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.
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 airand 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 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”.
Gunmen ambushed a Libyan police convoy transporting detainees to a jail in a Tripoli suburb on Thursday, killing one prisoner, Justice MinisterSalah 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.
They are aged between 17 and 30 years. From insecure, vulnerable and disoriented environments, they are more than 6,000 young Tunisians who have been brainwashed by radical Islamists, held in lucrative sectors, enabling in mosques for the sole purpose of sending them to fight in Syria . For them, it is jihad, no matter the price. Training camps in Libya and southern Tunisia have been designed especially for them.Transported to Turkey and Lebanon, the borders are open to invest in Syria. The facts! This is certainly not missing it. Some of these young Tunisians came home traumatized after discovering another reality. But many will not return. If they are not held, they must be as among the dead, either in fighting or in suicide bombings. Who is responsible? The families of these young people accuse the state of doing nothing and make the guilty Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda Rached Ghannouchi this situation.
However, another name is returned to the surface in the case of recruiting “jihadists” in Tunisia: the well-known preacher, Youcef Al Qaradhaouiofficiating on the Qatari channel Al Jazeera. A couple sets the objective of the power needs of jihad and promises paradise to “martyrs” Tunisians. Abu Kousay, one of the “jihadists” Tunisian parties in Syria, in an interview with Arabic-language newspaper Tunis is Assarih, is frightening revelations after his return. She states that the party “(…) with several other young Tunisians from different backgrounds.” His co-religionists are currently located alongside Islamists in Syria. It also indicates the “presence of 13 girls in the ranks of jihadists.”
It is only a start cascading young Tunisians and under pressure from families that authorities began to worry. In this context, the prosecutor of the court of first instance in Tunis said recently in a statement that “an investigation was opened by the Tunisian floor. Its main role is to identify networks that facilitate the recruitment of Tunisians in the ranks of the Syrian rebellion. “
Recruits, not doubt, are selected from the poorest. Recruiters said in that Professor Naceur Khechini a specialist Sharia“target young and less educated unemployed through financial incentives and religious fatwas.” Moreover, the current Prime Minister, Ali Larayedh did no better than to declare that “young Tunisians are free to leave the country,” claiming that “the authorities are not entitled to their own ban on legally. “ According to the French newspaper Le Monde, some observers believe that the mass exodus of young Tunisians to Syria is a conspiracy to clear the “jihadist”Tunisian scene of his elite! The newspaper said in a recent edition of “if you do not cover the Ennahda or preachers, suspicions on enrollment networks cover Qatar.” Citing an interview with a freelance journalist, the same newspaper says “the leader of the Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia, Abu Ayad, wanted by the police since the attack on the U.S. embassy on 14 September 2012, had tried to stem the tide of departures. He feared a plot to clear Tunisian jihadist scene of its elements.
His appeal was posted on the website Al-Andalusian Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), in order not to leave Tunisia in the hands of the laity. “ The World refers to the “departure of young women for sex jihad to support the Islamists in Syria,”but calling the new rumor. Can we put an end to this tragedy? When there is a Qaradhaoui calling for the assassination of Ulema, scholars and researchers – Sheikh Ramadan Al-Bouti was assassinated in Damascus after an Al Qaradhaoui fatwa- and legitimate the killing associated with Ghannouchi for enlisting jihadists to Syria, we have an unspeakable tragedy.
The President of the Tunisian Institute of International Relations (Itri) and member of the Committee on Arab observers in Syria, Ahmed Manai, a contribution to tunisois newspaper, La Presse noted that “it is an infernal genesis in which drowning thousands Young Tunisians parties Jihad in Syria, leaving their families riveted to television screens following the dramatic developments in this brother country. “ It confirms the association for the recruitment of these young people, and between Qaradhaoui Ghannouchi, and “the strategic nature of a meeting held in Tripoli on December 11, 2011, which was attended by Youcef Qaradhaoui Rached Ghannouchi and Hamad Jabber bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, as well as the No. 2 of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, in principle all come seal the reconciliation of Libyans. The former jihadist Abdelhakim Belhaj, military governor of Tripoli, also attended the meeting, during which it was decided to join the agreement Ghalioun-Abdeljelil “arming and sending fighters and Tunisian Libya to Syria. “
Manaï adds that “it is the agreement Burhane Ghalioun Abdeljelil-Mustafa, in October 2011, which laid the foundation of military cooperation between the two” revolutions “Libyan and Syrian, joined by Tunisian Salafi-jihadist and the Ennahda party have joined the movement. “ This explains the mass exodus of young Tunisians in Syria after “indoctrination they suffered through preaching, then by direct recruitment is done more discreetly networks that have the financial resources and high-level complicity . If today the figure is 6,000 Tunisians have joined the jihad in Syria, observers warn that the number may double if a strategy against these networks is not clear urgently!