Mike Kaszuba, Star Tribune; Jan. 5, 2003
In the emerging battle against terrorism in Minnesota, Scott Gerber has a challenging task. Sometime next month, he will send state officials the names of all Carver County groups that pose a terrorist threat, assess whether they are planning to use a weapon of mass destruction and then calculate the number of casualties should an attack take place at one of the county's most vulnerable targets.
It is all part of the behind-the-scenes jockeying as counties, cities and emergency medical units scramble for $15.2 million in training and equipment funds largely made available under the state's 2002 Terrorism Act. Police, fire and medical officials in Carver County have until June 30 to apply for $196,878 that has been set aside for the county.
[...] In Dakota County, as many as 30 local police, fire and medical response teams have been asked to complete the application and 15 have already submitted the forms, said David Gisch, the county's emergency preparedness coordinator. Of those 15, he said, about half said "they've got some sort of group" that poses a terrorist threat.
As part of the grant application, officials are instructed that "if you have credible information that [a group] is planning" a weapons of mass destruction "attack, place a '2' in the corresponding box."
Applicants are then asked to describe the group's "motivation," and lists as categories "political," "religious," "environmental," "racial" or "special interest." A sample grant application, available on the Department of Public Safety's Web site, lists "anti-tobacco" as an example of a "special interest" group.
[...] Turnbull said Hennepin County would not be releasing the number of police, fire and medical response units claiming that potential terrorist groups are operating locally. "I wouldn't think that would be a very good thing to put in the paper," he said.
In race for money, counties to list local terror groups
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