By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 6 October 2013:
The group who seized Nazih Al-Ruqaii, alias Abu Anas Al-Libi, yesterday were not Americans but Libyans, . . .[restrict]Hashim Bishar, has told the Libya Herald. “We’re 100-percent sure of it,” the head of Tripoli SSC said this afternoon. The leader of the group, however, was “foreign”, he said, but would not say from where.
The incident had taken place in Tripoli’s Nufleen district, Bishr added, not near the Airport Road, as had earlier been stated.
US officials have said that the team that seized Ruqaii were American and that the abduction had been carried out with the knowledge of the Libyan government. It has denied it
In a statement today, the Libyan government said it was “closely monitoring” the news relating the kidnapping of Ruqaii and had asked for an explanation from the US embassy as to what happened. It said that it was not involved and gave no permission for the abduction.
In a relatively low key response to the news, it added that Libyans can only stand trial in Libya no matter where the offence was committed. It also pointed to the close relations between the US and Libya.
There are fears is Tripoli this evening that the kidnapping could be a game changer, seriously backfiring on the US, for which there has generally been high regard until now. The government statement said that it hoped that its strategic relationship with the US is “not jeopardized as a result of this incident” and that contact between the two governments would resolve the matter. [/restrict]