Britain Orders 21 Libyans Ousted as Revolutionaries : Suicide Pilot Volunteer Is on List
Twenty-one Libyans, including a student pilot who volunteered to form a suicide squad to attack U.S. targets, were taken into custody today for “revolutionary activity” and the government ordered them quickly deported.
The 21 Libyans, most of them university students, were rounded up during early morning raids across the country. A Home Office spokesman said they will be flown back to Libya “very shortly, as soon as the logistics of flights can be arranged.”
Among the Libyans was a student pilot at the Oxford Air Training School in Kidlington, who last month volunteered to form a kamikaze squad to attack the United States and “hit with an iron fist.”
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The 23-year-old student, Adel Masaoud, telephoned a Libyan radio station during U.S. maneuvers in the Gulf of Sidra and said, “We, the revolutionary force, are prepared to become suicide squads against America and its arrogance.”
The Kidlington school subsequently banned all Libyan students from solo flights.
The school is only a few minutes’ flying time from the Upper Heyford air base, where U.S. F-111 fighter-bombers that participated in the April 15 attack on Libya were based.
Home Secretary Douglas Hurd told Parliament he ordered the deportation of the Libyans “in the light of the latest information about the active involvement of those concerned in organizing Libyan student activity in support of the (Moammar) Kadafi regime in the United Kingdom.”
He said there was information about their involvement in “revolutionary activity” but provided no other details.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called the deportation orders “legitimate and desirable.”
About 1,800 of the roughly 7,000 Libyans living in Britain are students.
The number of Libyans allowed to enter the country was drastically reduced two years ago after shots from inside the Libyan People’s Bureau (Embassy) killed a British policewoman. The Thatcher government broke diplomatic relations with Libya over the shooting.