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- As Delivered - 

WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks in the United States House of Representatives in support of a resolution condemning yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium (H.Res.658):

“I thank the gentleman from Massachusetts and the gentleman from Texas, and I am pleased to join with them on this matter.  I’m pleased to support this measure. 

“Mr. Speaker, with this resolution, we’re sending a clear message that we stand with the people of Belgium.  Like my colleagues and like so many around the world, I’m angry, I’m outraged, and I’m deeply, deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks that ripped through Brussels yesterday.

“My heart goes out to those whose loved ones were killed or injured.  And I’m mindful that there are families here in the United States that have been directly touched by this violence, and that were are still uncertain how many Americans are themselves victims.

“For me, as a New Yorker, let me speak personally because September 11, 2001 is a scar, a stain that will never go away as long as I live and as long as other New Yorkers live.  We know what it feels when hatred and violence take aim at our home.  We know what it feels like when innocent people are killed by pure evil.  And so today we grieve with our brothers and sisters in Belgium.

“But in the midst of grief, we cannot lose focus on our work to stop this kind of violence.  We need to stand with our Belgian friends not just in spirit, but in action, to figure out who was responsible for these attacks, how they were able to carry them out, and what it will take to hold them accountable.  We need to look for new areas for collaboration in terms of prevention, surveillance, and information-sharing.  And along with our coalition partners, we need to press ahead in our effort to destroy ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attacks.

“How horrific, the thought that human life is so worthless to these terrorists.  It’s just absolutely amazing. They claim to be religious people, but instead they are pure evil.  ISIS terrorists and other violent extremists target democratic societies because they want to shatter our spirit and force us to live in fear, and we will not allow them to succeed.  

“So going forward, we’ll work with our Belgian partners and our other allies to move past this tragedy, to fight terrorism, to enhance security, and to promote justice and democracy around the world.  I support this resolution.  I urge my colleagues to do the same.  Again, I commend my good colleagues from Massachusetts and Texas.  And I yield back the balance of my time.”