Airline Official Deported From Britain
LONDON (AP) _ Britain has expelled a Libyan airline official, the government announced Thursday after a newspaper reported that the man was suspected of plotting killings of exiled Libyan dissidents.
Mohammed Ali El Ati, who worked for Libyan Arab Airlines at London’s Heathrow Airport, was deported Wednesday afternoon, Home Office spokesman Brian Willis said.
Willis said Home Secretary Leon Brittan, who is responsible for immigration, signed an order declaring El Ati’s presence was ″not conducive to the public good.″ He declined to elaborate.
Scotland Yard police headquarters said El Ati had been held for questioning for several days under Britain’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, but gave no details.
London’s Daily Express newspaper said anti-terrorist officers had kept El Ati under surveillance ″for months.″
He had been in Britain for about five years using the airline job as a cover, the newspaper said.
He escaped detection a year ago when Britain expelled 140 Libyans after a policewoman was killed by bullets that authorities said were fired from inside the Libyan Embassy at dissidents demonstrating against Libyan leader Moamar Khadafy, the newspaper said.
Britain and Libya broke diplomatic relations over the incident.
On Wednesday, Belgium expelled Omar Mohamed Ehmeida, who had been the Libyan Embassy spokesman at the time the policewoman was shot. Ehmeida had entered Belgium in February and registered as a graduate student at a Brussels university. Police said they learned Tuesday that he had a forged passport.