News and Views

January 1997

31 January 1997: A Libyan viewer writes: "when remembering the Libyan students uprising in January 1976, you failed to mention how the Libyan students in Tripoli and Europe reacted to what happened in Benghazi." Please click on the following items to view some documents concerning January 1976 students uprising:
University of Benghazi: January 1976
The Libyan embassy in Washington: January 1976
University of Tripoli: January 1976
The Libyan students in Europe: January 1976
The Libyan students in the United States of America: January 1976
31 January 1997: Libya's leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi, was scheduled Thursday night to debate his latest book, in which he predicts the rise of a fourth German reich. Egypt's official Middle East News Agency and the Libyan official news agency JANA says Gadhafi planned to join by satellite a panel of Arab intellectuals reviewing his book, "Long Live the State of the Punks.'' Al-Gadhafy revealed his first work of fiction, a children's book, at last year's Cairo book fair. It became a best-seller. The new book predicts the decline of the United States, Britain and Israel and the simultaneous rise of a German super-state, which Gadhafi calls the fourth reich. The book predicts the United States and Britain would finally have to pay "reparations'' to Germany for World War II. .'' (UPI)
30 January 1997: German prosecutors are set to try four people [none of them Libyan] in connection with the bomb blast in a Berlin disco 15 April 1985. The United States government accused Libya of mastermindisng that explosion and attacked Libya on 24 March 1986. For more deatails on the US attack on Libya, please click here
29 January 1997: The UN is studying how to react to the steps taken by Libya to resume flights to and from Libya. Libya told the Un that it will resume flights very soon. Last week Libyan jet landed in Accra, Ghana. For more details. please click here
26 January 1997: For those who are interested in exchanging ideas and news, a Libyan discussion group [newsgroup] is now available in MENA [Middle East North Africa] net. To access Libya discussion group [among other newsgroups], please click here
26 January 1997: Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser met his Egyptian counterpart at Cairo airport Saturday. The Libyan news agency JANA says al-Muntasser was touring Africa to discuss the agenda of an Organization of African Unity foreign ministers' meeting scheduled to take place in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on 24 February. Al-Muntasser's talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa covered the U.N. sanctions against Libya, the fighting in Sudan between government forces and rebels based in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and Libyan- Egyptian relations, JANA said. (UPI)
25 January 1997: A Libyan viewer writes: "The rest of the story ... News item regarding Palestinians stranded on the borders between Libya and Egypt. They refused to go back to Libya because there is no gurantee that they will find jobs or homes in the Great Jamahiria. They threw stones on the delegation led by Idris Musa who told them you made your point now you can go back to Libya but they said we would rather stay here in the desert than go back to unpredictable government."
25 January 1997: An American Drug Enforcement Agency official won libel damages earlier this week over a Libyan-backed film that suggested DEA negligence was partly to blame for the deadly bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland. Britain's High Court awarded Micheal Hurley $29,000 plus costs from Channel 4 television, which broadcast the film. The film, "The Maltese Double Cross,'' revived allegations, which arose soon after a Pan Am jet exploded over Lockerbie in December 1988, that Libya was not behind the blast. (AP)
24 January 1997: Mauritanian authorities arrested number of members of the Mauritanian al-Amal Party, the National and the Nasiri movements, accusing them of working on behalf of Libyan leader Mu'mmar al-Gadhafi. Asharq al-Awsat reports that more arrests are on the way. For more details (in Arabic) please click here
24 January 1997: The Libyan Foreign Minister Omar al-Muntasser said that Libya would ignore the UN sanctions after it granted permission to American balloonist Steve Fosset to cross its air space. Earlier this week, Ghana permitted an airliner from Libya to land in Accra. Ghanian officials have said they granted landing rights after the pilot said he was out of fuel and would crash in 25 minutes.The flight carried a Libyan delegation to Accra, the Libyan news agency said. Libyan officials earlier had officially informed the United Nations that Libya would resume flights, the agency said. The United States government says it intends to seek action against Libya at the United Nations for violating a measure that forbids international landing rights to Tripoli's national airline.
23 January 1997: After allowing American ballonist to fly over Libya, Libya told the UN that it will allow its planes to resume flights from and to Libya. Yesterday, a Libyan jet carrying some Libyan officials left Libya and landed in Ghana airport where it was received by some Ghanian officials. For more details (in Arabic) please click here
23 January 1997: Palestinians residing in camps on the Libyann-Egyptian border refused a decision made by the Libyan Basic People's Congresses to allow them to return to Libya to live and work and asked the UN to interfere and let them go to Palestine. Palestinean leader yasser Arafat was asked by Egyptian authorities to help in solving the Palestinean problem in the camps between the Libyan town of Msaad and the Egyptian town of al-Salloum. For more details (in Arabic) please click on the following items:
Asharq al-Awsat report Another report from Asharq al-Awsat Al-Ittihad report
22 January 1997: According to the French newspaper "Le Monde", the Libyan and Egyptian governments have signed an agreement last month for the construction of a
2000 km rail line linking al-Solloum, at the end of the line from Alexandria, to the Tunisian border, via Tobbruk, Benghazi and Tripoli.
22 January 1997: Palestinians stuck for 16 months on the Libyan-Egyptian border defiantly refused Tuesday to return to Libya, throwing rocks and brandishing knives at the Libyan officials who came for them. About 20 Libyan officials arrived to the border Tuesday, expecting to bring a speedy close to the case. They even brought a truck to the camp to take away tents and furniture. But the Palestinians refused to return to Libya, saying they were bitter over their expulsion and fearful they would return to insecure lives with neither jobs nor homes. The refugees blocked the road into the camp during an hour-long standoff in which some Palestinians threw stones at the Libyan officials. (AP)
21 January 1997: Libyan news agency JANA reported that Libyan Secretary of Arab Unity attacked the agreements between some Arabs and Israel. In a letter to Arab foreign ministers, Jomaa al-Fazzani said that Israel still occupying Palestine. (Asharq al-Awsat) For more details (in Arabic) please click here
18 January 1997: Libyan authorities gave American balloonist Steve Fossett permission to fly over Libya. The balloon flew over Libya this morning [Saturday] in about three hours, and ground controllers estimate Fossett should be over India in two days.
18 January 1997: American balloonist Steve Fossett was over the Sahara Desert on Friday, his expedition said, still drifting toward Libya. Everything was going well with the flight, a spokesman said, except his route which continued to take him toward Libya, whose government has not yet granted permission to enter its airspace. The expedition has attempted to apply international pressure on Libya to say something one way or the other about using its airspace but so far there has been no word and Fossett may have to land rather than take a chance. He had hoped to skirt Libya by catching different winds at varying altitudes -- the only kind of control he has over the craft. But that apparently has not worked so far and the silver balloon was still headed for Libya. (Reuter)
18 January 1997: - Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi on Thursday said a deal on Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank town of Hebron was a trick because the Israeli army will continue to encircle the city. Al-Gadhafi said in a statement reported by the official Libyan news agency JANA: "The Israeli army pullout from the streets of Hebron doesn't mean the liberation of the city because it will remain encircling it from outside." "It will also continue to occupy the Palestinian lands and control the borders of Palestine with Egypt and Jordan. The occupation remain, Hebron is still occupied, the settlements are continuing," he added. (Reuter)
18 January 1997: The Algerian government on Thursday snubbed beforehand a proposal for Libyan mediation between the Algerian authorities and their radical Islamist enemies ( the Islamic Salvation Front) to end the country's five-year-old civil strife. (Reuter and Asharq al-Awsat) For more details (in Arabic) please click here
16 January 1997: The UAE Arabic newspaper "al-Itthad" reported that Mohammad Hijazi the Libyan secretary of Justice and Public Security and Naif ben Abdulazeez the Saudi secretary of Internal Affairs met in Tunis early this month for five hours. Al-Ittihad said that it seems that Libya is entering new era in its relations with Arab and Western countries. To view al-Ittihad's report (in Arabic), please click here
16 January 1997: The Libyan Secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation [Foreign Minister Umar al-Muntasir] conferred at midday Tuesday in Tunis with Habib Ben Yahia, the foreign minister of Tunisia. The meeting dealt with bilateral relations between the two countries and the prospects of enhancing and promoting them in addition to African and international issues of mutual interest. (BBC MS)
16 January 1997: American Steve Fossett, an eighth of the way along in his bid to circle the world in a balloon, was negotiating with the Libyan government on Wednesday for permisson to cross that country. His Chicago-based expedition said the 52-year-old adventurer was more than 600 miles (1,000 km) east-southeast of Bermuda at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT) and was trying to clear the way for a passage over North Africa this weekend. (Reuters)
15 January 1997: Red Sea Oil Corporation announced the commencement of drilling operations on Block NC177, onshore Libya. The A1-NC177 well was spudded on January 12, 1997 after some initial delays involving the site preparations. A1-NC177 is the first of a two-well oil exploration program in the highly prolific Sirte Basin. Hydrocarbon exploration within the Libyan Sirte Basin began in the late 1950's. During the next 10 years, at least 16 major oil fields were discovered and, currently, several hundred fields are known. As of early 1995, it was estimated that recoverable reserves for all of Libya may reach as much as 65 billion barrels of oil. One field, known as the Amal Field, may have as much as 17 billion barrels of original oil in place. In total, 21 fields, each having more than 1 billion barrels of original oil in place, have been identified in Libya. Nineteen of these lie within the Sirte Basin. (Yahoo-Bus Wire)
14 January 1997: Today is the anniversary of Libyan students uprising in 1964 and 1976. In 1964 the students demonstrated in the streets of Benghazi, al-Zawia and al-Jmail and seven of them were killed by the police. In 1976 the students demonstrated in the streets of Benghazi and the University of Tripoli and two of them were killed by the police.
For the students view of what happened in January 1976, please click here
For the government view of what happened in January 1976, please click here
14 January 1997: Abu Bakr al-Sharif, official spokesman for the Libyan Militant Islamic Group [al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah al-Muqatilah], has denied that his group has held a meeting or signed an agreement with another group. In a statement, a copy of which "Al-Hayat" newspaper received [10th Jan], he stressed that "the information mentioned (in this connection) is misleading and aimed at distorting the [image of the] jihad in Libya among public opinion, namely by trying to prove the fragmentation of the jihad action and the existence of disagreements among several opposition groups". (BBC MS)
14 January 1997: The Saudi news agency reported that King Fahad of Saudi Arabia received a telephone call from Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi. During the telephone call they exchanged views for the benefit of the two countries as well as the Arab and Islamic nations.
14 January 1997: Libya said on Tuesday it was not convinced by explanations from European countries over the role of their Eurofor intervention force and that it suspected the unit was set up to invade southern Mediterranean countries. The official news agency JANA said the explanations were contained in a letter from Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa to his Libyan counterpart Omar al-Montasser briefing him on the results of his contacts with France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The force, constituted last November by the four countries, will be able to call on up to 10,000 troops and has its command headquarters in Florence, Italy. (Reuters)
13 January 1997: Algeria's banned Islamic Salvation Front has asked Libyan leader Muammar al-Gadhafi to mediate with the Algiers government to try to end their bloody confrontation, the official Libyan news agency JANA reported on Monday. JANA quoted "sources at the World's Islamic Popular Leadership", a Libyan-sponsored grouping of Moslem movements which al-Gadhafi heads. "Al-Gadhafi has received an official request from the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS ) in Algeria to mediate between it and the Algerian government to reach a political peaceful solution putting an end to bloodletting and enabling Algeria to recover its health and role in the region and the world," JANA said. (Reuters and Asharq al-Awsat)
13 January 1997: The Libyan secretary of the General People's Committee for Unity has made a statement to the Libyan news agency [JANA] in which he says: We have received with deep satisfaction the statement of the Jordanian minister for energy made on 10th January 1997 that the Jordanian government had asked the UN to place the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona under international control. This request confirms the credibility of the position of Libya repeatedly mentioned by the General People's Committee for Unity urging the Arab states and the Arab League to take practical steps to face up to the dangers resulting from the rising radioactive pollution leaking from the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor in the region, given that the reactor has become a danger to pan-Arab security and the environment in the Arab countries. (Reuters)
"Libya: Our Home" has been awarded the

10 January 1997: Libya has marked the start of the fasting month of Ramadan by freeing a number of people held for alleged corruption, the official Libyan news agency JANA said. JANA said on Thursday night that justice authorities had taken the decision on the release to mark Ramadan which started in Libya on Friday. It did not say how many people were released but said only 29 people arrested by the so-called anti-corruption committees remained in prison and that their files would be submitted to justice authorities for investigation. Hundreds of such committees were set up last year on the order of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to fight what they called financial and economic corruption. Reports in the Arab press abroad had alleged that some of the committees arrested people without evidence. (Reuters)
10 January 1997: The Libyan official news agency JANA reported that the secretariat of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation today summoned the heads of Arab and foreign diplomatic missions accredited to the Great Jamahiriyah. The secretary of the General People's Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation conveyed to the heads of these missions the regret of Libya over the continuation of the unjust measures imposed on it despite the positive initiatives it had put forward, together with all the other countries and the international organizations to resolve the so-called Lockerbie case, and despite the international support for the position of Libya in this issue. (BBC MS)
10 January 1997: Dr Muhammad al-Muqaryif, secretary-general of the [opposition] National Front for the Salvation of Libya, has attacked the Libyan regime after the announcement that it has executed eight people accused of spying for US intelligence services. Commenting on the announcement made by the Jamahiriyah News Agency [JANA] last Friday [3rd January], Muqaryif told al-Hayat newspaper that Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi had expressed his "regret" that the People's Congresses had refused to commute the executions to life sentences. The Salvation Front said that the Libyan leader "is trying to dissociate himself from the responsibility" for executing the eight, whose trial "was a sham and was unfair".
10 January 1997: Col Khalifah Hifter, an officer who broke away from the Libyan army and is leading an opposition faction, has issued a statement denouncing the execution of the eight, who included six military men. He said that the accusations levelled against the eight "are false, fabricated and absolutely baseless" and that "the confessions" they had made on television (in 1993) "were extracted from them through torture and intimidation". Hifter called "for preparing the atmosphere for a state of civil disobedience and an overwhelming people's uprising, in order to destroy the regime's pillars and rid the homeland of it". He also urged the Libyan armed forces to participate in "toppling the regime". (BBC MS)
10 January 1997: The Chinese Xinhua news agency reported that Tian Zengpei, Chinese vice-minister of foreign affairs; and the Libyan assistant secretary for foreign liaison for the General People's Committee, signed in Tripoli an Agreement on Regular Consultations between the two countries' foreign ministries. Both sides stressed that the agreement will systematize political consultations between the two countries' foreign ministries and promote coordination and cooperation between both sides. Tian Zengpei arrived in Libya on 31st December for a working visit. (BBC MS)
10 January 1997: The Libyan official news agency JANA reported that Libyan leader Mu'mmar al-Gadhafi has received Mr Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, chairman of the Russian Liberal Democrat Party, who is currently visiting Libya at the head of a delegation of his party, who are members of the Russian parliament, the Duma. Mr Zhirinovskiy once again denounced the unjust measures imposed on Libya and called for their removal. (BBC MS)

9 January 1997: Tomorrow Friday is the first day of Ramadan al-Mobarak, the month of fasting. I wish all of you happy Ramadan. "Ajmal Attahani Wa Atiab Attamaniyat Wa Kullo A-min Wa Antom Bikhair." To view my greeting card, please click here
8 January 1997: Libya on Wednesday accused the United States of "state terrorism'' and said sanctions against Libya were part of U.S. bullying tactics. The remarks on Libya's official JANA news agency were in response to U.S. President Clinton's decision on 2nd January to renew U.S. economic sanctions imposed against Libya in 1986. The commentary said the United States repeatedly has accused Libya of being a threat to its security even though Libya could not match "a superpower which possesses mighty arsenals of destructive and lethal weapons.'' It added: "Not one nation has been spared from American state terrorism in the form of direct aggression, interference in internal affairs, espionage, assassinations, subversion, blockades, starvation.'' The commentary said the U.S. attitude toward Libya was reflected in the 1986 sanctions and the U.N. sanctions imposed in 1992 to try to force Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi to surrender two Libyans wanted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in which 270 people died. The U.N. sanctions ground Libya's aircraft and ban arms sales to the country. The commentary on JANA accused the United States of "arrogant encroachment'' on the rights of Libya. "We have Libya as one of the victims of this flagrant injustice and these satanic designs, which were calculated to impose a veto on the independence, freedom and development of nations,'' the commentary concluded. (AP)
8 January 1997: Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has arrived in Libya for talks with Libya's leader, Col. Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi. The Libyan official new agency JANA says he renewed Russia's solidarity with Libya against international sanctions imposed on the Libya. Zhirinovsky is heading a delegation from his far-right Liberal Democratic Party. He told the news agency his visit would strengthen ties between the two countries. (UPI)
8 January 1997: Al-Hayat newspaper reported that the National Front for the Salvation of Libya [NFSL] yesterday responded to Libyan leader Col Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi's statements in which he expressed his regret that "the People's Congresses did not agree" to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment, leading eventually to six military officers and two civilians being given a death sentence which was carried out last Thursday [2nd January]. The NFSL said that the statements attributed to Qadhafi were only a cheap and cowardly ploy on his part to evade responsibility for shedding the blood of these martyrs and heroes after an unjust sham trial and an attempt to deflect the anger of their relatives, families, tribes and companions from himself and redirect it towards the so-called People' s Congresses, and also an attempt to avoid the criticism of Arab and international human rights organizations." The NFSL added: "It is a known fact that the People's Congresses are nothing but a tool in Qadhafi's hands, since he determines what domestic or foreign issues they should examine. Moreover, these congresses do not possess the mechanisms and procedures which would enable them to either issue, examine, approve, or carry out rulings, or set the date for them to be carried out." (BBC)
8 January 1997: Libyan leader Col Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that he regrets that "the People's Congresses did not agree" to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment, leading eventually to six military officers and two civilians being given a death sentence which was carried out last Thursday [2nd January]. Al-Gadhafi said that he insisted on the People's Congresses to make Libya the first Arab and Islamic state to get rid off death penalty but the PCs did not agree with him.
8 January 1997: Al-Hayat newspaper reported yesterday that Abdullah Ahmad, spokesman for the Libyan Islamic Martyrs'Movement [IMM], announced the formation of a new leadership headed by (30-year-old) Hamzah Abu Shaltilah who succeeds Muhammad al-Hami, and denied reports of a merger between his movement and the Libyan Militant Islamic Group [MIG]. The IMM spokesman said that Hamzah Abu Shaltilah, also known as Abu Tariq al-Darnawi, has succeeded the IMM's former amir who was killed last July in Benghazi in a clash with Ali Bushahibiyah, a senior Revolutionary Committees member. The spokesman said that Abu Shaltilah fought in Afghanistan and Algeria and was close to Abu Ja'far al-Afghani (the Algerian Armed Islamic group's former amir who was killed in 1993). He said that it was Abu Shaltilah who proposed calling the movement by its current name, when he joined it in 1992 on his return from Afghanistan. Abdullah Ahmad also said that the IMM's new amir met Abd al-Rahman al-Hattab, the MIG's amir in Libya, and examined with him the possibility of a merger between the two organizations. Hattab stressed "the legitimate reasons for such a merger, and Abu Shaltilah concurred with him on this matter." However, Abdullah Ahmad said that " the matter did not progress further because this has to be referred to the Consultative Council for a decision." He explained that "in late July the two amirs agreed on the need to halt military operations temporarily against official security forces and concentrate instead on trying to kill Col Qadhafi." He added: "The fact that we [IMM] carried out an operation which resulted in the killing of Captain Muhammad Shawayil of the Benghazi internal security forces early in December proves that the merger between the two organizations has not taken place." Commenting on the executions announced by the Libyan regime a few days ago, Abdullah Ahmad stressed that the Libyan authorities had announced the same measures in early 1995. He said that the fact that they have announced these measures again "is aimed first at scaring the opposition as a whole, and particularly the jihad movements in Libya, and, given the identity of the eight, who belong to the NFSL, is also aimed at exaggerating the size of the secularist opposition." (BBC )
7 January 1997: Libyan television reported that large number of citizens took part in the proceedings of the second ordinary meetings of the Basic People's Congresses, which are being held throughout Libya in order to debate issues of the congresses' agendas for 1996. It is worth recalling, Libyan TV said, that the number of any commune's residents is the number of those who attend the proceedings of its Basic People's Congress and take part in the formulation of the Congress's resolutions. Therefore, services, such as electricity, transport, education, health, security, will be restricted only to those who attend the proceedings of the commune's congress. Those who do not attend will have no right of access to these services. (BBC)
7 January 1997: Louis Farrakhan talked and prayed with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Monday, hugging him in front of television cameras in what Libya said was a show of Muslim solidarity against U.S. sanctions. State-run Libyan television showed the two men embracing warmly upon Farrakhan's arrival at Gadhafi's office, then sitting down for a chat. It was the Nation of Islam leader's third trip to Libya in a year. The television report showed Gadhafi leading a prayer service in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, with Farrakhan standing behind him. Libyan television said Farrakhan came to Libya on Friday and left late Monday. (AP)
5 January 1997: The United States Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli Sunday, the official Libyan news agency JANA reported. JANA, gave no details about the visit.
4 January 1997: Eight men executed by Libya had taken part in a 1993 failed army coup against Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi but they were not spies, a Libyan opposition group said today. Today's statement was faxed to The Associated Press by the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. "The Front condemns this crime (the executions),'' the statement said. "These men were honorable strugglers and the best sons of Libya who were trying to overthrow the regime of Gadhafi and return Libya to constitutional rule.'' The Front is one of the largest Libyan opposition groups, with offices in the United States, Europe and Egypt. The Front said some of the executed officers had been in contact with dissidents in exile. The Front also suggested that Gadhafi gave the order for the executions "to avenge and terrorize his opponents'' following a failed assassination attempt against him in November. The militant Fighting Islamic Group claimed responsibility for the attack 23 November, saying one of its members hurled a grenade at Gadhafi in the desert town of Brak. Gadhafi escaped injury but was treated for shock, the group said. (AP)
3 January 1997: Four of the eight Libyans sentenced to death last Wednesday, from left to right: Saad Misbah, Colonel Miftah Ghroum, Major Ramadan al-Ihuri Muhammad and Major Khalil Salim Jadak. (1994 photos)
3 January 1997: Reuters and Wakalat Anba' Asharq al-Awsat reported that Libyan radio reported that Libya executed on Thursday the six senior officers and two civilians sentenced to death by a military court. The six officers were executed by a firing squad while the two civilians were hanged, the radio said.
3 January 1997: According to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, sentencing eight Libyans to death last Wednesday might cause some troubles to Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi. Asharq al-Awsat reported that Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi planned sentencing the eight Libyans to death in March 1994, but he could not carry the sentence because of some tribes refusal to accept it. To view Asharq al-Awsat report, please click here
2 January 1997: The eight Libyans who were sentenced to death Wednesday were part of many officers and civilians who were arrested in October 1993. They were members of three groups inside Libya: The first group was established late 1988 leaded by Maj. Abdusalam ali al-Waer [left Libya 12 October 1993], the second group was established in 1991 leaded by Col. Mostafa Bilkasin al-Kikkili [sentenced to death last Wednesday] and the third group was established early 1993 leaded by Col. Miftah Ghroum [sentensed to death last Wednesday.] The three groups were working together to overthrow Col. Mu'ammar al-Ghadafi. In the early morning of 12 October 1993 most of the groups members were arrested. The Libyan opposition abroad, especially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, announed early 1994 that the three groups were working in cooperation with the Libyan opposition abroad.
To view the list of those who were arrested in October 1993, please click here
2 January 1997: The Libyan officers who were sentenced to death are:
1. Col. Muftah Muhammad Gharoum
2. Staff Col. Mustafa Abu al-Qasim Massud
3. Flight Lt.-Col. Saad Salah Faraj
4. Maj. Khalil Salim Muhammad
5. Maj. Ramadan al-Ihuri Muhammad Ali
6. Maj. Mustafa Hubayl al-Fudhil.
The two Libyan civilians who were sentenced to death are:
1. Misbah Saad Musbah
2. Sulayman Ghayth Muftah.
The first six would be executed by firing squad and the last two by hanging. Libyan radio said but It did not say when. In theory, only Gaddafi can decide to carry out or not the execution, but the prosecutor seemed to exclude any clemency. "You mobilized yourselves as spies against your country and allowed the enemies to get hold of military, economic and security capabilities by using sophisticated equipment supplied by the CIA," the Libyan television showed an unnamed prosecutor dressed in civilian clothes as telling the men. Libyan television showed pictures of the courtroom where about 12 of the accused could be seen seated in a large cage, and attendees numbered over 100. The heads of the accused were shaved and they appeared to be wearing prison uniforms.
2 January 1997: The Islamic Fighting Group - Libya "al-Jama'a al-Islamiya al-Mokatila" announced in a press release that two of its members tried to assasinate Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi late last November in Brak. In a statement released Tuesday the group said that its member Mohammed Abdallah al-Ghrew threw a grenade at al-Ghadafi but the grenade failed to explode.
2 January 1997: The Libyan television reported Wednesday that a Libyan military court sentenced eight Libyans -- six military officers and two civilians -- to death for spying. The report said another group of six officers and two civilians were acquitted in the case. The report said the Supreme Military Court convicted "agent-spies who sold their honor, dignity and homeland to their enemies and supplied agents of foreign governments with information relating to the country's defense secrets." It said the men belonged to "a banned organization linked to agents of foreign governments,'' but did not name the group or governments or say when the incidents occurred. The officers would be executed by firing squad and the civilians by hanging, the report said. Libyan sources in Egypt said they believed the case was stemmed from a military coup attempt against Libyan leader Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi in October 1993 in Misratah and Bani Walid.
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