Press TV | July 31, 2009
Washington has called on Americans to aid in counterterrorism activities -- a move seen as a stepping stone to encroach upon civil liberties.
Speaking on national security issues, including the notion of 'radicalized Americans' on Wednesday, the US Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, told a gathering at the key international relations think tank, Council on Foreign Relations, about the US administration's intentions to engage 'ordinary' people in 'scouting' activities against rising 'homegrown terrorism.'
The head of the Homeland Security Department urged Americans to join the White House bid in the collective battle against 'terrorism.'
The 52 year-old former Arizona governor, who joined President Obama's team earlier this year, said, "The terror threat is even more decentralized, more networked, and more adaptive than on 9/11," adding, "We face a networked enemy, and we must meet it with a networked response."
Napolitano demanded more public response in the face of growing 'terror' activities within US border, inviting children to help security services detect potential terror campaigns conducted in stealth.
She said that the Obama government would tap people as an 'asset' in the so-called war on terror. "For too long, we've treated the public as a liability to be protected rather than an asset in our nation's collective security."
"You are the ones who know if something is not right in your communities, such as a suspicious package, or unusual activity," Obama's Secretary said.
"We have a much greater chance at success if we strengthen our own networks by enlisting the talents and energies of all Americans."
However, the top national security authority ruled out allegations of her department's involvement in enticing a culture of spying amongst US citizens.
Observers say that the Homeland Security and Patriotism acts, crafted under former president George W. Bush and advocated by Obama, foment nationalistic fervor meant to impinge on people's privacy and to justify tighter social control.
Yet Napolitano drew upon the recent 'terrorist' arrests in Minneapolis and North Carolina and referred to the urgency needed to tackle the issue.
"So I think better education about the breadth of the threat and how it can be carried out is important."Security officers arrested seven people lately from different US states on charges of raising money and training sympathizers to carry out terrorist attacks overseas.