By Hannah Roberts – Mailonline
- Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam is most senior figurehead of deposed dictator’s clan
- Gaddafi’s former Special Envoy gave dramatic warning of the terror threat posed by ISIS in Libya, in an interview with MailOnline
- Claims terror group will flood Europe with 500,000 migrants this year
- Gaddaf al-Dam, exiled in Cairo, wants to hold a conference for all sides – including ISIS – to decide the future of the country
- He uses alarm over ISIS in a bid to gain influence in Libyan politics and allies claim he is tipped to be the chaotic country’s next leader
- Gaddaf al-Dam claims that third of population still support the Gaddafis
- Calls his dead cousin a ‘saint’, says Hillary Clinton should ‘return to the kitchen’ and that the UK leaders follow America ‘like a dog’
The Gaddafi clan’s most senior figurehead has warned of ‘a 9/11 in Europe within two years’, while claiming that ISIS forces in Libya are now recruiting migrants to their terror cause with promises of ‘white virgins’.
Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s cousin and former intelligence official, has professed that ‘not less than half a million’ migrants will set sail from Libya to European shores this year.
Among them, he claims, are thousands of terrorists, who will soon be running amok in Europe culminating in a terror strike on the same scale as the September 11th attacks.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam, one of several high-profile regime figures who fled to Egypt during the 2011 revolution, gave an interview to MailOnline as the North African state descends into ever-worsening chaos and bloodshed.Gaddafi flanked by his unit of female bodyguards in 2004Warning: Gaddaf al-Dam says that the situation in Libya is now a ‘thousand times worse’ than when Gaddafi (pictured together left) was in power. He was a former intelligence officer (right) in Libya
Deadly clashes continue between Islamist militias and secular government forces led by a renegade general. Militants loyal to the Islamic State have made frightening gains in Libya in recent weeks, and are now in control of three towns including Sirte, Gaddafi’s birthplace.The Islamist groups are bringing them into the camps and turning them into soldiers. They give them money, tell them about Allah and heaven and the many white virgins waiting for you thereAhmed Gaddafi al-Dam
ISIS sent shockwaves across the world recently when they released a video of the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians with bloodcurdling brutality on the shores of the Mediterranean.
The jihadist cutthroats have since pointed their sabres towards Europe, vowing ‘we will colour the Mediterranean Sea red with your blood.’
Colonel Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule which ended in 2011 was characterised by tyranny. He murdered political opponents and dissidents, and replaced law with his ‘Green Book’ of rambling political philosophy, taught in all Libyan schools.
He saw himself as the leader of the Third World and used Libya’s vast oil wealth to sponsor terror, shipping Semtex to the IRA and sending agents to bring down a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland.
By the 1990s he had become a pariah, but was rehabilitated in 2004 under the British Labour government with the despot signing an £120million gas contract for Shell with Tony Blair. The Lockerbie bomber was allowed to return to Libya from a UK prison and Gaddafi intelligence officers were even allowed to operate in Britain.
He held out for eight months during the Libyan revolutions of 2011, but was eventually found hiding in a drain, dragged out by rebels, beaten and executed.
Now Mr Gaddaf al-Dam, Gaddafi’s one-time Special Envoy, is bidding to use the alarm over the rise of ISIS as a platform to make the dictator’s name a powerful force again in Libyan and international diplomacy. And he even suggests talks, which he hopes to broker, should include ISIS.
He said that he believes ‘you will see not less than 500,000 migrants coming to Europe this year’, adding alarmingly: ‘There are many terrorists among them, between 10 and 50 in every thousand. They are going all throughout Europe. Within one year, two years, you will have another September 11.’
While European authorities have acknowledged that they cannot rule out that there are some jihadis hidden among boatloads of immigrants, there is little evidence that the real threat comes from migrants.
Most major terror strikes on European cities, including the Charlie Hebdo shootings and the attack on Copenhagen last month, were committed by homegrown terrorists.
The exile, now living in Cairo, also claims that the Islamist militants have begun conscripting sub-Saharan Africans – would-be migrants on their way to Europe – to swell their ranks.
He explained: ‘The Islamist groups are bringing them into the camps and turning them into soldiers. They give them money, tell them about Allah and heaven and the many white virgins waiting for you there.’
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam also claims that militias loyal to ISIS in Libya are likely to be in possession of more than 6,000 barrels of uranium that was at one time under the guard of the government’s army in the desert outside the south-western town of Sabha.
ISIS are already known to have got their hands on mustard gas and deadly nerve agent sarin. Uranium ore or ‘yellowcake’ is the foundation material for making fuel for nuclear weapons. But yellowcake would require ‘extensive processing’ before it could be used for weapons purposes.The uranium, I think they already have it, ISIS, because they control this territory. They are not stupid anymore. They know how to make money. They will try and sell it
However the uranium, which is estimated to be worth as much as $400million, could be sold to it to a rogue state such as North Korea to raise further funds for terrorism.
Gaddaf al-Dam said: ‘The uranium I think they already have it, ISIS, because they control this territory. They are not stupid anymore. They know how to make money. They will try and sell it.’
The whereabouts of the uranium remains a source of concern. Inspectors from the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency were scheduled to visit in December 2013 to verify the size of the stockpile and ‘conditions of storage’ but it is unclear whether or not they were able to locate it.
Undoubtedly Gaddafi’s brutal methods served Europe’s interests at one time suppressing militant Islamism and blocking migration boats from setting off. And alarmism over the chaos emanating from Libya serves Mr Gaddaf al-Dam’s interests as a key former member of the Gaddafi regime.
It is clear that he dreams of a return to power for his clan, and whipping up fear of the terrorists’ capabilities, while invoking a vision of the Gaddafis as Libya’s saviours, is an angle that he hopes will get the family a seat at the negotiating table.
‘We are working to save Libya’, he insists several times. ‘If we don’t do it today, tomorrow it may be too late.’
But in the last elections in June 2014 a contentious law banned any Gaddafi supporters from public office, and exiles from voting, a law condemned by Mr Gaddaf al-Dam.
Many Libyans regret their revolution and would now welcome them back, he claims.
In the only nod to the brutality with which his cousin ruled, he acknowledges that the Gaddafi administration ‘made mistakes’, but insists that Libya ‘is now a thousand times worse’.
‘We have to be part of the solution. People want us back’, he said.
‘In Libya the social bond is bigger than the political. And we were not a political party we were a social structure, the biggest tribe.’
The pro-Gaddafis represent two million people, one third of the population, he claims.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam, who allies hope will be the next president of Libya, has a bold two-part peace plan.We are working to save Libya. If we don’t do it today, tomorrow it may be too late
While the UN have tried to organise peace talks between some groups his aim is a comprehensive reconciliation conference including Islamists and even jihadis from ISIS.
‘Let the mafia sit together’, he said.
He claims that he is already ‘in contact with all sides’, adding: ‘We are not waiting for western powers. We are not waiting for the sky to rain gold. We are working together to save Libya. If we don’t do it today tomorrow it may be too late.’
He also called for international community to provide arms to bolster the struggling national army.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam claims he plans to undertake a trip to the UK and other European countries in the coming weeks to drum up support for his conference.
Until September he was under a travel ban while facing extradition to Libya for crimes against the people, as well as counterfeiting, forgery, fraud and money laundering.
The EU said that since 1995 he had commanded ‘an elite army battalion in charge of Qaddafi’s personal security.’
Additionally, he was accused of being ‘involved in planning operations against Libyan dissidents abroad and was directly involved in terrorist activity.’
But Mr Gaddaf al-Dam insists the allegations are untrue and alleges Libyan authorities paid $2million to the previous Egyptian Muslim brotherhood government to arrest him.
He was arrested in 2013 for attempted murder, on the same day as Ali Maria, former Libyan ambassador to Egypt, and Mohamed Ibrahim, brother of former Libyan information minister Moussa Ibrahim, as well as dozens of others linked to the regime as part of a prisoner transfer deal.
But Libyan exiles came to his defence, firing on police in a dramatic eight hour seige at his home in the leafy and well-to-do district of Zamalek in Cairo.
Somehow he managed to avoid being extradited while 100 of his fellow supporters were imprisoned.
Supporters insisted that he held Egyptian nationality and had fought in the 1973 Arab War against Israel.
He was jailed in Egypt eventually ending up being joined in custody by his former enemies in the Muslim Brotherhood, when they were ousted in a military coup.
After nine months he was released to his home in Cairo, which is lined with pictures of the late dictator.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam can’t let go of his family’s history. He still reveres Gaddafi as a great man and even ‘a saint’.
Remembering his gruesome death at the hands of rebels in 2011 he said: ‘I knew this would be the ending. He himself knew, it was his decision. To leave the country would have been surrender and would have been a black page in history.’
It is when talking about his cousin, who he grew up with and saw as an older brother, that the former soldier seems to lose his grip on reality.
He even goes so far as to accuse the West of orchestrating the revolution as a plot against Gaddafi as they feared he would realise his dream of creating a United States of Africa to rival the power of the US.
He explained: ‘I believe the west sees Africa as a mine for raw material all the future riches of the world’, he said.
A United States of Africa would have been able to demand better prices for their raw material, put wealth to serve people and put an end to internal struggles and diseases, to the detriment of the west, he claimed.
He recalled travelling with Gaddafi around Africa to meet leaders and tribal kings on a mission to put this plan into action.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam reminisced: ‘We drove for 30,000 miles around the continent, we slept in the desert, the jungle, we ate their food, we wore their clothes.
‘Millions of Africans came to hear him speak. He controlled their hearts – he gave them hope that they could have a US of Africa as big and powerful as the USA.’
For years Gaddafi pushed for a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent.
But many of the other states said the idea was impractical and would encroach on their sovereignty.
A week before Gaddafi’s death South African president Jacob Zuma expressed relief at the regime’s downfall, complaining that Gaddafi had been ‘intimidating’ many African heads of state in an effort to gain influence throughout the continent.
In case such conspiracy theories don’t damage his already modest chances of winning meetings with western leaders, he threw in some choice words for them.
He said that British leaders like Tony Blair ‘follow Americans like a dog’.
Hillary Clinton ‘should get back in the kitchen’, he said, while Bush ‘the father is good, the son is crazy.’We have to be part of the solution. People want us back. In Libya the social bond is bigger than the political. And we were not a political party we were a social structure, the biggest tribe
Only Silvio Berlusconi, with whom Gaddafi had a special bond, with the disgraced Italian premier even naming a bedroom after the despot, seems, initially, to emerge well, as ‘a good guy’.
‘He used to be our friend’, he remembers, ‘Then he bombed us.’
Pointing to Berlusconi’s community service sentence for tax fraud, he joked: ‘Now he is sweeping the streets of Rome.’
With the rest of the clan either dead, languishing in jail or exiled to the Gulf, Mr Gaddaf al-Dam has emerges as uniquely well positioned to lead the new-look Gaddafis.
Several of Gaddafi’s sons were killed in the uprising, including former National Security Adviser Mutassim Gaddafi, who died at the hands of the rebels on the same day as his father.
Saif al-Arab, the most low profile of Gaddafi’s offspring who studied in Munich, was killed in a NATO airstrike in 2011.
The survivors have had mixed fortunes. Gaddafi’s former heir apparent Saif al-Islam, who once had a mansion in Hampstead and graduated from the London School of Economics, was captured by rebels in 2011 and is being held in the mountain town of Zindan in western Libya.
Likewise his brother Saadi, who at one time played professional football in the Italian Serie A, and later commanded Libyan Special Forces, is languishing in a separate jail in Tripoli.
They are both charged with masterminding a campaign of murder and torture during the revolution.
Mr Gaddaf al-Dam’s own brother Sayyid Mohammed, who was allegedly involved in the 1980s assassination campaign against dissidents in Europe, is also in custody in Libya.
Meanwhile, Colonel Gaddafi’s other surviving son Hannibal, a renowned playboy who was once arrested for drink-driving in his Porsche on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, now lives in Algeria with his wife.
The other Gaddafis including Muammar’s widow Safiya Farkash, his daughter Aisha, a lawyer, and adopted daughter Hanaa, a doctor, have been given sanctuary in Oman on condition that they don’t talk to the media.
While the rest of the clan have kept a low profile until now, Mr Gaddaf al-Dam still wields considerable influence in Libya, according to some experts.
Hafed al Gwell, a liberal political analyst said: ‘He is the most senior and most capable of the Gaddafi clan.
‘His advantage is that he is moderate and is not seen as having blood on his hands as he was not involved in domestic politics. His problem is that he looks and sounds like Muammar Gaddafi.’
He still carries enormous influence in Libya, al Gwell argues, as his mother is from the Awlad Ali tribe, which dominates large segments of the Sahara while on the other side he is from the prominent Gaddafi tribe.
‘He is treated almost like a head of state by these tribes,’ al Gwell said.
His position as a former special envoy also gives him credibility abroad, al Gwell explains. ‘Having acted as Gaddafi’s interlocutor he is also a unique character on the international Arab scene with relationships extending over 40 years. The Saudis have blind trust in him.’
A conference involving all sides is a credible aim, he said. ‘It is vital to bring the old regime into the process, he said. ‘We have learned in Iraq the cost of excluding large chunks of the population who were linked to Saddam. We are still paying the price.’