Search

 

Cablegate: Exbs Airport Training Proceeds Despite Security Service

VZCZCXRO9382
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0614/01 2121250
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301250Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3740
INFO RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0570
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1173
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0733
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0679
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0559
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0877
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4251

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000614

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/MAG AND ISN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/30/2018
TAGS: PREL PTER KNNP EAID LY
SUBJECT: EXBS AIRPORT TRAINING PROCEEDS DESPITE SECURITY SERVICE
OBSTRUCTION

REF: (A) TRIPOLI 144, (B) TRIPOLI 588 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Summary. On July 20-22, a three-member Customs and Border Protection team traveled to Libya to provide airport security training to approximately 30 Libyan customs, security, and counter-narcotics officials at Tripoli International Airport. The program was enthusiastically received by the participants; however, senior elements within the security services erected significant obstacles to the training program, including delaying visa issuance for the U.S. team for several weeks, confiscating all training materials and physically preventing the distribution of written course materials to program participants, denying "permission" for Embassy officials to travel with the visiting U.S. team to Benghazi for a second course module, and attempting to strong-arm the trainers into providing a written "assessment" of Libya's current airport security posture. End summary. U.S. TRAINS 30 AIRPORT OFFICIALS UNDER EXBS AUSPICES 2. (C) On July 20-22, a three-member delegation from the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CDP) directorate traveled to Libya to provide classroom and practical training to approximately 30 Libyan customs, security, and counter-narcotics officials under Export Control and Border Security (EXBS) auspices. The course, requested by the Libyan authorities on the margins of an EXBS port security program in Tripoli in February, focused on airport security at Libya's largest airport, Tripoli International Airport (ref A). The course included modules on passenger screening, luggage screening, behavioral analysis, and targeting / threat assessment. The course consisted of one and half days of classroom instruction in a conference room at the airport and one and a half days of practical "live" exercises on the airport floor. The acting director of the airport, Izzeddin al-Naas, attended the training's opening session while a senior official within the uniformed police service at the airport participated in the entire program. SECURITY SERVICES ERECT NUMEROUS OBSTACLES 3. (C) Despite high-level political support for the EXBS airport course from the Libyan side, security services erected numerous obstacles to the smooth implementation of the training course. Once scheduling and visa difficulties were sorted out (a process which took several months) and dates for the visit were agreed, Post received a diplomatic note stating that Embassy officers would not/not be permitted to travel to Benghazi to provide logistical support to the U.S. delegation during the three-day portion of the course at Benghazi International Airport (ref B). (Note: Post informed the Libyan authorities via diplomatic that two officers would accompany the DHS/CBP team to Benghazi. End note.) The Libyan authorities did not/not offer a reason for denying travel permission. Post informed the Ministry of Public Security (General People's Committee for Public Security, or GPCPS) that, if the GOL refused to authorize Embassy officers to accompany the team to Benghazi, Post would be forced to cancel the Benghazi part of the program; while GPCPS offered to "intervene" with the security services, they were unable to reverse the decision and Post was forced to cancel the three-day Benghazi course. 4. (C) On July 20, the DHS/CBP trainers and Poloff arrived at Tripoli International Airport to begin the training program. The director of airport security met the officers outside the classroom and informed them that the trainers would not/not be permitted to distribute written training materials to any course participants until security officials had had sufficient time to "review" the course materials. Security officials confiscated 50 training manuals and several boxes of gifts the trainers had brought to distribute to the participants, including DHS hats, keychains, and small pocket tools such as screwdrivers and pocket knives. Poloff immediately requested meetings with the civilian director of the airport and the director of uniformed police at the airport (who was the senior Libyan participant in the course) to request their assistance releasing the course materials; both officials promised their assistance and conceded deep disappointment with the security services' decision to confiscate the course materials. Despite repeated assurances that they would release the course materials, security officials did not/not allow the trainers to distribute any written materials throughout the three-day course. At the course's conclusion, the director of airport security physically locked all written course materials in his office to prevent their distribution to the Libyan participants. TRIPOLI 00000614 002 OF 002 5. (C) On July 21, the director of airport police apologetically informed Poloff that he did not/not have the authority to grant Poloff permission to accompany the U.S. team on a one-hour walking tour of the Tripoli airport. An External Security (ESO) official demanded that Poloff accompany him to a security office at the airport and copied down details of his Libyan diplomatic ID. After 30 minutes, the official agreed Poloff could participate in the tour; however, a total of five security officials accompanied Poloff at distances of less than five feet throughout the orientation tour. In addition, on July 22, the director of airport security approached the U.S. delegation to demand that they produce a detailed, Arabic-language report praising security procedures at Tripoli International Airport prior to the team's departure from Libya. The director stressed that the report must be received the same day and must provide a detailed "official" U.S. assessment of screening and interdiction procedures at the airport. 6. (C) Comment. While mid-level officials within the Libyan law enforcement community appear genuinely interested in cooperation and training programs, the GOL's designated authority for law enforcement training -- the GPCPS training department -- does not/not have the authority to issue visas to U.S. trainers, to facilitate in-country travel for visiting experts, or to organize access to Libyan government facilities for U.S. delegations. The training department has expressed interest in an EXBS land border security program targeting narcotics trafficking and human smuggling along Libya's porous southern border with Niger; however, Post's experience is that security services will retain control over the pace of U.S. law enforcement cooperation in Libya. The EXBS airport program, while warmly received by the 30 Libyan participants, should serve as a cautionary tale for hopes of ramped-up law enforcement cooperation under both EXBS and ATA auspices in the near future. End comment. STEVENS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC