afrol News, 11 June - The US government is giving credibility to a report, alleging that Libya's leader, Muammar Ghaddafi, last year plotted to assassinate the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah. The "plot", denounced by a suspected Islamist activist, has been "categorically" rejected by Libyan authorities.
Abdurahman Alamoudi, an American citizen detained in the US over suspicions of financing Islamist groups such as Hamas, is quoted as the main source of the allegations against the Libyan leader. In detention since September last year, Mr Alamoudi has given US police a large amount of information in an attempt to reduce his sentence.
Mr Alamoudi reported that he had met Colonel Ghaddafi in person last year, discussing advanced plans to have Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah assassinated. Financing Islamist movements through a Libyan charity, Mr Alamoudi claims he was to become a prominent brick in the network allegedly set up to organise the assassination.
US investigators reported the alleged assassination plot to central US and Saudi authorities, who later had produced parallel information from other sources. Saudi police allegedly have questioned a Libyan intelligence officer, arrested in Saudi Arabia, who had similar information.
The "Libyan plot" to kill Crown Prince Abdullah was made known to US media this week, although only described as an allegation under investigation. There was however no doubt US and Saudi authorities took the reports seriously.
In Libya - whose leadership has struggled hard to denounce its terrorism supporting part - the US allegations came as a shock. Normally not reacting to foreign media reports, Foreign Minister Abdelrahman Mohamed Shalgam broke the silence and said his government was "surprised by this." Further, "we deny it completely and categorically," Mr Shalgam said in a statement to the press yesterday evening.
- I insist on stating officially that this report is without foundation, that Libya has committed no such act and that it is firmly engaged in the fight against terrorism, the Foreign Minister added. "Those who spread such stories are elements hostile to Libya," and "want to poison our relations with Saudi Arabia," he concluded.
Washington and Riyadh however still give credibility to the plot allegation. The spokesman of the US State Department, Richard Boucher, yesterday evening told the press that "there are investigations underway." He however did not want to comment on the allegations themselves.
- We did hear reports ... late last year, that Libya was in contact with Saudi dissidents who have threatened violence against the Saudi royal family, Mr Boucher added. "We raised those concerns directly with Libyan leadership and they assured us that they would not support the use of violence for settling political differences with any state."
The US spokesman also said that his government had been "monitoring Libya's behaviour carefully," regarding the Libyan leadership's "overall record in renouncing support for terrorism." According to Mr Boucher, US authorities recognised that Libya had taken "significant steps to repudiate its past support of terrorism."
Meanwhile, investigations are also going on in Saudi Arabia, where the Libyan leader for long has been considered a person of discomfort. The Libyan and Saudi leaders exchanged insults in March last year after Colonel Ghaddafi accused Crown Prince Abdullah of siding with the devil because he was supporting the US invasion of Iraq.
Saudi resentments over Libya have again become overt as the alleged plot has been broadcasted in the Kingdom. Several Saudi newspapers today demand strong action against the Ghaddafi regime.
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