June 21, 2008
Feds Tighten Security at High-Risk Chemical Sites
THE FEDERAL government will tell 7,000 businesses next week that they are considered high-risk terrorist targets because they house large amounts of chemicals. The sites include chemical plants, universities, food processing centers and hospitals .
U.S. intelligence officials say terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, favor chemical attack methods because of the severe consequences they can inflict.
The 7,000 businesses will com- plete a vulnerability assess- ment. The Homeland Security Department will place them into four categories based on risk. Inspectors will visit the highest-risk facilities each year to make sure they comply with security measures. If the sites do not comply, they could face hefty fines and ultimately be shut down .
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