December 3, 2009: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivered remarks last night at the America-Israel Friendship League’s “Partners for Democracy Award Dinner” in New York City underscoring the Department’s strong partnerships with Israel and firm commitment to countering terrorism and violent extremism both abroad and within the United States.
In her remarks, Secretary Napolitano discussed the threat posed by home-based terrorism—often in the form of American citizens radicalized abroad or who become adherents to violent, extremist ideologies—as well as global extremism to the security of the American people.
“Home-based terrorism is here. And like violent extremism abroad, it is now part of the threat picture that we must confront,” said Secretary Napolitano.
She detailed the unprecedented coordination that is now taking place between DHS and its federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners to combat these threats through information-sharing programs, fusion centers and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces.
Secretary Napolitano also highlighted the Department's ongoing efforts to engage religious, ethnic and cultural groups across the country in an open and constructive dialogue about the importance of protecting civil rights and civil liberties and the role of communities and individuals in identifying suspicious situations—reiterating the shared responsibility of all Americans to report suspicious activities to law enforcement and take basic steps to prepare for emergencies.