Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, testifying a few blocks from where terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, warned Wednesday that the city needs help as the “last line of defense” against a potentially far more devastating attack.
Kelly, Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton and FBI Deputy Director John Pistole were among several witnesses called by a congressional committee studying the threat posed by nuclear, chemical and biological attacks.
More federal funding is needed “for programs here at home that represent our last line of defense,” Kelly said. “We have absolutely no time to lose.”
“Everything we know about al-Qaida tells us they will try to hit us again, possibly the next time with a weapon of mass destruction,” he continued. “We must do everything in our power to stop them before it’s too late.”
Bratton said of Los Angeles: “It’s all about resources, and we need more.”
The commission, headed by former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., is looking at the government’s myriad WMD programs to counter arms capable of killing great numbers of people and is making recommendations on how to coordinate them. It was created by a 2007 law in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
The panel believes that “a terrorist attack using these weapons would probably be a ‘game changer,”‘ Graham said in a prepared statement. “The impact on U.S. foreign policy and our national life would be so momentous that it could usher in a new world disorder.”