Mismari: I encouraged the French to attack Gaddafi’s convoy and I provided them with the coordinates of Bab al-Aziziya (6).

Mismari: I encouraged the French to attack Gaddafi’s convoy and I provided them with the coordinates of Bab al-Aziziya (6).

Amman-Ghassan Charbel |

 

The nuclear dream was present and Al-Rabita factory had Aspirin above ground and banned weapons underground

 

 

 

This is what absolute power does to those who practice it with no boundaries and no restrictions. Those who knew the young Muammar Gaddafi say that he was a young eager man dreaming of Arab unity and of confronting injustice and exploitation. They never imagined that this young man will monopolize power then organize a horrific killing machine inside and outside Libya.

 

A tyrant always finds people who offer him praise and people who join forces with him. These people aim at obtaining gains by siding by the tyrant. They do not tell him of the people’s real feelings, which makes him more detached from reality. He thus grows crueler and more attached to power. At the beginning, his ankles become immersed in blood; then, the drowning journey begins. The tyrant ends up swimming in a sea of his people’s blood and the people revert to foreign warplanes in order to be rescued from the killing machine.

 

The revolution broke out and Gaddafi refused to heed the message. He insisted on fighting off “the rats.” His end and that of his family and some members of his entourage was tragic. In an interview with the Chief of Protocol, Nuri Mismari, we tried to draw near to the colonel’s tent, the tent of the sick man whose forty-year long rule cost his country a hefty price. The price of the country’s rebellion against him was also a hefty one.

 

Libya today is trying to find its way towards democracy. However, this won’t be an easy journey. The most important thing is for that country not to fall once again into the grip of tyranny, whether tyranny is reflected in a person or in an idea.

 

I have perhaps disturbed Mismari with my many questions; but my job is disturbing by nature.

 

Below is the sixth and last part of the interview:

 

Q. What did you do and what part did you play when the revolution broke out?

A. At the beginning, I followed the events closely, which went further than all expectations. There were peaceful unarmed protests, people calling for obvious and legitimate rights, i.e. human rights, [the rule of] law, a constitution, justice, and equality. At the beginning, the protests were not calling for ousting Gaddafi. The country lived for 42 years with no law and no constitution. The constitution consisted of Gaddafi’s announcement of the establishment of the people’s power. He called the country whatever name he wanted.

 

Q. The Jamahiriya?

A. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which is a term that cannot be understood in any way. He said, “This is what I want,” and he got what he wanted. We understood that he wanted the term “Jamahiriya” so that he would be credited for inventing this term. In foreign languages, the term would still be “Jamahiriya.” He confronted the peaceful demonstrations with arms and then he used the air force. I called Al-Jazeera and I announced my defection and called on my brothers in the air force to refrain from clashing with the people and to refuse to execute orders. I also called on them to refrain from having their hands stained with the blood of their brothers and to stand by the people. Then, I contacted the French authorities and a member of the interior minister’s bureau was appointed to keep in touch with us. I told them that the protests turned into a popular revolution. Then, I received a very serious piece of information.

 

 

Q. You were following the events from Paris?

A. Yes. I obtained a piece of information about a huge military convoy extending over 60 kilometers and armed with heavy weapons, tanks and missile launchers. The convoy left Tripoli and headed to Benghazi. I warned the French authorities. The convoy came from the direction of the desert in order to surprise the rebels in Benghazi. I must say that, had the convoy been able to reach its destination, the revolution would have been terminated. Meanwhile, Abdel Rahman Shalgam, Libya’s delegate at the UN, announced his historic stand and broke away from the regime. My son Ehab also broke away. He was a counselor at the Libyan embassy in Canada and he refused all threats and offers.

 

Q. Where was the rest of your family?

A. They were in Tripoli. My daughter, Ghada, was a First secretary in Seychelles and broke away. I told her, take your belongings and your children and leave on a plane without telling anyone. Otherwise, you will have problems. Indeed, she came to Jordan and she announced her defection. Gaddafi was upset and he summoned my daughter Thuraya who was First Secretary at the embassy in Seychelles. But back then, she was on a mission in Libya. She was caught there and wasn’t able to leave. He also summoned my daughter, Amal, and my son, Mahfouz. One of Gaddafi’s aids summoned them and asked them to renounce me but the three of them refused and told him: “This is impossible. If you want to interview us, that’s fine; but there will be nothing more. We will never renounce our father even if we get killed and slaughtered. Our father has his own point of view. He is free and we cannot influence him. They took them to the radio station and interviewed them. Then, they went back home and I proceeded with my activities. My son, Ehab formed a cell in Tripoli and we started providing its members with communication devices. We sent them small sums of money in order to buy some light weapons and basic supplies so that they are able to take action.

 

Q. Was your wife in Tripoli?

A. Yes. We supplied the members of the cell with night goggles and communication devices of the kind that couldn’t be traced by the equipment of pro-Gaddafi forces. We used to send these things via Tunisia, the government and people of which took a good stand on our side. There was a clear official stand and a clear popular sympathy. Families opened their homes for the Libyans. Some people left their homes to the Libyans. The group that was formed in Tripoli included a young computer expert. He succeeded in hacking into Gaddafi’s communication devices and he extracted information. He also managed to identify the military positions and the deployment of the troops and tanks. The young man was sending this information to Ehab who would transmit them to me and I would transmit them to the French authorities. We obtained the coordinates of Bab al-Aziziya and we gave them to the French who thus carried the blow against Bab al-Aziziya. At this point, a coincidence happened: one of my daughters was talking to her sister and telling her that there is a wedding in Bab al-Aziziya tonight and parties were still taking place there. That night, Bab al-Aziziya was bombarded so they thought that my daughter’s statement had been a sort of a sign to that an attack was going to take place.

 

Q. Your daughter did not know? Was it just a coincidence?

A. Yes, it was just a coincidence. My house was not far from Bab al-Aziziya. It was close to the People’s Base. Bab al-Aziziya came under a heavy raid from NATO bombers. Gaddafi’s men arrested my wife and she was very sick. The guards dragged her from her hair on the floor. They treated one of my daughters the same way and they tied her sister’s hands and handcuffed her. They took my daughter Amal and her children in addition to my son Mahfouz, his two children and his wife, and they put them in military prison, i.e. the prison where Abdel Hamid al-Sayeh and I had been held. I received this news so I contacted Abdel Rahman Shalgam. He asked me to decrease my media appearances. He then immediately sent a memo to the UN where he explained what was happening and that the prisoners included children and women. He then called me and said that Mohammad al-Alaki called him. He was the man in charge of the executive council for justice affairs after the revolution. He was in Doha and he was sympathetic to me and he thanked me for my stand. He called me to contact a lady, whose name I believe was Hana. She was a UN human rights official in Egypt. I tried calling her but I couldn’t. Then, she called me after Mr. Al-Alaki called her. Back then, there was a UN delegation in Libya in order to follow up on human rights violations. The delegation informed her that there is a dissident called Nuri al-Maliki and that his family was in prison including women and children. An intervention then took place.

 

Q. They left Tripoli?

A. We smuggled them. We were able to smuggle the children via Tunisia and we brought them to Amman. Then we continued our struggle. Abdel Rahman Shalgam contacted me and told me that he was going to Rome where a meeting was being held that included Mahmoud Jibril and Mahmoud Shamam. He asked me to participate. I told him that I don’t want any part or post and that I will carry out any instructions issued by Abdel Rahman Shalgam and no one else.

 

Q. You did not go to Rome?

A. Yes I did. I met with Abdel Rahman Shalgam at the Grand Hotel in the presence of Hafez Kaddour and someone called Ali Zeidan. He was a human rights expert in Paris. He used to work with me at the protocols’ unit in the 1970s. We greeted each other and we talked. Then, Abdel Rahman told me that I must have been following the events from Paris. He suggested that I coordinate with the Libyan ambassador to Amman who had announced his defection. Shalgam knew the nature of my relationship with King Abdullah II and he asked me about the reason why Jordan has so far failed to recognize the transitional council. He also asked me to ask for help in training the army and the police, in addition to education and receiving the wounded victims. I agreed. When I got back to Paris, a Jordanian official from the royal court, Mr. Amer al-Fayez, happened to call me. I told him that I was going there tomorrow. I packed and left Paris and I went to Amman. Mr. Amer al-Fayez received me and drove me home and he said that they were going to appoint guards for my protection.

 

Q. Do you have a house in Amman?

A. No this is my daughter’s house because her husband was First Secretary in the embassy. Members from the Preventive Security were appointed to protect me and they were very keen on my safety. They had obtained intelligence indicating that some sides wanted me dead. I met with His Majesty the King and he asked how I was. I asked him to recognize the transitional council and he agreed and assured me that this will be announced soon. I asked him for help in training the army rather than any intervention or provision of weapons. He agreed on supporting the army, the police force, and also on providing help in the area of health and the treatment of the wounded people. The king took the initiative of treating 150 wounded men at his own expense. Instructions were given to the hospitals to receive wounded Libyan victims provided that the hospitals’ fees will be settled after the situation in Libya was fully stable. This is indeed what happened. Military and security training courses are currently taking place in Jordan.

 

Q. What Arab countries played a part in toppling Gaddafi?

A. I must be honest. During all my meetings with the Jordanian king, I felt that he was first and foremost interested in that Libya overcomes the difficult phase and that it overcomes its problems. I did not feel that there was any special Jordanian agenda. Qatar also played a part.

 

Q. What did Qatar offer?

A. It offered weapons and some Qatari soldiers were sent to the field in addition to money. But I obtained information indicating that the Qatari aid was sent to some specific sides. I also understood from Abdel Rahman Shalgam that there was interference in Libya’s internal affairs, which is something that the Libyans will not accept. The Americans did not interfere in the internal affairs. The things that were being said about the oil were not true. Let’s be clear: when you have oil and you want to sell it, you sell it to your friend rather than your enemy.

 

Q. You mean Qatar supported the Islamists?

A. This is what I was told. However, I wasn’t there and I can’t confirm this.

 

Q. What was the second country that supported Libya?

A. The UAE.

 

Q. Did it send troops?

A. Yes it did. Jordan also helped in many ways by sending food aid and a field hospital under the instructions of King Abdullah. This helped the wounded victims a lot in Benghazi. A decision was made to send a second hospital to Tripoli after the fall of Gaddafi. I don’t want people to say that I have the sense of belonging to Jordan but honestly, Jordan never called for any kind of interference in Libya’s internal affairs.

 

Q. How long did you stay in Jordan?

A. The events succeeded and defections took place. When I met with the king, he asked me about the events that were taking place in this country dear to us and he told me to try and calm the matters down and I promised him I will. We tried to contact some officials and so did His Majesty the king. He also met with some officials in order to calm things down. Jordan was the first Arab country to recognize the transitional council, not to mention that the UAE that helped in toppling Gaddafi.

 

Q. Qatar also acknowledge the council early on

A. Qatar was involved in this issue from the start. The National Transitional Council was formed in Qatar. However, I am speaking about the acknowledgement and Jordan was the first country to do that. Standing by the side of the revolution and the council constitute an implicit acknowledgement but the first official acknowledgement was made by Jordan.

 

Q. Which Libyan side was the most instrumental in toppling Gaddafi? Was it the Islamists?

A. The real rebels were the independents who had no western, eastern, foreign or Arab agendas. They also had no religious tendencies and they are the ones who liberated Libya.

 

Q. Did you watch Gaddafi’s death on television?

A. Yes

 

Q. How did you feel?

A. Honestly, he shouldn’t have been killed. He should have brought to court just like Saddam was so that we can hear what he had to say. Unfortunately, there was a lot of hatred and anger and there were people who had suffered a lot as a result of his actions, especially during the events of the February 17 revolution. People wanted vengeance and so they behaved the way they did. That was a spontaneous action. There was no previous plan. However, I believe that there was an external agenda that did not want Gaddafi to reach the court so that he may not reveal the secrets that he had

 

Q. Secrets about whom?

A. About anyone who had met and spoke to him. I cannot confirm but there were rulers and presidents

 

Q. In the West?

A. In the East and the West

 

Q. Would he have said anything to embarrass Toni Blair for instance?

A. He could have embarrassed anyone. I know Gaddafi: he is one to destroy the temple over his and the others’ heads. This is what actually happened. Until the last minute he was saying: Libya will be burnt after me. He was this kind of person. When he would reach the gallows, he would expose his enemies. Thus, it was necessary to liquidate him before he got to court.

 

Q. Did he like the Iranians?

A. He was sympathetic to them. The proof is that I went to Iran at the beginning of the Khomeini revolution along with Maj. Abdel Salam Jaloud and he had problems in the airport. They wouldn’t let us in. Then, the revolutionary Guards, the Sheikhs, and Ayatollah Montazeri intervened. The Savak was still active. So we went in and we met with Imam Khomeini in Qum. Then, we went back another time and things were somewhat stable. But the man who was really sympathetic with the Iranians was Abdel Salam Jaloud to the extent that he placed someone close to him, Saad Mojber, in Iran. He was the agency’s delegate and he was promoted to the post of the ambassador to Iran. He had strong relationships with the clerics there.

 

Q. Did Gaddafi provide Iran with weapons to bombard Baghdad?

A. Yes. There was information indicating that heavy weapons and missiles left Libya in the direction of Iran. I told you that Abdel Salam Jaloud was very eager about this anti-west revolution. Add to that, the desire to settle the score with Saddam in response to his interference in Chad in favor of Gaddafi’s opponents.

 

Q. Was Saddam providing them with weapons?

A. He was providing them with weapons and he sent military experts to Hassan Habré in order to train the army

 

Q. Didn’t Gaddafi go to Iran?

A. No he never did although the issue of the Imam Al-Sadr’s disappearance did not result in estrangement.

 

Q. Why then?

A. I don’t know. We never discussed this issue. He never visited Iran. Perhaps he was afraid.

 

Q. Did the Iranians raise the issue of Moussa al-Sadr’s disappearance with you?

A. They used to raise the issue but it never turned into an obstacle that brought an estrangement.

 

Q. What would Gaddafi’s answer be?

A. I don’t know. I know that they sometimes used to tackle the issue of Moussa al-Sadr and he used to say: “I don’t have the time to talk to them. You talk to them,” meaning that he used to deny the matter.

 

Q. Is this what Gaddafi used to say?

A. When the meeting was over, he would say, “These have raised the issue of Moussa al-Sadr. What do I know about Moussa al-Sadr. You meet with them and talk to them.”

 

Q. Did he ever receive Iranian delegations?

A. Of course he did.

 

Q. Such as?

A. Clerics including Khelkhali. He also met with Ahmadinejad in Gambia.

 

Q. Was he very interested in the issue of Chad?

A. He wanted Aouzou because it had uranium.

 

Q. Did he initiate a nuclear program?

A. Maj. Gen. Ahmad Mahmoud was one of the so-called Free Officers. He was in charge of the nuclear issue. Then, he appointed Mohammad al-Maatouk. He was in charge of the issue until a minister of facilities was appointed.

 

Q. What did they purchase? Did they purchase nuclear expertise from the Pakistani Scientist, Abdel Kadir Khan?

A. They got things from India and Pakistan. But I cannot tell who the person was

 

Q. Did they get things from North Korea?

A. The Koreans used to come a lot.

 

Q. Were there any biological weapons? What about the Tarhouna area?

A. Yes there were weapons in Tarhouna

 

Q. At the Rabita factory?

A. The Rabita factory was the strategic factory. It produced Aspirin above ground and banned weapons underground. The Aspirin was produced for camouflage. Of course, they dreamt of producing an atomic bomb.

 

Q. Where did the scientists come from?

A. By God, I don’t want to lie to you. I had nothing to do with this issue and I don’t like rumors. They say there were even German scientists involved.

 

Q. At the chemical plant?

A. Yes

 

Q. Who killed your son?

A. My son, Colonel Faysal, had specialized in Chemical Reconnaissance. He was then transferred from Chemical Reconnaissance to the Navy. His specialization enabled him to recognize any nuclear or chemical radiation.

 

Q. Where did he specialize?

A. In the faculty in Libya

 

Q. Where and when was he killed?

A. In 2006, it was Ramadan. He was killed in his house. He was then taken to the hospital and I went to see him. When I got back to the crime scene, the place was all cleaned up and washed. I told them, “How can you clean up while the investigations are not done yet?” They told me, “We received orders that we had nothing more to do and to clean up.” I started having doubts regarding this matter. We saw no bullets. He did not commit suicide because it was clear that he was shot. At the beginning, Muammar Gaddafi was sympathetic with me and he told me that no one can commit suicide with two bullets. His gun was clean and no bullets had been fired from it and there was no blood on it, bearing in mind that there was a pool of blood there. It was a weird story and I wasn’t convinced. I complained and sent a memo to Muammar Gaddafi. They formed a committee headed by Mohammad al-Khodar, the head of Military Prosecution, in addition to Moussa Koussa and Abdullah Mansour with the aim of investigating this issue. I insisted on learning the outcome. Moussa Koussa and Al-Khodar never did any investigations. The one who did was Abdullah Mansour. Abdullah Mansour was the only one who did any investigations because they did not want to reach any actual result. Indeed, no result was reached. Mohammad al-Khodar was my friend. We had studies together and we were neighbors. He told me, “Nuri, let this go. It’s better.” In the last period of the February 17 vents, a young man told me: “Uncle Nuri, the police officer who was investigating this issue was asked to tear all the papers and not to go too far with the investigations. Your son was killed under Al-Motassim’s orders.”

 

Q. Were there any differences?

A. I had a very good relationship with Al-Motassim. However, something happened between Faysal and Al-Motassim. Faysal was edgy. I am not aware of the nature of the relationship between the two of them. Gaddafi used to ask me that Colonel Faysal stays with him. The police officer knew the secret but I was never able to find him.

 

Q. Where are you originally from?

A. I am from the Masamir Tribe from the Green Mountain

 

Q. How many children do you have?

A. I have three sons, including one who died, and eight daughters.

 

Q. Is your wife here with you?

A. No she is in Libya.

 

Q. It was said that you have fancy cars and that you benefitted a lot from Gaddafi

A. First of all, I come from a rich family. My mother offered me a building as a gift. When Gaddafi came, he nationalized all properties and I filed a case to restore the building but they stalled for too long and they said that the judiciary has not decided on the case yet and I am still waiting. Since 1967, I have always owned fancy cars.

 

Q. What is the best car?

A. The car that I bought in 1967, a Ford Mustang. It is still operational and it is here with me in Amman.

 

Q. Do you like Ferraris?

A. Yes and I also like all fancy cars. I did not benefit from Gaddafi. I do not hide anything that I did. Whatever I like, I buy. When they find out that I took one dime from Gaddafi or from the Libyan state, let them hold me accountable for it.

 

Q. All your money comes from your family and from commerce?

A. Yes, I quit working for Gaddafi for 15 years and I worked in commerce. When I got back to Protocol Affairs, I bought my first Jaguar in 1990

 

Q. You like cars?

A. Yes I Do

 

Q. You speak several languages?

A. French, English, Italian, and Spanish

 

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. I like to read and to learn new things. I read novels and stories and I play basketball.

 

Q. What are you doing right now?

A. I am thinking about venturing again into commerce and I have started a business. As for the state and the official work, I have left that.