City Of Benghazi Under Siege By Qadhafi's Security
On February 17th, 2006, the Qadhafi regime orchestrated a demonstration in
front of the Italian consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Publicly, the regime
claimed the demonstration was against an Italian minister's support for the
Danish cartoonists. In truth the demonstration was orchestrated to
intimidate the Italians who had pledged to re-open the investigation of Imam
Musa Sadr disappearance. Mr. Sadr is a Lebanese Shiite cleric, who
disappeared in 1978 during a visit to Libya.
The demonstration deviated from the script that was defined by the regime,
when the crowed reacted negatively after a regime operative began reading a
statement in support for the Global Leader of the Revolution (Qadhafi). The
crowed drowned the speaker with noise, then they headed toward the Italian
consulate, where a Libyan security officer, shot and killed a 14-year old
boy, who climbed to consulate roof to take down the Italian flag. At that
point, the demonstration evolved into a riot for the poor and impoverished
against the Libyan regime. In addition to torching the Italian consulate,
rioters also torched police and security cars, the treasury and social
security buildings and headquarters for the police and the Revolutionary
Committees. The rioters also stormed the detention centers and forced the
Internal Security to free those it arrested. In an effort to isolate
Benghazi and prepare for an eventual violent assault, text messaging was
disabled and phone communication to the city was also disrupted. It was
reported that rioting has spread to the coastal cities of Tubroq and Derna.
The official count for the dead is 13, but doctors at Benghazi hospitals say
the total number is much higher. The Qadhafi regime has been applying
impoverishing and extreme force to pacify and intimidate the people of Libya
’s second largest city, because the city has been the source of continued
opposition. As a result it was natural that the demonstration turned into a
riot of the impoverished and oppressed.
In the past 15 hours, there have been multiple and authenticated accounts
that Benghazi is under siege by Qadhafi’s security and units of Commandoes
and a violent assault is in the planning stage. Mussa Kussa who is the head
of Libyan External Security Organization is leading the efforts to crackdown
and eventual violent assault on the city. Kussa is well known to Libyans as
a ruthless killer who does not hesitate to use extreme force. He is famous
for ordering the murder and mutilation of dissidents in Libya and abroad.
He is also famous for orchestrating the bombing of Pan-Am 103. In addition
Kussa was also instrumental in using the Libyan Islamic Call Society to lead
subversive efforts in West Africa and else where.
I fear the worst, because Kussa is taking a leading role in subduing the
city of Benghazi. I fear for the safety of the un-armed civilians who are
standing up to a dictator who has been oppressing them for 36 years. I hope
that America takes note and breaks its silence about the violent practices
Peaceful protest is an attribute of a peaceful society, but the barbaric
practices of Qadhafi have created an environment of despair and
hopelessness. The Libyan people are hungry for liberty and the people of
Benghazi have revolted against the tormentor. America should publicly
rebuke the violent practices of the Libyan regime and call upon Qadhafi to
grant his people the rights to peaceful assembly and dissents.