News you may have missed #745

Sir Dominic AsquithBy IAN ALLEN | |
►►Algeria sentences man to 20 years for spying. Noureddine Benziane, an Algerian psychologist and expert on anti-terrorism, has been sentenced in absentia to 20 years in jail on conviction of spying after a stay in Iraq. According to the charge sheet, Benziane went to Iraq on humanitarian missions several times between 2005 and 2007, but he allegedly founded a training camp for potential suicide bombers of several nationalities. Benziane later acknowledged contacting several diplomatic missions in Algiers to give them details of the information he had recovered. However, he neglected to inform the Algerian security services of his findings, according to his prosecutors.
►►Egypt pulls TV ads warning foreigners may be spies. An unnamed Egyptian media official says authorities have pulled a television advertisement that warned against talking to foreigners who may be spies, after criticism that they fueled xenophobia. The official said Sunday that the ads were aired on state TV and private networks for a few days before Minister of Information Ahmed Anis ordered them off the air.
►►British diplomat attacked in Libya. Britain’s ambassador to Libya, Sir Dominic Asquith, was in a convoy of cars that came under attack in the eastern city of Benghazi on Monday, in what British media described as the most serious assault on foreign targets in Libya to date. The attack came amid mounting concern for the welfare of an Australian lawyer and three colleagues working for the International Criminal Court after they were detained in Libya. They were accused of spying when they visited Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

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. Read more of this post

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