Homeland Security Since 9/11
Immediately following the tragic events of September 11,
departments and agencies from across the federal government took steps to
strengthen the safety and security of the American people. At the Federal level,
a total of $10.6 billion from the Fiscal Year 2002 Emergency Budget Supplemental
was dedicated to homeland security. The challenge is large, and much more
remains to be done, but the foundation for a stronger, more secure America has
been put in place:
Law Enforcement Activities
|Established the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS),
which is designed to be the foundation for building a comprehensive and
effective communications structure for the dissemination of information
regarding the risk of attacks to all levels of government and the American
|Deployed more than 4,000 FBI special agents and 3,000
support staff to the international investigation of the September 11
terrorist attacks the largest criminal investigation in history.
|Responded to more than 8,000 cases of anthrax attacks or
|Implemented the USA PATRIOT Act which, among other things:
- updated Federal laws to reflect the rapid and dramatic
changes that have taken place in recent years in communications
- required the Department of the Treasury to require
financial institutions to verify the identities of persons opening
accounts, granted immunity to financial institutions that voluntarily
disclosed suspicious transactions, and increased the penalties for
- broadened the terrorism-related definitions in the
Immigration and Nationality Act, expanded the grounds of inadmissibility
to include aliens who publicly endorse terrorist activity, and required
the Attorney General to detain aliens whom he certifies as threats to
- authorized grants that will enhance state and local
governmentsí ability to respond to and prevent terrorism, and expanded
information-sharing among law enforcement authorities at different
levels of government.
|Established 56 Joint Terrorism Task Forces and nearly 100
Anti-Terrorism Task Forces to coordinate the investigations and improve
communications among federal, state, and local law enforcement.
|Launched Operation Green Quest to dry up sources of
terrorist funding. To date, the assets of 192 individuals and organizations
connected with the al-Taqua, al-Barakaat, and Hamas organizations have been
|Established a web site and toll-free hotline for citizens
to report suspected terrorist activity.
|Adopted new, stronger encryption standards to safeguard
sensitive, non-classified electronic information such as financial
transactions, and ensure the privacy of digital information ranging from
medical records and tax information, to PIN numbers for millions of
Border and Port Security
|Proposed INS regulations to eliminate the current minimum
six months admission period for B-2 visitors for pleasure, replacing it with
"a period of time that is fair and reasonable for the completion of the
purpose of the visit."
|Immediately required individuals planning to attend school
in the United States to obtain the proper INS student visa prior to their
admission to the country.
|Proposed INS regulations to reduce the maximum visa
extension from one year to six months. Additionally, the visitor must prove
there are adequate financial resources to continue to stay in the United
States and that he or she is maintaining a residency abroad.
|Placed the nationís air, land, and seaports of entry on
Alert Level 1 following September 11, ensuring a more thorough examination
of people and cargo.
|Created the new Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism
(Customs-TPAT) initiative to enhance security throughout the entire
|Launched the Container Security Initiative, which
establishes a tough new international security standard for cargo
|Deployed approximately 1,600 National Guardsmen to assist
in securing the nationís borders.
|Increased National Park Service personnel and upgraded
security equipment and the procedures at highly visible national monuments,
such as the Statue of Liberty in New York, the National Mall in Washington,
the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the Gateway Arch in
St. Louis, and other sites in the 384-unit National Park System.|
|Recruited thousands of federal security personnel to
perform screening duties and other functions at commercial airports.
|Significantly expanded the Federal Air Marshal program.
|Announced the first group of Federal Security Directors.
These experienced law enforcement officers will be directly responsible for
security at airports and provide a clear and direct line of authority.
|Developed new passenger boarding procedures and trained
pilots and flight crews for hijacking scenarios.
|Required all airport personnel to undergo background
|Limited airport access points and implemented secondary
|Deployed more than 9,000 National Guardsmen to help secure
the nationís airports.|
Health and Food Security
|Aided thousands of rescue workers involved in the September
11 recovery activities through Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs).
|Identified more than 750 victims of the World Trade Center
attacks through Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORTs).
|Dispensed antibiotics to thousands of persons potentially
exposed to anthrax mail attacks.
|Acquired more than a billion doses of antibiotics and
signed agreements for the procurement of the small pox vaccine.
|Distributed $1.1 billion to help states prepare for
|Strengthened systems to prevent, detect and eliminate
threats to agriculture and the food supply, including $328 million for pest
and animal disease prevention, food safety, research, laboratory upgrades
and stepped up security at key facilities.
|Distributed $2 million in grants to 32 states to bolster
emergency animal disease prevention, preparedness, response and recovery
|Improved inspection and testing of products destined for
consumer markets in the United States.
|Provided millions of dollars through the Food Stamp and
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs to families of victims and
displaced workers of the September 11 attacks.|
Environmental and Energy Security
|Provided security training to drinking water and wastewater
|Provided security guidance and support to private sector
chemical and pesticide manufacturers.
|Conducted vulnerability assessments of energy
infrastructure throughout the country.
|Created a 24-hour network to ensure energy producers have
up to date information from law enforcement information.
|Provided 24 hour-per-day, 7 day-a-week security at 348 dams
and reservoirs and 58 hydroelectric power plants, including Hoover, Grand
Coulee, Glen Canyon, and Shasta Dams.
|Constructed biological, radiological, and nuclear mobile
detection capability to conduct threat-based searches.
|Placed nuclear power plants across the nation on the
highest level of security.
|Developed pocket radiation detector for first responders.
|Engaged in a top-to-bottom security review of nuclear
facilities, including plant vulnerability to aircraft.|
|Established Citizen Corps to enable Americans to
participate directly in homeland security efforts in their own communities.
These components include:
|Medical Reserve Corps: Enables retired healthcare
professionals to effectively augment local health officialsí capacity to
respond to an emergency.
|Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and Prevention
System): Allows millions of American transportation workers, postal
workers, and public utility employees to identify and report suspicious
activities linked to terrorism and crime.
|Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT): Enables
individual Americans to participate in emergency management planning in
their communities and prepare to respond to disasters and other emergencies.
|Neighborhood Watch Programs: Enhances the program by
incorporating terrorism prevention into its mission.
|Developed the "Patriot Readiness Center" to help
federal retirees return to active service more than 15,000 people have