Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
7th January, 2016
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned the ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, about the threat of Islamic extremism to Europe. This was reported from the transcripts of telephone conversations of two politicians published on Thursday by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament, wrote The Telegraph.
Gaddafi told Blair on February 25th, 2011, when Libya was engulfed by riots, that he aims to protect the country from insurgents of “al-Qaeda”. “We don’t attack them, they attack us. I want to tell you the truth. This situation is not so complicated, it’s simple: in North Africa there were sleeper cell organizations of “al-Qaeda”. Sleeper cells in Libya similar to those that were in America before 11 September,” — said Gaddafi.
“They [the jihadists] got hold of the weapons and strike fear in people. People are unable to leave their homes. <…> But the real picture was not given, there were no foreign correspondents. We asked for all world reporters to come and see the truth. These are armed gangs. <…> It is impossible to agree,” added Gaddafi.
“They want to control the Mediterranean and then invade Europe,” warned the Libyan leader. Blair, in turn, talked about the need for a peaceful settlement.
Three weeks after this conversation a coalition of Western countries, including Great Britain began airstrikes on Libya, which led to the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, wrote The Telegraph. The publication noted that Tony Blair, for his part, called Qaddafi twice, trying to persuade him to leave Libya.
“Warning Gaddafi seems to have been vindicated”, the article says. After his overthrow, Libya had collapsed and remains in the grip of civil war. Many of the territories are controlled by Islamist extremists associated with grouping “Islamic State” (IS, banned in Russia – ed.). The terrorists the IS sent to France in November had committed acts of terrorism in Paris.
The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Crispin Blunt said that the Committee in the investigation of events in Libya will consider the “prophetic warning” of Gaddafi. According to him, currently available evidence suggests that “Western politicians were less perceptive than Gaddafi, about the risks of the intervention for the Libyan people, and for Western interests”.