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While the United States and our allies continue direct actions against terrorists and their infrastructures abroad, we are simultaneously strengthening the security of the homeland. The President signed significant new legislation that has advanced the war on terror, expanded our intelligence and law enforcement capabilities, bolstered transportation security, stockpiled vaccines, provided equipment and training for first responders, and reorganized the Federal government to address today’s security challenges.

Since September 11, 2001, the President has signed numerous critical pieces of legislation into law, including:

  • Homeland Security Act of 2002
  • USA PATRIOT Act of 2001
  • Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001
  • Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002
  • Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002
  • Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002

These laws, combined with the redirection of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into an agency focused on preventing terrorism and the redoubling of efforts at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve the nation's preparedness for identifying and responding to bioterrorism, have reorganized the institutions of the Federal government and provided significant resources in our arsenal to fight terrorism. To continue meeting the new threats of the 21st Century, the 2004 budget includes $41 billion to continue homeland efforts -- more than doubling 2002 funding.

Reorganizing the Federal Government

The Department of Homeland Security

  • On November 25, 2002, the President signed the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Act established a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and transferred to it 22 existing Federal entities dedicated to preventing, mitigating, and responding to terrorist attacks on the United States. To execute the Act, the Administration undertook the most extensive reorganization of the government in the past 50 years to ensure that the United States would have one Department with the primary mission of protecting the American homeland.
  • The Department is securing our borders, transportation systems, ports, and critical infrastructure; analyzing intelligence; augmenting the response capabilities of states and local governments; and conducting research to develop the next generation of terrorism countermeasures.

Intelligence and Information Sharing

  • At the President’s direction, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the FBI, and the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, working with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, established the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to integrate and analyze terrorism threat-related information collected domestically and abroad. TTIC focuses on “connecting-the-dots,” and since becoming operational on May 1, 2003, has issued hundreds of terrorist threat-related products. TTIC has over 100 officers drawn from partner agencies, a number expected to grow to several hundred by this time next year. Also at the President’s direction, key elements of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) and the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division (CTD) will co-locate with TTIC in 2004 to enable still greater coordination.
  • To ensure that the Department of Homeland Security and other organizations needing
  • information related to threats to the United States promptly receive all such information, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in March 2003. Actions being taken under this MOU, as well as other interagency agreements and processes, are implementing a new systematic approach to interagency information sharing.
  • The CIA doubled the size of its Counterterrorist Center (CTC) and quadrupled the number of counterterrorism analysts in the wake of September 11. In particular, CTC enhanced the number of analysts dedicated to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear issues, and significantly increased the volume and scope of strategic and tactical analytic reports delivered to senior Administration officials on such topics as terrorist infrastructure and capabilities, network analysis, and terrorist profiles. CTC’s cooperation with foreign intelligence services on counterterrorism issues also has risen sharply.

Law Enforcement

  • One of the most significant law enforcement tools in the war on terrorism is the USA PATRIOT Act. Passed in Congress by an overwhelming majority, the Act has strengthened our ability to prevent, investigate, and prosecute acts of terror by providing enhanced tools to detect and disrupt terrorist cells. The Act removed major legal barriers that had hampered coordination between the law enforcement, intelligence, and national defense communities in their efforts to protect the American people. Now police officers, FBI agents, Federal prosecutors and intelligence officials, while working within the safeguards of our Constitution, can better protect our communities by uncovering terrorist plots before they are carried out. The Act also updated the law to accommodate new technology and new threats, allowing us to fight a digital-age battle with modern tools. Many of the tools the Act provides to law enforcement to fight terrorism have been used for decades to fight organized crime and drug dealers, and have been reviewed and approved repeatedly by our courts.
  • Under the leadership of the Attorney General, the FBI is being transformed into an agency dedicated to the prevention of terrorism, while remaining committed to other important national security and law enforcement responsibilities.
    • Under the revised Attorney General’s Investigative Guidelines and other reforms, the FBI has increased its analytic capabilities, improved law enforcement coordination, increased information sharing, and overhauled its information technology systems.
    • The Attorney General established the National Joint Terrorism Task Force at FBI Headquarters and expanded to 66 fully operational Joint Terrorism Task Forces. There is a JTTF in each of the 56 field offices, as well as a growing number in FBI’s smaller Resident Agencies. These interagency organizations focus exclusively on terrorism, bringing together personnel, intelligence, and capabilities from Federal, state, and local law enforcement, DHS, the Intelligence Community, and other Federal agencies.
    • The FBI has centralized its own activities for intelligence gathering and analysis and, for the first time, created a 24-hour counterterrorism watch office to serve as the focal point for all incoming terrorist threat information. The watch office quickly distributes information to appropriate elements in law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.
    • The FBI’s Legal Attache (Legat) Program, with over 45 offices around the world, greatly enhances the capability of the United States to wage the war against terrorism and addresses the full range of criminal threats to the United States in an increasingly globalized world. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and throughout the following year, FBI Legats facilitated the rapid deployment of approximately 700 FBI personnel overseas to investigate terrorist attacks against the United States and allied interests.
    • At the President’s direction, the Department of Justice (DOJ) established the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF), as one step in Federal agencies’ efforts to identify potential terrorists attempting to enter or remain in the United States. Managed by the FBI with participation from DHS, DOD, and other government agencies, analysis conducted by the FTTTF has resulted in over 300 referrals made to law enforcement or Intelligence Community agencies.
  • Under the direction of the Attorney General, the U.S. Attorneys have constituted and led Anti-Terrorism Task Forces (ATTF) in each of their respective districts, coordinating numerous anti-terrorism initiatives, information sharing programs and training sessions, and forging unprecedented levels of outreach and cooperation with state and local law enforcement.

Analysis and Warning

  • The Department of Homeland Security disseminates information regarding the risk of terrorist attacks to Federal, state, and local authorities, to include the public and private sectors. Further, information regarding the risk of terrorist attacks, including such information prepared by DHS, is distributed to all FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces through the FBI’s National Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • The Information Analysis (IA) division of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) directorate of DHS is doing unprecedented work in assessing the nature and scope of terrorist threats to the homeland. Some of the Department’s work in this area is carried out in part by IA analysts who are full partners and participants in the President’s Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) initiative, and physically located at TTIC. Other threat analysis is carried out by IAIP analysts located at Headquarters, in close coordination with TTIC. IAIP also will provide full intelligence support to all elements of DHS, including conducting its own independent analysis of threats to the homeland, and “red teaming,” in which DHS analysts try to anticipate potential attacks by thinking like the terrorists. DHS relies upon the analysis produced by IA, to help determine priorities for protective and support measures and provide information to Federal, state, and local government agencies and authorities, and private sector entities.
  • The multi-agency partners in TTIC integrate and analyze terrorist threat-related information, collected domestically and abroad, to form a comprehensive threat picture, and disseminate such information to recipients who take preventive action.
  • Since September 11, 2001, the FBI has received and assessed the credibility of approximately 3,600 threats to the United States. The National Threats Warning System has issued 62 threat warnings, 55 Be On the Lookout (BOLO) alerts, and 82 Intelligence Bulletins. These warnings are disseminated to more than 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies in the United States, over 60 Federal agencies and subcomponents, and all U.S. Attorneys.


  • To strengthen the effectiveness of U.S. military forces engaged in homeland security, the President authorized the establishment of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). It began operations on October 1, 2002, and will be fully operational by October 2003. USNORTHCOM eliminates gaps among the different military organizations that currently have homeland defense responsibilities and strengthens military support to civilian agencies.

Reducing America’s Vulnerability to Terrorism. DHS is maintaining America’s open land, sea and air borders, facilitating the legitimate flow of commerce and people, while at the same time detecting and interdicting terrorists and their weapons before they enter the United States. The Administration is also strengthening our critical infrastructure protection efforts by coordinating the activities of Federal agencies responsible for infrastructure protection and combining information from the Intelligence Community, Federal, state, and local law enforcement, and the private sector to map threats to critical infrastructure against known vulnerabilities.

Operation Liberty Shield

  • The Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with numerous departments and agencies of the Federal government, implemented “Operation LIBERTY SHIELD” to increase protective measures during a period of heightened alert in March 2003. This comprehensive national plan to protect the homeland increased security at our borders, strengthened transportation sector protections, enhanced security at critical infrastructure, increased public health preparedness and ensured that all Federal response assets could be rapidly deployed. It built the foundation for our country’s critical infrastructure protection programs.

Border Security

Document Security

  • The Department of State has developed new tamper-resistant visas, extended the application review process, enhanced the visa lookout system, and improved information sharing among U.S. law enforcement agencies and the Intelligence Community. In 2003, visa screening requirements were tightened, requiring face-to-face interviews for almost all applicants.
  • The Department of State has developed the Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP) to assist nations at high risk of terrorist transit by providing them with a computer database system that enables border control officials to quickly identify people attempting to enter or leave the country. TIP is now in 12 nations and will expand to 18 by the end of 2003.

Tracking, Monitoring, and Interdiction

  • In December 2001, the United States and Canada signed the Smart Border Declaration, which included 30 action items for increasing security, enhancing joint law enforcement, improving physical and technological infrastructure, and facilitating the trade and movement of people between the two countries. The U.S.-Mexican Border Partnership, signed in March 2002, contains a similar 22-point action plan.
  • Strong cooperation between the United States, Canada, and Mexico has resulted in several programs that will enable the Department of Homeland Security to focus its security efforts and inspections on high-risk commerce and travelers: Free and Secure Trade Initiative (FAST), the U.S.-Canada NEXUS program, and the Secure Electronic Network for Traveler Rapid Inspection (SENTRI).
  • DHS is operating the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which tracks foreign students who come to the United States, ensuring they are actually enrolled and attending classes, while facilitating the entry of legitimate students.
  • The U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology system (U.S. VISIT) is designed to make entering the United States easier for legitimate tourists, students, and business travelers, while making it more difficult to enter the United States illegally through the implementation of biometrically authenticated documents. The system will utilize biometric identifiers -- a photograph and fingerprints -- to build an electronic checkin/ check-out system for people coming to the United States to work, study, or visit. The U.S. VISIT system will replace the current NSEERS program, integrate the SEVIS program, and accomplish the requirements for an automated entry/exit system. The system will scan travel documents to enable inspectors to check against databases to determine whether the individual should be detained or questioned further. U.S. VISIT will begin its first phase of operation at international air and sea ports of entry by the end of 2003.
  • Approximately 10,000 Border Patrol Agents are now patrolling our borders. By January 2004, some 1,000 will be assigned to the Canadian border, an increase of more than 50 percent over the past 12 months.

Port Security

  • Enhancing our security measures abroad, the DHS Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) launched the Container Security Initiative (CSI), establishing tough new procedures to target high-risk cargo before it is loaded on containers headed for U.S. ports. As of August 2003, 19 of the world’s major ports, handling two-thirds of cargo containers destined for the United States, have agreed to participate in CSI. There are plans to expand the initiative to 27 additional high volume ports in strategic locations throughout the world.
  • Operation Safe Commerce (OSC) is a public-private partnership to fund new initiatives designed to enhance tracking and security for container cargo moving through the international transportation system to the United States. OSC helps facilitate the efficient movement of legitimate commerce.
  • DHS now requires electronic advance cargo manifests from sea carriers 24 hours prior to loading in a foreign port to give officials more time to check for potentially dangerous cargo.
  • Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology inspects shipping containers determined to be high risk by the U.S. Automated Targeting System (ATS). Sophisticated large-scale radiation detection portals and hand-held technologies substantially increase the likelihood that nuclear or radiological materials and weapons will be detected.
  • Since September 11, the Coast Guard has made the largest commitment to port security operations since World War II, including over 124,000 port security patrols and 13,300 air patrols. The Coast Guard boarded more than 92,000 high interest vessels, interdicted over 9,473 individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally, and created and maintained more than 94 Maritime Security Zones.
  • In implementing the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, the Coast Guard will require ports, vessels, and facilities to perform security assessments, develop plans, and address security deficiencies. Both domestic regulations and international requirements oblige all nations to develop and implement port and ship security plans by July 1, 2004.

Aviation Security

  • There are some 48,000 newly trained Federal screeners deployed at our nation’s airports, where new baggage inspection equipment helped the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) institute 100 percent checked baggage screening. All airport personnel must now undergo background checks.
  • DHS and the Department of State suspended the Transit without Visa program (TWOV) and the International-to-International transit program (ITI), eliminating terrorists’ ability to exploit these programs to gain access to U.S.-bound aircraft or the United States.
  • The Federal Air Marshal program was expanded so that thousands of protective air marshals are now flying on commercial aircraft.
  • All large commercial passenger aircraft flying within or to the United States now have hardened cockpit doors to help prevent their hostile takeover. Armed pilots who have received Federal training can also defend their aircraft.
  • DHS and other agencies are working with foreign countries, airports, and local and Federal law enforcement agencies to prevent the proliferation of shoulder-launched missiles that can be used against commercial aircraft. DHS is conducting vulnerability assessments at key U.S. airports.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

  • “Critical infrastructure protection” refers to efforts to enhance the security of physical and cyber-based systems and assets that are essential to national security, national economic security, or public health and safety. Protective actions include a wide range of activities designed to reduce the vulnerability of critical infrastructures in order to deter, neutralize or mitigate terrorist attacks.
  • DHS meets with industry on a regular basis to share information, lessons learned, and best practices. DHS has been working with the economic and industrial sectors to develop a range of vulnerability assessment tools to meet their unique security challenges and needs. The security plans factor in the identified vulnerabilities to create a community-based approach to enhancing the security of critical infrastructure. Recent efforts include the following:
    • DHS has recently begun a comprehensive training program that involves chemical facility operators, site security managers, and local law enforcement personnel. The training takes those who would be involved in the prevention of a terrorist attack at a facility and ensures everyone understands its vulnerabilities, risks, and protective measures. The training uses realistic terrorist threat information, and has resulted in a public/private team better equipped to prevent terrorists from using our chemical facilities as a tool to attack Americans.
    • The U.S. chemical industry has worked in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and others to evaluate vulnerabilities and put enhanced measures in place to ensure the safety of its facilities and neighboring communities.
    • DHS has developed reports on common vulnerabilities to critical infrastructures, reports on indicators of terrorist activities in or around facilities, and security plan templates for use by local and state law enforcement personnel, as well as the private sector. The Department is beginning a national effort to provide technical assistance with the implementation of tailored security plans based on these documents.
  • The Department recently created a Soft Targets Unit with the Protective Security Division to assist state and local law enforcement in reducing vulnerabilities to attack in shopping malls, entertainment venues, sports stadiums, and other public gathering areas.
  • Passage of the Safe Explosives Act of 2002 strengthened the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) to prevent the acquisition of explosive materials by terrorists and others who would misuse them. Among other things, it expanded the Federal explosives permitting requirement to ensure that all persons who acquire explosives have been subjected to a background check and issued an ATF permit.
  • The Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP) division of DHS established a Critical Infrastructure Information Program Office to handle voluntarily submitted information about threats and vulnerabilities. IAIP released draft regulations for implementing the Critical Infrastructure Information Act this spring and is now developing the final guidelines.

Cyberspace Security

  • In June 2003, DHS created the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) as a focal point for the Federal government’s interaction with state and local government, the private sector, and the international community concerning cyberspace vulnerability reduction efforts.
  • A central element of the NCSD is the Cyber Security Tracking Analysis and Response Center, which examines cyber security incidents and coordinates efforts to mitigate damage.
  • During the recent rash of internet worms and viruses, the NCSD played a central role in coordinating national response efforts. NCSD rapidly convened technical experts from government, industry, and academia to analyze and develop guidance that they promptly shared with Federal, state and local governments, infrastructure operators, and individual computer users.
  • Through the FedCIRC (Federal Computer Incident Response Center) program, NCSD also provided extensive guidance and assistance to Federal agencies during these virus and worm events. This aid significantly reduced the impact of these events on government systems.

Enhancing Detection, Response, and Recovery from Biological and Chemical Terrorism

  • The Administration has bolstered the nation’s defense against an attack with a biological or chemical weapon through several parallel and complementary efforts. DHS, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and other agencies are focused on detection, response, and research and development.
  • The Administration has directed approximately $2.5 billion to state and local public health agencies, hospitals, and other health care entities since September 11, 2001, to improve planning, implement rapid secure communications, increase laboratory capacity, and upgrade the capacity to detect, diagnose, investigate and respond to a terrorist attack with a biological agent, and provide clinical care and treatments for those affected.
  • As part of his proposed Project BioShield, the President has requested $5.6 billion to accelerate the development and acquisition of next-generation vaccines and other products to counter bioterror threats. Project BioShield will accelerate the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) research and development of countermeasures, permit the FDA to make promising treatments quickly available during emergencies, and allow the U.S. government to purchase needed countermeasures as soon as they become available.
  • The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) civilian biodefense research budget has been increased from around $100 million prior to September 11, 2001, to $1.5 billion in 2003. The President has proposed an additional $1.6 billion for 2004. The NIH’s investment focuses on new drugs and vaccines, and diagnostics for high threat agents such as anthrax, smallpox, Ebola, and others.
  • DHS’s BioWatch program has placed detectors in over 30 cities, providing the capability to detect a variety of biological agents of concern. Samples from these detectors are tested in Federally supported local laboratories and provide results within 12-36 hours.
  • The Strategic National Stockpile was enlarged to 12 pre-positioned 50-ton packages of drugs, vaccines, medical supplies, and equipment that stand ready for immediate deployment to anywhere in the United States within 12 hours. In the last year, the stockpile has been expanded to treat 12 million persons exposed to anthrax, and to treat injuries following a chemical attack.
  • The Department of Defense has immunized over 490,000 soldiers and support personnel against smallpox. Though the Administration does not currently recommend smallpox vaccinations for the general public, HHS has acquired enough smallpox vaccine to immunize every person in the United States, if needed, following a smallpox attack and has begun immunizing health care personnel who would administer the vaccine.

Agriculture and Food Security

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased the number of food safety inspectors by 655, doubling its capacity to conduct safety inspections of our food systems.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased personnel at borders by 50 percent over FY 2000 levels to enhance efforts to keep foreign agricultural pests and diseases from entering the United States. The number of ports of entry with FDA staffing has increased from 40 to 90.
  • The USDA and HHS issued complementary regulations establishing new safeguards for the control of select agents that could pose a threat, in accordance with the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
  • The National Animal Health Laboratory Network and the National Plant Diagnostic Laboratory Network were developed with land-grant universities and state veterinary diagnostic laboratories around the country to create plant and animal health laboratory networks that have increased our capability to respond in an emergency.
  • The food regulatory agencies, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have evaluated over 35 different domestic and imported food and product categories for vulnerabilities to terrorist attack. The Administration is evaluating and implementing plans and new technologies to protect against potential attacks to the food supply.

Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities. Despite our best efforts at preventing future attacks, terrorism will continue to be a threat, and we must always be prepared to respond to an attack. We are better prepared to minimize the damage and recover from any future terrorist attacks by equipping and training our first responders and public health personnel.

First Responders

  • The U.S. government provided $7.9 billion in grants between 2002 and 2003 to help state and local responders, public health agencies, and emergency managers prepare for terrorist attacks. The President’s 2004 Budget request included an additional $5.2 billion to ensure first responders and public health and medical personnel are properly trained and equipped Progress Report on the Global War on Terrorism 16 to respond to terrorism. This includes funds to purchase protective gear for working in hazardous environments and devices for detecting and disarming explosives and other dangerous materials.
  • Departments and agencies throughout the government have taken actions to increase preparedness by providing first responders with training and exercise opportunities. Since September 2001, approximately 346,000 responders have been certified on basic preparedness concepts.
  • At the Federal level, a recent weapons of mass destruction exercise entitled TOPOFF2, involved two major U.S. cities (Chicago and Seattle), as well as major response elements within the U.S. government up to the cabinet level, and portions of the Canadian government. This exercise provided an opportunity for analysis of the abilities of Federal, state, and local response mechanisms to respond to a complex terrorist attack. In August 2003, the Department of Defense conducted a multi-level exercise to test USNORTHCOM’s ability to respond to multiple, simultaneous homeland security and Federal relief events.
  • During FY 2003, DHS provided assistance to upgrade the number of Urban Search and Rescue teams capable of addressing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from 6 to 28.
  • More than 700 Citizen Corps Councils have been formed in communities, states, and territories to better prepare communities to meet the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and other disasters. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is now available in 417 localities in 46 states and one U.S. territory.

National Response Plan

  • The Department of Homeland Security is creating a fully integrated national emergency response system that can adapt to any terrorist attack or natural disaster. They are also consolidating Federal response plans and building a national system for incident management.
  • The National Response Plan is being developed, under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, to coordinate and integrate all Federal domestic incident prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans.
  • The President directed the development of a National Incident Management System (NIMS) to make Federal, state, and local entities interoperable during incidents. Development of the NIMS will involve consultation with state and local organizations, the private sector, and other Federal agencies.

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