After the capture of Libyan prime minister, what’s next?

Ali Zeidan, Libya
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, left, was briefly kidnapped in his own country Thursday.
Credit: Getty Images

First the militia captured the prime minister in his hotel room in central Tripoli, then it released him. The mystery surrounding the kidnapping of Libyan’s Ali Zeidan thickens: Less than 24 hours after kidnapping him “on orders from the prosecutor-general,” fighters from a group loosely tied to the government released the prime minister. Is Libya safe?

Metro spoke with James Forest, professor and director of security studies at the University of Massachusetts, who also researches insurgences and terrorism at the Pentagon-run Joint Special Operations University.

What does this incident stay about the state of security in Libya?

In a country that runs properly the government has a monopoly on the use of force. That’s clearly not the case in Libya. It’s very concerning when a violent group can coerce the leaders of the country with the use of force. It sends the message that we can catch you and force you to do things our way. And if the groups get away with it, it will undermine the government’s authority in the long run.

And then…?

The incident is concerning both domestically and internationally. Domestically, it will affect citizens’ faith in their government, in security, and in the economy. The pattern in Libya and other countries is that high levels of uncertainty lead to large numbers of people trying to leave. Internationally, it will impact countries’ willingness to do business with Libya. When a country signs an agreement with another country, it’s done in good faith and with the assumption that the country will have a functioning government. A situation like this could harm development aid to Libya, for example.

What should the international community do now?

We should communicate to the militias that it’s not in their interest to undermine the government: Fewer international government contracts, less development aid would affect all Libyans, them included.


Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.


Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.


Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.


Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…


‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."


'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…


Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.


Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.


Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.


Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.