May 8, 2013

Good morning everyone. I am honored to join my colleague Chairman Royce as we recognize the good work of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. As Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I understand that government and civil society must work together to thwart cyber terrorism and hate.

In the wake of tragedy in Boston, the need to monitor hate groups, terrorist online forums as well as other outlets of cyberspace extremism couldn’t be more critical. The Boston bombings demonstrate that a new generation of terrorists have emerged who receive training over the internet.

This complicated web of digital hate and terror has not only led to the proliferation of terrorist groups who are able to recruit individuals who are most vulnerable to extremist recruitment, but it has also complicated counterterrorism efforts.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Associate Dean Rabbi Cooper have long served at the forefront of many efforts to track, identify and combat unprecedented threats over the internet. For the past 15 years, the Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate Project has monitored thousands of hate and terror-related sites, social network pages, and forums. The Center’s annual reports identify key trends in virtual terrorism activity.

The Center’s relentless and proactive work in countering online terrorist activity is evident in how it has worked hard with online forums such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter on how to better deal with the spread of online extremists.

The Center has developed a password-sensitive APP to access the Center’s online research. This APP is a powerful new tool to assist law enforcement and investigative agencies that need specific information about groups and individuals who leverage networking platforms for their extremist ideology.

I am proud to be here to launch the Center's 2013 Digital Terrorism and Hate report because it shows how vital the Center’s work has been in fostering relationships between law enforcement and other government agencies on how to thwart these multi-faceted and ever-evolving threats. Such threats require a multi-faceted response and cooperation among many agencies and policy makers.

The Center has long understood this, and it has facilitated such cooperation among key stakeholders to do their share to control the online proliferation of hate and extremism. It is a pleasure to be here today to further promote the Center’s very important work in dealing with these unprecedented threats over the internet.

Thank you.