News you may have missed #618

Abdullah al-Senoussi

Al-Senussi

►►US Congressman urges expulsion of ‘Iranian spies’ at the UN. New York Congressman Peter King says the US should kick out Iranian officials at the UN in New York and in Washington because many of them are spies. Speaking at a hearing Wednesday, the Democrat said such a move would send a clear signal after the recent alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
►►Colombia’s intelligence chief denies knowledge of illegal wiretapping. Felipe Muñoz, the director of Colombia’s intelligence agency DAS has denied knowledge of illegal interception of unionists’ emails and phone calls by DAS employees, following the announcement that the Inspector General’s Office will be investigating these allegations. According to the allegations, Muñoz and other leading DAS officials were aware of the illegal interception.
►►Gaddafi intelligence chief now in Niger. Moammar Gadhafi’s intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi (pictured), who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, has slipped into the desert nation of Niger and is hiding in the expanse of dunes at the Niger-Algeria border, a Niger presidential adviser said last week. Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s former spy chief, Moussa Koussa, has denied claims made in a BBC documentary that he tortured prisoners.

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News you may have missed #574

CIA documents

CIA documents

►►CIA told Kennedy Cuba invasion was ‘unachievable’. [Never mind. It turns out that the original article on Foreign Policy has been corrected to state that the meeting was not with Kennedy after all — see reader’s comment below]. More revelations from the newly declassified CIA Official History of the Bay of Pigs Invasion. According to the multi-volume history (pictured), a CIA team told President-Elect John F. Kennedy during a meeting in 1960 that toppling the Cuban government of Fidel Castro would not be feasible, considering the small invasion force that Kennedy insisted upon for the Bay of Pigs operation, in order to maintain plausible deniability.
►►NATO bombs home of Libyan intel chief. A compound in Tripoli destroyed overnight by NATO air strikes was the home of Abdullah Al-Senussi, former head of Libyan intelligence. This information allegedly comes from al-Senussi’s neighbor, oil engineer Omar Masood, who said he has lived across the street for 35 years. Meanwhile, several news outlets report that Abdel Salam Ahmed Jalloud, prime minister of Libya between 1972 and 1977, has defected to Italy.
►►Palestinian attacks took Israeli intel by surprise. The triple attacks, attributed by Israel to a Palestinian splinter group from the Gaza Strip, took Israel’s intelligence and security services by surprise, judging by the ensuing confusion and inaccuracy of initial reports. Between 15 and 20 Arab gunmen, some wearing Egyptian army fatigues, are believed to have taken part in the operation.

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.