Skip to main content

'A disaster waiting to happen': Obama administration 'zeroed out' budget

The Obama administration is not allocating any significant resources to prevent fertilizer bombing attacks like the one that toppled the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, a former senior Department of Homeland Security official with direct knowledge of the department's budgeting and operations told MailOnline.

In a lengthy interview, the former official said the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing 'tragic', adding 'but if this were an Oklahoma City-type bomb, there would have been hundreds of deaths.'

Homeland Security has just one federal employee and no contractors devoted to the task of preventing the deployment and detonation of ammonium nitrate bombs, a situation he called 'completely ineffective, and very dangerous for the country.'


The 1995 bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City left wreckage and 168 dead bodies - including 19 children. Like the Boston Marathon attacks, it occurred on Patriot's Day. Unlike Boston, the bomb was composed of ammonium nitrate and combustible fuel

'If this were an Oklahoma City-type bomb, there would have been hundreds of deaths' in Boston, said a former DHS official. Timothy McVeigh (R) was executed for his part in the 1995 bombing. Terry Nichols (L) got life in prison without the possibility of parole

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was a political appointee at DHS headquarters. He described the United States' chemical security program as 'disastrous,' and also criticized the decimation of formerly robust grant programs intended to help states and cities prevent attacks like the one in Boston.

Two bombs were detonated near the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding at least 173 others.

Obama administration has SLASHED budget for domestic bombing prevention by 45 per cent, says former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary
New York subway tunnels to be made terror-proof with $600m ring of steel
Inside the terror cell: The London police station that has housed the failed July 21 bombers and Guantanamo Bay prisoners
Lid of Boston Marathon pressure cooker bomb was found on sixth floor rooftop of hotel 35 yards away - and guests thought it was a hubcap

Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, told MailOnline Tuesday that 'the Obama administration has continued to cut the budget for offices such as the Office for Bombing Prevention from $20 million started under [George W.] Bush, to $11 million today.'

MailOnline did not interview Liscouski for this story.

But the source did say that DHS now has just a single federal employee and no contractors assigned to prevent the construction, deployment and detonation of ammonium nitrate bombs like the one Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used in Oklahoma City.

That situation, he said, is 'completely ineffective and very dangerous for the country,' adding in an email that cuts to the Office of Bombing Prevention are 'the tip of the iceberg.'

Ammonium nitrate is sold by farming supply retailers, and comes in bags like this one (L), which contains about 1,300 pounds. In 2010, U.S. and Canadian Soldiers disposed of a large cache of the chemical in Kandahar City, Afghanistan in 2010. The blast could reportedly be felt at a distance of 5 miles

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical most commonly found in commercial farming fertilizer. Al-Qaeda has published how-to guides for the construction of bombs using the chemical and diesel fuel.

In 2006 ABC News was able to buy a half-ton of the fertilizer for less than $300, without photo IDs, and move it to a warehouse a few miles away from the White House.

'A thousand pounds would take down a good-sized building,' ABC's Brian Ross reported.

The Oklahoma City bomb contained about two tons of fertilizer and $3,000 worth of racing fuel. It killed 168 people including 19 children.

Terrorists worldwide, including those in India, England, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia, have used ammonium nitrate because it's stable, providing little risk that they will be killed in accidental explosions. It's also inexpensive and very effective.

A 2010 documentary on the TLC network included a test explosion involving two tons of the chemical loaded into a truck and detonated from a safe distance. The images were chilling and devastating.

The Department of Homeland Security's website includes a page for the Ammonium Nitrate Security Program, listing public meetings hosted by the agency to discuss regulations governing the program. The last one occurred in November 2011.

Another program DHS has 'zeroed out' according to the source who spoke with MailOnline, is the Buffer Zone Protection Program. That initiative was a $50 million grant program that awarded local law enforcement and first responders with funds to 'identify and mitigate vulnerabilities at the highest-risk critical infrastructure sites,' according to DHS.

A DHS spokesman did not respond to questions about whether the ammonium nitrate and buffer zone programs were still funded or operational. But an Internet link on the program's Web page, which once led to a Federal Emergency Management Agency website, is no longer functioning.

a White House spokesman also did not respond to an email seeking comment.

A former senior DHS official faulted the Obama administration for not doing enough to prevent future ammonium nitrate bomb attacks like the one that leveled the Murrah building. Secretary Janet Napolitano (L) told Congress on Wednesday that the Boston bombings did not appear to be part of a larger terrorist plot

Another program about which DHS would not answer questions is the Urban Area Security Grants initiative. Police chiefs, the former official said, are under enormous pressure to fund their own infrastructure protection plans because DHS is gradually taking back hundreds of millions in grant funds that used to be available.

Overall, the source said, $3.5 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement were available when President Barack Obama took office, funds that DHS grants for the specific purpose of protecting buildings, roadways, train stations, airports, power plants, reservoirs, urban buildings and other sites from from attack.

There are, he estimated, 'hundreds of millions of dollars' less available today.

The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center - once a $25-30 million program - have also seen their funding eliminated, he said, adding that 'major urban areas like Boston are why we created these offices, and they've been degraded to the point of literal nonexistence.'
Infrastructure protection, the former official added, is an undersecretary-level position, but it's been turned into a 'backwater' under the Obama administration, because the White House has not taken its function seriously since 2009.

Popular posts from this blog

Study Abroad USA, College of Charleston, Popular Courses, Alumni

Thinking for Study Abroad USA. School of Charleston, the wonderful grounds is situated in the actual middle of a verifiable city - Charleston. Get snatched up by the wonderful and customary engineering, beautiful pathways, or look at the advanced steel and glass building which houses the School of Business. The grounds additionally gives students simple admittance to a few major tech organizations like Amazon's CreateSpace, Google, TwitPic, and so on. The school offers students nearby as well as off-grounds convenience going from completely outfitted home lobbies to memorable homes. It is prepared to offer different types of assistance and facilities like clubs, associations, sporting exercises, support administrations, etc. To put it plainly, the school grounds is rising with energy and there will never be a dull second for students at the College of Charleston. Concentrate on Abroad USA is improving and remunerating for your future. The energetic grounds likewise houses various

Best MBA Online Colleges in the USA

“Opportunities never open, instead we create them for us”. Beginning with this amazing saying, let’s unbox today’s knowledge. Love Business and marketing? Want to make a high-paid career in business administration? Well, if yes, then mate, we have got you something amazing to do!   We all imagine an effortless future with a cozy house and a laptop. Well, well! You can make this happen. Today, with this guide, we will be exploring some of the top-notch online MBA universities and institutes in the USA. Let’s get started! Why learn Online MBA from the USA? Access to More Options This online era has given a second chance to children who want to reflect on their careers while managing their hectic schedules. In this, the internet has played a very crucial in rejuvenating schools, institutes, and colleges to give the best education to students across the globe. Graduating with Less Debt Regular classes from high reputed institutes often charge heavy tuition fees. However onl

Sickening moment maskless 'Karen' COUGHS in the face of grocery store customer, then claims she doesn't have to wear a mask because she 'isn't sick'

A woman was captured on camera following a customer through a supermarket as she coughs on her after claiming she does not need a mask because she is not sick.  Video of the incident, which has garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Twitter alone, allegedly took place in a Su per Saver in Lincoln, Nebraska according to Twitter user @davenewworld_2. In it, an unidentified woman was captured dramatically coughing as she smiles saying 'Excuse me! I'm coming through' in the direction of the customer recording her. Scroll down for video An unidentified woman was captured dramatically coughing as she smiles saying 'Excuse me! I'm coming through' in the direction of a woman recording her A woman was captured on camera following a customer as she coughs on her in a supermarket without a mask on claiming she does not need one because she is not sick @chaiteabugz #karen #covid #karens #karensgonewild #karensalert #masks we were just wearing a mask at the store. ¿ o