The FBI Begins Questioning Libyans in the U.S.

>According to The Wall Street Journal, with U.S. military strikes now fully underway in Libya, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking seriously the possibility that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi may attempt a counterstrike against Americans within our borders. Much as in 2003's Operation Darkening Clouds -- when concern over potential Iraqi threats was especially high and the agency scrutinized and compiled information on more than 100,000 Iraqi-born U.S. citizens -- the FBI has begun questioning Libyans living in the U.S., in part to suss out potential spies and terrorists:

 FBI agents began conducting the interviews this week, according to several people familiar with the matter. The agency's initial focus is on people with personal or professional ties to Libya, which could lead to thousands of interviews. Officials cautioned that figure was a very early estimate.

The FBI is particularly interested in Libyans staying in the U.S. on visas, according to several people who are involved in the matter.

The FBI isn't responding to intelligence pointing to any specific plot or plots, according to people familiar with the matter. Instead, the FBI is trying to determine whether there is a threat to Americans in the U.S. or overseas. FBI agents hope to gain enough information from the interviews to understand how much of a threat Libya poses.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

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John Hendel is a writer based in Washington, DC, and a former producer at The Atlantic.

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