To be upfront here I have to say that I do not like or trust Human Rights Watch. I believe that they have an agenda that is not compatible with the free world. However, what they have uncovered in the office of Mousa Khousa is absolutely explosive. I honestly do not know if the two Libyans who were the victims of rendition can be trusted or not. Their Islamic group was a banned organization because of alleged links to Al Qaeda. The men who have come forward however have denounced the form of terrorism that is the Al Qaeda hallmark. At least in the case of Behadj, I think it is highly likely that he is telling the truth, that he was mostly interested in getting rid of Gadhafi.
The arrest and rendition of both men, with the help of MI6 was absolutely disgraceful. If they had been caught in Afghanistan it would have been a very different matter. One man was lured to Hong Kong, where he and his family were arrested and forcibly returned to Tripoli, where he was tortured. He spent several years in prison, was released, and was arrested again in April, where he was tortured again in Abu Salim prison.
Gadhafi and his goons have been very good at claiming that all of those who were against him were members of Al Qaeda. This whole rendition affair needs to be fully investigated, and I would hope that both men will fully co-operate in any investigation. Members of the same Islamic group did get involved in a bomb plot in the UK. However, neither of the men who have been named seemed to have anything to do with those plots. Perhaps it is as Belhadj stated, he met some Al Qaeda figures in Afghanistan on the battlefield, but he was not ideologically in agreement with them.
There is other more explosive news coming to light – this time it is the disappearance of certain weapons from Tripoli. Before people jump to conclusions about the Opposition NTC forces, I think that more information is required. The weapons have been finding their way into Niger and Chad. A large convoy of trucks carrying weapons, money and certain members of the Gadhafi regime has made its way into Niger. The Touraeg rebel tribe (opposed to the Niger government and backed by Gadhafi) has escorted the convoy as it makes its way across Niger.
I do not want to jump to any conclusions in this matter. I think it is important to wait and see, BUT, it looks more like Gadhafi’s own people looted those weapons and that they are taking them across the border. The mercenaries that are crossing back into Niger were being paid by Gadhafi. They are taking their weapons with them as they try to flee from Libya. The NTC was not necessarily using mercenaries (but then there is a lot that has not been written on the subject).
It seems to me that AL QAEDA is the spooky dude, and because it has been the mantra that the Libyan opposition were allegedly affiliated with Al Qaeda, people are jumping to the conclusion that the transport of those weapons is the work of Libyan opposition figures. Well, I am going against that particular wisdom, and I am goind to suggest that any dissemination of weapons has the fingerprints of Gadhafi all over them.
We still do not know where Gadhafi is located. If he still has access to weapons dumps, then it is logical that he could deliberately hand out these weapons, ensuring that they end up in the hands of people who would be willing to take on NATO. Amongst the items missing is the product SEMTEX. Gadhafi would know the location of the SEMTEX and what would stop him from handing it out, just like he did when he supplied the IRA? He has done it in the past, and I can see no reason to discount Gadhafi as the source for the weapons crossing borders and into hostile hands.
From what I had read in past articles, many of those who were fighting against Gadhafi were responsible individuals. One man, a Berber commander from the mountain region, had recorded the serial numbers of the weapons that he had handed to the young men in his brigade. He recorded the names of those who were issued with those weapons. His policy was, that at the end of the fighting those weapons were to be handed in. This group made it all the way to Tripoli – alive – and were a part of the liberation of Tripoli. Their weapons remained in their possession.
Another story, one that came from within Tripoli, mentioned that soldiers had sold their weapons to the people who were actually in the sleeper cells. How many of those who are all upset over the victory of the opposition forces in Tripoli have thought about that? Let me put it in a more forceful way: regime soldiers were willing to sell their weapons to people within Tripoli, what was to stop them selling their weapons to strangers who were looking to make purchases for other rebel groups, including Al Qaeda? What if anything was done to ensure that mercenaries from Chad, Niger and other African nations actually left their weapons behind before they fled across the border?
I am not saying that the opposition forces are perfect, and I am not even saying that they have not participated in this weapons trade. It is possible that a very small element might have grabbed the opportunity. What I am saying is that people should look at Gadhafi’s record in supplying arms to rebel forces in other countries, including weapons supplied to the IRA, Chad, Niger, Sudan, Somalia and other African nations. It is possible that Gadhafi actually sent off a convoy to the Gaza strip, via Chad. It is less likely that the opposition, who were short of weapons during the conflict had done the same thing. Gadhafi knows the whereabouts of those weapons stores.
I still have unanswered questions about the activities of the assassinated General Younis. Anything is possible in Libya.