[Five killed in a spy-plane leased to American “private contractor” company, CAE (formerly Canadian Aviation Electronics). All reports state that all five of the dead were French occupants of the Swearingen SA227-AT Expediter, Aircraft N577MX, taking-off from Malta, but only three are described as DGSE, France’s CIA.]
The three ‘defence officials’ who perished in this morning’s plane crash along with two civilian contractors were members of the DGSE – France’s equivalent of the CIA and MI5.
The DGSE, which stands for General Directorate for External Security, is France’s external intelligence agency and falls under the French Ministry of Defence.
The Maltese government this afternoon said in a statement that the five Frenchmen who died in the fiery crash were “customs officials.” But the French government later gave a conflicting report and said three were “defence officials” and the other two were civilian contractors, which means paramilitary personnel employed by a private security company.
The French customs agency later denied that any of its officials were involved in the crash.
Western special forces and intelligence agencies have been working against ISIS in Libya for several months. Such operations usually come with a high level of deniability and are rarely officially acknowledged. Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela this afternoon denied that foreign military personnel were based out of Malta.