The Nov. 26 terrorist attacks on Mumbai underscore the need for U.S. authorities to counter the security threat posed by small boats, strengthen the U.S. Coast Guard and keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday.
From the Washington Post
A pending FBI and DHS analysis of last week’s raid in which terrorists apparently approached the coastal Indian city in a stolen fishing boat and rubber dinghies before killing at least 171 people contains “no great revelations,” the homeland security secretary said. That’s because U.S. intelligence officials in 2007 identified dangers posed by the reemergence of terrorist safe havens in South Asia and have long fretted about the exploitation of increasingly sophisticated consumer technology such as Global Positioning System devices and cellular and satellite phones, he said.
The U.S. government claimed authority to prosecute suspects in the attacks, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said elsewhere in Washington, because the victims include six Americans.
In remarks to reporters that took on a valedictory tone, Chertoff said the Mumbai attacks emphatically confirm the need for high-quality intelligence and effective emergency response. The Bush administration’s longest-serving secretary, Chertoff also credited the administration for the absence of a domestic terrorist attack since September 2001, and he took a final shot at critics.