Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established as an Executive Department having a primary mission of preventing terrorist attacks within the United States. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 integrated all or part of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a single DHS. This entry focuses on the establishment and core missions of the DHS. In addition, it describes the partnerships that enable DHS to carry out its vision.


The establishment of a homeland security agency was contemplated prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; however, legislation was not enacted until after that time. No federal agency had, as its primary mission, security of the homeland—the United States. Rather, responsibilities were dispersed among ...

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