Britain’s Foreign Office has urged British nationals to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi in response to what they said was a “specific threat to westerners” in the city.
In an unusual move, the Foreign Office released a statement that it was now aware of a specific and imminent threat to westerners in Benghazi and urged any British nationals who remained there against its advice to leave immediately.
The move comes in the aftermath of the jihadist attack on the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria last week, in which nearly 40 hostages from various countries were killed.
Western governments have been increasingly concerned about the possibility of jihadist violence in Libya, following last September’s attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi which killed four Americans and prompted a review of State Department procedures.
Since that attack, the Foreign Office has advised Britons not to travel to Benghazi and all areas of Libya, with the exception of the coastal regions between Tripoli and the Tunisian border, and between Ras Lanuf and the Egyptian border.
However, the declaration by the Foreign Office that it knows of a specific terrorist threat suggests it has credible intelligence.