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The 9/11 Commission correctly pointed out that before September 11, 2001, no U.S. Government agency systemically analyzed terrorists’ travel strategies. The 9/11 Commission also believed if the Federal Government had done so, we could have discovered how terrorist predecessors to al-Qa’ida exploited the weaknesses in our border security.
As a result, and based on the Commission’s recommendation, the Committee on Homeland Security, along with the Committee on International Relations, pushed for the terrorist travel provisions in the 9/11 Reform Act. Through the Act, Congress directed the Departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security to address the problem of terrorist travel, including human smuggling and trafficking, in a comprehensive way. The result was the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center. We look forward to hearing about the effectiveness of the Center today, as well as challenges to this interagency effort.