You are hereDes Moines Register: Threats cause Iowa community to cancel controversial anti-terror training

Des Moines Register: Threats cause Iowa community to cancel controversial anti-terror training


March 25, 2011- Plans for an anti-terror drill on Saturday in western Iowa that would have involved fictional school shootings by white supremacists have been canceled because of threats received by the Treynor public schools, Pottawattamie County officials said today.

“During the last 24 hours, the Treynor school system has received threats to their employees and buildings due to the planned “active shooter” exercise, " county officials said in a statement. “After consultation with the Treynor School District and the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, we have jointly decided to cancel the exercise due to these threats which we must consider viable. The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Department is now actively investigating the threats.”

County Sheriff Jeff Danker said he sent three deputies to the Treynor schools today as a precautionary measure, but the school day was completed without any problems.

Members of so-called patriot groups opposed to illegal immigration had strongly objected to the plans for the exercise, which would have been held at the Treynor High School. Their complaints focused on a fictional scenario for the drill based on young white supremacists shooting dozens of people amid rising tensions involving racial minorities and illegal immigrants who moved into the area.

Patriot group leaders complained the exercise was intended to portray people who legally possess guns and who fight illegal immigration as extremists.

County officials said in their statement they found it “astounding” that people claiming to be patriots would be opposed to emergency response agencies drilling to be prepared for any threat. They said the use of the fictional scenario was included only to meet U.S. Department of Homeland security requirements to qualify for federal grant funds.

“In no way has our office or any other response agencies favored a political view or issue. Our only intent was to prepare for a worst-case scenario to build our capacity for such an event and to test any gaps in our response system,” county officials said.

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