Questions For Iraqi Nationals

GENERIC USA, Security, Terrorism, FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Threat, September 11, America CBS/AP

The last time the Iraqis tried a terrorist attack against U.S. interests was in 1991 in the Philippines. It didn't work out so well for them. An Iraqi agent blew himself up instead of the American cultural center he was targeting.

With war apparently imminent, the FBI is now on guard against terrorist attacks within the 50 states.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports the FBI plans a massive wave of interrogations of over 10,000 Iraqi nationals who live in the U.S. That covers a lot of ground - individuals classified as students, defectors, permanent residents, visitors, and even a few recently naturalized U.S. citizens.

The bureau is also seeking to expel several more Iraqi diplomats like the two suspected intelligence agents who were kicked out of Baghdad's U.N. delegation in New York earlier this month. Officials also plan to detain all immigrants from 34 suspect countries seeking asylum - mindful that Ramzi Yousef, the first World Trade Center bomber in 1993, entered the U.S. seeking asylum from Iraq. The FBI says it anticipates making several terrorism- and visa fraud-related arrests as a result of their campaign.

It's all part of the bureau's plan to shake up the American Iraqi community in the hopes of shaking out the few Iraqis they suspect may be planted here to carry out attacks. Some, the bureau suspects, because their families are being held hostage back in Baghdad.

The American Muslim community knows about these concerns and is assisting the bureau suggesting, for example, that agents respect Muslim customs when making their calls.

"We encourage Muslim communities to invite FBI officials into the mosques to have meetings, to build lines of communications," says Ibrahim Hooper, with Council on American Islamic Relations.

Authorities say at least one potential Iraqi saboteur has been caught trying to enter the U.S. Officials have not provided any details of the capture and frankly assume that he will not be the last.

  • Sue Chan

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