The Ministry of Defence faced further embarrassment today after it was revealed that several more British Special Forces personnel have been discovered in Tripoli. The team of three troops, highly trained in the art of concealment and who can stay hidden for months, had been there since the crisis began, covertly monitoring the Libyan leader by disguising themselves as his tent.
They were only found after a high-ranking officer in the Libyan leader’s militia remembered that pretending to be a tent was one of the techniques taught to Libya’s commandos by the SAS in return for a massive trade deal way back in October last year when Britain thought Gaddafi was ‘alright’. And also because one of them farted.
Delicate negotiations are under way to secure the soldiers’ release with Liam Fox refusing to confirm or deny that he’s the British Defence Secretary but insisting that Britain would stand by whoever ends up in charge in Libya, as long as there was a lot more oil on the table and hinting that further arms deals would be possible as long as they promised not to fire any of them. Based on the situation on the ground as it stands, he also wished Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi well, but suggested the UK position on that could change.
In Benghazi, rebel forces have accepted that an earlier mission by the SAS was simply an error of judgement. Those soldiers were released when the newly-formed rebel Libyan National council empathised that they were merely small part players from a rogue state which had no proper government after the soldiers showed them fake passports and pretended they were from Belgium.
But the rebels in the east remain suspicious of anyone who looks a bit English and arrives by helicopter in the middle of the night, even if it’s Prince William piloting the Chinook which carries special trade envoy the Duke of York and a whole host of University Chancellors offering scholarships and a promise to turn a blind eye to PhD qualifications plagiarised from someone else.
In the light of enormous criticism the UK government is still pondering why on earth it didn’t think of freezing Libyan assets ages ago, putting it down to a massive oversight brought on by the distraction of busily ignoring the free flow of Hosni Mubarak’s millions, and the odd Saudi Riyal here and there.
There are however fears that the Gaddaffi’s Libyan security bureau is already planning retribution after a tip-off from the government’s eavesdropping facility, GCHQ. ‘No-one is safe and everyone must be vigilant,’ said Foreign Secretary William Hague, ‘Communications from Tripoli suggest many plots are underway and we’re particularly concerned that they might even use what we’ve taught them in an attempt to conceal themselves in Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.’
‘The SAS are on standby to put a ring of steel around Miss Middleton, just in case, and an entire troop has been withdrawn from front line duties to practise disguising themselves as her corset,’ added Mr Hague, ‘but they could strike at any time and I advise the public to be aware of the threat and report anything at all suspicious to the government. Although if you get a hint that a high-ranking Libyan national is disguising himself as a passenger on a flight to Caracas, well, I think you can probably ignore that.’