Describing the challenges of obtaining intelligence to identify potential threats Napolitano said, “The plain fact of the matter is that we live in a very complicated world where there are different sources of terrorism — of violent extremism, and we have to be cognizant of all of those sources of evolving threats and we have to constantly be changing what we do in order…to prevent a successful attack.”
One area where the public does see and interact with DHS on a daily basis is passing through airline security. Passenger screening is the final layer of security after intelligence and data collection have run their course to detect possible threats. Napolitano said that eventually travelers will be able to keep their shoes on as screening methods improve.
“We are moving towards an intelligence and risk-based approach to how we screen,” she said. “I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on. One of the last things is the reduction or limitation on liquids.”