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Tuesday, September 6, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Libyan rebels forming council to secure Tripoli from pro-Gadhafi forces

CAIRO — Libyan rebels have formed a security panel tasked with protecting the nation's capital.


The National Transitional Council said it established a so-called supreme security council assigned to protect Tripoli. NTC said said the committee contained 17 members and was responsible for order in the city.

"This committee represents all those who are concerned for the security of our new capital," panel chairman Ali Tarhouni said.

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Tarhouni, also chairman of the NTC executive committee, said the new panel has already returned police and security forces to patrol Tripoli. He said the biggest danger was pro-Gadhafi forces, still believed to have access to heavy weapons.

"The main goal is to protect citizens, as well as public and private establishments, and to eliminate what remains of pro-Gadhafi groups, or what is called the fifth column," Tarhuni told a briefing on Sept. 3.

In the initial stage, the new panel would contribute rebel forces to help patrol Tripoli, Middle East Newsline reported. Tarhouni said the goal was to eventually return the city's police force of 7,000 officers.

"I do not anticipate any problems with other groups joining this committee," Tarhouni said.

The rebels have already appointed an interim government in wake of Gadhafi's ouster in late August. The Interior Ministry was given to Ahmed Darad, who has called on the rebels to leave Tripoli and return home.

Several of Gadhafi's children were still vowing to fight the rebels. A major Gadhafi holdout was in Bani Walid, about 180 kilometers southeast of Tripoli.

"We are in a position of strength to enter any city but we want to avoid any bloodshed, especially in sensitive areas such as tribal areas," NTC chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil said. "We gave Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha one more week."

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