Search for terrorists leads investigators into Navajo Reservation

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- Officials at the Northern Navajo Medical Center found themselves in the midst of the frantic nation-wide hunt for persons suspected to have participated in any way with the attacks against the United States that occurred at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A Pennsylvania physician, Dr. Baum Hussein, came under suspicion for undisclosed reasons and an investigation was launched to determine whether or not Hussein had any involvement in the terrorist action.

Initial televised news reports indicated that Hussein had worked at the Northern Navajo Medical Center and was believed to have secured a home in the Shiprock, Ariz. area.

Media attention from those initial reports prompted the IHS facility director to request an official response from the Navajo Tribal offices in Window Rock, Arizona.

According to a "Media Advisory" issued from the office of Jenny Notah, spokesperson for the Navajo Nation, at approximately 3:00 p.m. at the medical facility, the Navajo Area Indian Health Service was questioned regarding contract employee Dr. Basem Hussein.

The report indicated Hussein was a contract radiologist employed by MSN Staff relief, a professional services company located in Houston, Texas. "Hussein worked for just one week at NNMC, and is no longer working at the facility," the Notah said.

Notah said the FBI had "reassured Navajo Area IHS and hospital officials that the local hospital is safe and there is no reason for patient or employee concerns." Notah added that Dr. Hussein's professional qualifications were reviewed and verified by both the contract agency and the Indian Health Service. And it was determined that he fully met the requirements needed to provide the radiology services prior to the start of his contract at Shiprock, NM on Sept. 4, 2001. No reason was given for Hussein's short stay in that position.

Representatives of the Northern Navajo Medical Center were unavailable for further comment Thursday afternoon, citing continuing contact with the FBI as requiring their ongoing attention.