FBI Monitoring Possibility of Terrorist Attacks From Libya

The U.S. is monitoring the possibility of terrorist attacks originating in Libya, either from the forces of Muammar Qaddafi or rebels who may have associated with terror groups in the past, FBI Director Robert Mueller said.

Authorities are questioning people previously affiliated with the Libyan government and Libyans in the U.S. who may have information on threats against Americans, Mueller said at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing today.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to “make certain that we are on guard with the possibility of terrorist attacks emanating somewhere out of Libya,” Mueller told lawmakers.

An allied assault on Qaddafi’s forces in Libya is continuing. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization escalated its air campaign over Libya a day after a rebel commander criticized the alliance for not doing enough to stop Qaddafi’s artillery attacks that pushed rebels into retreat. The U.S. and its allies say they are seeking to enforce a United Nations-authorized “no-fly zone” and to protect civilians from attacks by forces loyal to Qaddafi.

The FBI is seeking interviews with those “previously affiliated with the Libyan government who happen to be in the United States” and are willing to provide information, Mueller said.

He also described an “outreach effort” to students and visitors from Libya with information “that may alert us to any attempts at retaliation within the United States or elsewhere by pro-Qaddafi individuals.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Blum in Washington at jblum4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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