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9/11 commission member says U.S. is not as safe as it should be

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Posted: July 7, 2007 2:33 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    WASHINGTON — Al-Qaida is gaining strength and the United States is still not as safe as it should be, former Indiana congressman Tim Roemer said Saturday.
    Speaking about a week after failed bombing attacks in Britain, the 9/11 commission member chided Congress and the White House for not taking enough action to secure the country from another attack. Roemer urged lawmakers to move forward on adopting safety measures the commission suggested and asked President Bush not to threaten to veto the proposed legislation.
    ‘‘Only half of these bipartisan recommendations have been passed,’’ Roemer said during the weekly Democratic radio address. ‘‘The White House’s execution and funding of them has received failing grades.’’
    He identified border security as one of the most critical issues for protecting the country.
    ‘‘We still do not have the ability to know fully who and what is crossing our borders and sailing into our ports,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve left the door open to attacks.’’
    Roemer emphasized his belief that al-Qaida is training more people to participate in terrorist activities and that the war in Iraq is ‘‘creating a new generation of jihadists.’’
    He listed information sharing, infrastructure protection and first responder communication among other domestic priorities to combat these threats. Internationally, he stressed the importance of securing ‘‘loose nuclear material’’ and increasing educational opportunities for people in the Middle East.
    ‘‘We need to fix the logjam in Washington,’’ Roemer said. ‘‘We cannot afford to wait any longer.’’

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