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Cablegate: Tripoli Emergency Action Committee Meeting: August 20,

VZCZCXRO7042
PP RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0679 2321106
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 201106Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5177
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1129
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5721

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000679

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 8/20/2019
TAGS: ASEC AMGT CASC LY
SUBJECT: TRIPOLI EMERGENCY ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING: AUGUST 20,
2009

REF: TRIPOLI 375

CLASSIFIED BY: Joan Polaschik, DCM, Executive, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(S/NF) The Charge convened an Emergency Action Committee (EAC) on August 20, 2009 at 0915 hours to review tripwires and emergency planning procedures in light of the expected announcement of the release and return to Libya of convicted Pan Am 103 bomber Abdel Bassett Al-Megrahi. The Charge, Acting DCM/CONS, GRPO, CLO, MGT, DAO, PAO, FCS, RSO and POL/ECON attended the meeting. The EAC reviewed the tripwires reported reftel, and agreed that they were still valid. While the EAC agreed that one tripwire had been crossed (public USG opposition to Megrahi's release), Megrahi's expected return to Libya significantly lowered the security ramifications of the public USG opposition. However, the EAC expressed concern about the strong, negative reaction we are hearing from some Libyan Government officials about recent public USG statements regarding Megrahi's release. Although the Embassy has not detected any anti-American tone in local press coverage of the pending return, the EAC agreed that there is a possibility that Megrahi's return could spark some anti-American protests if/if the Libyan Government or people take umbrage at USG public statements. In order to ensure Embassy staff's safety, the EAC decided to release staff at 2:00 pm today. The Embassy did not link the early release to this issue, noting instead that this was being done in recognition of the Embassy staff's work on two recent high-level delegations and to allow the staff time to begin Ramadan preparations. Separately, the EAC agreed to draft a warden notice (for release after the public announcement) warning American citizens to be vigilant and avoid large crowds that could develop for a planned August 20 youth rally in Tripoli and in response to Megrahi's return. The EAC agreed to monitor events tonight and reconvene if needed on August 21.

2. (U) The EAC meeting ended at 0945.

3.(U) Point of contact for this cable is xxxxxxxxxxxx POLASCHIK

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