Libya will become terror base, Ex-PM warns

Libya will become terror base, Ex-PM warns

Ali Zeidan (AP)

London – Former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan on Tuesday warned that Islamist groups were sabotaging attempts to rebuild his country in order that it become a haven for extremists, in an interview with Britain’s newspaper The Times.

Zeidan, who fled to Germany after losing a parliamentary confidence vote earlier this month, said that he was preparing to return “maybe very soon” to help restore order and repel the threat of extremism, two-and-a-half years after the killing of veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi.  ****(FOR A LONG TIME HE USED TO SAY THAT HE WAS A DICTATOR, ITS FUNNY HOW THINGS CHANGE AND FROM DICTATOR OUR GUIDE HAS TAKEN HIS RIGHTFUL SEAT OF “VETERAN RULER MUAMMER GADDAFI)

“Libya could be a base for al-Qaeda for any operation to Italy, to Britain, to France, to Spain, to Morocco, to everywhere. Weapons are everywhere, ammunition is everywhere,” the former prime minister, who was in London to meet British politicians, told the newspaper.

“My plan is to struggle to reform the state, to stabilise the situation”.

He suggested that groups such as al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood were exploiting rifts within the country he ruled for 15 months.

“These people want Libya not to be a civil state, not to be a state of law, they want it as what happened in Afghanistan,” he claimed.

Zeidan, an independent, was unable to tame former rebel militia that have carved out their own fiefdoms since the 2011 uprising that toppled the dictatorship of Gaddafi.

The no-confidence motion – triggered when a North-Korean-flagged tanker laden with crude oil from a rebel-held terminal broke through a naval blockade and escaped to sea – was approved by 124 of the 194 members of the General National Congress.

The former prime minister claimed two political groups were behind his removal as premier: the radical Wafa movement, and the Justice and Construction Party which is the political arm of the Libyan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.


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Gaddafi funded ‘mentally deficient’ Sarkozy, interview claims

Gaddafi funded ‘mentally deficient’ Sarkozy, interview claims

A French television programme is set to reveal a potentially damming audio recording in which the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi claims he helped bankroll former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.

In the recorded interview, which France 3 TV said it would broadcast on Wednesday, Gaddafi insults Sarkozy and says the decision to fund a French presidential election was part of his political strategy.

Asked whether he feels betrayed by France’s president, Gaddafi reportedly answers: “Sarkozy is mentally deficient… It’s thanks to me that he became president… We gave him the funds that allowed him to win.”

The interview by French journalist Delphine Minoui took place on March 16, 2011, a few days after Paris officially recognised the Libyan opposition. France would go on to provide military support that was instrumental in toppling the Libyan autocrat.

Gaddafi says Sarkozy came to ask him for financial support when he was France’s interior minister, but offers no details about the amount allegedly given or about financial transactions.

Sarkozy received Gaddafi at the Elysée Palace in December 2007, seven months after he was sworn in as France’s president.

“For us, as Libyans, if the president of France wins elections thanks to our funds, it is a real advantage,” Gaddafi tells his interviewer.

Claims that Libyan cash secretly funded Sarkozy’s campaign have been made in the past, in particular by Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam. Sarkozy, along with a few members of Libya’s ousted regime, have denied the allegations.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Libya threatens to bomb ships loading black market oil

Libya threatens to bomb ships loading black market oil

Libya threatens to bomb ships loading black market oil

TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libya has accused striking guards who have seized oil export terminals of trying to make shipments for their own profit and threatened military action against any unauthorised vessel that docks.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan issued the warning late on Thursday, three weeks into the action by the security guards that has halted virtually all loadings at key terminals on the central coast.

“A group of guards at oil terminals in the central region has decided to bring vessels they have organised themselves to export oil for their own profit,” Zeidan charged.

“Any vessel not under contract to the National Oil Company (NOC) that approaches the terminals will be bombed from the air and the sea,” he said, adding he had the backing of the General National Congress, the highest political body in Libya, for the warning.

Petroleum Minister Abdelbari al-Aroussi said the action by the guards had cost Libya $1.6 billion dollars in lost export revenues since July 25, in a major blow for the North African nation which is almost entirely dependent on oil and gas for its foreign exchange earnings.

Zeidan warned that the government could not allow the loss of exports to go on indefinitely.

“If the blockade of the oil terminals continues, the state will be obliged to use all means at its disposal, including those of the army,” the prime minister warned.

Zeidan said the continued closure of the Brega, Zueitina, Ras Lanouf and Sedra terminals to vessels under contract to the state-owned NOC came despite his government’s efforts to reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute.

The striking guards accuse Zeidan and Aroussi of awarding export contracts outside longstanding NOC procedures.

“An agreement was reached with the mediation committee to set up a panel of judges to assess whether there is any foundation to these allegations,” Zeidan told state television flanked by his petroleum, defence and foreign ministers.

Aroussi said the blockade had damaged Libya’s credibility on world oil markets.

“Some customers are turning away from Libya to other producers for their supplies,” he said.

Aroussi said earlier this month that output was running at 700,000 barrels per day, up from a low of 330,000 bpd recorded at the height of the protests in late July but still far short of the pre-protest average of 1.42 million bpd.

Even that figure fell short of the 1.6 million bpd averaged before the 2011 overthrow and murder of veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi.


The group Belmokhtar threat of further attacks in Niger

The group Belmokhtar threat of further attacks in Niger

Source: Ennahar

The group Belmokhtar threat of further attacks in Niger

The group of Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar threatened new attacks in Niger after the suicide bombings Thursday in a statement posted Friday by Islamists.

Websites “We will launch more operations” in Niger, says the group, also threatening France and all countries involved militarily in Mali.

The group, the signatories by blood, wrote in his statement that the two attacks on Thursday, which made some twenty people were his “first response to a statement by the President of Niger (Mahamadou Issoufou), inspired by his teachers to Paris, saying that the jihadists were crushed militarily “in the region.

He threatens to “move the war (in Niger) if this country does not withdraw its troops engaged mercenaries” in Mali. “Let France knows she has made a media victory in his crusade,” the group, saying that withdrawal of the Malian cities was a “choice imposed by the law of war and the desire to preserve the blood of Muslims. ” “France is trying to escape (the Mali) and to hire mercenaries in its place”, yet the group said in reference to the gradual replacement of French troops by African units.

“We warn all countries who intend to participate in this crusade, even in the name of peace, we will make them taste the taste of death,” the statement said.”The columns of jihadists and would-be martyrs stand ready and waiting for an order to pounce on their targets,” the statement said.

The spokesman for the group, quoted by Mauritanian Alakhbar online agency, said Mokhtar Belmokhtar had “supervised” the attacks on Thursday in Niger against the Nigerian army and the French Areva group. “This is Belmokhtar who oversaw himself operating plan attacks” that “under the French elite forces ensuring the safety of nuclear installations firm (Areva) and a Nigerian military base,” said spokesman El Hassen Ould Khlil aka Jouleibib.

He says that “more than a dozen fighters participated in these attacks,” conducted jointly by him with the jihadist group Movement for the uniqueness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao) who had previously claimed the attacks to the AFP.

Jouleibib said the operation had been called by the name of Abu Zeid, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), killed in late February in the massive Ifoghas (northern Mali) by the French army which occurs from January 11 to Mali to armed African sides against jihadist groups.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former leader of AQIM, left the group in late 2012 to create his own movement, the signatories of the blood, the first major action was a massive and bloody hostage-taking in January on a site Gas In Amenas in southern Algeria.

Chadian President Idriss Deby, whose army intervenes in Mali with the French army, had said in April that Belmokhtar had “exploded” shortly after the death of Abu Zeid. France had confirmed the death of Abu Zeid, but not Mokhtar Belmokhtar said “Blind”.


One dead as Libya prison convoy ambushed

One dead as Libya prison convoy ambushed


Gunmen ambushed a Libyan police convoy transporting detainees to a jail in a Tripoli suburb on Thursday, killing one prisoner, Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani told AFP.

Several other prisoners were seriously wounded and one kidnapped in the attack on the convoy on its way to a prison in Taji, east of the capital, Marghani said.

The minister said it was a criminal act which aims to undermine security and delay the establishment of the rule of law.”

Faced with rising instability, Libya’s authorities have promised to deal firmly with the militias that are a legacy of the armed uprising that overthrew veteran dictator Moamer Kadhafi in October 2011.

Tensions have been rising between the government and the militias for several months after the launch of a campaign aimed at dislodging them from the capital.

One armed group controlling a prison in Tripoli stormed the justice ministry late last month after it was ordered to hand over the jail.