President Obama received an updated briefing on the Boston Marathon explosions during an April 16 meeting. OBP was represented by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, at far left. (White House photo)
While President Barack Obama has made little effort to curb out of control spending in Washington since taking office in 2009, he has drastically cut the budget for the Office of Bombing Prevention, the Daily Mail reports. The revelation comes just one day after two bombs tore through Boston, killing at least three and injuring at least 173.
"Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Homeland Security had $20 million allocated for preventing the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by terrorists working inside the United States. The current White House has cut that funding down to $11 million," the report states.
Robert Liscouski, a former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection, brought the information forward following the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.
Liscouski told the Daily Mail that DHS is still about as well-positioned as it was under Bush's presidency, but added that "the Obama administration has continued to cut the budget for offices such as the Office for Bombing Prevention from $20 million started under Bush, to $11 million today."
Meanwhile, the Defense Department's Joint IED Defeat Organizations had an annual budget of $1 billion to help prevent IEDs in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Clearly more money needs to be focused on countering domestic IEDs," Liscouski said.
The Daily Mail has more details:
The Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) was created in 2003 when the Department of Homeland Security was founded. Its original name was the WMD/Bombing Prevention Unit, and it was part of the department's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate.
The sub-agency was renamed the Office for Bombing Prevention in 2006, according to a 2009 DHS briefing booklet obtained by MailOnline and marked 'FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.'
It is important to note that to what extent OBP actually plays in preventing bombings at public events, like the tragic attack in Boston, is not entirely clear.
According to the official OBP website, "The Office for Bombing Prevention (OBP) leads the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to implement the National Policy for Countering Improvised Explosive Devices and enhance the Nation’s ability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and mitigate the terrorist use of explosives against critical infrastructure, the private sector, and Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial entities."
Patrick Starke has reportedly headed the OBP since August 2012. He is a seasoned security expert and has experience with a defense contractor, the Navy and as an explosive ordinance disposal officer, the Daily Mail notes.
To read the Daily Mail's entire report, click here.