Counterterrorism caucus is formed
State Rep. John Bennett has announced the formation of a bipartisan Counterterrorism Caucus in the Oklahoma Legislature.
Bennett, who chairs the caucus, was joined by caucus co-chairman state Rep. Gus Blackwell, as he detailed the formation of the first-ever counterterrorism caucus in the Oklahoma Legislature. Maj. Gen. (retired) Rita Aragon, the secretary of veteran affairs in Oklahoma, will participate in the caucus.
“We believe that the time has come to address the potential terrorists threats facing the citizens of Oklahoma,” said Bennett, R-Sallisaw. “Few people realize the nature and extent of the threats we face and our mission is to identify publicly those threats and come up with a strategy to defeat them.”
Bennett, who served as a Counterterrorism and Intelligence Specialist with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, also pointed out that the Counterterrorism Caucus grew out of a grassroots movement of concerned citizens.
“We the people have spoken and we, their elected representatives, are listening,” said Bennett.
Citing evidence from United States vs. The Holy Land Foundation (2008), a federal district court case in Dallas that was the largest terrorism-financing trial in the history of the United States, Bennett talked about the threat of Sharia law.
“We are concerned about the possibility of Muslim Brotherhood organizations operating here in Oklahoma whose stated goal is replace our Constitution with Shariah law,” Bennett said.
Rep. Sally Kern, who is the sponsor of the American Laws for American Courts bill, and state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who sponsored a similar bill in the Senate, are part of the caucus.
The caucus will also focus on environmental terrorism and the so-called “lone wolf” terrorists similar to those responsible for the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing.