The late Moammar Gadhafi was the president of Libya from 1961 until 2011, and although the U.S. played a major role in his ouster and ultimate death, Gadhafi worked closely with the CIA and U.K. foreign intelligence service MI6.
Documents found in the abandoned Tripoli office of Gadhafi’s intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa, reveal that the U.S. and British spy agencies helped Gadhafi persecute Libyan dissidents, Human Rights Watch reported.
Hundreds of letters were found between the CIA, MI6 and Koussa, who went into exile in London, Reuters reported.
“Among the files we discovered at Moussa Koussa’s office is a fax from the CIA dated 2004 in which the CIA informs the Libyan government that they are in a position to capture and render (Libyan rebel leader Abdul Hakim Belhaj),” said Human Peter Bouckaert, one of those at Rights Watch who found the documents, according to a Reuters interview.
Belhaj was captured by the CIA in Asia and put on a secret flight back to Libya where he was interrogated and tortured by the Libyan security services, according to the papers.
The documents show that the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies worked closely with the Gadhafi regime in the rendition of Belhaj as well as terror suspects. Many of those same countries backed the NATO attacks that helped Libya’s rebels oust Gadhafi from power, TheJournal.ie reported.
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CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood defended the U.S. actions regarding Libya.
“It can’t come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats,” Youngblood said. “That is exactly what we are expected to do.”