Posted by Lilly from ? (18.104.22.168) on Monday, November 18, 2002 at 12:59PM :
In Reply to: U.S. National - AP posted by Jeff from d53-172-230.try.wideopenwest.com (22.214.171.124) on Monday, November 18, 2002 at 12:22PM :
Government officials: United States monitoring Iraqi-Americans for possible terror threat
The US administration has started to monitor Iraqis within the United States in an intense effort to identify potential domestic terrorist threats posed by Iraqi regime sympathizers, top-level government officials said.
The previously undisclosed intelligence program includes tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship who are attending US universities or working at private corporations, and who may pose a risk in the event of a United States-led war against Baghdad, officials said, according to The New York Times.
In its Sunday edition, the newspaper reported that some of the operationís targets are being electronically monitored in line with the authority of national security warrants. Others are being selected for recruitment as informers, the officials added.
In case of an American invasion of Iraq, officials would enhance the program's mission through arrests and detentions of Iraqis or Iraq sympathizers if they were believed to be planning domestic terrorist operations, the paper said.
An additional part of the new intelligence operation involves a focused effort to assess whether Saddamís regime has engaged in any actions, through alliances with Middle Eastern terrorist organizations or efforts to obtain weapons, which could threaten American interests in the United States or abroad.
Moreover, the operation is tracing the movement of money by the Iraqi government, and organizations sympathetic with Iraq, throughout the world, according to the Times.
A large number of government agencies are part of the new operation, including the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, the immigration service, the State Department and the National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on communications across the world, according to officials.
Officials further said the operation would, in addition, increase monitoring of Iraq's foreign intelligence service, which they believe operates under diplomatic cover from Baghdad's mission at the UN. (Albawaba.com)
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