human currency

The operation coincided exactly with Tony Blair's first visit to Libya. Two days after the fax was sent, Blair arrived to shake hands with Gaddafi, and said the two nations wanted to make "common cause" in counter-terrorism operations. It was also announced that Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell had signed a £550m gas exploration deal. Three days later Saadi and his family were put aboard a private Egyptian-registered jet and flown to Tripoli.

Associates of Saadi cannot understand why his capture and interrogation would hold any great intelligence value for the British authorities, and are speculating that he may have been a "gift" from the British to the Gaddafi regime.

He came with fugitives in his chain, and the two leaders met in a tent. Interesting the extent of Beijing's co-operation, too.