By Jim Kouri
The United States government — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security — is on alert for any terrorist attack emanating from Libya, which is in the midst of a rebellion and NATO military operations, according to testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
“We want to make certain that we are on guard [against possible] terrorist attacks emanating somewhere out of Libya, whether it be Khadhafi’s forces or in eastern Libya the opposition forces who may have amongst them persons who in the past have had associations with terrorist groups,” FBI Director Robert Mueller told committee members.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, had released a statement to Libyans living in the United States on how to protect themselves from FBI agents asking questions or requesting information.
Mueller acknowledged that the FBI has been questioning a large number of Libyans living in the United States.
“There are individuals who were previously affiliated with the Libyan government who happen to be in the United States — they may have been here representing Libya and at various international institutions and the like and to the extent that they have renounced or denounced Khadhafi and are willing to be interviewed and to give us information as to what may be happening in Libya, we will proceed with those interviews,” Mueller explained.
“In countries such as Libya, where they have foreign establishments, there may well be intelligence officers who are part of those foreign establishments or there may be intelligence officers that are operating in and with different types of cover in the United States. We want to make certain that we’ve identified these individuals to assure that no harm comes from them, knowing that they may well have been associated with the Khadhafi regime,” the FBI chief added.
“With regard to students or visitors from Libya here in the United States who may have information on what is happening in Libya, we have an outreach effort to them as well to obtain what information they might have that may alert us to any attempts at retaliation within the United States or elsewhere by pro-Khadhafi individuals.”