The Libyan government sought the services of British intelligence in attempting to block asylum applications by opponents of the regime. One document, regarding an application for refuge by a man with the initials SRA-Z (name withheld by The IoS for security reasons), led to a response from British officials. "It is not the practice of the UK government to comment on possible asylum cases."
However, the intelligence agency then sought to gain information about the applicant. The letter, addressed to "Dear Friends", said: "We are sorry we can't be more helpful in this case but we must comply with this practice. We... would welcome hearing from your service why you are interested in Mr A-Z so we could consider what action we might wish to take should we become aware of him."
Other documents show urgent requests for information about Abu Hamza al-Libi, said to be a senior al-Qa'ida operative who had travelled to the UK from Italy and the Netherlands to collect forged UK passports destined for Iran. Al-Libi was suspected of being involved in a plot to carry out a cyanide attack in Rome in 2002. He was detained in Britain, but freed in January 2010. He is believed to have died in a motorbike crash in London eight months later.
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