Thursday 22 June 2017

Alan Judd: Defecting to the old enemy shows Libyan spymaster is just a realist

As foreign minister, Moussa Koussa headed Libya's external spying operations
As foreign minister, Moussa Koussa headed Libya's external spying operations

Alan Judd

THE announcement of the defection of former Libyan foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, may have come as no surprise to those who know him.

This is not simply because, doubtless acting through rational self-interest, he decided to jump ship once he thought it was going down. It is also because he is the former head of the Libyan external intelligence service.

You might think that being a spy, especially one who was expelled from Britain 30 years ago and who was at the dark heart of many of his regime's unsavoury practices, would make him the least likely to defect. After all, he presumably knows about -- may have been involved in -- the Lockerbie bombing and the murder of the British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher. Surely such a man would have no interest in defecting to the old enemy. But quite the contrary: spies are often the most likely to jump ship.

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