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Libya’s Gaddafi had warned Britain of eventual jihad

The West has spent the last 15 years pretending certain things about Islam, including that it is a complex religion with competing interpretations. But deposed Libyan Muslim leader Muammar Gaddafi had no illusions about the peaceful intent of believers if the West declares war on them.

Published: May 30, 2017, 8:15 am

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    London

    Gaddafi had warned Tony Blair in two fraught phone conversations in 2011 that al-Qaida would seize control of the country and even launch an invasion of Europe if his secular government is deposed.

    In both calls the former British prime minister had warned Gaddafi to stand aside. The transcripts reveal how lucid the general had been over his eventual fate. Three weeks after his dire warnings, a NATO-led invasion that included Britain began a deadly bombing campaign to overthrow of Gaddafi. He was finally murdered by British-sponsored opponents in October.

    The transcripts of the conversations have been published by the UK foreign affairs select committee, which was conducting an inquiry into the western air campaign that led to the ousting and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011, the Guardian reported.

    In the first call, at 11.15am on 25 February 2011, Gaddafi had warned: “They [jihadis] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.” In the second call, later on the same day, the Libyan leader continued: “We are not fighting them, they are attacking us. I want to tell you the truth. It is not a difficult situation at all. The story is simply this: an organisation has laid down sleeping cells in north Africa. Called the al-Qaida organisation in north Africa … The sleeping cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.”

    Gaddafi added: “I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight. Libyan people will die, damage will be on the Med, Europe and the whole world. These armed groups are using the situation [in Libya] as a justification – and we shall fight them.”

    British Intelligence had also warned Blair that terrorism would flourish if the West invaded Iraq.

    Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the US and the UK, Blair was “forcefully and repeatedly” warned by Britain’s intelligence services that the invasion would eventually lead to terrorism, the Intercept reported.

    But Blair concealed these warnings from the British voters, instead claiming the opposite: that war would “reduce” the risk of terrorism. This was revealed by the damning Chilcot Report, a British public inquiry over seven years into the country’s role in the Iraq War.

    The report also found that Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests in Iraq, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted, that the United Kingdom and United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council, that the process of identifying the legal basis was “far from satisfactory”, and that a war in 2003 was unnecessary.

    The report was made available under an Open Government Licence.

    In February 2003, one month before the war began, the British Joint Intelligence Committee issued a white paper titled “International Terrorism: War With Iraq.” The paper’s introduction stated clearly: “The threat from Al Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. They will target Coalition forces and other Western interests in the Middle East. Attacks against Western interests elsewhere are also likely, especially in the US and UK, for maximum impact. The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly.”

    It concluded : “Al Qaida and associated groups will continue to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to Western interests, and that threat will be heightened by military action against Iraq. The broader threat from Islamist terrorists will also increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”

    In 2015, al-Azhar University in Cairo declared that although ISIS members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics.

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