Can Russia still act responsibly? In Libya vote, yes.

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Despite its Crimea crime, Russia votes at the UN to honor Libya‘s sovereignty against rebel attempts to steal the country’s oil. The world order still needs that kind of Russia.

By the Monitor’s Editorial Board / March 20, 2014

The oil tanker Morning Glory is seen docked at the Es Sider oil export terminal in Libya in this March 8 photo. U.S. Navy SEALS seized the ship Monday after Libyan rebels arranged to take it to a foreign port.

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Before Russia’s actions in Crimea lead people to rebrand it as the “evil empire” of Soviet days, it deserves some credit for a civilized move at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Moscow voted in favor of a Security Council resolution that stands up for Libya’s sovereignty. The resolution condemns any attempt to steal oil from the North African country, which holds the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world. Earlier this month, a rebel group sailed off with a tanker full of Libyan oil in a brazen attempt to sell it to an unknown buyer. On Monday, US Navy SEALs retook the tanker in the Mediterranean at the request of Libya’s government. Read the rest of this entry »

Insight: After Syria, al Qaeda expanding in Lebanon

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Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) try to calm civilians demonstrating against the rebel infighting in Aleppo (Stringer . Reuters, / January 6, 2014)

Mariam Karouny Reuters  10:19 a.m. EST, January 30, 2014

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Faced with recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria, al Qaeda is slowly but firmly gaining influence in Lebanon, helped by the country’s increasing sectarian violence and the turmoil caused by Syria’s civil war, sources close to the group say.
Lebanon, a small Mediterranean state with a fragile sectarian power sharing system, has seen the worst of the Syria’s war spillover with car bombs in Beirut and Tripoli, gunfights in city streets and rocket fire in the Bekaa Valley.
The violence is exacerbated by Lebanon’s own sectarian divisions and entrenching them. Shi’ite Hezbollah supports President Bashar al-Assad while his rebel opponents are backed by Sunni Muslims including Islamists and al Qaeda fighters.

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2 Libyans Suing MI6 Ex-Director Over Rendition

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English: An effigy of Moammar Gadhafi hangs fr...

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By SYLVIA HUI Associated Press

LONDON January 31, 2012 (AP)

Two Libyans who claim that British spies were involved in their torture and rendition are launching legal action against the former director of counterterrorism at the U.K.’s foreign spy agency, lawyers representing them said Tuesday.

Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi, both opponents of Moammar Gadhafi‘s regime, claim that MI6 ex-director Mark Allen was complicit in torture and want to examine his role in their renditions to Libya. They have sent a letter of claim to Allen to seek his response to the allegations, and to claim damages from him personally for the trauma they said they suffered.

“We are taking this unusual step of preparing a legal action against an individual as the documents we have in our possession suggest Sir Mark was directly involved in the unlawful rendition of our clients and their families,” said Sapna Malik of Leigh Day & Co., who is representing the Libyans.

The men are also launching legal challenges against Britain’s spy agencies, the Foreign Office, and the Home Office, the law firm said.

Belhaj, Tripoli’s military council commander and a former fighter in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which had opposed Gadhafi, claims both British and U.S. intelligence may have played a role in his 2004 detention in Thailand’s capital Bangkok and transfer to Tripoli.

His accusations are based on a document uncovered during the fall of Tripoli that allegedly contained a message from Allen referring to his rendition. The message, dated March 2004, was purportedly addressed to Gadhafi’s former intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa.

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi now scared, alone and pondering his fate

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, held in a secret location by the men of Zintan who his family fought, must wonder if he will get a fair trial – and then execution.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, once heir apparent of Libya, is now a prisoner, scared, alone and pondering his fate

Saif al-Islam’s fate will linger in the international consciousness for months as he is brought to trial and, most likely, convicted and hange Photo: AFP/GETTY/REUTERS

In an anonymous concrete house, in the back streets of the mountain stronghold of Zintan, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi sits alone, with no access yet to a lawyer, friends, or even the four men captured with him.

“For sure, he is just sitting there, thinking about his fate,” Osama Jueili, the head of the Zintan Brigade and the man responsible for Saif al-Islam’s security, told The Sunday Telegraph.

He does have 20 brigade men on permanent station to guard him. It is doubtful they have much in common with the man who pursued the bright lights of Europe in white tie and tails and once thought he was destined to rule over them.

The capture of the late dictator’s son was a happy moment for Libya. A clean operation, it was performed without the bloodlust attendant on his father, Muammar, and brother, Mutassim.

Yet unlike their deaths, Saif al-Islam’s fate will linger in the international consciousness for months as he is brought to trial and, most likely, convicted and hanged. Endless questions will be raised – not least by his own lawyers – about his character, his relationship to his father, and his close contacts with politicians and businessmen like Tony Blair, and fellow partygoers Peter Mandelson, Nathaniel Rothschild and Oleg Deripaska.

The process will be a test too of the stability of the new Libya, and of whether a country held in thrall to the whim of one man can unite to the difficult cause of building peaceful, prosperous institutions.

His immediate concern will be the interrogation that awaits him at the hands of a committee of investigators being established by the Attorney General’s office in Tripoli, according to both Mr Jueili and the head of Zintan’s civilian council, Taher al-Tourki, an urbane lecturer in engineering recently returned from completing a PhD at De Montfort University in Leicester. Read the rest of this entry »

Gadhafi’s son captured: reports

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Ronald D. Orol

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi sits in an airplane in Zintan, LIbya, on Saturday after being captured in the southern desert and flown to the northern city.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Moammar Gadhafi’s son has been captured in the desert by fighters who plan to hold him until there is a Libyan administration to which they can hand him over, according to media reports Saturday.

Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, 39, had been accused of crimes against humanity.

Saif al-Islam was captured near the southern desert city of Obari and flown to the fighters’ base in Zintan, in northern Libya, the BBC reported.

It was unclear Saturday whether al-Islam will face trial in Libya or whether he will be transferred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, for a trial there for his alleged involvement in the killings of civilian protesters. Read the rest of this entry »

Zintan Brigade refuses to leave Tripoli

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The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gadda...
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2011-09-07 11:19

Tripoli – Libya‘s Zintan Brigade, formed by its cult leader who died in a fierce battle with Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, refuses to cede control of vital installations in Tripoli until the Libyan capital is safe.

“We are all sons of Mohammed Ali Madani” who was killed in combat on May 01, said one proud brigade member on Tuesday, echoing the feelings of his comrades, as they basked in the hot sun at the Regatta seafront complex on the outskirts of Tripoli where Gaddafi’s sons had luxurious beach bungalows. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya: The Great Escape

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September 6, 2011: Kaddafi loyalists still hold two towns (Bani Walid, population 50,000, and Sirte, population 100,000) near the coast. The rebels have given Kaddafi loyalists until September 10th to surrender. The rebels are hoping that their supporters in these towns can persuade the rebels to give up, or simply change into civilian clothes and flee. The rebels only have names and pictures of a few hundred key Kaddafi supporters, thus most Kaddafi men can just change clothes and make a run for it. The black African mercenaries from the south are having a harder time of it. Rebels have been arresting most black Africans, even though most of them are illegal migrants or legal foreign workers in Libya. Black Africans caught with weapons are usually killed. Even though the rebels still have NATO air power, going into these Kaddafi held towns will still get a lot of rebels killed. With the rebels in control of most of the country, there’s reluctance among the rebel fighters to be the last one to die. Read the rest of this entry »