Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauded the House of Representatives’ unanimous passage of H. Res. 37 condemning the terrorist attacks in France carried out by Islamist extremists earlier this month.

Video of Chairman Royce’s speech on the House floor is available HERE.

On the resolution’s passage, Chairman Royce said: “There are no words we can speak today that will comfort the families and friends of the 17 people murdered in these terrorist attacks.  The victims included: cartoonists, maintenance workers, police officers, grocery shoppers, Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  And there are no words strong enough to condemn these terrorists and their radical jihadist ideology.

“The attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on free speech.  The right to express ideas and opinions — even if they are unpopular or offensive — is a foundation of a free society – France’s – and ours. That’s why this resolution resolves to uphold and defend this basic principle: free speech.

“This resolution puts the House on record as condemning in the strongest terms possible the Paris attacks, and extends the sympathies of every American to those affected by the tragedy.  It reiterates our support for France, America’s sister Republic and oldest ally, and it calls upon all nations to join the global effort of fighting violent extremism.

“This is a time to not just express sorrow for those killed; but also a time to show resolve in the face of terror.  Our intelligence sharing with allies – already strong – will need to get sharper; border checks improved; and coalition efforts to destroy ISIS will need to be stepped up.

“The unfortunate reality is that these attacks in Paris are indicative of a resurgent terrorist threat from radical Islamist extremists.  The brothers were connected to Al-Qaida in Yemen, a particularly active and deadly Al-Qaida franchise.  The kosher market gunman pledged his allegiance to ISIS, which now controls parts of Iraq and Syria and has specifically threatened Americans.  Up to 5,000 Europeans are believed to have traveled to Syria.

“Whether from organized groups, returning foreign fighters, or lone-wolves, the terrorist threat is real and growing. These are not criminals united by happenstance, but by a militant jihadi impulse united by ideology, doctrine, and practice, its adherents drawn from Africa to Southeast Asia, from the Middle East to the Caucasus.  Unlike some of the rhetoric we have heard by some here in Washington – in every corner of the globe, terrorist groups are growing in number and strength.  And in Europe, France is at the front lines of a dangerous and growing ideology that has again demonstrated that it knows no bounds.

“As we face an expanding and evolving threat, it is imperative that we unequivocally condemn attacks on freedom of speech and religious pluralism and reaffirm our resolve to fight extremism.”

Note: Last week, the Foreign Affairs Committee held a signing ceremony with French Ambassador Gérard Araud at which Members of the House had the opportunity to sign a condolence book for the recent terrorist attacks against France.