A Storyville documentary: the dark world of Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator who combined oil and the implied threat of terror to turn western powers into cowed appeasers.
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This programme contains some violent scenes and some scenes viewers may find disturbing
This mad dog of the Middle East has a goal of a world revolution.
We came, we saw,
he died. THEY CHUCKLE
He would have people killed or he would blow up aircraft.
He made it very, very clear, if you didn't take his money
and treat him as a leader, that he'd kill you.
He was an original thinker, he was very much an original thinker.
I think he thought his grand conquests would include Europe
and bringing down the empire of the United States, you know,
transform the world.
Killing people was just another means to an end.
He was untouchable.
The way he presented himself, he was just amazing.
The way he carried himself, which was absolutely graceful.
He smelt very nice.
You know, you do want to touch him because it felt so pure.
Was he charming?
Muammar Gaddafi was one of the world's
longest-serving heads of state.
-GADDAFI ADDRESSES THE CROWD
-The money came from oil,
a trillion dollars by the time he died -
one billion a week.
He believed in aliens
and blew up planes.
'He'd gotten away with Pan Am 103.'
He'd gotten away with everything.
His vast oil reserves made the West forgive him.
HE compromised us?
Yes, of course.
The Gaddafis led a perfect dictator's lifestyle.
One son wanted a cruise liner with its own shark pool.
When Gaddafi went abroad, his tent was flown ahead with camels
to put outside.
A bulletproof tent, by the way.
He dreamed of ruling Africa.
He had a vision, a united Africa being spearheaded by him.
Thousands would die in wars he paid for.
I'm General Death.
Presidents have said to me that they
believe that he did try to kill them, yes.
Cannibalism, rape, torture, the forces of hell
that Muammar Gaddafi unleashed on really a wonderful people.
Those who served Gaddafi are still reluctant to talk.
And there was a bed here?
Especially about his sexual abuse of teenagers.
He'd go to schools and orphanages to look for victims.
Some were brought to this secret apartment at the university.
In a room leading off the bedroom, they'd be medically checked.
Our journey was to find the men
and women who actually served Gaddafi or gave shape to his dreams.
Arms dealers, members of an international nuclear black market,
security men or female bodyguards who were supposed to die for him.
This is their story.
WOMAN: All dictators, they look alike.
All of them, they killed with cold blood.
HE SPEAKS ARABIC
They meant well, maybe...
they became obsessed with their power
and the money.
PANICKED VOICES AND GUNSHOT
And they're all killed by their own people.
RAPID GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSIONS
It was the early '80s.
Afraid of long jail terms in New York,
two arms dealers fled the United States.
In the Middle East, there was money to be made.
In Libya, Colonel Gaddafi was equipping terrorists
to attack the West.
There in the doorway was Gaddafi.
He was an impressive person, he was very friendly.
They were interested, during my visit, in strictly buying poison.
They wanted various types of deadly poisons.
Were they to kill quickly or slowly?
No, they were to kill, I mean, we got nicotine here,
we got injectable chemicals that would stop the heart.
They bought the poisons in America.
-What could nicotine do?
Slightest bit of pure nicotine you are done, if it gets in your system.
-I don't know, quick.
Gaddafi wanted everything a terrorist might need.
He wanted ten briefcases rigged up with explosives and timers.
I said, "We are against terrorism..."
Along with weapons,
Gaddafi needed military experts to show his terrorists how to use them.
They approached Americans,
serving Green Berets,
members of the Special Forces.
SAT NAV: 'Turn right, then you have reached your destination.'
They were offered large sums of money
to go to Libya to train terrorists.
OK. It'd indicating that the street we're turning on is the...
The men who went are reluctant to talk.
There. That... That's it. That's it.
One told us to forget we even knew his name.
OK. All right, stop, stop, stop, stop. OK, fine. Right, there.
This is Captain Martyr Mahmud.
We are going to execute
all the passengers.
They had exactly the skills the Libyans wanted -
silent killing and letter bombs.
I saw the demolition lab with the explosives
and the necessary material to make booby traps.
The Green Berets say they were given tickets to Libya
at this hotel in Washington.
In transit in Zurich, they met a man who said he was from the CIA.
They were led to believe it was a secret CIA mission
to get close to Gaddafi.
They told me we were working for the agency
and the thing that is really strange is
the agency never denied it.
They gave them leave
from the US military to go to Libya,
and they knew that's where they were going.
We set out to find the former palace where the Green Berets were taken.
It once belonged to King Idris of Libya,
who Gaddafi overthrew in 1969.
They found vast quantities of explosives...
..smuggled in from the United States.
There was C4 explosive but there was also the stuff that
was on the floor - liquid.
There was nitro-glycerine that was actually running,
not a lot, but running across the floor.
Any device needed to make a booby trap, a lamp, an ashtray,
a pack of cigarettes, anything that you could make into a bomb.
The world's most wanted terrorist, Carlos the Jackal,
was supplied from here.
He had a luxury villa in Libya.
You say that you were not informed of the OPEC attack
yet, immediately afterwards, you allowed the man
who led the guerrilla group,
a man called Carlos Sanchez, to come to Libya.
No, he didn't come here.
Where he is now?
Carlos was one.
We had the Irish IRA there.
I didn't consider them terrorists, they were freedom fighters to me.
We found Frank Terpil in Cuba on the run from the FBI.
As well as supporting terrorists,
he says Gaddafi wanted to kill
his political opponents living abroad.
The only one that could give the order for the assassinations
were Gaddafi. Gaddafi,
the boss himself and the actual order.
This is the first interview Terpil has given for 30 years.
We quietly filmed him in Havana
without the knowledge of the Cuban government.
He told us they ran Gaddafi's Murder Incorporated,
killing his enemies worldwide.
I would say Murder Incorporated. Yeah, murder for hire.
Gaddafi thought that if anybody was a dissident
they were going to be eliminated.
He had contracts out on a bunch of people in London.
Another victim, Terpil says, was a Libyan student studying in America.
He stood up and tried to hit me.
I blocked the hit and he right away pulled the gun and shot me.
The first hit, which was here.
It cut the optic nerve
and I became blind at first in the right eye.
He shot the guy but the guy didn't die,
he was critically injured but he didn't die.
They looked for more reliable assassins in America.
-Which one is it?
-It's the yellow.
They included two brothers from Miami with old CIA connections.
One received us warmly but wouldn't go on camera.
They were summoned to a hotel in Geneva.
They'd been told the target was Carlos the Jackal -
a terrorist the CIA wanted dead.
Only when they got there, did they discover the real target
wasn't Carlos at all, it was an enemy of Gaddafi called Maheshi.
They say they turned the job down.
Yes, I was in Geneva.
Saif Gaddafi then opened up a letter of credit
for 1 million for Maheshi's demise,
on the caveat that his head be delivered back in a cooler
to Libya, so Gaddafi could actually look at the results of the work.
Gaddafi's former foreign minister Mansour Kikhia vanished in Cairo.
"Well, do we know what happened to him?" They said,
"Well, yes, I mean,
"we believe that he was abducted by the Libyans,
"tortured, killed, and put in a vat of acid and dumped in the desert."
I was openly accusing Gaddafi.
I said, "Gaddafi, ou est mon mari?"
"Where is my husband?"
ARABIC SONG IN BACKGROUND
After that, immediately he sent for me.
And what time of day was this?
11 at night.
As you walked in, what did you hear?
Music. A song about Syria.
-Where you are from?
Why do you think Gaddafi would play music as you were entering the tent?
But there was no doubt in your mind that you were talking to
the man who'd killed your husband?
I said, "OK, I believe that you have dreams
"like everyone else,
"what is your dream about Mansour? Where is he?
"is he dead or alive?"
He said, "Alive, Insha'Allah."
I said, "How do you know?"
He said, "You just said, 'a dream'."
In fact her husband was very close by -
dead, in a freezer in Gaddafi's palace.
Gaddafi - can you just imagine this? -
he kept their bodies frozen for the last 22, 25 years.
was found in the hospital, er, freeze.
He'd keep his victims in the refrigerators to see them
once in a while, visit them when they were dead.
Terrorist leaders and foreign prostitutes alike
flocked to the palace.
Everybody wanted something.
It was a vast, extraordinary complex
several miles across.
His vision for himself
was grandiose beyond all imagining.
'His grandiosity was really stunning.'
'We were welcomed very nicely by his bodyguards.'
They were all female bodyguards dressed in black.
And he chose them very well because they were very beautiful.
They took us down into... We went down, down. I don't know
if you'd call it a bunker or not but we went...
We were just taking steps there was no lift or anything.
We went down very far down into... down into the ground.
The surroundings were like, there was a kitchen,
you could see a living room that side.
So it looked like probably somebody lived there.
Or it was his home I don't know.
So he had a sort of house deep under the ground?
Yes, very nice. Very, er...
It looked very, very posh and very expensive.
Pictures of him with many people he has met, many heads of state,
kings and everybody he had ever met.
Across, you could see the kitchen
that was so very big and huge marble everything,
you know, all very nicely done and nicely decorated.
Above ground, purveyors of chemical
and biological weapons waited to meet the leader.
For very little money the regime could develop
some very, very disruptive machinery and weapons,
certainly chemical weapons.
Those waiting to see Gaddafi included plastic surgeons,
a nuclear smuggler -
who brought what he said was bomb-grade uranium -
and a brilliant German rocket scientist, Lutz Kayser.
It took us six months, but eventually we found Kayser.
He has his own private island in the Pacific.
It doesn't rain, it pisses.
And you are the first Englishman since Captain Cook here.
He offered Gaddafi long-range rockets.
COUNTDOWN IN GERMAN
Gaddafi, he sent a colonel and offered us
the Sahara as a launching place.
We had a real nice sand beach of 800km
all around us, it was lovely.
In the Sahara?
Yes, and of course I had my horses there.
He built the rockets at a secret military base in the desert.
They can be assembled by one man.
The remnants he brought here to his island.
He was a very nice, modest person
and I had the impression that he was hiding his weakness behind a facade.
You know, Gaddafi was such a charming, extremely polite man.
First of all,
he had a face looking like a Greek God
on a coin.
He was so honest and, you know,
he could charm a bird out of the tree, he knew it.
He had charisma,
he was very intelligent, he read a lot.
He had it all.
He told us also he wants reconnaissance satellites
because, at that time at least,
it was not easy for these countries to get
observation satellites from different countries.
Kayser says Gaddafi had no serious interest in a nuclear weapon.
In fact, before the Kaysers even arrived in Libya,
he'd spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get the bomb.
'They were equally obsessed with the nuclear.'
They were obsessed with missiles. They were obsessed with nuclear.
Yeah, they tried all the avenues to get
What turned on Gaddafi about the bomb?
People would listen to him. His dreams that he would become
this Arab leader would have been realised overnight.
The Pakistanis were well on their way to building
the first Islamic bomb.
He became Pakistan's chief foreign backer.
Because he wanted to be a superpower in a Muslim world,
he wanted to show them who he was.
He was the new Saladin.
Gaddafi was acutely jealous of other people's bombs.
He didn't want to just liberate Libya, he wanted to liberate
the entire Arab world and Africa
and Europe in bringing down the empire of the United States.
I saw him. He rides the white stallion
and he's like a great Bedouin warrior.
And it confers this
glow and this power and this sense of fate, you know?
A former German intelligence official says
he believes Kayser did offer Gaddafi a long-range missile.
Some Western companies really they don't care as far as they get
the business, you know? For example, it's a German
who tried to supply Gaddafi with the technology
to have the rocket industry and all this.
Well, the whole point was
that these rockets were supposed to be innocent.
There is no innocent rocket.
The Israeli Prime Minister warned them to stop.
The German people must never forget what was done
under the National Socialist regime.
And if they should provide
deadly weapons which may be turned against Israel,
it would be a crime against humanity.
German intelligence files we managed to obtain
suggest the contract may have been worth 350 million.
Absolutely untrue, says Kayser.
-So, there was no military contract?
-You never built military vehicles?
For whatever reason,
Gaddafi and the Kaysers became extraordinarily close.
Because we were both crazy about horses
I called him Alexander,
like Alexander the Great, because he also changed the world.
When the Kaysers remarried in Libya he gave them a wedding gift.
Yes, I do.
He allowed the bells of the Catholic church in Tripoli
to ring for the first time since the revolution.
Sometimes Gaddafi talked to them of being an Arab Caesar,
other times he seemed in despair.
He treated them as confidants.
-He was wearing the most gorgeous Italian Armani outfits.
Sometimes I thought, "He does it for me."
The Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would drop in.
He, Gaddafi, jointly with Arafat and I, we would sit on the floor
together with Lutz, drink Coca Cola
and talk about his failures.
He always said, "I can't make them."
"Them" was always the Libyans.
The Libyans didn't want to do what he wanted them to do.
But they were not ready. They were coming out of the Stone Age.
The ideas he had for the country, for the women, they are good ideas.
He would spend money for schools
but having no teachers.
So his ideas of an orderly, proper country
where everyone is highly educated,
it was Utopia - he couldn't achieve it.
He told the Kaysers about his childhood in the desert
looking after goats and camels.
He gave them a book he'd written himself.
The book is called Escape To Hell.
His true home was not his grand palace
but a place other people called hell.
The boiling Sahara.
He hated cities teeming with people.
"I will tell you the story of my experiences
"when I made that journey,
"that escape to hell,
"fleeing from you to save myself. Your breath chases me like
"a rabid dog, its saliva dripping in the streets of your modern city.
"The path to hell is not what you might expect.
"Those two nights were amongst the most beautiful I have ever spent."
As a young man, Gaddafi had joined the army and trained in England.
HE SPEAKS ENGLISH
He was just like any other devout young Bedouin officer
who'd overthrown a king and eventually found himself with
an oil revenue of 1 billion a week.
'He meant well in the beginning, of course.
'He was a normal young man.'
But he changed.
Gradually he became the monster.
I would like in the beginning to introduce myself.
I am Ali El Akermi...
I spent three decades in prison.
Your whole life was taken away.
Yes, yes exactly.
Gaddafi banned political parties and threw their leaders in jail.
ALI EL AKERMI SPEAKS ENGLISH
You mean they were white-hot?
SLAPS AND SCREAMING
-To break you?
-To break you. To break us.
The dogs would bite you or what would they do?
Yes, yes, exactly. Yes.
So they were trained to cause the maximum pain?
GADDAFI'S SPEECHES PLAY IN BACKGROUND
HE SPEAKS ARABIC
So this voice
was going on all the time?
Yes, they are trying to destroy us from inside, you see?
What was the voice saying?
He was urging the Revolutionary Committees
to liquidate all the agents of the United States.
Every April 7th, students would be hanged.
Ones Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committees
thought were American spies.
They were brought to the universities...
in the presence of the primary school students.
To show them?
To show them what is the result of anyone
who is against the revolution, you see?
How old were these kids who would have to watch the executions?
12 years, 10 years.
-And they would see people being strung up, hanged?
One student's neck didn't quite break.
This woman pulled on his legs.
-You mean she was tugging on his legs?
Pulled them out, to pull him down, to pull him down.
Gaddafi was delighted.
She was promoted to be a minister.
So it's rather like the Mafia really,
-you kill for me and you get the job?
-You kill you get the prize,
you get a chocolate.
Ali Aujali served the regime for 40 years.
Finally, he became Gaddafi's ambassador to Washington.
Libyans didn't have the vote.
Instead, they expressed their views through committees,
who supposedly passed them on to Gaddafi.
But it doesn't matter anyway because Gaddafi
-is going to make the decision?
-Of course, of course,
when they make changes for a minister, for example,
it's supposed to be chosen by the people.
There is no-one chosen by the people.
He called himself Brother Leader.
He was influenced by this concept of remaking
a new man,
a new revolutionary man.
He was influenced by Mao.
It was a bizarre revolution.
One day, he ordered all the camels in Tripoli shot dead.
We saw this most horrific sight,
there were these dead, bloated camels
lying along the sides of the road.
He said, "Ah, Brother Leader has decided that camels have no place
"in a modern society,
"so he just gave the order to kill all the camels."
There is only one man who controls everything
and you realise that if you have any hope of survival,
you are going to have to reshape your thoughts
to try and mirror his.
-Because you don't know how to mirror his thoughts.
-You don't know if what you are saying is right or wrong?
And you learn to shift on a dime.
If he shifts his position on something, you shift.
You know, people would come to him, especially women, women adored him.
Who do you admire among other world leaders?
Gamal Abdel Nasser?
As a teenager,
Gaddafi would listen to the radio voice of Egypt's President Nasser
raging against Israel and the countries who supported her.
Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat,
he hated for trying to make peace with Israel.
Is there a common front against President Sadat at the moment?
We don't speak about Sadat or any...
He was mentally sick, he said.
HE SPEAKS ENGLISH
Sadat called him:
Gaddafi offered 5 million to anyone who would kill Sadat.
Egypt's Islamic Jihad carried out the assassination.
By the time Sadat was buried, Gaddafi had barely a single
friend left amongst Islamic leaders, except one.
# Idi, Idi, Idi Amin... #
General Idi Amin Dada, dictator of Uganda, self-appointed
conqueror of the British Empire, and last King of Scotland.
Nobody will divide the Africa and Arab.
They will be strengthened. Thank you very much.
In Gaddafi's wake came his loyal servant Frank Terpil,
offering Amin torture equipment.
Believe it or not, he became a friend.
He became a friend, a really close friend.
He was a really funny guy. Well, I thought he was a funny guy.
Here Amin was torturing thousands of Ugandans he believed opposed him.
There were so many bodies, they were strewn on the golf course.
I told him he should stop that. I told him,
I said, "It's not good for tourism," and he agreed with me.
Eventually Amin would kill 500,000 Ugandans.
Hundreds of prisoners were crammed into stifling cells.
Their choice was to suffocate, jammed against each other, or
jump into a pool of water outside charged with 500 volts.
The bodies would be thrown to crocodiles in a lake nearby.
When Amin was overthrown, Terpil flew him to Libya aboard an old 707.
On the plane I thought he was bringing cases of AK47 machine guns.
It was cases of gold.
To Colonel Gaddafi, Amin seemed to be the deposed liberator of Africa.
He was the guest of honour among a group of terror leaders
Gaddafi flew into Tripoli for a conference.
Gaddafi was getting more and more strident.
There was less brother leader
and more avenging angel against a great Satan...
..and all of the United States and Western Europe.
He started inviting a lot of people, you know,
well-known terrorists - Black September,
Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal...
..and these guys were all like heads of state visiting, you know.
He'd put on huge receptions for them.
I thought, "My God," you know?
I said, "This is a terrorist Woodstock.
"I've got to see this," you know?
The terrorists left here with money or arms.
Virtually every bomb made by the Provisional IRA is thought to
have contained Semtex shipped from a Libyan port.
His bitterness, his sense of rejection was
so great that he really wanted to instil fear in Western Europe
and the US and any other country that was opposed to him,
probably the Saudis. I mean, maybe he wanted the Saudis too to think like,
"Yeah, I can have you assassinated, too."
The dreams of Muammar Gaddafi were beginning to collapse.
Libya had a tiny population.
There was still no nuclear bomb.
The only Islamic leader who genuinely liked him was a madman.
The Arabs he wanted to lead began to laugh at him.
I feel ashamed when Gaddafi is talking about the Arab community
and the Arab making jokes about him, you know. They really laugh at him.
They laughed even louder when Gaddafi expressed his philosophy
in a little green book that children had to learn in school.
The green book, you read it if you have time and you throw
it in the garbage, that is the only place. It's ridiculous.
Gaddafi, he doesn't listen to anybody. He's a thinker,
he's an engineer, he's the writer, he's the everything.
He bought 12 billion of weapons from the Soviet Union
to impress the Arabs - it didn't.
Who would he have hit, Israel?
-No. I think just for show, just for show, just for show.
Just to be a great leader, you have a great army,
you have weapons, you have technology, you have all this.
-But he threatened Nato in Naples once.
-That is rubbish.
What he can threaten?
In the early days the crowds had gone wild,
now they were under the eye of security guards.
Because these guys were just fanatics. I mean, they...
They just, you know, you look in their eyes and, you know,
I've seen it in cult members.
In his palace, Gaddafi now seemed a lonely, slightly distracted figure.
He gave the Libyans cheap apartments, cheaper loans,
free schools and hospitals - not very good ones.
Nothing he wanted to have done really worked, nothing.
Whatever he did sort of got sour. People were unhappy.
"I love the masses just as I loved my father,
"yet I fear them in the same way.
"People snap at me whenever they see me.
"'Build us a better house, get us a better telephone line,
"'build us a road upon the sea, kill this dog, buy us a cat.'"
He could neither bribe nor bludgeon the Libyans into loving him
the way he wanted.
Gaddafi controlled the Libyan, not by making them happy,
but making them miserable.
His friends, the Kaysers, listened patiently.
Gaddafi thought Libya was hell on Earth and he was having nightmares.
The whole country made him a nightmare.
Because none of his visions had come true,
none of the ideas he had materialised,
it was not what he had planned as revolution.
He said, "We failed utterly."
He wanted to be king of somewhere else.
Half-past five in the morning, my phone rang, it was my son,
he is one of the managers on the farm and he said, "Dad, Dad,
"Dad, tell me, what's going on on this farm?
"I just see military uniforms all over the show, the people walking
"around with AK47 and land mine detectors. Dad, Dad, come on."
Then I quickly shaved, got dressed, got on to my motorbike
and drove to where my son was saying that.
And then I discovered 200 or 300 people walking around,
There was a huge white limousine Mercedes and they just
drove into the field, stopped, and started pitching a tent.
All of a sudden, he was standing next to me.
I nearly landed on my back and he said,
"Do you know who you're talking to?"
And I said, "Yes, I know."
And he was, he was really facing me, close up,
and he said to me, "You're talking to the golden leader of Africa."
The golden leader of Africa seemed afraid.
If he goes out into a desert there mustn't be a human being
within five miles of him.
That is why his ministers told me, "He will not come to your house.
"There are too many trees, this man feels threatened."
He said, "I'll lead Africa one day, you must know that."
"I was 28 years old when I took over the reins in my country.
"It was a very unhappy nation and today I have five and a half
"million people living in my country, all very happy citizens."
Probably the Arabs didn't like him
and then he wanted to be very popular with the Africans.
So you're saying that when the Arabs turned their back on him,
-then he turned to Africa?
-To Africa, yes.
He wanted to... to be the President of the United States of Africa.
Gaddafi rolled across Africa, charming its leaders,
radiating power and money on a continent that had neither.
Buying off heads of state, training individuals that he would
hope would be his surrogates of various parts of Africa.
There was this sense that he was a revolutionary.
I think many fell into that trap,
the allure of this grand man with his grand buba dress
and his great ideas about African unity, and it was appealing to them.
He told Africans the West had raped Africa and stolen her resources.
He supported Nelson Mandela's struggle in South Africa.
On land once given to him by Idi Amin,
he built Africa's largest mosque and opened it himself.
As a young man, I was just waiting for that day.
All my mind was glued to get a finish on the mosque.
It was just glittering.
You saw Gaddafi arrive?
I saw him. In fact, even I shook his hands.
To young Muslims, it was a revolution.
It was great.
In fact, I remember it was only touching his both hands
like this, a sign of African unity.
And then we say, "Viva Brother Gaddafi.
"Viva President Gaddafi. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar."
I saw in him somebody who'll, who'll get us
from the depth of suffering and misery, and put us to that level.
Here was a powerful man telling Africans why they were poor,
promising to make them rich.
He was a killer with a vision.
But there was an intellect, though?
Yeah, oh, definitely. Oh, definitely.
He was an original thinker.
He was very much an original thinker.
Killing people was just another means to an end.
In most African countries there was only room for one dictator.
Most African leaders felt that he was very dangerous.
Politicians took his money, but laughed behind his back.
-That was in fact mockering him.
Yes, cos he was only leader of Libya, not for the whole of Africa,
and after all, he was an Arab.
He turned instead to Africa's kings and queens
who had ruled for decades before the politicians.
Some were so poor that even learned kings had very little.
He asked a South African musician to write him
a song declaring he was a king, too.
# King of kings of Africa... #
The song salutes Muammar Gaddafi as a great leader,
as a great visionary, as a philosopher, as a king of kings.
That was his dream, I mean, his own dream.
King of kings of Africa.
# King of Kings of Africa... #
This was a picture of great power.
And even financial power.
He swept through the poor kingdoms of Africa.
And we thought, "This is an angel from heaven.
"He's coming, you know, to put us back on the map."
I never seen any leader who had such security around him.
But what do you think he was trying to show the people of Uganda?
I think he was trying to scare them.
He became entranced by a boy king.
The youngest king in the world at that time, Oyo, was seven years old.
To see a young person like this walking with big people,
putting all of these gowns and whatnot,
so he was surprised. He said, "Who is this?"
That is a King. "King?" Yes.
So you mean he was very struck by this small boy?
Yes, because he asked President that, "I want to meet the King.
"I want to meet him now, now."
Well, Gaddafi had sent a jet, a presidential jet,
and picked King Oyo and his delegation.
And what was the flight like, can you remember it?
Very, very first class. I am telling you, there's beds.
-Yeah, big double bed and dining.
Really, it was special plane.
And how did King Oyo feel about that flight?
Oh, he was very happy. A young man is...he was very happy.
Was Gaddafi sort of like an uncle to him, or what?
-Like a friend.
-A small friend.
-Like a small friend.
What Gaddafi really thought
of his new African friends is another matter.
His former chief of protocol, Nuri al-Mismari,
one of his closest aides, was reluctant to talk on camera,
but he did agree to meet a journalist in a hotel.
The drag queen in him liked all the costumes
and jewellery and the titles.
And the Machiavellian part of him
thought they were easiest to bribe, intimidate, overwhelm.
He would try to buy you, he would support rebels,
he would try to assassinate you, anything.
Presidents have said to me that they
believe that he did try to kill them, yes.
He paid for a genocidal war in West Africa.
Cannibalism, rape, torture, the forces of hell that
Muammar Gaddafi unleashed on... really a wonderful people.
Ex-Liberian president Charles Taylor,
later convicted of crimes against humanity, ran the war.
He was trained and funded by Gaddafi.
If you've ever seen the movie Mad Max Thunderdome,
this was Mad Max Thunderdome in reality.
They would come into a village,
they would tell the children to kill their parents,
and if they refused to, they would kill the child.
The boys were the fighters.
The girls would be worked, bred, branded, traded,
just like pack animals. And when they were no longer of use,
would be put down just like beasts of burden.
The young men would be forced to kill, some of them as young as six.
These children had never learned right or wrong.
They didn't understand the idea of mercy.
I mean, I still have nightmares on the things that I saw,
the things that I smelled,
the things I tasted and touched, that these people went through.
It is truly a horror story beyond imagination.
The centre point of the West African tragedy
during the 1990s was Muammar Gaddafi.
His schemes that caused the murder, rape,
maiming and mutilation of over 1.2 million human beings.
This was his African legacy.
He is being crowned as the King of Kings...
Nonetheless, not long before he fell,
he had himself crowned King of Africa.
He flew a planeload of tribal chiefs to Libya.
He thought they came to pay homage.
In fact, they came for money.
In 1986, the US bombed Libya.
Terrorists had attacked a nightclub in Berlin used by Americans.
US military forces this evening have executed a series of air strikes
against terrorist-related targets in Libya.
We bear the people of Libya no ill will,
but if their government continues its campaign of terror
against Americans, we will act again.
Gaddafi replied that he might send suicide squads to the United States.
Good evening. The simple facts are these.
Pan Am's flight 103 had been in the air for an hour.
-The 747 went on...
-Two years later,
Pam Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie in Scotland.
270 people died.
She got a baby! She couldn't possibly be on this flight...
Gaddafi was the first suspect.
He told the father of one of the victims that a giant
hailstone had knocked the plane out of the sky.
International sanctions were imposed on Libya.
Suddenly, Gaddafi was in deep trouble.
I had the impression Gaddafi was an entirely changed man.
Sometimes I had even the feeling he was not altogether there.
He was killed.
His spirit was killed.
If you get past the militia guarding Tripoli International Airport,
there's a road behind the airport
that runs past old and wrecked planes.
It leads eventually to one of the strangest
mysteries of the Gaddafi era.
Just off the road we found the wreckage of a Libyan 727.
Ali Aujali, who served the regime at the time, makes
an extraordinary claim...
..that Gaddafi brought it down himself.
Can you even imagine this? His own... He killed his own people, just to...
-He shot down a Libyan jet?
-He shot down the Libyan jet just to prove,
to tell the world that the sanction has hurt the Libyan lives
and the Libyan, and he is the one who's responsible for it.
A Libyan jet on a domestic flight crashed in a field
near Tripoli airport
four years, almost to the day, since the crash of Pam Am 103.
Its flight number was 1103.
So this was a Libyan Arab Airlines plane?
Yes, that's right.
Again, a bomb and a timer.
Yeah. No, but the bomb does not explode in the middle.
Then he sent a jet, a military jet to hit it by rocket,
and it was exploded.
And how many people died?
About 160, 60 something.
Ordinary Libyans, some foreigners flying from Benghazi to...
-Why did he do that?
-Yeah, just to show the people.
He just want to show to the world that this sanctions is
affecting the Libyan life, affect the Libyan transportation.
He want to show that they really need to remove
the sanctions against Libya.
So, he tried to make it look as though the plane had fallen
out of the sky because it needed spare parts or something.
Service, spare parts, exactly, exactly.
-Whereas, in fact, he shot it down.
-Are you sure of that?
Do you think Gaddafi was mad?
In the end, yes.
Gaddafi's head of protocol remembers a hunting trip to Europe.
Gaddafi shot a deer.
I would put it on a par with, say, Albania and North Korea...
..and the spy network that was extraordinary.
HE SPEAKS IN OWN LANGUAGE
And I'd never seen that degree of control over the collective
mind of an entire nation.
A look or a smile when Gaddafi spoke was enough to get your child killed.
Cut her lips off with scissors, just with scissors.
-And how old was this child?
-She was six years old.
And they'd strapped her behind her back
and let her bleed to death in a hot car.
A young man was torn in two.
They tied his body?
Yeah, tied the body of this young man between two cars
and everyone go in different direction.
And his crime was what?
His crime, just because he said, "Gaddafi slept with my wife."
I don't know why I remember this,
but it was a Volvo estate that she was left to bleed to death inside.
Gaddafi had female guards
who were supposed to be willing to die for him.
After his fall, some would be tortured and killed by the mob.
We found one who doesn't want her name or whereabouts disclosed.
She had to wait outside his door till he woke.
In time, she came to fear him.
One night at 2am, she was sent to watch the execution of teenagers.
Another bodyguard is said to have thrown herself over Gaddafi
to save him from assassination,
there now being at least three attempts on his life.
He and Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy
shared the same plastic surgeon from Brazil.
Dr Liacyr Ribeiro left his sunny office in Rio,
where he specialised in breast enhancement,
for the bizarre and paranoid atmosphere of the palace.
He found Gaddafi living in fear of those around him,
even his closest aides.
He wanted work done on his face.
In this case, lipofilling because...
the bad skin...
and the hair implant, too.
He'd inject fat into the crags of Gaddafi's face.
A very nice man, intelligent man.
The operation would take place late at night.
Two o'clock, AM...
in the morning.
The operating theatre was in the tunnels under the palace.
Yes, yes, like a big hospital.
The surgery room in the bunker, it's very good.
The operation was performed with
local anaesthesia only, no sedation.
He refused general anaesthetic.
He was afraid that somebody might kill him.
Those close to Gaddafi feared he was sliding into isolation and madness.
He didn't believe any more in the revolution.
He had bodyguards around him. He had bad advisors around him.
He didn't go any more among the Libyan people.
The ageing dictator was taking far too many Viagra
and aphrodisiacs bought from African dealers.
He began sweeping into schools, looking for teenage girls to abuse.
The last school he ever visited
before he fell was this one in Tripoli.
We're going to the school, it's a little hidden away,
it's where Gaddafi showed up unannounced.
Do you think they'll talk to us?
I hope so.
'Teachers told us he'd pat girl students on the head to
'indicate to his henchmen which ones he liked.'
They picked them up after school.
Later, the girls would be taken to his palace.
He is attacking young Libyan girls.
He raped them,
and he's living a very dirty life.
If they didn't know how to satisfy Gaddafi, a woman on his staff
would show them pornographic films and explain what the leader wanted.
In these buildings on the palace compound,
women were held under guard.
You mean he was turned on by violence?
Was he a sadist, sexually?
From knowing the personality of Gaddafi, of course, of course.
He's maybe more sadist than, er...
..de Sade himself.
Other victims were taken to his quarters underground.
At the university, Gaddafi had a secret apartment.
In a room leading off the bedroom,
students he'd chosen to abuse would be medically checked.
Later, if necessary, they'd be given abortions.
Some of his henchmen followed his lead.
Some victims of rape were sent to mental institutions
and declared insane so their stories would be disbelieved.
This woman claims she was one of them.
Gaddafi had never given up his nuclear dreams.
He tried to buy the entire nuclear arsenal
of the former Soviet state of Kazakhstan -
100 nuclear bombs.
According to its former foreign minister,
he offered many billions of dollars.
The answer was no.
Western intelligence agencies began to track Libyan scientists
and nuclear buyers around European capitals.
It would be absolute folly to dismiss Gaddafi
as just some crazy desert fox who's never going to be able to do this.
That's... That is the height of arrogance.
-So he could have got there in the end?
In Vienna, an official of the International Atomic Energy Agency
got a phone call from a woman with an American accent.
She asked them to meet her in a Starbucks near the Opera House.
Who was this woman?
Ah, I think that, er, she has to tell.
-Yeah, she has to tell that one as well.
You know, certainly the person had to do with the national security.
He was told to go to the Vienna Intercontinental,
where three Swiss men waited to meet him.
They were part of an illegal nuclear supplier network.
Were they absolutely central to the network?
I think so. They were doing the most,
or they were supposed to do the most delicate part.
Incredibly, they were members of the same Swiss family -
a father and two sons he'd drawn into the family business.
They'd recently been turned by the CIA and British intelligence.
It's really one of the most amazing stories in intelligence.
They had homes and offices in three villages in the same Swiss valley.
They were called the Tinner family.
What nobody here knew was that they worked
for the world's worst nuclear proliferator, AQ Khan of Pakistan,
who was helping Gaddafi get the bomb.
He played the father and the two sons beautifully.
Libya probably was AQ Khan's largest client.
Estimates are anywhere between 100 and 200 million.
To start with, Urs Tinner said he had no idea who Khan was
or what he was doing for Gaddafi.
I know today. I know what it's...
No, but by then, you must have realised
that he was a nuclear proliferator.
No. No, I didn't.
No, I didn't.
Why didn't you just turn your back on it?
Sometimes I-I believed there was no escape.
Did you think something could have happened to you
-if you tried to leave?
-I think so, yeah. Why not?
Once you're in the Khan nuclear network, you cannot just get out?
I don't think so.
You're afraid that you are in danger.
Investigators found that part of the operation
was hidden away in South Africa.
The Pakistanis arranged for a company here
to manufacture part of a centrifuge system for Gaddafi.
It could enrich uranium to weapons grade.
He would have been able to produce maybe 40 kilos
of high enriched uranium per year.
When you say high enriched uranium, to what percentage?
-Yeah, it's 90%.
-90% enriched uranium.
So he would have been able to produce,
depending how they set up and all this,
maybe enough material for two to three nuclear weapons per year.
They were ready to sell Gaddafi the actual design for a bomb.
Was that design actually in your laptop?
The design? Some design was on my laptop, right.
He claims he told the CIA that a ship was on its way to Libya
with final parts for the centrifuge plant.
Just in time, the CIA intercepted the ship.
Gaddafi had been caught red-handed.
It was fairly dramatic.
It allowed the US and the UK to go to Libya and force their hand.
Either he gave up his nukes
or he'd face the same fate as Saddam Hussein.
We, effectively, led him to believe that he was next.
We were conning them into believing they could be invaded
unless they gave up their WMD,
any links to terrorism.
There was no such plans by the Americans or ourselves
to invade at all at any stage. However, he didn't know that.
He wanted to survive and he knew that there was nowhere else to run.
He had to survive in Libya or, essentially, he was dead
and his family was dead.
Gaddafi was cornered.
His economy was crippled by sanctions imposed
after the bombing of Pan Am 103.
Western oil companies were equally desperate
to resume trade with Libya.
The CEO of one particular oil company came in
and said, "Are you going to lift sanctions now? US sanctions?"
And we said, "No, we couldn't."
We weren't going to, not at this point.
And the CEO started to cry.
And, er... we handed him a Kleenex, a tissue.
To placate the west, Gaddafi had already handed over
two men the FBI and Scottish police held responsible for Pan Am.
Like the oil companies, foreign leaders like Tony Blair
pressed the White House to lift US sanctions.
Gaddafi was worth too much money to be left out in the cold any longer.
Clearly powerful people behind the scenes wanted sanctions lifted.
She claims she was summoned to a meeting at the State Department.
To some in Washington,
the Pan Am families stood in the way of his rehabilitation.
One person in the meeting piped up, "How about if we, er...
"announce to the media, or remind them, that the victims' families
"accepted insurance pay-outs from Pan Am after the flight?
"And then we'll show them up as being money-grabbers
"and then they'll be discredited."
And I spoke up. I said, "This is shocking.
"We work for the American people.
"These are... These are our citizens who were killed by this man
"and we're sitting in a room here,
"I'm listening to you coming up with ideas on how to make
"a grieving family be further discredited, for what?
"So that we can rehabilitate Gaddafi?"
I had seen us sell out foreign allies.
I had never seen our government sell out Americans.
One day in 2003, a group of British and American spies
met at London's discreet Travellers Club.
They were joined by the Libyan foreign minister.
Gaddafi was giving in.
Today in Tripoli, the leader of Libya,
Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi,
publicly confirmed his commitment to disclose and dismantle
all weapons of mass destruction programmes in his country.
Finally, he agreed to pay up for Pan Am.
They were just going to haggle about it and we said,
"No, that's the amount. You pay it."
And the amount was ten million dollars per family?
And they paid the amount that we finally negotiated.
Libya has begun a process
of rejoining the community of nations...
and Colonel Gaddafi knows the way forward.
In the general lust to rehabilitate him,
it was as if the awful landmarks of Gaddafi's rule
were being airbrushed away.
Because you knew that Western countries, like the United Kingdom
and the United States, they knew about your conditions?
Of course. Of course.
-They knew prisoners were being...
-Of course they...
-They knew about torture?
-Of course. Of course.
What did Libya have that was more important?
We have oil. We have gas.
So you're saying oil always came first?
Of course. Of course. Not human rights.
It was as if Gaddafi had never murdered 1,000 inmates
in Abu Salim jail.
They were herded into this yard and shot through the steel mesh.
Machinery was brought inside the prison
and the cadavers were crushed.
Put in plastic sacks, put on Zodiac boats, and thrown in the high seas.
To cement the deal,
British intelligence trapped one of Gaddafi's enemies overseas
and flew him to Libya on a private plane.
My wife was crying.
My children were crying.
-And what happened when you arrived in Tripoli?
..a black bag on my...face,
other one on my wife's face also, and they...
My legs were tied tight.
According to papers found in a government office,
the CIA offered to pay some of the cost.
Were you a sort of a gift, a kind of a present, from the west to Gaddafi?
I think so.
That same week, Tony Blair arrived in Libya.
It was a first visit by a world statesman
and sealed Gaddafi's makeover.
So you were saying he compromised us?
Yes, of course. Yes. And we are really victims.
Simultaneously, Shell announced a deal with Libya
that was potentially worth up to a billion dollars.
With a contradiction, this big contradiction,
how we accept to put the hands with this tyrant?
Do you accept to pay this role?
It's a dirty role.
Now, we could have bombed him.
And maybe that would be more acceptable
because we didn't like him, right, and he's a bad guy,
so we're not going to talk to him, we're just going to bomb him.
You can't have it both ways.
We do not forget the past but we do try,
in the light of the genuine changes happening, to move beyond it.
I was doing something, and Blair no doubt did something,
that he didn't like doing because we believed it was necessary
and in the interests of Britain.
When the press had safely gone, Sami al Saadi,
the West's goodwill gift to Gaddafi, went before a people's court.
How did they tell you you'd been sentenced to death?
The judge read the sentence that I have to be executed...
-By firing squad?
-By firing, yeah.
Did your wife know about this?
Later on. A few days later, she knew.
A triumphant Gaddafi went to see
the foreign leaders who'd forgiven him.
A cargo plane would fly ahead,
carrying a large tent in which he'd sleep in foreign capitals.
A bulletproof tent, by the way.
There were the camels that had to go along with the tent.
Usually, the tent would precede the actual leader
because it was an enormous construction to put this up.
And, as I said, it was also bulletproof, so it was quite heavy.
-So the camels were simply supposed to stand outside the tent?
He had one man who did nothing
but keep track of this increasingly bizarre wardrobe
that Gaddafi carried with him.
He insisted, wherever he went, when he came to the United States,
when he went to the European Union, that his whole entourage,
including these tents and female bodyguards,
got on the road, so to speak.
This was the peak of Gaddafi's power.
He'd given in to the West and wanted his reward.
The Italian Prime Minister received him most warmly of all.
Why would Berlusconi kiss Gaddafi's hand?
You should ask Berlusconi.
President of America, Barack Obama.
I think they believed that if they didn't go along with the charade...
there will be blood.
So we thought we were containing him,
but actually he was controlling us more than we were controlling him?
Yes, absolutely. And, if he had survived, I can...
..guarantee you that there would have been another downed plane
once someone stood up to him.
Even as the negotiations continued,
he tried to kill the crown prince, now king, of Saudi Arabia.
At the United Nations, Obama was giving a speech.
Gaddafi chose that moment to have his picture taken.
There was actually no room for Obama's entourage
and Gaddafi's entourage in this, essentially, small corridor,
so it created a traffic jam of ego.
He sat down very slowly on the chair
and this weird defiance permeated the moment.
You know, the robes, the single hand on his leg with this ring.
And I went in close, maybe a couple of inches from his nose,
and I caught this intimacy of his spirit.
And I remember I could feel his breath on my hand
as I held on to the lens.
I mean, the eyes are so dark.
You can search as much as you want, there's nothing there.
It's as if the soul has gone.
I went round the side and watched his speech.
HE SPEAKS IN OWN LANGUAGE
And he was ranting and raving, and it went on and on and on for ever.
I felt, it's like Custer's last stand.
I felt it is Gaddafi's last stand.
And the picture that I got is...
is exactly that feeling.
Um...a mad man, drawing his line in the sand, saying,
"Here I am. I'm going to create hell on Earth and I am not budging."
When the last days of Muammar Gaddafi approached,
he seemed oddly disconnected at first.
Within the circle, the family circle,
there was no real fear that this was the end?
Oh, no. Oh, no, not, not as the end, no.
There was fear of the danger
and the threats and the violence,
but there was no fear of it ending.
But then again he was a strong man, very, very strong.
But this was the Arab Spring.
-So he was a very brave man?
-Of course he was, yes.
He wouldn't have survived so long if he wasn't.
He only feared two things -
Islamic fundamentalism and the Libyan people.
He'd always warned that if he fell,
North Africa would be swallowed up by Al-Qaeda
and the Muslim Brotherhood.
He turned the army on the Libyan people.
Many soldiers refused to fire on other Libyans.
The drivers of the tanks, they'd been tied by chain in the tank.
-So what happened to them?
-They've been killed.
-They were just burnt to death?
-Yeah, they burnt to death, of course.
Three of Gaddafi's sons were killed. Other members of his family fled.
When there is no trial, you're dead.
That's what would have happened to the family.
His son, Saif, his heir apparent, fled south.
Gary Peters escorted Saadi Gaddafi and millions of dollars
in the dead of night to neighbouring Niger.
Cash, you know, euros, other precious gems, gold.
They took currency with them, whether it be cash or gems
Gaddafi did not leave.
Even though he was surrounded by rebels,
he slipped back to a place he knew well, a city called Sirte.
Did Gaddafi, in his final days, realise how serious it was?
Of course he did. Of course he did.
But he stood to the last.
He stood to the last that he thought
that he could possibly reclaim all his status.
In a small hotel in South Africa,
mercenaries claim they were hired to rescue Gaddafi.
According to some, they later discovered
they weren't going to rescue him at all.
Their real job was to lure him out of his hiding place
in a huge convoy of cars.
My question is, how did people know he was moving?
Why did they send the drones in?
Once on the open road, the convoy was pounded by NATO jets and drones.
So how did NATO get a fix on him?
Don't know. Somebody has talked.
Somebody-somebody spoke before the event happened...
and the convoy was attacked by drones.
He flung himself out of a burning car, ran to a drain,
but was caught by the crowd.
It was murder, simple.
He really didn't understand any more what was going on
and why his whole world had collapsed around him.
He kept saying, "Why have people deserted me?"
He couldn't believe that his people, his fellow Libyans,
would really try to assassinate him.
One of his staff members actually ended the humiliation,
the torture, the beating, the degrading of the man.
He was shot. He was shot in the head.
Why do you think he didn't run away?
Because he is full with guilt and problems.
Run away where?
God didn't create a child to be evil from the beginning of his life.
Gradually, he became a monster.
I think he was a prisoner of himself.
They portrayed him as a killer, a monster, you know?
I still admire him and I pray for his soul,
and I request the world to forgive him.
So you think Gaddafi has a mansion in paradise?
That is what I believe.
He'd gotten away with Pan Am 103.
He'd gotten away with everything.
Has there ever been another tyrant who's been able to compromise us
in the way that Gaddafi did?
No, I don't think so.
I think he was so different
that we just did not know how to deal with him.
Perhaps the best way to think about him...
he was untouchable.
Colonel Gaddafi was called 'mad dog' by Ronald Reagan. His income from oil was a billion dollars a week. He washed his hands in deer's blood. No other dictator had such sex appeal and no other so cannily combined oil and the implied threat of terror to turn western powers into cowed appeasers.
When he went abroad - bedecked in fake medals from unfought wars - a bulletproof tent was flown ahead, along with camels that would be tethered outside. His sons lived a Dolce & Gabbana lifestyle - one kept white tigers, while another commissioned a $500 million cruise liner with a shark pool.
Like other tyrants, Gaddafi used torture and murder to silence opposition, but what made his rule especially terrifying was that death came so casually. A man who complained that Gaddafi had an affair with his wife was allegedly tied between two cars and torn in half. On visits to schools and orphanages Gaddafi would tap underage girls on the head to show his henchmen which ones he wanted. They would be taken to his palace and abused. Young boys were held in tunnels under the palace.
Yet because of his vast oil lake there seemed no limit to western generosity. British intelligence trapped one of his enemies overseas and sent him to Libya as a gift. The same week, Tony Blair arrived in Libya and a huge energy deal was announced.
Filmed in Cuba, the Pacific, Brazil, the US, South Africa, Libya and Australia, the cast of this documentary consists of palace insiders and those who gave shape to Gaddafi's dark dreams. They include a fugitive from the FBI who helped kill his enemies worldwide; the widow of the Libyan foreign minister whose body Gaddafi kept in a freezer; and a female bodyguard who adored him until she saw teenagers executed.
Gaddafi was a dictator like no other; their stories are stranger than fiction.