March 31, 2011
(Update: Britain refused on Thursday to offer Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa immunity from prosecution after his apparent defection, but said his departure would hearten rebels fighting to topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the resignation of Koussa, one of the most senior members of Gadhafi’s government, shows that the Libyan leader’s regime is “fragmented, under pressure and crumbling.”)
Mussa Kussa, the Libyan foreign minister who flew to Britain Wednesday and said he was defecting from the Tripoli regime, is described as a “master of international terrorism” and the man responsible for exporting Muammar Gaddafi’s revolution.
Kussa (whose name is also rendered Musa Kusa or Moussa Koussa) was Libya’s ambassador to London in 1980, but in June of that year the government expelled him after he publicly approved the sentence of a Libyan People’s Revolutionary court to kill two unidentified Libyan exiles in Britain. At the time the regime was engaged in a campaign against exiled opponents, at least two of whom had been murdered in London alone.
(Coincidentally, news of reportedly defecting Kussa’s arrival in Britain came on the same day that the British government said it was expelling five Libyan diplomats loyal to Gaddafi, on the grounds they could pose a threat to national security.)
Before he was appointed foreign minister in 2009, Kussa served as head of Gaddafi’s intelligence agency for 15 years, and he reportedly played a key role in negotiating an end to Libya’s weapons of mass destruction programs in 2003.
Back in the 1980s, Kussa was reportedly involved in shadowy intelligence-security work. In his 1992 book Target America and the West, U.S. terror researcher Yossef Bodansky wrote that Kussa headed a project launched in 1986 to escalate terrorism in Western Europe and the United States.
This article was posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 4:47 am