Homeland Security Exercise Today at San Jose's San Fernando VTA Station

Aided by federal officials, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority conducted one of its periodic checks for terrorist and other criminal activity on the agency's light-rail system Sunday afternoon.

Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies working for the authority, along with federal Transportation Security Administration personnel, rode the county's light-rail trains from about 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to VTA spokeswoman Jennie Loft.

Noting that such checks are performed about every month, she emphasized that this one had nothing to do with concerns about possible terrorist activity following the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

"It's not in response to a system threat," Loft said. "It's part of what we do."

Contact Steve Johnson at sjohnson@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5043

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