Chattanooga Times Free Press
SECURING THE HOMELAND
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the federal government has spent tens of billions of dollars to safeguard the country, increase security and fight the war on terror. Here are some of the changes:
■ Protecting the skies:
Baggage screening and metal cockpit doors have been installed and federal marshals placed on flights.
■ Defending against germ and chemical warfare:
Federal agencies have spent upward of $28 billion since 9/11, and the government has stockpiled enough antibiotics to treat 40 million anthrax victims.
■ Stopping nuclear and dirty bomb attacks:
Radiation detection devices now screen 68 percent of ship cargo and 91 percent of trucks entering the country.
■ Guarding infrastructure:
After 9/11, the government cataloged thousands of potential terrorist targets across the country. The Department of Homeland Security drew up a classified list of 1,100 potential targets warranting the most attention.
■ Counterterrorism investigations and prosecutions:
The Patriot Act broadened the federal government’s prosecutorial authority, toughening laws aimed at prosecuting suspects for the “material support” of terrorist organizations. The changes also eased the FBI’s ability to obtain warrants to eavesdrop on or conduct searches during terrorism investigations.
■ Securing the borders:
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, 2,263 more Border Patrol agents have been hired, almost tripling the number assigned to the northern border and bringing the total to 12,084.