Libyan PM’s Abduction Raises Disturbing Questions
Delving deeper into the symbolism of Zidan’s brief kidnapping and its implications for the US-Libya relationship, I said the following to France 24’s crack research team. To read the whole article click here.
Zeidan’s abduction came only days after Islamic militants and militias expressed outrage over a weekend raid by US special forces that resulted in the seizure of al Qaeda suspect Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Abu Anas al-Libi.
“Of course it’s linked,” said Jason Pack, president of Libya-Analysis.com and a researcher at Cambridge University. “There’s a great symbolism here. This happened in the Corinthia Hotel, where Western diplomats and businessmen tend to stay. The message is clear: we’re upset you [the US] violated the sovereignty of our country. We’re going to abduct someone you think is important, someone who’s supposedly seen as a Western stooge.”
The Libyan government has denied that it had any prior knowledge of the US raid but this has failed to reassure many Libyans.
On Wednesday, Zeidan met with Libi’s family and assured them that his government would do everything to ensure his legal rights were protected. But the Libyan prime minister has also noted that relations with Washington, a key ally of his government, would not be affected.