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Muammar Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi

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Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi ( ;[variations] (June 1942Some sources, such as a BBC Obituary Muammar Gaddafi, give the date as 7 June. Other sources say June 1942; others say "Spring of 1942" (Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East, 2004) or "September 1942" (Encyclopedia of World Biography, 1998) 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi icon or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then the "Brother Leader" of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.

He seized power in a bloodless
Nonviolent revolution
A nonviolent revolution is a revolution using mostly campaigns of civil resistance, including various forms of nonviolent protest, to bring about the departure of governments seen as entrenched and authoritarian...

 military coup in 1969 and served as the country's head of state until 1977, when he stepped down from his official executive role as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya, and claimed subsequently to be merely a symbolic figurehead. Critics have long described him as Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

's autocrat or demagogue, despite the Libyan state's denial of him holding any power. In 2011, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya state he established was overthrown in a civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

 which consisted of an uprising aided by a NATO intervention. His 41-year leadership prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-serving non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-serving Arab leader. He variously styled himself as "the Brother Leader" and "Guide of the Revolution"; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title "King of Kings".

After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. He established laws based on the political ideology he had formulated, called the Third International Theory
Third International Theory
The Third International Theory or Third Universal Theory refers to the style of Government described by Col. Muammar Gaddafi in the early 1970s, on which his government, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, was officially based...

 and published in The Green Book. After establishing the jamahiriya
Jamahiriya
Jamahiriya may refer to:* a concept in the Political philosophy of Muammar Gaddafi* the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya ruled by Gaddafi * a Savage Republic album, see Jamahiriya Democratique et Populaire de Sauvage-See also:...

 ("state of the masses") system in 1977, he officially stepped down from power and had since then held a largely symbolic role within the country's official governance structure. Rising oil prices and extraction in Libya led to increasing revenues. By exporting as much oil per capita as Saudi Arabia and through various welfare programs, Libya achieved the highest living standards
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 in Africa; though not as high as several similarly oil-rich Gulf countries
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

, Libya remained debt-free. In the 1980s, he acquired chemical weapons, leading to the United Nations calling Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state
Pariah state
A pariah state is one whose conduct is considered to be out of line with international norms of behavior. This term is closely related to the term rogue state.-Definitions:...

 and countries around the world imposing sanctions.
Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 in 2003 by United States troops, Gaddafi renounced Tripoli's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment. A leading advocate for a United States of Africa
United States of Africa
The United States of Africa is a proposed name for the concept of a federation of some or all of the 55 sovereign states of Africa.Former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was the 2009 Chairperson of the African Union , advanced the idea of a United States of Africa at two regional African...

, he served as Chairperson
Chairperson of the African Union
The African Union Chairman is chosen by the Assembly, which consists of the heads of state of member countries, to serve a 1-year term.- List of Chairmen:...

 of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.

In February 2011, following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia
Arab Spring
The Arab Spring , otherwise known as the Arab Awakening, is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Saturday, 18 December 2010...

, protests against Gaddafi's rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi
Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

 named the National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 (NTC). This led to the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

, which included a military intervention
2011 military intervention in Libya
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to events during the 2011 Libyan civil war...

 by a NATO-led coalition to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, on the situation in Libya, is a measure that was adopted on 17 March 2011. The Security Council resolution was proposed by France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom....

 calling for a no-fly zone
No-fly zone
A no-fly zone is a territory or an area over which aircraft are not permitted to fly. Such zones are usually set up in a military context, somewhat like a demilitarized zone in the sky, and usually prohibit military aircraft of a belligerent nation from operating in the region.-Iraq,...

 and protection of civilians in Libya. The assets of Gaddafi and his family were frozen, and both Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

 and the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 issued arrest warrants on 27 June for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi is a Libyan national who was the intelligence chief and brother-in-law of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He was married to Gaddafi's sister-in-law....

, concerning crimes against humanity. Gaddafi and his forces lost the Battle of Tripoli
Battle of Tripoli (2011)
The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital...

 in August and on 16 September 2011 the NTC took Libya's seat at the UN, replacing Gaddafi. He retained control over parts of Libya, most notably the city of Sirte
Sirte
Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

, to which it was presumed that he had fled.

Although Gaddafi's forces initially held out in the battle for Sirte
Battle of Sirte (2011)
The Battle of Sirte was a battle of the 2011 Libyan civil war that began when the National Liberation Army attacked forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown and designated capital of Sirte, on the Gulf of Sidra...

 against NATO's bombing attacks and the NTC
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

's advances, Gaddafi was captured alive in Sirte
Sirte
Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

 by members of the Libyan National Liberation Army after his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes as Sirte fell on 20 October 2011. Gaddafi was captured and then killed
Death of Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, died on 20 October 2011 during the 2011 Libyan civil war. Gaddafi was captured alive after his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes as Sirte fell on 20 October 2011. He was then beaten and killed by NTC forces...

 by NLA fighters.

Early life and military academy


Muammar Gaddafi was born in Qasr Abu Hadi
Qasr Abu Hadi
Qasr Abu Hadi is a village with estimated 4,890 inhabitants in the Sirte District of Libya. It is 2 km east of the Gardabya Airport and 20 km south of Sirte. Muammar Gaddafi was born in a tent near there on 7 June 1942....

, a rural farming area located just outside Sirte. He was raised in a Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 tent in the desert near Sirte. According to many biographies, his family belongs to a small tribe of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s, the Qadhadhfa
Qadhadhfa
The Qadhadhfa are a minor Arab or Arabized Berber tribe of the Sirte region in present-day northwestern Libya.They are now mostly centered at Sabha....

.

According to Gaddafi, his paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, fought against the Italian occupation of Libya
Italian Libya
Italian Libya was a unified colony of Italian North Africa established in 1934 in what represents present-day Libya...

 and died as the "first martyr in Khoms, in the first battle of 1911".
In 1948 when he was six years old he witnessed the death of his playmates. An old mine left by soldiers of the colonial Italian Royal Army exploded as he was playing with his cousins on a dusty patch of earth near his native city of Sirte. Two of Gaddafi’s cousins died and he himself was wounded on the arm. This incident is said to have influenced his later views towards the former colonialist powers in general and towards Italy in particular.

Gaddafi attended a Muslim elementary school far from home in Sabha, during which time he was profoundly influenced by major events in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. He admired Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 and looked to him as a hero during his rise to power in 1952. In 1956 Gaddafi took part in anti-Israeli
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 protests during the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

. In Sabha he was briefly a member of Scouting
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

. He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misrata, concentrating on the study of history.

Gaddafi entered the Royal Libyan Military Academy at Benghazi
Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

 in 1961, and graduated in 1966. Both towards the end of his course and after graduation, Gaddafi pursued further studies in Europe. False rumours have been propagated with regards to this part of his life, for example, that he attended the United Kingdom's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is a British Army officer initial training centre located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England...

. He did in fact receive four months' further military training in the United Kingdom, and spent four months in London. After this, as a commissioned officer he joined the Engineers Corps. Although often referred to as "Colonel Gaddafi", he was in fact only a Lieutenant when he seized power in 1969. He was, nonetheless, a holder of the honorary rank of Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

, conferred upon him in 1976 by his own Arab Socialist Union
Arab Socialist Union (Libya)
The Arab Socialist Union was a political party in Libya.Many aspects of Muammar al-Gaddafi's Libyan revolution were based on that of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Like Nasser, Qaddafi seized power with a Free Officers Movement, which, in 1971 became the Arab Socialist Union...

's National Congress. Gaddafi accepted the honorary rank, but stated that he would continue to be known as "Colonel" and to wear the rank insignia of a Colonel when in uniform.

Libyan revolution of 1969



In Libya, as in a number of other Arab countries, admission to a military academy and a career as an army officer only became available to members of the lower economic strata after independence. A military career offered an opportunity for higher education, for upward economic and social mobility, and was for many the only available means of political action. For Gaddafi and many of his fellow officers, who were inspired by Nasser's brand of Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

, a military career was a revolutionary vocation.

As a cadet, Gaddafi associated with the Free Officers Movement. Most of his future colleagues on the Revolutionary Command Council
Libyan Revolutionary Command Council
The Libyan Revolutionary Command Council was the twelve-person body that governed Libya after the 1969 revolution. Col. Muammar Gaddafi was its chairman.The other initial members were as follows:...

 (RCC) were fellow members of his graduating class at the military academy. The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers by Israel's massive defeat of the Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fuelled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the Libyan monarchy. An early conspirator, Gaddafi first started planning the overthrow of the monarchy while a cadet.

On 1 September 1969 a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d'état against King Idris of Libya while the king was in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 for medical treatment. Idris's nephew, Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, was formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest
House arrest
In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all...

; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.

Internal affairs


On gaining power he immediately ordered the shutdown of American and British military bases, including Wheelus Air Base
Wheelus Air Base
-See also:*List of airports in Libya-External links:*****...

. He told Western officials that he would expel their companies from Libya's oil fields unless they shared more revenue. In his warning, he alluded to consultation with Nasser. The oil companies complied with the demand, increasing Libya's share from 50 to 79 percent. In December 1969, Egyptian intelligence thwarted a planned coup against Gaddafi from high-ranking members of his leadership. Many of the dissenters had grown uneasy with his growing relationship to Egypt.

Gaddafi expelled Italian settlers in Libya in 1970.
Despising the Christian calendar, he replaced it as the country's official with an Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

. He renamed the months of the calendar. August, named for Augustus Caesar, was renamed Hannibal, and July, after Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, was renamed Nasser, for Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

. From 1971 to 1977, Gaddafi approved the Arab Socialist Union
Arab Socialist Union (Libya)
The Arab Socialist Union was a political party in Libya.Many aspects of Muammar al-Gaddafi's Libyan revolution were based on that of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Like Nasser, Qaddafi seized power with a Free Officers Movement, which, in 1971 became the Arab Socialist Union...

, modeled on Egypt's Arab Socialist Union (Egypt)
Arab Socialist Union (Egypt)
The Arab Socialist Union was an Egyptian political party based on the principles of Nasserist Arab socialism.-Emergence:The Arab Socialist Union was founded in Egypt in December 1962 by Gamal Abdel Nasser as the country's sole political party. The ASU grew out of the Free Officers Movement of the...

, to function as a political party in Libya.

Gaddafi increasingly devoted himself to "contemplative exile" over the next months, writing a manifesto, The Green Book (an allusion to Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book) in which he denounced capitalism and communism as variations on “slavery” and spurned all political parties as forms of “dictatorship.” In the manifesto he advocated direct rule by People’s Committees according to Islamic law. At this time, routine administrative tasks fell to Major Jallud who became prime minister in place of Gaddafi in 1972. Two years later Jallud assumed Gaddafi's remaining administrative and protocol duties to allow Gaddafi to devote his time to revolutionary theorizing. Gaddafi remained the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the effective head of state. The foreign press speculated about an eclipse of his authority within the RCC, but Gaddafi soon dispelled such theories by imposing measures to restructure Libyan society.

From 1977 onward, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya officially declared itself to be a direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

 state in which the people ruled themselves through local popular councils and communes, named Basic People's Congress
Basic People's Congress (political)
The Basic Peoples Congress or Fundamental Popular Council was the smallest unit of government in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi's Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regime...

es, where all adult Libyans were allowed to participate and vote on national decisions. These people's congresses were, in principle, the country's highest authority, with major decisions proposed by government officials or Gaddafi himself requiring the consent of the people's congresses. Despite officially stepping down from power in 1977 and no longer holding any governmental position, Gaddafi continued to exert considerable influence over the country's affairs, with many of his critics insisting that the structure of Libya's direct democracy gave him "the freedom to manipulate outcomes," comparing him to a demagogue. The other surviving members of the Libyan Revolutionary Command Council
Libyan Revolutionary Command Council
The Libyan Revolutionary Command Council was the twelve-person body that governed Libya after the 1969 revolution. Col. Muammar Gaddafi was its chairman.The other initial members were as follows:...

 remained with positions in office by virtue of leading the revolution and were thus not subject to election.

Economy


Libya enjoys large natural resources, which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country. Under Gaddafi's Jamahiriya
Jamahiriya
Jamahiriya may refer to:* a concept in the Political philosophy of Muammar Gaddafi* the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya ruled by Gaddafi * a Savage Republic album, see Jamahiriya Democratique et Populaire de Sauvage-See also:...

 "direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

" state, the country's literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 rate rose from 10% to 90%, life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years, equal rights
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 were established for women
Women in Libya
-The traditional view of men and women-The social setting of the family significantly affects the circumstances of a wife. Until the discovery of petroleum, and to a lesser degree until the 1969 revolution, conservative attitudes and values about women dominated society...

 and black people
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

, employment opportunities were established for migrant workers, and welfare
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

 systems were introduced that allowed access to free education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs. Gaddafi also initiated development of the Great Manmade River
Great Manmade River
The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies water from the Sahara Desert in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. It is the world's largest irrigation project....

, in order to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country. The country was developed without taking any foreign loans, and, as a result, Libya was debt-free.

Despite his role in developing the country, critics have accused Gaddafi of concentrating a large part of the country's high gross domestic product on his family and his elites, who allegedly amassed vast fortunes. Many of the business enterprises were allegedly controlled by Gaddafi and his family.
Despite the regime providing financial assistance for housing, segments of the population continued to live in poverty, particularly in the eastern parts of the country.

When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi's revenues in the 1970s, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad. Gaddafi's relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.

The Economy of Libya
Economy of Libya
The Economy of Libya is centrally planned. It depends primarily upon revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and over half of GDP....

 was centrally planned
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 and followed Gaddafi's socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 ideals. It benefited greatly from revenues from the petroleum sector
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, which contributed most export earnings and 30% of its GDP. These oil revenues, combined with a small population and by far Africa's highest Education Index gave Libya the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa
Economy of Africa
The economy of Africa consists of the trade, industry, and resources of the people of Africa. , approximately 922 million people were living in 54 different countries. Africa is by far the world's poorest inhabited continent...

. Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favourable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Gaddafi had promised "a home for all Libyans" and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV.

At the time Gaddafi died, some of the worst economic conditions were in the eastern parts of the state. The sewage facilities in Banghazi were over forty years old, and untreated sewage flowed into ground and coast. 97% of urban dwellers have access to "improved sanitation facilities" in Libya, this was 2% points lower than the OECD average, or 21% points above the world average. In the first fifteen years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per capita increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times. During Gaddafi's rule, infant mortality rates went from 125 per 1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15 per 1000, the best rate in Africa.

Libyans have described the Great Manmade River
Great Manmade River
The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies water from the Sahara Desert in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. It is the world's largest irrigation project....

, a project initiated by Gaddafi, as the "Eighth Wonder of the World
Eighth Wonder of the World
Eighth Wonder of the World is a term sometimes used to describe things in comparison to the Seven Wonders of the World, the widely-known list of seven remarkable constructions of classical antiquity.-Natural places:...

". The Great Manmade River also holds the record as the world's largest irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 project. Gaddafi also initiated the Libyan National Telescope Project, costing about 10 million euros.

On 4 March 2008, Gaddafi announced his proposal to dissolve the country's existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan included abolishing all ministries; except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects. His reason for this plan was because he believed that the ministries were failing to manage the country’s oil revenues. Gaddafi claimed he was planning to combat corruption in the state by proposing reforms where oil profits are handed out directly to the country's five million people rather than to government bodies, stating that "as long as money is administered by a government body, there would be theft and corruption." Gaddafi urged a sweeping reform of the government bureaucracy
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

, suggesting that most of the cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 system should be dismantled to "free Libyans from red tape" and "protect the state's budget from corruption." According to Western diplomats, this move appeared to be aimed at putting pressure on the government to speed up reforms. Gaddafi claimed that the ministries were failing to manage the country’s oil revenues, and that his "dream during all these years was to give power and wealth directly to the people."

A national vote on Gaddafi's plan to disband the government and give oil money directly to the people was held in 2009, where Libya's people's congresses, the country's highest authority, voted to delay implementation. The General People's Congress announced that, out of 468 Basic People's Congress
Basic People's Congress (country subdivision)
Basic People's Congress is the smallest administrative subdivision in Libya.Geographically it corresponds approximately to the level of a township or borough....

es, 64 chose immediate implementation while 251 endorsed implementation "but asked for (it) to be delayed until appropriate measures were put in place." This plan led to dissent
Dissent
Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to a prevailing idea or an entity...

 from top government officials, who claimed it would "wreak havoc" in the economy by "fanning inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 and spurring capital flight
Capital flight
Capital flight, in economics, occurs when assets and/or money rapidly flow out of a country, due to an economic event and that disturbs investors and causes them to lower their valuation of the assets in that country, or otherwise to lose confidence in its economic...

." Gaddafi acknowledged that the scheme, which promised up to 30,000 Libyan dinar
Libyan dinar
The dinar is the currency of Libya. Its ISO 4217 code is "LYD". The dinar is subdivided into 1000 dirham . It was introduced in 1971 and replaced the pound at par. It is issued by the Central Bank of Libya, which also supervises the banking system and regulates credit...

s ($23,000) annually to about a million of Libya's poorest, may "cause chaos before it brought about prosperity," but claimed that "Do not be afraid to experiment with a new form of government" and that "This plan is to offer a better future for Libya's children."

In December 2009, Gaddafi personally told government officials that Libya would soon experience a "new political period" and would have elections for important positions such as minister-level roles and the National Security Advisor position (a Prime Minister equivalent). He also promised to include international monitors to ensure fair elections. His speech was said to have caused quite a stir. These elections were planned to coincide with the Jamahiriya's usual periodic elections for members of the Popular Committees, Basic People's Committees, Basic People's Congress
Basic People's Congress (political)
The Basic Peoples Congress or Fundamental Popular Council was the smallest unit of government in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi's Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regime...

es, and General People's Congress, in 2010.

Dissent and Revolutionary Committees


In the early 1970s, Gaddafi created the Revolutionary Committees as conduits for raising political consciousness, with the aim of direct
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

 political participation
Participatory democracy
Participatory Democracy, also known as Deliberative Democracy, Direct Democracy and Real Democracy , is a process where political decisions are made directly by regular people...

 by all Libyans rather than a traditional party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

-based representative system
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

. In 1979, however, some of these committees had eventually evolved into self-appointed, sometimes zealous, enforcers of revolutionary orthodoxy. During the early 1980s, these committees had considerable power and became a growing source of tension within the Jamihiriya, to the extent that Gaddafi sometimes criticized their effectiveness and excessive repression, until the power of the Revolutionary Committees were eventually restricted in the late 1980s.

The Revolutionary Committees occasionally kept tight control over internal dissent; reportedly, ten to twenty percent of Libyans worked as informants for these committees, with surveillance taking place in the government, in factories, and in the education sector. During the 1970s, Libya executed members of the Islamist fundamentalist Hizb-ut Tahrir faction, and Gaddafi often personally presided over the executions. Libya faced internal opposition during the 1980s because of the highly unpopular war with Chad. Numerous young men cut off a fingertip to avoid conscription at the time. A mutiny by the Libyan Army in Tobruk
Tobruk
Tobruk or Tubruq is a city, seaport, and peninsula on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District and has a population of 120,000 ....

 was violently suppressed in August 1980. In 1981, Gaddafi expressed doubts over the effectiveness of the Revolutionary Committees, due to the growing tension they were causing within the Jamahiriya.

In 1982, there were cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, which led some Libyans to be hesitant when speaking with foreigners. The government conducted executions and mutilations of political opponents in public and broadcast recordings of the proceedings on public television. Dissent was illegal under Law 75 of 1973, which limited freedom of expression at the time. From time to time, opposition was met with violence. Between 1980 and 1987, a network of diplomats and recruits were employed to assassinate at least 25 critics living abroad. The Revolutionary Committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, sending Libyan hit squads abroad to murder them. On 26 April 1980, Gaddafi stated that a deadline was set for 11 June 1980, for dissidents to return home or be "in the hands of the revolutionary committees". In 1982, Gaddafi stated that they should "repent" and return to the Jamahiriya, that "Such people are charged with high treason because of their collaboration with the Israelis and Americans," and that "It is the Libyan people's responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya's image." Libyan agents assassinated dissidents in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

In 1988, Gaddafi criticized the excessive measures taken by the Revolutionary Councils, stating that "they deviated, harmed, tortured" and that "the true revolutionary does not practise repression." That same year, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya issued the Great Green Document on Human Rights, in which Article 5 established laws that allowed greater freedom of expression. Article 8 of The Code on the Promotion of
Freedom stated that "each citizen has the right to express his opinions and ideas openly in People’s Congresses and in all mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

." A number of restrictions were also placed on the power of the Revolutionary Committees, leading to a resurgence in the Libyan state's popularity by the early 1990s.

Following an abortive 1986 attempt to replace English with Russian as the primary foreign language in education, English has been taught in recent years in Libyan schools from primary level, and students have access to English-language media. In 2004, Libya posted a $1 million bounty for journalist Ashur Shamis, under the allegation that he was linked to Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 and terror suspect Abu Qatada
Abu Qatada
Abû-Qatâda al-Filisṭînî , sometimes called Abû-Omar is an Islamist militant. Under the name Omar Mahmoud Othman , he is under worldwide embargo by the United Nations Security Council Committee 1267 for his affiliation with al-Qaeda...

. During the 2005 civil unrest in France
2005 civil unrest in France
The 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November was a series of riots by mostly Muslim North African youths in Paris and other French cities, involving mainly the burning of cars and public buildings at night starting on 27 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois...

, Gaddafi called Chirac and offered him his help in quelling the resistors, who were largely North African. There were indications that Libya's Gaddafi-era intelligence service had a relationship with intelligence organizations such as the CIA, who voluntarily provided information on Libyan dissidents to the regime in exchange for using Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions. In 2010, Libya's press was rated as 160th out of 178 nations in the Press Freedom Index
Press Freedom Index
The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organization's assessment of their press freedom records. Small countries, such as Andorra, are excluded from this report...

 by Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

. In January 2011, the state's policies on human rights, including freedom of expression, were generally well received by the United Nations Human Rights Council
United Nations Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations System. The UNHRC is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights , and is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly...

, where most countries largely praised the country's human rights record.

Campaign against Berber culture


Gaddafi often expressed an overt contempt for the culture of the Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

, a non-Arab people of North Africa, and for their language
Berber languages
The Berber languages are a family of languages indigenous to North Africa, spoken from Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco , and south to the countries of the Sahara Desert...

, maintaining that the very existence of Berbers in North Africa is a myth created by colonialists. He adopted new names for Berber towns, and on official Libyan maps, referred to the Nafusa Mountains as the "Western mountains". In a 1985 speech, he said of the Berber language, "If your mother transmits you this language, she nourishes you with the milk of the colonialist, she feeds you their poison" (1985). The Berber language was banned from schools and up until 2009, it was illegal for parents to name their children with Berber names. Berbers living in ancient mud-brick caravan towns such as Ghadames
Ghadames
Ghadames or Ghadamis is an oasis town in the Nalut District of the Fezzan region in southwestern Libya.-Geography:Ghadames lies roughly to the southwest of Tripoli, near the borders with Algeria and Tunisia. Ghadames borders Illizi Province, Algeria and Tataouine Governorate, Tunisia.The oasis...

 were forced out and moved into modern government-constructed apartments in the 1980s. During the 2011 civil war, Berber towns rebelled against Gaddafi's rule and sought to reaffirm their ancient identity as Berbers. Gaddafi's government strengthened anti-Berber sentiment among Libyan Arabs, weakening their opposition.

Activities in Sudan and Chad


After Nasser's death, Gaddafi attempted to become the leader of Arab nationalism. He wanted to create a "Great Islamic State of the Sahel", unifying the Arab states of North Africa into one. As early as 1969, Gaddafi contributed to the Islamization of Sudan and Chad, granting military bases and support to the FROLINAT
FROLINAT
-Origins:The organization was born as the result of a political union between the leftist Chadian National Union , led by Ibrahim Abatcha, and the General Union of the Children of Chad which was led by Ahmed Hassan Musa. Musa was close to the Muslim Brotherhood and was an Islamist...

 revolutionary forces. In 1971, when Muslims took power in Sudan, he offered to merge Libya with Sudan. Gaafar Nimeiry
Gaafar Nimeiry
Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry was the Nubian President of Sudan from 1969 to 1985...

, the President of Sudan, turned him down and angered Gaddafi by signing a peace settlement with the Sudanese Christians. Gaddafi took matters into his own hands in 1972, organizing the Islamic Legion
Islamic Legion
The Islamic Legion was a Libyan-sponsored pan-Arab paramilitary force, created in 1972...

, a paramilitary group, to arabize the region. He dispatched The Islamic Legion to Lebanon, Syria, Uganda, and Palestine to take active measures to ensure Islamic control. The Islamic Legion was highly active in Sudan and Chad, and nearly removed the Toubou
Toubou
The Tubu are an ethnic group that live mainly in northern Chad, but also in Libya, Niger and Sudan....

 population of southern Libya through violence. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Gaddafi led an armed conflict against Chad, and occupied the Aouzou strip. During the 1970s, two Muslim leaders, Goukouni Oueddei
Goukouni Oueddei
Goukouni Oueddei is a Chadian political figure. He was Head of State of Chad from 1979 to 1982. He is currently in exile.-Biography:...

 and Habre, were fighting against the Christian southerners for control of Chad. Gaddafi supported them, and when they seized control in 1979, he offered to merge with Chad. Goukouni turned him down, and Gaddafi withdrew Libyan troops in 1981 because of growing opposition from France and neighboring African nations. Gaddafi's withdrawal left Goukouni vulnerable in Chad, and in 1982, his former partner, Habre, led a coup to remove him from Chad. Gaddafi helped Goukouni regain territory in Chad, and fought with Habre's forces. As a side note, Gaddafi's occupation of Chad led to the liberation of French archeologist Françoise Claustre
Françoise Claustre
Françoise Claustre , was a French archeologist who was taken hostage by a group of Chadian rebels, led by Hissène Habré, on 20 April 1974, at Bardaï, in the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad. At the same time, the rebels also seized a German doctor, Christophe Staewen, and Marc Combe, who was an...

 in 1977. In 1987, Gaddafi engaged in a full-out war with Chad, suffering a humiliating loss in 1987 during the Toyota War
Toyota War
The Toyota War is the name commonly given to the last phase of the Chadian–Libyan conflict, which took place in 1987 in Northern Chad and on the Libyan-Chadian border. It takes its name from the Toyota pickup trucks used as technicals to provide mobility for the Chadian troops as they fought...

. Libya took heavy casualties, losing one tenth of its army (7,500 troops) and 1.5 billion dollars worth of military equipment. Chad lost 1,000 troops, and was supported by both the United States and France. During the war, Gaddafi lost his long-time ally, Goukouni Oueddei, who repaired his relationship with Habre in 1987. Gaddafi gave Habre an offer to make complete peace, and promised to return all Chadian prisoners in Libya. He also promised to pay reparations for the damage done to Chad, and promised financial support to fight poverty. He also announced that he would push to end the death penalty in Libya, end "revolutionary" courts, free hundreds of political prisoners, and warmed relations with African leaders concerned about his "Green revolution." Former Libyan soldiers and rebel groups supported by Libya continued to fight the Chadian government independent of Gaddafi. Their organization, the Arab Gathering, was an Arab supremacist group that also contributing to violence in Sudan. Members of this group later developed into leaders of the Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

.

War against Egypt



The disappointment and failure Nasser faced for his lost Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 motivated Gaddafi to better coordinate Arab attacks on Israel. Beginning in 1972, Gaddafi granted financial support and military training to Palestinian militant groups against Israel. He also strengthened his unity with Egypt, and in 1972, convinced Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

 to share the same flag and join a partial union with Libya. Gaddafi had offered a fully unified state where Sadat would be president and he would be defense minister. Sadat distrusted Gaddafi and refused. Gaddafi was further disappointed with Egypt's political system, as he spoke to Egypt's Arab Socialist Union
Arab Socialist Union (Egypt)
The Arab Socialist Union was an Egyptian political party based on the principles of Nasserist Arab socialism.-Emergence:The Arab Socialist Union was founded in Egypt in December 1962 by Gamal Abdel Nasser as the country's sole political party. The ASU grew out of the Free Officers Movement of the...

 and was suggested "a partial merger, in order to allow time for thorough and careful study". Gaddafi quipped back, saying "There's no such thing as a partial merger". In 1973, Gaddafi secretly sent Libyan military planes to join the Egyptian Air Force. The outbreak of the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 surprised Gaddafi, as Egypt and Syria planned it without his knowledge. Gaddafi felt that the war wasted resources and manpower to chase limited objectives, and accused Sadat of trying to weaken the FAR
Federation of Arab Republics
The Federation of Arab Republics was an abortive attempt by Libya's Muammar Gaddafi to merge Libya, Egypt, and Syria, creating an United Arab state...

 by launching the War. According to Gaddafi, Assad and Sadat were foolish to fight for small areas of Israeli-occupied territory when the entire land could be returned to the Palestinians outright. He said, "I will participate only in a war if the aim is to oust the usurpers and send the Jews back to Europe from where they have come since 1948 to colonize an Arab land. Jews from Arab countries ...are our cousins... they will live amongst us in peace as they have done for the past centuries." Gaddafi's relationship with Egypt further weakened because he opposed a cease-fire with Israel and called Sadat a coward for giving up after one Israeli counteroffensive. Gaddafi also believed that the Soviet Union and the United States would join forces with Israel, and would deploy troops on the demarcation line
Demarcation line
A demarcation line means simply a boundary around a specific area, but is commonly used to denote a temporary geopolitical border, often agreed upon as part of an armistice or ceasefire.See the following examples:...

s to invade and "colonize" the Arab nations. Anwar Sadat was equally angry with Gaddafi and revealed that he was responsible for foiling a 1973 submarine attack Libya planned for sinking the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as the QE2, is an ocean liner that was operated by Cunard from 1969 to 2008. Following her retirement from cruising, she is now owned by Istithmar...

 during an Israeli cruise. Gaddafi fired back, saying the Arabs could have destroyed Israel within 12 hours if they had adopted a sound strategy. Gaddafi charged Egyptian reporters with the breakdown of Libyan-Egyptian relations in 1973, and said Sadat was partly to blame because he had "no control" of Egyptian information media. Egypt's peace talks in 1977 led to the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front
Steadfastness and Confrontation Front
The Steadfastness and Confrontation Front was a political initiative by a number of Arab governments in the 1970s, related to the Arab-Israeli Conflict.- Background :...

, a group Gaddafi formed to reject the recognition of the Israeli state. Libya's relations with Egypt broke down entirely that year, leading to the short-lived Libyan–Egyptian War. During the war, Libya sent its military across the border, but Egyptian forces fought back and forced them to retreat. Gaddafi's animosity with Sadat was so high that in 1981, Gaddafi declared his death a national holiday. He called it a just "punishment" for his role in the Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

.

Maghreb countries


Gaddafi signed an agreement with Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba
Habib Bourguiba
Habib Bourguiba was a Tunisian statesman, the Founder and the first President of the Republic of Tunisia from July 25, 1957 until 7 November 1987...

 to merge nations
Arab Islamic Republic
The Arab Islamic Republic was a proposed unification of Tunisia and Libya in 1974, agreed upon by Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi and Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba. The proposal was never implemented.- Regional context :...

 in 1974. The pact came as a surprise because Bouguiba had rebuked similar offers for over two years previously. Weeks after the agreement, he postponed a referendum on the issue, effectively ending it weeks later. The idea of merging states was highly unpopular in Tunisia, and cost Bourguiba much of his people's respect. The agreement was said to allow Bourguiba the presidency while Gaddafi would be defense minister. A later treaty
Oujda
Oujda is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of 1 million. The city is located about 15 kilometers west of Algeria and about 60 kilometers south of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Oriental Region of Morocco and the birthplace of the current Algerian president,...

 with Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

's Hassan II in 1984 broke down in two years when Hassan II met with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

. Gaddafi said recognition of Israel was "an act of treason". In 1989, Gaddafi was overjoyed by the Maghreb Pact between Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. Gaddafi saw the Pact as a first step towards the formation of "one invincible Arab nation" and shouted for a state "from Marrakesh to Bahrain", pumping his fists in the air.

Lebanon


Gaddafi's image in the Arab world was damaged severely in 1978 when Shia imam Musa al-Sadr
Musa al-Sadr
For the Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, see Mūsá al-KāżimMūsá aṣ-Ṣadr , also Musā-ye Sader and Moussa Sadr), was an Iranian-Lebanese philosopher and Shī‘ah religious leader who disappeared in August 1978...

 disappeared en route to Libya. The Libyan government consistently denied responsibility, but Lebanon held Gaddafi responsible, and continues to do so. Allegedly, Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 asked Gaddafi to eliminate al-Sadr because of his opposition to Palestinians in the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

. In 1981, Shia Lebanese vigilantes hijacked two Libyan aircraft, demanding information on al-Sadr's whereabouts. Shia Muslims across the Arab world continue to view Gaddafi negatively since this incident. His relations with Shia-populated Lebanon and Iran soured as a result. Lebanon formally indicted Gaddafi in 2008 for al-Sadr's disappearance.

In 1995 Gaddafi expelled 30,000 Palestinian
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s living in Libya, a response to the peace negotiations that had commenced between Israel and the PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

.

Weapons of mass destruction programs


Gaddafi's attempts to procure weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 began in 1972, when Gaddafi tried to persuade the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 to sell him a nuclear bomb.

In 1977, he tried to obtain a bomb from Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, but Pakistan severed ties before Libya succeeded in building a weapon. After ties were restored, Gaddafi attempted to buy a nuclear weapon from India, but instead, India and Libya agreed for a peaceful use of nuclear energy, in line with India's "atoms for peace" policy.

Several people around the world were indicted for assisting Gaddafi in his chemical weapons programs. Thailand reported its citizens had helped build a storage facility for nerve gas. Germany sentenced a businessman, Jürgen Hippenstiel-Imhausen, to five years in prison for involvement in Libyan chemical weapons.

Inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

 (CWC) verified in 2004 that Libya owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. Disposing of such large quantities of chemical weapons was expected to be expensive.
Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 by US forces in 2003, Gaddafi announced that his nation had an active weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into his country to observe and dismantle them. US President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and other supporters of the Iraq War portrayed Gaddafi's announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

, a supporter of the Iraq War, was quoted as saying that Gaddafi had privately phoned him, admitting as much.
Many foreign policy experts, however, contend that Gaddafi's announcement was merely a continuation of his prior attempts at normalizing relations with the West and getting the sanctions removed. To support this, they point to the fact that Libya had already made similar offers starting four years before one was finally accepted.
International inspectors turned up several tons of chemical weaponry in Libya, as well as an active nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s program. IREA inspectors returning from Libya on 4 November 2011 stated that they had found two secret sites containing banned chemical weapons that Gaddafi had claimed were already destroyed.

OPEC


From the beginning of his leadership, Gaddafi confronted foreign oil companies for increases in revenues. Immediately after assuming office, he demanded that oil companies pay 10 percent more taxes and an increased royalty of 44 cents per barrel. Gaddafi argued that Libyan oil was closer to Europe, and was cheaper to ship than oil from the Persian Gulf. Western companies refused his demands, and Gaddafi asserted himself by cutting the production of Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum Corporation is a California-based oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America...

, an American company in Libya, from 800,000 to 500,000 that year. Occidental Petroleum's President, Armand Hammer
Armand Hammer
Armand Hammer was an American business tycoon most closely associated with Occidental Petroleum, a company he ran for decades, though he was known as well as for his art collection, his philanthropy, and for his close ties to the Soviet Union.Thanks to business interests around the world and his...

, met with Gaddafi in Tripoli and had difficulty understanding exactly what he wanted at first. He said at one meeting, Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud
Abdessalam Jalloud
Abdessalam Jalloud was the Prime Minister of Libya from 16 July 1972 to 2 March 1977. He was also Finance Minister from 1970 until 1972....

 finally took out his gun belt and left the loaded revolver in full view. Later, Hammer recalled that moment and said he felt then "that Gaddafi was ready to negotiate". In The Age of Oil, historians considered Gaddafi's success in 1970 to be the "decisive spark that set off an unprecedented chain reaction" in oil-producing nations. Libya continued a winning streak against the oil companies throughout the 1970s energy crisis
1970s energy crisis
The 1970s energy crisis was a period in which the major industrial countries of the world, particularly the United States, faced substantial shortages, both perceived and real, of petroleum...

; Later that year, the Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

 raised his demands to match those of Gaddafi. OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 nations began a game of "leap frogging" to win further concessions from the oil companies after following Gaddafi's lead.

Gaddafi and the Shah of Iran both argued for quadrupling the cost of oil in 1975. In 1975, Gaddafi allegedly organized the hostage incident at OPEC in Vienna, Austria.

Lockerbie bombing


Gaddafi allegedly had links to the Lockerbie bombing. On 22 February 2011 during the 2011 Libyan civil war
2011 Libyan civil war
The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

, the ex Minister of Justice Mustafa Abdul Jalil stated in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen that Muammar Gaddafi had personally ordered the bombing.

Alliances with authoritarian national leaders



Gaddafi had a close relationship with Idi Amin, whom he sponsored and gave key ideas, such as expulsions of Indian-Ugandans.
When Amin's government began to crumble, Gaddafi sent troops to fight against Tanzania on behalf of Amin and 600 Libyan soldiers lost their lives.
Gaddafi also financed Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam is a politician who was formerly the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991...

's military junta in Ethiopia, which was later convicted of one of the deadliest genocides in modern history.

Gaddafi ran a school near Benghazi
Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

 called the World Revolutionary Center (WRC). A notable number of its graduates have seized power in African countries. Blaise Compaoré
Blaise Compaoré
Blaise Compaoré has been the President of Burkina Faso since 1987 following a coup d'état that ousted then-President Thomas Sankara. In 2011, a mutiny by soldiers over unpaid housing allowances forced him to flee the capital for his hometown...

 of Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest.Its size is with an estimated...

 and Idriss Déby
Idriss Déby
General Idriss Déby Itno is the President of Chad and the head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement. Déby is of the Bidyat clan of the Zaghawa ethnic group. He added "Itno" to his surname in January 2006.-Rise to power:...

 of Chad were graduates of this school, and are currently in power in their respective countries. Gaddafi trained and supported Charles Taylor of Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, Foday Sankoh
Foday Sankoh
Foday Saybana Sankoh was the leader and founder of the Sierra Leone rebel group Revolutionary United Front in the 11-year-long Sierra Leone Civil War, starting in 1991 and ending in 2002...

, the founder of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

's Revolutionary United Front
Revolutionary United Front
The Revolutionary United Front was a rebel army that fought a failed eleven-year war in Sierra Leone, starting in 1991 and ending in 2002. It later developed into a political party, which existed until 2007...

, and Jean-Bédel Bokassa
Jean-Bédel Bokassa
Jean-Bédel Bokassa , a military officer, was the head of state of the Central African Republic and its successor state, the Central African Empire, from his coup d'état on 1 January 1966 until 20 September 1979...

, the Emperor of the Central African Empire
Central African Empire
The Central African Empire was a short-lived, self-declared autocratic monarchy that replaced the Central African Republic and was, in turn, replaced by the restoration of the republic. The empire was formed when Jean-Bédel Bokassa, President of the republic, declared himself Emperor Bokassa I on...

.
In Europe, Gaddafi had close ties with Serbian
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 and later Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

, and with the controversial Austrian
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 politician Jörg Haider
Jörg Haider
Jörg Haider was an Austrian politician. He was Governor of Carinthia on two occasions, the long-time leader of the Austrian Freedom Party and later Chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Austria , a breakaway party from the FPÖ.Haider was controversial within Austria and abroad for comments...

. According to the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

, Jörg Haider received tens of millions of dollars from both Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Gaddafi also aligned himself with the Orthodox Serbs against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

, supporting Milošević even when he was charged with large-scale ethnic cleansing against Albanians in Kosovo
Operation Horseshoe
Operation Horseshoe is a name attributed to a large-scale antiterrorism campaign which during the NATO bombing escalated to ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians carried out by Serbian Police and Yugoslav Army during the Kosovo War....

.

Gaddafi developed an ongoing relationship with the revolutionary Colombian
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 Marxist–Leninist guerrilla group FARC
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

, becoming acquainted with its leaders at meetings of revolutionary groups which were regularly hosted in Libya.

Relationship with Hugo Chávez


Gaddafi developed a friendship with Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 and in March 2009 a stadium was named after the Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

n leader. Strategic analysis groups, along with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos
Juan Manuel Santos
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón is a Colombian politician who has been the President of Colombia since 7 August 2010. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Finance, and Minister of National Defense.-Career:...

 reported that both Chávez and Gaddafi supported the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

 (FARC), which produces "more than half of the world’s cocaine", however this relationship was disputed by the Venezuelan government. In September 2009, at the Second Africa-South America Summit
Second Africa-South America Summit
The Second Africa-South America Summit took place in September 2009 on Margarita Island, Venezuela, with the participation of Heads of state from 61 countries...

 on Isla Margarita
Isla Margarita
Margarita Island is the largest island of the state of Nueva Esparta in Venezuela, situated in the Caribbean Sea, off the northeastern coast of the country. The state also contains two other smaller islands: Coche and Cubagua. The capital city of Nueva Esparta is La Asunción, located in a river...

, Venezuela, Gaddafi joined Chávez in calling for an "anti-imperialist" front across Africa and Latin America. Gaddafi proposed the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to rival NATO, saying: "The world’s powers want to continue to hold on to their power. Now we have to fight to build our own power."

Focus on activities in Africa


In the early 1980s, Gaddafi played a key role in the Anti-Apartheid Movement
Anti-Apartheid Movement
Anti-Apartheid Movement , originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British organization that was at the center of the international movement opposing South Africa's system of apartheid and supporting South Africa's Blacks....

 in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. His image as a revolutionary inspired many South Africans to fight for their liberation, and he was largely responsible for funding and arming the Anti-Apartheid Movement as it fought the Apartheid regime and white minority rule. As a result, Gaddafi began gaining considerable popularity in South Africa and other Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n countries. He was also responsible for supporting and funding Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

's election campaign. He continued to maintain a close friendship with Mandela, who named his grandson after Gaddafi. In turn, Mandela later played a key role in helping Gaddafi gain mainstream acceptance in the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 later in the 1990s. Over the years, Gaddafi would be seen as a "hero" in much of Africa.

In 1998, Gaddafi turned his attention away from Arab nationalism. He eliminated a government office in charge of promoting pan-Arab ideas and told reporters "I had been crying slogans of Arab Unity and brandishing standard of Arab nationalism for 40 years, but it was not realised. That means that I was talking in the desert. I have no more time to lose talking with Arabs...I am returning back to realism...I now talk about Pan-Africanism and African Unity. The Arab world is finished...Africa is a paradise...and it is full of natural resources like water, uranium, cobalt, iron, manganese." Public television networks switched from Middle-Eastern soap operas to African themes involving slavery. The background of a unified Arab League that had been a staple of Libyan television for over two decades was replaced by a map of Africa. Gaddafi sported a map of Africa on his outfits from then forward. He also stated that, "I would like Libya to become a black country. Hence, I recommend to Libyan men to marry only black women and to Libyan women to marry black men."

In addition to supporting popular African movements, such as the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 in South Africa, Liberian rebels during the First Liberian Civil War, and popular factions in the Sierra Leone Civil War
Sierra Leone Civil War
The Sierra Leone Civil War began on 23 March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front , with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia , intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government...

, his support also sometimes went to leaders described by the United Nations as dictators and warlords. Gaddafi used anti-Western rhetoric against the UN, and complained that the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 was a "new form of world terrorism" that wanted to recolonize developing countries. Gaddafi opposed the ICC's arrest warrant for Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 and personally gave refuge to Idi Amin
Idi Amin
Idi Amin Dada was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946. Eventually he held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military...

 in Libya after his fall from rule in 1979.

According to the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Special Court for Sierra Leone
The Special Court for Sierra Leone is an independent judicial body set up to "try those who bear greatest responsibility" for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996 during the Sierra Leone Civil War...

, Charles Taylor's orders for "The amputation of the arms and legs of men, women, and children as part of a scorched-earth campaign was designed to take over the region’s rich diamond fields and was backed by Gaddafi, who routinely reviewed their progress and supplied weapons". Gaddafi intervened militarily in the Central African Republic
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

 in 2001 to protect his ally Ange-Félix Patassé
Ange-Félix Patassé
Ange-Félix Patassé was a Central African politician who was President of the Central African Republic from 1993 until 2003, when he was deposed by the rebel leader François Bozizé...

 from overthrow. Patassé signed a deal giving Libya a 99-year lease to exploit all of that country's natural resources, including uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

, copper, diamonds, and oil. Gaddafi acquired at least 20 luxurious properties after he went to rescue Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 in Zimbabwe.

Gaddafi's strong military support and finances gained him allies across the continent. He was bestowed with the title "King of Kings of Africa" in 2008, as he had remained in power longer than any African king. Gaddafi was celebrated in the presence of over 200 African traditional rulers and kings, although his views on African political and military unification received a lukewarm response from their governments. His 2009 forum for African kings was canceled by the Ugandan hosts, who believed that traditional rulers discussing politics would lead to instability. On 1 February 2009, a 'coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 ceremony' in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, Ethiopia, was held to coincide with the 53rd African Union Summit, at which he was elected head of the African Union for the year. When his election was opposed by an African leader, Gaddafi arranged with Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 to have two escorts sent to that leader to have him change his mind. It worked, and he was elected Chairman of the African Union from 2009 to 2010. Gaddafi told the assembled African leaders: "I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa
United States of Africa
The United States of Africa is a proposed name for the concept of a federation of some or all of the 55 sovereign states of Africa.Former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, who was the 2009 Chairperson of the African Union , advanced the idea of a United States of Africa at two regional African...

."

In 1986, 2000, and the months prior to the 2011 civil war, Gaddafi announced plans for a unified African gold dinar
Gold Dinar
The gold dinar is a gold coin first issued in 77 AH by Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. The name is derived from denarius, a Roman currency...

 currency, to challenge the dominance of the US dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 and Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 currencies. The African dinar would have been measured directly in terms of gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, which would mean a country’s wealth would depend on how much gold it had rather than how many dollars it traded, allowing a greater sharing of the wealth and self-determination in Africa.

State-sponsored terrorism



Gaddafi supported militant organizations that held anti-Western sympathies around the world. The Foreign Minister of Libya called the massacres "heroic acts". Gaddafi fueled a number of Islamist and communist militant groups in the Philippines, including the New People's Army
New People's Army
The New People's Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was formed on March 29, 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of 'protracted people's war'.The NPA exacts so called "revolutionary taxes" from business owners...

 of the Communist Party of the Philippines
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines is a leading communist party in the Philippines. It remains an underground political organization since its founding on December 26, 1968 and has been operating in clandestine manner since its founding...

 and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

. The country still struggles with their murders and kidnappings. In Indonesia, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka was a Libyan backed militant group. Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

's ruling party also enjoyed Libyan support. In Australia he attempted to radicalize Australian Aborigines, left-wing unions, Arab Australians, against the "imperialist" government of Australia. In New Zealand he financed the Workers Revolutionary Party and attempted to radicalize Maoris.

In 1979, Gaddafi said he supported the Iranian Revolution, and hoped that "...he (the Shah) ends up in the hands of the Iranian people, where he deserves." Gaddafi also financed and supported Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 and his African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 party, who had for a long time been wrongly designated as terrorists by the United States up until 2008.

Gaddafi explicitly stated that it "is the Libyan people's responsibility to liquidate" Libyan dissidents that had escaped from Libya, unless they "repent" and return to the Libyan Jamahiriya, raising tensions with refugee countries and European governments. In 1985, he stated that he would continue to support the Red Army Faction
Red Army Faction
The radicalized were, like many in the New Left, influenced by:* Sociological developments, pressure within the educational system in and outside Europe and the U.S...

, the Red Brigades
Red Brigades
The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation, based in Italy, which was responsible for numerous violent incidents, assassinations, and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead"...

, and the Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 (IRA), as long as European countries supported anti-Gaddafi Libyans. In 1976, after a series of attacks by the IRA, Gaddafi announced that "the bombs which are convulsing Britain and breaking its spirit are the bombs of Libyan people. We have sent them to the Irish revolutionaries so that the British will pay the price for their past deeds". In April 1984 some Libyan refugees in London protested the execution of two dissidents. Libyan diplomats shot at 11 people and killed Yvonne Fletcher
Yvonne Fletcher
WPC Yvonne Joyce Fletcher was a British police officer fatally shot during a protest outside the Libyan embassy at St. James's Square, London, in 1984. Fletcher, who had been on duty and deployed to police the protest, died shortly afterwards at Westminster Hospital...

, a British policewoman. The incident led to the cessation of diplomatic relations
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 between the United Kingdom and Libya for over a decade. In June 1984 Gaddafi asserted that he wanted his agents to assassinate dissident refugees even when they were on pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and, in August that year, a Libyan plot in Mecca was thwarted by Saudi Arabian police.

On 5 April 1986 Libyan agents bombed "La Belle" nightclub in West Berlin
1986 Berlin discotheque bombing
The 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing was a terrorist attack on the La Belle discothèque in West Berlin, Germany, an entertainment venue that was commonly frequented by United States soldiers...

, killing three and injuring 229. Gaddafi's plan was intercepted by Western intelligence and more detailed information was retrieved four years later from Stasi
Stasi
The Ministry for State Security The Ministry for State Security The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi (abbreviation , literally State Security), was the official state security service of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered...

 archives. The Libyan agents who had carried out the operation, from the Libyan embassy in East Germany, were prosecuted by the reunited Germany in the 1990s.

Following the 1986 bombing of Libya, Gaddafi intensified his support for anti-American government organizations. He financed the Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

, which emerged as one of the leading organizations receiving assistance from Libya; and Al-Rukn, in their emergence as an indigenous anti-American armed revolutionary movement. Members of Al-Rukn were arrested in 1986 for preparing to conduct strikes on behalf of Libya, including blowing up U.S. government buildings and bringing down an airplane; the Al-Rukn defendants were convicted in 1987 of "offering to commit bombings and assassinations on U.S. soil for Libyan payment." In 1986, Libyan state television announced that Libya was training suicide squads to attack American and European interests. He began financing the IRA again in 1986, to retaliate against the British for harboring American fighter planes.

Gaddafi also sought close relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and purchased arms from the Soviet bloc.

Western acceptance



As early as 1981, Gaddafi feared that the Reagan Administration would combat his leadership and sought to reduce his maverick image. He and his cabinet talked frequently about the pullout of American citizens from Libya. Gaddafi feared that the United States would be plotting economic sanctions or military action against his government. In 1981, he publicly announced that he would not send any more hit teams to kill citizens in Europe, and quickly obeyed a 1981 armistice with Chad. In 1987, Gaddafi proposed an easing of relations between the United States and Libya. Speaking of the 1986 bombing of Libya, he said, "They trained people to assassinate me and they failed. They tried all the secret action against us and they failed. They have not succeeded in defeating us. They should look for other alternatives to have some kind of rapprochement."

After the fall of Soviet client states in eastern Europe
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

, Libya appeared to reassess its position in world affairs and began a long process of improving its image in the West.

In 1994, Gaddafi eased his relationship with the Western world, beginning with his atonement for the Lockerbie bombings. For three years, he had refused to extradite two Libyan intelligence agents indicted for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

. South African president Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

, who took special interest in the issue, negotiated with the United States on Gaddafi's behalf. Mandela and Gaddafi had forged a close friendship starting with his release from prison in 1990. Mandela persuaded Gaddafi to hand over the defendants to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands
Scottish Court in the Netherlands
The Scottish court in the Netherlands was the special High Court of Justiciary set up under Scots law in a former United States Air Force base called Camp Zeist in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, for the trial of two Libyans charged with 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing of Pan Am...

, where they faced trial in 1999. One was found not guilty and the other, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was given a life sentence. For Gaddafi's cooperation, the UN suspended its sanctions against Libya in 2001. Two years later, Libya wrote to the UN Security Council formally accepting "responsibility for the actions of its officials" in respect to the Lockerbie bombing
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

. It was later claimed by Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem
Shukri Ghanem
Shukri Mohammed Ghanem is a Libyan politician who was General Secretary of the General People's Committee of Libya from June 2003 until March 2006 when, in the first major government re-shuffle in over a decade, he was replaced by his deputy, Baghdadi Mahmudi...

 and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi that they did not believe they were responsible and that they simply wrote the letter to remove UN sanctions. Gaddafi agreed to pay up to US$2.7 billion to the victims' families, and completed most of the payout in 2003. Later that year, Britain and Bulgaria co-sponsored a UN resolution to remove the UN sanctions entirely. In 2004, Shukri Ghanem, then-Libyan Prime Minister, openly told a Western reporter that Gaddafi was "paying for peace" with the West, and that there was never any evidence or guilt for the Lockerbie bombing. Indeed, many legal experts as well as the United Nations observer at the Lockerbie trial, Hans Koechler, voiced strong reservations about the Lockerbie trial, and in 2007 the sworn affidavit of a key witness indicated that the decisive physical evidence used to convict al-Megrahi had been planted.

Gaddafi's government faced growing opposition from Islamic extremists during the 1990s, particularly the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Libyan Islamic Movement formerly known as The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group also known as Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya is a group active in Libya which played a key role in deposing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, allying itself with the National Transitional Council.However...

, which nearly assassinated him in 1996. Gaddafi began giving counter-terrorism intelligence to MI6 and the CIA in the 1990s, and issued the first arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 in 1998, after he was linked to the killing of German anti-terrorism agents in Libya. Gaddafi also accused the United States of training and supporting bin Laden for war against the Soviet Union. He said the United States was bombing al-Qaeda camps that they had supported and built for him in the past. Gaddafi also claimed that the bombing attempts by Bill Clinton were done to divert attention from his sex scandal.

Intelligence links from Gaddafi's regime to the U.S. and the U.K. deepened during the George W. Bush administration; the CIA began bringing alleged terrorists to Libya for torture under the "extraordinary rendition" program. Some of those renditioned were Gaddafi's political enemies, including one current rebel leader in the 2011 NATO-backed war in Libya. The relationship was so close that the CIA provided "talking points for Gaddafi, logistical details for [rendition] flights, and what seems to have been the bartering of Gaddafi’s opponents, some of whom had ties to Islamist groups, for his cooperation."

He offered to dismantle his active weapons of mass destruction program in 1999. In 2002, Saddam Hussein paid Gaddafi $3.5 billion to save him should he have an internal coup or war with America. In 2003, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 by U.S. forces, Gaddafi again admitted to having an active weapons of mass destruction program, and was willing to dismantle it. His announcement was well-publicized and during interviews, Gaddafi confessed that the Iraq War "may have influenced him", but he would rather "focus on the positive", and hoped that other nations would follow his example. Gaddafi's commitment to the War against Terror attracted support from the United States and Britain. Prime minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 publicly met with Gaddafi in 2004, commending him as a new ally in the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

. During his visit, Blair lobbied for the Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

 oil company, which secured a deal in Libya worth $500 million. The United States restored its diplomatic relations with Libya during the Bush administration, removing Libya from its list of nations supporting terrorism. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 portrayed Gaddafi's announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Hans Blix
Hans Blix
is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs . Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos...

, then UN chief weapons inspector, speculated that Gaddafi feared being removed like Saddam Hussein: "I can only speculate, but I would imagine that Gaddafi could have been scared by what he saw happen in Iraq. While the Americans would have difficulty in doing the same in Iran and in North Korea as they have done in Iraq, Libya would be more exposed, so maybe he will have reasons to be worried." Historians have speculated that Gaddafi was merely continuing his attempts at normalizing relations with the West to get oil sanctions removed. There is also evidence that his government was weakened by falling gas prices during the 1990s and 2000s, and his rule was facing significant challenges from its high unemployment rate. The offer was accepted and international inspectors in Libya were led to chemical weaponry as well as an active nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s program. In 2004, inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

 (CWC) verified that Libya had owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. By 2006, Libya had nearly finished construction of its Rabta Chemical Destruction facility, which cost $25 million, and Libyan officials were angered by the fact that their nuclear centrifuges were given to the United States rather than the United Nations. British officials were allowed to tour the site in 2006.

In 2007, the Bulgarian medics
HIV trial in Libya
The HIV trial in Libya concerns the trials, appeals and eventual release of six foreign medical workers charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, causing an epidemic at El-Fatih Children's Hospital in Benghazi, Libya.The defendants were a Palestinian...

 were returned to Bulgaria, where they were released. Representatives of the European Union made it clear that their release was key to normalizing relations between Libya and the EU. French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

, visited Libya in 2007 and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements with Gaddafi, including a deal to build a nuclear-powered facility in Libya to desalinate
Desalination
Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water...

 ocean water for drinking. Gaddafi and Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 reportedly discussed establishing a Russian military base in Libya. In August 2008, Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

 signed a landmark cooperation treaty in Benghazi
Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

.

Gaddafi met with then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 in September 2008, where she pressed him to complete his payout for the Lockerbie bombings. Libya and the United States finalized their 20-year standoff over the Lockerbie bombings in 2008 when Libya paid into a compensation fund for victims of the Lockerbie bombing
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

, 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing
1986 Berlin discotheque bombing
The 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing was a terrorist attack on the La Belle discothèque in West Berlin, Germany, an entertainment venue that was commonly frequented by United States soldiers...

, and to American victims of the 1989 UTA Flight 772
UTA Flight 772
UTA Flight 772 of the French airline Union des Transports Aériens was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, via N'Djamena in Chad, to Paris CDG airport in France....

 bombing. In exchange, President Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 signed restoring the Libyan government's immunity from terrorism-related lawsuits and dismissing all of the pending compensation cases in the United States.

In June 2009, Gaddafi made his first visit to Rome, where he again met Berlusconi, president Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano is an Italian politician who has been the 11th President of Italy since 2006. A long-time member of the Italian Communist Party and later the Democrats of the Left, he served as President of the Chamber of Deputies from 1992 to 1994 and as Minister of the Interior from 1996 to...

 and senate president
Italian Senate
The Senate of the Republic is the upper house of the Italian Parliament. It was established in its current form on 8 May 1948, but previously existed during the Kingdom of Italy as Senato del Regno , itself a continuation of the Senato Subalpino of Sardinia-Piedmont established on 8 May 1848...

 Renato Schifani
Renato Schifani
Renato Maria Giuseppe Schifani is an Italian politician and a prominent member of the centre-right People of Freedom. Since 29 April 2008 he has been President of the Italian Senate. Schifani was born in Palermo.-Berlusconi's chief whip:...

. Chamber president
Italian Chamber of Deputies
The Italian Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a plurality of which is controlled presently by liberal-conservative party People of Freedom. Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens outside of Italy. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio. A...

 Gianfranco Fini
Gianfranco Fini
Gianfranco Fini is an Italian politician, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, leader of the center-right Future and Freedom party, and the former leader of the conservative National Alliance and the post-fascist Italian Social Movement...

 cancelled the meeting because of Gaddafi's delay. The Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Italy)
The Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Italy, that is the second-largest in the country. The party is led by Pier Luigi Bersani, who was elected in the 2009 leadership election....

 and Italy of Values
Italy of Values
Italy of Values is a centrist, populist and anti-corruption political party in Italy. The party, which is affiliated to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party , is headed by former Mani pulite prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, who entered politics in 1996.The party aims to gather and give...

 opposed the visit and many protests were staged throughout Italy by human rights non-governmental organizations and Italian Radicals
Italian Radicals
Italian Radicals is an Italian political party which describes itself as a liberale, liberista e libertario political movement .It was...

. Gaddafi also took part in the G8 summit in L'Aquila
35th G8 summit
The 35th G8 summit took place in the city of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, on July 8–10, 2009. It was moved from the Sardinian seaside city of La Maddalena as part of an attempt to redistribute disaster funds after the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake.....

 in July as Chairman of the African Union. During the summit a handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 and Muammar Gaddafi marked the first time the Libyan leader had been greeted by a serving U.S. President. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano is an Italian politician who has been the 11th President of Italy since 2006. A long-time member of the Italian Communist Party and later the Democrats of the Left, he served as President of the Chamber of Deputies from 1992 to 1994 and as Minister of the Interior from 1996 to...

 hosted a dinner where Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister and G8 host, overturned protocol at the last moment by having Gaddafi sit next to him, just two places away from president Obama who was seated on Berlusconi's right-hand side.

He also met Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 in 2009. In August 2009, convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released to Libya on compassionate grounds and was received with a large celebration. Gaddafi and his government were criticized by Western leaders for his participation in this celebration. On 23 September 2009, Muammar Gaddafi addressed the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 in New York. In 2010, Gaddafi agreed to pay US$3.5 billion to the victims of IRA attacks he assisted during the 1980s.

2011 Libyan civil war


On 17 February 2011, major political protests began in Libya against Gaddafi's government. During the following week these protests gained significant momentum and size, despite stiff resistance from the Gaddafi government. By late February the country appeared to be rapidly descending into chaos, and the government lost control of most of Eastern Libya. Gaddafi fought back, accusing the rebels of being "drugged" and linked to al-Qaeda. His military forces allegedly killed rebelling civilians, and relied heavily on the Khamis Brigade, led by one of his sons Khamis Gaddafi, and on tribal leaders loyal to him. He allegedly imported foreign mercenaries to defend his government, reportedly paying Ghanaian mercenaries as much as US$2,500 per day for their services. Reports from Libya also confirmed involvement with Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, and the presence of Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

n mercenaries.

The violent response to the protesters prompted defections from his government.For a complete English translation, see: The fatwa of Shaykh Yûsuf al-Qaradâwî against Gaddafi. Translation by Yahya M. Michot with the collaboration of Samy Metwally, on scribd.com Gaddafi's "number two" man, Abdul Fatah Younis, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and several key ambassadors and diplomats resigned from their posts in protest. Other government officials refused to follow orders from Gaddafi, and were jailed for insubordination.

At the beginning of March 2011, Gaddafi returned from a hideout, relying on considerable amounts of Libyan and US cash that had apparently been stored in the capital. Gaddafi's forces had retaken momentum and were in shooting range of Benghazi by March 2011 when the UN declared a no fly zone
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, on the situation in Libya, is a measure that was adopted on 17 March 2011. The Security Council resolution was proposed by France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom....

 to protect the civilian population of Libya. On 30 April the Libyan government claimed that a NATO airstrike killed Gaddafi's sixth son and three of his grandsons at his son's home in Tripoli. Government officials said that Muammar Gaddafi and his wife were visiting the home when it was struck, but both were unharmed. Gaddafi son's death came one day after the Libyan leader appeared on state television calling for talks with NATO to end the airstrikes which had been hitting Tripoli and other Gaddafi strongholds since the previous month. Gaddafi suggested there was room for negotiation, but he vowed to stay in Libya. Western officials remained divided over whether Gaddafi was a legitimate military target under the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 resolution that authorized the air campaign. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 said that NATO was "not targeting Gaddafi specifically" but that his command-and-control facilities were legitimate targets—including a facility inside his sprawling Tripoli compound that was hit with airstrikes 25 April.

In June 2011, an investigation carried out by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 found that many of the allegations against Gaddafi and the Libyan state turned out to either be false or lack any credible evidence, noting that rebels appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence. According to the Amnesty investigation, the number of casualties was heavily exaggerated, some of the protesters may have been armed, "there is no proof of mass killing of civilians on the scale of Syria or Yemen," there is no evidence that aircraft or heavy anti-aircraft machine guns were used against crowds, and there is no evidence of African mercenaries being used, which it described as a "myth" that led to lynchings and executions of black people
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 by rebel forces. It criticized the "Western media coverage
Media bias
Media bias refers to the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the...

" which "has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the regime's security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge."

International Criminal Court


The UN referred the claims of massacres of unarmed civilians to the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

. Among the crimes being investigated by the prosecution was whether Gaddafi purchased and authorized the use of Viagra-like drugs among soldiers for the purpose of raping
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

 women and instilling fear. His government's heavy-handed approach to quelling the protests was characterized by the International Federation for Human Rights as a strategy of scorched earth
Scorched earth
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area...

. The acts of "indiscriminate killings of civilians" was charged as crimes against humanity, as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The validity of the rape allegations and claims of other abuses have been doubted by Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, which has not found evidence to back up the claims and notes that there are indications that on several occasions the rebels appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi is a Libyan national who was the intelligence chief and brother-in-law of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He was married to Gaddafi's sister-in-law....

, head of state security for charges, concerning crimes against humanity. According to Matt Steinglass of The Financial Times the charges call for Gaddafi, and his two co-conspirators, to "stand trial for the murder and persecution of demonstrators by Libyan security forces since the uprising based in the country’s east that began in February."

Libyan officials rejected the ICC's authority, saying that the ICC has "no legitimacy whatsoever" and that "all of its activities are directed at African leaders". A Libyan government representative, justice minister Mohammed al-Qamoodi, responded by saying, "The leader of the revolution and his son do not hold any official position in the Libyan government and therefore they have no connection to the claims of the ICC against them ..." This makes Gaddafi the second still-serving state-leader to have warrants issued against them, the first being Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

Russia and other countries, including China and Germany, abstained from voting in the UN and have not joined the NATO coalition, which has taken action in Libya by bombing the government's forces. Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin special representative for Africa, speaking in an interview for Russian newspaper Izvestia, said that the "Kremlin accepted that had no political future and that his family would have to relinquish its vice-like grip on the Libyan economy." He also said that "It is quite possible to solve the situation without the colonel."

Loss of international recognition


In connection with the Libyan uprising, Gaddafi's attempts to influence public opinion in Europe and the United States came under increased scrutiny. Since the beginning of the 2011 conflict a number of countries pushed for the international isolation
International isolation
International isolation is a penalty applied by the international community or a sizeable or powerful group of countries, like the United Nations, towards one nation, government or people group...

 of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, more than 30 governments recognised the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of Libya.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "The United States views the Gaddafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya ... And so I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis." Gaddafi responded to the announcement with a speech on Libyan national television, in which he said "Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet ... They are worthless".

On 25 August 2011, with most of Tripoli having fallen out of Gaddafi's control, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 proclaimed the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council to be "the legitimate representative of the Libyan state", on which basis Libya would resume its membership of the League.

Battle of Tripoli


During the Battle of Tripoli
Battle of Tripoli (2011)
The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital...

, Gaddafi lost effective political and military control of Tripoli after his compound was captured by rebel forces. Rebel forces entered Green Square in the city center, tearing down posters of Gaddafi and flying flags of the rebellion. He continued to give addresses through radio, calling upon his supporters to crush the rebels.

On 24 August 2011, after the capture of his stronghold of Bab al-Azizia by loyalist forces, a photo album filled with pages of pictures of Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 was discovered inside the compound; the discovery was confirmed by an AP reporter, though it could not be confirmed that the album had belonged to Gaddafi. In a 2007 television interview, Gaddafi had previously praised Rice, saying "I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza... I love her very much." During Rice's visit to Libya as Secretary of State, the wealthy Gaddafi showered her with gifts, including a diamond ring in a wood box, a locket with his photograph and a DVD with a musical instrument, with a total value of $212,225 (2008 value). During the visit, Gaddafi also showed the photo album to Rice, dubbed by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as "not standard diplomatic practice."

In September, an underground chamber was discovered beneath Tripoli's Al Fatah University, the largest university in the city, containing (among other things) a bedroom, a Jacuzzi, and a fully equipped gynecological operating chamber. Only Gaddafi and his top associates had been allowed access to it in the past. In the 1980s, several students were hanged in public on the university campus premises. On at least one of these occasions, young high school students as well as other university students were brought by the bus loads to witness the hangings. The victims were typically accused of pursuing activities against the Al Fatah Revolution and the Libyan People.

Capture and death



On 20 October 2011, a National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 (NTC) official told Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 that Gaddafi had been captured that day by Libyan forces near his hometown of Sirte
Sirte
Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

. He had been in a convoy of vehicles that was targeted by a US Predator Missile which was followed by a French
French Air Force
The French Air Force , literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1933...

 air strike on a road about 3 kilometres (2 mi) west of Sirte, killing dozens of loyalist fighters. Gaddafi survived but was shortly afterwards captured by a rebel militia who claimed he had taken refuge with several of his bodyguards in a drain underneath the road west of the city. Later reports suggest he may have actually been deliberately forced inside in a symbolic reference to his "threat to kill the rats who opposed him." Around noon NTC fighters found the group and took Gaddafi prisoner. Shortly afterward, he was shot dead. At least four mobile phone videos showed rebels beating Gaddafi and manhandling him on the back of a utility vehicle before his death. One video pictured Gaddafi "sodomized with some kind of stick or knife" or possibly a bayonet, after his capture. In another video, he was seen being rolled around on the ground as rebels pulled off his shirt, though it was unclear if he was already dead. Later pictures of his body showed that he had wounds in the abdomen, chest, and head. A rebel who identified himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi later claimed to have shot and killed Gaddafi. He claimed to have shot Gaddafi in the head and chest, and that it took half an hour for him to die. Gaddafi's body was subsequently flown to Misrata and was placed in the freezer of a local market alongside the bodies of Defense Minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
Major General Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr was the Libyan Minister of Defence under the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. His official position was Secretary of the Libyan General Interim Committee for Defence.There is disagreement about the year of Jabr's birth. According to the UN he was born in 1952...

 and his son and national security adviser Mutassim Gaddafi. The bodies were put on public display for four days, with Libyans from all over the country coming to view them.

Libya's Prime Minister and several NTC figures confirmed Gaddafi's death, claiming he died of wounds suffered during his capture. News channels aired a graphic video claiming to be of Gaddafi's bloodied body after capture. However on 28 October 2011, widespread revulsion outside Libya at the manner of Gaddafi's death prompted the interim government to promise to bring his killers to trial.

On 25 October 2011, the National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 announced that Gaddafi was buried at an unidentified location in the desert. Later Al Aan TV
Al Aan TV
Al Aan is a pan-Arab infotainment satellite television station based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates. It focuses on news content and entertainment programs and targets Arab families with a slight tilt towards young female audience in the Arab world....

 showed amateur video footage of the funeral taking place at an undisclosed location.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

’s chief prosecutor, told the United Nations that NATO troops would be investigated alongside rebel soldiers and regime forces for alleged breaches of the laws of war during the battle to overthrow Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Ideology


On the Muslim prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's birthday in 1973, Gaddafi delivered his famous "Five-Point Address" which officially implemented Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

. Gaddafi's ideology was largely based on Nasserism
Nasserism
Nasserism is an Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of the former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was a major influence on pan-Arab politics in the 1950s and 1960s, and continues to have significant resonance throughout the Arab World to this day. It also...

, blending Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

, aspects of the welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

, and what Gaddafi termed "popular democracy", or more commonly "direct, popular democracy
Popular democracy
Popular democracy is a notion of direct democracy based on referendums and other devices of empowerment and concretization of popular will. The concept evolved out of the political philosophy of Populism, as a fully democratic version of this popular empowerment ideology, but since it has become...

". He called this system "Islamic socialism
Islamic socialism
Islamic socialism is a term coined by various Muslim leaders to describe a more spiritual form of socialism. Muslim socialists believe that the teachings of the Qur'an and Muhammad are compatible with principles of equality and the redistribution of wealth....

", as he disfavored the atheistic
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 quality of communism. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones. Welfare, "liberation" (or "emancipation" depending on the translation), and education was emphasized. He also imposed a system of Islamic morals and outlawed alcohol and gambling. School holidays were cancelled to allow the teaching of Gaddafi's ideology in the summer of 1973.

From early in his rule he acquired a reputation for unpredictability and eccentricity. He once said that HIV was "a peaceful virus, not an aggressive virus" and assured attendees at the African Union that "if you are straight
Heterosexuality
Heterosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, physical or romantic attractions to persons of the opposite sex";...

 you have nothing to fear from AIDS". He also said that the H1N1 virus was a biological weapon manufactured by a foreign military, and assured Africans that the tsetse fly and mosquito were "God's armies which will protect us against colonialists". Should these 'enemies' come to Africa, "they will get malaria and sleeping sickness". On one occasion, he was reported to have said that the Christian Bible was a "forgery"

Gaddafi has been called a proponent of Islamic socialism, a system of government adopted by some Muslim countries which marries the teachings of Islam with the economic principles of socialism.

In 2006, Gaddafi predicted Europe would become a Muslim continent
Eurabia
Eurabia is a conspiracy theory about the alleged Arabization and Islamization of Europe, and the European leaders' alleged capitulation to Islamic influences.-Origin of the term:...

 within a few decades as a result of its growing Arab population. In 2008 he suggested that Barack Obama's foreign policy may have been informed by a fear of assassination by Israeli agents, "the same fate as former US President John F Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel's nuclear programme". In 2007, he suggested a single-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

, at first saying "This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth". In 2009, in a New York Times commentary, he wrote that a single-state solution would "move beyond old conflicts and look to a unified future based on shared culture and respect."

During Gaddafi's speech to the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 on 23 September 2009, he blamed the United Nations for failing to prevent 65 wars and claimed that the Security Council had too much power and should be abolished. He demanded that Europe pay its former colonies $7.77 trillion dollars to pay for past imperialism or face "mass immigration".

Rumours have been circulated that he had Jewish heritage. Two Israeli women came forth on Israel's Channel 2
Channel 2 (Israel)
Channel 2 is an Israeli commercial television channel.- History :In 1990, after 13 years of deliberations, the Knesset passed a law that paved the way for the establishment of commercial television in Israel. The goal was to enhance pluralism and create competition. Channel 2 began broadcasting on...

 News to claim that they were close blood relations with Gaddafi. Guita Brown claimed that she was Gaddafi's second cousin. Brown's daughter, Rachel Saada, elaborated that Gaddafi's grandmother was Jewish, and that she left her first husband and married a Muslim man in her second marriage. The older woman also spoke with Israel National News (which identified her as Gita Boaron), and repeated the same claim.

Assassination attempts and plots

  • In 1969, the British Special Air Service
    Special Air Service
    Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

     (S.A.S.) was contacted by the Libyan Royal Family and planned an assassination attempt to restore the Libyan monarchy. The plan was dubbed the "Hilton Assignment", named after a Libyan jail. The plan was to release 150 political prisoners from a jail in Tripoli as a catalyst for a general uprising. The prisoners would be recruited for a coup attempt, and the British agents would leave them to take over the nation. The plan was called off at a late stage by the British Secret Intelligence Service
    Secret Intelligence Service
    The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

     because the United States government decided that Gaddafi was anti-Marxist and therefore acceptable.

  • In 1976, Tunisia's state television reported that Gaddafi had been fired at by a lone assailant. None of the shots hit him.

  • In 1981, French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
    Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
    Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing is a French centre-right politician who was President of the French Republic from 1974 until 1981...

     plotted an assassination attempt with Egypt. His administration spoke with the Reagan administration for approval, but the United States did not support the measure. The plot was abandoned after Giscard's term in office.

  • In 1986, the United States bombed Libya, including Gaddafi's family compound in the vast Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia was a military barracks and compound, situated in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It served as the main base for the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi until its capture by anti-Gaddafi rebels on 23 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli in the Libyan...

     Barracks in southern Tripoli
    Tripoli
    Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

    . The U.S. Government consistently said that the bombings were "surgical strikes" and were not intended to kill Gaddafi. However, Oliver North
    Oliver North
    Oliver Laurence North is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, political commentator, host of War Stories with Oliver North on Fox News Channel, a military historian, and a New York Times best-selling author....

     did devise a plot at the time to lure Gaddafi into his compound using Terry Waite
    Terry Waite
    Terry Waite CBE is an English humanitarian and author.Waite was Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie's Assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs in the 1980s. As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages including journalist John...

    . The plot violated US law, which prohibited assassinations, and was never put into action. On 15 April, Gaddafi and his family had fled his compound in the Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia was a military barracks and compound, situated in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It served as the main base for the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi until its capture by anti-Gaddafi rebels on 23 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli in the Libyan...

     Barracks moments before it was bombed. He received a phone call the night of 15 April, warning him about an attack. The origin of the phone call remains under speculation, but Maltese Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici
    Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici
    Carmelo Bonnici was the Prime Minister of Malta from 1984 to 1987. He is a member of the Labour Party. He studied law at the University of Malta and is known to be an expert in industrial relations law.-Early politics:Mifsud Bonnici was from a family that staunchly supported the Partit...

     and Italian politician Bettino Craxi
    Bettino Craxi
    Benedetto Craxi was an Italian politician, head of the Italian Socialist Party from 1976 to 1993, the first socialist President of the Council of Ministers of Italy from 1983 to 1987.-Political career:...

     have been primary suspects.

  • In 1993, over 2,000 Libyan soldiers plotted to assassinate Gaddafi. The soldiers were members of the Warfalla
    Warfalla
    The Warfalla are a major Arab or Arab-Berber tribal group of Tripolitania, Libya.The Warfalla historically inhabited the area of what is between the towns of Bani Walid, Sirte, Sabha, and Benghazi approximately South and East of Tripoli....

     tribe, which rebelled because it was not well-represented in the upper ranks of the Libyan Army. The coup attempt was crushed by the Libyan Air Force
    Libyan Air Force
    The Libyan Air Force is the branch of the Libyan Armed Forces responsible for aerial warfare. In 2010, before the 2011 Libyan civil war, the Libyan Air Force personnel strength was estimated at 18,000, with an inventory of 374 combat capable aircraft operating from 13 military airbases in...

    , which was entirely made of members of the Qadhadhfa
    Qadhadhfa
    The Qadhadhfa are a minor Arab or Arabized Berber tribe of the Sirte region in present-day northwestern Libya.They are now mostly centered at Sabha....

     tribe, which Gaddafi belongs to. The tribal tensions that resulted with the Warfalla and the Magariha caused Gaddafi to place his second-in-command, Abdessalam Jalloud
    Abdessalam Jalloud
    Abdessalam Jalloud was the Prime Minister of Libya from 16 July 1972 to 2 March 1977. He was also Finance Minister from 1970 until 1972....

    , a Magariha, under house arrest, and led to oppression of the Warfalla. The rebellion was largest in the city of Misrata. Libyan media did not cover any reports on the rebellion, but European diplomats saw large numbers of wounded and casualties in the hospitals.

  • In February 1996, Islamic extremists attacked Gaddafi's motorcade near the city of Sirte
    Sirte
    Sirte is a city in LibyaSirte may also refer to:* Sirte Declaration, a 1999 resolution to create the African Union* Sirte Oil Company, a Libyan oil companyIn geography:* Gulf of Sirte, alias for Gulf of Sidra on Libya's coast...

    . Allegedly, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service
    Secret Intelligence Service
    The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

     was involved, which was denied by future foreign secretary Robin Cook
    Robin Cook
    Robert Finlayson Cook was a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Livingston from 1983 until his death, and notably served in the Cabinet as Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001....

    . The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commonly called the Foreign Office or the FCO is a British government department responsible for promoting the interests of the United Kingdom overseas, created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.The head of the FCO is the...

     later stated: "We have never denied that we knew of plots against Gaddafi." In August 1998, former British MI5
    MI5
    The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

     officer David Shayler
    David Shayler
    David Shayler is a British journalist and former MI5 officer. Shayler earned notoriety after being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act 1989 for his passing secret documents to the Mail on Sunday in August 1997 that alleged that MI5 was paranoid about socialists, and that it had previously...

     renewed his attacks on the secret services, claiming that MI6 had invested £100,000 in a plot to assassinate Gaddafi.

  • In June 1998, Islamic militants opened fire on Gaddafi's motorcade near the town of Dirnah. One of his Amazonian Guard
    Amazonian Guard
    The Amazonian Guard was an unofficial name given by Western journalists to an all-female elite cadre of bodyguards officially known as al-rāhibāt al-thawriyyāt "The Revolutionary Nuns", and sometimes also unofficially called "the Green Nuns", tasked with protecting the former leader of Libya,...

    s sacrificed herself to save his life. He was injured in the elbow according to witnesses.

Marriages and children


Gaddafi's first wife was Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970). His second wife was Safia Farkash
Safia Farkash
Safia Farkash , is the widow of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and mother of seven of his eight biological children. Her independent wealth is reported at US$30Bn.-Early life:...

, née el-Brasai, a former nurse from Obeidat tribe born in Bayda. He met her in 1969, following the revolt, when he was hospitalized with appendicitis; the couple remained married until his death. Gaddafi had eight biological children, seven of them sons.
  • Muhammad Gaddafi (born 1970), his eldest son, was the only child born to Gaddafi's first wife, and ran the Libyan Olympic Committee. On 21 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli
    Battle of Tripoli (2011)
    The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital...

    , rebel forces of the National Transitional Council
    National Transitional Council
    The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

     claimed to have accepted Muhammad's surrender as they overtook the city. This was later confirmed when he gave a phone interview to Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

    , saying that he had surrendered to the rebels and had been treated well. He reportedly escaped the next day with the aid of remaining loyalist forces, fleeing to neighbouring Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

     with his step-mother, another brother and his sister.

  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (born 25 June 1972), his second son, is an architect who was long-rumoured to be Gaddafi's successor. He was a spokesman to the Western world and he has negotiated treaties with Italy and the United States. He was viewed as politically moderate, and in 2006, after criticizing his father's government, he briefly left Libya. In 2007, Gaddafi exchanged angry letters with his son regarding his son's statements admitting the Bulgarian nurses
    HIV trial in Libya
    The HIV trial in Libya concerns the trials, appeals and eventual release of six foreign medical workers charged with conspiring to deliberately infect over 400 children with HIV in 1998, causing an epidemic at El-Fatih Children's Hospital in Benghazi, Libya.The defendants were a Palestinian...

     had been tortured. During the Battle of Sirte on 20 October 2011, he tried to escape and it was incorrectly reported that he was captured by rebel forces and was flown to a hospital. He was arrested on 19 November in the town of Ubari
    Ubari
    Ubari is an oasis town and the capital of the Wadi al Hayaa District, in the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya. It is in the Libyan section of the Sahara Desert...

    , near Sabha in southern Libya, 640 kilometres (397.7 mi) from Tripoli. It is reported that he had been flown to Zintan by plane. His capture was confirmed by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

  • Al-Saadi Gaddafi (born 25 May 1973), is a professional football player. On 22 August 2011, he was reported to have been arrested by the National Liberation Army. However, this turned out to be incorrect. On 30 August, a senior NTC
    National Transitional Council
    The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

     official claimed that Al-Saadi Gaddafi had made contact to discuss the terms of his surrender, indicating also that he would wish to remain in Libya.

  • Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi
    Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi
    Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi is the fourth son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his second wife, Safia Farkash.-Biography:Gaddafi started his maritime career by joining the Marine Academy of Maritime Studies/Libya in 1993 as a Deck Cadet...

     (born 20 September 1975), is a former employee of the General National Maritime Transport Company, a company that specialized in oil exports. He is best-known for his violent incidents in Europe, attacking police officers in Italy (2001), drunk driving (2004), and for assaulting a girlfriend in Paris (2005). In 2008, he was charged with assaulting two staff at a Swiss hotel and was imprisoned by Swiss police. The arrest created a strong standoff between Libya and Switzerland. He fled to neighbouring Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

     with his mother, another brother and his sister.

  • Ayesha Gaddafi (born 1976), Gaddafi's only biological daughter, is a lawyer who joined the defense teams of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein
    Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

     and Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi
    Muntadhar al-Zaidi
    Muntadhar al-Zaidi is an Iraqi broadcast journalist who served as a correspondent for Iraqi-owned, Egyptian-based Al-Bagh. , al-Zaidi works with a Lebanese TV channel....

    . She is married to her father's cousin. She fled to neighbouring Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

     with her mother and two of her brothers, where she gave birth to her fourth child.

  • Mutassim Gaddafi (1977 – 20 October 2011), Gaddafi's fifth son, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan Army
    Libyan Army
    In 2009 the IISS estimated that the Ground Forces of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya numbered 25,000 with an additional, estimated, 25,000 conscripts...

    . He later served as Libya's National Security Advisor. He was seen as a possible successor to his father, after Saif al-Islam. Mutassim was killed along with his father during the Battle of Sirte
    Battle of Sirte (2011)
    The Battle of Sirte was a battle of the 2011 Libyan civil war that began when the National Liberation Army attacked forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi in his hometown and designated capital of Sirte, on the Gulf of Sidra...

    .

  • Saif al-Arab Gaddafi (1982 – 30 April 2011) was appointed a military commander in the Libyan Army
    Libyan Army
    In 2009 the IISS estimated that the Ground Forces of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya numbered 25,000 with an additional, estimated, 25,000 conscripts...

     during the 2011 Libyan civil war
    2011 Libyan civil war
    The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

    . Saif al-Arab and three of Gaddafi's grandchildren were reported killed by a NATO bombing in April 2011. This is disputed by the organizations alleged to be responsible.

  • Khamis Gaddafi (27 May 1983 – 29 August 2011), his seventh son, was serving as the commander of the Libyan Army's elite Khamis Brigade
    Khamis Brigade
    The Khamis Brigade, formally the 32nd Reinforced Brigade of the Armed People, was a special forces brigade of the Libyan military loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the de-facto leader of Libya since 1969...

    . On 30 August 2011, a spokesman for the NTC
    National Transitional Council
    The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

     said it was "almost certain" Khamis Gaddafi had been killed in Tarhuna two days earlier, during clashes with units of the National Liberation Army.


He is also said to have adopted two children, Hanna and Milad.
  • Hana Moammar Gadafi (claimed by Gaddafi to be his adopted daughter, but most facts surrounding this claim are disputed) was apparently killed at the age of four, during the retaliatory US bombing raids in 1986. She may not have died; the adoption may have been posthumous; or he may have adopted a second daughter and given her the same name after the first one died. Following the taking by rebels of the family residence in the Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia
    Bab al-Azizia was a military barracks and compound, situated in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, the capital of Libya. It served as the main base for the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi until its capture by anti-Gaddafi rebels on 23 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli in the Libyan...

     compound in Tripoli, The New York Times reported evidence (complete with photographs) of Hana's life after her declared death, when she became a doctor and worked in a Tripoli hospital. Her passport was reported as showing a birth date of 11 November 1985, making her six months old at the time of the US raid. In August 2011 the Daily Telegraph reported on the finding of dental records relating to a Hana Gaddaffi by NLC staff taking over the London embassy. This report, which also cites her 1999 spotting by Chinese officials, cites an unnamed Libyan government spokesman as stating that Gaddafi had adopted a second daughter, and named her Hana in honor of the first one who had been killed in the 1986 raid.


Gaddafi's brother-in-law, Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi
Abdullah Senussi is a Libyan national who was the intelligence chief and brother-in-law of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He was married to Gaddafi's sister-in-law....

, is believed to head military intelligence.

Flight to Algeria


As the Battle for Tripoli
Battle of Tripoli (2011)
The Battle of Tripoli was a military confrontation in Tripoli, Libya, between loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the longtime leader of Libya, and the National Transitional Council, which was attempting to overthrow Gaddafi and take control of the capital...

 reached a climax in mid-August 2011, the family was forced to abandon their fortified compound. With the National Transitional Council
National Transitional Council
The National Transitional Council of Libya , sometimes known as the Transitional National Council, the Interim National Council, or the Libyan National Council,...

 in almost complete control of the country, on 27 August it was reported by the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian news agency Mena that Libyan rebel fighters had seen six armoured Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 sedans, possibly carrying top Gaddafi regime figures, cross the border at the south-western Libyan town of Ghadames
Ghadames
Ghadames or Ghadamis is an oasis town in the Nalut District of the Fezzan region in southwestern Libya.-Geography:Ghadames lies roughly to the southwest of Tripoli, near the borders with Algeria and Tunisia. Ghadames borders Illizi Province, Algeria and Tataouine Governorate, Tunisia.The oasis...

 towards Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, which at the time was denied by the Algerian authorities.

On 29 August, the Algerian government officially announced that Safia together with daughter Ayesha and sons Muhammad and Hannibal, had crossed into Algeria early on Monday 29 August. An Algerian Foreign Ministry official said all the people in the convoy were now in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, and that none of them had been named in warrants issued by the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 for possible war crimes charges. Mourad Benmehidi
Mourad Benmehidi
Mourad Benmehidi is the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Algeria. He took office in August 2008. Benmehidi is married with three children.-Education:...

, the Algerian permanent representative to the United Nations, later confirmed the details of the statement. The family had arrived at a Sahara desert entry point, in a Mercedes and a bus at 8:45 am local time. The exact number of people in the party was unconfirmed, but there were “many children” and they did not include Colonel Gaddafi. Resultantly the group was allowed in on humanitarian grounds, and the Algerian government had since informed the head of the Libyan National Transitional Council, who had made no official request for their return.

Honorary qualifications


Gaddafi held an honorary degree from Megatrend University
Megatrend University
The Megatrend University is a private university located in Belgrade, Serbia. It was founded in 1989 and is organized into 19 institutions....

 in Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, conferred on him by former Yugoslavian president Zoran Lilić
Zoran Lilic
Zoran Lilić is a Serbian. He served as President of the National Assembly of Serbia in 1993 and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1993 to 1997....

.

Personal wealth


Italian companies had a strong foothold in Libya. Italy buys a quarter of Libya's oil and 15% of its natural gas. The LIA owned significant shares in Italy's Eni
Eni
Eni S.p.A. is an Italian multinational oil and gas company, present in 70 countries, and currently Italy's largest industrial company with a market capitalization of 87.7 billion euros , as of July 24, 2008...

 oil corporation, Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

, UniCredit
UniCredit
UniCredit SpA is an Italy-based, pan-European banking organization, with aprox 40 million customers and operations in 22 countries.- Geography :...

 bank, and Finmeccanica
Finmeccanica
Finmeccanica S.p.A. is an Italian conglomerate. Finmeccanica is the second largest industrial group and the largest of the hi-tech industrial groups based in Italy. It works in the fields of defence, aerospace, security, automation, transport and energy...

. In January 2002 Gaddafi purchased a 7.5% share of Italian football club Juventus for US$21 million, through the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company. This followed a long-standing association with Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli
Gianni Agnelli
Giovanni Agnelli , better known as Gianni Agnelli , was an Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat. As the head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy's GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce, and 16.5% of its industrial investment in research...

 and car manufacturer Fiat.

On 25 February 2011 Britain's Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 set up a specialised unit to trace Gaddafi's assets in Britain. Gaddafi allegedly worked for years with Swiss banks to launder international banking transactions. In November 2011, the Sunday Times identified property worth £1bn in the UK that Gaddafi owned.

Gaddafi had an Airbus A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

 private jet, which he bought from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
Al-Waleed bin Talal
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is a Saudi Arabian billionaire and member of the Saudi royal family. He is the nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. An entrepreneur and international investor he has amassed a fortune through investments in real estate and the stock market.He is founder and CEO of...

 of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 for $120 million in 2003. Operated by Tripoli based Afriqiyah Airways
Afriqiyah Airways
Afriqiyah Airways is an airline based in Tripoli, Libya. It operated domestic services between Tripoli and Benghazi and international scheduled services to over 25 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East...

, and decorated externally in their colours, it was used in 2009 to repatriate Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, on his licensed release from prison in Scotland. The plane was captured at Tripoli airport in August 2011 as a result of the Libyan civil war, and found by BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 reporter John Simpson to contain various luxuries including a jacuzzi
Jacuzzi
Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The term "jacuzzi" is now often used generically to refer to any bathtub with massaging jets.-History:...

.

Titles


A Revolutionary Command Council was formed to rule the country, with Gaddafi as chairman. He added the title of prime minister in 1970, but gave up this title in 1972. Unlike other military revolutionaries, Gaddafi did not promote himself to the rank of general upon seizing power, but rather accepted a ceremonial promotion from lieutenant to colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 and remained at this rank. While at odds with Western military ranking, where a colonel would not rule a country or serve as commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of its military, in Gaddafi's own words Libya's society is "ruled by the people", so he did not need a more grandiose title or supreme military rank.

Public image


In the 1970s, the Western media initially portrayed Gaddafi in a positive manner as a freedom fighter. A Readers Digest article at the time, for example, compared his freedom-fighting ideals to Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 and noted his popularity among Libyans. This changed in the 1980s, when Gaddafi began being frequently portrayed as erratic, conceited, and mercurial in nature. During the Reagan administration, the United States regarded him as "public enemy number one" and Reagan dubbed him the "mad dog of the Middle East". Among those who worked with Gaddafi, Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

 called him "unbalanced and immature" and "a vicious criminal." Gaafar Nimeiry
Gaafar Nimeiry
Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry was the Nubian President of Sudan from 1969 to 1985...

 called him an "evil" person, however Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

, who aligned himself with Gaddafi for much of his career, said Gaddafi was the "knight of revolutionary phrases". On Gaddafi's resistance to the 2011 uprising, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

's Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 commented that, "If he resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations." During a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, he was said to be highly curious, asking a lot of questions and being especially interested in Malaysia's economic success. The attacks on Gaddafi's image became less common as his relations with the West improved. He modeled many of his political ideals from the likes of Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

, Gamal Abdul Nasser and Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

.

In contrast to his often negative image in the West, Gaddafi's image has mostly been positive in much of Africa, where he is often seen as a "hero". Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

, whose Anti-Apartheid Movement
Anti-Apartheid Movement
Anti-Apartheid Movement , originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British organization that was at the center of the international movement opposing South Africa's system of apartheid and supporting South Africa's Blacks....

 was supported and funded by Gaddafi, remained a close friend, named his grandson after Gaddafi, and helped him gain mainstream Western acceptance in the 1990s.

In his own estimation, Gaddafi considered himself an intellectual and philosopher. His former aides said he was "obsessive" about his image. He gave gold watches with images of his face to his staff as gifts. In 2011, a Brazilian plastic surgeon
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

 told the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 that Gaddafi had been his patient in 1995 to avoid appearing old to the Libyan people. He was known for a flamboyant dress sense, ranging from safari suit
Safari suit
The safari suit was a style of men's suit popular in Australia in the 1970s, and in India until the late 1990s.-Origin:The safari suit was created by French designer Ted Lapidus and popularised by former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan....

s and sunglasses to more outlandish outfits apparently influenced by Liberace
Liberace
Wladziu Valentino Liberace , best known simply as Liberace, was a famous American pianist and vocalist.In a career that spanned four decades of concerts, recordings, motion pictures, television and endorsements, Liberace became world-renowned...

 or Hollywood film characters. He changed his clothing several times each day, and according to his former nurses, "enjoy[ed] surrounding himself with beautiful things and people."

He hired several Ukrainian nurses to care for his and his family's health. Beginning in the 1980s he traveled with his Amazonian Guard
Amazonian Guard
The Amazonian Guard was an unofficial name given by Western journalists to an all-female elite cadre of bodyguards officially known as al-rāhibāt al-thawriyyāt "The Revolutionary Nuns", and sometimes also unofficially called "the Green Nuns", tasked with protecting the former leader of Libya,...

, which was all-female, and reportedly was sworn to a life of celibacy. (However, Dr Seham Sergheva claimed in 2011 that some of them were subjected to rape and sexual abuse by Gaddafi, his sons, and senior officials.) In 2009, it was revealed that he did not travel without his trusted Ukrainian nurse Halyna Kolotnytska
Halyna Kolotnytska
Halyna Kolotnytska is a Ukrainian nurse and a former member of her country's Antarctic research mission. She is mostly known for her close association with former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.-Biography:...

, noted as a "voluptuous blonde". Kolotnytska's daughter denied the suggestion that the relationship was anything but professional. Gaddafi allegedly made sexual advances on female journalists.

Gaddafi made very particular requests when traveling to foreign nations. During his trips to Rome, Paris, Moscow, and New York, he resided in a tent, following his Bedouin traditions. While in Italy, he paid a modeling agency to find 200 young Italian women for a lecture he gave urging them to convert to Islam. According to a 2009 document release by WikiLeaks, Gaddafi disliked flying over waters and refused to take airplane trips longer than 8 hours. His inner circle stated that he could only stay on the ground floor of buildings, and that he could not climb more than 35 steps.

The Libyan postal service, General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), has issued numerous stamps, souvenir sheets, postal stationery
Postal stationery
A piece of postal stationery is a stationery item, such as a stamped envelope, letter sheet, postal card, lettercard, aerogram or wrapper, with an imprinted stamp or inscription indicating that a specific rate of postage or related service has been prepaid...

, booklets, etc. relating to Gaddafi.

Transliteration of his Arabic name


Because of the lack of standardization of transliterating written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi's name has been romanized
Romanization
In linguistics, romanization or latinization is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman script, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system . Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written...

 in many different ways. Even though the Arabic spelling of a word does not change, the pronunciation may vary in different varieties of Arabic
Varieties of Arabic
The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

, which may suggest a different romanization. In Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
Modern Standard Arabic , Standard Arabic, or Literary Arabic is the standard and literary variety of Arabic used in writing and in most formal speech....

, the name can be pronounced /muˈʕammaru lqaðˈðaːfiː/. Geminated
Gemination
In phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. Gemination is distinct from stress and may appear independently of it....

 consonants can be simplified. In Libyan Arabic
Libyan Arabic
Libyan Arabic is a collective term for the closely related varieties of Arabic spoken in Libya. It can be divided into two major dialect areas; the eastern centred in Benghazi and Bayda, and the western centred in Tripoli and Misrata...

, q is replaced with ɡ; and ð , as "th" in "this", is replaced with d. Vowel u often alternates with o in pronunciation in other regions. Thus, /muˈʕammar alqaðˈðaːfiː/ is normally pronounced in Libyan Arabic [muˈʕæmmɑrˤ əlɡædˈdæːfi]. The definite article al-
Al-
is the definite article in the Arabic language; a particle whose function is to render the noun on which it is prefixed definite. For example, the word kitāb 'book' can be made definite by prefixing it with al-, resulting in al-kitāb 'the book'...

  is often omitted.

"Muammar Gaddafi" is the spelling used by Time, Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

, Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

, BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

, the majority of the British press, and the English service of Al-Jazeera. The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

, MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

, CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

, PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

, and the majority of the Canadian press use "Moammar Gadhafi". The Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 uses "Qaddafi, Muammar" as the primary name. The Edinburgh Middle East Report
Edinburgh Middle East Report
The Edinburgh Middle East Report , often abbreviated to EMER, is Scotland's only periodical dedicated to the Middle East. Founded in 2006 by George Richards and Camilla Hall, two students at the University of Edinburgh's Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department, the Report covers political,...

 uses "Mu'ammar Qaddafi" and the U.S. Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 uses "Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi", although the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 chooses to use "Muammar el-Qaddafi". The Xinhua News Agency
Xinhua News Agency
The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the government of the People's Republic of China and the biggest center for collecting information and press conferences in the PRC. It is the largest news agency in the PRC, ahead of the China News Service...

 uses "Muammar Khaddafi" in its English reports. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 uses "Muammar el-Qaddafi". The Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

 and the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 of the Tribune Company
Tribune Company
The Tribune Company is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with ten daily newspapers and commuter tabloids including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida...

, and Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse is a French news agency, the oldest one in the world, and one of the three largest with Associated Press and Reuters. It is also the largest French news agency. Currently, its CEO is Emmanuel Hoog and its news director Philippe Massonnet...

 use "Moammar Kadafi".

In 1986, Gaddafi reportedly responded to a Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 school's letter in English using the spelling "Moammar El-Gadhafi". Until that point, his name had been pronounced with an initial 'k' in English.

The title of the homepage of algathafi.org reads "Welcome to the official site of Muammar Al Gathafi". A 2007 interview with Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi confirms that he uses the spelling "Qadhafi", and Muhammad Gaddafi's official passport uses the spelling "Al-Gathafi".

An article published in the London Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...

 in 2004 lists a total of 37 spellings of his name, while a 1986 column by The Straight Dope quotes a list of 32 spellings known from the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

. ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 and MSNBC identified 112 possible spellings. This extensive confusion of naming was used as the subject of a segment of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

s Weekend Update
Weekend Update
Weekend Update is a Saturday Night Live sketch that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show's longest running recurring sketch, having been on since the show's first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance...

 on 12 December 1981.
In short, the alternative spellings for each part of his name are shown in brackets:

Not all are possible, as some alternatives are most probably combined with others, or even impossible with others (for example, simplification of geminated /mm/ usually implies simplification of /aː/).

The Arabic verb قَذَفَ qaðafa has various meanings centering on "he threw".

See also


  • Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights
    Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights
    The Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights was an annual prize founded by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1988.Gaddafi made an initial grant of ten million US$ to the Swiss-based foundation North-South which later administered the prize...

  • List of longest ruling non-royal national leaders
  • History of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi
  • Human rights in Libya
    Human rights in Libya
    The Kingdom of Libya, from 1951 to 1969, was heavily influenced and educated by the British and American oil companies. The King was very westernized and Libya also had a constitution. The kingdom, however, was marked by a feudal regime, where Libya had a low literacy rate of 10%, a low life...



External links


Articles