Philly Mayor Doesn’t Worry About Terrorists – Because They ‘Wouldn’t Last 15 Minutes’ in Some City Neighborhoods

By Penny Starr | April 12, 2012 | 5:03 AM EDT

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter spoke at a Justice Department conference on youth violence in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 2012. ( Starr)

( – The violence on inner-city streets is the real “domestic terrorism,” says Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

“I never worried much about al-Qaeda in West Philly, because Osama bin Laden wouldn’t last 15 minutes in some of the neighborhoods that I represent,” Nutter said at a recent summit on preventing youth violence in Washington.

“But I do have to worry about Pookie, Man Man and Junebug,” Nutter added. “They are domestic terrorists. They prevent my children from being out in the street playing. They prevent my seniors from going to their meetings. They prevent good, hard-working citizens from going to work.”

Nutter compared the number of people killed by al-Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001 (2,977, he said) with the number of individuals murdered last year in some U.S. cities -- 515 people in New York City, 63 in Boston, 24 in Trenton, 108 in Washington, D.C., 196 in Baltimore, 324 in Philly, 298 in Los Angeles, 344 in Detroit, 199 in New Orleans, 433 in Chicago, 87 in Atlanta, 91 in Newark, for a total of 2,660, according to Nutter's tally.

Nutter noted that in response to the terror attacks on U.S. soil, Congress created the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. He said domestic violence also should be addressed on a national scale.

“I want to know what is our domestic terrorism response to this insanity that’s going on in this country, between the illegal guns, the drugs, lack of education, re-entry issues and a couple other things,” Nutter said.

Calling gang members and criminals “the great scourges of our time,” Nutter said the federal government should partner with local authorities and philanthropic groups to combat the violence in American cities.

“How do we protect ourselves and turn around this insane cycle of domestic terrorism taking place in cities all across America?” Nutter asked.

The two-day summit, which took place last week, was hosted by the Justice and Education Departments, and it focused on strategies to fight youth violence.

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