Although Section 550 of the DHS Appropriations Act of 2007 gives the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to issue interim final regulations without prior notice and comment, the Department chose to release an Advance Notice of Rulemaking (ANRM) on December 21, 2006; this notice sought comments on the proposed text for the interim final rule as well as on various implementation and policy issues related to the chemical security program. The Department received numerous and helpful comments from a variety of stakeholders, analyzed these recommendations, and incorporated many of them in the Interim Final Rule.
Malika, a stay-at-home mother of three, was more positive. “They should do whatever it takes to fight terrorism,” she told me. “We can’t afford another disaster.” She felt confident, she said, that the security forces will only target terrorism suspects and not innocent citizens. Many Tunisians seem to agree. One recent poll showed that around 47 percent of Tunisians consider terrorism to be the most urgent problem in the country, with 15 percent citing unemployment. Another found that over 78 percent of Tunisians welcomed the government’s announcement of a state of emergency.