Why Are Armed Groups Storming Foreign Embassies in Tripoli?

The new Libyan flag

New Libyan flag

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
It is perhaps understandable that fighters of the National Transitional Council, Libya’s rebel umbrella group, have stormed locations in Tripoli that are associated with the regime of deposed Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Strategic sites such as  Bab al-Aziziya, Gaddafi’s compound, government ministries, or even houses belonging to Gaddafi’s large and powerful family, may be deemed legitimate targets. But why are the rebels also selectively attacking foreign embassies in the Libyan capital? According to Yonhap, South Korea’s state-run news agency, the South Korean embassy in Tripoli was “attacked […] by an armed gang” of about 30 people late on Tuesday. The report, which could not be immediately confirmed by the Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, cited anonymous sources, who said that embassy staff were “threatened at gunpoint”. At roughly the same period, another group of “armed persons” stormed the building of the Bulgarian embassy, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that it had yet to clarify “the circumstances around the incident”. On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that armed groups had “assaulted and totally looted” the Venezuelan embassy. A few hours later, the Venezuelan Ambassador to Libya, Afif Tajeldine, clarified that the attack took place at his official residence, which is located about 9 miles from the Venezuelan embassy. He told El Universal that armed groups broke into the ambassadorial residence and “searched the house asking for me”. They then “ransacked the house completely” and “left nothing in the house”. Read more of this post

Arrest of British spy team in Libya reveals covert involvement

Benghazi, Libya

Benghazi, Libya

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
All eight members of the British military and intelligence team arrested in Libya on Friday have now been released and are en route to Malta. But what exactly is behind this news story, and what does it reveal about covert Western involvement in Libya? Those detained were part of group of around 20 Britons who landed by helicopter before sunrise on Friday, several miles from Benina International Airport, which is right outside Libya’s second-largest city Benghazi. Witnesses reported that the helicopter was met by another group on the ground. Soon after landing, the mysterious passengers split after being surrounded by heavily armed Libyan rebels; the latter managed to capture eight of them, which included six members of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS, although some sources suggest they were from the Special Boat Service, or SBS), one British Army officer, and an operative of MI6, Britain’s foremost external intelligence agency. The Britons, all of whom were dressed in black coveralls, offered no resistance, telling their captors that they were unarmed. When searched, however, they were found to be carrying “arms, ammunition, explosives, maps and passports from at least four different nationalities”. Read more of this post