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Yahoo! ArtsMay 29, 2020
North Korea accuses U.S. of hurting its image with cyber threat warning
Five British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya's renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar's opponents - the UN-backed government in Tripoli. A source with knowledge of the secret UN report which revealed the plot told The Daily Telegraph that the men involved were believed on sums of "$30,000 to $50,000 a month, or $20,000 to $40,000 per month depending on whether you were pilot or aircrewman". "It was a three-month contract". The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military. Mr. Lodge, who now resides in Scotland, is a director of Umbra Aviation, a South-Africa based company that has recently supplied helicopters to the Government of Mozambique, where the country is battling a jihadist insurgency in its restive north. Speaking to The Telegraph over the phone, Mr. Lodge flatly denied the chronicle of events detailed in the UN report. "All the info is incorrect - the whole facts behind the whole thing," he said.

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