Friday, May 16, 2014

INTERVIEW - Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson

"Jeh Johnson on counterterrorism challenges, deportation enforcement" PBS NewsHour 5/15/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF:  And we are joined now by the man tasked with protecting the country from future terrorist attacks, among other things.

As Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson oversees some 240,000 workers, spread across 22 government agencies.  In addition to counterterrorism, he’s responsible for everything from border security, to immigration and customs enforcement, to natural disasters.

Secretary Johnson, we welcome you back to the NewsHour.

JEH JOHNSON, Secretary of Homeland Security:  Thank you, Judy.  Good to be here.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So we’re now 12-and-a-half years past 9/11.  How much safer is the United States today than it was then?

JEH JOHNSON:  Well, I think we have come a long way since 9/11, which happens to be my birthday, so I remember the day well.  I’m a New Yorker.  I was in Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

We have come a long way in terms of our counterterrorism efforts.  I think we have learned how to do a pretty good job at detecting a number of terrorist threats to the homeland.  But we have to be vigilant in a number of respects.

Al-Qaida is now a much more decentralized entity, with affiliates.  And we have to always be vigilant in terms of potential homegrown threats, the so-called lone wolf.  And we saw an example of that with the Boston Marathon bombing last year.

So we have got to be vigilant on a number of fronts.  I still believe that counterterrorism needs to be the cornerstone of the Department of Homeland Security’s mission.

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