The California Department of Health Services sought to reassure 440 California hospitals in a bulletin faxed Wednesday regarding news reports earlier this week that indicated hospitals and large grocery stores may have been targeted by two suspected terrorists. Hamid Hayat, arrested by the FBI June 5, confessed to spending six months in 2004 in an al-Qaida training camp where he learned to kill Americans. His father, Umer Hayat, arrested the same day, admitted to financing his son's training. The two are now accused of lying to federal agents about their roles, but have not been charged with any terrorist acts. The CDHS included in the bulletin precautions hospitals can take to improve security, including warning employees that unauthorized personnel sometimes carry official-looking credentials or uniforms to gain access and encouraging staff to challenge or confront suspicious individuals. The two-page letter alerted hospitals to review security plans and procedures. Concerns about hospital safety and security have heightened in recent months in the wake of reports of phony inspectors seeking entry to hospitals in Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston, Los Angeles and Valparaiso, Ind. Yesterday California hospitals also received a six-page bulletin from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reminding them of those fake inspector sightings. -- by Mark Taylor
Calif. hospitals reassured on terrorist threat
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