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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Video Study: Mercenaries Surrender in Shahet

November 8, 2011

The video:
30 - Mercenaries surrender 
duration: 5 min, 8 sec
Submitted by rmby on Wed, 03/08/2011
Shahat, Monday, 21 February, 2011
Source: bmatrixtmz

This video shows something like 50 primarily black men and several lighter Arab captors interacting loudly in an unidentified, crowded room. This is on February 21, the video says, somewhere in Shahet, just east of al Baida in eastern Libya. The apparently recent nature of the capture suggests these men seated along the walls were taken not from the army base in al Baida, which fell on the 18th, but rather at L'Abraq airport, which only fell on the 20th at the latest.

The video is very dark, but I enhanced some segments and stills. The first captive seen, at right perhaps over-lightened, is acutely in custody. He wears a dark jacket with green fabric, perhaps a loyalist scarf, beneath, by which a hefty Libyan bubba hold him like a short leash. The captor's hand has blood on it, and there's a thick little splatter of it on his shirt too (visible at 0:19) The captive is clearly injured with abrasions on the left side of his face and head. His upper jacket is perhaps wet with blood, but not the green cloth, by which he's tugged out-of-frame just after the image at left (0:30). 

By the date, locale, number and type of captives, Iconclude that this is a rare video glimpse of some of the "Aruba school captives" captured between the base and the airport. These were called vicious African mercenaries, flown in from Chad and Mali to slaughter peaceful protesters before being captured alive in the hundreds. But in reality, only a few (five) were foreigners, and none had come to fight, only counter-protest.

They were primarily black Libyans from Sabha, flown in to help quell the rioting in al Baida. This had, at the insurgency's initiative, turned to open warfare beneath them, so they landed in a war zone that overwhelmed them quite swiftly. There were only 325 of these recruits to begin with, met at the airport by a well-armed mob of 3,000. Some of the Sabha men took up arms in self-defense, but it seems 200 of them were captured alive with minimal fight.

The remaining prisoners were seen at the Aruba school in Shahet by members of the media and a man from Human Rights Watch, starting on the 23rd, two days after this video was made. Whether this is filmed at the re-purposed school or elsewhere isn't clear. The clues include the room as the camera enters it (below), and a small bookshelf (right, visible at 2:21 in the video). I'm not myself sure what to make of these clues.

we see the cieling, two walls, and a support column at the video's beginning, later windows and a bookshelf. Where would one see these sorts of books-a school, a Mosque, or what?

This guy had a lot to say
late in the video, but I doubt
anyone can make it out now. 
With many videos, dialog is limited enough that knowledge of Arabic isn't needed. But in this case, as Libyans talk among themselves across a great and sudden divide, it would matter, but the audio is all but useless. Nearly all the captors here are screaming dozens of questions and curses in dozens of directions at once, creating a maxed-out wash of near-total noise. One wonders in fact if the audio wasn't over-saturated on purpose to conceal clues that these weren't, in fact, "African mercenaries" who'd surrendered.  About 2/3 of them who survived to do so, anyways. (Interestingly, within a week, there would only be 156 of them...)

One captor in particular, apparently a companion of the cameraman, seems to be enjoying himself questioning one black man, judging by the goofy, leering look on his face.  By the lack of one on the captive's face, he's not as amused, trying to show his submissiveness and worry. But judging by how he finally gets visibly angry, waves the creep off and walks away after a while, he's not as cowed as some of the others. Not yet, anyway.
Most captives just sit silently along the walls, panned across like trophies, some trying to hide, some perhaps wanting to be seen and helped. Some are injured. The man at left has a fairly serious head injury it seems, by the amount of blood on the pillow he's got held to his head and hides behind a bit.

A fair number of captives seen here, interestingly, aren't black men at all. Some are light-skinned Arab men, like the two apparent soldiers seen at at about 2:45. One has a severely cowed look on his face and his hands up in over-done surrender, passive-aggressively showing an injured right hand wrapped in a bloody cloth.

A similar but subtler effect is given by the blue-clad, Elvis-looking Arab man, apparently internal security, seated in the corner at 1:06.

More perhaps forthcoming, here or in the comments below, on this rare glimpse and related issues.


  1. Adam - this photographic site is easily searchable - though the photographers won't have been taken anywhere which doesn't show the sanitised or persuasive story.

    Search SHAHAT,(photos in the same ?Aruba? School), BENGHAZI AMMUNITION, AL-KATIBA etc. Hardly anything from Bayda. A rather suspect caption to TOBRUK photos.

  2. After downloading even more forensic tools and several hours of bit-level analysis I can finally present to you (b)matrixtmz.


    He has uploaded only one video – which has been viewed only five times. It may be notable that he is from Egypt.

  3. Petri, it's exactly the same as the one gathered in the 17thFeb site. Odd he has only one video.
    The 17thFeb site also has some other videos - eg. (allegedly 25th Feb, Labraq from katosha007 who also uploaded quite a few videos of Al Qubah / Qubah on the 20th, including a graphic picture of a from body in the freezer from Abrak airport on the same day. wish I could understand the commentary.

    Actually, katosha007 uploaded the "25th Feb" video to YouTube on 27 March. More fakery.

    There's more stuff from Labraq here(3 pages)to sift through and see where it comes from.

  4. Here is another video of the of the surrendered "mercenaries" – this one enhanced with the casus belli of the war of aggression against Libya: the infamous VIAGRA! Even more incriminating is the fact that of the two pills one has been used. Clear proof of RAPE!

    The video is dated February 19th. As I said earlier, I find it most likely that this is inside the Shahet barracks.

    إنتفاضة مدينة شحات _الجزء الثاني .
    (Uprising in the city Cyrene _ Part II)
    Uploaded by ORWA31 on Aug 3, 2011

  5. Something went wrong in the previous comment. Here is a link to the video:

    إنتفاضة مدينة شحات _الجزء الثاني .
    Uprising in the city Cyrene _ Part II
    Uploaded by ORWA31 on Aug 3, 2011


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