— By Domani Spero
On October 9, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli issued a security message to Americans in Libya reminding the need for caution, and announcing plans to restrict personnel movement to “essential” travel only and closure of the embassy during U.S. and Libyan holidays from October 13-17, 2013. October 14, Monday is Columbus Day and The Day of Arafa; October 15-17 is Eid ul Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).
The U.S. Embassy in Libya reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security following the October 5 detainment of a Libyan national by U.S. military authorities. The embassy is aware of public statements threatening the kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Libya, but has no specific information about these threats. The embassy plans to restrict movement of embassy personnel to essential travel only and will be closed in observance of American and Libyan holidays from October 13-17. The embassy will reopen for normal operations on Sunday, October 20. American Citizen Services will be offered during normal hours on October 9. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.
On October 5, American forces in Tripoli captured Abu Anas al-Liby, a Libyan militant who had been indicted in 2000 for his role in the 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (No matter how long it takes …. 5,533 days after the East Africa embassy bombings …).
Via the NYT, October 7:
For months, a swelling team of federal investigators, intelligence agents and Marines waited behind the barbed wire and gun turrets of the fortified compound around the United States Embassy here, aware of suspected terrorists at large in the streets — including suspects in the killing last year of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi — and increasingly frustrated at the inability of the weak Libyan government to move against them.
Now, with the Abu Anas raid, the Obama administration has signaled a limit to its patience. Two years after the United States backed the NATO intervention that removed Qaddafi, Washington has demonstrated a new willingness to pursue its targets directly, an action that has now prompted some of those suspected in Ambassador Stevens’s death to go into hiding, people here said.
The streets of Tripoli were quiet on Sunday night, with no major protests against the arrest or attacks on American interests. But in just a few hours about 2,000 Libyans had signed into a new Facebook page proclaiming solidarity with Abu Anas, who was born Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai. “We are all Nazih al-Ruqai, O America,” it was called.
One comment read: “The real Libyan hero rebels should kidnap an American in Libya to negotiate for our brother Ruqai’s release. It is a shame on us and all Libyans. The Americans entered Tripoli with their commandos and they kidnapped our son while we were standing watching.”
Libya has been a “danger pay” post since July 15, 2012. This latest incident will inevitably increase the potential for retaliatory attacks not just for the embassy but other western interests in the country.
On October 8, CNN reported that 200 heavily armed U.S. Marines headed to an Italian naval base, poised to fly at a moment’s notice to Libya should the U.S. Embassy come under assault from angry crowds in the wake of al Liby’s capture.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the chaos continue. The United States will hit the debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion on or around October 17. Politicians continue with their brainless jaw-jaw before the cameras. By the time the embassy reopens on October 20, Uncle Sam may not have anything left but socks and underwear, and pols with their useless pointed fingers blaming each other.
- Libyan PM calls for Western help (bbc.co.uk)
- U.S. Tripoli Raid Deepens Sense of Chaos in Libya (world.time.com)
- Libya wants ‘clarification’ in al-Qaida leader nab (miamiherald.com)
- Libya militants seek to avenge al Qaeda leader capture (thehimalayantimes.com)
- Libya bristles at US raid that captured militant (bigstory.ap.org)
- Eye for an eye? Libyan militants seek vengeance for Al-Qaeda leader’s capture (noliesradio.org)