Today, Friday, February 14th, at 9:30p EST, our new Fault Lines episode “Libya: State of Insecurity” airs on Al Jazeera America.
Fault Lines returns to Libya and investigates what NATO’s so-called humanitarian intervention has achieved in the two-and-a-half years after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.
We will have more from the episode in the coming week as it repeats on Al Jazeera America on February 15, 2014, 5:30p ET, and premieres on Al Jazeera English later in February 18, 2014.
Join us as we livetweet this episode Friday from our main Twitter account, @ajfaultlines
Without further ado, the background reading:
“Bomb explodes near foreign ministry in Benghazi,” Al Jazeera America, September 11, 2013
“A powerful blast has caused severe damage to a foreign ministry building in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, witnesses said.
It was not immediately known if Wednesday’s blast resulted in casualties.
The explosion came on the first anniversary of an attack by armed men on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The U.S. government initially said the assault grew out of anti-Western protests. Later, however, it turned out that an armed group launched the attack on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Benghazi, the cradle of the 2011 revolt that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been hit by a wave of deadly attacks in recent months targeting security force officers and members of the judiciary, many of whom served in the previous regime.
Attacks have also targeted diplomats and Western interests.
Much of the violence, including the killing of the U.S. ambassador last year, has been attributed to Islamists.
Documents obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit revealed that the U.S. State Department knew of the security problems in Benghazi, but failed to fix them.”
“Libya demands answers after US seizes Al-Qaeda leader in Tripoli” Al Jazeera America, October 6, 2013
“The Libyan government demanded Sunday that Washington explain the “kidnapping” of an alleged Al-Qaeda suspect in Tripoli, a day after U.S. forces conducted two raids on targets in African countries.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that the White House was pleased with the missions’ outcome adding that the Navy SEAL operation in Libya and Somalia made clear that America “will never stop the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror.”
But anger in Libya, coupled with an apparent failure to capture or kill the intended Al-Shabab target in Somalia, has seemingly dented U.S. claims of a success, and led to questions over Washington’s decision to carry out the raids without the host nation’s knowledge.
Al-Liby’s capture in Tripoli ends a 15-year manhunt for the 49-year-old, who was listed on the FBI’s most wanted list. It also opens the way for criminal proceedings against him to take place in the U.S.”
“Libyan PM freed from captivity,” Al Jazeera America, October 10, 2013
"Libya’s state news agency said Prime Minister Ali Zeidan had been freed after being captured Thursday and briefly detained, reportedly by government-aligned rebel groups. It is not clear if he was released willingly by his captors or if security forces intervened.
The government earlier said the prime minister had been kidnapped from a Tripoli hotel by armed men and taken to an unknown location. But hours later an Interior Ministry spokesman said Zeidan was being held at the ministry’s anti-crime department.
Zeidan returned to his office after he had been seized and held by former rebel militiamen for about six hours.
"The elected government cannot be toppled, unless by the vote of the people," Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain, president of Libya’s General National Congress, the country’s legislative body, said at a news conference Thursday. "We will continue to address such incidents in a legal, lawful manner."
The chaotic situation appears to reflect the weakness of Libya’s government, which is virtually held hostage by rival militias. Some of the groups were angered when the United States snatched an alleged Al-Qaeda member from Tripoli on Saturday, and have accused the government of allowing the raid.”
“Anti-militia protest turns deadly in Libya,” Al Jazeera America, November 15, 2013
"At least 27 people have been killed and 235 wounded after gunmen opened fire Friday on protesters who had called on armed groups to leave Tripoli. The latest violence further challenges Libya’s weak central government.
"The demonstration was peaceful and had been permitted by the Interior Ministry, and then the protesters were fired on when they entered the Gharghur district," where the militia’s headquarters are located, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said in a TV interview Friday.
"The existence of weapons outside the army and police is dangerous," Zeidan added. "All armed militias need to leave Tripoli, without exception."
The third outbreak of street fighting within 10 days underscored Libya’s struggle to contain regional militias that helped overthrow leader Muammar Gaddafi two years ago but kept their guns. Armed disorder has blocked most oil exports for months.
Friday’s bloodshed, the worst in Tripoli for several months, began when militiamen opened fire, first into the air and then into hundreds of protesters who were demanding their eviction from the capital after the militias had repeatedly battled with other armed factions for control of certain neighborhoods.”
“Displaced Libyans still dream of home,” Karlos Zurutuza for Al Jazeera English, November 26, 2013
“Tripoli, Libya - Nostalgia for the past is painfully evident for 11-year-old Abdul Aziz Omar - one of 400 students at a school holding classes in the rubble of a former naval academy in western Tripoli.
"The labs, the fountain, the swings in the playground … I miss everything from my old school, everything," Omar said.
The ugly cluster of buildings that once hosted dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s future admirals at the Janzur Naval Academy are today the closest thing to a home for 300 displaced families from the city of Tawargha. During the 2011 civil war, Gaddafi’s forces used Tawargha as a base for a brutal two-month siege of neighbouring Misrata. The twin cities are about 200 kilometres east of Tripoli.
Libyan rebels eventually broke the siege and sought revenge on the people of Tawargha, whom they saw as responsible for Misrata’s suffering. Tawargha became a ghost town, its inhabitants scattered across the country.”
More on Libya
Two blasts hit judicial buildings in Benghazi, Libya city, destroying vehicles and causing casualties
At least nine people are killed and dozens injured as country struggles to curb armed groups
After being captured in Libya, Abu Anas Al Liby is expected to be brought before a New York judge Tuesday