Gaddafi’s son employed former spies’ firm to research PhD thesis

Saif al-Gaddafi

Saif al-Gaddafi

One of Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi’s seven sons employed a firm staffed by former British intelligence agents to carry out research for his PhD thesis. Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, 37, who is seen as the leading candidate to succeed his father, recently submitted his doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics, where he was a PhD candidate for four years. A preliminary note in his thesis, which is now available at the Senate House library of the University of London, reveals that he employed the Monitor Group, a research and consultancy company that includes at least two well-known former British spies among its ranks, to conduct interviews required for his thesis. Former British spies working for the Monitor Group include Sir Richard Dearlove, who headed MI6, Britain’s primary external spy agency, from 1999 until 2004, and Sir Mark Allen, who resigned from MI6 in 2004, after his rumored promotion to director of the spy agency failed to materialize. Interestingly, Sir Mark, who also works for British Petroleum (BP), was recently credited with having played a major role in securing the release from a Scottish prison of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Several British newspapers, including The London Times, alleged that the release was part of a lucrative oil exploration deal between BP and the Libyan government.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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