Claiming that they are at risk of a terrorist attack, a Long Island evangelical church that regularly broadcasts an anti-Muslim radio show was granted $150,000 from a Homeland Security fund. The money, they say, will be used to add video surveillance and other security features. Lots of groups are raking in the dough from the fund and even the wingnuts are pissed.
“It’s ridiculous,” James Carafano, a security expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said of some of the grants. “It makes no sense.” Carafano says the entire grant program has little value and would be better spent on active counterterrorism efforts. Henry Willis at the Rand Corp. also takes issue with the spending. “We haven’t done a good job of understanding how our investments in these programs come together to increase our capability,” Willis said. Hundreds of New York nonprofits got $18.9 million of the $2 billion nationwide total because they were deemed to be at “high risk” of terrorist attack. The money, usually $75,000 a group, is supposed to pay for equipment such as security cameras and metal detectors.