UNITED STATES: Terrorism in the US
From Wyoming, Justin Carreno writes: Post 9/11 each state in the US was designated an office to deal with terrorism -- some more focused on domestic, rather than international. A few of these offices were the emergency management agency in the state and changed the name to office of homeland security. As is such the case with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security (WOHS) (formerly Wyoming Emergency Management Agency) where I have been working with for the past year. With the new title, the funding flow is a bit less viscous. Wyoming is probably the last place on Earth one would consider a potential target, but of course it can be justified as one with all the oil and gas plants and with what the Air Force Base in Cheyenne has for weapons.
The controversy was that because each state received the same funding, Wyoming, a low population, low threat area would have much more funding than New York City. From the Economist, "The Big Apple can claim to have won at least one fight. At first, the plan was to distribute the money on a state-by-state basis, which would have given Wyoming, a state under little threat of jihad, $9.78 a head, and New York a pathetic $1.40. After a fierce lobbying effort, Tom Ridge, the man in charge of homeland security, has now announced that the money will be distributed according to the danger you face. Seven cities will share an extra $100m, to help with equipment and training." Alaska was going to purchase a jet with their homeland security funding "surplus."
The director of the WOHS, Joe Moore, is a 30-year FBI veteran and thankfully believes security is top priority, unlike other officials in the state who think the geospatial data we have generated should be publicly available for data sharing purposes, which is obviously a scary thought, despite the rural character of the State.
I live in Laramie where, in addition to the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Technical Institute (WyoTech) is located. It is known as one of the best auto mechanic schools in the world, but has a gained a bad reputation in town due to some of the types of individuals it attracts. A student attending the school was charged with supporting international terrorist networks -- rural America is not immune to terrorism <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37993-2004Nov9.html> .
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Ronald Hilton 2004
December 5, 2004