Terror Institute Holds 2nd Contract in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG -- A York-based research institute involved in a controversy over terror bulletins is a subcontractor for a regional security task force in the Philadelphia area, the governor's chief of staff said Friday.

The belated disclosure of a second contract for the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response amounts to a "slap in the face," said Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park.

Under a contract with the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security, the institute prepared intelligence bulletins, which the state agency distributed to an array of law enforcement and industry groups. The bulletins came under fire when Gov. Ed Rendell revealed last month that the lists of people to watch included members of law- abiding protest groups.

Rendell said he would not renew the $103,000 state contract. Former Homeland Security Director James Powers resigned two weeks ago, saying he did not want to become a distraction because of continuing news coverage.

"They have a second contract?" asked Ferlo. "This is outrageous. It's another bogus contract and demands a full investigation."

About two weeks after Rendell expressed embarrassment over the terror bulletins, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force on Sept. 27 executed a $389,500 contract with SafePlans, a Missouri school safety company, said Steve Crawford, the governor's chief of staff.

Crawford said the York institute's work accounts for 10 percent of that contract. …