- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2003

MOSCOW Russia deported a U.S. citizen yesterday after accusing the woman of establishing contact with al Qaeda and other Islamist extremists and offering to aid and participate in terrorist attacks on the United States.

Russia's Federal Security Bureau said the woman, identified as Megan McRee, 35, had entered Russia two years ago and had lived in the Moscow area for an extended period of time on an expired visa and without proper registration.

Aeroflot Airlines said Miss McRee was aboard flight SU321, scheduled to fly last night from Moscow to Los Angeles.

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The security bureau said Miss McRee had used the Internet to contact several well-known Islamist organizations and proposed "scenarios of terrorist acts, including such acts against the United States, and offered to take part in their implementation."

Russian television said Miss McRee told the Russian authorities she had left the United States 10 years ago because of CIA persecution and had lived in Romania before moving to Moscow. Before being deported, Miss McRee told officials she intended to seek political asylum in Russia.

TV reports said Miss McRee had contact with operatives of al Qaeda and the Islamic Brotherhood using the Internet, which had been monitored by the security services.

In one message sent by Miss McRee and intercepted by authorities, she advised against terrorist attacks on heavily guarded administrative buildings and airports and suggested easier targets such as "Hollywood studios and Hollywood actors."

The FSB decided to deport Miss McRee based on the immigration violation, rather than her e-mail contacts with terrorist organizations.

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