIGHT HURRICANE HARVEY

2017/09/25

Madam Speaker, undaunted by the massive 50 inches of hammering rains and devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Texans quickly volunteered to help other water-soaked neighbors. Bay City High School Secretary Linda Leissner was manning the city’s emergency operations call center when she realized the city needed school buses and drivers to help in the rescue because of Harvey’s quickly rising floodwaters, so she called the coaches. The coaches quickly manned the high school’s buses, and in the torrential rain they began rescuing and evacuating residents of the town, including some of their very own students. One of the coaches, Nathan Janak, put it best: ‘‘It was just people helping people. It was one of the greatest displays of human kindness I have ever seen.’’ Madam Speaker, stories like this make us Texas Proud and give us the determination to recover from one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Harvey will not defeat us. As we say, ‘‘Don’t mess with Texas.’’ And that is just the way it is. Read More

September 25th- October 29th

2017/09/25

Monday (9.25.17)

  • Iraq on Monday executed 42 Sunni Muslim terrorists convicted on terrorism charges ranging from killing members of security forces to detonating car bombs. The biggest mass execution this year in Iraq came after Sunni suicide attacks killed at least 60 people near the southern city of Nassiriya, a Shi‘ite area, on Sept. 14, prompting Shi‘ite demands for tougher judicial action.
  • British police made a new arrest on Monday in their investigation into a bomb attack on a London underground train earlier this month. The man, 20, was detained at a house in the Welsh capital Cardiff by counter-terrorism officers, London police said. He is the seventh man to have been arrested over the attack at Parsons Green station in London on Sept. 15 which injured 30 people.
  • Three United Nations soldiers from Bangladesh were killed by an explosive device that detonated as they were escorting a convoy in northern Mali on Sunday, the West African country’s peacekeeping mission and Bangladesh’s military said. Attacks on peacekeepers in Mali, where Islamist groups continue to operate in the vast desert in the north of the country, have made the U.N. mission there, MINUSMA, the organization’s deadliest.
  • A car bomber attacked a Danish convoy belonging to the NATO-led military mission in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Sunday, wounding a number of civilians but leaving international forces unharmed, security officials said. A Danish military spokesman said some civilians may have been killed but Afghan officials reported no fatalities. Security officials say five civilians had been wounded while the interior ministry put the figure at three.
  • American forces launched “six precision airstrikes” on an ISIS camp in Libya on Friday, according to US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The bombings reportedly killed 17 jihadists and destroyed three vehicles at a “desert camp.” The airstrikes are the first by the US government in Libya since January.

 Tuesday (9.26.17)

  • A lone wolf Palestinian terrorist gunned down three Israeli security officers Tuesday at the entrance to a settlement outside Jerusalem, Israeli officials said. Gaza's Hamas ruling party praised the attack but stopped short of taking responsibility for it.
  • Al Shabaab, al Qaeda’s branch in Somalia, assassinated Somali Major General Abdullah Qarrah and his bodyguard in Mogadishu, Somalia on Monday, according to their social media account. Maj. Gen. Qarrah served as deputy commander of logistics for the Somali National Army (SNA).
  • Police searched eight houses in and around Brussels on Monday and detained one suspect in investigations into people who had joined terrorists in Syria in 2014, prosecutors said. The prosecutors said one person had been detained for questioning and a judge would decide on Tuesday whether he would be charged. They did not give any further details on the investigations.
  • Al Qaeda’s Group of Support for Muslims and Islam (JNIM) returned to social media on Saturday and issued a claim of responsibility and also a video for last week’s multi-pronged attack against UN forces in the northern Malian city of Kidal. The statement reads that forces from JNIM launched an attack on “the gates of the criminal MINUSMA forces in the city of Kidal.” It continues by saying that this battle resulted in one UN armored vehicle being burned and one peacekeeper wounded.
  • The Taliban has retaken control of the district of Kohistan in the northwestern province of Faryab in Afghanistan over the weekend. The district has changed hands twice during the past several months. Mujahid’s claim of control of Kohistan was confirmed by Afghan officials from the area.

Wednesday (9/2717)

  • ISIS claimed responsibility for several explosions that targeted the area in and around Kabul airport on Wednesday hours after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in the Afghan capital, the group’s AMAQ news agency said. There were no reports of casualties or damage and Mattis was not near the airport when the rockets hit.
  • ISIS terrorists holed up west of Baghdad launched their biggest attack on Iraqi troops in months on Wednesday, security sources said, killing at least seven soldiers before being forced to retreat. Bolstered by reinforcements, Iraqi forces killed 16 terrorists, state TV said, citing military commanders. Warplanes chased those who fled, it said.
  • An Iraqi man preacher accused of recruiting fighters for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, including two believed to have killed more than 150 Iraqi soldiers in suicide bombings, went on trial in a German court on Wednesday. Four alleged members of the Islamist network he had set up also stood trial.
  • British police said on Tuesday they had released three men who were arrested in connection with the bomb attack on a London underground train earlier this month. Six people have now been released out of the seven arrested during the investigation into the Sept. 15 attack at Parsons Green station in West London, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement. The one person who remains in custody is 18-year-old Ahmed Hassan, arrested in Dover, Kent, a day after the incident.

Thursday (9.28.17) 

  •     Egypt said on Thursday its air force had hit 10 four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying arms, ammunition and contraband at Egypt’s western borders with Libya. Egyptian security forces have been battling an insurgency by ISIS that was until recently concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula but has extended to other parts of the country.
  • Israel said on Thursday it had thwarted a plan by two Israeli Arabs with ISIS sympathies to mount an attack at a contested Jerusalem holy site where a July gun ambush set off a wave of violence. The Shin Bet security service described the suspects, aged 26 and 16, as residents of the same Israeli Arab town as three gunmen who on July 14 killed two police guards at a gate to Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

  • At least 12 Afghan police were killed and four wounded when a Humvee packed with explosives drove into their checkpoint in the southern province of Kandahar late on Wednesday, a government official said. Abdul Bari Baryalai, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the attack took place in Maruf district, bordering Pakistan.
  • Two paramilitary police officers were killed and two others wounded in Burkina Faso when a convoy carrying fuel to the Inata gold mine hit a landmine, Avocet Mining Plc and the government said on Wednesday. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the incident although security analysts have attributed other recent attacks to a new local jihadist group known as Ansaroul Islam.
  • After an attack on Kabul’s airport during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday, terrorists holed up in a nearby house battled security forces for much of the day. U.S. forces conducted an air strike supporting an Afghan special police unit fighting the attackers but suffered a “missile malfunction”, causing several casualties, the U.S.-led NATO mission there said. It gave no further details.
  • This week, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Corps (IRGC) promoted more Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) strikes, allegedly on ISIS positions in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border. The video widely circulated in Iranian media had Arabic captioning, which likely indicated it was meant to reach a wider audience beyond Iran.
  • Three United Nations soldiers from Bangladesh were killed by an explosive device that detonated as they were escorting a convoy in northern Mali on Sunday, the West African country’s peacekeeping mission and Bangladesh’s military said. Attacks on peacekeepers in Mali, where Islamist groups continue to operate in the vast desert in the north of the country, have made the U.N. mission there, MINUSMA, the organization’s deadliest.
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Texas Strong

2017/09/23

Dear Neighbor,

This past week, I visited with many of you who have suffered significant damage from Harvey. Your strength and willingness to help your neighbors ARE a constant reminder that we will come back stronger than ever. This is Texas, and it's simply how we do things. 

The support that our community has received in this time of disaster is overwhelming. While we've begun recovering from the storm, the process is far from over. Congress has already passed legislation providing $15.25 billion in recovery aid, with $7 billion set aside specifically for Texas. I am working with my colleagues in the house on the next round of funding, and I'm also working to include language to prioritize buyouts of the homes that have suffered multiple flooding events. 

I visited with Mary and Sparky Nolan of Foster Mills neighborhood in Kingwood and spoke to them about their recovery and what the community needed to rebuild. Larry and Lana came all the way from Louisiana to muck and clean homes for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Unfortunately, we can’t stop time from turning, and it’s important to keep Texas on the front of the Appropriations Committee’s mind. This is why Speaker Paul Ryan and members of the Appropriations Committee joined our Senators, the Houston Delegation, and myself to see the damage first hand and talk about what Texas needs to rebuild and prevent future damage of this magnitude. We met at Ellington Airforce Base for an operational briefing from FEMA, Texas National Guard, Customs and Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Harris County Flood Control District.

Flying over areas of Houston devastated by Hurricane Harvey

With my colleagues in Congress in town, we also joined Team Rubicon to lend a helping hand. Team Rubicon is a disaster relief organization founded by military veterans that has helped muck out so many homes in our communities. It's organizations like this that are helping put Texas back on its feet. 

Volunteering with Team Rubicon to help move debris from homeowner’s property.

The Bear Creek area was hit especially hard during the Tax Day flooding and once again by Hurricane Harvey. Last night, I hosted a Bear Creek Community Forum to address concerns of the area and allow constituents to have questions answered by relief and assistance agencies. I understand everyone’s frustration and my office will do everything we can to help get answers. Over 400 questions were asked last night. For those that were not answered, my office is working to compile the questions and will email the community with responses soon. 

Standing room only at Bear Creek Community Forum. I brought together representatives from FEMA, SBA, Harris County Flood Control, Harris County Debris Removal, and the Army Corps of Engineers to answer the community’s questions regarding hurricane recovery.

As session resumes, I will continue to do everything I can to help Texas receive the funding we need to continue rebuilding our neighborhoods and come back stronger than ever. As we continue to help meet our short term needs, I am also looking at the long term- what is needed to address our continual flooding problems, and to make sure processes are transparent and agencies are accountable.

As always, if you have questions or need help with a federal agency please do not hesitate to contact my office at 281-446-0242 and we will do everything we can to assist. 

GOD and TEXAS,

Signature

TED POE
Member of Congress
TEXAS

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Terrorism Update: September 18th- 22nd

2017/09/18

Monday (9.18.17)

  • The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out an attack on Sunday that killed five people in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Mohammad Khurassani said the terrorists planted an improvised explosive device “to target security personnel” in the Bajaur Agency area that is part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
  • A car bomb killed one person and injured ten in Kirkuk, an Iraqi oil city where local Kurdish authorities plan to hold a referendum on independence despite opposition from the central government and the region’s non-Kurdish population. An Iraqi interior ministry statement described the attack as “terrorist aggression” and did not link it to the tension caused by the Kurdish plan to hold the vote, on Sept. 25. 
  • ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing on a London tube train on Friday. The group’s Amaq News Agency first released a short statement claiming that a “detachment” carried out the attack. ISIS then released a longer statement saying that “soldiers of the caliphate” had placed “several” bombs and exploded one of them. British police have arrested an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old under Britian’s terrorism laws so far in the investigation.
  • Two women were injured on Friday by an attacker wielding a hammer and shouting Allahu Akbar in the eastern French town of Chalon-sur-Saone in Burgundy, local officials said. Prosecutors said they were treating the incident as a possible terror attack, but also did not rule out the possibility the attacker was deranged.
  • Lebanon’s army said on Friday it had arrested Islamist terrorists who were planning attacks in the country after foreign embassies warned their citizens to avoid public places. Army intelligence “carried out several raids arresting 19 people linked to a cell” belonging to ISIS, the army said in a statement. Security forces were taking extra precautions, it added. The cell which had “planned and prepared to carry out terrorist action” was led by Egyptian Fadi Ibrahim Ahmed, who was based in the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, the army said.
  • The US military reportedly killed three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters in a drone strike in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan on the Thursday evening. The US military has stepped up its campaign against AQAP, but has not been forthcoming about its targeting of the group as it has in Somalia.

Tuesday (9.19.17)

  • Jihadists launched an offensive against government-held areas of northwestern Syria near Hama on Tuesday in their biggest attack in the area since March, triggering heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. It said air strikes hit three hospitals, a medical center and premises used by a rescue service in rebel-held Idlib. A Syrian military source denied the report, saying only insurgent convoys and positions had been hit.
  • Suspected suicide bombers killed at least 12 people and injured 26 others on Monday in northeast Nigeria’s state of Borno, epicenter of the Islamist terrorist Boko Haram insurgency, the chairman of the local emergency agency said. The attacks are the latest in a series of bombings in the restive northeast that have killed at least 200 people since June 1.

  • A roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar killed at least six civilians traveling in a car that hit the device, officials said on Monday. “It was a bomb which had recently been planted by the Taliban to target Afghan forces but a civilian car went through it,” said Fazel Bari Baryalai, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
  • A booby-trapped motorbike exploded in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on Monday, killing a child and wounding six other people, the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Bomb blasts, often claimed by ISIS, have occurred in Qamishli and nearby Hasaka city, both under Kurdish control, but have been rare in the last year.
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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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