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Homeland Security

Homeland Security Progress on 9/11 Commission Recommendations

Radio spectrum for first responders



Limited or no capability of first responders from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other

"The inability to communicate was a critical element at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania, crash sites, where multiple agencies and multiple jurisdictions responded. The occurrence of this problem at three very different sites is strong evidence that compatible and adequate communications among public safety organizations at the local, state, and federal levels remains an important problem" (pg. 397).

"Within minutes of impact, Port Authority police officers from the PATH, bridges, tunnels and airport commands began responding to the WTC.  The PAPD lacked written standard operating procedures for personnel responding from outside commands to the WTC during a major incident.  In addition, officers from some PAPD commands lacked interoperable radio frequencies.  As a result, there was no comprehensive coordination of PAPD’s overall response" (pg. 293).

Since fiscal year 2003, DHS has provided approximately $3B for communications interoperability initiatives; this year the department is also co-administering, along with the Department of Commerce, an additional $968M provided to states and territories through the Public Safety Interoperable Communications grant program

SAFECOM program was established in 2003 to aide development and adoption of multi-jurisdictional interoperable communications plans

Tactical-level interoperability achieved in 10 high-threat urban areas in 2004 through the RapidCom program

DHS released the National Interoperability Baseline Survey in December 2006; survey results from 22,400 randomly selected law enforcement, fire response, and emergency medical services (EMS) agencies confirms that roughly two-thirds of emergency response agencies across the nation use interoperable communications to varying degrees

DHS released scorecard assessments in January 2007 of the interoperable communications capabilities and gaps of 75 urban and metropolitan areas nationwide 

DHS and the Department of Commerce are administering the $1B Public Safety Interoperable Communications grant program; awards for state and local first responder agencies announced July 2007

Incident Command System



Adoption of Incident Command System (ICS) in domestic incident management was not required but was used by some police and fire departments, as well as federal, state and local authorities

"Emergency response agencies nationwide should adopt the Incident Command System (ICS). When multiple agencies or multiple jurisdictions are involved, they should adopt a unified command. Both are proven frameworks for emergency response. We strongly support the decision that federal homeland security funding will be contingent, as of October 1, 2004, upon the adoption and regular use of ICS and unified command procedures. In the future, the Department of Homeland Security should consider making funding contingent on aggressive and realistic training in accordance with ICS and unified command procedures" (pg. 397).

DHS requires state and local grant recipients to adopt National Incident Management System (NIMS) and ICS at all jurisdictional levels as a condition of receiving grant funding

NIMS/ICS and NRP used for training first responders and for coordination during emergencies

Developed NIMS/ICS compliant information system architectures to support the Unified Incident Command activities

Developed NIMS/ICS compliant simulation based training system for first responders to handle multi-jurisdictional events

Risk-based homeland security funds



National security and counterterrorism funds were not appropriated based upon risk

"Homeland security assistance should be based strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities. Congress should not use this money as a pork barrel" (pg. 396).

100% of Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funds are awarded based on risk and effectiveness

With the fiscal year 2007 funding, the department will have invested nearly $20 billion in local planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercises

DHS allocated the maximum amount statutorily possible based on risk and effectiveness under the Homeland Security Grant Program

Created a risk tier system to ensure that high-risk urban areas get the majority of the funding

Critical infrastructure assessment



No integrated national policy to identify threats and address vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure

"The Department of Homeland Security and its oversight committees should regularly assess the types of threats the country faces to determine (a) the adequacy of the government's plans-and the progress against those plans-to protect America's critical infrastructure and (b) the readiness of the government to respond to the threats that the United States might face" (pg. 428).

DHS created the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), a historic and unprecedented public/private partnership to identify and protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources

Completed 17 sector-specific plans as part of the NIPP

DHS unified disparate critical infrastructure grant programs into the Buffer Zone Protection Program, Port Security Grant Program, and Transit Security Grant Program

Since fiscal year 2002, the Infrastructure Protection Program (IPP) grants have provided approximately $2B for all IPP-related programs

Chemical Security: released an aggressive and comprehensive set of proposed regulations that will improve security at high-risk chemical facilities

Released rule reducing risk for hazardous rail shipments

Identified list of 2,100 nationwide critical infrastructure assets most at risk and developing programs to protect them

Private sector preparedness



No national standard for private sector emergency preparedness

"We endorse the American National Standards Institute's recommended standard for private preparedness… We believe that compliance with the standard should define the standard of care owed by a company to its employees and the public for legal purposes. Private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money, and national security" (pg. 398).

Private Sector Office created; increase in private sector participation in federal training, exercises, and preparedness

Created Ready Business campaign and Ready Business Mentoring Initiative

DHS endorsed and recognized ANSI/NFPA 1600 (the National Preparedness Standard) as an all-hazards preparedness standard for use by all businesses and organizations  

National Strategy for Transportation Security




"The U.S. government should identify and evaluate the transportation assets that need to be protected, set risk-based priorities for defending them, select the most practical and cost-effective ways of doing so, and then develop a plan, budget, and funding to implement the effort.  In measuring effectiveness, perfection is unattainable. But terrorists should perceive that potential targets are defended. They may be deterred by a significant chance of failure" (pg. 391).

The initial NSTS was delivered to Congress in September 2005. A required update to the NSTS was submitted to Congress in August 2006. Supporting the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), TSA and its partners completed the Transportation Sector-Specific Plan (TSSP) establishing the sector’s strategic approach. TSA will replace the NSTS with the NIPP-TSSP to reduce Federal Government and stakeholder confusion by minimizing the total number of closely related but overlapping transportation security strategy documents and simplify the structure of the strategic plans, resulting in increased understanding of the purpose and their use among Federal partners; State, local, and tribal governments; and the private sector

Airline passenger pre-screening



Passenger information collected from airlines on voluntary basis only for international flights. No single list of suspected terrorists existed or was shared among U.S. agencies

"The small terrorist travel intelligence collection and analysis program currently in place has produced disproportionately useful results. It should be expanded. Since officials at the borders encounter travelers and their documents first and investigate travel facilitators, they must work closely with intelligence officials" (pg. 385).

"Information systems able to authenticate travel documents and detect potential terrorist indicators should be used at consulates, at primary border inspection lines, in immigration services offices, and in intelligence and enforcement units" (pg. 385).

"We advocate a system for screening, not categorical profiling. A screening system looks for particular, identifiable suspects or indicators of risk. It does not involve guesswork about who might be dangerous. It requires frontline border officials who have the tools and resources to establish that people are who they say they are, intercept identifiable suspects, and disrupt terrorist operations" (pg. 387).

"And the National Targeting Center, assisted by the new Terrorist Screening Center, provides information support to inspectors at ports of entry so that they can make more informed decisions about potential terrorists and harmful cargo attempting to enter the United States" (pg. 164).

100% of passengers are now screened

Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) implemented and supported by Passenger Name Record (PNR) which looks for "identifiable…indicators of risk"

Pre-departure APIS requirement will take effect in 2008 to enable pre-boarding No-Fly and Selectee checks for international flights and to take the watch list out of foreign air carrier hands.

Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) consolidated watch lists and provides 24/7 support 

TSC manages the No Fly and Selectee lists as part of the consolidated watch list; TSA provides to air carriers and coordinates potential security threats through the 24/7 Transportation Security Operations Center

Secure Flight proposed rule published with testing to begin in 2007 to eventually take over domestic pre-screening from air carriers

Enhanced Automated Targeting System to analyze APIS and PNR data and provide "information support to inspectors at ports of entry"

Airline passenger explosive screening



Not all passengers were screened for explosives

"The TSA and the Congress must give priority attention to improving

the ability of screening checkpoints to detect explosives on passengers" (pg. 393)

1,200 Explosive Trace Detectors deployed at passenger checkpoints

Nearly 4,000 metal detectors and x-ray machines installed at 440 airports across the country

Approximately 38,000 TSOs have received advanced explosive detection training

Checked bag screening



Not all checked bags were screened for explosives

"Concerns also remain regarding the screening and transport of checked bags and cargo. More attention and resources should be directed to reducing or mitigating the threat posed by explosives in vessels’ cargo holds. The TSA should expedite the installation of advanced (in-line) baggage-screening equipment" (pg. 393)

100% of checked baggage is now screened

425 Canine explosives detection teams in more than 80 airports

1,400 Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines deployed

Cargo screening



Not all cargo was screened for explosives or radiological/nuclear materials

"…Opportunities to do harm are as great, or greater, in maritime or surface transportation. Initiatives to secure shipping containers have just begun."

"TSA also needs to intensify its efforts to identify, track, and appropriately screen potentially dangerous cargo in both the aviation and maritime sectors" (pg. 393).

Established the Container Security Initiative at 52 foreign ports, covering more than 83% of U.S.-bound maritime containers

Secure Freight:  operational testing underway at 7 foreign ports to scan for nuclear material overseas

Deployed 1000 Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) and are screening 92% of the total containerized cargo arriving by land and sea.

Deployed over 12,000 handheld radiation detection devices.

Awarded contracts for Advanced Spectroscopic Portals (ASP) radiation portal monitors for enhanced scanning capabilities at ports of entry

Created the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office

Air cargo:  issued regulation to ensure cargo is secure by screening 100% of checked air cargo, vetting trusted air shipping companies, conducting background checks on employees, and extending airport secure areas

Terrorist travel strategy




"The United states should engage other nations in developing a comprehensive coalition strategy against Islamist terrorism.  There are several multilateral institutions in which such issues should be addressed.  But the most important policies should be discussed and coordinated in a flexible contact group of leading coalition governments.  This is a good place, for example, to develop joint-strategies for targeting terrorist travel, or for hammering out a common strategy for the places where terrorists may be finding a sanctuary" (pg. 379).

DHS promulgated the Pre-Departure APIS Final Rule and the Secure Flight Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on August 9, 2007

DHS successfully renegotiated a Passenger Name Record agreement with the European Union.

National Strategy to Combat Terrorist Travel released by NCTC in May 2006

Regular coordination of travel security standards through multilateral and bilateral contacts

Comprehensive screening system



No single list of suspected terrorists existed or was shared across all U.S. agencies

"The President should direct the Department of Homeland Security to lead the effort to design a comprehensive screening system, addressing common problems and setting common standards with systemwide goals in mind" (pg.387).

"Since 9/11, significant improvements have been made to create an integrated watchlist …. However new insights into terrorist travel have not yet been integrated into the front lines of border security" (pg. 385)

"Because air carriers implement the [‘no-fly’ and ‘selectee’] program, concerns about sharing intelligence information with private firms and foreign countries keep the U.S. government from listing all terrorist and terrorist suspects who should be included" (pg. 392).

Terrorist Screening Center consolidated terrorist watch lists and provides 24/7 support for federal, state and local authorities

TSC ensures the integrity of the list and has led interagency efforts to scrub the terrorist watch list

Created the Screening Coordination Office which is aligning DHS screening programs to set common standards – for example, in providing a single technical requirements document to air carriers for data transmissions to DHS

On path to shift implementation of air pre-screening to TSA through Secure Flight – DHS is taking over international pre-screening through pre-departure APIS

DHS TRIP is available as the central redress system for travelers who believe they have been misidentified as part of the screening process

Biometric entry-exit screening system




"A modern border and immigration system should combine a biometric entry-exit system with accessible files on visitors and immigrants, along with intelligence on indicators of terrorist travel" (pg. 389).

US-VISIT biometric identity and verification process is fully operational for non-U.S. citizens at all U.S. visa-issuing posts and ports of entry

10 print:   converted half of the overseas visa locations, all to be completed by the end of 2007; will begin the transition at ports of entry this fall with 10 locations to be completed by the end of 2008

Interoperability: implemented the interim data sharing model in September 2006, first stage of interoperability between DHS and FBI fingerprint systems

Earned a ‘B’ from the 9/11 Commission’s Public Discourse Project

e-Passport reader technology successfully tested and deployed to 33 U.S. airports

International collaboration on borders and document security



Limited international security collaboration existed before 9/11

"The further away from our borders that screening occurs, the more security benefits we gain" (pg. 389).

"We should do more to exchange terrorist information with trusted allies, and raise U.S. and global border security standards for travel and border crossing over the medium and long term through extensive international cooperation" (pg. 390).

In 2004, DHS adopted biometrics as a tool to prevent the use of fraudulent documents

DHS established e-Passport standards for Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Rice-Chertoff Joint Vision announced in January 2006

Implemented the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for air travelers, requiring secure verifiable documents to be used to enter the country from the Western Hemisphere; will implement for land/sea travelers in 2008

Established the Security and Prosperity Partnership with leaders of Canada and Mexico to strengthen security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade

Standardize secure identifications



Passports and other identification documents were vulnerable to tampering

"For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons" (pg. 384).

"All but one of the hijackers acquired some form of U.S. identification document, some by fraud. Acquisition of these forms of identification would have assisted them in boarding commercial flights, renting cars, and other necessary activities" (pg. 390).

"The federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses" (pg. 390).

DHS is enforcing the requirement for VWP Countries to issue biometric e-Passports to their citizens by October 2006.

Implemented Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative – secure document requirement for air travel

DHS and State Department will implement WHTI at land and sea ports of entry in 2008

Secure Transportation Worker Identification Credential: final rule published in December 2006 with card issuance beginning Fall 2007; conducted more than 700,000 name-based threat assessments on port workers

Finalizing Real-ID rulemaking to strengthen integrity of driver’s licenses

Last Published Date: June 29, 2012
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