News you may have missed #480 (Libya edition)

  • Unconfirmed: Gaddafi fires spy chief. A Benghazi-based Libyan newspaper has said that Muammar Gaddafi has fired the director of Libya’s intelligence service, Abdullah Al-Senussi, who is considered a key player in a brutal crackdown against anti-regime protesters. The paper said that the Libyan leader named one of his bodyguards, Mansur Al-Qahsi, in Al-Senussi’s place.
  • Libya replaces ambassador to US who defected. The US said it received word Monday that Libya has got rid of its ambassador in Washington, Ali Aujali, after he defected to the opposition, and has now replaced him with a charge d’affaires at the embassy, who is a regime supporter. Changes in Libya’s diplomatic representation in the US are extremely important, since communication links between Washington and Libya may have a drastic impact on the situation in the North African country.
  • Libya’s poison gas stockpiles reportedly unaffected by turmoil. A senior US administration official has told The Washington Post that the White House has no reason to believe the current turmoil in Libya has made its chemical weapons stockpiles more vulnerable to theft. Experts believe that some 10 metric tons of mustard sulfate and sarin gas precursor are stockpiled in barrels at three locations in the Libyan desert south of Tripoli, where Muammar al-Gaddafi has holed up in a last-ditch fight to keep from being overthrown.