Austrian ex-soldier arrested in Libya

Austrian ex-soldier arrested in Libya
Members of Austria's Jagdkommando. Photo: Austrian Armed Forces Photograph
A former elite Austrian army soldier is reported to have been arrested in Libya under suspicion of spying, and released after two and a half weeks after diplomatic intervention from Austria.

The former soldier, who was part of Austria’s Special Operations Jagdkommando, was working for a private security firm called Argus Security Projects, which provides protection for various EU delegations in Libya.  

He was arrested in June along with a Frenchman in the city of Al-Baida in the north-west of the country, according to a report in profil magazine. The two men had GPS devices with them, but were unarmed.

After his release, the Austrian was flown back to Austria, where he’s a resident.

Austria’s Foreign Ministry has declined to comment on the case. A member of the EU delegation in Tripoli has described the arrest as “a misunderstanding”.

According to profil several Austrian military veterans are active in Libya. An Austrian previously worked for Argus Security as a country manager and recruited a number of former Jagdkommando soldiers.

The rigorous training Jagdkommando soldiers undergo enables them to take over when tasks or situations outgrow the capabilities of conventional army units.


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