by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A federal investigation into a nationwide program to secure America’s top cities from a mass terror attack has found that the Department of Homeland Security has not adequately tracked local progress in detecting threats and cannot provide assurances that cities participating in the program can sustain efforts to thwart terror attacks.
Since June 2018, several large cities have received nearly $145 million in federal dollars to purchase detection equipment and other devices that could help local law enforcement detect nuclear and radiological materials, which the federal government has deemed a top national security matter.
However, DHS—which operates the program—has not adequately tracked how dollars are spent, nor has the agency developed methods to ensure that these key cities can sustain detection efforts aimed at stopping a weapon of mass destruction if a terrorist deployed it.
With the Trump administration’s Justice Department charging would-be terrorists in the United States at a quickening rate, detection efforts have become all the more important for major cities. Federal investigators are now warning DHS that it must make a greater effort to help these cities sustain their threat detection abilities.