> Sunday, May 25, 2003
> Copyright ? Las Vegas Review-Journal
> EDITORIAL: Federal terror money
> Las Vegas doesn't make the list?
> The temptation is to celebrate the fact that Las Vegas is not now listed by the federal government as a major potential target of Islamic terrorists.
> But said Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, upon hearing his city would not be sharing in the $500 million bucket of cash being ladled out to 30 major American cities to fund emergency training, purchase field equipment and otherwise "harden the likely targets" of would-be terrorists: "I find it incredible that our city has been ignored. This is money we need and should have."
> When many see Las Vegas as a world symbol of unrestricted capitalism and imm*Western excess; when five of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists are known to have convened and held discussions here; when a popular Hollywood movie has featured an airplane slicing through the giant signature guitar outside the Hard Rock; when just Monday the government rested its case in a Michigan trial of four suspected al-Qaida operatives, having presented evidence that the alleged terror cell discussed bombing a major Strip * ... the notion that the federal government went through any objective process to determine the 30 America cities at highest risk of terrorist attack, and failed to include Las Vegas, does verge on the laughable.
> Clearly the availability of large new stacks of federal loot for any purpose which can be defined by a stretch of the political imagination as "anti-terrorism" has sent the grant writers and arm-twisting congressional delegations of the nation's largest cities into overdrive.
> Cincinnati and Sacramento both made the list, and each will now receive $7 million to $8 million in additional federal funds. No offense to the many fine folks who live in those communities, but come on. If word flashed around the globe that a major terrorist attack had been launched in Sacramento, the * response, from London to Jakarta, would surely be, "Where?"
> Newark made the list, in 13th place (yes, Newark) and will now receive an additional $12 million in federal funds. We should perhaps leave it to the late-night talk show hosts to ask whether a major terrorist attack on Newark would leave the place looking better or worse.
> All that said, however, if federal officials refuse to acknowledge the realistic threat to this city -- and cannot be made to reconsider that decision -- local authorities must take matters into their own hands.
> Private business leaders must join with Metro and with city, county, airport authorities to develop and fund a sensible, flexible plan to prevent what can be prevented; to protect residents and visitors alike should the worst come to pass, and to respond quickly to any new terrorist *.
> They are not going to find Americans asleep, a second time.