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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Terrorists Probing Hospitals?

July 28, 2004
I received the following information via an email bulletin from our Corporate Security Office.

Report of Suspicious Activity Occurring at Hospitals ______________________________________________________
The FBI has provided information and their concerns that terrorists or criminals may be collecting intelligence on hospital security measures, response capabilities, medical supplies, ICU/ED bed capacities and specific staffing. Their concerns result from suspicious telephone and personal inquiries, the majority of which have occurred in Illinois.

In June 2004, five hospitals received calls from an unidentified female inquiring about their security. In Chicago, a male (who would not provide ID) professed interest in volunteer opportunities, but then asked about the number of beds in the ED and ICU and the number of staff working each shift. In yet another incident, a male claiming to be a physician called a hospital asking if there is a 24-hour pharmacy available and inquired about pharmaceutical and antibiotic supplies (purportedly for a patient with the flu who never came in).

I am requesting your assistance in alerting our staff not to provide any specific information about our security program, security procedures or general hospital capabilities to unknown individuals.

Additionally, anyone receiving a suspicious call/inquiry should: • Take careful note of what is asked. • Request with whom the caller is affiliated. • Note the caller's phone number if possible. • Note any specific information about the call (background noise, voice characteristics, gender, etc.).

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