CHICAGO (WLS) -- In an exclusive interview, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC7 Investigative Reporter Chuck Goudie that millions of federal grant dollars are being sent to Illinois to shore up so-called "soft targets."
Mayorkas is the top U.S. official in charge of repelling a growing threat matrix in America.
He says the greatest threat facing the country is domestic violent extremist attacks.
In an effort to prevent these attacks, DHS is unveiling new grants of $550 million to harden up some synagogues, churches, mosques and other "soft targets" nationwide.
In Illinois, there are at least nine Illinois non-profits newly receiving preparedness grant money from Wednesday's DHS announcement. Those institutions stretch from the suburbs to downstate, and include synagogues, Hindu temples, an Islamic school and evangelical and Greek Orthodox churches.
In total so far this year, almost $100 million in federal grants have been awarded from DHS to Illinois for soft target reinforcement.