Taxpayers foot bill for security enhancements at Baltimore Islamic Center

Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

News Flash: Baltimore Islamic Center apparent target of international terrorism - awarded $15,000 in DHS grant money to “target-harden themselves.”
Above: Video security in place at Buffalo, NY Mosque26 May 2007: On May 1, 2007, the Northeast Intelligence Network reported that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) had their sights set on receiving money through grants issued via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The federally funded program – funded by American tax dollars - is intended be used to “harden the security of nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk for a potential international terrorist attack(s).” As we noted, CAIR had sent instructions for mosques and Islamic Centers in the U.S. to apply for the federal funding, using, in part, what could be considered sometimes questionable and dubious reports of “hate crimes and vandalism,” which is far from the threat of an international terrorist attack. To qualify for the grant money, the applicant agency is required to complete a Fiscal Year 2007 Urban Areas Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program Investment Justification Template. The application asks for background information, including:

- Symbolic value of the site(s) as a highly recognized national or historical institution that renders the site a possible target of international terrorism

- Any role in responding to or recovering from international terrorist attacks

- Prior threats or attacks (within or outside the U.S.) by a terrorist organization, network, or cell against their nonprofit organization or a closely related organization. Explain how their nonprofit organization gained knowledge of these threats, including the source of the information, and how this understanding influenced development of this application.

[Emphasis added]

As predicted, the American taxpayer via the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is now footing the bill to shore up the security of the mosque owned by the Islamic Society of Baltimore, one of 12 nonprofit organizations in Baltimore County to be awarded grants from the Baltimore Urban Area Work Group. In total, the Baltimore Urban Area Work Group (UAWG) for homeland security has awarded a total of nearly $650,000 to 34 community organizations in the Baltimore region. The grants, ranging from $800 to $35,000, will be used to enhance security at facilities judged to be at risk for terrorist attacks. The Baltimore Islamic Center has been approved to receive $15,000 in grant money.

The Baltimore group is comprised of emergency management officials from Annapolis, Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.

“When you look at what is going on around the world, it’s Jewish facilities and mosques that have concerns,” said Major Jeff Caslin, commanding officer of the homeland security division of the Baltimore County Police Department and a member of the work group.

According to Caslin, “Grant funds will be used by the facilities to “target-harden themselves.”