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EXCLUSIVE Memorandum on Libya: Fabrications against the State, Leadership and Army – by Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi


EXCLUSIVE Memorandum on Libya: Fabrications against the State, Leadership and Army – by Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is the son of the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi. This memorandum has been given to The Herland Report

In the Name of Allah (God) the Most Gracious and Compassionate.

This memorandum aimed to pinpoint some of facts that the Libyan people were subjected to during the past six years where the most horrendous crimes were committed against its people, writes Dr. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

These crimes were committed under the name of human intervention, protection of civilians, introducing democracy and prosperity where the NATO forces, with the help of some Arab countries and a few Libyans, attacked Libya with all weapons under its disposal. The justifications put forward were as false as the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and in fact it was a systematic destruction of a sovereign country and a peaceful nation.

Thus far, this memorandum is trying to present these crimes to the international community, human rights organisation and NGOs in order to stand by Libya and its people in its countless efforts to rebuild this small country.

Libya on the Cross Roads: The Beginning

Libya’s agony began on 15th February 2011 when a number of protests gathered, in its routine, to demonstrate in support for the Abu Saleem prisons incident. The demonstration was soon hijacked by elements of Jihadist groups such the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group LIFG. They attacked police stations and army barracks in Derna, Benghazi, Misratah and Al-Zawayh aiming at collecting weapons to be used in their planned war against the Libyan people and its legitimate government.

All these actions accompanied by a propaganda machine were launched by Aljazeera channel, Al-Arabiya, BBC, France 24 and others which were encouraging the Libyan people to confront the state police who try to protect governmental buildings and people’s properties from attacks and lootings.

Horrific scenes unfolded in the streets, bridges, and security forces buildings where the demonstrators committed unspeakable crimes against humanity. Security forces, military personnel and policemen were slaughtered as their throats were cut, their hearts were taken out of their bodies and their bodies cut into pieces in a real show of brutality and savageness.

For instance, in the first day of unrest 16-02-2011 and in the city of Misrata, the so called peaceful demonstrators have killed and burnt a man named Musa Al-Ahdab.  On the same day and in Benghazi a police officer was killed and his limbs were cut in pieces (1).

Those barbaric actions were committed by the armed demonstrators as they were using tanks, machine guns and anti-aircrafts machine guns throughout the cities of Misrata, Benghazi and Al-Azawiyah (2). These acts and scenes are well documented and can be seen on YouTube (3) and across social media.

Thus, the fallen victims were in their tens contrary to what was reported by the biased media. According to Aljazeera, Al-Arabiya and the Libyan oppositions groups, by the end of 2011 the number of people killed reached 50,000. However, in 2012 Abdulrahaim Alkeeb’s government announced that the number of victims from 17th February 2011 to the end of the war in October 2011 were 4,700 including the people who died via natural death (4). The highly claimed number of victims remained statistics figures without releasing the victims’ names or their identity as well as to claim for compensation from the governments.

The propaganda campaign and lies that accompanied the military insult did not stop at the aggregation of the victims but claimed that the regime used military aircrafts to attack the civilians, reported rapes by the army and security forces (5), Viagra found in tanks (6), African and Algerian mercenaries fighting along the Libyan army and the airmen defections to Malta (7). None of these claims proven until today and in fact bears any truth what so ever. UN, Western investigations, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (8) have not proven any case of rip from the total of 8000 reported cases by the Libyan opposition figures.

In fact, all these cases were fabricated and lacked credibility. On the same ground, the use of Mirage aircraft from Al-Weathy airbase in the far West of Libya to attack the civilians in Benghazi also bears no weight as these aircrafts could not attack targets in Benghazi and return to its base in the West due to the distance and fuel consumption. It is impossible for this type of aircraft to attack targets in 1500 KM and return without refuelling as well as there were airbases around Benghazi accessible to the Libyan government to be used if needed.

Also, the Viagra found in tanks story was fallen on the same trap as the Libyan army has a professional, moral young army that neither think to commit such crimes nor need Viagra to activate their sexual desires. These fabricated stories are merely a SEX IT UP on the same line with the Iraqi seven minutes WMDs attack. Now, the Iraqi and the Libyan cases became laughing matters by the Iraqi, Libyan people, the American and the European media. (AMNESTY REPORT) (9)

The International Court of Justice (ICC)

The ICC issued a warrant (10) of arrest for Muammar Qaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi  (11) and Abdullah Al-Senussi in 2011, charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Libya. Despite the seriousness of the crime, the ICC has not conducted any investigations on the ground (Libya) as well as it reached its conclusions and identified the perpetrators within two weeks from the UN resolution for the ICC to proceed its work. The timing given for the charge to be announced was not presented and was not enough to even issue and investigate traffic penalties.

In this effect, Al-Jehani, the ICC-Libyan government coordinator, asserted that, “the ICC case against Libya was purely political because the NATO countries order the National Transitional Council (NTC) to prepare a list of officials for the ICC to be charged for crimes against humanity”. The NTC assigned Al-Jehani to prepare the list who produced and presented tens of names, however, the ICC selected only the above three names.

In his statement Al-Jehani also added that all the accusation was fabricated. He also asserted his views when he met Saif Al-Islam and told him that it’s impossible for the Libyan judiciary to find you guilty. Al-Jehani added that we (Al-Jehani and his team) fabricated this case against him because we simply knew in advance that the criminal part is a lost case but we brought it forward to implicate Saif Al-Islam in financial and corruption cases. Al-Jehani has justified his fabrications and lies as these lies are permissible during wars but it’s hard to be proven in the law of court, (Al-Jehani statement documented on 1/1/2012 and field in Al-Zintan court).

The ICC adopted a double standard on Libya’s civil war and the NATO intervention, implicating the Libyan political figures in fabricated crimes where ignored and failed to condemn the barbaric killing of Qaddafi (12) and his son Al-Motassem by the NATO backed militias (13).  

The only action the ICC made was to drop the case against Qaddafi after his death. However, the ICC had a strong case as the killing was well documented by the media and needs no evidence to bring those responsible to justice. The ICC could also easily reach and arrest these perpetrators as they assumed political positions and diplomatic posts in various European capitals.

A similar position was taken by the ICC against Abduallah Al-Senussi who was kidnapped from Mauritania by the Libyan government (14), it stopped calling for his extradition to stand trial at the ICC. It did not even follow his human rights violation and inhuman treatment in the militia’s prison even though he has been imprisoned by the well-known notorious jihadists, the Libyan Fighting Islamic Group. The head of the prison is the leader of LIFG, Abdul Hakiem Belhadj.

Belhadj is well-known to the CIA and Western governments. The CIA arrested him after his escape from Kandahar, interrogated and extradited to Libya in 2002 charging with terrorism (15). In 2009, he and the LIFG members were released from prison under the General Amnesty Law (16). Belhadj terrorist record speaks for itself. In 1994-97, he ordered a slaughter of 225 people and ordered the killing of the German tourists, Steven Baker and his wife Manuela Spiatzier in 1997.

Nevertheless, he assumed a high-ranking position in Libya. He was a minister of Defence, and is responsible of Tripoli security, General Manager of Libyan prisons and responsible directly of Al-Senussi cell. Bearing in mind Belhadj’s criminal record, the ICC expressed its reassurance that Al-Senussi is in the safe hands and supported his trial in Libya.

The NATO and small Gulf countries ignored Belhadj terrorist activities and recognised him as a political and military leader and above all a businessman. He owned the biggest TV station in North Africa, biggest airline company in Libya, cement factory, properties in Spain and Turkey and a private airport in Tripoli. This airport, however, has been used to channel and transport the terrorists from Libya to Syria. These terrorists were financed which was estimated to be 160 billion worth of dollars in 2010. Belhadj and others are responsible of the misuse of Libya’s assets and putting an end to Libya’s development plan worth 200 billion of dollars according to the World Bank. Belhadj is one example to the warlords’ lavish life where the ordinary Libyan citizens were plunged into severe poverty.

The Militias Human Rights Abuses

The militias’ leaders and war lords has committed heinous crimes against humanity, destroyed cities and vital infrastructures throughout the past six years. The following are few of the listed crimesPeople were burned, cooked alive and subjected to the ugliest forms of torture. Political prisoners, security personals and soldiers were thrown in the Iron and Steel smelting furnaces plant of Misratah. Above all, the militias traded in the prisons’ human organs. With the Libyan political scene growing more complicated, IS has also added more atrocities by slaughtering, crucifying people and cutting their organs in dramatic senses.

Unprecedented racial and ethnic cleansing, genocide was committed against five Libyan cities and its people. 55% of Libyan people were forced to flee their country to the neighbouring countries. In addition, hundreds of houses were burnt in Bani Walid (17) and five other cities in Warshafana (18).

Furthermore, the destruction and flattening of the city of Sirte (19) and bombardment of residential populated areas in Benghazi (20) and Dernah. Even the cosmopolitan Tripoli faced the same faith of ethnic and racial cleansing especially in the areas loyal to Qaddafi.

Besides the systematic human rights abuses, the militias and their leaders destroyed the Libyan essential infrastructures (21). In July 2014 (22), they set Tripoli airport (23) and the aviation fleet (24) on fire as well burning number 24 & 25 oil reservoirs (25). Despite the militias destructive actions and brutal torture, the international community and the UN legal bodies ignored all these crimes and failed to bring these warlords to justice (26).

NATO and Libyan Militias’ Atrocities against Civilian and Public Figures

The NATO military aircrafts targeted civilians across various Libyan cities, namely Zlitan, Sirte, Surman, Tripoli and Bani Walid. In the south of Zlitan and precisely in Majeer (27), 84 families mainly women and children were killed in cold blood while they were sleeping by NATO airstrikes (28). Media showed children’s bodies pulled out of rubble and a lady named Minsyah Khleifa Heblow was halved in two and others lay dead in a very disturbing scene.

In another case, the Khawildi Al-Ahmadi family was killed as NATO airstrikes hit their house and consequently killed two of their children (29). Also, Al-Jafarh family were killed in Bani Walid (30) as NATO targeted their house during the Holy month of Ramadan. Not to mention, the well documented and deliberate NATO Arial bombardment of Qaddafi and his convoy in Sirte and the killing of Qaddafi’s youngest son, Saif Al-Arab in his house in Tripoli (31).

The human rights abuse and systematic killing and torture of Libyan civilians continued after the militias assumed control of Libya. These people were civilians that did not participate in the civil war and the majority were old and cannot carry weapons. The popular comedian Youssef Al-Gharyani was detained and tortured by Al-Zawiyah militias.

Misratah militias has also detained and tortured the eighty-year-old and the Libyan Mufti in the 1970s, Al-Shaiek Al-Madani Al-Shwearief (32), because he did not approve and support the NATO intervention in Libya (33). The famous Libyan singer, Mohammed Hassan, was abused and put under house arrest (34). Others like the economist expert in the Ministry of Finance, Dr Abdul Hafied Al-Zalatni, was tried and sentenced to years of imprisonment.

Likewise, the Head of Islamic Call Society, Dr Mohammed Al-Shareef was sentenced for long term imprisonment. The Head of Customs Department and the Head of Training at the Ministry of Interior were also sentenced to long term imprisonment along with others who were sentenced to the death penalty and various terms of imprisonments. It’s rather absurd that these public figures were tried for drugs trafficking, human trafficking and rape in addition to 17 other charges (35). The question that presents itself is how all these old professional figures met and conspire together to commit crimes throughout a period of nine months?

After NATO helped those militias to rule Libya, more horrific terrorist crimes were committed against Libyan and foreign nationals. A Coptic man was killed at the Misratah’s battalion (36), murdering number of Coptic men in Sirte (37), murdering a number of Christian Ethiopian workers (38), murdering the American English teacher, Roni Smith, in Benghazi (39), killing the Red Cross staff inMisratah in 2014 (40) and the French Embassy bombing in Tripoli (41), above all, the murder of the American Ambassador in Benghazi, who helped and armed the militias throughout 2011 (42).

All the above victims were reported by the Human Rights Watch and in some cases NATO admitted responsibility of their death. 

However, the ICC turned a blind eye and failed to investigate such crimes despite various national and international bodies which demanded to initiate an open and transparent investigation as well as bringing perpetrates to justice. The ICC record showed failure in its responsibility regarding Libya’s civil war. It was evident as it has not produced a single warrant of arrest against these militia leaders and NATO forces. It seemed that it has been a deliberate policy of ICC to ignore these authentic crimes and only focuses on Saif Al-Islam indictment and trial.

When it comes to Qaddafi’s family, the ICC are seen not to be serious as in the case of Al-Saadi Qaddafi torture that the ICC prosecutor claimed that she is still investigating the case. However, he was shown in a video being interrogated and beaten in front of the camera. The same standard applied to the Abduallah Al-Senussi case where the ICC prosecutor claimed that she is still in deliberation of his death penalty. A similar claim was made by her predecessor regarding the bombing and killing of Qaddafi and hundreds in his convoy. The ICC never showed any seriousness in other crimes committed by the militias against thousands of Libyan people, except Saif Al-Islam in order to silent his voice and eliminate potential leadership.

The NATO countries and the Gulf mini-states should be held responsible for the chaos that has been created in Libya since 2011. They intervened in Libya in the pretext of Qaddafi killing his own people. The scenario of a leader killing his own people reminds us of Tony Blair (43)during the Iraq inquiry in 2016. He said it was “the right thing to do and if Saddam had remained in power during the Arab Spring he would have crushed the rebels”. By this kind of speculation, countries were destroyed, thousands of people were displaced and national assets were stolen. As a result of the NATO militarily intervention in Libya, Qaddafi, his sons and thousands of Libyan people were killed and millions more were displaced.

Six years on and the political settlement in Libya is far distant from being realised soon. With a glance, Libyan militias are fighting each other as well as Western countries military forces who are siding with different militias. France remains involved militarily and lost three soldiers in Benghazi in July 2016 by groups that were supporting the 2011 uprising. France then called the uprising a revolution that France ought to support and if its belief was true why is the war continuing today? And why 700 people mainly army officers assassinated? Why were the American Consulate Staff killed in Benghazi? Why the West ignoring is IS barbaric acts of cutting people’s throats in Sirte, Misratah and Dernah?

The answer to the later question is clear, those criminals were supported by the West in 2011 because they were fighting the apostate Libyan government as they claimed. Why was IS wearing the same Libyan soldiers uniform that was imported to the Libyan army in 2012, and who gives it to them?

Why did IS’ members receive a salary from the Libyan Defence Ministry? The answer to the above question is that search for the effective ruler of Libya namely Belhadj, Al-Shareef, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and their co-ruler, the National Congress members. Who governs Libya today is well known by Libyan people and by some international NGOs groups. Thus far, Libya today is under the rule of the Islamic Jihadist groups and the West is supporting them despite these groups’ crimes against Libya and its people.

At this moment of time, is it strange that the Western countries as far north as Norway and Canada and to the south, Malta and Italy, not to mention the Qatari forces, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco all assembled to launch a military aggression against civilians who were not being hostile against these countries, such as, Saif al-Arab Muammar Qaddafi and Khuwaylidi family and 84 of innocent victims of Madjer?

While these countries are patient and tolerant towards the supports of IS in Sirte, Misrata and Benghazi, they were also celebrating the IS bombings of the French and Belgium cities. Yet, the NATO countries and their allies should attack and bomb them as they did in Libya in 2011.

Finally, in complement of its series of crimes against the Libyans, the Western countries have appointed a war criminal who was responsible for the destruction of Bani Walid and killing of its children, “Abdul-Rahman Al-Swehli” as a head of Libya’s highest authority, the State Council and appointed his nephew, “Ahmed Maiteeq” Vice President, (44)  his niece “Nihad Meitiq” (45) General Director of the Foreign and his brother in law, Faiez Al-Saraj, head of the presidential Council. In addition, Al-Swehli struck a deal with Belhadj, commander of the Islamic Fighting Group, to take the Islamist share of the presidential election.

However, it is well known in Libya that if elections were to be held today, the above-mentioned persons will not guarantee and secure even their family members’ vote. Belhadj popularity was demonstrated in the parliamentary elections where he got only 50 votes in the Sauaq Al-Joumah district, which has a population of 250 thousand people.

Meanwhile and during writing these lines, the cities of Libya and its population including the capital city Tripoli where a third of Libyan population are inhabited, are suffering water shortages, living in darkness because of power cuts, lacking medical facilities and basic human needs. Per the UN, 65% of hospitals stopped working (46). Whereas the Libyan Dinar lost 300% of its value and oil production fell from 1.9 million barrels a day into 250.000 barrels (47).

To add to the suffering of Libyan people, main roads were cut due to the military operations and act of banditry by the criminal gangs, in addition to the military operations and bombing campaign that stretches from Derna in the east to Sirte to the West through Benghazi and Ajdabiya. The most dominant in the daily news are kidnapping for ransom and booming arms trade to the extent that it is sold through the Internet and advertised on Facebook.

In conclusion, we ought to thank our brothers in Qatar and the UAE, Sudan, Tunisia, the Arab League, the NATO countries, the European Union and the people who helped Libya become a failed state. After the release of Islamist political prisoners and others, Libya became a home for the largest private prisons run by families and militias.

Also, a country attracted investors from around the world to a state exporting migrants including its own citizens, 55% of its population migrated and took refugee worldwide. A state that combined the finest legal and constitution experts in the world, that were able to forge a new and modern constitution, now transformed to a state governed by 1500 militias. And finally, a state where a crime of theft was considered strange and unusual, to a state where human mutilated bodies and decomposed bodies were dumped on the streets and road sides, which became a routine and normal across the country every morning.


The Herland Report comments:

Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and the ICC case

Before the uprising, Saif Al-Islam was the architect of the new Libya. He presented his new vision of Libya free of political prisons, committed to human rights charter, distribution of wealth, prosperity and democracy (48). He embarked on political and economic reforms in Libya whereby the radical Islamic prisoners gained their freedom, rehabilitated and engaged in the Libyan society. Once the violent uprising erupted in some Libyan cities, local sources confirm that he offered his help by engaging in human relief efforts to help the displaced people around the country, released the uprising prisoners, securing the Misratah people who caught on the cross fire and sheltered the Benghazi people who fled the fighting areas.

(Photo: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Getty)

He also called and supported the peace efforts to solve the Libyan civil war. According to sources on the ground, he asked the University of Sirte’s administration to print 5000 leaflets and distributed to the peaceful convoy to Benghazi contained observing human rights, calling for the army to uphold the rule of engagement and prohibiting the use of force against the protesters. The later was stated by the Head of the Joint Operation Chamber in the 2011 Libyan war, Marchal Al-Hadi Embarrish, who was taken as a prisoner of war by the Al-Zintan militias, badly treated and deprived from medical treatment until he died of cancer in prison in 2014 (49).

Despite Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi’s tireless peace efforts, NATO aircrafts targeted him in an attempt to assassinate him that resulted in a permanent disability and killing of 29 of his comrades (50). Also, he lost his fingers and suffered multiple injuries. Yet, the ICC did not investigate the airstrike, nor oversee his five years of solitary confinement condition and his human rights generally. Furthermore, the ICC persisted demanding his arrest and trial despite he was sentenced to death by a Libyan court that set-in Al-Hadbah prison under Khaled Al-Shareef, the right man of Belhaj.

For these reasons, the unfair trail and dismissal of the case is the only outcome that should be endorsed. Indeed, it could be argued that the case should be completely dropped especially after the Attorney General assassination in Benghazi and fleeing most Public Prosecution team as they faced an immense pressure from the militias. With all these circumstances, the ICC arguments were that his death sentence has not been implemented and therefore he should be arrested and jailed in Al-Hadhaba prison.

However, his death sentence was appealed by the Libyan Ministry of Justice on the ground of unfair trial since the court was set in a prison controlled by the Al-Shareef who has power over the court and the judges. Nevertheless, the ICC continued calling for his retrial and turned a blind eye on the fact that Saif Al-Islam was in the Al-Zintan prison and the Tripoli court had tried him via close circuit TV. Therefore, the ICC should respect the Libyan law and be aware that a person should not be tried twice for one alleged crime. But the end game for the West and ICC is to get rid of Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi as they did with his father Qaddafi and his brothers.

It is time for the ICC to drop its double standards and side with the Libyan people in their ultimate aim that to salvage their country from these militias and build a new Libya where human rights, prosperity, development and rule of law prevails. We also call upon the ICC to drop its call for Saif Al-Islam to be extradited and tried by the ICC.

Instead, the ICC should recognise and respect the Libyan Ministry of Justice General Amnesty Law by which Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi should assume his role in the struggle for a new democratic Libya. In this respect and after the Western countries began to see their mistake, they should work with the sincere Libyans and NGOs to bring these militias and their leaders to justice for the sake of peace and reconciliation.

 

REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POlbi9R9zdg  THE HANGING OF A LIBYAN SOLDIER IN THE STREETS OF BENGHAZI IN 2011
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sRqj8GwtW0 CIVILIANS DRIVING TANKS IN THE STREETS OF BENGHAZI
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxOEzgnqViE BURNING AND EATING THE LIVER OF A SECURITY OFFICER IN 2011 IN THE CITY OF MISRATA
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/08/libyan-revolution-casualties-lower-expected-government THE GUARDIAN REPORT ON THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF DEATHS IN THE 2011 WAR AMNESTY REPORT
  5. https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2012/11/14/amnesty-international-and-the-human-rights-industry/ RAPE CLAIMS
  6. www.theguardian.com\world\2011\jun\09\libya-mass-rape-viagra-claim RAPE CLAIMS IN 2011
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dRBAKDnIoo THE LIBYAN PILOTS IN MALTA
  8. https://www.hrw.org/ar/world-report/2012/country-chapters/259719 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT
  9. https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2012/11/14/amnesty-international-and-the-human-rights-industry/ RAPE CLAIMS
  10. https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/01/handing-qaddafi-get-out-jail-free-card CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURT REPORT ON MUAMMAR QADDAFI, SAFI AL ISLAM AND ABDULLAH AL SANUSSI
  11. https://www.icc-cpi.int/libya/gaddafi/Documents/GaddafiEng.pdf CRIMINAL JUSTICE COURT REPORT ON SAIF AL ISLAM
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpBjcD8Mac8&bpctr=1472059121 MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI’S DEAD BODY
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pknYlmQSks&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D4pknYlmQSks&has_verified=1MUTTASIM MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI’S BEFORE-AFTER DEATH FOOTAGE
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqq_W4NhlFo ABDULLAH AL SANNUSI’S IMPRISONMENT IN MILITIA’S PRISONS
  15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14786753 BBC REPORT ON ABDULHAKIM BELHAJ LIBYA
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQ2MGUmXWA GENERAL AMNESTY LAW
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUHodoC24Uk SHELLING BANI WALID IN 2012 BY THE NEW GOVERNMENT’S MILITIAS IN 2012
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG-SJoFJn3o BURNING OF HOUSES AND PROPERTIES IN THE CITY OF WERSHIFANA IN 2014
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIa5LPIIldw A WIPEOUT OF THE CITY OF SIRTE BY THE SO CALLED “REBELS” IN 2011
  20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW96ltI1qok THE DISTRUCTION OF THE CITY OF BENGHAZI
  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abVGdkdWgj0&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DabVGdkdWgj0&has_verified=1MUAMMAR QADDAFI’S CONVOY AFTER GETTING STRIKED BY NATO IN 2011
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrfSrvseOCg BURNING OF TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
  23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgWdxbQM-7Y BURNING OF LIBYA’S AIERIAL CONVOY AND AIRPLANES IN TRIPOLI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBE3yFCSYio SATTELITE IMAGES OF THE BURNING OIL TANKS IN TRIPOLI
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8tpk0TRbTo OIL TANKS BURNING FOOTAGE LINK
  26. http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/323668.aspx YOUSEF AL-GHERIANI’S COURT DECISION
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uE6eXHuWcU AL-JFAARA FAMILY MASSACRE IN BANI WALID 2011
  28. https://www.rt.com/news/bani-walid-siege-source-211/ RT REPORT ON THE SIEGE OF BANI WALID AND CHILDREEN DEATHS IN THE CITY BY MILITIA SHELLINGS
  29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTUdWFjnmHI AL-KHWAILDI’S FAMILY MASSACRE BY NATO IN 2011
  30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uE6eXHuWcU MAJER MASSACRE BY NATO IN THE CITY OF ZLITIN 2011
  31. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t0ubOqaQk4 THE MURDER OF SAIF AL ARAB MUAMMAR AL QADDAFI BY NATO IN 2011
  32. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uopl8o27TRc KIDNAPPING AND TORTURING THE ISLAMIC SCHOLAR AL MADANI AL SHWEERIF BY “THE REBELS”
  33. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wrxLM7xgpg HUSSAIN AL KARAMI’S (ISIS TERRORIST) FRIDAY PRAYER SPEECH IN THE CITY OF SIRTE
  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYupUv6v9GM THE FORCE-ENTRY OF MUHAMMED HASSAN’S HOME BY THE SO-CALLED REBELS IN 2011
  35. https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/12/03/interview-dark-inside-libyas-prisons HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT ON THE DARK PRISONS OF LIBYA
  36. http://www.masress.com/tahrirnews/311658 THE KILLING OF THE EGYPTIAN POPE IN THE CITY OF MISRATA IN 2012
  37. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/15/isis-21-egyptian-coptic-christians-beheading-libyaTHE MURDER OF 21 EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS BY ISIS TERRORISTS IN THE CITY OF SIRTE
  38. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/11548360/Islamic-State-murders-30-Ethiopian-Christians-in-Libya.html THE MURDER OF 30 ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANS IN LIBYA
  39. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/american-teacher-ronnie-smith-shot-dead-jogging-benghazi MURDERING OF THE AMERICAN TEACHER IN THE CITY OF BENGHAZI
  40. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/05/red-cross-staff-member-killed-libya-sirte THE MURDER OF THE RED CROSS CREW IN THE CITY OF MISRATA
  41. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22260856 THE FRENCH EMBASSY’S BOMBING IN TRIPOLI
  42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Arl2mY01l8 US EMBASSY ATTACKS IN BENGHAZI 2012
  43. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMJVAMD7axg TONY BLAIR ADDMITING THE “MISTAKE” OF THE INVASION OF IRAQ
  44. http://www.ahmedmaiteeg.com/%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A3%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%8A%D9%82/ AHMED MAETIEG’S WEBPAGE
  45. http://www.unmultimedia.org/arabic/radio/archives/195390/#.V74RTvkrKUk NIHAD MAETIEG SPEECH ON UN WEBPAGE
  46. http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_lby_en.pdf WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION REPORT ON HEALTH-CARE IN LIBYA
  47. http://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/about_us/166.htm LIBYAN OIL EXPORT REPORT IN 2015

 

The Herland Report references
48. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQ2MGUmXWA RELEASING ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUPS FROM LIBYAN PRISONS
49. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dklztpN6ETUAL HADI EMBEERISH’S KIDNAPPING IN 2011
50. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ87DR1j_lc SAIF AL ISLAM’S ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ZINTAN
51. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVa53FCoxn8 AFP REPORT ON TOURTURING PRISONERS IN NEW LIBYA

 

 

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MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA


MEET THE KEY PLAYERS FIGHTING IN LIBYA

Since Qaddafi’s downfall, Libya has been overtaken by a chaotic mix of rival governments, armed groups and jihadi militants. ISIS has established bases in Libya, while an Al-Qaeda affiliated group is also active.

The Government of General National Congress (GNC)

Who?

On the 8th of August 2012 the NTC has officially handed over power to the General National Conference. In June 2014 the House of Representatives was democratically elected but the GNC did not accept this defeat. Thus they brought in the Misurata militias to burn the international airport of Tripoli and cause the biggest environmental disaster in Libya. All militias are financed by GNC and GNA otherwise they would have been overthrown.

 Where?

The GNC is based in Tripoli where they took power in August 2014, the GNC represents the Muslim Brotherhood and all other fanatic sects. Holds the capital of Tripoli under captivity till today together with the GNC.

Aligned with?

The GNC has a broad base of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, England, France and the USA support. All these countries support the Muslim-brotherhood as moderate muslims.

The Government of National Accord (GNA)

Who?

Established in early 2016 after a U.N.-backed negotiation process, the GNA represents the international community’s hope for a return to peace and stability in Libya. It is led by the Presidential Council, headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj, a trained architect with little political experience prior to his appointment.

Where?

The GNA is based in Tripoli, the country’s capital located in western Libya. Which is under captivity of  the two governments  the GNC and the GNA..

Aligned with?

The GNA has a broad base of international support. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, visited Serraj in Tripoli on Tuesday—the first visit by an U.S. ambassador since 2014, where Safira Deborah run out off  Tripoli even-though she praised the Islamists and  five years after Islamist militants killed four U.S. officials, including the then-ambassador Christopher Stevens—where he pledged support the NTC, promising to assist with expanding its “counter-terrorism capacity” and train Libya’s armed forces. Various militias who are financed are also supportive of the 2 governments in Tripoli.

Fayez al-Serraj

Prime Minister of Libya’s Government of UN backed Gov, Fayez al-Serraj, attends a news conference with the U.S. ambassador to Libya Peter Bodde and Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the top U.S. military commander overseeing troops in Africa, in Tripoli, Libya. Serraj represents the international community’s hope for restoring stability to Libya. HANI AMARA/REUTERS

The Libyan National Army

Who?

The Libyan National Army (LNA) constitutes the remnants of the country’s military, defeated under Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution and disbanded. It is led by Khalifa Haftar, who has pledged to fight terrorism in Libya but has rejected the authority of the GNA and the GNC. Haftar served alongside Qaddafi in the Libyan military, but later plotted to overthrow Qaddafi and fled Libya to the United States in the mid 1980s. He thought he had a senior role in forces that overthrew Qaddafi in 2011 till he had General Abdel Fatah Younes assassinated .

Where?

Haftar and his forces are based in the eastern city of Tobruk and control much of eastern Libya, including valuable oil fields and pipelines. The LNA has also been battling for control of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, since 2014 against the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC), a group of Islamist militias and jihadi groups including Ansar al-Sharia, the main militant group in the country.

Aligned with?

While Haftar has refused to endorse theGNC and GNA, he met with Serraj recently in the United Arab Emirates for talks; Haftar released a statement calling for changes to the U.N.-backed deal that formed the GNA. Haftar has also courted international support from Russia.

Khalifa Haftar

General Khalifa Haftar during a press conference in Amman, Jordan, August 24, 2015. Haftar commands armed forces in the east of the country and has so far refused to recognize the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Libya

Who?

Since late 2014, ISIS has gradually built up its fighters and presence in Libya. Some former pro-Qaddafi strongholds turned to the jihadi group after their leader’s downfall, while the group has also been boosted by a flow of foreign fighters, many from other Arab states. The group’s leader, Iraqi national Abu Nabil, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in late 2015; it is unclear whether a new leader has been appointed, although an ISIS publication carried an interview with Abdul Qadr al-Najdi in March 2016, identifying him as the “emir tasked with administering the Libyan provinces.”

Where?

From 2012 till 2015 the jihadi group main base was Derna on the East side of Libya till it was destroyed what was left moved their base to Sirte until late 2016, a coastal city in central Libya that was Qaddafi’s hometown and was captured by ISIS in June 2015. But after six months of fighting, pro-government forces liberated the city from the militants in December 2016. ISIS has carried out attacks in all Libya’s major cities, including Tripoli, and previously controlled the cities of Sabratha in the west but has since lost control of all three.

Aligned with?

The group is aligned with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the purported caliph of ISIS who is thought to be based between Iraq and Syria. ISIS in Libya has on occasion cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia, but the latter group has not given its allegiance to Baghdadi and has suffered defections to the former.

Misrata Libya ISIS

Libyan security forces and citizens inspect the damage after a car bomb attack on a security post in the Saddada area near the eastern Libyan city of Misrata, on April 13, 2016. The city was retaken from ISIS in December 2016 by pro-government militias. STRINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Ansar al-Sharia

Who?

Formed in 2012 after a merger of several Islamist militias, Ansar al-Sharia (ASL)—whose name means “Partisans of Islamic Law”—are an extremists militant group calling for the imposition of Islamic law across Libya. The group was headed up by Mohammad al-Zahawi, a Libyan imprisoned under Qaddafi; but the group said in January 2015 that Zahawi had been killed, and it is unclear whether a replacement has been appointed. U.S. officials also blamed ASL for the Benghazi consulate attack, although the group denied responsibility.

Where?

ASL is based in Benghazi, where it has been fighting against General Haftar’s forces for several years as part of the Shura Council.

Aligned with?

In 2014, the U.N. added Ansar al-Sharia’s brigades in Benghazi and Derna to its sanctions list of groups and individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, the global jihadi franchise. The U.N. said that ASL ran training camps for fighters traveling to Syria, Iraq and Mali. The group itself has denied links to Al-Qaeda and has in recent years focused its energies on charitable and da’wah—spreading the faith of Islam—in a bid to shake off its image as a militant group.

Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council (BRSC)

An umbrella group of Islamist militias and jihadis, including ASL, the BRSC is based in Benghazi and battling against Haftar’s forces for control of the city. In this respect, it is fighting alongside ISIS, and the group has experienced tensions because of the association with the militant group, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs.

Various militias and brigades

Libya is home to a vast collection of local and tribal militias, some of which support the U.N.-backed government, others which are concerned with local interests. Prominent among these are the Misrata brigades, which played a key role in liberating Sirte from ISIS; the Zintan brigades, who  captured Qaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in 2011; and the Third Force, a GNA-backed militia accused of perpetrating an attack on an airbase in southern Libya earlier in May that killed 141 people, mostly soldiers loyal to Haftar.

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US Ally in Libya Joins ISIL and Leads Its Forces in the Country – Reports


US Ally in Libya Joins ISIL and Leads Its Forces in the Country – Reports

Abdelhakim Belhadj, who despite ties to al-Qaeda was backed by the United States and NATO during the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, has joined the Islamic State in Libya and is leading forces there, according to US intelligence officials.

Belhadj, a Libyan national and former head of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, was considered by President Barack Obama’s administration and some members of Congress as a “willing partner” in the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011.

“Now, it’s alleged he is firmly aligned with ISIS and supports the training camps in eastern Libya,” Catherine Herridge, chief intelligence correspondent for Fox News, said Tuesday on “America’s Newsroom.”

Also on Tuesday, Sara Carter of The Blaze tweeted: “Abdelhakim Belhadj is now the leader of #IslamicState in #Libya. At CIA rendition camp — let go, later participated overthrow #Qaddafi.”
Belhadj indeed was held in a secret CIA detention center, and his connection to the spy agency remains murky. In 2004, Belhadj and his pregnant wife were arrested in Kuala-Lumpur airport in Malaysia. He was transferred to a CIA “black-site” in Bangkok before being turned over to Gadhafi’s government, which threw him in the Abu Selim Prison.

Belhadj was freed in 2008 by the Gadhafi regime as part of a reapproach toward local Islamists. In 2011, however, he chased the Gadhafi family out of Tripoli as the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group that was backed by the US and NATO.
Despite Belhadj’s well-known ties to al-Qaeda, he was made head of the Tripoli Military Council, a position he held until resigning to run for office in May 2012.

He has also been connected to terrorist operations around the world, including the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the murder of two Tunisian politicians at behest of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Belhadj’s reported move to Islamic State would bolster the terrorist group’s efforts to recruit Libya’s existing militant forces, which includes as many as 3,000 fighters, according to the Washington Times.

A group of Syrian rebels supported by US politicians for their “moderate” position, and who received US military equipment, has disbanded after heavy losses.

America’s Favorite ‘Moderate’ Syrian Group Disbands
This would not be the first time western-backed “moderate rebels” who were recruited to fight terrorists ended up crossing to Islamic State or al-Qaeda. In Syria, the so-called “Hazm movement” defected to al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra front, while 3,000 members of the Free Syrian Army pledged support to Islamic State.

In Libya, Islamic State militants already are receiving “tangible assistance” from training camps at a new support base near the port city of Derna in the eastern part of the country, according to counter-terrorism sources who spoke with Fox News’ Herridge.

The situation raises fresh security concerns as the US and its allies struggle to keep tabs on the terror group as it expands throughout the Middle East.

An unnamed source told Herridge they would not be surprised “if the next 9/11 came out of Libya.”

The Islamic State Diary: A Chronicle of Life in Libyan Purgatory


The Islamic State Diary: A Chronicle of Life in Libyan Purgatory

For months, the Islamic State visited its reign of terror on the city of Derna, Libya — until it was stopped by an al-Qaida offshoot. Farrah Schennib describes the horrors of daily life under the IS in his diary.

Only 300 kilometers (186 miles) separate dream from nightmare. On the coast of Crete, tourists enjoy their carefree summer holidays. But just across the water, at the southern edge of the Mediterranean in Libya, Islamists are committing murder in the name of Allah.

Very little unfiltered news is making its way out of the contested regions. Most of the images we get are from terrorists, who are spreading their chilling propaganda on YouTube and Facebook. But what is really happening inside the isolated country? What is life like there?

Since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi, the coastal city of Derna has been ruled alternately by an offshoot of al-Qaida and by the Islamic State terrorist militia. One young resident kept a diary for us for over five months. Its publication presents a not-insignificant risk to the 26-year-old. In order to protect his identity, we have changed his name and are instead calling him Farrah Schennib.

The two Islamist groups are engaged in a brutal battle for power. In July, al-Qaida fighters drove the IS extremists out of Derna, but now they are trying to return.

In this special report, you will find 22 entries from Farrah Schennib’s diary. They are filled with a sense of fear and resignation. But they also show a lust for life and a desire to resist.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A large crowd has formed in front of the al-Harish hospital. I get out of the car. “It’s Muhannad!” a woman cries out. I move closer and I can see the dead boy on a stretcher. He’s wearing a yellow jacket covered with mud. I stare at the lifeless body of a child of about the age of 10. The boy’s head is missing. He has been decapitated.

I have been a photographer since the beginning of the revolution. Back then, the world wanted to know what was happening in Libya. These days, no one cares any longer what has become of Derna, a slaughterhouse where the butchers are swapped out every few months.

They found Muhannad’s head a week later. The news spread throughout the entire city. We asked ourselves what kind of person would decapitate a child? Why? At least Muhannad’s parents are now able to bury their child.

An agency in Tripoli asked me for pictures from Derna. At first, I wanted to reject the assignment, but I can’t afford to lose my last clients. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any work for me here.

Fighters with the Islamic State are unable to differentiate between journalists and members of militias. They shoot at anyone who looks suspicious to them. That’s why, most of the time, I only take photographs from my car. I seldom get out.

I used to walk through the streets without worry. People would wave at me. After 2011, there was even a brief period of euphoria and freedom. I gave colleagues from abroad tours through Derna. At one point, I even had a visit from a blonde-haired woman, a journalist from Australia.

Now, anyone who doesn’t work for a particular militia is suspected of being a spy. But I don’t work for any side.

I stand for a while in front of the morgue. I don’t feel anything. When I get home, I realize that I haven’t even taken a single photograph.

IS has ruled Derna since October 2014

Wednesday, March 11

Maryam walks over to me merrily. She’s wearing a black and white school uniform. My Uncle Faruk asked me to pick her up from school at Al-Khadra Market. Maryam is 11 years old. Like me, many other male relatives, brothers and fathers, wait until the girls exit the school. And as always, the Hisba, the IS’ moral police, patrol in their white Hyundai vans.

It used to be that teenage boys would lurk in the alleyways trying to attract the attention of one of the older girls. But no one dares do that anymore.

The watchdogs wear long robes like the ones in Afghanistan and long beards. These days, they are even forcing shop owners to close their businesses during prayer times — five times a day, just like in Saudi Arabia.

They also closed the schools for two months. The curriculums were purged of any “un-Islamic” material. Biology, chemistry, physics, physical education and music are no longer taught. For Maryam, school is the only place where she still gets a chance to meet with other girls, her friends. Girls are barely even allowed to leave their homes anymore.

We hated Gadhafi. He and his sons ruled brutally, and we were afraid of his thuggish police. But there were no Islamists back then.

Members of the al-Qaida group SRMD

Members of the al-Qaida group SRMDSunday, March 15

For a moment, I’m happy. I’ve found a steel container that I can use to store more than 100 liters of gasoline.

Gasoline is strictly regulated here, which might sound like a joke in one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, but when the city is sealed off, it is impossible to find fuel. My Uncle Faruk advised me to immediately drive from one gas station to the next to collect gasoline.

Gas Station 115 is guarded by IS fighters in an SUV. The black IS flag is planted above the station.

A dispute breaks out as fighters from another militia, the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Derna (SRMD), drive past all the people waiting in line and head straight for the pumps.

Members of SRMD have sworn their allegiance to Egyptian al-Qaida boss Ayman al-Zawahiri.

We don’t like Islamic State or the SRMD. Nevertheless, the Islamic State is far more barbaric than the others.

I believe they are so callous because they don’t know us or our country. They include Tunisians, Yemenis, Chechens and Pakistanis. Almost all the men from SRMD are from Derna, which makes it more difficult for them to kill people.

I want to leave this gas station immediately. When the militias encounter each other, it is often quickly followed by shooting. IS and SRMD have divided the city among themselves. They have reached a kind of cease-fire with each other. But how long will it hold for? I put the car into reverse and ram into the front of the car behind me.

I get back home safely. During the evenings, I give flour to Ahmed, the baker, who then bakes tannour bread for me and my neighbors.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nadya calls me. “Is this how you want to feed our children?” she asks, jokingly, as I pick up the telephone half asleep. We’ve been engaged for six months. I want to marry her as soon as possible. Nadya is gorgeous. She’s 22. We call each other every day, at least when there’s electricity. She’s the youngest cousin of my aunt and wants to become a doctor.

Since IS has ruled the city, she can no longer attend university. I am the only one of my friends who has his own apartment – two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom. But I don’t make any money and weddings are expensive.

An IS convoy in the mountains near Derna

Thursday, April 2

When the IS arrived in Derna six months ago, anyone who had worked together with the government was ordered to appear at the Tawba Station, or “Penance Center,” and hand in their weapons. The traffic cop Saleh from the Al-Khadra Market hasn’t been seen since. He was an institution. Everyone knew him.

Journalists were also forced to issue an “apology” for their “transgressions” in the past. I told the man at the IS media center that the times after the revolution were disorienting and that we didn’t immediately find the right path, but that we were now happy that the Islamic State had liberated us.

Of course we are all depressed. Journalists have lost their courage. It’s only very seldom that I carry my camera with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 13, 2015

People are disappearing. Flyers are posted in the city with photos of the missing. New ones are added every day. My friend Ali Ibrahim is selling his car, his mother’s jewelry and the house in order to pay the ransom demanded by the people who have kidnapped his father.

We are certain that Islamist militias are behind the kidnappings. For people who don’t pay the ransoms, the next time they see their missing relative is in the morgue.

There’s no authority we can turn to for help either. The city’s highest justice official is a killer named Ayman Kalfa who had been sentenced to death. He had been imprisoned and, like so many other criminals, only got out because of the revolution. We are being ruled by murderers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Derna has been sealed off. I am only able to eat one meal a day and I am worried that there soon won’t be anything to eat at all.

I haven’t left my apartment for days now. We haven’t had any electricity for 35 hours. No Internet. No information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yesterday one of the armed groups with IS executed two officers of our army.

They call them “halal” killings. What this means is that IS fighters believe it is OK to kill if someone disagrees with the ideology of their militia leader.

They simple annihilate you if you have a different opinion – in the name of Allah.

Heavily armed IS combatants

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today they crucified three brothers from the Mansouri family (also known as the al-Harir family). The whole city listened to the shots being fired back and forth between the Mansouris’ compound and the IS fighters. It began yesterday at 6 a.m. in the morning and ended at 3 a.m. at night. The Mansouris knew they would die. But they stood up against the savagery. For us, they are heroes.

The IS’ rule is unjust and brutal. The Libyans will not go on accepting this for an eternity. As of today, we know this with certainty.

They had been searching for Hamida, one of the four Mansouri brothers, because he had allegedly killed a person. They wanted to try him in an IS court.

It could be true that Hamida committed the murder, but he refused to be convicted by an IS judge.

An IS courier delivered an ultimatum to the family. If Hamida didn’t turn himself in, he warned, the Mansouris’ home would be destroyed.  The Mansouri brothers fought until the very end. They shot and killed three important IS leaders, including the highest ranking, a Yemeni, and they wounded 40 fighters. It was an historical moment. Was it also a turning point?

It’s likely the IS will seek to take revenge on friends of the Mansouris.

I wonder if my number is still saved on one of their phones?

King Idris I., overthrown in 1969 by Gadhafi

Friday, April 24, 2015

As I do every Friday, I visited my grandparents in the Ambich neighborhood today. My grandfather studied agriculture at university many years ago. We went together to the small village mosque, not the big new one. We have been doing this since the IS enthroned its own imams, their prayer leaders in the main mosques. It’s a form of silent protest.
My grandmother made couscous. The whole family was there, including my uncles, aunts, cousins and Maryam. My grandfather is 72 years old. He says we can’t lose our courage, because wrongful regimes can’t maintain power forever.
He tells us about the Italian occupation and the good times of Libyan independence under King Idris I. It was chicken soup for our sad hearts.
Grandfather says that life in Derna in the 1970s and 1980s was shaped by artists and poets. Women would walk around the city on their own, they didn’t wear headscarves and they wore fashionable skirts that weren’t even knee-length. He showed us just how high with his hands, prompting everyone to laugh.  It’s good that Gadhafi is away, he says. Then he throws a scarf over his shoulder and grimaces imperiously in a way that we immediately understand to be a caricature of Gadhafi.
Grandfather is funny, but he’s also smart. Libya is rich, he explains to us, and that is both a blessing and a curse. The people in the West wanted access to the oil, but so too do the religious fanatics. That’s why we went to war. That’s why all the foreign fighters came from Africa and Asia.

The families in Libya now need to stick together. It’s the only way the country can be returned to reason.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s 2 a.m. and I am awoken by the sound of rockets exploding. I go out onto my balcony and see clouds of smoke billowing over the city center. People are dying there again. Do I know them?

My friend Faisal calls me. “They’ve attacked Daesh headquarters!” he says. Daesh is the Arabic acronym for IS.

A suicide attacker had allegedly smuggled a bag with explosives into the old City Hall, which now serves as IS headquarters. The bomb was detonated using a mobile phone.
I’m suddenly feeling exhilarated. I call Nadya. We speak to each other for an hour. I feel hopeful again and I finally fall asleep.

SRMD fighters in the mountains surrounding Derna

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There are dozens of entries on our local Facebook page. The heart of the IS government in Derna has been hit.

Granddad was right. There will be a time after the IS.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Every Thursday, my friends and I meet up at my place. We’ve known each other since kindergarten. Ashour became a dentist. Said Ahmed works as a car mechanic. We call him the “German machine expert.” Salhin studied management and Nizar lived for a long time in Misrata. We drink lemonade. Nazir slices onions and tomatoes. I put on water for the pasta.
If the crisis persists, Salhin says, he will never be able to earn the money he needs to marry the girl he has loved since he met her on his first day at university. She has warned him that she wouldn’t be able to keep rejecting the offers of other candidates forever.Salhin says a solution needs to be found soon. Only a second intervention by the West can save us now, he says. The West needs to finally take our expectations into consideration, says Ashour. And if they do come, they need to remain in Libya for the long-term and reform the country from the bottom up. Nizar disagrees. “Only we can save ourselves,” he says.
“The Europeans have to intervene at some point,” I argue. “Otherwise the gate from Africa to Europe will remain open.” “What are they waiting for?” asks Said Ahmed. “For us to all be dead?”
Nizar calls from the kitchen. The pasta is ready.

Those who do not attend executions are suspicious

Friday, June 5, 2015

The IS’ militia members drive through the city in pick-ups outfitted with loudspeakers. They order everyone to gather to view the public execution of a postal worker. They say the man worked for the Libyan army and that he’s a traitor.

Those who don’t show up for executions are immediately suspected of opposing Daesh. We all go there – Nizar, Said Ahmed, Salhin and I.

The condemned man is wearing orange overalls, as is so often the case. His executors are covering their faces. I want to take a photo when they sever his head.

When it’s over, I look down to the ground. Then I sneak back home.

 

An SRMD fighter

Monday, June 8, 2015

The corpses always arrive early in the morning. The grounds of the Harish Hospital are guarded by members of the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, which belongs to SRMD. Their leader is called Salim Derbi. He is as broad as grandmother’s wedding chest and he has a dark beard. Naturally Salim Derbi is a hardliner, but the residents of Derna view him as a righteous adversary of the IS fighters.

I am looking for Fatallah, a former schoolmate. His brother tells me he has been missing for three days. Fatallah took over my dad’s grocery store two years ago. Things were going well. Perhaps too well.

People disappear because they have money or because they made disparaging remarks about the leaders of certain militias. When they reappear, it’s in the morgue. I hope this won’t be the case with Fatallah.

I pass by the SRMD checkpoint at the entrance to the hospital. The flag of Abu Salim’s militia is flying there, white with black text. IS uses a black flag with white text.

Some of the militiamen are 15 or, at most, 16 years old. They only have thin whiskers on their faces and yet they are carrying fairly expensive radio equipment and weapons. They would rather patrol the streets than go to school.

A man wearing a long shirt and a pointy beard is sitting at the entrance to the hospital. He runs his finger down a handwritten list. I announce myself as a family member. “Fatallah?” the man asks. He then leads me to the examining room. These days, they are even bringing dying people to Harish Hospital, even though there isn’t even an emergency room here.

The more modern Al Wahda Hospital has been closed for months now. Foreign companies stopped sending replacement parts for the high-tech equipment there and the MRI device from Germany is no longer working. The company no longer has any representatives in Libya.

Five men are lying next to each other on blankets on the floor — old men with gray beards — and a child. Their clothes are dirty, covered in blood and full of dust. Three of the old men look as if they may no longer be alive. One moans and groans. Fatallah isn’t among them.

“Do you want to go inside the morgue,” the bearded man asks, pointing to a steel door behind him.

I start to feel sick to my stomach. I thank him and I hurry back to my car.

SRMD boss Salim Derbi

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The battle between IS and the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen in Derna is in full swing. We hear shots and the impact of rockets. I stay at home, where it is safest.

Deash has killed Salim Derbi, the leader of the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade. Although not everyone liked him, they all respected him. Members of SRMD are unlikely to stand for what has happened. (Editor’s note: It was later determined that Derbi had actually been the victim of friendly fire from his own men.)

I call Faisal. We analyze who we think is stronger: IS or SRMD? And, of course, we hope that SRMD will prevail.

SRMD has conquered the city.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Salah is back. He’s standing at the Al-Khadra Market where he is directing traffic. I holler with delight when I see his photo on Facebook. I jump into the car and drive to the old city center. People are in a festive mood. They wave at Salah as they drive by his pedestal.

Daesh is no longer in Derna. SRMD has driven them out. IS will try to return, but for now the Islamists are sitting in the mountains. Armed SRMD fighters stand at the side of the street.

Never would I have thought that I would ever be pleased that my city was now being governed by an al-Qaida militia.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A YouTube video shows a uniformed IS fighter. He admits defeat. He says they lost Derna but that they will take revenge for their comrades who have been killed very soon.

We know the threat is still very real. We continue to live in purgatory.

I call Nadya and tell her that I love her more than anything else.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I would have loved to have seen it with my own eyes. The leader of IS was captured and they dragged him naked through the streets of Derna. They later hanged him. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes when I heard about it.

It only occurred to me later that night that I had laughed about the humiliation and death of a human being.

What has become of us is shameful. But Islamic State – they aren’t people.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Alcohol is available for sale again. I don’t drink alcohol myself, but I think that is something each person has to decide himself together with his God. All I know is that those who ban alcohol and cigarettes aren’t popular in Libya.

The most important thing is that there are no longer any “Tawba,” or repentance, stations where IS forced police and officials to make “atonement” payments.

Friday, August 7, 2015

My friend Ashour was here today. His cousins are fighters with the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade.

From them he learned about the real reason local fighters from Derna decided to challenge the Islamic State.

IS wanted to grab the list of all the young widows of our perished fighters. They wanted to force them to marry their fighters. The bastards.

The men of Derna didn’t let them. They fought for the honor of the women here.

Sunday, August 9

The IS is back. Nadya told me. She’s beside herself. Her Aunt Asma lives in the eastern part of the city and the IS is attacking Derna from the mountains.

There was a major explosion right behind Asma’s house, a car bomb with many dead and injured. Asma is a nurse and she ran over to help them. Now she’s sitting at home crying.

IS won’t enter the city. It’s now just trying to free a path for itself through the desert, but it is surrounding by SRMD militiamen.

And General Haftar, the leader of the official government army, is cutting off their supply lines so that they are unable to bring any new fighters or weapons via the coast near Derna, Misrata or Sirt. He is cutting off the desert paths as well. Haftar’s troops are at the gates of the city, where they are controlling the sea routes. Islamic state has become a lion in a cage.

If Asma leaves, then the house will be left empty, but if she stays she will be in danger. Would should Nadya advise her to do?

Who knows what will happen next.

On August 9, we lost contact with Farrah Schennib. Since then, there has been no contact by telephone, no email. It has been reported that all connections to Derna are dead because there is no electricity there.

A friend of our translator, Salah Ngab, is soon expected to travel from Derna to Benghazi. We hope that he will bring back news of Farrah Schennib.

Susanne Koelbl is a reporter with SPIEGEL’s foreign desk and is often on assignment in crisis regions. She last traveled to Libya during the summer of 2014.

Salah Ngab is a Libyan politician who fled from extremists and came to Germany five months ago. Ngab assisted with the translation of this diary and the difficult task of keeping up contact and passing on information about precise events in Derna.

How the Diary Came into Being

Derna? Very difficult! That, at least, is what human rights organizations and journalists say who are still conducting research and reporting on the ground in Libya. It’s too remote, they said of the city, which became the first to fall into the hands of Islamist extremists after Gadhafi’s fall and was then taken over by Islamic State (IS) in autumn 2014. But we wanted a better idea of what is happening there.

SPIEGEL international affairs reporter Susanne Koelbl and Libyan politician Salah Ngab, who fled from extremists to Germany five months ago and helped to translate this diary, established contact with photographer Farrah Schennib. The young man, a resident of Derna, is as reflective as he is courageous. In him, they found a young man who was willing to pen a diary about his daily experiences in a world defined on one side by Salafist militias and on the other by the butchers of the IS.

The three had little idea how difficult it would be to maintain contact and to impart what was happening on the other side of the Mediterranean. Over the course of five months, they had telephone conversations in which they had to scream in order to be heard. They exchanged emails and even Skyped when there was electricity. The diary ends on August 9, the day we lost contact with Schennib.

In his last entry, he wrote: “Islamic State has become a lion in a cage. … Who knows what will happen next.”

Stagecraft: ISIS Video ‘Execution’ of Ethiopians in Libya Appears Fake


Stagecraft: ISIS Video ‘Execution’ of Ethiopians in Libya Appears Fake

By Shawn Helton

ethiopia-map

A newly released ISIS video allegedly depicts some 30 Ethiopians being ‘executed’ in two separate locations in Libya. 

However, one should take note, that this highly produced propaganda video – fails to provide any conclusive, or remotely credible evidence of a crime scene.

The terror installment said to have been carried out by ISIS militants entitled, “Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence,” was reportedly released by Al-Furqan Media, a media arm linked to the notorious Al-Hayat Media Center, the official media outlet for all sanctioned ISIS propaganda.

Once again, we see a terror motion picture which has been produced for dramatic effect, another work of deception – designed to create an emotional response within the viewer, rather than a rational one.

There have already been major questions concerning the validity of the ISIS propaganda videos. Still, they continue to function as a psychological assault on Western audiences, while serving to socially engineer western foreign policy in the process.

Here is another example…

isis-ethiopian-christians‘SITE on the Scene’ –  SITE Intel broadcasts ISIS propaganda material via social media.

Terror Trickery

On April 19th, it was Reported that a dozen or so Ethiopian men were executed along the beach near the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, while more than a dozen were shot in Southern Libya, but it’s important to remember that the video could have been filmed near almost any clear body of water. Similarly, the desert portion of the ISIS video could have also been filmed at nearly any arid location in the world.

In this latest ISIS propaganda video, quite a few anomalies associated with the production value of the film standout, as there were a number of planned multi-cam shots that would have involved a professional film team, costume designers, props and heavy post-production.

One of the most egregious elements of the staged ‘iconoclastic’ ISIS video, depicts giant-sizedISIS militants escorting their captives to their alleged end. This anomaly is a repeat of the same height discrepancy seen during February’s staged beheadings.

‘ISIS Giants?’ – This screen capture from the latest ISIS video, depicts unusually tall ISIS militants.


The ISIS execution reportedly took place in the Fazzan Province, and later as the desert scene evolves, ISIS members lineup to execute apparent Ethiopian captives at gun point. Although the terror group appears to have fired into the backs of those abducted, when you go frame by frame you see evidence of a heavily edited event. The scene is revealed to have depicted the ‘illusion’ of an execution by firing squad.

Another thing to consider in all of this, is that many of the gruesome images being paraded around by mainstream media, that are most likely used to generate ad revenue, show signs of manipulation, staging and victims whose faces appear almost serene while being executed something which has been present in every ISIS ‘execution’ production thus far.

As of yet, Ethiopian authorities have been ‘unable’ to confirm if their citizens were killed by ISIS militants in Libya. 

‘Pristine Terror’ – Notice the clean ISIS outfits and the nearly untouched guns on display in this most recent film production.

Problem, Reaction, Solution

The new ISIS video follows a winter season that saw several propaganda videos being pushed by the cloaked group and its social media distributors. The most recent film is the second mass execution said to have taken place in Libya at the hands of the now notorious terror group over the past couple of months.

Since last September, we’ve outlined that the ISIS ‘beheading’ videos were likely fakes, with many filmed against a green screen, including stage props, wardrobe design, voice overs and multi-cam videography. It turns out that at least two of the US major networksCNN and FOX News finally admitted this in February, after backlash over a video allegedly depicting a torched Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh.

In late January we were told that a “Tripoli branch of ISIS” claimed responsibility after a suspicious shooting attack on the largely empty Corinthia Hotel in the area. The event was synchronized with a car bombing just outside the hotel, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. It seems more and more that this was likely a setup to transplant the ‘ISIS’ narrative inside Libya.

In a report from February at 21WIRE, prior to experts releasing their conclusion about that ISIS video production, I was able to outline many of the film’s irregularities and inconsistencies proving that the film was indeed heavily orchestrated for maximum effect. 

In late February our assessment of the staged ISIS videos was confirmed. According to Florida-based Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians purported to have been decapitated in the video entitled “Signed With Blood: To The Nation Of The Cross,” was ruled to have been ‘staged’ due to the excessive anomalies seen in the dramatic 5 minute film.

While the newest ISIS video appears to depict a shocking escalation of terror, it fails to provide comprehensive evidence of a violent event and therefore should be looked as nothing more than propaganda to gain public support for Western foreign policy objectives – namely the fraudulent proxy campaign in Syria.

Additionally, this latest ISIS event also serves to deflect from the controversial military intervention in Yemen. This is something we’ve been outlining here at 21WIRE over the past month, while most Western media outlets have neglected to discuss Washington’s new proxy.

Here’s another look at an RT news clip from September 2014, where well-known Geopolitical analyst William Engdahl, assesses the deception and alleged roots of ISIS…

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