Libya: The Return Of The Secret Police

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August 1, 2013: Most of the militias have been brought under control. The exceptions are the Islamic radical ones, who consider themselves on a mission from God and obliged to fight back no matter what. This is being done largely with more terrorist attacks, since the government now has enough trained troops and obedient militias to destroy any Islamic radical group that tried to launch a major attack. Shutting down the terrorist violence is proving to be difficult.

July 31, 2013: In the northeast (Dernah) a military commander was murdered by an Islamic radical death squad. His son was wounded as both were leaving a mosque.

July 30, 2013: A new chief of staff (commander of the armed forces) was appointed. His predecessor resigned in June because of inability to deal with militia violence. The new commander is expected to be more effective in maintaining order.

In Tripoli police found and disabled a car bomb in front of a major hotel.  

July 29, 2013: At the port of Ras Lanuf, workers at the largest oil refinery in the country went on strike demanding more benefits. This is a problem throughout the oil industry, as workers see these jobs as an opportunity to become wealthy. This unrest has reduced oil production to under a million barrels a day (from the normal 1.4 million).

Overnight fighting in Benghazi, between troops and Islamic terrorists, left at least one soldier dead. Later in the day mobs attacked the headquarters of an Islamic radical political party. Elsewhere in the city a car bomb was used to try and kill a navy commander but only wounded him.

July 28, 2013: The Egyptian border was closed to people (truck traffic is still allowed) to prevent three suspects in the recent killing of a prominent Arab Spring leader. Libyan and Egyptian police have agreed to cooperate in capturing these suspects. The new government in Egypt is more intent on shutting down Islamic radical groups and it was Islamic terrorists believed responsible for recent attacks in Libya and Egypt.

The government also announced the revival of an Internal Security Agency to deal with the Islamic terrorists. During the decades of Kaddafi rule the Internal Security Agency was feared because of its secret police methods and immunity from punishment for misbehavior. The new agency is to be more law-abiding. Not kinder and gentler, just more accountable.

In Benghazi two suitcase bombs went off near court buildings, wounding 43 people. This triggered violent demonstrations against the headquarters of the Moslem Brotherhood in Tripoli and Benghazi. Many blame the Brotherhood for organizing, or at least supporting, these attacks.

July 27, 2013: Outside Benghazi 1,117 inmates escaped from a prison. A day later only about a hundred had been recaptured. Locals attacked the prison because they did not want a prison in their neighborhood. That triggered a large scale riot inside the prison which led to the mass escape. Most of the prisoners were common criminals, many of them foreigners.

July 26, 2013: In Benghazi a prominent anti-terrorist cleric was shot dead as he left a mosque. This sparked violent demonstrations against the local headquarters of the Moslem Brotherhood, which is believed to be behind some of the recent murders and other terror attacks. Elsewhere in Benghazi Islamic radical death squads killed two military commanders.

July 24, 2013: In Tripoli two rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the UAE (United Arab Emirates) embassy, causing damage but no casualties.

July 23, 2013: In Tripoli a car bomb went off near the Canadian embassy but there were no casualties. 

 

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