Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Flickr icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Pittenger: York teen illustrates need for travel restrictions

Apr 21, 2015
Press Release





WASHINGTON – Tonight, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) introduced legislation to restrict travel to Syria and other global hot spots where foreign terrorist organizations are active and recruiting new members.

“This troubled young man from York County could have traveled to Syria, received training from ISIS, and with a valid passport, returned home to carry out a terrorist attack,” said Congressman Pittenger, Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.  “With ISIS actively recruiting via social media, we must enhance our ability to identify and intercept those individuals who wish to bring harm upon their fellow Americans.”

If approved, the new legislation would:

  • Require the President to compile a list of countries where the government, or rebel forces, is allowing a foreign terrorist organization to engage in armed conflict.
  • Require U.S. citizens wishing to travel to one of the designated countries to obtain a license.  This would allow for family visits, humanitarian work, and other legitimate activity, but would enable authorities to better identify and intercept individuals planning to join a terrorist organization.
  • Impose penalties, including fines and imprisonment for up to 20 years, on anyone violating the travel restrictions.

Congressman Pittenger has been working on this issue since August 2014 and co-sponsored an earlier version of the legislation.  Following feedback from the House Armed Services Committee, the legislation has been updated and was re-introduced this evening.

“We must never live in fear, but we should be aware of the new and emerging threats to our security and take appropriate steps to minimize those threats” said Congressman Pittenger.

Congressman Pittenger has produced a Preparedness Manual for Terrorist Attacks, including common sense suggestions on preparing your home, family, and business.  The manual is available for free download at, or by calling Congressman Pittenger’s Charlotte office at 704-362-1060.