Posted on March 25, 2011

Critics: Iowa Terror Drill Portrays Immigration Foes As Killers

William Petroski, Des Moines Register, 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 young 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.

Craig Halverson of Griswold, national director of the Minuteman Patriots, an activist group that opposes illegal immigration, said today he is concerned that the exercise is intended to portray people who legally possess guns and who fight illegal immigration as extremists. {snip}

“We are trying to get this stopped because all it is doing is building up prejudices by calling people white supremacists and stuff like that,” Halverson said. “We are mad at the government for ignoring illegal immigration, but nobody is going to run out there and start killing people in Iowa or anything like that.”

Robert Ussery of Des Moines, state director of the Iowa Minutemen activist group, said he believes the exercise will defame patriot organization members by depicting them as criminals. {snip}

[Editor’s Note: We have obtained a PDF copy of the plan for the “terrorism” exercise. The description of the white-supremacist-mayhem scenario begins on page 12 and reads as follows:]

Scenario Set-Up: In the past 6 months, the City of Treynor and Treynor Community School District has received a significant influx of minority residents. Increasing economic instability and public service cuts in a neighboring metropolitan area had forced minority populations into smaller, more affordable rural communities where commodities and cost of living is significantly less. The economic migration of minority residents, both legal and non-legal into Pottawattamie County Communities has sparked controversy regarding national immigration policies as well as racial tensions with a few embedded, typically silent, white supremacy affiliates. This tension has sparked public demonstrations, propelled city and state illegal immigrant legislation proposals and the law enforcement community has seen an increase in incidents of racially motivated crimes and incidents. Earlier in the school week, staff found a hand-written note left on a cafeteria table that stated “If you won’t get rid of them, we will.” Similar notes have been found twice before over the past 3 months. Law enforcement, aware of the situation, have found no strong evidence to take action or make an arrest. Similar occurrences have happened in other schools and public places over the past 6 months throughout the region.

Suspect Background: Susp1: Timothy Jasper. White male, 18 year old high school senior. Lives in isolated rural area in Treynor School District. Little is known of the family, not originally from the area. The suspect participates in no school activities, relatively low to mediocre grades and attendance. Has been disciplined for fights at school, threats to staff and students as well as being known to law enforcement. The student has been seen with anti-immigration demonstrators and community rumors indicate a violent, quick-tempered father with ties to an underground white supremacy group that was involved in a small demonstration and assault 30 days ago in another community. The family is known to be firearm enthusiasts, if not fanatics. Suspect 1 has access to a significant cache of firearms, ammunition and materials suitable to make improvised explosive devices.

Susp2: John Jackson. White male, 17 year old high school junior. Isolated, quiet personality at school. No social interaction with students in or out of the school setting. Has often been the victim of hazing and bullying his entire school career. He has participated in school athletics with little achievement often riding the bench, which has also contributed to continual hazing and a diminishing self-worth. This student has befriended Suspect 1within the past year. His attitude has began to migrate from quiet meekness to antisocial aggressiveness with changes in appearance, hair style and clothing style that mimics that of his new friend and quasi-protector.

Scenario: It is a seemingly typical Friday morning. Students have arrived at school in Treynor and the initial morning activities and classes have been completed. It is approximately 10:00 a.m. and the current period has let out. Students and staff floods into the hallways and common areas of the high school. Suspect 1 approaches a small group of minorities in the northeast corner of the cafeteria. Suspect 1 begins blurting racial slurs and that he is tired of them moving in and stealing jobs and money from Americans. As the altercation is about to become physical and is noticed by a staff member, Suspect 1 pulls a handgun from his waistband, shooting one of the minority students. As chaos ensues, suspect 2 yells “the Revolution begins” and pulls out a weapon himself. The suspects begin firing upon anyone in their path and chasing down anyone who is against their ill-perceived stand as they make good on their unanswered written warnings.

[Editors Note: We have just received an unconfirmed report that the “white-supremacist” scenario was cooked up by the Department of Homeland Security and the school just learned about it. The same source says that the drill will go ahead as planned but that local pressure has forced the authorities to drop the “scenario.” A small victory.]