The decision not to seize the men militarily underscores the White House aim to move away from hunting terrorists as enemy combatants and toward a process in which most are apprehended and tried by the countries where they are living, or arrested by the U.S. with the host country’s cooperation and tried in the U.S. criminal justice system. Using military force to detain the men might also harm fledgling relations with Libya and other post-Arab Spring governments with which the U.S. is trying to build partnerships to hunt al-Qaida as the organization expands throughout the region. (FBI)
Gunmen had attacked and burned the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, a center of last year’s uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, late on Tuesday evening, killing one U.S. consular official. The building was evacuated. (Photos: AFP/GettyImages; Reuters)
In 1996, more than 1,270 political prisoners were killed at the Tripoli detention centre, shot to death by the henchmen of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Their families knew nothing about their fate until 2001, when the government acknowledged at least some of what’s now considered one of the most horrific crimes against humanity under the Gaddafi regime.
Fathi Terbil, 39, a human rights lawyer in Benghazi, became leader of a legal team representing the slain prisoners’ families. Protests were planned for mid-February in the eastern Libya city and Mr. Terbil was preparing to begin a court case examining the Abu Salim massacre. He planned to demand compensation — and answers — for the families.
He was deemed a brave soul for agreeing to do so. On Feb. 15, he was arrested by government officials.
Then something extraordinary happened, protesters say.
Mr. Terbil’s mother ran out into the street and made the first call to action. “Wake up, wake up oh Benghazi,” she shouted. “This is the night that we’ve been waiting for.” (Photo: Suhaib Salem/Reuters)
NATO strikes Gaddafi compound NATO bombed Muammar Gaddafi’s compound on Thursday, hours after the Libyan leader ended doubt about his fate by making his first television appearance since another air strike killed his son nearly two weeks ago.
The leader of the rebels seeking to end Col. Gaddafi’s 41-year rule visited London to drum up aid for his movement. The White House said a senior rebel delegation would be received for the first time in Washington on Friday.
Rebels fighting against Col. Gaddafi for almost three months are in control of the east of the country, while Col. Gaddafi’s forces control the capital Tripoli and nearly all of the west.
Libya rebels set conditions for ceasefire Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi said on Friday they would agree to a ceasefire based on conditions including that the Libyan leader’s forces quit cities in the west and give the people freedom to speak out.
Photo: A Libyan rebel rests before leaving Ajdabiya to the front line near the oil town of Brega, as the West backed off from arming the rag-tag fighters and pushed for a political solution instead, on April 1, 2011. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photos of the day, March 20, 2011 A tank belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi explodes after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20, 2011. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)
Muammar Graffiti Caricatures of Libyan leaders Muammar Gaddafi dot the walls of rebel strongholds in Benghazi. Like many dictators, Gaddafi was careful to control how his images was used in the country, and often ensured he was portrayed as a deity or beloved leader. With the uprising in Libya, though, anti-Gaddafi graffiti and caricatures have sprung up across cities such as Benghazi.
The coming conflict has the potential to destabilize Africa as well as other Arab states. It could drag in Libya’s neighbours or undermine bordering states like Tunisia and Egypt which are still dealing with their own, unresolved revolutions.
The fire of democracy, kindled in Tunis and Cairo and now flaming throughout the Arab world, could be quenched in Libya’s bloodshed.
Gaddafi launches land, air offensive The veteran ruler twinned the attack with a fiery propaganda broadside against the rebels, playing on both nationalist opinion and Western jitters by saying much blood would be shed in “another Vietnam” if foreign powers intervened in the crisis.