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Published on Jul 6, 2012
Libya News Round Up and Interpretation. From WSJ " Libya is among the post-Arab Spring nations grappling with a difficult question as they move toward democracy: Whether or not to use the security tools left behind by former dictators. Libya plans elections this Saturday.
One of the government's main security concerns is to keep the country safe from a pro-Gadhafi counterrevolution. The risk is that Libya could follow a pattern seen in other post-authoritarian countries, from Russia to Iraq, in which new leaders weaken the rule of law in the interest of power or stability.
Since Gadhafi's overthrow in a bloody conflict last year, Libya's caretaker government has created two new national-security agencies—one called Preventive Security, for domestic intelligence, and one called Foreign Security, for operations abroad.
The effort is headed by 50-year-old Salem al-Hasi, a long-exiled anti-Gadhafi activist and Islamic scholar who, in just months, has gone from working as a language teacher at a U.S. military college in Georgia to serving as Libya's new national intelligence chief.
Electronic surveillance is a sensitive subject for Libya's new leaders. In an interview, Mr. Hasi's deputy denied that Libya has put Gadhafi-era surveillance gear to use. "We don't have the staff or know-how to do this," said Mustafa Nu'ah, the deputy, in a brief phone interview.