Who kidnapped the Jordanian ambassador?

تم نشره في Wed 16 April / Apr 2014. 12:04 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 16 April / Apr 2014. 12:05 PM

By Fahed Khitan

In a country where a prime minister could be kidnapped, It should not be a surprise that an ambassador of an Arab or foreign country could be abducted, like what happened with the Jordanian ambassador in Libya Fawaz al-Eitaan yesterday.

Libya is substantially lacking in stability and security since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, in the absence of the state's ability to impose its authority on the new, growing influence of armed tribal groups, while their activities are interconnected with state security and military agencies, along with extremist religious groups.

The US and all its power and intelligence and security presence in Libya has not been able to protect its ambassador from being killed or its embassy from being burnt down in Benghazi. In the past few months, many diplomats and journalists were murdered and kidnapped in Libya.

Since the moment of the announcement of the kidnapping of the ambassador Eitaan, a wave of speculations about the identity of the kidnappers and their demands were raised. The Libyan media reported that it had warned weeks ago of an operation to kidnap the Jordanian ambassador. It remains to be seen whether the Libyan authorities have taken this news very seriously or if they informed the ambassador, or foreign ministry.

The story developed yesterday afternoon, and a new element emerged that an extremist Libyan group kidnapped the ambassador to put pressure on the Jordanian authorities for the release of a Libyan citizen serving a life sentence in Jordan on charges of participating in terrorist activity, called Mohammad al-Darssi.

All of these stories remain as speculation unless one group declares responsibility for the kidnapping of the ambassador and determine their demands, or if the Jordanian officials reveal communications with the kidnappers.

The second possibility is unlikely , and even if an event such communication exist, the Jordanian authorities will not reveal it, and will resort to secret diplomatic channels to release the ambassador.

It is also unlikely that the Jordanian government will negotiate with groups like al -Qaeda, or respond to their demands, as it has never before happened that Jordan entered into negotiations of this kind and with groups classified on the terrorism list.

Perhaps, at this stage, the issue is complicated and takes longer before releasing the ambassador, as happened before with the Jordanian officers who had been kidnapped in Darfur and their release took long weeks of contacts and negotiations led by Jordanian security team in the field.

Libya today is an open yard to all cross-border groups, and the field of influence of some countries who are closely associated with these groups. In this regard, assistance can be requested from some of these countries to reach the ambassador’s hijackers and force them to release him.

In all cases, it is important that Jordan is not subject to blackmail by these groups, and succumb to their conditions and demands. If it does that, many Jordanian ambassadors will be vulnerable to the same threat in the future. 

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.

Comment