Oscar security will be "massive" this year according to law enforcement sources.
An FBI official, who did not want to be identified, tells TMZ the prospect of terrorist threats is "pretty huge." Another law enforcement source says there's greater concern than usual because of 'Paradise Now,' a controversial film about two would-be Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israel. The movie is up for Best Foreign Language Film.
An LAPD official tells TMZ that the law enforcement presence won't increase because of the film, adding that resources are "sufficient" to cover the event.
The FBI official says the Oscars are a target because of three factors: An attack would capture world attention, it would have a significant economic impact, and it would have a significant psychological impact.
The FBI source adds that a "mitigating factor" (making an attack less likely) is there is a perception that, "A lot of Hollywood people de facto help [the terrorists] by their opposition to Bush and the war in Iraq." The source added bluntly that if terrorists struck the Oscars, they would be "s..ting in their own backyard."
TMZ is told that on Oscar night the LAPD will be in charge of security, but if a terror threat surfaces the FBI will immediately take charge. Other local law enforcement agencies will assit on Oscar night, and Homeland Security is also involved.
The FBI official says the biggest threat for an event like the Oscars come from the ground, not the air. The source says the agency is always concerned about "sleeper devices" that could have been planted in the facility months before the event.
Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokesperson, tells TMZ that so far there has not been a specific threat directed at the Oscars.