Tags: Report: | U.S. | Iraqis | Increasingly | Monitored

Report: U.S. Iraqis Increasingly Monitored

Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM

The previously undisclosed intelligence program involves tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship who are attending American universities or working at private corporations, and who might pose a risk in the event of a United States-led war against Iraq, the Times said.

Some of the targets of the operation are being electronically monitored under the authority of national security warrants. Others are being selected for recruitment as informers, the officials said.

In the event of an American invasion of Iraq, the report said government officials would intensify the surveillance, with possible arrests and detentions if any Iraqis are believed to be planning domestic terrorist operations.

The Iraqi domestic intelligence program is an addition to the government's continuing effort since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to identify citizens of Middle Eastern countries who represent a potential threat, the newspaper said.

Federal authorities plan to begin interviewing Arab-Americans, asking them to voluntarily report suspicious activity related to Iraq, a senior government official said.

The new intelligence operation also involves an effort to find out whether the regime of Saddam Hussein is threatening American interests domestically or abroad through alliances with Middle Eastern terrorist organizations and so far no specific threats have been detected.

The Times said that the intelligence operations focused on Iraqis involves the Pentagon, the F.B.I., the Central Intelligence Agency, the immigration service, the State Department and the National Security Agency.

One government official was quoted saying, "This is the largest and most aggressive program like this we've ever had."

After the Gulf War, Iraq botched an attempt to assassinate former President George Bush on a visit to Kuwait in 1993, prompting President Clinton to order a cruise missile strike at the Iraqi intelligence headquarters building in Baghdad. Since then, according to the C.I.A., there is no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist activity against the United States.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The previously undisclosed intelligence program involves tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans with dual citizenship who are attending American universities or working at private corporations, and who might pose a risk in the event of a United States-led...
Report:,U.S.,Iraqis,Increasingly,Monitored
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2002-00-17
Sunday, 17 November 2002 12:00 AM
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