Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says his likely successor, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, will inherit an improving immigration situation but also will face smarter terrorists increasingly bent on using major high-tech weapons, the Arizona Republic reports. Chertoff said fences, tracking technology and increasing numbers of federal agents have asserted more control over the U.S.-Mexican border. “For the first time in memory, we have seen a decline in the number of illegal immigrants in the country,” he said.
Chertoff said the next Homeland Security secretary “must have the willingness to take on very deeply embedded special interests.” He added: “Every time you put a security measure in place, you’re goring someone’s ox.” The gunmen who attacked Mumbai used GPS systems, high-resolution Internet maps, untraceable cellphones and BlackBerrys, making it clear that terrorism is going high-tech, Chertoff warned. “We’ve had some success, but the other side has had some, as well,” he said. “In that sense, we’re in a race against time.” On Tuesday, a bipartisan commission issued a chilling report predicting that an attack using a weapon of mass destruction is “more likely than not” in the next five years, unless the international community acts. The report concluded, “America’s margin of safety is shrinking.”