New York has no national monuments or icons, according to the Department of Homeland Security form obtained by ABC News. That was a key factor used to determine that New York City should have its anti-terror funds slashed by 40 percent--from $207.5 million in 2005 to $124.4 million in 2006.
"All I can tell you is if you look at their worksheets, and it says that New York City doesn't have any high visibility national icons ... I mean, I don't have to list the Brooklyn Bridge, the United Nations, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the Stock Exchange," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in response to ABC News' questions. The formula did not consider as landmarks or icons: The Empire State Building, The United Nations, The Statue of Liberty and others found on several terror target hit lists. It also left off notable landmarks, such as the New York Public Library, Times Square, City Hall and at least three of the nation's most renowned museums: The Guggenheim, The Metropolitan and The Museum of Natural History.
"I think the facts are clear," Bloomberg said. "What they've really done is taken what was supposed to be threat-based and just started to distribute it as normal pork."The form ignored that New York City is the capital of the world financial markets and merely stated the city had four significant bank assets.New York City is home to Chase, JP Morgan, Citi Group, The New York Stock Exchange, The Commodities Exchange, American Express, George Soros funds, Michael Gabelli's funds, Lazard Frere and Salomon Brothers, to name just a few of the more prominent banking interests located there.
"Any threat-based analysis would show that New York is the top of the terrorist target list," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told ABC News. "We're also a location that experienced two successful attacks, almost 3,000 people were killed here, four other attacks that were recorded ... Every place has vulnerabilities, but clearly, New York is still target number one.
"The process they used is also somewhat bizarre. They basically subcontracted it out. They, as an agency that has 180,000 employees, they went outside, and (used) some sort of peer review, and those people were not privy to any intelligence information ... The, the whole process is really kind of unfathomable to those of us who need this funding."The formula did note a commuter population of more than 16 million around the city twice struck by fundamentalist terrorists and twice more targeted in plots halted in pre-operational stages. It noted the more than eight million residents and the largest rail ridership in the nation - more than five million. It is those commuters and rail riders who are expected to suffer most from the cuts since mass transit is listed on most DHS alerts as the top terror target. (Click here for the Strategic Threat Document obtained by ABC News.)The report lists as classified "visitors of interest destination city," immigration cases, suspicious incidents and FBI cases. New York City is home to the largest FBI field office in the country, which actively monitors 24/7 the Iranian Mission. The city has also had the most significant terror trials in the nation and is home to one of the largest air hubs in the nation.