Seven years after the armed uprising of 17 February, Asharq Al-Awsat publishes a series of articles in the light of recently revealed information on the hidden links of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi with officials of several countries.
The articles include details of the alleged financing of European election campaigns, including the campaign of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who remains at the center of an investigation by the French police. Documents and testimonies, published for the first time, reveal the details of the overthrow of the old regime and the reasons for the hostile reactions of Qatari officials to Gaddafi.
It appears that Qatar was looking for investment deals in Libya until the end of 2010, but Gaddafi’s rulers opposed Qatari’s ambitions, leading to a shift in friendship toward rivalry and revenge.
This information was confirmed by recorded conversations between Gaddafi regime officials and friends of European heads of state, including a Lebanese businessman who participated in meetings between Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam, head of the government. Libyan military intelligence Abdullah al-Snoussi, and French and Qatari figures.
France under Sarkozy was after huge deals, including the supply of Rafal aircraft, as the first export of this type of jets to a foreign country. A close friend of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said he had participated in committee meetings, including with Sarkozy’s campaign partners, and had been involved in transferring funds to election campaigns in other Western countries . He also negotiated with the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, in Kandahar, the extradition of “Libyan Afghans”.
The first episode of this series revolves around the desire of Saif al-Islam to return to the front of the stage and his chances of appearing in Libya, given that he was sentenced to death in his country and sought by the International Criminal Court.
Saleh Abdul Salam, former CEO of the Gaddafi Foundation, believes that the presence of Saif gives some hope to supporters of the old regime to meet, even if only temporarily or in a “transition phase” . This opinion is also shared by a former head of the Libyan tribal conference Ali al-Ahwal.
Saif’s name resurfaced in Libya when his country, rich in oil and gas, was accused of terrorism and suffered from international isolation and blockade. In the years leading up to the ouster of Gaddafi, his son contacted senior US officials, including former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr., to ease the situation.
Saif al-Islam first obtained his doctorate in economics in Austria and then in London. There are many stories about his frequent visits to Europe, especially in Britain, where he would have a house of 10 million pounds. This was rejected by Saif last year.
After graduation, Saif created an anti-drug organization and then founded the Gaddafi International Charity Foundation, which became a group of associations. On Saif’s place, a sheikh of the al-Awakir tribe said he could not reveal the exact location of Saif. Saif’s friend, like the others, says, “He is in Libya … and that’s all.” He says the secret is due to “security issues”.
Supporters of the former regime believe that local, regional and international parties do not want Saif al-Islam back on the scene, even if they have to get rid of him, according to a Libyan intelligence source. Faced with this alarming reality, the Western media are wondering if Saif will seek to run in the next elections.
Sheikh al-Awakir believes that Saif has the right to stand for election. However, it is not so simple given its legal situation.
Saif refused to reveal his hiding place, despite banners in several Libyan cities calling for his election under the slogan “Libya to Peace … led by Saif al-Islam”.
According to tribal security and information, several international parties are trying to push extremists from a Libyan al-Qaeda-linked group to assassinate Saif, on the grounds that he has secrets that could expose and incriminate people inside and outside. outside of Libya.
When the “February uprising” began, Saif al-Islam was in Tripoli and his friend, who spoke to Asharq al-Awsat, was in Benghazi. The friend has been advised by a Western diplomat to leave Libya since the early days of the uprising, he told Asharq Al-Awsat. He said, “This diplomat told me that it would not stop until Gaddafi’s death.”
He was also informed that the United Nations and the Security Council would take several measures such as military intervention and a freeze of billions of dollars in Libya’s offshore assets. He managed to miraculously return from Benghazi to Tripoli and met Saif al-Islam to disclose this information. At the time, Kadhafi ended his famous speech, “Zanqa … Zanqa”, which was followed by a demonstration of thousands of supporters in the streets of Tripoli.
The Western diplomat, in turn, has packed his bags to leave Tripoli after a council of his Foreign Ministry to stop sending messages about the situation in Libya. When Saif’s friend questioned the diplomat on the “reason behind all this hostility to Libya,” he told him that the West believes this is an opportunity to get rid of Gaddafi.
Seven years after this incident, the friend described the uprising as an Arab spring, “indeed, in the spring, snakes and scorpions come out.” “Libya has funds, oil and natural resources, the distance between the Libya and Europe is just an hour away from traveling across the sea, “added the friend.
Today, despite the turbulent security situation in Libya, many supporters of the former regime believe that Saif al-Islam will mark a “radical victory” if he enters the electoral race of 2018. Some believe that so much that Saif is in a specific geographical area, the campaign will be difficult. But according to Saif’s friend, this should not be a problem. “This is not an obstacle … Even in prison, there are people in contact (with others),” he said.
He also said that the communication channels are open with the tribes. “It’s important for him now to get the country out of the dark tunnel,” he said.