January 7-8, 2012

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State homeland security chief warns terrorists concoct plans in suburbs

Hauer, left, and Ball

CARMEL – Noting that when terrorists hatch plans to attack large metropolitan areas like New York City, they hatch those plans in the suburbs and for that reason, the state’s homeland security commissioner briefed first responders from Putnam and Westchester counties in Carmel on Friday. They gathered at the Paladin Center for a summit conducted by State Senator Gregory Ball.

Jerome Hauer said pulling these first responders together “is critical to ensuring the preparedness for the region.”

He emphasized the importance of being ready to mobilize resources from the region, and that first responders need to be trained and prepared for the task.

“People that want to do something in New York City will likely put the scenarios together outside the city, so everything from bombs to chemicals to attacks on a nuclear power plant, would likely happen here as opposed to creating those types of devices in the city where they are more likely to be detected.

The suspect convicted in the failed Times
Square bombing plot traveled through the
Hudson Valley to this fireworks store just
across the Delaware River from Port Jervis
to buy components for his car bomb

Ball was emphatic in stating that federal funds need to be allocated to historical targets of terrorism. “This isn’t Iowa, this is New York State,” said Ball. “New York City and the metropolitan region is terrorist target number one.” He called on the region’s federal representatives to understand the need to fight for money from Washington. “We’ve got to make sure that the suburban region has an army of core first responders that are properly prepared and funded, and that we protect our soft underbelly,” said Ball.

Hauer, who has worked for two US presidents, two governors and two New York City mayors, stated that any type of bomb or chemical attack on Manhattan will likely originate from suburban areas with quick and easy access to the city.  When asked about specific threats to the region itself, he cited “attacks on the nuclear power plant,” Indian Point, as a top concern.


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