A new intelligence service was authorized by National Transitional Council at a meeting on 7 February. It is to be headed . . .[restrict]by Salem Al-Hassi, an opponent of the former regime.
It replaces the Qaddafi regime’s defunct General Intelligence Service.
Hassi is one of the few survivors of the battle of Bab Al-Azizia which took place on 8 May 1984. Organized by the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, then the main opposition movement, it was an attempt to assassinate Muammar Qaddafi and bring down his regime. It failed after its leader Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Hassi was caught entering the country from Tunisia. However, a number of his fellow plotters managed to infiltrate the camp and in the ensuing battle killed as many as 80 of Qaddafi’s guards before being killed or captured themselves. It is claimed that the Qaddafi troops killed, among them not only Libyans but also Cubans and East Germans.
In the aftermath some 2,000 Libyans were arrested and many were executed..
Salem Al-Hassi lived for many years in exile in the US and had taken US citizenship but has now given it up, according to Mukhtar Al-Jaddal, chairman of the NTC’s media.
In an interview with the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published on Wednesday, Al-Hassi said that he had a major task restructuring the intelligence service and changing its priorities and ways of thinking. He said the agency had to focus 0n protecting the country and its people rather than on the security of the leadership, as had been the case under Qaddafi.