The Islamist Plot: A UK Terror Trial and the Origins of the Libyan Rebellion

Posted by John Rosenthal

Today is the official anniversary of the “February 17th Revolution,” the Libyan rebellion against the rule of Moammar Qaddafi that — with a massive helping hand from NATO — eventually led to the fall of the regime and the death of Qaddafi. Although the rebellion was initially presented in the Western news media as a [...]

Libyan Rebel Commander: I Was on the Mavi Marmara

Posted by John Rosenthal

According to the Spanish daily ABC, a Libyan rebel commander who played a key role in overthrowing the rule of Muammar Qaddafi previously participated in the May 2010 attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza aboard the Turkish-owned vessel the Mavi Marmara. The operation famously culminated in a deadly clash between Israel Defense Force [...]

The Libyan Revolution: Democracy or ‘Purity of Islam’?

Posted by John Rosenthal

Mustafa Abdul Jalil’s announcement last month that Islamic sharia would form the basic source of legislation in the new Libya, and that all laws contradicting the sharia were immediately null and void, came as a surprise for Western observers. It should not have. From the very start of the Libyan rebellion, clear evidence was available [...]

Al-Qaeda Takes Tripoli

Posted by John Rosenthal

When, at the outset of the unrest that would eventually lead to his downfall, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi asserted that al-Qaeda was behind the challenge to his regime, Western commentators treated his claims with widespread derision and dismissed them out of hand. If it was not already clear from earlier revelations about al-Qaeda-linked rebels, it [...]

Libyan Opposition Spokesman: “Only” 15% of Rebels are Islamic Extremists

Posted by John Rosenthal

In an interview published today in the French daily Le Figaro, a spokesman for Libya’s National Transitional Council acknowledged that Islamic extremists figure among the rebels fighting to overthrow the rule of Muammar al-Gaddafi. But the spokesman, Mahmoud Shamman, insisted that the “radical elements” represent only a “tiny portion” of the rebels: namely, “no more [...]

French Expert Mission Highlights Al-Qaeda Role in Libyan Rebellion

Posted by John Rosenthal

A new report from two French think tanks concludes that jihadists have played a predominant role in the eastern-Libyan rebellion against the rule of Moammar Qaddafi, and that “true democrats” represent only a minority in the rebellion. The report, furthermore, calls into question the justifications given for Western military intervention in Libya, arguing that they [...]