Earlier this morning Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped. Though the story is still developing, it has been confirmed by an aide to Prime Minister Zeidan that the story is indeed true. It is being reported that Zeidan was kidnapped from the Corinthian Hotel in Tripoli by unknown gunmen. The hotel was serving as his current residence. An unnamed hotel attendant noted that the gunmen were not hostile and calmly escorted Zeidan out of the hotel. It is unclear where they are taking him but the reasons for the kidnapping appear to be fairly clear.
After last Saturday’s raid where U.S. militants captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai’i, Libyans citizens and rebel groups had been at further unrest. Al Ruqai’i is best known by his alias Anas al Libi. Al Libi is said to be a senior al Qaeda official. Al Libi is believed to be the alleged mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. It has also been reported that he was a close confidant of Osama Bin Laden.
Last Saturday, U.S. militants launched twin attacks at suspected terrorist hideouts in Libya, where al Libi was swiftly captured and put into custody, and Somalia. The Libyan government received criticism among both terrorist groups and citizens for allowing the U.S. to complete the raids. Al Libi has sense been indicted and the recent kidnapping of Zeidan seems to be directly connected.
Libyan officials have denied any direct involvement in the capture of Al Libi. CNN reported, “Zeidan’s office initially called the abduction a “rumor” on its official Facebook page, but later posted an update that it was “coerced by kidnappers to deny the report.”
It can’t be known how long Prime Minister Zeidan will remain in the custody of the gunmen or if they have or will make any demands.
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