Department of Homeland Security Prepares for '07

ByABC News via logo
December 28, 2006, 7:58 AM

Dec. 28, 2006 — -- As Americans prepare to celebrate New Year's Eve, the Department of Homeland Security is working to prevent any possible terrorist attacks that could happen as 2006 rolls into 2007.

Fran Townsend, assistant to President Bush for homeland security and counterterrorism, talked with ABC's Robin Roberts about her department's latest moves and the terror threat surrounding the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein.

Asked whether the Department of Homeland Security was taking the threat of terrorism following Hussein's execution seriously, Townsend said it was prepared.

"We take it seriously. Our military is obviously there, positioned and preparing for that time to come," she said, referring to Hussein's execution.

However, Townsend doesn't give much credence to Hussein's latest message to his followers to not hate U.S. troops in Iraq.

"At this point in the process, it's hard to take anything he says very seriously," she said.

Townsend recently spent a day with New York City police Commissioner Ray Kelly to see how the NYPD was planning to keep revelers safe on New Year's Eve.

"New York is a model of how a large, urban police department approaches this type of event," she said. "They have a lot of experience. They take it very seriously."

Townsend asserted that Americans across the country should celebrate as they always do.

"People ought to come out, ought to have a good time, and ought to feel confident that the necessary precautions are being taken," she said.

Though she knows that terrorists will still target Americans in the new year, Townsend maintains that progress made by the Department of Homeland Security will help it anticipate any attack.

"I feel confident based on the procedures we put in place that we can stop the next attack," she said.