Report: CIA and British agents in Libya

March 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- The CIA had dispatched agents to Libya to provide intelligence and contact anti-government rebels, unidentified U.S. officials told The New York Times.

The Times said Wednesday clandestine CIA operatives had been in Libya for several weeks along with a sizable contingent of British intelligence agents and special-forces troops.

Despite President Obama's public statements that U.S. ground forces would not get involved in the Libyan rebellion, the West in general has had limited intelligence capabilities in Libya and also needs hard information to guide NATO-led air missions.

"We didn't have great data," U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham told the newspaper in an e-mail. "Libya hasn't been a country we focused on a lot over past few years."

The officials told the Times U.S. and British agents were not in particularly close contact with the anti-government rebels, but targeting information provided to NATO air forces could diminish the effectiveness of Moammar Gadhafi's military and hasten his departure from power.

The White House issued a statement Wednesday declining comment on the matter and reiterating that a decision to provide arms to the rebels had not been made.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Putin reassures PM Alexis Tsipras after 'no' referendum vote in Greece
Donald Trump deletes retweet about Jeb Bush's wife
Starbucks hikes prices on popular coffee drinks
Shark bites Camp Lejeune Marine on North Carolina coast
England deletes 'sexist' tweet about Women's World Cup team