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ANTI-TERRORISM FUNDING TO ORLANDO CUT BY DHS EARLIER THIS YEAR

by Alan Jones and Mary Fanning, ©2016, blogging at 1776 Channel

ORLANDO, FL – JUNE 12, 2016 A sign reads “Pray for Orlando” and depicts a crying Disney Mickey Mouse. Image credit: 1776 Channel

(Jun. 15, 2016) — Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson helped set the stage for the slaughter of 49 innocent Americans during the Pulse nightclub terror attack when he yanked Orlando’s federal anti-terror funding several months ago.

Florida Representative John Mica (R) expressed outrage that Secretary Johnson refused to respond to the congressman’s February 2016 letter requesting an explanation and reinstatement of the critical funding.

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, who changed his name from Omar Mir Seddique in 2006 and traveled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2011-2012, killed 49 Americans and wounded 53 more during an Islamic jihad terrorist attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.

The deadly rampage, which began just after 2 a.m. on Sunday, was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

“There will be hell to pay”

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, led by Secretary Jeh Johnson, decided to cut anti-terror funding for the Orlando metropolitan area. Desperate pleadings from Representative John Mica (R-FL) five months ago to reverse that decision fell on deaf ears at DHS.

“When I get back [to Washington, D.C.], there will be hell to pay for this” Mica stated after the Pulse nightclub attack, referring to DHS officials.

DHS has granted billions of dollars in anti-terrorism funding to American cities and metropolitan areas. Fifty million tourists visited the Orlando region in 2011, roughly the same number of tourists that visted New York City’s five boroughs.

During the past four years, the New York City area received $650 million in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant funding. By contrast, the Orlando area only received $1 million in DHS funding over that same time period. This equates to a 650-fold funding difference between the cities, despite comparable tourism visitor statistics.

Secretary Johnson, who recently admitted that his “grandfather was called upon to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to deny he was a member of the Communist Party,” never responded to Congressman Mica’s letter. Mica revealed Secretary Johnson’s indifferent rebuff during a radio interview Tuesday on Orlando’s News 96.5.

In February 2015 The Orlando/Orange Urban Area (O/OUA) received $950,000 dollars in 2014 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant funding “to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.” A year later, however, DHS cut the Orlando region off from additional UASI funding. UASI is administered by FEMA.

At the beginning of 2016, just months before the Pulse nightclub attack, DHS cut nearly $1 million dollars in anti-terror funding for the Orlando area. Disney reported in April that Mateen and his wife had been casing the company’s theme parks. Had DHS not wiped out Orlando’s meager federal anti-terrorism funding before the Pulse terror attack, 49 innocent Americans might still be alive.

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