Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, called Tuesday for increased focus on online radicalization in response to the Orlando attack.
In a news release, Buchanan questioned whether the FBI should keep suspected terrorists on the watch list rather than dropping them off.
“It is clear we need to do everything in our power to unleash 21st century resources to penetrate the online presence of radical extremist groups and understand who they are communicating with,” Buchanan said in a statement.
We are at war with radical Islam and we need to use every tool at our disposal.
Rep Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota
FBI Director James Comey said the intelligence community is “highly confident that this killer was radicalized at least in part through the internet.”
Buchanan introduced the “Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act” bill in December 2015 after attacks in San Bernadino, Calif., to search through all public records of foreign travelers and visa applicants.
These public records include social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement in December 2015 it is possible terrorists could infiltrate and exploit the refugee system.
Comey noted in a Sept. 9 statement, that while he worries about the screening system in Europe, he is confident in the aggressiveness of the U.S. screening program.
“We are at war with radical Islam and we need to use every tool at our disposal,” Buchanan said.