10 January 2008 21:05 [Source: ICIS news]
Chertoff told a meeting of the department’s advisory council that “the period of administration transition is one of heightened vulnerability to terrorist attack”.
In national elections scheduled for 4 November this year, the
Chertoff said that his department, formed in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the
He noted that terrorists attacked in
“The period of administration transition is one of heightened vulnerability to terrorist attack,” Chertoff said. “There is a natural degree of confusion that accompanies any such large-scale change, and it invites terrorist attack.”
The council, a committee of government and business officials along with academic experts representing a variety of disciplines, advises the department on potential terrorist threats and perceived US vulnerabilities.
Glenda Hood, chairwoman of the council’s task force on administration transition, said that the greatest period of increased vulnerability to terrorist attack is likely to be 30 days before the transition takes place and for some 60 days after the new president takes office - or roughly from late December 2008 to early March 2009.
The council approved recommendations from Hood’s task force on how the department and Congress can work to ensure continuity of professional senior staff in the agency and speedy congressional approval of new political appointments to the department.
Homeland Security Department officials have earlier warned that the election year may attract terrorist action such as the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain, which apparently were aimed at influencing that country’s national elections that took place days after the attacks.
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