By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 26 July 2013:
Interior Minister Mohamed Sheikh said that the assassinations in Benghazi seem to be systematic.
Answering a . . .[restrict]question at Tuesday’s press conference as to why there had been no arrests despite nearly 50 assassinations or bombings of individuals in Benghazi and the eastern region, the Interior Minister did not answer the question directly.
Nevertheless, he said that they were probably carried out by former convicts and that his Ministry had some intelligence and information on who was behind the assassinations and attacks, but that he was not prepared to reveal it publicly.
The admittance that the authorities have intelligence on criminal and terrorist activities within Libya is a new departure for the government. Under his predecessor, Ashour Shuwail, the government did not used to admit that it had some intelligence on activities.
It is not clear whether this means that the previous Interior Minister had intelligence, but chose not reveal the fact, or whether the Libyan authority’ intelligence gathering capabilities had improved recently.
What is clear is that, on the face of it, the Libyan authorities have so far, been reactive as opposed to proactive to criminal and terrorist activities. There has been no publicly revealed arrest of a major individual criminal or terrorist or network of criminals or terrorists so far based on tip offs or intelligence activities.