المقر الرئيسي الجديد لداعش هو ليبيا


المقر الرئيسي الجديد لداعش هو ليبيا

INTERPRETED AND TRANSLATED BY ASHRAF ABDUL WAHAB
المؤلفو
  كريستوفر نيكسون كوكس هو حفيد الرئيس ال 37 للولايات المتحدة، ريتشارد نيكسون.
   فيليب إسكارافاج هو محلل ليبيا. وهو صهر كريستوفر كيب فوربس الذي هو نائب رئيس مجلس إدارة فوربس ميديا.

  الأحد أكتوبر 1، 2017

 

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

 

صورة حديثة لزعيم تنظيم داعش، أبو بكر البغدادي

 

ظهرت مقالة هامة وذات صلة في نيوزماكس أمس الجمعة 29 سبتمبر حول الرئيس السابق لجهاز المخابرات المركزية فيما يتعلق باستراتيجية داعش الجديدة في المنطقة و اهتم بنقطة محددة  في تلك المقالة و التي لاقت صدى عندنا حيث كنا نتوقع  نفس الاحتمال منذ عدة اشهر

في مقال مكتوب بشكل جيد عن دانيال هوفمان رئيس جهاز المخابرات  الأمريكية المركزية السابق الذي تحدث عن أهداف إعادة تنظيم داعش , حيث يسجلون تراجعا و يفقدون مواقعهم.

خدم هوفمان في العديد من المقاطعات وخاصة روسيا والعراق وباكستان، وذكر على وجه التحديد أن رئيس داعش، وأبو بكر البغدادي قرر أساسا أن مستقبل داعش الوحيد هو أن يكون مقرها في ليبيا، وأنه هو نفسه البغدادي يجب أن تكون المادية هناك إلى وتوفير الروح المعنوية والدعم النفسي لما يسمى حلم الخلافة. وهناك بلد سياسي جديد يهيمن عليه الدين ويطلق عليه اسم “الدولة الإسلامية” التي ستشكل من بين الدول التي ستحاول تدميرها في المستقبل

وقد تم طرح العديد من النقاط الأخرى الجيدة في تلك المقالة، لكن هذا هو السبب في أن داعش قررت نقل العمليات من العراق وسوريا إلى ليبيا مما يحدث تغيير في عملية الحرب على الإرهاب.

ومع استمرار خسائر داعش في سوريا والعراق، فإنهم يحتاجون إلى “منزل جديد”، وقد وجدوا منزلهم هذا في ليبيا و نحن نخشى ذهابهم بالآلاف الى هناك.

وهنا بعض الأدلة التي تدعم تأكيد دينيس هوفمان. ففي الأسابيع القليلة الماضية، ظهر القليل في وسائل الإعلام حول زيادة حدة القتال في صبراتة و تظهر التقارير التي تصف هذه المناوشات على انها لعناصر ميليشيات صبراتة المحلية و التي دفعت لها الحكومة الإيطالية سرا حتى تقاتل “المهربين” لوقف تدفق المهاجرين، ولا سيما من زوارة إلى إيطاليا.  هذه إستراتيجية تلتزم بها إيطاليا وحدها.

ومع ذلك ما هو الإتجاه  الرئيسي وسائل الإعلام تفشل في الكتابة عن ماهية الأسباب الحقيقية لشدة القتال في وحول صبراتة وسرت.

الآلاف من مقاتلي داعش وصلوا مؤخرا إلى ليبيا من العراق وسوريا، حيث اضطروا للفرار. ويرجع ذلك في الغالب إلى القصف الروسي على مواقع داعش في هذين البلدين، حيث من الواضح أن داعش قد خسر الآن – كما أن الدعم اللوجيستى و الطبي قدم سرا من تركيا. إن حركة مرورهم هي من تركيا و منها لمطار مدينة مصراتة، وهي نقطة وسط بين سرت وصبراتة. المناطق التي يتجه إليها معتدي داعش في داخل وحول موقعين استراتيجيين عسكريين حاسمين لتنظيم داعش وسرت وصبراتة.

فهي تمكنها من فتح جبهات جديدة وإعادة ترتيب أولويات استراتيجيتها.

و لماذا ذلك٫ لأنها تعطيهم مسافة قصيرة من سرت إلى حقول النفط في الهلال النفطي وفيما يتعلق بصبراتة، فإن داعش لديها خطط لبدء شن هجمات على تونس ثم الجزائر والمغرب. ويرجع ذلك جزئيا إلى أن العديد من مقاتلي داعش العائدين هم أصلا من تونس، ويبدو أن فكرتهم هي جلب الاضطرابات إلى بلدهم الأصلي وكذلك إلى ليبيا، ولذلك فهم بحاجة إلى قاعدة لتشغيل مثل هذه الأنشطة. ثم للتوسع في بلدان شمال أفريقيا الأخرى.

هذه هي استراتيجية داعش الجديدة، لا تخطئ.

أما فيما يتعلق بمدينة صبراتة، فقد تم الدفاع و بشدة عن هجمات داعش الجديدة من قبل غرفة العمليات الليبية المناهضة لتنظيم داعش.

وهناك قضية جانبية وقلق حول صبراتة، وخاصة بالنسبة لليونسكو و هو حدوث المزيد من الأضرار المحتملة للآثار الرومانية المحفوظة حتى الآن التي يرجع تاريخها إلى آلاف السنين في مدينة صبراتة الرومانية القديمة.

 

Sabratha

Sabratha

كان هناك للمرة الأولى قصف بالمدفعية في الأسبوع الماضي من قبل داعش، ودعت اليونسكو إلى وضع حد للهجمات على هذا الموقع الهام للتراث. و هذا بداية إعادة ما قام به داعش في تدمر في سوريا حيث دمروا آلاف السنين من التماثيل التاريخية التي لا يمكن تعويضها والمعالم الأثرية التي يعود تاريخها إلى العصر البرونزي

وقال ريتشارد غالوستيان، المحلل السياسي البريطاني لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا وخبير في المنطقة، ، “مؤخرا يبدو أن التقارير من ليبيا عموما، وتحديدا من صبراتة، قد قللت من حقيقة التدفق الجديد لمقاتلي داعش الذين تراجعوا من سوريا والعراق “مضيفا” ان الصحافة لا تريد الا ان تكتب عن إلقاء  اللوم علي الحكومة الإيطالية كسبب في تزايد القتال في ليبيا و ذلك من اجل تغذية القتال  لتحقيق اهدافها “. كما ذكر غلوستيان “يجب تحديد أن  الإيطاليون، يدفعون ببعض الميليشيات لمحاربة مهربين، ولكن هذا هو الجزء الصغير من المشكلة أما المشكلة الحقيقة فهي في مقاتلي داعش الجدد الذين يأتون إلى ليبيا بالآلاف “.

وقد قامت الحكومة الإيطالية بطريقتها في شرح  الوضع إلى الجنرال حفتر الذي زار روما في وقت سابق من هذا الأسبوع لمناقشة هذه القضايا. وسألوه أيضا عما يقال من إنه سوف يتخلي عن منصبه العسكري لكي يقف كمدني في الإنتخابات الرئاسية الجديدة. سيكون هذا خطأ تكتيكي كبير ..

و قد غادر حفتر روما الى باريس يوم الخميس لشرح  كل المجريات لأصدقائه فى فرنسا نظرا للتوترات التى ظهرت علنا بين باريس و روما حول ليبيا.

وتشير تقارير غير مؤكدة أيضا إلى أن الإيطاليين ناشدوا حفتر علي ان يتم إرسال قوات من الزنتان الموالية له و مقرها قريب نسبيا من موانئ الزاوية للمساعدة في تدمير داعش في منطقة صبراتة وأيضا في الزاوية نفسها وأجزاء أخرى من طرابلس الغربية، للمساعدة في وقف المهاجرين وتأمين مرافق النفط الهامة في مليتا. هذه هي المخاوف الرئيسية لإيطاليا.

في الختام، ما هو أمر حاسم الآن بالنسبة لأميركا سياسيا وعسكريا على حد سواء هو أن تصبح أكثر انخراطا مع ليبيا، وأكثر من ذلك، أن تعلن للعالم سياسة واضحة وحاسمة في ليبيا خاصة وأن

المؤلفون

  كريستوفر نيكسون كوكس هو حفيد الرئيس ال 37 للولايات المتحدة، ريتشارد نيكسون.

  

   فيليب إسكارافاج هو محلل ليبيا. وهو صهر كريستوفر كيب فوربس الذي هو نائب رئيس مجلس إدارة فوربس ميديا.

ISIS’s NEW HOME IS LIBYA

Saturday, September 30 2017

An important and pertinent article appeared in NEWSMAX yesterday, Friday September 29th, about a former CIA Station Chief’s theories as regards ISIS’s new strategy in the region and one particular point he made of interest in that article resonated with us in particular, as we have been predicting the same eventuality for months.

In the well written article about, Daniel Hoffman a distinguished former CIA Station Chief who spoke of ISIS’s regrouping objectives now they are losing ground.

Hoffman served in various counties notably Russia, Iraq, and Pakistan, specifically stated that the Head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has essentially decided that ISIS’s only future is to be based in Libya, and that he himself Baghdadi should physical be there to to provide the morale and psychological support to their so called dream of a Caliphate. A new political religious dominated country called The Islamic State to be made up from amongst the countries they have and will in future try to destroy.

Many other good points were made in that article but it is this face that ISIS have decided to move operations from Iraq and Syria to Libya that make a game changer for the War on Terror.

As ISIS continue to lose in Syria and Iraq, they need a ‘new home’ -and they found it and are going there we fear in their thousands. And It’s Libya.

Here is some evidence to back our theory that supports Dennis Hoffman’s assertion. In the past few weeks, little has appeared in the media of the increased intensity in the fighting in Sabratha. The reports that do appear attribute these skirmishes to elements paid secretly by Italian Government to local Sabratha militias fighting ‘people smugglers’ to stop the flow of migrants particularly from Zuwara to Italy. A strategy solely Italy is committed to.

However what the main stream
Media fail to write about are the true reasons for the intensity in fighting in and around Sabratha and Sirte.

Thousands is of ISIS fighters have recently arrived in Libya from Iraq and Syria, where they have had to flee. This is due mostly to Russian bombing of ISIS positions in those two countries, where ISIS are clearly now losing – and the logistical and medical provided covertly from Turkey. Their embarkation for Turkey’s two way traffic is the airport at the city of Misrata, a mid point between Sirte and Sabratha. The areas these ISIS retreaters are heading to are in and around two critical military strategic places for ISIS, Sirte and Sabratha.

It enables them to open new fronts and reprioritise their strategy.

Why is because it gives them striking distance from Sirte to the oil terminals of the crescent and as far as Sabratha is concerned, ISIS have plans to start launching attacks on Tunisia and later Algeria and Morocco . This is in part because many of the returning ISIS fighters are originally from Tunisia and it seems their idea is to bring turmoil to their country of origin as well as to Libya, so they need a base to operate such activities from. Then to expand into other North African countries.

This is the new ISIS strategy, make no mistake.

As far as the Sabratha region is concerned, new ISIS attacks have been fiercely defended by the Libyan Anti-ISIS Operations Room (AIOR).

A side issue and worry for Sabratha, especially for UNESCO, is further potential damage to the hitherto well preserved Roman ruins dating back thousands of years of the ancient Roman city of Sabratha.

There was for the first time shelling last week by ISIS of the famous Amphitheatre and UNESCO has called for an end to attacks on this major heritage site. The beginning of a replay of what ISIS did to Palmyra in Syria where they destroyed thousands of years of irreplaceable historic statues and monuments dating back to the Bronze Age.

A 65 year old British old hand, also an old family friend and reliable source, who was in Sabratha recently, a MENA political analyst, Richard Galustian, an expert on the region, said “Reporting from Libya generally and specifically from Sabratha seems to have understated the fact of a new influx of ISIS fighters who have retreated from Syria and Iraq” adding “the Press only seem to want to write about attributing the blame on increased fighting in Libya on the Italian Government for fueling the fighting for their own objectives” Galustian further states “to be specific its because they, the Italians, pay certain militias to fight people smugglers, but that is the lessor of the problem; its these new ISIS fighters coming into Libya in their thousands that is the real problem”.

The Italian Government has gone out of its way to explain the situation to Field Marshall Haftar, who visited Rome earlier this week to discuss these issues. They also asked him it is reported to stand down his military position in order to stand as a civilian in new Presendential elections. This would be a huge tactical error.

Haftar left Rome to Paris on Thirsday to explain all to his friends in France given the publicly displayed tensions between Paris and Rome over Libya.

Unconfirmed reports also have suggested that the Italians appealed to Haftar in the short term to send Zintani based troops loyal to him based relatively close to Zawia ports, to help destroy ISIS in the Sabratha region and also in Zawia itself and other other parts of Western Tripoli, to also help stop immigrants and secure it’s important oil facilities at Melitia. These being Italy’s prime two concerns.

In conclusion what now is critical is for America both militarily and politically to become more engaged with Libya, and more than that, to announce to the World a clear and decisive Libya policy particularly now ISIS have shifted their Interests to that country.

Authors:

Christopher Nixon Cox is a lawyer who is the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
&
Phillip Escaravage is a Libya analyst and son-in-law of Christopher ‘Kip’ Forbes who is the Vice Chairman of Forbes Media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UN losing poker hand


UN losing poker hand

by

In poker, smart players know that the best thing to do with a weak hand is dump it.  Not so the United Nations. Libya is doubling its stake continuing to back the failing Government of National Accord (GNA), hoping that by reopening its UN base in the capital, the previously fortified ‘Palm City Complex’, things will improve as well as sending in Gurkha ‘Security Guards’.  It might make a difference if they increase the numbers to 500, or even better, a 1,000, then the Gurkhas could wipe the floor with all the Tripoli-based militias.

The UN omit mentioning this. For 200 years the Gurkhas have been the most feared force in the British Army. If anyone can destroy the Tripoli militias, they can, but what’s the point? Why shore up an unelected five-man government?

The GNA was created by the UN two years ago to unite the country and end the civil war. Instead, the GNA’s cabinet are unable even to unite Tripoli, which is ‘controlled’ by various militias. Hence the need for Gurkhas, to stop militias overrunning Palm City, its ostentatious UN compound, itself a provocation to the Libyan people.

The elected parliament in Tobruk, rival to the GNA, is increasingly calling the shots. Thanks to the increasingly popular Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, Tobruk now controls the majority of the country and its oil infrastructure and ports. The idea that the GNA will ever rule over areas held by Tobruk is laughable. But, having created the GNA, the UN remains determined to back it.  Last week Haftar banned GNA personnel from visiting the east, so much for the alleged French July détente efforts.

What makes the UN case so hopeless is that outside powers are split and at odds – in particular France and Italy – over who to support.

One European country is even pondering supporting the son of the late Colonel Gaddafi, so desperate has the situation become.

Italy supports the GNA, because militias in western Libya are in a position to stop people-smuggling.  However, it faces parliamentary elections in 2018 and politicians are aware the electorate will focus on the immigration issue.

Most migrants from Libya end up in Italy, not France, and for Paris, migration is less important than combating terrorism. Haftar is already combating Islamist terrorists in Libya, making France a natural ally.

“Serraj leverages off of Italian support,” said Jalel Harchaoui, a doctoral candidate in geopolitics and Libyan commentator, adding “and you can be sure Haftar makes use of the prestige of France’s apparent support for his military campaign. On the ground, the inability of foreign states to coordinate among themselves on Libya has always generated more chaos.”

In July, Fayez Serraj, the UN GNA designated prime minister met with Haftar in Paris to sign a peace deal between the two sides. But neither leader actually signed the document. In an interview with France 24, Haftar later said: “Serraj is a good man, but he cannot implement what he agrees to.”

Russia showed its support for Haftar by inviting him aboard an aircraft carrier earlier this year. It has since hedged its bets, insisting it is working for reconciliation by talking to all sides, including the Misrata-based Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (BMB).

The BMB militia, surprisingly, pledged its support for an unknown multi-millionaire businessman Basit Igtet, a Swiss based Libyan with alleged links to Israel and designs on becoming president of Libya.

Be clear. The BMB Militia are enemies of Haftar’s LNA.

Lev Dengov, head of the ‘Russia’s Contact Group for a Libyan settlement’, recently said: “Tripoli and Tobruk personnel share the same embassy building in Moscow, engineered by us, to bring them closer to each other.”

Britain is trying to have it both ways. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who presumably facilitated the Gurkha’s deployment, visited Serraj to show support, flying east to see Haftar on August 24 at his headquarters, urging the field marshall to keep to the ‘unsigned’ agreement announced in Paris. Why should Haftar? It’s farcical.

The United States has kept a low profile thus far, though rumour has it there has been a shift in policy in the last few days. Expect Rex Tillerson to get involved in the near future.

With the big powers so divided, and the GNA experiment having failed, the new UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, a Lebanese politician, said by some to be distrusted by the Russians, would have done better to dump the GNA.

Instead Salame is planning to send UN staff and ‘British Gurkhas’, disguised as ‘guards’, into the Tripoli cauldron, putting many lives needlessly at risk to support a failed and unelected government.

When will the UN throw in its losing hand? And when will Russia return to the aces it had when it supported Haftar?

Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline


Fuel shortage in Libya capital after fighters close pipeline

Fuel supply to Libya's capital is regularly interrupted by militia or striking employees

Fuel supply to Libya’s capital is regularly interrupted by militia or striking employees

Libyans queued in long lines outside petrol stations in the capital Tripoli on Tuesday after fighters forced the closure of a fuel pipeline to the city.

On Monday, “an armed militia trespassed (at) Zawiya Oil Storage Depot and forced the workers (in) the control room to stop pumping the fuel to Tripoli,” Libya’s oil company said in a statement in English.

The National Oil Corporation said it changed the route of “fuel vessels heading to Zawiya port to discharge in Tripoli port”, though warehouses in Tripoli were still at good levels.

But on Tuesday in the capital, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the east of Zawiya, several petrol stations were closed while long queues formed outside others.

 

Libya descended into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed  Moamer al-Kadhafi, with rival governments and militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

Living conditions have deteriorated in the capital, where residents have faced power cuts, fuel shortages, dizzying price hikes, and a cash crunch.

A UN-backed unity government has failed to improve the situation or assert its authority across the country.

Our miserable life in Libya


Our miserable life in Libya

Mustafa Fetouri |  Friday 21 July 2017

In Tripoli people queue at Bank for money [Photo: Social Media]

To say the lives of Libyans since their so called revolution in 2011 has been all but an uphill struggle against, sometimes, the impossible is an understatement! Life in Libya has been tremendously reduced to daily suffering despite the wealth of the country and when you recall how easy it was before 2011 you really miss the country you used to live in and of course miss the guy who used to keep it going so easy for the majority of people. Today’s Libya is a little bit of Somalia, Iraq, and Yemen combined together however differently.

This is a recent look at life in the capital Tripoli where it should much easier than in interior of the country where things are much worse.

Just imagine spending between 7 and 9 hours on average everyday without electricity while the average temperature is 40 degrees Celsius and humidity standing at around 60% or higher in the summer! On top of that you go to the bank maybe twice a week to get some money and after waiting for hours in the scorching Tripoli sun you are told there is none! It’s your money but still, you can not have it because banks are short of liquidity as they have been for the last year or so. Whatever cash they get they struggle to distribute to as many people as possible so no one gets enough which means you never get the exact amount you need; sometimes so desperately!

Assume that something goes wrong with your kitchen sink so you contact the plumber to come and fix it. He demands cash payment – most likely he is an illegal worker with no bank account. You let the sink dribbles on as you think of saving whatever cash you have for something more important in a country where cash dominates the economy so every payment is made in cash!

Lately some shops started accepting payment cards and checks but only at 30% higher than the cash price and sometimes even higher hike in prices. You demand an explanation from the grocery or any other shopkeeper and his answer is usually this: unfortunately, this is what we have and if you do not like it we can not do anything about it! Unless of course he knows you and trusts you enough to accept checks. But how many people will he know and trust?

If you are having a bad day and end up seeking medical help your problems will only multiply. You go a public hospital seeking treatment but you only find a doctor who sees you after waiting for at least two hours. You are lucky if you only walk away with simple prescription however it will cost you a great deal of cash! remember the cash is a red line for you not for medicine though! And Remember that before the 2011 revolution you as a Libyan used to get a medical checkup and the medicine at half price or completely free at any public hospital.

If you really have a bad luck your condition will require serious medical intervention. Because all public hospitals which used to treat people for free are almost desert and lacking the basic things such as simple injection, simple pain killers and of course electricity in most of them.

If the doctor decides that you have to have an operation then be ready for a long list of shopping! Yes medical shopping if you like. The respected doctor will give you a list of the things he needs for your operation and you have to go to the medical supplies shop (all private) and buy everything the doctor needs! This will bring you back to the issue of cash again! You could have gone to a private clinic (most of them illegally operating) but the cost is prohibitive! At least in the public hospital, the doctor will operate on you free of charge however at his own convenience!

In case things get worse and you are advised to seek medical treatment abroad then you are going through hell itself.

First, you have very little choices as where to go since all European countries require visas and to get one you have to spend a huge sum in cash again to get the visa, travel to Tunisia at least once since there are no EU embassies in Libya. You need much more cash to actually travel for your medical treatment. So Europe is out of the question and you are left only with three choices Egypt, Jordan or Tunisia; the only three countries where visas are not prerequisite as you can get them on arrival except for Tunisia where no visa is required.

Then you have to think about the financial side of things. To go abroad for medical treatment means you would need at least five thousand USD. To get such a figure nowadays in Libya you would need to buy it at the black market at the prevailing rate. For the last nine months or so the Libyan dinar has devalued against all other currencies. You are lucky if you can get the five thousand figure for, say, 42 thousand Libyan dinars! Recall here again the chronical cash problem and of course that the average income in Libya is about 500 LYD or about 60 USD. Before the “revolution” it income averaged around USD 300 while the exchange rate was around 1.3 LYD to the dollar. At the same time, you used to buy almost everything at subsidized prices supported by the government including hard currency for serious matters like medical treatment abroad.

This depreciation of the Libyan Dinar has led to a multitude of other problems. Prices of daily consumer goods have increased by some 200% and in some cases by 500% in less than five months in 2017 while some goods are no longer available because their prices have become so high that shop keepers do not sell them anymore. For example, it is very difficult to find certain shaving creams or plates just as it is so difficult to find after shave or good sun classes, reasonable perfume or shampoo. A one-liter bottle of olive oil costs around 15 LYD while a good suite would cost you around 1500 LYD and nice shoes should be available for 400 LYD so people learned to go without such things. One baguette now costs 5 times what it used to be six years ago while one kilo of fresh meat costs three times what it used to be then. Bread is the staple of the day for every family.

As a Libyan you are likely to remember as a distant memory the time, just before six years, when USD=1.3 LYD and in the case of medical needs you are likely to get it cheaper from the central bank in case your condition does not meet the criteria for free medical treatment abroad! Bread used to cost less than 10 LYD cents.

So no wonder that many people who had to go abroad for medical emergencies had to sell their cars and sometimes their homes to have enough cash for their treat. No wonder very few Libyans travel for medical treatment let alone for leisure!

The other day a friend commented to me by saying “if you get sick pray to God that it is a simple matter or if not then pray that you die quickly as the longer you are sick the more ruins you will bring to yourself and your family!”

No one seems to have any answer to why our lives have become so difficult.

Yet we still have three governments, two parliaments, one State Council, two prime ministers, so many ministers, and even more political parties.

One of our prime ministers just called for a new election for next March while the other said no! I have yet to find a single Libya who really cares about elections anymore as everyone is busy solving at least two problems every day and none of them is easily solved!

Saif Al-Islam accuses Abubakr Buera of defamation; case to be heard in Tobruk


Saif Al-Islam accuses Abubakr Buera of defamation; case to be heard in Tobruk

 

By Ajnadin Mustafa.

Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper has claimed that Saif Qaddafi will be tried in Libya next month, free from any ICC involvement.

Saif Al-Islam (file photo)

Cairo, 10 September 2017:

Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi has filed a lawsuit against prominent House of Representatives (HoR) member Abubakr Buera accusing him of defamation in relation to postgraduate degree from the London School of Economics. Tobruk district court has accepted the case put forward by Saif’s lawyer Khalid Al-Zaidi, and has set a date of 16 October for a hearing.

The claim that Buera defamed Saif was presented by Zaidi after the Benghazi HoR representative challenged the legitimacy of Saif’s PhD, which he in 2008.

Buera released a statement in March 2011 to the London newspaper The Independent accusing Saif of recruiting Libyan academics to write his dissertation. He reportedly alleged that Saif had gathered an assortment of PhD graduates from what was then Benghazi’s Garyounis University (now the University of Benghazi) to help him write his doctoral thesis. Buera was a professor at Garyounis at the time and specifically named an economics professor, Ahmed Menesi, as one of Saif’s collaborators. Menesi went on to become governor of the Central Bank of Libya then Libyan ambassador to Austria.

In the article Buera called on LSE to investigate Saif’s PhD. The LSE did so, but said there was no evidence to back up the allegation.

It is not thought that Saif will turn up for the case.  His current whereabouts remain something of a mystery. Since being released from house arrest and leaving Zintan, he was reported as having gone to the south of the country.