Question of Libya's future heightened after Swedish consulate attacked, ICC al-Senussi decision
A car bomb targeting the Swedish consulate in Benghazi and the International Criminal Court's decision to allow Gaddafi's spy chief to be tried in Libya Friday have heightened questions regarding Libya's future during a week of renewed chaos in the North African country.
The Associated Press reported that a car bomb exploded near the Swedish consulate in Benghazi leaving the embassy and surrounding buildings severely damaged. No deaths were reported in the attack. The Swedish mission is one of the last remaining diplomatic offices in Benghazi with many other countries evacuating their facilities in the Libyan city due to frequent attacks on such institutions and personnel according to the report. Though attacks are often blamed on Islamists, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The International Criminal Court also announced Friday that Libya will be permitted to try ex-spy chief Abdallah al-Senussi of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in Libya rather than handing him over to the Hague for trial, according to an AFP report. In an issued statement, ICC judges ruled that "the case against Senussi is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation." However, judges emphasized that Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam is still wanted for trial at the Hague.
Earlier this week, Libya's PM was kidnapped by a a group of militants in protest of a US operation that capture senior al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Libi in Tripoli. Rebel groups, such as the Operations Cell of Libya's revolutionaries and the Brigade for the Fight against Crime, both claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. In earlier comments this week, the Operations Cell of Libya's Revolutionaries announced that it has ordered its fighters to "hunt down and expel foreigners who are illegally in the country."
Two years after Gaddafi's overthrow, Libya's new leaders still struggle to maintain order among tribal and rebel factions.