Moussa Koussa was born on 23 March 1949 in Tripoli, and attended Michigan State University in the U.S., earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1978. He was a security specialist for Libyan embassies across Europe before being appointed as Colonel Gaddafi’s de facto ambassador to London in 1979. He was expelled from the U.K. in 1980 after having advocated the killing of Libyan dissidents in Britain and having expressed admiration for IRA militants.
He headed the Libyan intelligence agency from 1994 to March 2009. Next to that, he served in the Libyan government as Minister of Foreign Affairs until his resignation on 30 March 2011. He was considered until that moment as one of the country’s most powerful figures and is consequently believed to be implicated in the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the repression of the civil protests and the non-international armed conflict that followed, between 15 February and 30 March 2011.
On 15 February 2011, there began a series of protests and confrontations in Libya that led to a large popular uprising. Within a week, it spread across the country, including its capital Tripoli. The Gaddafi Regime responded with a military crackdown on protestors and civilians, recruiting foreign mercenaries to supplement his forces as the Eastern part of the country was falling under control of the rebel forces and parts of the military defected.
By the end of February the rebels formed a government called the National Transitional Council based in Benghazi. According to the information of human rights groups, Gaddafi’s forces are responsible for alleged killings in Tripoli, where 228 or more people died in air strikes; in Benghazi where bombing also allegedly killed some 257 people; and in the towns of Misrata, Brega, Derna, Zenten and Ajdabiya where air strikes and attacks by security forces were allegedly responsible for at least 40 deaths.
On March 31, Moussa Koussa has fled from Tunisia to London where he is now detained by the British intelligence services. As the longtime Libyan intelligence chief and foreign Minister, Mr. Koussa is widely suspected to be implicated in acts of terrorism and murder over the last three decades, including the assassination of dissidents, the training of international terrorists and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Scottish Prosecutors are also seeking to interview Mr. Koussa about the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 people.
The U.N. Security Council, in a unanimous decision on 26 February 2011, instructed the International Criminal Court to investigate into the Libyan crisis that was described as “widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place against the civilian population [which] may amount to crimes against humanity”. The United Nations Security Council also passed a resolution freezing the assets of Gaddafi and ten members of his inner circle and restricting their travel. The United States have dropped these sanctions against Moussa Koussa to encourage other defections.