Skip to comments.S.D. school crisis plan is found on disk in Iraq
Posted on 09/30/2004 5:12:44 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
No threat seen to district; children are safe, police say By Kelly Thornton UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
A man arrested by U.S. authorities in Iraq had a computer disk in his possession containing a public report downloaded from a U.S. Department of Education Web site on crisis planning in school districts, including San Diego Unified.
The man was described as an Iraqi national with connections to terrorism and the insurgency that is fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. Officials in San Diego said the man's intentions were unknown.
San Diego law enforcement officials said there was no indication of any terrorist plot against schools in San Diego or elsewhere in the country. They did not publicly release the information because there appeared to be no threat. The information was relayed to the San Diego FBI office last week and then to the school district Friday.
"The children are absolutely safe," said San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne. "If there was a threat, we, the San Diego Police Department, would be first to notify (parents). This is not a threat."
The disk contained a document entitled "Practical Information on Crisis Planning, A Guide for Schools and Communities." The 50-plus page document, published in May 2003 by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, is available to the public on the U.S. Department of Education's Web site, said San Diego District spokeswoman Peri Lynn Turnbull.
FBI officials visited the office of district Superintendent Alan Bersin Friday to inform him, Turnbull said. Because there was no indication that terrorists were targeting any schools, in San Diego or elsewhere, the district informed the school police department, but decided not to notify schools and parents.
"We certainly did not want to create any unnecessary panic in our community," Turnbull said. The FBI said because there was no specific threat, that was the appropriate response.
"The superintendent was alerted by the FBI that there were no direct threats to the district or any San Diego school and that by our maintaining our same level of care and concern that our schools would be safe," Turnbull said.
Dan Dzwilewski, head of the FBI office in San Diego, said there is no reason for alarm.
"We don't know the intention of the person that had this material," Dzwilewski said. "But the disk contained absolutely no threat information. It's only out of an abundance of caution because it was discovered in Iraq
that we shared this with another public agency."
Some counterterrorism officials said they were concerned that the information would be misinterpreted and would alarm people unnecessarily. They said the information was withheld from the public because there was no specific threat, and the public may become inured to repeated general warnings of vague possibilities of attacks.
"There is no threat here," said a San Diego police lieutenant who spoke on condition of confidentiality because of the sensitive nature of such investigations. "When you've put out information month after month after month, the public thinks we're crying wolf.
"The context here is, a public source document put out by the U.S. Department of Education was found on a computer. Period. My concern would be if a particular school district, or a particular school, or a particular institution was targeted, which it has not been."
Lansdowne said the situation shows that the federal government is sharing information with local agencies in an efficient manner.
"I think it's a good indication of how quickly we're notified and the thoroughness of the information we receive," the chief said. "They give us all the information now and allow local jurisdictions to do with it what they think they should."
Lansdowne said the report on the disk lauds the district as an example of good planning.
The document mentions other school districts and gives information about evacuations, lockdowns and other emergency procedures in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack.
"If somebody read the article, they would say we're not going to pick San Diego because they have a very good plan in place," Lansdowne said. "It's probably more good news than bad news."
Kelly Thornton: (619) 542-4571;
Know you enemy 101
I'll bet he was just looking into a career in education administration. Yep, perfectly plausible.
Scary. I could see terrorist thinking hurting our children would bring us to our knees. What a surprise they would have coming if they tried to mess with our kids though.
Thank goodness there is NO connecton between terrorism and Iraq. This poor man was just trying to get info on the San Diego schools so he could send the students there kites to fly like all the happy children did in Iraq before that evil Bush did what he did.
interesting find in iraq...
nothing to worry about of course.
Their "Beslan planning" is nothing to fear.
It cannot cannot happen here.
San Diego is one of those places where a series of teams could penetrate in one night, meet up with sleepers in San Diego, which I am confident there ARE... and carry out a massacre that would make Beslan look like a Christian Ice Cream Social...
Wondering how many other schools' layouts, etc. were in the hands of the terrorists???!!!!
No problem, everybody is safe, there is no threat. Sure... The Muslim world didn't support what happened in Chechnya, either. (DVDs and other media in the Arab world proved that wrong.)
San Diego law enforcement officials said there was no indication of any terrorist plot against schools in San Diego or elsewhere in the country.
Just how bleeping stupid do these people think Americans are. "No threat." Where is Homeland Security on this ?
"Thank goodness there is NO connecton between terrorism and Iraq. This poor man was just trying to get info on the San Diego schools so he could send the students there kites to fly like all the happy children did in Iraq before that evil Bush did what he did."
Yes, John Kerry will keep us all safe. There are not terrorists out there. These beheadings and kidnappings and what happened in Russia is just our imagination run a muck. John Kerry has a plan but wants to wait till after the election to tell us but I know I can trust what he says ... the only problem is that it varies each day ... but I'm supposed allow my hatred for Bush be the driving force for voting for him. We just need to be more "sensitive" towards these people and maybe they'll like us. (sarcasm off).
It might be a good idea to let teachers carry a conceled weapon.
I want to know HOW those documents came to be in enemy hands!
I'm sure San Diego parents will sleep easier tonight.
Some of the comments that come out of homeland security and other agencies these days, sound as if the persons issuing them had swapped brains with a camel.
a border incursion from the south, with the backing of a dozen or so sleeper cells in US cities along the border with mexico... VERY likely IS the kind of thing that makes Allah's jewels jingle...
san diego, orange county, los angeles, phoenix, el paso..
12 or so 'commando teams' 12 strong each, along with a group of 12 schools x 500 elementary school kids each, would pretty much make Allah's day.
I don't even think its reasonable to believe anything less than this would be EXACTLY the kind of stuff they want to pull on us. It would also impact our relationship with Mexico in a negative way for the long term.
In fact, I would be looking at all border cities, even along the canadian border and places along the great lakes. The muzzies are apparently very serious about murdering children. it is REALLY important to them.
it is foolish and cavalier for SD leos to imply that there might be nothing to this at all.
The teachers I've seen today, "are a concealed weapon", and the children are the targets every single day.
not safe. could go off while hugging a tree.
besides, federal law bans guns within 1000 feet of a public
18 USC 922 provides, in part:
"(q) * * *
(2)(A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm--
* * *
(ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license,
the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license; * * *."
care to be a federal test case?
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