07.26.06

With New Report Revealing Wacky DHS Risk Assessment Indiana Has More Terrorist Targets Than New York Schumer Announces Amendment To Overhaul System

New Report Shows Indiana has 50 Percent More Terrorist Targets than New York, Schumers Calls Out DHS for Including Sites Like Old MacDonalds Petting Zoo and Ice Cream Parlors Senator Pushes Amendment Today

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced legislation that would overhaul the criteria the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to determine highthreat area funding. Schumer will offer his bill as an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Specifically, Schumers bill calls on DHS to compile a new inventory of all current threats, critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, and national monuments and icons located in high threat areas.

This report from the Inspector General confirms our fears, Schumer said. The database DHS uses to assess high threat areas boggles the mind. This report is the smoking gun that thoroughly indicts the system. Learning of this report, Secretary Chertoff should immediately change the methodology by which he issues homeland security dollars. In a world that decides things on the merits, this report alone should be enough to pass our legislation.

According to a new audit from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector Generals office, dozens of questionable locations around the country are counted as terrorist targets, including a petting zoo in Woodville Alabama, a Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennessee, and the Amish Country Popcorn company, which has five employees in Berne Indiana, and grows and distributes popcorn. In the report, Indiana had 50 percent more terrorists targets listed than New York (5,687) and twice as many as California (3,212).

Schumers legislation (S. 3566) also would require that all funding from Urban Area Security Initiative Grants (UASI) be distributed on a 100% risk and threat based formula as done prior to FY 2006, specifically focusing on credible threats, risks, and previous terrorist attacks. Schumers bill will also require that DHS submit to members of Congress who represent high threat areas all funding allocations 30 days prior to final implementation.

In June, the Department of Homeland Security released funding allocations for its major state and local grant programs, including the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP), and the High Threat Urban Areas Program (UASI) that gives money only to high threat urban areas. Funding for New York State and New York City was cut significantly from FY2005 to FY2006. UASI, the high threat money actually given out by the program was cut from $829.7 million in FY2005 to $710.6 million for FY2006, or a 14 percent drop. However, New York Citys allocation was slashed by 40 percent, from $207.6 million in FY2005 to only $124.5 million. In FY2005, New York City received 25 percent of the high threat funding, but for FY2006, New York City will only recieve18 percent of the funding.



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