Under the title, “The son of Gaddafi is still alive and wants to take back Libya,” the New York Time Magazine published the first press interview with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, After a 10-year disappearance,In which Saif al-Islam Gaddafi described his tragic years in captivity and hinted at the possibility of running for elections to become the next president of Libya.
Saif al-Islam said that the militias that rule Libya oppose the idea of a president and a state, stressing that Libya is ruled by militias in civilian clothes, stressing: “I am a free man and I seek to return to the political arena.”
He also indicated that he was arrested in a cave and isolated from the world, noting that the jailers turned into friends after they were freed from the illusion of revolution.
و :ضاف: I deliberately disappeared because Libyans are drawn to mysteryHe pointed out that the injury to his right hand was caused by a NATO raid in 2011.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Ten years ago, near the Libyan desert city of Ubari, a group of armed rebels intercepted a small convoy while trying to flee south towards Niger. The armed men stopped the cars to find a young bald man with bandages covering his right hand. They saw a face that was always on Libyan television. He is Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son of the late Libyan leader and one of the main targets of the rebels.
Before the outbreak of the Libyan revolution in February 2011, the West had hoped for Saif al-Islam to bring about gradual reform in the country. His well-groomed appearance, eyeglasses and fluency in English made him look very different from his gaudy and eccentric father. Saif al-Islam studied at the London School of Economics and spoke the language of democracy and human rights. He made friends with eminent political scholars, and lectured Libyan youth on civic education, so that some of his friends in the West considered him the savior awaited for Libya.
But when the revolution took place, Saif al-Islam quickly joined the brutal crackdown launched by the Gaddafi regime. It was easy for the rebels who won after 9 months to reward him with execution without trial, as they did with his father and a number of high-ranking state officials, but, fortunately for him, he was captured by a battalion of an independent orientation that protected him from other rebel factions and transported him by air to the city of Zintan. It is native to the mountains southwest of the capital. Because he was also wanted by the International Criminal Court, he was considered an expensive hostage. He remained a prisoner of the Zintanis even after the Libyan elections in 2012.
In the following years, Libya split into rival militias, and terrorists looted armories, fueling rebellions and wars across North Africa and the Middle East. Human trafficking increased, causing a large number of migrants to be sent to Europe via the Mediterranean. And ISIS occupied parts of the Libyan coast. Little by little, Libyans began to change their view of Saif al-Islam, who had predicted the division of Libya in the early days of the revolution in 2011. It was reported that his kidnappers had released him, and that he even intended to run for the presidency, but his whereabouts were unknown.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Seif al-Islam took advantage of his absence from the scene to monitor the political situation in the Middle East and work quietly to reorganize his father’s political force, known as the “Green Movement”. Despite his reservations about talking about the possibility of his candidacy for the presidency, he believes that the movement he leads can restore the country’s lost unity. In fact, the slogan he chose for his campaign has succeeded in many countries, including ours, which is: Politicians have done you nothing but suffering. It’s time to go back to the past.
Saif al-Islam said, “They have raped and humiliated our country. We have no money, no security, no life. If you go to the gas station, you will not find fuel. We export oil and gas to Italy – we light up half of Italy and we suffer from blackouts. What happens is beyond failure. It’s a farce.”
Ten years after the euphoria that accompanied the revolution, most Libyans agree with this view.
According to the New York Times, despite the disappearance of Saif al-Islam, his aspirations for the presidency are taken seriously. During the talks that resulted in the formation of the current Libyan government, his supporters were allowed to participate, and so far have skillfully succeeded in removing conditions for elections that would have prevented him from running. Limited opinion poll data in Libya indicates that a large segment of Libyans – 57% in one region – have expressed “confidence” in Saif al-Islam. Two years earlier, a rival was said to have paid $30 million to kill him (not the first attempt on his life), in what was seen as classic evidence of his political standing.
Saif al-Islam said that he had no contact with the outside world during the early years of his detention, and that he spent some of this period in a cave-like place, an underground room cut in the middle of the desert beneath a house in the town of Zintan. The room had no windows, and most of the time he did not distinguish night from day. He was completely alone, and realizing that he might die at any moment, his faith grew stronger.
Many Libyans consider the return of Saif al-Islam to be the way to close the door on a lost contract, even though they do not know precisely what kind of future he might hold for them. The sword of Islam has always been a puzzle.