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Baltimore Mayor: Feds Quiet About Search
abc ^ | 1/7/04

Posted on 01/07/2004 1:46:37 PM PST by knak

Baltimore Mayor Says City Should Have Known About Feds' Search for Low-Level Radioactive Weapons

The Associated Press

BALTIMORE Jan. 7 — Mayor Martin O'Malley said Wednesday city officials should have been told about a federal team that reportedly searched for low-level radioactive weapons last month.

"They're always welcome to come here," O'Malley said. "I hope they spent the night and rented hotel rooms, but they really should have notified us."

O'Malley said he spoke with the FBI's acting special agent-in-charge in Maryland, Jennifer Smith Love, early Wednesday morning, after reading a story Wednesday in The Washington Post that federal teams had been sent to five cities, including Baltimore.

O'Malley said he believed the operation was conducted as a precaution, not because of specific threat.

"I believe that from the information I have this morning from the FBI there was no specific information about Baltimore," the mayor said.

The newspaper reported that the federal government sent scores of nuclear scientists with radiation detection equipment hidden in briefcases last month to Baltimore, Washington, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

O'Malley said he called Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to ask for more details and said it's possible the operation was more of "a test, or a drill."

O'Malley said Love told him that the FBI's Baltimore field office also was not aware of the operation.

O'Malley, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Mayors' homeland security task force, has pushed for better local, state and federal coordination on homeland defense measures.

"Our federal government is a very, very, very large bureaucratic animal and the fact that the FBI wasn't notified about this gives you an indication of just how much further we need to go with regard to coordination," the mayor said.

O'Malley said the city has used its own radiological detection equipment since 2002 to search for a so-called "dirty bomb" at downtown events with large crowds. As an example, he said fire personnel went through the corridors and perimeter of M&T Bank Stadium at a recent football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"In other words, ever since the threat of a dirty bomb came high on all of our screens as Americans, we've taken every precaution we can against such an event, and that's our normal MO," O'Malley said.

A "dirty bomb" is a conventional explosive is used to disperse radioactive material.

The mayor said his own security detail uses pager-sized devices designed to detect radioactivity.

TOPICS: Front Page News

1 posted on 01/07/2004 1:46:38 PM PST by knak
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To: knak
Yeah .. right .. so the liberals could blab it ..??
2 posted on 01/07/2004 1:51:08 PM PST by CyberAnt (America is the greatest force for good on the planet ..!!)
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To: knak
the truth is that these sweeps are likely going on constantly: from planes/helicopters, with sensors along major roads, from satellite, and with handheld devices with people on the ground. and that's the way it should be, that's what these people are supposed to be doing.
3 posted on 01/07/2004 1:53:38 PM PST by oceanview
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To: knak
I don't have a problem with the Mayor's statements regarding this, but the more I hear him speak on other topics, like on his monthly WBAL guest shot, the less I like and respect him. I had some high hopes for him back in the day.
4 posted on 01/07/2004 1:55:28 PM PST by spiffy
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To: knak
He's a complainer and a whiner. (He can't track me down, can he?)
5 posted on 01/07/2004 1:57:05 PM PST by spiffy
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To: knak
Lots of things are being done that aren't being publicized.

A member of the President's commission on terrorism told me that two ships were prevented from entering Houston last year.

One was to have been exploded next to a large refinery and the other under a major bridge.

A ship full of oil, chemicals, fertilizer, etc... is a floating bomb that could be set off by something as innocuous as a cigarette. All you can do refuse entry into port.

6 posted on 01/07/2004 2:09:53 PM PST by bayourod ( Dean's anti-terrorism plan: "treat people with respect and they will treat you with respect"12/1/03)
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To: spiffy
You're being kind.
7 posted on 01/07/2004 2:27:11 PM PST by NCPAC
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To: spiffy
He is one angry Dem pol. He wants to be Governor and will say Anything that Might reflect poorly on a Republican. Past his prime, I am afraid! Baltimore has not prospered under his management, so what does he have to run on?
8 posted on 01/07/2004 3:28:19 PM PST by maica (Laus Deo)
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To: maica
Baltimore is doing a little better, I don't know how much is his doing but he is better than anyone else.

I heard that as part of the Norris police scandal probe that O'Malley is going down too, the police were driving his mistresses around.

9 posted on 01/07/2004 3:30:57 PM PST by conserv13
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To: conserv13
Oh, my! I hadn't heard that! FR never ceases to instruct! I know that O'Malley is better for the city than other available options, it is his future that frustrates him so.
10 posted on 01/07/2004 3:37:53 PM PST by maica (Laus Deo)
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To: knak
Let's see: When someone named O'Malley demonstrates Chutzpah ,what should we call it ??
11 posted on 01/07/2004 4:04:46 PM PST by genefromjersey (So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
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To: genefromjersey
In this O'Malley's case we'd call it BS.
12 posted on 01/07/2004 4:29:51 PM PST by NCPAC
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