Mid-morning in Denmark. As news of Libyan PM Ali Zeidan’s kidnapping from a Tripoli hotel is making headlines around the world, we start to get calls from concerned clients.
One of them had two people in Libya and needed to evacuate them. Now. They, too, were staying in a hotel in Tripoli, and the client requested secure movement from their hotel to the airport. The news of 150 gunmen arriving at a hotel at 4 a.m. local time, then kidnapping the country’s PM – who was staying at a hotel for security reasons – was not exactly a confidence builder for our client. The two travellers were booked on a later flight out of Tripoli – and had been instructed to stay put in their hotel.
Within an hour, we had a car and a trained driver, with years of secure embassy experience, standing by and ready to go.
Over the next few hours, we continued to assess the security situation both through our usual channels and through our sources on the ground in Tripoli. And we stayed in close contact with our client as the situation evolved throughout the late morning and early afternoon, Danish time.
As most you will know by now, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was released today. Word on the street is that this was a “financial” kidnapping, not a political one. Our local intelligence let us know that the situation on the ground appears calm: roads are open, there no more roadblocks than usual, and the airport is running. There’s a lot of traffic, but today is the start of the 10-day Eid holiday, and many people are on their way to their villages or abroad.
The end of the story? Together with our client, the assessment was that the evacuation assignment could be downgraded to secure transportation. Our guys are ready if anything else develops.
Forward thinking: that’s what gives rapid response and relevant information from reliable local sources.