April 28, 2014
In November 2002, 14 months after terrorists slammed airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, President George W. Bush signed a bill into law establishing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The department’s objective was simple, even if its task was not.
“The primary mission of the department is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States,” the new law said.
The statute also specified that the Department of Homeland Security would respond to natural or human-caused disasters and monitor connections between drug traffickers and terrorists while coordinating efforts to “sever” such ties.
More than 11 years later, the department’s mission has expanded – greatly.