Why is Gaddafi blaming al-Qaeda?

The dictator of Lybia Colonel Gaddafi quite likely has many imaginable enemies from his point of view; not the least since he at least once pictured himself as a possible leader of African muslim nations (even though that didn’t work out). Also, he sees himself as the liberator of Libya from the oppression of colonial powers, Italy especially. Once he more or less declared war on the USA and most certainly he ordered the the Lockerbie bombing. US and British air force attacked Libya and killed amongst others his adoptive child. But aside of those western powers, one can imagine a dictator of a muslim nation to consider Israel as an enemy. There are also the clans of eastern Libya who never really bowed down to him. As I said, Gaddafi has many real and imaginable enemies to blame the uprising; considering he obviously is losing it and paranoia is seldom far away for a dictator anyhow, the perceived enemies must be in the dozens.

But he is blaming al-Qaeda. Only an ignorant thinks that every muslim leader sympathies with al-Qaeda, that is certainly not so, but nonetheless I admit that Colonel Gaddafi of Libya blaming the Libyan uprising on al-Qaeda of all the organizations, clans, intelligence agencies and so forth one can think of is quite surprising to me.

I do not think that it is out of the blue for him, for some reason this is rational to him, and so there must be a historical background to this which I am not aware of. Are you? Would you like to enlighten me? Why is Gaddafi blaming al-Qaeda


EDIT: I meant this for General Questions. Sorry. Please move.

He’s bluffing.

If he can convince his “allies” that the unrest is being caused by Al Qaeda, then maybe the allies won’t mind when his jets fire on the protesters. Maybe the gullible US will even pitch in and come fight the protesters for him.

It’s a long shot, but the US has done stupider things.

The leaders of Arab countries don’t like al-Qaeda. He is trying to convince them, if it happens to me you’re next. And now that Egypt and Tunisia have had change, that message may be sinking home.

The one thing people often fail to understand is Muslims are not now, nor were they ever in recent times united. Tiny little Israel has managed to survive in large part by being clever enough to exploit this.

Even Muslims of non-Arab origin don’t like each other. You’ll recall Gaddafi offered a million dollars for an atomic bomb. The head of the Pakistani reserach group said Gaddafi offered them up to ten million for an atomic weapon. They told him to “go make one for himself.”

Blaming al-Qaeda, he is hoping to get some friends in his camp

Dictators like him have few friends. Let’s face it, look at Saddam Hussein, did anyone really care when he was hanged? Maybe a couple of people, but most were just happy he was dead.

I’m not sure he even thinks he’s bluffing. When you’ve been an absolute dictator for 40 years and everyone agreed with everything you said that whole time, that’s got to set up one hell of a cognitive dissonance.

I’m guessing he genuinely thinks “Well if i blame Al quaeda the west will have to support me and my postion will be safe”. This is totally irrational of course but he’s so used to his word being law he can no longer process the possibility of dissent.

You answered your own question. As much as AQ is an invention of the West without willing dictators as co-operators in the ME the concept would not take off as it did. If you read WikiLeaks, for example, at almost every meeting with dictators or their officials, AQ is mentioned almost as a trust fund. In a ‘wink-wink nudge-nudge’ sense.

They have accomplished quite a bit for an organization that doesn’t exist, or is only a ‘trust fund’, wink wink nudge nudge.

I’d say that Merneith has the right of it. What’s he got to lose at this point by attempting to pin this all on AQ? He’s tried to appeal to the protesters mothers, and that hasn’t seemed to work yet, so maybe he can scrape this problem off his shoe by tricking the US or the Europeans into thinking that it’s really AQ that’s behind everything and getting us all to back off or maybe even help. We’ve all done stupider things, and I’m unsure how grounded in reality he is at this point in any case.


The Islamists clearly are in his long list of enemies. He actively suppressed them and tightly controlled anything related to religion (what the imams were saying, who went regularly to the mosque, etc…).

So, blaming al-Qaeda is as good as blaming anybody else. Since anyway all his claims about who is behind the revolt are equally nonsensical (IIRC, the first people he blamed were the Tunisian immigrants), why not pick the enemy most feared in both Arab and western countries?

Accusing them of spiking Libyans people’s coffee with hallucinogens was a bit over the top, I must admit, but it shows that he’s now in complete surrealist mode (like when he addressed a supposed crowd telling them that everything was fine in Libya and that they should go dancing and having fun). So, I’m not sure we should try to make sense of his statements at this point.

I don’t know if al Qaeda has any real presense in Libya but Gaddafi isn’t being totally irrational here. He’s the secular dictator of an Islamic country - and that’s the kind of regime that al Qaeda wants to overthrow.

There was a scandal a few years ago, the papers certainly took it seriously, about MI6 trying to hire AQ, or some group the papers considered to be part of AQ, to kill Gaddafi. Like the CIA trying to get the mafia to kill Castro, I suppose. Of course the MI6 man who revealed it later became a transexual and self-proclaimed son of God, but I think this particular claim was well established.

As for whether AQ exist, I don’t see that they’ve “achieved a lot”. They’ve done nothing. In fact the evidence for any sort of international network with any link to ObL is more or less nil. Even the name al-Qaeda comes, according to the late minister of defence Robin Cook, from internal CIA slang. Obviously I’m not counting ObL’s grandiose claims of responsibility as evidence, anymore than my own claims to bethe world’s number one sex machine mean I am.

The reality of Islamic terrorism is that most of it is in the third world waged by national groups against their own governments. The tiny proportion in the west is mostly set up by the police and intelligence services, who regularly entrap people or reveal supposedly massive terror plots and then quietly release everyone without charge because it was all bullshit, like the Ricin case and countless others. Obviously there have been a few, a very few, successful attacks in the West, none of which show links to a big trans-national terrorist group. The 7/7 bombers made their own explosives, didn’t need imports or foreign cash or even foreign inspiration. Madrid used stolen explosives. 9/11 allegedly used “box cutters”, little knife things, although I think there were some people in America convicted of helping them, Moussaoui and so on.

Part of the explanation is that blaming AQ gets the West to back off, or at least think twice before putting too much pressure on him.

Because Charlie sheen won the coin toss, and he picked Chuck Lorre. Al Qaeda was all that was left.

It’s also perfectly possible that there is some AQ presence and that Gadaffi is blowing it way out of proportion.

He’s trying to dredge up every boogeyman he can think of.

Qadaffi was the darling of the radical Muslim movement when he was ready to take on the Great Satan America. When the US came close to wiping him out and all his family, he went into hiding for a number of years. He finally came out, appealed to the western world that, hey, really did want to play nice with the big powers. As he started courting acceptance and establishment of trade agreements, he lost favor with the radical Muslims. Eypt, Tunisia, and now Libya, this is no more a call for democracy than Iran was in 1979.

Iraq only wanted our help to get rid of a dictator that they hated, but they didn’t want democracy. Or more importantly, they wanted the democracy to replace Saddam with their own dictator. Problem is, the various factions can’t agree on which dictator is acceptable.

As bad as Mubarak was, as bad as Qadaffi is, it’s not automatic than ANY replacement is better. It can still be much WORSE.

If Khadaffy and the rebels are both enemies of the Great Satan America, Commisar’s head is going to explode when he tries to figure out who to root for.

There is a sometime affiliate of al-Q, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which apparently has split with al-Q over the latter’s commitment to violent anti-Western jihad; and in any case nobody has heard much out of the LIFG for a long time, not even in connection with the ongoing rebellion.

That would be a debate worth following. (Double points for the appropriateness of your .sig file.)

In case Commissar stops by, I’ll lay it out.

Commissar claims USA is Very Bad, anybody the USA hates is Good, USA hates Qaddafi, tf. Qaddafi is Good.

Qaddafi claimed that the rebellion was instigated by al-Qaeda. USA hates alQ, tf. alQ is Good.

Good does not rebel against Good. Therefore both conclusions cannot be correct.

Commissar, pick a side. Which side is Not Good?

He’s throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.

No need to look for any further explanation.

It’ll be the Reverse Vampires next week.

tagos, if he blames the Twilight series, I may have to change which side I’m rooting for.

There is a long history of animosity between the Middle Eastern strong men and Al Qaeda. Not surprisingly seeing as removal of corrupt “apostate” Middle Eastern regimes is Al Qaeda main aim.

Even going back to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan regimes like Saddam’s and Gaddafi’s refused to have anything to do with US-supported Jihad against the soviets (members of which would ultimate become Al Qaeda). It was pretty obvious to them what was going to happen once these battle hardened, armed, jihadists no longer had soviets to fight.