UK probes MI5 Gaddafi connection

2012-04-22 22:12

London - Britain said on Sunday it would "take seriously" claims that British spies worked with Libyan counterparts to betray opponents of Muammar Gaddafi and lure al-Qaeda militants to a radical mosque.

The claims were made by two British newspapers who cited documents unearthed from Libyan archives after the Gaddafi regime was toppled last year.

The Mail on Sunday said documents revealed that in 2006, agents from Britain's domestic intelligence agency MI5 provided Libyan spies with intelligence about dissidents who had fled to Britain.

"The documents disclose that MI5 betrayed the confidentiality that all refugees are promised when they apply for asylum," the paper said.

Spies also provided the Libyan agents with secure mobile phones and a luxurious safe house in London's plush Knightsbridge district, the Mail added.

The Sunday Telegraph claimed MI6, the international intelligence agency, worked with Gaddafi's agents in around 2004 to establish a radical mosque in an unnamed European city that could lure al-Qaeda members.

A spokesperson for the Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, said: "We do not know the full details of these cases, but we take such claims seriously."

Parliament's intelligence and security committee was looking into the government's relationship with Libya "and will take account of any allegations raised by these reports", he added.

The alleged co-operation would in both cases have occurred during Tony Blair's premiership in Britain.

The Labour leader, prime minister between 1997 and 2007, re-opened diplomatic links with Libya after his so-called "deal in the desert" talks with Gaddafi in 2004.

On Wednesday, two Libyans who accuse Britain of having been complicit in their torture by Gaddafi agents announced they were taking legal action against former foreign minister Jack Straw.

Abdelhakim Belhaj, who became Tripoli's military commander after the Libyan leader was ousted in last year's revolution, and fellow Gaddafi opponent Sami al-Saadi both allege British involvement in their illegal rendition in 2004.

Read more on:    mi5  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  espionage

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.