The victory of a “liberal” front in Libya’s first post-Qaddafi elections of June 7 was widely hailed in the West. Even before all the results were in, there were sighs of relief over the apparent snapping of the chain of Islamist successes thrown up by the Arab Spring – first in Tunisia, then in Egypt, and now threatening Syria. Two out of three million eligible Libyan voters had chosen the National Forces Alliance led by Mahmoud Jibril, the former rebel prime minister, as their new leader and denied the Muslim Brotherhood a majority in the new 200-seat National Congress. The black jihadist flags emblazoned with the “God is Great” slogan were about to be folded away, vindicating US President Barack Obama’s sponsorship of people’s democracy in Arab lands.
However, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s intelligence and North Africa sources, the sunny manifestation of spontaneous democracy in Libya was in fact well orchestrated.
It was the product of a secret deal between NFA leader Mahmoud Jibil and deputy prime minister of the provisional government Mustafa Abu Shagour of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood. They set out in advance which regions, tribes, families and Muslim Brotherhood followers would vote for Jibril’s “liberal” National Forces Alliance, and which for Brotherhood candidates.
It also divided power between Jibril as president and Abu Shaqour, as prime minister.
However since their respective powers have never been determined, that part of their secret accommodation will most likely be discarded and Jibril elected prime minister by his party’s majority in the new Libyan National Congress.
Jibril’s power-sharing deal with the Brotherhood backed by the West
The two Libyan leaders did not negotiate their power-sharing deal unaided.
Our sources confirm that, just as the US, France, Britain, Italy and NATO called the shots in the revolt against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, so too they pulled the right wires behind Libya’s first free election.
The French DGSE-General Directorate for External Security was in the thick of it, having developed close ties with Jibril during the revolt and helping to install him as provisional ruler of Libya and head of its interim institutions.
In those chaotic days, the DGSE groomed him for his role as future ruler of post-Qaddafi Libya, thereby acquiring a major asset for realizing a stake for France in Libya’s oil treasure.
Paradoxically, of late, the DGSE and the American CIA have become close collaborators.
It now transpires that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pretty speeches about French-US strategic and intelligence cooperation and deep friendship were but a façade which overlaid his reservations about the Obama administration.
François Hollande’s arrival in the Elysée has brought about radical changes in French policies. He lost no time in ordering the constraints lifted on US-French military and intelligence cooperation, our sources reveal, so paving the way for the CIA and DGSE to work together for bringing Mahmoud Jibril to power.
A hotbed of strife, chaos and fragmentation
The Jibril-Abu Shaqour team, however much help is laid on by their Western backers, are confronted with colossal challenges: The new Libya is all but swamped by the avalanche of chaos, strife and fragmentation which Muammar Qaddafi’s removal and death dumped on the new Libya.
The eastern cities of Benghazi, Dernah and Tobruk, cradles of the revolution which toppled him, are lawless hotbeds controlled by violent separatists, motley jihadist gangs and arms smugglers.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and counterterrorism sources report that groups identified with al Qaeda, former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Egyptian jihadists, and fighters belonging to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have converged on Derna, sent there by Ayman Al-Zawahiri to establish a home base in Libya.
A recent bombing outside the US consulate in Benghazi was claimed by the “Brigades of Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman” (the blind sheikh jailed in the US for inspiring the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) in revenge for the death of al Qaeda’s second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi by a US drone in Waziristan, Pakistan.
American drones are flying surveillance missions over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya.
In the course of the elections last week, self-styled “federalists" blocked roads between the eastern and western regions and shut down oil production.
The biggest arms bazaar in the Middle East & Africa
Central government in Tripoli, even headed by a Muslim Brotherhood leader, has little hope of asserting authority in the east – especially since in the last year or more, this region was transformed by various ex-rebel groups into the biggest arms bazaar in Africa and the Middle East. Quantities of hi-tech weapons systems, from anti-aircraft missiles to military vehicles and firearms of all types, are sold and dispatched to the highest bidder with no questions asked.
At the other end of Libya, the west is still a seething cauldron of warfare between the separatist militias of the Nafusa Mountains and lowland and the militias ruling the capital, Tripoli. The defiant Zintan tribal militia in that region have set up an independent power center. They hold Qaddafi’s son, Saif al Islam, at a secret hideout and refuse to give him up to the government in Tripoli.
In the south, Arab, Tabu and Tuareg tribesmen are constantly at each other’s throats. A recent clash between warring parties in the isolated southeastern town of Kufra fighting in a border area – where Libya, Chad and Sudan meet – ended in a shaky truce after government forces intervened.