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Cotton Statement Calling on Congress to Grant Counterterror Officials Access to San Bernardino Terrorist’s Telecom Data

December 9, 2015

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C.- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on reports that one of the terrorists accused in the San Bernadino attack may have been planning attacks dating back to 2012:

"Syed Farook's terrorist attack was possibly encouraged and supported by others who share his motivation to destroy the United States. And while Farook and his wife are dead, any co-conspirators and supporters they may have had remain at large and a threat to our national security. Unfortunately, our efforts to identify and find such individuals have been handicapped by the USA FREEDOM Act's limits on the NSA bulk metadata program that went into effect last week. The three years of call data investigators would need to examine Farook's activities in 2012 lie beyond the two years of metadata the authorities said they were able to obtain through the USA FREEDOM Act's new and experimental architecture. And under the new system, it's unclear whether we even still have those data.

"The holes in our intelligence gathering system left by the USA FREEDOM Act have left us with less information about this attack and about other potential terrorists. They have put our national security at risk and made us less safe. Congress should immediately take up and pass the Liberty Through Strength Act II and give our law enforcement and intelligence community officials the tools they need to stop future attacks, including access to the legacy metadata lawfully collected prior to the implementation of the USA FREEDOM Act."