Feds Call Petting Zoo, Flea Market Terror Targets


Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory, the Mule Day Parade, and the Sweetwater Flea Market in Tennessee are all listed in a federal National Asset Database as possible terror targets, says a Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report summarized in the New York Times. The database is so flawed, the inspector general found, that as of January, Indiana, with 8,591 potential terrorist targets, had 50 percent more listed sites than New York (5,687) and more than twice as many as California (3,212), ranking the state the nation’s most target-rich place.

The database is used to help allot hundreds of millions of dollars in antiterrorism grants, including the program that cut money to New York City and Washington by 40 percent, while significantly increasing spending for cities including Louisville and Omaha. Deputy homeland security press secretary called the list “is a valuable tool.” Officials who have questioned the rationale for changing this year's antiterror grants were critical. “Now we know why the Homeland Security grant formula came out as wacky as it was,” said Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) “This report is the smoking gun that thoroughly indicts the system.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/washington/12assets.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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