Chertoff says U.S. now safer from terrorist attacks

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff recently told a Florida audience that the United States is safer now from a large scale terrorist attack than it was in 2001.

"We've kept them on the defensive," Chertoff said, according to "We've made it harder for them to get into our borders and we've solidified our intelligence."

While speaking at an engagement in Vero Beach, Florida, however, Chertoff said that Americans or American interests will be a target of an attack abroad.

"It's likely that al-Qaida or some of its network are saying we'd like to do something like 9-11 but maybe we'll just do something smaller," Chertoff said, according to

Chertoff spoke at the Riverside Theater for 45 minutes about the possibility of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons being used in an attack, the rise of homegrown terrorism, the current situation in the Middle East and cyberwarfare. He said that America is least successful in securing cyberspace and in persuading people to properly implement cybersecurity measures.

"I believe that the first responsibility of the state is to protect the people," Chertoff said, reports. "But we're going to have to make some tough decisions about what we spend our money on."

Chertoff identified four major security issues that the United States is facing - threats from chemical, biological and cyberweapons; aggressive control of natural resources by world powers; America’s economic situation; and global migration.

"Problems will find us because of globalization," Chertoff said, reports. "But there is no better friend and no worse enemy than the United States."