A top DHS official said Friday that the agency is “zero tolerance” for domestic terrorist attacks.
In a speech to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, James Lewis, the director of the U-S-VISIT program, said the department has “zero-tolerance” for acts of domestic terrorism.
“The fact that these are committed on American soil is not surprising, because we have no capacity to contain these activities and our ability to prevent and respond is limited,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the United States has an effective counter-terrorism program that includes a number of agencies and agencies are working closely together.
The agency has deployed more than 30,000 personnel to assist local law enforcement agencies and private sector companies in the response to domestic terrorist activity.
Lewis noted that DHS has deployed about 1,000 additional agents to local and state governments.
The president has also directed the Department of Homeland Security to create a special unit to support local law officers and law enforcement and local government employees in their efforts to prevent domestic terrorist activities.
He also directed agencies to make all necessary arrangements to provide security to all federal buildings.
A White House official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the DHS chief’s remarks.
The DHS official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the agency has increased the number of federal employees working overseas to about 25,000.
The official also said that the White House has instructed the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State to coordinate and work with the private sector to train federal law enforcement personnel in counter-terrorist operations.