For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 11, 2002
Strengthening 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 people.
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:
1. updated Federal laws to reflect the rapid and dramatic changes
that have taken place in recent years in communications technology;
2. 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
money-laundering; 3. 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 national security; 4. authorized grants that
will enhance state and local governments' 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
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
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 nation's 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 containers.
Deployed approximately 1,600 National Guardsmen to assist in
securing the nation's 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.
Transportation Security - Recruited thousands of federal
security personnel to perform screening duties and other functions at
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
Developed new passenger boarding procedures and trained pilots
and flight crews for hijacking scenarios.
Required all airport personnel to undergo background checks.
Limited airport access points and implemented secondary
Deployed more than 9,000 National Guardsmen to help secure the
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
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 utility companies.
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.
Citizen Engagement - 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 officials? 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