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How the British helped capture Gaddafi’s enemies

How the British helped capture Gaddafi’s enemies

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In war on terror, the West sent Gaddafi’s enemies right back to his prison cell in exchange for intelligence on Islamic militants. A 60 second summary gleaned from various articles here, here and here.

Read the original Tripoli secret documents here.

Probably the most hated man in Libya. Photo: Donkey Hotey

A Libyan Islamist was imprisoned in Tripoli in an operation MI6 hatched in 2004 with the co-operation of Muammar Gaddafi‘s intelligence services.

Sami al-Saadi, a leading member of a Libyan mujahideen group was flown from Hong Kong to Tripoli together with his wife and four children, the youngest a girl aged six. They were then taken straight to prison. Saadi was interrogated under torture while his family were held in a nearby cell.

“They handcuffed me and my wife on the plane, my kids and wife were crying all the way,” he told the Guardian. “It was a very bad situation. My wife and children were held for two months, and psychologically punished. The Libyans told me that the British were very happy.”

Saadi says he was regularly beaten and subjected to electric shocks for more than six years. Shortly after his arrival in Tripoli, he says, then-Libyan intelligence Chief Moussa Koussa visited in person to explain how Gaddafi’s new friends in the West were helping him track down the regime’s opponents around the world.

“He told me: ‘You’ve been running from us, but since 9/11 I can pick up the phone and call MI6 or the CIA and they give us all the information we want on you. You’ve nowhere to hide.'”

According to secret files found in the private offices of Koussa, the British intelligence MI6 supplied its counterparts in Libya with details on exiled opponents living in the UK, and chart how the CIA abducted several suspected militants before handing them over to Tripoli.

The Guardian reports that associates of Saadi saw no reason for his rendition to Tripoli, other than as a ‘gift’ from the British to the Gaddafi regime; the Saadi operation coincided exactly with Tony Blair’s first visit to Libya. He shook hands with Gaddafi exactly two days after a fax sent to Tripoli, concerning the forthcoming rendition of Saadi and his family.

In the trip, Blair worked to make “common cause” in counter-terrorism operations. It was also announced that Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell had signed a £550m gas exploration deal. Three days later Saadi and his family were put aboard a private Egyptian-registered jet and flown to Tripoli.

More tellingly, it wasn’t just the usual MI6 and CIA involved in the Saadi’s rendition. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand were complicit in monitoring Saadi’s location as he travelled from one airport to another.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post goes even further, writing that the Chinese Semi-Autonomous Region was still used as a base for Western spy operations.