Did a French Spy Kill Muammar Gaddafi?

Overlapping news reports in Europe suggest that French intelligence services located and killed fleeing Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 using critical information provided by a fellow tyrant: Syrian President Bashar Assad

  • Share
  • Read Later
ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / Getty Images

A man holds a burning poster of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi, Libya, in March 2011

Was the October 2011 killing of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi amid a crowd of insurgents in fact a professional hit by French intelligence services — with an assist from Syrian strongman Bashar Assad? That’s the speculation that has emerged from overlapping European media reports in recent weeks, suggesting Gaddafi’s death may have been a bid to prevent him from revealing damaging secrets about the government of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

That speculation arose from a Sept. 29 article by Italian daily Corriere della Sera looking into recent claims by former Libyan official Mahmoud Jibril. Jibril, an opposition leader who served as Prime Minister for Libya’s transitional government, told Egypt’s Dream TV on Sept. 26 that “a foreign agent had been infiltrated into the revolutionary brigades to kill Colonel Gaddafi,” who at the time was on the run in western Libya. The Italian report goes on to quote an unidentified European diplomat arguing that the assassination-bent spy had to be French — noting that France and its then President Sarkozy had much to lose if Gaddafi had been allowed to go public with their secret dealings.

Why would France be more vulnerable than other nations that also dealt with Libya under the unsavory Gaddafi? In large part because of Sarkozy’s once cozy relationship with the Libyan. Just three months into his presidency, Sarkozy persuaded Gaddafi to release five Bulgarian health workers who had been imprisoned for years in Libya on what were considered bogus charges that they’d intentionally infected children with HIV. That bargain took place amid murky financial and diplomatic transactions. Later, Sarkozy hosted Gaddafi during a high-profile state visit to Paris — a trip that was supposed to serve as the reformed Libyan’s return to polite global company, but which turned into an embarrassing fiasco for France. That was when the pair’s friendship began to sour; it ended entirely when Sarkozy spearheaded the NATO operation that resulted in Gaddafi’s ouster. It was during those hostilities that Gaddafi intimates repeatedly aired claims that the dictator had provided illegal funds to finance Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy has steadfastly denied those charges, though they have continued to dog him.

But even if Paris may have had motives for taking Gaddafi out, did it also have the means and opportunity? Perhaps so, according to the British Daily Telegraph. On Sept. 30 it published a story quoting the former head of rebel intelligence services as stating Syria helped France locate Gaddafi in his final hiding place. According to the story, Syrian President Assad offered to give Sarkozy the secret satellite phone number of Assad’s friend and fellow tyrant Gaddafi in exchange for Paris’ letting up on Damascus’ attempts to violently smother its own domestic uprising.

Under this theory, rather than stumbling upon Gaddafi cowering in a concrete drainpipe in Sirte, Libyan rebels were directed to the area after French intelligence had tracked Gaddafi down via his satellite phone. In the chaos surrounding his capture, shots were fired that ended the dictator’s life — though even cell-phone video taken at the scene doesn’t reveal who actually killed the bloodied despot.

Doubts about who did may grow further still, with news preceding the reports crediting a French intelligence operative. On Sept. 25, the young Libyan rebel fighter whom many people considered responsible for Gaddafi’s capture and killing died in a Paris hospital from injuries suffered during his July abduction by Gaddafi loyalists. All these new developments concerning Gaddafi’s last days and minutes raise new questions about exactly who brought them to an end.

16 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Dr.Yogesh Sharma
Dr.Yogesh Sharma

I am surprised at the reaction of the people on this revelation. Even if this is true that France managed the killing of Qaddafi. There is no wrong in it. Death of Qaddafi was a great service to humanity. He was a fanatic Muslim, not a secular one. He raped thousands of girls. Most diabolical rapist. He killed lakhs of people in very brutal manner like a butcher. He was also not a democrat. It would be the greatest day for humanity if all such debauch, fanatic, tyrants are eliminated from the world. 

www.poemhunter.com/dr-yogesh-s...

Dr.Yogesh Sharma 

Faiyaz33
Faiyaz33

it seems and ith great dismay I feel we all are betrayed; I mean the ordinary people who only has in some countries the power of vote which is very badly used bt thise who are e lected in our name but they do not represent our views , our sorrows and  problems are not shared by them either. We are just pawns in the great game of power Chess and every revelation  of the real story  confirms that we are always being fooled and are busy to meet our ends and forget and forgive  our so called leaders who  are best only in betraying their people. Alas! 

Patrick Mullins
Patrick Mullins

This makes sense the  satellite phone tracing of Gaddafi and quite plausible,as the odds of finding him in that tunnell remote in the extreme

omegafrontier
omegafrontier

Like all theories about nothing, it's near impossible to be falsifiable.  

nb12
nb12

Anybody can go to YouTube and search "Gaddafi Sarkozy money" to see for himself that it was actually Saif Gaddafi who made the claim about donations to Sarkozy campaign and the man is perfectly alive in rebel custody.  Moreover, it beggars belief that Saif decided to keep the evidence to himself throughout the NATO campaign in Libya that ended in the downfall of the regime.  I remember the good old days when tabloids were at least making some effort to be plausible with their conspiracy theories. What's become of this world

Peter Vintner
Peter Vintner

Oh dear! An article intended to press buttons and pull strings. Opinion and supposition masquerading as fact. What a surprise!

The headline here is posed as a question, but the intention of that journalistic ploy is tried and tested, and well known. It is there to sell me an idea rather than to inform me.

What follows in the body of the text is a mixture of gossip, partial implications and inferences, to put some imaginary meat on the sales pitch. It's a classically constructed piece of conspiracy theorist fluff, replete with anecdote, conjecture and vaguely possible motives, while conspicuously devoid of any actual evidence.  And in the absence of relevant hard facts the reader will hopefully fill in the gaps with appropriate prejudices. At least that seems to be the intention.

The idea is that if you appear say something sufficiently often and loud then, irrespective of its merits in the real world, enough less-critical-thinking people (only too happy to believe their prejudices have been confirmed) with be convinced of its veracity.

Oh how the narcissistic journo gets its fun!

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

People will do anything for power and fame, even though it does not last....

Peter Vintner
Peter Vintner

 ...Like the author of this empty piece, you mean?

Sherman Ellen
Sherman Ellen

Everyone that did not know the truth because they were too self involved to look for it, and everyone that knew the truth but repeated the lies are all partially to blame. 

mc
mc

Who killed Gaddafi? No one is in doubt. It was NATO. But truly, the world does owe a debt to France -- 2nd most corrupt country  in the world.

Deo Koya Ntarugera
Deo Koya Ntarugera

 Gaddafi badly needed to to feel the end of his lengthy international quarantine issuing from the Lockerbie tragedy, following his son's hefty money splashing diplomatic feat. The handy money hunter of the visible European heads of state to quickly make arrangements for Gaddafi's high profile state visit was Sarkozy. The issue of whether Sarkozy grabbed Gaddafi's odd job man's money, and how much that was, is out of question. Sarkozy cashed in  plenty: millions of dollars from Gaddafi. I recollect with disgust the despicable servility Sarkozy displayed while officially greeting his Libyan counterpart. He very nearly knelt down like indigent Congolese or Rwandan secondary school boys greeting their benefactors, catholic church bishops generally, graciously paying their school fees. Let Sarkozy be left alone to enjoy his post presidential vacations in Morocco, where he is currently basking in the African sun in a fancy Marrakesh palace he recently purchased for 5 million euros.

What is indisputable, though, is that he had an axe to grind in Gaddafi's expeditious death. The Assad sell out story also has all the air of veracity.    

Didier Martins
Didier Martins

Thank you for spreading stupid rumours in the name of journalism, Bruce.

Thank you really.

morningdove
morningdove

Hatred, lies and corruption killed Gaddafi.

Raimo Kangasniemi
Raimo Kangasniemi

People who sent out assassins should expect to one day meet assassins sent out by others to kill them. It happened to Gaddafi, it could happen for Sarkozy and other former and current so-called "leaders".

NoSpinAmerican
NoSpinAmerican

All leaders are corrupt be it American, European, Middle Eastern, African, SE Asia, Asia; they all sit together and steal all our money; they sit in clubs drink whiskey, and laugh at how they make fools out of the public and steal all our money; it is always the little guy suffering in all countries, a middle class person in India, or Jordan, or Iran, or England, or America have the same worries earning a good living and taking care of their family, but it is politicians and leaders that teach us to hate each other when we have so much in common; then these leader profit from us!!  World Leaders are all corrupt!!