FBI war preparations Bernard Hibbitts at 4:41 PM ET
[JURIST] In a statement Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller outlined measures the agency was taking as part of Operation Liberty Shield to protect Americans from terrorism during the war with Iraq:
Over the past 18 months, the FBI has restructured from top-to-bottom to strengthen its ability to predict and prevent acts of terror. For the past year, it has been developing specific strategies to protect Americans in the event of a war with Iraq. Immediately upon declaration of war, the FBI launched its comprehensive plans. Steps include:
Activating the Strategic Information and Operations Center, or "SIOC," at FBI Headquarters to serve as the 24/7 national command post;
Setting up special command posts in each of the FBI's 56 field offices to work closely with Joint Terrorism Task Forces to gather intelligence and respond quickly to potential threats and reports of suspicious activity;
Sending Special Agents to interview a number of Iraqi-born individuals and others in the U.S. to assure them of the FBI's responsibility to protect them from hate crimes and to elicit information on any potential operations of Iraqi agents or sympathizers; and,
Actively investigating others who have links to terrorism.
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