Gaddafi Loyalists keep Alive the Hope of Freedom and Dignity
Gaddafi Loyalists take up Arms to Defend the Libyans
By: Mel Frykberg
The security situation remains tense in Libya as violence by car bombings, political assassinations of senior government and military officials, the attacks against foreign diplomats and NGOs, and young men classifying minor disputes with AK-47 continues unabated.
IPS spoke with armed Gaddafi loyalists that they promised they will intensify their struggle. Government sources say the authors are alternately former President Muammar Gaddafi supporters and Islamists bent on revenge.
This situation is further aggravated by a brake murky disseminating information in local media, and Libyan security forces prevent foreign journalists to cover the scenes of the attacks first hand or taking pictures.
For the second Saturday in a row this reporter was awakened by a car bomb explodes outside my hotel in central Tripoli, the second of its kind since the death of Gaddafi in October 2011.
A security vehicle belonging to members of the armed forces of Libya stay at the Four Seasons of Omar Al Mukhtar Street was the target. The previous Saturday morning another car bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the military police in Tripoli on the same street. One person was injured in the attack of the latter.
“We believe that Gaddafi’s former supporters are behind this attack and the attack last Saturday,” said a member of the security forces who sit in one of the several security vehicles at the scene to cordon off the street.
“These Tahloob (Arabic for Gadhafi loyalists) are talking a lot, saying that it will conduct a counter-movement against the February 17 (when the Libyan revolution against Gaddafi began.) will only be able to perform small acts of sabotage, nothing major, “said one of the security men IPS.
Shortly after the blackout began when heavily armed soldiers prevented photos being taken, and said journalists were barred from the area. An Interior Ministry official in Libya refused to comment further.
Last week a number of Tahloob killed when security forces raided a Libyan farm where loyalists were hiding out after he is said to have coordinated the car bombing outside the headquarters of the military police in Tripoli.
One member who survived was accused of creating sleeper cells in Libya and has been crossing the border from Libya to Tunisia, where he and several companions were apparently smuggling weapons to Libya to “destabilize the country post- Gaddafi “.
Libyan intelligence also allege the group were in possession of seven bombs, one intended for another hotel in Tripoli. The documents that link them to one of Gaddafi’s sons, Saadi, who is under house arrest in Niger, is also said to have been found in the survivor. Saadi warned earlier this year that he was in contact with sleeper cells that were Resistant to the underground organization. (****What intelligence??? do they mean the GOSSIP??? Saadi said this Saadi said that!!! really!!! while his in house arrest in Niger! well I am sure his doing something…. but his not broadcasting it!!!)
IPS obtained an exclusive interview with Gaddafi loyalists in the Abu Salim neighborhood of Tripoli, one of the last bastions of pro-Gaddafi and the scene of some of the fiercest fighting between loyalists and rebels during the revolution.
Shortly before Gadhafi died, Abu Salim was awash with weapons in a last attempt of Resistance against the revolution.
“We are waiting for the right time. We’re Not going to give up. If they (the new government) think we are a spent force are wrong,” said Ahmed, who fought Gaddafi’s forces and escaped from a detention camp of the rebels last year, told IPS.
Ahmed claims to have killed a number of rebels, and is now in hiding. He and the others interviewed would not consent to their names are published nor their images are taken for obvious security reasons.
“Every man in this neighborhood is armed, but our weapons are buried underground because the area is regularly invaded by security forces for weapons and wanted men”, Muntasser, another loyal IPS.
Meanwhile, during the last three weeks more than two dozen senior military or government officials have been killed in Benghazi. Many of the men were former supporters of Gaddafi who defected to the rebels after before serving in the Gaddafi regime.
Some claim Islamist insurgents are behind the attacks, as Libya conflict flood of weapons in neighboring countries, including the Sinai Peninsula, Mali, Nigeria and Syria, where dozens of fighters have joined the Free Syrian Army.
In another incident, on Friday, eight prisoners escaped prison in Tripoli Al Fornaj after a coordinated attack. Gunmen in vans outside the prison guards opened fire safety while prisoners within the permanent sections of the prison on fire and managed to subdue a number of prison guards. This was the third attack in prison since the revolution, and the authorities took several hours to restore control.
In recent weeks, security buildings and hotels in Benghazi have been rocked by bomb attacks and attempted attacks. The foreign diplomats and embassies have also been attacked or attempted attacks. The U.S. Embassy staff in Tripoli escaped an attempted carjacking last week.
An attack with grenades and rockets at Misurata offices of the International Red Cross last week forced the evacuation of several buildings of the ICRC and the organization to temporarily suspend their work.
Kidnappings and abductions also continue, with the whereabouts of a delegation from the Iranian Red Crescent in Benghazi kidnapped several weeks ago is still unknown. Disputes street children in armed clashes erupt regularly. On Thursday a thug armed with AK-47 threatened to put a bullet in his head after he witnessed a shooting out of control.