U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte released the following statement today regarding the terrorist attacks at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey:
"In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Istanbul, our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and with the families and loved ones of those killed. We stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey in condemning this evil terrorist attack, and I urge the administration to work with the government of Turkey to help recover from this attack, gather intelligence regarding the perpetrators, and prevent similar attacks in the future," Ayotte said.
She continued, "While details are still emerging regarding who conducted this terrorist attack in Istanbul, we know that ISIS has utilized its safe haven in Syria to plan terrorist attacks. In order to reduce the flow of ISIS foreign fighters from Syria that threatens not only Europe but potentially the United States, it is essential that we work with Turkey to further tighten its border with Syria-but it is also critical that the administration redouble its efforts to quickly eliminate the "Manbij Pocket' in Syria that provides ISIS with its last significant access to the border with Turkey and its easiest means to export terrorism. It is long past time for the administration to take the fight fully to ISIS and destroy them so they can no longer carry out these attacks against our allies or our homeland."
Ayotte has led efforts to strengthen airport security with bipartisan standalone legislation and an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act that would improve the airport employee screening process, safeguard passengers in non-secure airport areas, and better secure international flights bound for the United States. The FAA reauthorization bill passed the Senate in April by a vote of 95-3.
Ayotte added, "In addition, here at home, we must also ensure that terrorists who wish to do us harm cannot purchase firearms. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly pass our bipartisan legislation to prevent terrorists on the No Fly and Selectee Lists from purchasing firearms so we can keep our country safe."