FBI Tracking Down Libyans in US

It's afraid Gadhafi will launch terrorist counterattacks
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2011 7:23 AM CDT
Students stand in front of the White House while watching Libyan-American women demonstrate to show solidarity with Iman al-Obeidi March 30, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The FBI has begun questioning the thousands of Libyans living in the US, in the hopes of routing out any that might be agents of Moammar Gadhafi. The interviews, which began this week, will initially focus on people with personal or professional ties to Libya, with a particular emphasis on those staying in the US on visas, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

The program isn’t a response to any specific plots or threats, but out of a general fear that Gadhafi might try to launch terrorist counterattacks against coalition countries, or may have sent spies to gather information. The risk is believed to be slightly higher in Europe, and officials there are on alert as well. The effort is similar to Operation Darkening Clouds, a 2003 program to question Iraqis living in the US, which enraged civil liberties groups.

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