FBI questioned 10,000 Iraqs in the U.S.
FBI agents this year questioned nearly 10,000 citizens and former citizens of Iraq living in the United States, as part of an effort to glean intelligence to help the U.S.-led war in their homeland and to head off any terrorist attacks planned to coincide with the military effort, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday. “During the past few weeks, Iraqis in the United States have become our unheralded partners in Operation Iraqi Freedom” — the codename for the military assault launched by the United States and its allies March 19 — he told a briefing for journalists at the Justice Department. But advocacy groups for the Arab-American community said some of the interviews had been heavy handed, a few had resulted in detentions they believed unconstitutional, and that the whole exercise had been of questionable value. Ashcroft said that last spring the department had developed “a contingency plan” to address any threats that might emerge during possible military activity in Iraq. Full Story