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Cablegate: Libyan Efforts to Stop the Flow of Foreign Fighters to Iraq

VZCZCXRO2767
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0500 1771251
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O P 251251Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3598
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0032
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0031
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0004
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0841
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0072
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0024
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0519
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0435
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY 0001
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0004
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0008
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0006
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0131
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0152
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4106

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000500

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/25/2018
TAGS: PGOV PTER MCAP PREL LY
SUBJECT: LIBYAN EFFORTS TO STOP THE FLOW OF FOREIGN FIGHTERS TO IRAQ

REF: STATE 50900

CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, Department
of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (c), (d)
1. (S/NF) Information below is keyed to questions in paras 4-6
of reftel tasker.

- OBJECTIVE MASSEY NAME TRACES: Names for Libyan foreign
fighters recovered in the Objective Massey raid in September
2007 were passed in GRPO liaison channels to the External
Security Organization (ESO). As of late November 2007, the
ESO provided traces on those individuals (see TD-314/77022/07
for further details).

- COOPERATION WITH SYRIA: Post assesses that Libyan-Syrian
cooperation has been robust and productive. The ESO maintains
active channels of communication with its sister organizations
in the Syrian Arab Republic concerning efforts to stop Syrian
citizens from traveling to Iraq to conduct terrorist operations
and to stop the transit of foreign fighters through Syria. See
TD-314/69907-07 and TD-314/68798-07 for ESO Director Musa Kusa's
assessment of Syria's efforts. Syrian Military Intelligence
(SMI) transferred 27 Libyan foreign fighters to the custody of
the Government of Libya (GOL) in late December 2007 (see
TD-314/82371-07 for further details). Information provided by
ESO in liaison channels suggests that over 100 Libyan foreign
fighters have been transferred from Syria to the custody of the
GOL in the past two years.

- DOMESTIC ACTION TO STEM FOREIGN FIGHTER FLOWS: Libyan
officials have expressed willingness to take greater domestic
action and to cooperate in regional and multi-lateral efforts to
prevent Libyan citizens from traveling to Iraq to engage in
terrorist operations. Post's assessment is that the GOL has
calculated that returning extremists pose a potentially serious
threat to the regime's stability, and that efforts to stem the
flow of Libyan foreign fighters to Iraq are in its strategic
best interest. See TD-314/034705-08 for details on ESO's
detention of all known Libyan Iraq veterans that returned to
Libya in 2004 and 2005. The ESO's leadership has focused on
counter-ideological measures, cooperation with neighboring
states in the Sahara and Sahel region, and development of more
stringent measures to sceen and track young men traveling
to/from Libya. (See TD-314/69655-07 for details on combating
extremist ideology; see TRIPOLI 120 and TRIPOLI 430 for analysis
of factors enabling recruitment of eastern Libyans as foreign
fighters; see TD-314/019998-08 and TD-314/019732-08 for details
on ESO's cooperation with other North African states to combat
foreign fighter flows; see TRIPOLI 248 for details on human and
technical surveillance employed at airports by the Internal
Security Organization (ISO) and ESO to prevent Libyans from
traveling to Iraq and elsewhere to engage in terrorist
operations.) Indicating that Libya intends to improve the
safety of its travel documents, Libya's National Security
Council requested from the Charge on May 7 a list of U.S.
companies that produce passports and travel documents with
advanced security features, which Post provided shortly
thereafter. The GOL facilitated a port security training
program under EXBS auspices in March 2008. A parallel training
program for airport security (fraudulent document detection and
passenger screening techniques) is scheduled for July 2008, and
a follow-on training program for land border crossing points is
expected to take place in fall 2008. Post's assessment is that
the flow of foreign fighters from Libya to Iraq and the reverse
flow of veterans to Libya has diminished due to new procedures
adopted by the GOL (see TD-314/027806-08 for further details).

STEVENS

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