The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ranked Washington, D.C., in a low-risk category of terrorist attack or catastrophe, putting it in the bottom 25 percent of U.S. states and territories, as part of a decision that will cost the city millions in anti-terror funds, reports the Washington Post. Irate officials from New York and Washington demanded explanations for why the department slashed funds in an urban anti-terrorism program by 40 percent for the metropolitan areas hit hardest by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out these are two cities still at risk,” said D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey.
The New York Times reported that the Homeland Security Department found many flaws in New York City’s application. The department was so critical of some local measures – like Operation Atlas, in which hundreds of extra police officers carry out counterterrorism duties around the city each day – that the city must seek further federal approval before drawing on the money it was given to pay for those programs. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that in many cities that got aid increases, “arguably there’s no threat – there are close elections either at the Senate level or the House level. Now, whether that was their motive I have no idea.”