CIA Chief Visits Libya After Lockerbie Suspect Handover

Image copyright: Getty Images [via Al-Monitor]

The Facts

  • Libya's Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) announced on Thursday that CIA Director William Burns met with PM Abdul Hamid Dbeibah just weeks after Tripoli authorities handed over a Libyan suspect allegedly involved in the 1988 Pan-Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland to the US.

  • The GNU said that they discussed cooperation as well as economic and security issues, posting a hand-shaking photo of the two on one of its social media pages. It's not clear when exactly the meeting took place.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Everything about the CIA's actions in Libya is highly suspicious and perhaps even illegal. Besides the fact that the US doesn't have an extradition treaty with Libya, it seems that Washington acquired Mas'ud via a brutal local militia that essentially kidnapped him from his home. How does the US expect to promote the rule of law and stability in Libya when it's actively undermining it?

Pro-establishment narrative

Though the details of how exactly Mas'ud was taken into custody might be murky, his arrest was a breakthrough for justice and the rule of law. Mas'ud is a murderer, and the families of his victims have the right to see justice. The Libyan government said as early as 2021 that it was open to extradition, so it's no surprise that such an action would be taken in conjunction with local authorities.

Establishment split



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