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Three medical students train at another facility

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 23, 2002

DAVIE -- Three men who were detained as terror suspects on a Florida highway might be welcomed to train at the Miami hospital that turned them away after media attention dies down, a hospital official said Sunday.

But no agreement has been reached to allow for the three medical students' to return, Larkin Hospital CEO and president Dr. Jack Michel said Sunday.

The students began their clinical training Sept. 17 at another clinical facility, Michel said. He declined to name where the students were training.

"It is possible that once the media furor dies down and once things are a little bit clearer . . . we would potentially welcome them back to the hospital," Michel said. "They will definitely not be at Larkin for the time being and it's definitely not planned in the future."

Ayman Gheith, 27, Kambiz Butt, 25, and Omar Choudhary, 23, were scheduled to begin a six-week clinical training course at Larkin Hospital Sep. 16. But the hospital decided not to host the students after officials said it received hundreds of threatening e-mails.

Altaf Ali, executive director for the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the students are satisfied with the arrangement.

"They are very pleased with the situation," Ali said. "All they wanted, actually, was to get back normalcy in their lives."

Boston airport to install smarter security scanners

WASHINGTON -- Logan International Airport in Boston will announce today that it is installing scanners that can check the authenticity of hundreds of kinds of driver's licenses and passports, check the bearer's name against government watch lists, and generate lists, with photos, of whose document was checked and when.

The system, which airport officials said would fulfill many of the functions of a national identification card but which they hoped would not raise the civil liberties questions that such a card would carry, will initially be used only on airport workers. The Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, plans to issue new security badges to the approximately 10,000 people who work there, and wants to assure itself that the driver's licenses and other identification documents that those people present are valid.

Thomas J. Kinton Jr., the port authority's aviation director, said that he would like to see the system used on everyone entering the airport.

Senator: Agencies still couldn't stop an attack

WASHINGTON -- An act of terror on the scale of Sept. 11 could happen again on U.S. soil or against American interests abroad because of disunity among intelligence-gatherers, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday.

What has been done to prevent another devastating strike offers no guarantee that terrorists might not attack again, said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala, on CBS' Face the Nation.

Asked if he were saying the country still could be blindsided, Shelby replied: "Absolutely. To think otherwise would be folly. We've made some adjustments, but the cultures have not changed between all the intelligence agencies. . . . I don't believe they're sharing information. There's no fusion, central place yet to do it."

A report released last week of the House and Senate intelligence committees' joint inquiry into last year's hijacking attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington found that intelligence agencies failed to anticipate terrorists flying planes into buildings despite a dozen clues in preceding years that terrorists might use aircraft as bombs. Public hearings continue Tuesday.

Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the threat from al-Qaida and other terror organizations is serious, "but let's keep them in focus."

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