Gaddafi Blames Uprising On Osama Bin Laden; Says Al Qaeda Drugging Libyan Youth (VIDEO)

Colonel Moammar Gaddafi spoke live by telephone on Libyan state TV Thursday, blaming the 10-day-old uprising on al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and claiming al Qaeda militants are “exploiting” Libyan teenagers, giving them “hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe.”

You can watch and listen to the Al Jazeera English network’s translation of part of Gaddafi’s speech by clicking here.

A few other highlights from Gaddafi’s speech from Al Jazeera’s translation:

  • “How can you justify such misbehaviour from people who live in good neighbourhoods?” he asked.
  • The situation in Libya was different to Egypt or Tunisia he said, arguing that unlike people in the neighbouring countries, Libyans have “no reason to complain whatsoever.”
  • Gaddafi argued that he was a purely “symbolic” leader with no real political power, comparing his role to that played by Queen Elizabeth II in England.

As the New York Times pointed out:

The BBC reported on its live blog, Colonel Qaddafi urged the parents of young protesters to “come out of your houses and talk to your sons.” Al Jazeera added that he called on them to “get control of your children.” This echoes a statement by Omar Suleiman, Hosni Mubarak’s vice president, who also suggested that anti-regime protesters in that country were just young people and promised to ask their grandfathers to talk them into ending their demonstrations.

And, in an odd twist to an already odd and rambling speech, Libyan state TV inserted this “Urgent” banner headline, in English, during Gaddafi’s address, replicated here, typos and all:

“voice records have been Seized in the hands of AL qaeda members and its members in the city of AL zawia aiming to carry out sabotage actiions”

The use of English in the banner headline is ‘unusual’ noted Sharon Otterman of the New York Times and

seems like a clear attempt to warn Western countries against supporting the anti-Qaddafi rebels. As several observers have noted on Twitter, the Libyan regime seems to be desperately deploying the same strategy that failed Hosni Mubarak in the end by claiming that autocratic rule is necessary to prevent Islamist groups from seizing power.

Gaddafi’s address was broadcast following reports that pro-government forces had attacked and killed unarmed civilians in Zawiya, a key city about 30 miles to the west of Tripoli near an oil port and refineries. The forces attacked the Souq mosque where protesters were holding an anti-government sit-in and they battled with others who had seized control of an airport outside of Misurata. A doctor at the mosque said 10 people were killed. 

The BBC got this account from a Libyan man whose brothers who were part of the protests: “With machine guns, they came into the square. They started shooting the people who didn’t have any kind of weapon to defend themselves. The soldiers were using Kalashnikovs and rocket propelled grenades. My brother said it really was a bloodbath there.”

Here’s a video showing anti-government protesters destroying a Gaddafi billboard in Zawiya:

The attacks on Zawiya and at the airport were a clear attempt by Gaddafi’s forces to maintain control of Tripoli and its surrounding areas. Although Tripoli remains in government control – at least for the time being – most of the eastern half of the country is now in the hands of the opposition, and high level defections continue. 

In fact Thursday saw the highest level defection yet: Gaddafi’s cousin and one of his closest aides, Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam ‘announced that he has defected to Egypt in protest against the regime’s bloody crackdown against the uprising,’ MSNBC said. ‘Al-Dam denounced what he called “grave violations to human rights and human and international laws.”’ Benghazi’s police chief, Ali Mahmud Huwaydi, also defected and as al Jazeera reports he ‘now wants to join the protesters.’ 

As the opposition continues to strengthen, it is starting to mount a united front against Gaddafi. The BBC reports that tribal leaders and politicians met in the eastern city of al-Bayda on Thursday to ‘in one of the first signs of organisation for a bigger fight against the government.’ The BBC report continued:

Pictures broadcast by al Jazeera showed delegates giving speeches in a conference hall, amid loud chants against Col Gaddafi.

Former justice minister, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who recently resigned in protest at the violence against anti-government demonstrators, said there would be no talks with the Libyan leader and called for him to step down immediately.

In the meantime, world leaders continued to condemn Gaddafi’s violent crackdown on the uprising Thursday, but as MSNBC said “did little to halt the bloodshed.” MSNBC reports, however:

The White House said it was not ruling anything out in its response to the Libyan government’s crackdown against a popular revolt.

“I’m not ruling out bilateral options,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked whether the United States was considering military options. “I’m not ruling anything out.’” He said the situation in the North African oil-producing nation “demands quick action.”

The U.S. also said on Thursday it supported expelling Libya from the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying the government had violated the rights of its people in trying to crush protests.

TAKE ACTIONSign the petition asking Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has a close relationship with Moammar Gaddafi, to condemn violence against the Libyan protesters.

Most Recent Care2 Coverage of the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East:

Obama Condemns Gaddafi’s Actions; Death Toll in Libya Estimated at 1000 [VIDEO]

Libyan Opposition Gains Greater Control; Mercenaries Roam Tripoli With Orders To Shoot; U.S. Tries To Evacuate Citizens (VIDEO)

World Leaders React To Gaddafi’s TV Address; Update On Protests In Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and Egypt

In Televison Address, Gaddafi Vows To Fight On And “Die A Martyr”

Gaddafi’s Grip on Libya Weakens; EU Fears Mass Influx of African Migrants [VIDEO]

Egyptian Union Leader to Wisconsin Protesters: ‘We Stand with You as You Stood with Us’

An Arab Spring?: Developments in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Bahrain [VIDEO]





Photo courtesy of openDemocracy via flickr


lyn L.
l L6 years ago

today 5/1/2011 the President Obama has the body of osmam bin laden so they are telling us. I guess this free bush. not to me. Bin laden has been dead and our country is nothing but a bunch of liars again. now they blame bin laden for 93 bombing on the world trade center. Our nation is sick. Our leaders. 911 was an inside job. poor america.

Sharina B.
Sharina B.6 years ago

Seems like they just want the price of oil to go up again and many suffer ...
People of the Book ... the BELIEVERS amongst them ...

Klaus P.
Klaus Peters6 years ago

Back off and make peace with your own people, that is the only way; you can stand up in front of GOD and ask for forgiveness and admit to your mistakes The Great One, Allah, will forgive you, but do not punish your own people for your mistakes, come clean. Your country has prospered under your rule, right or wrong, it is time to hand over your reign in peace, and you will live your life out in dignity and be remembered as making Libya a better country.

Julie W.
Julie W6 years ago

He is totally out of touch with reality. The sooner he goes the less people who will die.

Karla H.
Karla H6 years ago

here is a chance for osama to do the world some good and take care of gaddafi

michael c.
corbin m6 years ago

As much as I would LOVE to blame Bin Laden for everything, dude, please.

Dorothy K.
Dorothy K6 years ago

a prime example of a crazy man uttering crazy thoughts! the other "crazy" part is that he has followers who still believe him!!! Let's hope the man is "relieved " of his position as a tyrant dictator!

Keiran Michael B.
Keiran Michael B6 years ago

Only thing that guy has lost grip on is reality. He has no grip on Libya. It's the people who control that Nation those who are martyrs for freedom and those who still are blindly following orders. I hope their superiors are prosecuted for this some day.
@ petition For what it's worth I suppose the pot could tell the kettle to simmer down a little.
Even though I'm pretty sure that belly has enough noodles on his plate in Italy and is really in no position to lecture anyone on how to fairly represent his people.
Maybe ol' silvio could invite gaddy to a bunga bunga party or whatever. They're both corrupt and should step down. Are you serious, Care2?
If Iran is speaking out against him it's over. (Iran just performed Iranny.) That's terrible I know...
Keep supporting a free Libya UN! Even his own family and military is speaking out against him.
He's lucky President Bush isn't running the show still the moment he mentioned bin laden old George would have jumped on those oil wells like a... (insert punch line here)
Anyway I don't mean to make this a joke. It is serious and people are dying for freedom. Really though Care2 that petition is the joke imo take it down and insert a real leader please.



Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago

Thanks, God.