Reuters reports: On a dusty parade ground outside Tripoli, young recruits march and bark out slogans for the new Libyan army that Western powers hope can turn the tide on militias threatening to engulf the North African country in anarchy.
Their boots are new and their fatigues pressed, but Libya’s army recruits will need more than drills to take on the hardened militiamen, Islamist fighters and political rivalries testing their OPEC nation’s stability.
Two years after NATO missiles helped rebels drive out Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is under siege from former rebel fighters who now flex their military muscle to make demands on the state, seize oilfields and squabble over post-war spoils.
With Libya’s army still in the making, Western powers are keen to halt chaos in the key European oil supplier and stop illicit arms spilling across North Africa.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan last month stood by in London as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Britain’s William Hague pledged support. Just weeks earlier, Zeidan himself was briefly abducted from a Tripoli hotel by militiamen.
Everyone agrees Libya needs help. But after four decades of Gaddafi rule, Libya’s stuttering decision-making, fragile leadership and chronic disorganization hamper cooperation.
Infighting between broadly liberal and Islamist camps in the assembly, and their network of militia allies, muddies Western efforts to stabilize a country where NATO’s intervention was seen as a model two years ago.
“What happens next depends on outside pressure. If we don’t make a compromise, we’ll lose Libya,” said Tofiq al-Shahibi, a leader with the National Forces Alliance party. “If we think we can build our country without outside help, we will fail.” [Continue reading...]
The Washington Post reports: Deepening divisions among Libya’s myriad armed groups are increasingly stirring conflict in the North African state. Now the United States and its allies are prepared to add a new force to the toxic mix.
U.S. officials say the hope is that the General Purpose Force — a trained Libyan military organization — will start to fill the country’s festering security vacuum, initially by protecting vital government installations and the individuals struggling to make this country run. The Obama administration hopes the force eventually will form the core of a new national army.
The first steps are small. At the request of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, the United States, Britain and Italy have agreed to train 5,000 to 8,000 troops, many of whom will be drawn from existing militias. The recruits will be taken outside of Libya for military instruction and what a senior U.S. defense official described as an attempt to “shift attitudes and create new allegiances” to the central government.
But it remains unclear whether more men in arms can make a difference in an atmosphere flush with hundreds of powerful armed groups — many of them already on the government payroll — and competing political agendas.
Some in Libya, along with a number of outside experts, worry that the new force — whose recruits will be selected by the Libyan defense minister and vetted by the country that trains them — could ultimately become a tool for competing groups to advance their agendas, or simply one more armed faction in a dangerous sea of firepower. [Continue reading...]
The Associated Press reports: Militias from a string of Libyan cities left the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday, nearly a week after militiamen killed more than 40 people protesting their presence in the city.
The withdrawal is a triumph for the residents of Tripoli, who on Nov. 15 held a mass protest against the militias, which have fueled lawlessness across Libya since the fall of longtime autocrat Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The heavily armed groups, some of them led by Islamist extremists, have defied control by the weak central government, carving out fiefdoms and acting as a law unto themselves.
Witnesses said the militiamen gave their bases to army troops in handover ceremonies before they headed out of Tripoli. They kept their weapons, mostly assault rifles, antiaircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks and rocket-propelled grenades. The militias that left come from four cities, including Zintan, to the south of Tripoli, and Misurata to the west.
The New York Times reports: The deputy chief of Libya’s intelligence service was abducted from the parking lot of the airport in Tripoli on Sunday afternoon as a standoff between militias and a general strike against militia rule virtually shut down the city.
The deputy intelligence chief, Mustafa Noah, was abducted just two days after a militia from the coastal city of Misurata opened fire on a nonviolent demonstration against the domination of Tripoli, Libya’s capital, by such armed brigades. The confrontation degenerated into a shootout that killed at least 43 and wounded hundreds, according to Libyan health officials.
Many across Libya called the weekend a watershed for the vexed revolution that ousted Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi two years ago. It brought the first large demonstration by residents of the capital against the freewheeling militias that arrived to help oust Colonel Qaddafi and never left the city, and it posed a major test of the weak transitional government’s ability to control the militias. Around nightfall on Sunday, a local council in Misurata said in a statement that all its fighters had withdrawn from the capital.
Today the Associated Press reports that Noah has been released.
Al Jazeera reports: A 48-hour state of emergency has been declared in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after a fresh wave of clashes broke out following a deadly protest against armed groups.
At least one person was killed and dozens wounded in Saturday’s clashes that took place a day after more than 40 people were killed in firing by gunmen.
Saturday’s gun battles broke out to the east of the capital in Tajoura, where rival gunmen clashed at checkpoints set up to stop more gunmen nearby city of Misrata from entering Tripoli, Mohammad Sasi, a local member of Libya’s congress said.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the city centre to mourn those killed in Friday’s attack when militias fired on a crowd urging the dissolution of unlawful armed groups.
Mourners called on their government to resign and armed militias to leave the city. [Continue reading...]
The New York Times reports: Dozens of people were killed in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Friday after militiamen opened fire on unarmed protesters, setting off some of the worst violence in the capital since the revolt against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi almost three years ago.
The bloodshed at the protest on Friday afternoon quickly devolved into clashes involving armed citizens and rival militias, witnesses said. At hospitals, bodies arrived mangled by heavy-weapons fire. Air force jets flew sorties over the city, as pickup trucks carrying reinforcements of fighters raced to the clashes.
The protest that led to the violence was part of a rising tide of citizen anger against Libya’s multitude of militias, made up of thousands of men who fought Colonel Qaddafi’s forces and never laid down their arms. The militias have fed Libya’s chronic insecurity, fighting among themselves while exerting control over vital installations and even resources like oil. Fighters pledge loyalty to their commanders, tribes or towns, rather than the weak central government.
Yet the nature of the violence on Friday seemed to represent an especially ominous turn for the country, dragging it back to the winter three years ago when Colonel Qaddafi’s soldiers, roaming the capital in jeeps, gunned down protesters in the streets. [Continue reading...]
Frederic Wehrey writes: Last month, discussing the Obama administration’s plans for a more modest Middle East policy, National Security Adviser Susan Rice noted that Washington “can’t just be consumed 24/7 by one region, important as it is.” From now on, she implied, countries in the region, including Libya, would be relegated to second-tier priority.
As she spoke, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) was preparing to step up its assistance in Libya to help the country rebuild its weak security sector. Over the summer, AFRICOM, along with the militaries of Italy, Turkey, and the United Kingdom committed to help train, advise, and equip a new Libyan army — a “general purpose force,” in formal military terms — with the United States responsible for approximately 5,000 to 8,000 soldiers. The plan seems reasonable on paper. Trained at overseas bases outside Libya, the new force will allow the government to project its own authority, protect elected officials and institutions from the militias operating within the country, and compel the militias to demobilize and disarm. Washington sees the effort as a crucial step in Libya’s democratic transition and as a way to halt extremism and prevent the country’s lawlessness from spilling over its borders.
But the force’s composition, the details of its training, the extent to which Libyan civilians will oversee it, and its ability to deal with the range of threats that the country faces are all unclear. And the stakes are enormous. There are signs that some militias within Libya are trying to bloody the new army’s nose before it even enters the fight: a campaign of shadowy assassinations against military officers, particularly in the east, is likely half vendetta against representatives of the old order and half attempt to deter the central government’s monopolization of military force.
The case of a separate and underreported U.S. effort to train a small Libyan counterterrorism unit inside Libya earlier this year is instructive. The unit, set up by U.S. special operations forces, was hardly representative of Libya’s regional makeup: recruitment appeared to be drawn overwhelmingly from westerners to the exclusion of the long-neglected east. In addition, the absence of clear lines of authority — nearly inevitable given Libya’s fragmented security sector — meant that the force’s capabilities could just have easily ended up being used against political enemies as against terrorists.
Things came to a head in August, when a tribal militia launched a pre-dawn raid on the poorly guarded training camp near Tripoli. No U.S. soldiers were there, but the militia did make off with sensitive U.S. military equipment. And that spelled the end of the mission; the effort was aborted and U.S. forces went home. (The Libyan government and U.S. special operations forces are currently searching for a new training site inside Libya to restart it.) Drawing lessons from this fiasco, the United States and its NATO partners have wisely decided that the new training mission for the general purpose force will take place outside Libya — in Bulgaria, Italy, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. But that alone won’t be enough to ensure that the effort doesn’t face more significant hurdles. [Continue reading...]
Reuters reports: Heavy fighting between militias using rifles, grenades and anti-aircraft weapons erupted in several parts of Tripoli on Tuesday in the worst violence in the Libyan capital for weeks.
Fighting started in Tripoli’s eastern Suq al-Juma district and a central area where two burned out pick-ups belonging to a militia on the government payroll could be seen. Libyan news websites said at least one person had been wounded.
The shooting started after a member of a militia was detained at a checkpoint after which fellow fighters arrived trying to free him, a militia source said.
Reuters reporters in Tripoli could hear shots from rocket propelled-grenades and anti-aircraft guns throughout the night. Tripoli was quiet on Tuesday morning but occasional rifle shots could still be heard.
Jason Pack and Mohamed Eljarh write: American Special Forces captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, an operative of Al Qaeda living in Libya. Five days later, a group of Libyan militiamen kidnapped their own prime minister, Ali Zeidan. After five hours, having faced no opposition from the police or the army, they released him. The prime minister’s captors made no demands for cash, nor did they overtly request any changes in current government policy. Nor was anyone hurt — an aspect that gave the whole affair the air of a vast publicity stunt.
Some have described the kidnapping as a pseudo-coup. But coups usually aim to overthrow one government and replace it with another. Things are different in Libya.
None of the country’s competing armed factions are capable of governing alone. Each wishes to protect its special privileges while preventing its opponents from governing. Libya is truly ruled by everyone and no one.
In the early days of the anti-Qaddafi rebellion, the rebels’ top brass attempted to form a nascent national army, yet various “civilian” (read: Islamist) groups refused to submit to the proposed chain of command. In July 2011, Islamists were suspected in the murder of the national army’s leader, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes. Since then, myriad civilian militias have proliferated. They dwarf the national army and police force combined. The government has tried to co-opt some of the civilian brigades with big salaries and fancy titles, but most remain loyal only to their commanders.
Consequently, the Libyan government lacks even 100 armed men who would lay their lives on the line to defend the abstract concept of the state. Conversely, the militias can rely on thousands.
In Western Libya, the most staunchly anti-government forces are a loose alliance of Islamists and certain powerful militias from the city of Misurata. Counterbalancing them are non-Islamist militias from the city of Zintan. In the East, “federalist” militias seek to obtain “justice” (meaning more power and money for their region).
As a result of this multipolar struggle, the country has become virtually ungovernable. Each group has its supporters inside the parliament: the Martyrs and the Muslim Brotherhood blocs have worked to further the influence of the Revolutionaries Operations Room — the group that kidnapped Mr. Zeidan. With the Islamists’ support, Nouri Abusahmain became Libya’s president in June. And he quickly bolstered his power as a counterweight to the prime minister by endowing the Revolutionaries Operations Room with $700 million.
Prime Minister Zeidan’s various opponents have long sought to force him out of office. Despite his waning popularity and effectiveness, they failed to oust him via a secret no-confidence vote on Oct. 1. He survived the vote not because he enjoys widespread support but rather because no one can agree on who should replace him. [Continue reading...]
Jamie Dettmer reports: For Americans, he is a monster, a major al-Qaeda leader who had a hand in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 224 civilians and—until U.S. Special Forces snatched him off the streets of Tripoli last week—a veteran terrorist tasked with uniting jihadists not just in Libya but across the arc of North Africa.
Sitting down, though, with his wife of 22 years and three sons in their cramped apartment, on the elevated ground floor of a small apartment building in a middle-class district in the Libyan capital on Saturday evening, I heard a different story that didn’t fit the bogeyman portrait drawn by American officials.
And it is one that prompts the question: has the U.S. got the right man?
For his family, Abu Anas al-Liby, to use his nom de guerre, is an easy-going husband and kind, playful father who, just days before a Delta Force team grabbed and bundled the 49-year-old out of Libya, told his oldest son, Abdullah, that he was looking forward to becoming a grandfather.
For them, he is a Libyan patriot who sacrificed a great deal. His commitment to the ousting of Libya’s longtime dictator, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, required them all to suffer, including several years of imprisonment in poor conditions in Iran after the family fled Afghanistan. They say they endured harassment and surveillance in Britain, where they sought political asylum and lived from 1997 to 2000. [Continue reading...]
The Daily Beast reports: They came in the dead of night in pick-up-trucks and battered cars, surprising a police checkpoint and moving quickly in a precise military-style configuration befitting fighters who helped to bring down Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorial rule.
Their target this time wasn’t a despot but the elected leader of post-Gaddafi Libya, Prime Minister Ali Zidan, whose brief abduction on Thursday marked yet another low for a country struggling to establish order and stricken by a spate of kidnappings and assassinations over the past year—including the razing of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the death of American ambassador Christopher Stevens. On Friday, a day after the Prime Minister’s abduction, a car bomb exploded outside of the Swedish consulate in Benghazi, damaging the building and nearby houses.
The militiamen, angry over a U.S. Special Forces team seizing of suspected al-Qaeda bigwig Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli seven days ago, used pick-up trucks equipped with anti-aircraft guns to block entrances to the luxury Corinthia Hotel in downtown Tripoli where Zidan resides in a suite on the 22nd floor.
Witnesses, including guards assigned to the hotel by the Interior Ministry, say about 400 gunmen were involved in the abduction and that the leaders marched into the cavernous, marble-floored lobby demanding to know from alarmed nighttime staff the whereabouts of the Prime Minister. A receptionist was hauled off when he refused to say. The gunmen brandished a warrant for Zidan’s arrest on national security and corruption charges, signed by the Prosecutor General, says Khalil Yahia, the head of the government security team at the Corinthia, which also houses several foreign missions.
“I was shocked,” he says. “I was thinking, ‘How could they have an arrest warrant for the Prime Minister?’” The militiamen grabbed most of the hotel’s surveillance equipment and tapes. “There was no gunfire—we only had about half-a-dozen guards on duty. There wasn’t anything we could do. I didn’t call for reinforcements, because these people—the ones waving the warrant—would have been the people detailed to be the reinforcements.” [Continue reading...]
Ranj Alaaldin writes: Libya is back in the headlines after a powerful Islamist-dominated militia group abducted the country’s prime minister, Ali Zeidan, amid anger over a US special forces raid on Saturday during which a Libyan al-Qaida suspect, Abu Anas al-Liby, was seized. The impunity with which militia groups are able to operate in the country puts it on par with the lawlessness that has been seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, where even some of the most audacious and organised of militants are unable to reach as sensitive and important a target as a sitting prime minister.
Libya is different for the reason that it has no national army. It has a series of disparate autonomous militia groups who are heavily entrenched in Libya’s politics, economy and society. In other words, they are now a part of the daily routine and have become inseparable from the state and broader Libyan society. The independence this gives them has worsened Libya’s security environment, given that various militia groups are at odds with one another, often resulting in clashes between them, as well as with the state itself.
Post-conflict states like Libya are generally required to, first and foremost, develop a strong state and centralise authority in the country, if indeed a centralist political and constitutional process is preferred. In Libya, the failure to disarm militias has only bought them more time to consolidate their hold on the country. Elections last year, the country’s first in decades and its first since the former regime was ousted, compounded the militia problem by allowing prominent, well-organised and armed groups to consolidate their positions, legitimise their influence as well as cement their newfound status and power.
In other words, Libya cannot move forward, stabilise and become the democratic state most Libyans and the international community hoped it would be when Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in November 2011. [Continue reading...]
Reuters reports: Former rebel gunmen freed Libya’s prime minister on Thursday after holding him for several hours in reprisal for the capture by U.S. forces at the weekend of a Libyan al Qaeda suspect in Tripoli, officials said.
“The prime minister has been released,” a government official confirmed. A security source also said Zeidan was free.
A Reuters journalist outside the Interior Ministry building where the prime minister was held by militiamen linked to the government said people demanding his release had opened fire at one point. Zeidan was seized at dawn from a luxury hotel where he lives under tight security and was held for about six hours.
Two years after a revolution ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, Libya is in turmoil, with its vulnerable central government and nascent armed forces struggling to contain rival tribal militias and Islamist militants who control parts of the country.
The militia, which had been hired by the government to provide security in Tripoli, said it “arrested” Zeidan after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Libya had a role in the weekend capture in the city of Abu Anas al-Liby.
“His arrest comes after … (Kerry) said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,” a spokesman for the group, known as the Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, told Reuters.
Geoff Porter of North Africa Risk consulting said: “His kidnapping clearly indicates that his government is not cohesive, and that not only is his government not in control of the country, but that he is not in control of his government.” [Continue reading...]
Time reports: Two days after U.S. Special Forces seized one of the FBI’s most wanted al-Qaeda operatives in broad daylight in Libya’s capital, officials of that oil-rich nation are scrambling to explain what they knew in advance about a major foreign commando raid on their territory—an operation that could well provoke jihadist attacks in Libya and destabilize an already fragile government.
The U.S. operation was audacious: Early on Saturday morning, at least two carloads of armed men ambushed Anas al-Liby, one of the suspected masterminds of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar el-Salaam, which killed more than 200 people. As al-Liby returned from dawn prayers to his home in central Tripoli, the men cut off his black Hyundai sedan with their vehicles, smashed the window, pulled him out of the car and flew him out of Libya—all without the Libyan government’s knowledge or approval, or so the authorities in Tripoli claim.
To the U.S., al-Liby’s capture was a long time coming. At 49, al-Liby, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was a key computer expert for al-Qaeda, who logged time with Osama bin Laden in Sudan and Afghanistan during the 1990s and whom U.S. officials believe acted as a scout and planner for the organization. In 2000, the U.S. indicted him in absentia and others for the embassy bombings. Pentagon officials said on Sunday that al-Liby was “lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya,” which was assumed by some to be a naval vessel in the Mediterranean. The operation’s stunning success was in stark contrast to a second commando raid before dawn on Saturday. U.S. Navy SEALs had tried to storm a house in southern Somalia, the suspected base of key al-Shabab operatives, when they came under a blaze of gunfire and were forced to withdraw before confirming if their target was dead.
Yet despite the success of the Libya operation, the fallout has already begun—and could deepen Libya’s already unstable security situation and shake its fragile government. On Sunday Libyan officials fumed in an official statement that the arrest was a “kidnapping,” and that they have “been in touch with the U.S. government and have asked for clarification on this matter.” Secretary of State John Kerry refused to say on Sunday whether the U.S. had sought Libya’s approval beforehand. But the statement from Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s office insisted the government was caught unawares. [Continue reading...]
Wayne White writes: This weekend’s US capture of Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai’I, better known by his alias, Anas al-Libi, might net only limited information of current intelligence value while potentially resulting in militant Islamist payback in what remains a very fragile Libya. Of no less than three al-Qaeda operatives bearing the alias al-Libi (simply “the Libyan” in Arabic), Anas al-Libi could be the least significant overall. And should a Libyan militant Islamic group or militia decide to retaliate for this bold US grab, they are capable of doing significant harm.
Anas al-Libi’s former association with al-Qaeda is well-known, as are standing US indictments against him for actions related to the horrific 1998 East Africa bombing. Yet, relatively little seems to be known about how active he remained over the past few years. So the information he has might not be particularly useful if, for example, he was not knowledgeable about or involved in last year’s Benghazi consulate attack or other recent operations. US authorities apparently believe he has been working to expand al-Qaeda’s network in Libya (although perhaps not a certainty since he has been living in Tripoli without security). [Continue reading...]
The Guardian reports: Libya has demanded an explanation for the “kidnapping” of one of its citizens by American special forces, hours after a separate US military raid on a terrorist target in Somalia ended in apparent failure and retreat.
In Tripoli the US army’s delta force seized alleged al-Qaida leader Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Liby and wanted for the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 220 people.
But US navy Seals suffered a major setback when they launched an amphibious assault to capture an Islamist militant leader said to be Ahmed Godane, described as Africa’s most wanted man and the architect of last month’s attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya. The elite Seals were beaten back by heavy fire and apparently abandoned equipment that the Somali militants photographed and posted on the internet.
As dramatic details of Saturday’s twin operations emerged, US secretary of state John Kerry insisted that terrorists “can run but they can’t hide”, but faced growing questions about America’s military reach in Africa and the consequences of unilateral aggression.
Al-Liby was captured outside his family home at 6.15am in Noufle’een, a quiet suburb in eastern Tripoli, according to witnesses, but there were conflicting reports over who took him. His brother, Nabih, told the Associated Press that al-Liby was parking when a convoy of three vehicles encircled his car. Armed gunmen smashed the car’s window and seized al-Liby’s gun before grabbing him and taking him away, the report said. The brother said al-Liby’s wife saw the kidnapping from her window and described the abductors as foreign-looking armed “commandos”.
But al-Liby’s son Abdullah insisted that Libyan forces were involved. Appearing on Tripoli’s Nabir TV station, he said: “The people who took my father were Libyan, not Americans – they spoke with Tripoli accents. [Continue reading...]
Nicolas Pelham writes: It is perhaps a measure of how close Libya is to breaking apart that two years after ousting one dictator, many Libyans are craving another. Rapacious brigades of armed volunteers, who are based in Misrata and Benghazi in the east, and the creaking military inherited from the old regime, which is based in the capital city of Tripoli and the west, are hurtling toward a new civil war, and the country’s ineffectual authorities seem unable to stop them. Local militias have captured the oil fields and ports, starving the government of 90 percent of its revenues; Benghazi is rife with political assassinations; in the south, Colonel Qaddafi’s kinsmen have plugged the Great Man-Made River that funnels water from the Sahara’s vast aquifers to the coast; and tribesmen across the country sporadically cut off the roads or close the airports that tie the provinces to the capital. Libya’s current prime minister, Ali Zeidan, threatens to restore order with force, but his men retreat after a few shots. Confusion about whether to rely on the armed irregulars who revolted against Qaddafi or the instruments of the old regime only compounds his powerlessness.
Libyans overwhelmingly aspire to the dream of a new democratic order that animated the ideals of the revolution. But increasingly many consider such a system too delicate to overcome the country’s deep fissures. Since antiquity Libya has been a composite of separate principalities—Tripolitania in the west, Cyrenaica in the east, and Fezzan in the south—a division that has played out not only geographically and historically, but also ideologically, with the west gravitating towards the more laissez-faire Maghreb, and the east spawning religious movements, from early Christian communities to Omar Mukhtar, the warrior Muslim mystic who led the revolt against Italy’s colonial conquest. In July 2012, great numbers of the country’s six million people braved the lawless streets—where alarming numbers of weapons have proliferated since the revolution—to register and vote in the first free national election in half a century. As multiple forces assert power in different parts of the country, however, the old regional divisions have reemerged. Only a strongman, many feel, can hold Libya together. But who could it be?
The souqs buzz hopefully with names. Khalifa Haftar, Colonel Qaddafi’s old commander-in-chief, who led Libya’s army into a brutal but woefully unsuccessful invasion of Chad in 1987, appeals to those nostalgic for the old order. After abandoning his men in the Sahara, he fled to Virginia, and, backed by the CIA, schemed with little apparent success to usurp Libya’s crown. When Libya’s revolution erupted in February 2011, he returned with pomp and a convoy of plush cars as commander of Libya’s rebel ground forces.
Raised in the ways of Qaddafi, however, Haftar has failed to shake off criticism that he acts like him. A Western spy recalls meeting him during the revolution in a Libyan oil company’s offices in Benghazi, where he proudly displayed his battle plans for the assault on Tripoli on a tourist roadmap of Libya. Might the agent have a few radios to spare, he asked, so that he could talk to the front? His convoy continues to circle Libya like a medieval travelling court. [Continue reading...]