23/08/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman.

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It's the most dramatic event in the Arab uprising, a genuine revolution.


Colonel Gaddafi's 40-year tyranny no longer even extends to his own


garden. The rebels stormed into the dictator's compound, but of the man


himself, there is no sign. Last night his son and heir apparent was


blustering, defiance, tonight he's history, his toys the trophies of


victorious rebels. What is to be done with the architects of regime


that plundered a country. We're in Tripoli as celebrations


begin in the newly renamed Martyr's - martyrs' Square.


Where does this leave Lybia, we will hear from our guests. Around


4.00pm, Colonel Gaddafi and one of his sons telephoned the Russian


President at the international Chess Federation, Gaddafi claimed


to be in Tripoli, he said they would fight. An hour later, the


rebels had fought their way into his compound in the heart of


Tripoli, and he was nowhere to be seen. No indeed was a single member


of his famous bodyguard of revolutionary nun, on the cusp of


autumn, the Arab Spring had claimed its most dramatic prize.


Colonel Gaddafi has not been captured, but does it feel as if it


is over? I'm quite sure he's not playing chess tonight, Jeremy,


because he must be very unhappy about the scenes that have


literally exploded in the centre of this capital. The newly renamed


Marters' Square, it is where he - martyrs - Martyr' Square, where he


used to speak to the people. And people are gathered there tonight


to celebrate the end of his bizarre and brutal hold over the country.


The Green Revolution for those people is dead. You can hear the


sound of gunfire in the air, the city has been resonating to the


sounds of gunfire and other things being fired off for several hours


tonight. That is not the seen over the whole of the city, it is also a


city of uncertainty, there is still fighting in some areas. There are


some areas held by Gaddafi loyalists? Yes, indeed. My


colleagues came back from the compound that was taken earlier


today. They were warned by the rebels they should leave because


there was still some fighting on the streets around the compound.


Gaddafi loyalists were still putting up resistance. We have been


travelling through this country for the past 48 hours, there were roads


we could not take. We were told there was fierce fighting, again


between fighters of Colonel Gaddafi and some of the rebels. In other


areas there was said to be negotiations between the two sides.


The battle isn't over, but certainly the days are counted, and


there is not much time left before a new kind of leadership will take


charge. But Libyans tell us they can't truly celebrate until they


know where Colonel Gaddafi is, and that his regin is well and truly


over. It is too early to talk in any detail about what happens next?


Well, the next step will be, and we hear from Benghazi, which is the


headquarters of the National Transitional Council, the rebel


council... Well, evidently we have some problem with the satellite


there. Tonight it is scenes of jubilation for the rebels after


what was an unpromising morning. The battle for Tripoli is the last


act in a six-month struggle, with the compound their new prize. We


report on how the day unfolded. More than 48 hours after rebel


forces swept into Tripoli, the bat le - battle for the compound


continues. It has swung wildly from the opposition, to forces loyal to


Colonel Gaddafi. We are going to win, because the people are with us.


And then back again, not for the first time, an overhasty victory


has been predicted. For the Gaddafi regime, this is the final chapter.


But so far the colonel himself is nowhere to be seen. If you know,


let me know, we don't know. I don't have a clue. He wasn't in his


compound when rebel forces overran it this afternoon.


But these scenes must surely be the biggest blow so far.


To the four decade grip on fire. The toppling of statues is the


traditional accompaniment to the fall of a dictator. This one


represents an American fighter jet, a symbol of the colonel's defiance


built in 1986. The base at Bab Al- Aziziya is of huge strategic and


emotional value to the regime. It was here he stook his stand against


the opposition when protest - took his stand against the opposition


when protests began six months ago. Now the rebel fighters, none of


them professional fighters, have swarmed across his residence and


the command centre at the very heart of his centre of power.


over the city there are medical facilities, underground bunkers,


offices, communication centres. This is really you know the


absolute, if one thinks of Gaddafi as an octopus, with a head and


multiple leg, this is really the head, this is the centre of all of


his intelligence, military and also political capabilities. It is


extraordinaryly significant. This compound stretches for over


two square miles, yet it seemed to fall with relative ease, to an


undisciplined and loosely affiliated group of fighters.


I expect a lot of people would have got out in the final hours of


fighting, and they will be now doing what? Those who know about


urban warfare believe the rebels must have had some help? Over the


last few months we and others have been putting teams into Benghazi,


some non-military and some military as well. I suspect some Arab


nations have been involved, Qatar have been involved in the air


campaign. I wouldn't be surprised at all if there were some special


forces in the round, call them what you like, Quatari, and maybe other


nations who come in to help in this phase.


The question now for the rebels and for NATO is how long this next


phase will last. After months of stalemate for


painfully slow progress, the last few months have been a


rollercoaster ride, advances by the rebels and victory almost in their


grasp only to have it snatched from them again on a number of occasions.


As we speak there are still pockets of fighting going on inside Tripoli,


that does look set to continue for a while at least. It is difficult


to get a clear picture of who controls what parts of the city.


Areas where recent fighting has erupted are marked here in red. But


Tripoli is becoming divided, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, as


residents form militia's to defend their areas. But where is Colonel


Gaddafi? This man, by - bizarrely says he got a phone call from him,


he's the head of the International Chess Federation, he said the


colonel was safe and well in Tripoli, but the fact is, he hasn't


been seen in months. We have all learned in the past few months not


to place too much emphasis on any one development or piece of news.


We are in the death throws of this regime, it is a good thing we have


reached that point, and the people of Libya have fought their way to


that point, against violent repression from the regime. It is a


difficult and dangerous time, and it is not over yet. Everyone is


having to learn to be cautious about their predictions in this


conflict, but practically the entire country is now in rebel


hands. And for the people who have been fighting this revolution since


February, a mood of euphoria and impatience is proving hard to


suppress. NATO's spokeswomen, joins us now


from Brussels. Is Colonel Gaddafi is in Tripoli do you know? I don't


know for a fact where Colonel Gaddafi may be. Judging from the


very brief appearance by his son at the dead of night last night, that


didn't look to me as if any of the members of this family are in


control of the capital, or of the country, or of anything much at all.


Of course they are on the run, but they cannot hide. You say they


cannot hide, but you are telling us the entire intelligence operation


of the world's biggest military alliance does not know where this


man is? Colonel Gaddafi and other individuals in the regime are not


targets of NATO operations. We're not targeting specific individuals.


But it is clearly relevant that you know? We haven't been throughout


this campaign. Well, what I think is of the utmost importance to us


is our mandate, under the United Nations Security Council resolution,


1973, and that is to protect civilians and civilian populated


areas from attacks and the threat of attacks. That is what NATO has


been doing very effectively. Would it be helpful in that mission in


Colonel Gaddafi was captured? would be very helpful if Colonel


Gaddafi realised that he is history. He is part of Libya's bloat-


splattered past, but he's certainly not part of its future, and he and


the remnants of his regime must realise that this conflict must


come to an end and they must spare the Libyan people more bloodshed


and more suffering. But what we have been seeing, not just in


Tripoli, about but across the country s that there is still some


shelling, there are still attacks against civilian, only last night


we saw the launch of a scud-type missile, from Sirte, Colonel


Gaddafi's stronghold, towards the city of Misrata. Can you tell us


whether...That Rocket didn't hit anything, but it still shows that


they are dangerous and so the NATO mission has to continue until our


mandate is fulfilled, until the job is done. We are fully determined to


do that. Were there any NATO forces involved in the advance on Tripoli,


or indeed in the fighting in Tripoli today? There are no NATO


troops on the ground, no NATO forces on the ground. Our mission


is to enforce the no-fly zone, the arms embargo, and the protection of


civilians and civilian populated areas from the air.


And there have been no air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi's compound,


we take it then? There have been a lot of air strikes against command


and control centres across Libya, including Colonel Gaddafi's


compound, in the past five months. We have conducted some 20,000


sources in the - sort at thiss in the past few months and struck some


significant military targets, and - sorties in the past few months and


struck some significant military targets and stop the military


machine that gad had formed over the last 40 years and he had been


using against his own people. included his house? This was a


command and control centre that had been struck, as I say, over the


past five months several times. This is a cumulative effect of a


very effective NATO campaign. long will this continue? I'm not


going to guess how long it will continue. Gaddafi and his regime,


whatever remains of it, are unpredictable, and therefore, still


dangerous. What is important is there is a commitment to continue


implementing the UN mandate, and we will do it, until the job is done.


That UN mandate is for the protection of civilians, isn't it?


Indeed. So therefore, NATO's responsibility...There Are still


attacks and shelling across the country. NATO's responsibility


would include protecting civilians if there were any kind of mob


justice in the aftermath of the Gaddafi regime? NATO's mandate is


very clear, what is also very clear is the responsibility of the


National Transitional Council, to ensure that the transition towards


a new Libya, towards democracy is done. Not with bloodshed, and


violence, through reconciliation, through peace, and through the


respect of human rights, and the rule of law. What we have heard and


what we have seen, so far, from the NTC, is very welcome, we have seen


a very strong commitment to that. Can we take it that were the NTC,


for whatever reason, to be unable to control mob justice taking


effect, NATO would still act upon its UN mandate and protect


civilians from mob justice? We will continue, as I said, to enforce the


UN mandate. Now that UN mandate is conducted through an air operation.


We will not be able to do everything in Libya from the air,


that's very clear. There is a responsibility of all the forces in


Libya, on all sides, to ensure that the transition towards a new Libya


is done with full respect of the rule of law, and the human rights


of the Libyan people. Jean Chretien, the US Ambassador to Libya is in -


Gene Cretz, the US calm bass dor to Libya in washing - ambassador to


Libya is in Washington and with us now.


Do you think we need to stn to protect civilians now? Until we get


the signs that the Gaddafi regime is finished, I think the NATO


mandate will continue. There is every danger, is there not, that


this could go the way of Iraq, where there is a victory over the


regime, and then anarchy ensues? You know, I have heard several of


our commentators throughout the past few days, throughout the


United States, commenting on the possibility that an arky could


follow and making all - anarchy could follow and making all kinds


of speculation. Let's give the NCT some credit. They started with zero,


they inherited a situation from Gaddafi in which there were no


institutions and no politics and no sense of civil society. They


inherited a country that has been ruled by a man who brought the


notion of divide and conquer to unprecedented heights, they have a


long road ahead no doubt. But until the current time we have some faith


in them, that they will be able to carry out what will be a positive


transition. They certainly have done everything, as I said to give


us that certain comfort level. There is no doubt the situation


they face will be complex, it won't be easy getting rid rave geem. You


are not taking down a man - of a regime, you are not just taking


down a man but a regime existing for 40 years. Let's not assume


there will be anarchy at this stage, when we haven't reached the end


game yet. Let's leave aside the interesting comment about regime


change there. And let's look at the NTC who were unable to be sure that


they had Saif Gaddafi in their custody, as they claimed yesterday,


and yet an hour later he popped up giving an impromptu press


conference in the middle of the night. Is this an organisation


coherently acting? Let's take a look at the challenges they have


been up against these six months, and give them some credit for that.


There is no doubt, look in this rush into Tripoli, which really no-


one expected to happen so quickly, that in the fog of war, there are


miscommunications, there are missed steps. They have already


acknowledged there was a misstep, they have faced it, with


transparency and accountability, let's not just take one instance


Asim bowlic of a total incompetence on the part of this council, which


has done some amazing work over the last six months to get the


rebellion continuing and get them to the point to where they are


today. You are in an interesting point, a year ago when you were the


ambassador, Gaddafi was an ally, wasn't he? I wouldn't use the word


ally, I would say that we made a determination, along with our


British colleagues and other members of the international


community, that it was in the international community's interest


to try to bring a pariah nation, involved in numerous acts of


terrorism, and who had been an enemy to many of us over the years


to bring them in from the cold and try to reform them. We made efforts


on the goal, but we didn't succeed to the best extent we wanted. I


wouldn't call them an ally, I would call them a positive development


that we had all tried to do, to bring this pariah nation and


dictator back into the international fold. We succeeded on


some fronts and on some we failed. Can I ask you some specific


questions, will the United States seek the extradition of Abdel Baser


al-Megrahi? That is a question I would refer you to the Department


of Justice on. What would you like to see happen


with him? I don't have a particular view. We're focused right now on


bringing this regime to, seeing the opposition bring this regime to an


end, and then helping the Libyan people, setting them on the path,


along with our coalition partners and the international community.


Setting them on path towards the democracy and freedom that they


deserve after this long, courageous and very, very bloody struggle.


If Colonel Gaddafi hadn't been so dangerous, he would have been


merely an absurd comical figure, man who renamed the months of the


year, published incoherent thoughts in a little green book and ranted.


In his time he was dangerous, shipping guns and explosives to


terrorists around the world. His regime was the longest lasting in


the Arab world, he never achieved his ambition of becoming the new


Kur national Nasser. He plundered his country remorselessly.


Muhammad Gaddafi seized power in a military coup in 1969.


For the era, it was an ordinary coup, but Gaddafi was no ordinary


person. Scarred by the defeat of the Arab


nations in the six-day war with Israel, Gaddafi was part of a young


generation of officers determined to revolutionise the Arab world. In


the early 70s, faced with internal dissent, he created revolutionary


committees, these exerted repression and surveillance into


the work place and the home. At the same time he issued the famous The


Green Book, a mixture of Islam, socialism and nationalism, that was


the theory. In practice Gaddafi launched a mercurial, unpredictable


and ruthless proxy war against the west, that would prove impermable


to diplomacy. After an abortive attempt to torpedo the QE2 he armed


the IRA, declaring the IRA bombs to be Libyan bombs. He armed and sent


troops tofied for Idi Amin, and Charles Taylor in Liberia. But in


the 1980s, Libya's action against the west refocused, it would be


less by proxy, more by direct intervention.


Libyan diplomats shot and killed PC Yvonne Fletcher in London in 1984.


Libyan agents bombed a nightclub in Berlin in 1986. In response,


President Reagan ordered the ill- fated air strike on Gaddafi's


compound. The leader escaped, thanks to a warning from Italian


politicians. On the 21st of December 1988, Libyan agents


perpetrated the biggest mass murder in British history. The Pan Am


flight to New York was blown up in midair, killing all 259 people on


board, and 11 in the town of Lockerbie. But history was about to


change for Colonel Gaddafi. The end of the Cold War paved the way for


UN sanctions, which during the 1990s, began to strangle the Libyan


economy. Meanwhile, the Libyan elite began to realise what


luxuries might be on offer for an oil-rich country in a globalised


and oil hungry world. In 1999 Libya surrendered two suspects for trial


over the Lockerbie bombing. One, Abdel Baser al-Megrahi, was


convicted. In 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi made a


startling, turn, he gave up weapons of mass destruction, and came in to


the western fold. On the frontline of the reproachment, was Tony Blair,


a key figure in the background, Al- Saiff Gaddafi, his son, the benefit


for Britain was clear, oil and trade. BP garnered a major deal.


The Gaddafi's clan's aim was also clear, they wanted respectability,


and they wanted the return of Al- Megrahi. In 2007, in the last days


of the Blair administration, they got both. Al-Saiff is committed to


resolving contentious, and domestic issues, through diplomacy. Saif was


feteed at the London School of Economics. In theory, Libya is the


most democratic state in the world. Al-Megrahi was released.


And then, on the 14th of February this year, history turned again.


The one force nobody had counted on, not the CIA, MI6, or the LSE, the


Libyan people rose up and said no more.


Tonight, the world is facing a future without Muhammad Gaddafi,


the man who dreamed of revolution across the Arab world, finally gets


to see one. With us are the Libyan rebels' man in London, and a


specialist in Middle East and Libyan affairs, and the former Home


Office Minister. How was it that Colonel Gaddafi was


able to hold power for 40 years? combination of things. The fact


that he was head ago country which is very, very wealthy. He had a lot


of money, he could buy his way and pay for a lot of his mistakes. He


used a combination of corruption and coercion, he decimated all


political opposition from early on, he disband political parties and


imprisoned political critics. He was very brutal a sheer brutal


dictator. Do you find it embarrassing that your Government


embraced this man? I'm not embraced. It was almost an embrace when Tony


Blair shook his hand? I don't know what his personal relationship was


like with Gaddafi. I do know it was very important to persuade the


Libyans and Gaddafi in particular, to give up those programme that is


he had to try to develop nuclear weapons and biological weapons and


so on. If that hadn't been achieved, well one wonders what the situation


would be like in Tripoli today. This isn't going to be over, until


he is some how captured or killed or something? Absolutely. He still


has a very strong base of loyalists. We have seen how today, in fact,


has captured the incredible drama of the last six months. You say he


has a very strong base of loyalist, I refer you to the pictures on the


wall behind u the scenes of jubilation in the centre of Tripoli


tonight, does that look like a bunch of people loyal to a


dictator? Not at all. But it is, I'm afraid a reality, loyalists


which are infiltrated within the vast majority of the Libyan


populations. We have seen, in fact, you know, when the rebels reach the


Green Square yesterday, quite easily, the resurgence of very


bitter infighting by snipers, pockets of resistance, and indeed,


on going battles. This is something which is bound to be carrying on,


I'm afraid. How do you read that analysis? Out of reality, out of


this world, a few hundred snipers and mercenaries, does not equate to


a wide base of loyalist, that is absolutely ridiculous. By the way


tonight, even Gaddafi's own home town, Sirte, his own tribe, are now


negotiating to come over to the revolution, and they totally


disowned him. This man has no real support or loyalty in Libya


whatsoever. He has used thousands and thousands of mercenaries and


snipers, we have arrested many of them. That is where he drew his


strength over the last few months. I would love to be enthusiastic


about this revolution, and the scenes of jubilations are entirely


justified tonight. But what I'm trying to say is let's not forget


that the Libyan society is deeply entrenched with all sorts of


differences, tribal rivalries, geographical rivalries, ideolgical


rivalries, and in all sorts of conflicts you have a build up of


grievance, resentment, a desire for revenge and retaliation, this won't


be sorted out overnight. It is an important point to make. But the


young men we have seen storming the Gaddafi compound today are, in the


end, young men with gun, and Libya today, Libya's population today is


amongst possibly the most heavily armed in the world. And one of the


more youthful too. If either of those things is true,


we're in there for quite a long time to come aren't we? I think we


are going to be in there for a very long time to come. I'm not sure


what it will look like, but the most pernicious legacy that Gaddafi


leaves Libya with is the lack of a viable and working political system.


So one has to be created. As was said, there is a power vacuum there,


there is a potential for disaster. So we have to do everything we can


to try to help the construction of a democratic system of Government


there, that people can identify with, that is not going to be easy,


because for 42 years he has ruled it as a despot.


When you look at the transitional council, does everybody on it want


the same kind of Libya? Absolutely. And those fighters as well. Those


freedom fighters. And there is absolutely unanimity on what type


of Libya we want. But unanimity beyond, let's get rid of Gaddafi?


Beyond that. We have a vision, we have a clear road map, we have a


determination, we want exactly the opposite of what Gaddafi stood for


over the last 42 years. And by the way the kind of divisions that were


just highlighted, ethnic, ideolgical, tribal, deep-rooted


division, I think she's coming from neighbouring Algeria, it shows she


knows very little about Libya. I'm disappointed and sorry to know, if


you are an expert on Libya you know very little. Whoever pays you for


your expertise they are not getting their money's worth. We don't have


religious or sectarian divisions, we don't have ethnic divisions.


tribal divisions? The few tribes. Not even between dissidents in both


the west and the east, isn't it true your headquarters in Benghazi


and most of the fighters have come from the west? The people of the


east are the most determined people that Libya will be a united country,


with Tripoli as the capital. Tribes in Libya are a social institution


rather than a political institution. We are not Iraq, we are Somalia, we


are a totally different society. We are homogenius, in North Africa and


a Mediterranean society. Let her have her say? With all due respects


your comments are very much a cheap shot. What you have been saying


about the composition of the Libyan society exposes your utter


ignorance or your denial of Libyan history, I'm afraid to say.


Ignorance of my own country. are in denial, we have seen the


revolution starting in Benghazi, in the east of the country, the group


which proved to be the most challenging to the Gaddafi regime


came from the south west, we are already seeing conflicts and all


sorts of conflicts between the rebels. People fighting on the same


side against Gaddafi saying the south west, the rebels in the south


west are now claiming to have done most of the fighting and hence


should be in charge of the country, they are already vying for the


revenues. There is no fighting in the south west. As much as in the


east and the west and North West. You are saying that there is no


guarantee at all that there will be any kind of unity once Gaddafi is


finally got rid of, that it would be hard to make any kind of


political consensus? Absolutely. What has undone the Gaddafi regime


ultimately is a combination of NATO air power and rebel forces fighting


on the ground. And there is no guarantee that the rebels will come


to a unanimous decision as to who should run Libya. Let's not forget


that ultimately Libya is a fairly recent creation, and there is no


guarantee it will remain a single entity. It is unarguable that


before NATO intervened, the rebels were on the run, that is why NATO


intervened. NATO has made this, does it not have a responsibility


some how to continue to make sure it has a peaceful end? I'm not sure.


Because the great fashion now, of course, is to ensure that the UN


and the Arab League backs everything. I think one of the


things that comes out of this Libyan, these extraordinary things


going on in Libya, is how useless the Arab League is. Tell us


something new? It has to be repeated. Only one country, Qatar,


sent any planes in to help. And apparently they ran out of fuel and


they weren't used. Including munitions. I think it is


extraordinary that people believe that there aren't going to be any


problems in the future. I think all of these dictators in the Middle


East will be dreadfully worried about what they see going on in


Libya tonight. Thank you all very much indeed


tonight. With its leader now AWOL, but certainly not in control. The


plan is for the so-called National Transitional Council to pave the


way for a democratically elected Government. But the chaos of regime


change can also leave a vacuum, capable of being filled, as it was


in Iraq, by extremist groups. NATO have already observed so-called


flickers of dald in the rebel group. We will discuss the potential risks


ahead in a moment. Gaddafi loved the desert, he used


his massive oil wealth to expand his influence from Libya to


surrounding desert states and across Africa. He was a mecurial,


pragmatic lead, devoid of too many principle, but there is one thing,


his opposition to Islamic groups, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting


Group determined to overthrow him. Now with Gaddafi's rule at an end,


it is thought Islamic groups will try to assert their influence.


were working for the overthrow of Gaddafi for two to three decades,


now they will feel they are in extremely strong position, and they


will be pushing for their own role within the transitional council.


Gaddafi played many different roles on the international stage. When I


met him, or at lost managed to get close to him, with a Newsnight team


a few years ago, he was being courted by many Governments. I was


assured that a man, once responsible for so much terror, had


changed his way. Britain was told this is a new Gaddafi, but there


are a whole raft of issues to be discussed. It is thought as part of


the rehabilitation process at the time, Gaddafi was keen to offer the


west information about Islamist groups. Whether his information was


taken seriously is another matter. It was a rather curious


relationship, that Gaddafi wanted to be accepted again in western


countries, and he was viscerally anti-Al-Qaeda, so wanted to provide


information to Security Services on Al-Qaeda. This is the man who had


funded the IRA, and behind the red army faction, and the red brigade


and some of the Palestinian groups. It would be extremely unlikely that


our Security Services would have taken what he said seriously. They


would have been interested to hear what he had to say, but they would


have taken it with buckets of salt. Gaddafi's main obsession was Africa.


He wanted to use his power and oil wealth to promote his fanciful


ideas across the continent. There was a real push in the late 1970


and early 1980, to propagandaise the green book around Africa,


especially in west and Central Africa, there are Green Book Clubs


set up. Students out of university were recruited by Gaddafi agents,


and taken for training to Tripoli and Sirte, and then inducted into


what he regarded as his brand of Green Revolution the, a


reinterpretation of Islam. Now it seems as if his demise will spread


reprecussions on African states T could give power to an Islamic


group causing concern across The Sahara.


Al-Qaeda started in Algeria, but operated beyond the vast tracks of


the Sahara desert, through to Male, and Niger, and the Governments and


intelligence agencies in those countries have been trying to fight


back with American help. Now there are queers that AQIM will move into


Libya to try to take advantage of any power vacuum. That is their


intention. An AQIM video, posted earlier this month, called for


action, and included a statement from the military board, that


seeking peaceful change of leaders is like giving aspirin to a cancer


patient. AQIM have been linked to kidnappings and attacks across The


Sahara. Now it seems they will try to take advantage of a power vacuum


in Libya. But the extent of the threat they pose is matter of


debate. They are stuck in the countries where weak governance and


lack of security institutions make it reasonably easy for them to


operate. But in most of what they are doing it is limited to what


they can do, by is opportunistic kidnappings and the occasional raid.


I question whether they have the capacity to go much beyond that.


the national council, transitional council cannot contain things, I


think AQIM will become much, much more powerful within the region,


and that's one reason why the Algerian Government was continuing


to support Gaddafi, because it feared that the fall of Gaddafi's


regime would open up the opportunities for smaller, nimble


groups, such as AQIM, to move in and run operations across the


region. Already it seems the upheavals in


Libya could be helping AQIM, there are claims they have received


convoys of weapons, including missiles plundered from Gaddafi's


Awan donned arms cachets. Last week police in Niger said they seized 60


vehicles and a helicopter that most probably came from Libya. Is this a


sign Jihadists are getting more organised? It is possible the


insecurities throughout North Africa may create a more organised


Jihadist challenge across the region. It hasn't happened yet. I


suspect it won't. Although there is a lot of places to hide in North


Africa, the societies in North Africa, whether Tunisia or the new


Libya, are not sympathetic to Jihadism in the way that Lebanon or


Pakistan is. They don't really have a sea in which to swim, where the


water is really warm enough for them. Gaddafi made it impossible


for Islamic groups to operate in Libya. Now it depends on the


National Transitional Council to ensure that there is no power


vacuum, with extremists trying to exploit it.


With us now, a former head of the Libyan militant organisation, known


as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Who resigned his position


after the September 11th attacks and now works to dissuade his


former comrades from violence. Also with us John Hamilton a director of


the group Cross Border Information. How worried are you about the


possible emergence of radical groups in Libya now? The presence


of the Islamists in Libya now, it is obvious and clear for everybody.


Talking about violent radicals, I'm still not comfortable to say they


are an eminent threat. There is a risk, of course, because now we


have the guns in the hands of everybody, including young people


and the Islamists. Most of them are my ex-colleagues, we fought


together 20 years ago in Afghanistan against the Soviet


Union, we gave Colonel Gaddafi hard time in the 1990, and I was a


mediator from 2007-2010, for reconciliation process. These are


the same guys participating with the rebels and with the leadership.


NTC. I'm comfortable to say, they say they will stick with the


political process. I trust the leaders, I put it this way, my ex-


colleagues. I'm not sure about the young people now recruited to the


cause recently. How important was Colonel Gaddafi in keeping these


radical groups in check? I think the co-operation which he had with


western Governments was strongly appreciated by, and I have spoken


to military people who have said that, and if you look at the clear


relationship, which someone like Costas Custas had with our


authorities, - Mousa Koussa, had the authorities that shows the


point. Can anyone less than a dictator achieve the same results?


I believe they can. The western countries. I think what we are


seeing is a collapse of ten years of attempting to fight Islamic


extremism by supporting military dictators, all you do is encourage


extremism. You mustn't equate the Libyan Islamists with Jihadist, if


they have got a chance to co- operate in their own democracies


they are going to be less inclined to create problems for us, because


we are not going to be supporting their oppressors. I think this


point is very important. From my experience, the most successful


approach now, with regards to fighting against terrorism and


extremism, including radical approach. It is the western


approach based on the liberal approach. This is the most


successful one, it is a strategic one. You are not saying that you


hope it is true but on the basis of your experience in dealing with


your former colleagues? I'm aware of what is going on in Europe and


Arab countries. For me I have very good experience inside. Why does it


work? As a UK example, London in the mid-1990, it was the London


stand. I know more than the people what was going on? You were part of


it? Not necessarily, it was against Colonel Gaddafi. Trust me on this,


the approach based on liberal value, within an open, liberal society, is


very effective and useful. Every party brought to justice here in


the UK. I know some people disagree, they know exactly this is one of


the most just systems existing in the UK. That is why we have a lot


of radicals in the UK not involved in terrorism. Does the National


Transitional Council seem to you that sort of organisation creating


that kind of society? That is certainly what they are saying.


Exactly. That is what they are saying. I think they are genuine


about that? I think the reaction from what's gone on before is going


to be a very strong one. They have got every incentive to try to


create a society which incorporates most of the elements they have got.


They can attempt to co-operate Tunisia, they are way behind, but


they have a few examples to follow. From my own experience, the British


model and the Netherlands is the most comprehensive approach, based


on liberal values towards extremism and radicalism, which is very


successful. I know it is very hard to transfer the whole project to


Libya because we haven't got the infrastructure for democracy for


the last 20 years. I believe it is doable. We need to engage with the


people. The first thing we need to do, behave or you will be


criminalised. Nobody in Lybia, we need to be fair about this, like


the system here. There is a freedom, but don't try to drive legitimacy


based on your participation in the war of freedom. That's all from us


tonight, goodnight until tomorrow Good evening. A damp, fairly misy


night for many tonight. Even if you don't see the rain. As you go into


tomorrow, unlike today, are likely to hit the west in the form of


heavy and thundery showers. Brightness inbetween. Further east


the morning mist and low cloud breaks up, a good deal of sunshine


across eastern England. Showers getting into the North West and the


Midlands for the second half of the day. Many in the east will stay dry,


significantly warmer than this afternoon. A good five to eight


degrees. South-West England and through Wales will have a


scattering of showers throughout the day. Some particularly during


the afternoon will be heavy and thundery. They will be hit and miss,


some will be dry. Showers also for Northern Ireland,


some of the heaviest first thing, the slow moving the ones in the


afternoon. Winds light. Same too across Scotland, some will stay dry,


more persistent rain in Shetland. As we look at the forecast charts


for Wednesday into Thursday, you will notice the showers become more


ref lant, that continued risk goes across southern parts of the


country as well. The weather front we saw with a cluster of showers on


Wednesday become as more coherent feature to the east for Thursday.


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