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article imageLibyan LIFG deputy Sami-al -Saadi to sue UK for rendition-torture

By Katerina Nikolas     Oct 8, 2011 in World
Sami al-Saadi, aka as Emir Abu Munthur, former deputy of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, has issued legal action against Britain for its part in his rendition to Libya where he was subsequently tortured.
When Tripoli fell into the hands of rebel National Transitional Council fighters an embarrassing discovery was made in the offices of Moussa Koussa, previous chief of Libya’s External Security Organisation. Human Rights Watch found papers implicating the CIA and MI6 in the rendition of Libyan terror suspects to Libya, where they were subsequently tortured by the Gaddafi regime. Documents revealed that Abdel Hakim Belhadj, founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), designated by the U.S. as a foreign terrorist organization, and Sami al-Saadi (aka as Emir Abu Munthur) deputy of LIFG, both suffered rendition organized by the British. Belhadj, now military commander of Tripoli under the NTC, has spoken of considering taking legal action against Britain but has so far only demanded an apology, whilst Saadi has now initiated legal action.
According to Stop the War Organization U.K. “Abu Munthir was thought to be the link man between a group of British jihadists, whom he had met in Luton, and Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi, who has been accused of being a senior figure in al-Qaida.” It was alleged he encouraged members of British groups to mount attacks in the U.K. Following his arrest and rendition to Libya, 18 arrests were made in the UK.
The BBC reported Saadi’s legal representatives “brought a claim against MI5, MI6, the Attorney General, the Foreign Office and the Home Office for their alleged complicity in his rendition from Hong Kong to Tripoli.” Damages are sought for his "subsequent unlawful detention, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults perpetrated by the Libyan authorities".At the time of his rendition the British enjoyed close co-operation with the Gaddafi regime, as Gaddafi was engaged in the worldwide fight against terrorism. It is alleged that information obtained through torture in Libya was passed onto Britain to use in the fight against terrorism.
There is no doubt that both Saadi and Belhadj were on terrorist watch lists and that members of LIFG were considered complicit in international terrorism. Between 1997 and 2001 links between LIFG and al-Qaeda became closer. Robert Pape, a specialist on Al Qaeda at the University of Chicago, told the LA Times in 2009 “This group was not just related to Al Qaeda. They were in bed deeply with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and later." Investigative Project cites the U.S. State Department stating "LIFG members have been directly or indirectly implicated in a number of terrorist activities, particularly in North Africa…The LIFG constitutes the most serious threat to U.S. interests and personnel in North Africa."LIFG members subsequently denounced violence and al-Qaeda links. However those who did so were imprisoned in Libyan jails at the time and were working towards their release in a project sponsored by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. One of the first actions they took upon their release was to join the uprising against Gaddafi and secure weapons. Their remit has always been to overthrow Gaddafi and establish an Islamic caliphate in Libya.
Following the fall of Gaddafi, former members of LIFG have now become prominent figures in the NTC, thus turning former wanted terrorists into allies of the West.
More about LIFG, SamialSaadi, Emri Abu Munthar, Saif Gaddafi, Mi6
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