Gunmen have kidnapped the president of the Libyan Olympic Committee.
According to reports, Ahmed Nabil al-Taher al-Alam was riding with a colleague Sunday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli when two vehicles filled with unidentified gunmen forced them to stop and “politely” seized al-Alam, leaving the colleague unharmed in the street.
The abductors’ motives and identities are unknown, but they claimed to be from the Libyan army. The spokesman for the Libyan Olympic Committee, however, said later that the men were not members of the armed forces. Security officials are investigating the abduction.
“We condemn this kind of action. Whoever did this are criminals,” Libya’s Sports and Youth Minister Fethi Tarbel told Reuters. “This goes against the revolution, this brings us back to the Gaddafi culture … I don’t know if he had any issues with anyone.”
The Associated Press reports that, since the fall and killing of longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, militias have been aggressively rounding up officials with ties to the Gaddafi regime. Al-Alam is known to have been friends with Gaddafi’s son, Mohammed.
The Committee issued a statement condemning “this heinous crime” and called on officials in Libya’s interim government “to fulfill their duty in finding out the fate of this man and free him from the kidnappers by taking all necessary measures to achieve that, and to put an end to such irresponsible acts that only mean chaos, an attack on public freedoms and extrajudicial detention.”
The interim government has struggled to control radical militias determined to take the law into their own hands.