Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, was in San Francisco on Tuesday and, during a question and answer period at the Commonwealth Club, warned of a “new phase” of terrorist threats in the United States.
He said that the new terrorist threats will be home grown and inspired by news on the internet.
I am not making this up:
This “new threat” will certainly come to careful followers of the news as a surprise, and of even greater surprise to those involved in protecting against terrorist attacks. Nearly a decade ago, a top Las Vegas hotel security chief said almost word for word what Johnson just classified as a “new threat.”
Here’s a little history on Johnson.When he was general counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson co-chaired the working group that studied the potential impact of a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and reported that the risk to overall military effectiveness of a repeal would be low.
He was also a partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP,to which he returned after his four years at the Defense Department
Johnson was nominated by President Obama to be the fourth U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security in October 2013, and was subsequently confirmed on December 16, 2013.
While at the Commonwealth Club, Johnson also mentioned that the Homeland Security budget is $60 billion and that the department has 240,000 employees.
He said that the TSA, under the DHS umbrella. screens 1.8 million people each day and he said the recently created faster clearance that was designed to include a shorter line is “rapidly becoming the longer line.”
He said that if the new cyber-security legislation passes Congress, it will “greatly enhance my authority.”
He also said that the DHS is now “working closer with local police authorities,” in an attempt to identify terrorists.
He said that half of the 11 million undocumented in the country have been here more than 10 years and that from a law enforcement point of view he wants “to see them come out of the shadows.”
He also noted that the DHS opened a recruitment office in April in Silicon Valley to recruit cyber security employees. He said it would be a great experience for cyber expertss to work for the government to see how it works “and then go work for Citibank.”