Former Baathists, who made up much of the professional class as well as the military and political leaders under Saddam Hussein have said they are deeply concerned by the turn of events, particularly now that the American military can no longer guarantee their safety.

“Frankly, I am very scared and expect to be arrested at any moment,” Haji Abu Ahmed, a former Baathist in the southern city of Basra, said in an interview.

“The current practices are the same as the practices of Saddam,” he said. “There seems to be no difference between the two systems. Saddam was chasing Dawa, and now Dawa is chasing Baathists.” Dawa is Mr. Maliki’s political party.

When the government revealed last week that it had received the information in October, gleaned from the ruined headquarters of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s intelligence headquarters in Tripoli, the authorities detained more than 200 people.