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Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Un Avenir Incertain" in Libya

June 25, 2011
last update July 7

Such is the title of a French-language report from the International Center for Research and Study on Terrorism and Aide to Victims of Terrorism (CIRET-AVT) and the French Center for Research on Intelligence (CF2R). Translating to "an uncertain future," it's based on a month-long tour of Libya, rebel-held and government-held, in the month of April. The report says it was completed in May, so it's at least a month old by now as it finally comes to my attention.

PDF download links, CF2R hosted: French original, English language CF2R posting. Thanks to Peet73 for alerting me of the translated version.

It was mentioned more recently by RFI English, and by the conservative National Review Online - because it's a Democrat's war, I presume. As both these note, the report focused on the terrorist/Jihadist aspect of the rebel uprising, finding it a significant part of the mix making up the rebel fighting force and leadership. This joins former al Qaeda prisoners of Guantanamo Bay and others seeking an Islamic emirate with conservative Libyan monarchists (including former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil), opportunistic defectors, and a minority of true pro-democracy forces that the whole lot has been portrayed as.

The al Qaeda element has, in my opinion, been over-played by the Libyan government and American conservatives. It's a handy way to cause doubts, when standard appeals to fairness and truth fall flat. Islamists like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, al Qaeda in the Maghreb, former aQ detainees like Sufyan bin Qumu and Abdelkareem al-Hasadi are involved in the fighting, especially in Dernah. There is no doubt of that, and any video shows that about 50% of all rebel vocabulary consists of Allahu Akbar.

But despite their enthusiasm, they will not in my opinion be running Libya once this is done. The main danger they pose is putting up an awkward fight as they're told this and refuse to accept it right off. And if their number are high enough, and the specter of TNC-brokered NATO control feared enough ... well, it might be a concern. My opinion could be wrong, and it's all worth more study.

The report also makes some other very interesting observations, as translated in the NRO piece:

Little by little, [Misrata] is starting to appear like a Libyan version of Sarajevo in the eyes of the “free” world. The rebels from Benghazi hope that a humanitarian crisis in Misrata will convince the Western coalition to deploy ground troops in order to save the population.
It is thus now obvious that Western leaders — first and foremost, President Obama — have grossly exaggerated the humanitarian risk in order to justify their military action in Libya.

The real interest of Misrata lies elsewhere. . . . The control of this port, at only 220 kilometers from Tripoli, would make it an ideal base for launching a land offensive against Qaddafi.

It is a little-known fact that Benghazi has become over the last 15 years the epicenter of African migration to Europe. This traffic in human beings has been transformed into a veritable industry, generating billions of dollars. Parallel mafia structures have developed in the city, where the traffic is firmly implanted and employs thousands of people, while corrupting police and civil servants. It was only a year ago that the Libyan government, with the help of Italy, managed to bring this cancer under control.

Following the disappearance of its main source of revenue and the arrest of a number of its bosses, the local mafia took the lead in financing and supporting the Libyan rebellion. Numerous gangs and members of the city’s criminal underworld are known to have conducted punitive expeditions against African migrant workers in Benghazi and the surrounding area. Since the start of the rebellion, several hundred migrant workers — Sudanese, Somalis, Ethiopians, and Eritreans — have been robbed and murdered by rebel militias. This fact is carefully hidden by the international media.
(bolding mine throughout)
Up until the end of February, the situation in western Libyan cities was extremely tense and there were clashes — more so than in the east. But the situation was the subject of exaggeration and outright disinformation in the media. For example, a report that Libyan aircraft bombed Tripoli is completely inaccurate: No Libyan bomb fell on the capital, even though bloody clashes seem to have taken place in certain neighborhoods. . . .

The consequences of this disinformation are clear. The U.N. resolution [mandating intervention] was approved on the basis of such media reports. No investigative commission was sent to the country. It is no exaggeration to say that sensationalist reporting by al-Jazeera influenced the U.N.

During the three weeks [that Az Zawiyah was controlled by the rebels], all public buildings were pillaged and set on fire. . . . Everywhere, there was destruction and pillaging (of arms, money, archives). There was no trace of combat, which confirms the testimony of the police [who claim to have received orders not to intervene]. . . .

There were also atrocities committed (women who were raped, and some police officers who were killed), as well as civilian victims during these three weeks. . . . The victims were killed in the manner of the Algerian GIA [Armed Islamic Group]: throats cut, eyes gauged out, arms and legs cut off, sometimes the bodies were burned . . .


  1. An english copy of the report is available at mathaba.com now. The site seams to be sponsored by the libyan government. I don't know if the translation is authorized and accurate. Anyway it might be helpfull for all, who have problems with french - like me;)


  2. It is authorized and available directly by cf2r also:


  3. Ah... I was prepared to do a Babelhish translation, when I took the time to look at it ...

    Mathaba is Media Active To Help All Be Aware, a Libyan started (around '99) but independent group that was supposed to something bigger. I'm in touch with one of its founders, but otherwise I know little.

    Now we could check the two English versions (the same exact?) to check Mathaba's credibility there.

  4. Typo - Babelhish of course meant to be Babelfish.

    Also, I may be confusing Mathaba, the green charter movement, and/or something else. Updating the post now.

  5. Abdul-Raof Karrah 07 February 2013
    The new anti-drug brigade, the "Quat Rida al Khaasa",
    although nominally part of the government-run Supreme Security Council (SSC), is controlled by Abdul-Raof Karrah.

    This well-known figure is head of the powerful Tripoli militia, the Nawasi brigade, and widely seen as hard line Islamist.

    Abdul Rauf Omar Mohamed

    13 Jun 2011 On the southern front of Abdul Rauf, the rebels were able to capture 10 Gadhafi forces and a few vehicles after an ambush was set for them, he said.

    Oct 16, 2011 'Like it's the last chance: Just kill them and run away. Just don't leave them to tell the story'—Doctor Abdul Rauf

    21 October 2011 ‘They broke out just as we were waking up to pray,’ said Dr Abdul Rauf Mohammad, who was among the NTC troops.

    21 October 2011 ‘They broke out just as we were waking up to pray,’ said Dr Abdul Rauf Mohammad, who was among the NTC troops.

    His body was identified at the field hospital where it was brought in a pick-up truck on Thursday, Dr Abdul Rauf told AFP.

    -Abdul Rauf al-Qusin (also identified as Abdul Ra’ouf al-Qassim


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