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LONDON — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has authorized sending a team of top MI6 counter-intelligence officers and a squad of SAS soldiers to Libya after President Muammar Gadhafi asked for help, insisting he is now “a prime target” for al-Qaida because of his support for the war on terror, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The startling claim by the man whom Britain was instrumental removing from the list of pariah nation-leaders was made at a secret meeting in the Travellers Club in London.
The club long has been a favorite meeting place for the senior officers of Britain’s intelligence community. Situated within walking distance of the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Office and Downing Street, it is comfortable and discreet, a place where sensitive matters can be shared over one of the finest steaks in London.
The luncheon guests last week were led past the porter’s lodge to a private dining room. A lavish self-service buffet had been prepared of the club’s famed hot and cold dishes. Out of deference to the prime guest, Musa Kussa, the head of Libyan intelligence and the country’s defense minister, the menu did not include ham.
The host of the gathering was Sir John Scarlett, head of MI6, and included senior Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense staff.
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There had been many such meetings since former Prime Minister Tony Blair had met the Libyan leader in 2007. Out of it had grown – largely due to Blair’s effort – the role of Libya in the war against terrorism. It is now MI6’s prime listening post in North Africa and its annex in the British Embassy in Tripoli is the largest in the region.
A senior intelligence source in London said the latest meeting had been called by Kussa to discuss the requests that he had brought from Gadhafi.
First, he wanted MI6 and the SAS to provide officers to “advise and prepare” on Gadhafi’s personal safety.
“He believed that while he had his own Praetorian Guard of crack shots, they would be no match for al-Qaida unless they were brought up to speed,” said the intelligence source.
Second, Gadhafi wanted to make clear that Libya would not hand over the killer of police constable Yvonne Fletcher.
She was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984. The bullet was fired from inside the building but her killer was among the embassy’s diplomats given passage to fly back to Libya. As a result of her death Britain severed diplomatic relations. Again, on Blair’s initiative, they were restored in 1999 after Tripoli agreed to pay Fletcher’s family compensation.