Critics: Iowa terror drill portrays immigration foes as killers

Friday, March 25, 2011
By Paul Martin

William Petroski
Des Moines Register
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Foes of illegal immigration are up in arms over plans for a weekend disaster exercise in western Iowa with a fictitious scenario in which white supremacists shoot dozens of people amid rising tensions involving racial minorities and illegal immigrants.

The exercise is planned for Saturday at Treynor High School in Pottawattamie County and will involve more than 300 people, confirmed Doug Reed, the lead exercise planner for the county’s emergency management agency. Some 30 to 40 “victims” will be transported to area hospitals. He said a terrorism scenario is required by federal officials for the exercise to be eligible for funding.

The exercise scenario describes shootings occurring after rising tensions in the community because of an influx of minorities, Reed said. The newcomers, some who are American citizens and some who are illegal immigrants, were to have moved into a rural area from urban areas in search of more-affordable living. The newcomers are not welcomed by racial extremists, and controversy sweeps the community, he said.

One of the fictional suspects involved in the shootings is described an 18-year-old white male with a quick-tempered father who is a firearms enthusiast with ties to an underground white supremacy group. A second fictional suspect is described as an isolated 17-year-old white male student who was befriended by the older student and who mimics his new friend.

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