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Bloomberg Presses For More NYC Security Funds

Mayor Bloomberg is asking the feds for more New York City security funding following the arrest of Najibullah Zazi -- a prime terror suspect who allegedly was plotting a New York-based attack.

"Despite the incredible job the NYPD is doing, our city does remain a prime target for terrorists," Bloomberg said. "That's a fact. And so we can always use more resources, more technology and more boots on the ground to keep this city safe."

City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and U.S. Rep. Peter King of Long Island joined the mayor in pressing Congress Sunday for an additional $40 million to help deter nuclear attacks. They're pushing for a program built around sensors to detect radioactive material.

"With additional funding of $40 million that we're looking for, we'll be able to put in permanent, fixed cameras and radiation detection equipment at all the entry points into Manhattan," Kelly said, "and we'll also be able to establish a regional wireless system that will enable all the partners in this program to get notified immediately if in fact radiation material is discovered."

New York Sen. Charles Schumer is also backing the radiation-detection program: "Following 9/11, the federal government correctly put resources into this program," Schumer said at a separate news conference. "NYPD is leading the way in implementing this high-tech system, but we need federal funding to provide sufficient resources to finish the job."

The Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Committee says it's considering the program.

Meanwhile, Lieberman said the investigation surrounding Zazi is "the realization, unfortunately, of our worst nightmares."

Prosecutors say the Afgahn immigrant was planning to unleash a bomb a on the anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks.

Zazi's lawyer deny the charges.

King said the arrest "really drives home the fact of what a threat New York always faces."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun