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FBI to Quiz Woman Ousted by Russia

Agents are sent to LAX after she's deported over alleged ties to extremists.

January 30, 2003|Greg Krikorian | Times Staff Writer

FBI counterterrorism agents were dispatched to Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday night to interview an American woman deported from Russia for alleged contacts with Islamic extremists.

Officially, according to Russian authorities, 34-year-old Megan McRee was forced out of the country for not having properly registered her visa there.

Russia's Federal Security Service also claimed that McRee had made contact via the Internet with a number of Islamic extremist groups and proposed various scenarios for terrorist actions in the United States.

The FBI, notified of the woman's deportation by its legal attache in Moscow, was expected to interview McRee after her plane landed at LAX , according to Laura Bosley, FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles.

"Our agents will be there when she goes through U.S. customs and will detain her," Bosley said. "At this point, we don' t plan on detaining her beyond that interview unless there is a reason to. She is not being charged with anything."

Because the FBI first learned of the case after McRee was already aboard the Aeroflot flight, , Bosley emphasized that federal officials had not verified any of the allegations against her.

It also was not immediately clear why McRee, believed to be a native of Oklahoma, was headed for Los Angeles.

"We don' t know why she was sent here," Bosley said. "It's possible that was the most convenient flight for her to leave [Russia]. But we just don't know."

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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