- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2009

President Obama’s homeland security chief says her Super Bowl strategy won’t give her home-state Arizona Cardinals an advantage but says it will block any offensive maneuvers by any would-be terrorists.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has deployed Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel from her agency to provide security for Sunday’s game between the Cardinals and Pittsburgh’s Steelers.

The former Arizona governor also has asked for assistance from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to secure the site in Tampa, Fla.

“We are paying attention and monitoring the preparations, and not just because the Cardinals are in it,” Miss Napolitano said. “We will make sure they have everything they need to make sure it is safe and goes smoothly … for a potential Cardinal victory in the Super Bowl.”

President Obama has declared his support for the Steelers, but Miss Napolitano has taken on her boss and predicted a Cardinal win.

Miss Napolitano says there are no credible threats to security. But her department has taken a lead role in securing major events since it was established after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

During last year’s Super Bowl XLII near Phoenix, Kurt William Havelock threatened to “shed the blood of the innocent” in a manifesto mailed to several press outlets. He showed up at a parking lot near the University of Phoenix Stadium with an AR-15 rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition, but changed his mind and turned himself in.

Havelock, 36, was angry that the Tempe City Council rejected his liquor license application for a Halloween-themed bar with the nickname “Drunkensteins.” He is now serving a five-year prison sentence.

Even though she is the homeland security secretary, Miss Napolitano will not be attending the game to oversee security firsthand, “as tempting as that might be.” She said she will be watching the game from Washington.

“I will be available by phone,” she added.


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