“Malta is the rear base of all Libyan operations, according to a specialist in country (Malta). This is the Casablanca of the 40s. The French, British, Italians, Americans … everyone is there,” the newspaper source says, also pointing out that in Malta there is the seat of the Libyan Central Bank and the National Oil Company (NOC). “It (Malta) has become the hub of all traffic related to Libya.”
Another ‘expert’ who spoke to the French newspaper said a Mediterranean reconnaissance mission was “not inconsistent” with a Libyan intelligence operation. “The plane could remain at a distance from the areas of interest and collect vital information without flying over sovereign territories. This can include image capturing, electronic signals to surveil activities in Libya that could be of interest to the DGSE, such as trafficking, armed terrorist groups and the presence of foreign forces. Malta then serves as a discreet refuelling platform.”
Liberation says that CAE – the company that owned the Metroliner plane – frequently leases out surveillance aircraft to the French spy agency. It says the French government will never publish the names of the DGSE members killed on Monday.
The men, it says, were bound for an operation in Libya. “The West is currently involved on two fronts – the battle of Sirte, in the center of the country, where the brigades of Misrata are close to overthrow the Islamic state with support from US warplanes, and the war in the East by General Haftar, who faces a coalition of Islamist groups and more moderate fighters in Cyrenaica.”