New Orleans Still Vulnerable To Terror: FBI Expert


When he took over the FBI’s New Orleans office, Jim Bernazzani feared terrorists might try to poke a hole in the levees, demolish the petrochemical industry, cripple the tourism economy, or sink a ship in the Mississippi River, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Then Hurricane Katrina accomplished three of the four. New Orleans’ current state makes it more vulnerable than ever in the eyes of the man who once led the agency’s counter-terrorism efforts. “I would never put it past a Sunni terrorist to bayonet the wounded,” Bernazzani said. “They’re diabolical, but they’re smart.”

To some extent, the U.S. is a victim of its own success in combating terror, Bernazzani said. “Instead of dealing with a centralized authority, we are now dealing with scattered cells globally that are dependent on their own skill sets,” he said. “In Louisiana, we have some very robust ongoing investigations, but again we don’t see any activity, no plans regarding lethal operations. Instead, what we see here is basically money laundering.”


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