61 Facts About Muammar Gaddafi


Muammar Gaddafi transformed Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya in 1977.


From 1999, Muammar Gaddafi shunned pan-Arabism, and encouraged pan-Africanism and rapprochement with Western nations; he was Chairperson of the African Union from 2009 to 2010.


Muammar Gaddafi remained the government's public face, with the identities of the other RCC members only being publicly revealed on 10 January 1970.


In September 1971, Muammar Gaddafi resigned, claiming to be dissatisfied with the pace of reform, but returned to his position within a month.


In July 1972, amid widespread speculation that Muammar Gaddafi had been ousted or jailed by his political opponents, a new 18-man cabinet was formed with only two of them, Jalloud and Abdel Moneim al-Houni, being military men; the rest were civilian technocrats per Muammar Gaddafi's insistence.


In February 1973, Muammar Gaddafi resigned again, once more returning the following month.


In 1971, Muammar Gaddafi sponsored the creation of a Libyan General Women's Federation.

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Nasser died unexpectedly in September 1970, with Muammar Gaddafi playing a prominent role at his funeral.


In July 1971, Muammar Gaddafi sided with Sadat against the Soviet Union in the 1971 Sudanese coup d'etat and dispatched Libyan fighter jets to force down a British Airlines jetliner carrying the leading coup plotters, Farouk Osman Hamadallah and Babikir al-Nour.


In June 1972 Muammar Gaddafi created the First Nasserite Volunteers Centre to train anti-Israeli guerrillas.


Muammar Gaddafi funded the Black September Organization whose members perpetrated the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes in West Germany and had the killed militants' bodies flown to Libya for a hero's funeral.


On 16 April 1973, Muammar Gaddafi proclaimed the start of a "Popular Revolution" in a speech at Zuwarah.


In June 1973, Muammar Gaddafi created a political ideology as a basis for the Popular Revolution: Third International Theory.


Muammar Gaddafi summarized Third International Theory in three short volumes published between 1975 and 1979, collectively known as The Green Book.


Meanwhile, in September 1975, Muammar Gaddafi implemented further measures to increase popular mobilization, introducing objectives to improve the relationship between the Councils and the ASU.


In 1975, Muammar Gaddafi's government declared a state monopoly on foreign trade.


In September 1975, Muammar Gaddafi purged the army, arresting around 200 senior officers, and in October he founded the clandestine Office for the Security of the Revolution.


In 1974, Muammar Gaddafi released Abdul-Aziz Shennib, a commander under King Idris, from prison and appointed him Libyan ambassador to Jordan.


Intent on propagating Islam, in 1973 Muammar Gaddafi founded the Islamic Call Society, which had opened 132 centres across Africa within a decade.


Muammar Gaddafi was keen on reducing Israeli influence within Africa, using financial incentives to successfully convince eight African states to break off diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973.


Muammar Gaddafi sought to develop closer links in the Maghreb; in January 1974 Libya and Tunisia announced a political union, the Arab Islamic Republic.


Retaliating, Muammar Gaddafi sponsored anti-government militants in Tunisia into the 1980s.


Muammar Gaddafi became General Secretary of the GPC, although he stepped down from this position in early 1979 and appointed himself "Leader of the Revolution".


In recognition of the growing commercial relationship between Libya and the Soviets, Muammar Gaddafi was invited to visit Moscow in December 1976; there, he entered talks with Leonid Brezhnev.


In December 1978, Muammar Gaddafi stepped down as Secretary-General of the GPC, announcing his new focus on revolutionary rather than governmental activities; this was part of his new emphasis on separating the apparatus of the revolution from the government.

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Muammar Gaddafi was frustrated by the slow pace of social reform on women's issues, and in 1979 launched a Revolutionary Women's Formation to replace the more gradualist Libyan General Women's Federation.


In February 1978, Muammar Gaddafi discovered that his head of military intelligence was plotting to kill him, and began to increasingly entrust security to his Qadhadfa tribe.


In November 1984, Muammar Gaddafi was tricked by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak into announcing the successful assassination of former Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid al-Bakkoush in Cairo; Bakkhoush not only turned up alive but held a press conference with Egypt's Interior Minister.


In 1979, Muammar Gaddafi created the Islamic Legion, through which several thousand Africans were trained in military tactics.


Libyan relations with Lebanon and Shi'ite communities across the world deteriorated due to the August 1978 disappearance of imam Musa al-Sadr when visiting Libya; the Lebanese accused Muammar Gaddafi of having him killed or imprisoned, a charge he denied.


In November 1985, Colonel Hassan Ishkal, the third powerful man in Libya, head of the military region of Sirte, and a distant cousin of Muammar Gaddafi, died in a suspicious car accident.


In December 1980, Muammar Gaddafi re-invaded Chad at the request of the FAP-controlled GUNT government to aid in the civil war; in January 1981, Muammar Gaddafi suggested a political merger.


In 1982, the GUNT government was overthrown by Habre's forces and Oueddei fled to Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi provided him with arms to continue to wage guerrilla warfare against Habre.


In November 1984, Muammar Gaddafi met with French President Francois Mitterrand in Crete, where both sides agreed to withdraw from Chad.


When Muammar Gaddafi ordered the remnant of GUNT to attack Habre in February 1986 in violation of his agreement with Mitterand, France immediately launched Operation Epervier, which escalated into the Toyota War.


Muammar Gaddafi played up his commercial relationship with the Soviets, revisiting Moscow in 1981 and 1985, and threatening to join the Warsaw Pact.


In December 1981, the White House claimed Muammar Gaddafi had dispatched a hit squad to assassinate Reagan, allegedly led by Carlos the Jackal, who had been living in Libya under Muammar Gaddafi's protection after the 1975 OPEC siege.


In 1980, Gaddafi hired former CIA agent Edwin P Wilson, who was living in Libya as a fugitive from US justice, to plot the murder of an anti-Gaddafi Libyan graduate student at Colorado State University named Faisal Zagallai.


In 1984, Muammar Gaddafi publicly executed Al-Sadek Hamed Al-Shuwehdy, a student and aeronautical engineer studying in the US.


In May 1987, Muammar Gaddafi announced the start of the "Revolution within a Revolution", which began with reforms to industry and agriculture and saw the re-opening of small business.


Restrictions were placed on the activities of the Revolutionary Committees; in March 1988, their role was narrowed by the newly created Ministry for Mass Mobilization and Revolutionary Leadership to restrict their violence and judicial role, while in August 1988 Muammar Gaddafi publicly criticized them.


Several assassination attempts against Muammar Gaddafi were foiled, and in turn, 1989 saw the security forces raid mosques believed to be centres of counter-revolutionary preaching.


Muammar Gaddafi's body was not found until 2012 in a morgue that belonged to Gaddafi's intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.


In 1989, Muammar Gaddafi was overjoyed by the foundation of the Arab Maghreb Union, uniting Libya in an economic pact with Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, viewing it as beginnings of a new pan-Arab union.


Muammar Gaddafi was able to recover some influence in Chad after Hissene Habre was overthrown by Idriss Deby in a Libya-sponsored coup in 1990.

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When Muammar Gaddafi refused, citing the Montreal Convention, the United Nations imposed Resolution 748 in March 1992, initiating economic sanctions against Libya which had deep repercussions for the country's economy.


In 1996, Muammar Gaddafi wrote a letter to the newly elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's daughter Sheikh Hasina, pleading with her to spare the lives of her father's assassins Syed Faruque Rahman and Khandaker Abdur Rashid.


In June 1999, Muammar Gaddafi visited Mandela in South Africa, and the following month attended the OAU summit in Algiers, calling for greater political and economic integration across the continent and advocating the foundation of a United States of Africa.


Muammar Gaddafi became one of the founders of the African Union, initiated in July 2002 to replace the OAU.


In March 2008 in Uganda, Muammar Gaddafi gave a speech urging Africa to reject foreign aid.


In October 2010, Muammar Gaddafi apologized to African leaders for the historical enslavement of Africans by the Arab slave trade.


Muammar Gaddafi accused Saudi Arabia of having made an "alliance with the devil" when it invited the US to intervene in the 1991 Gulf War.


In September 2001, Muammar Gaddafi publicly condemned the September 11 attacks on the US by al-Qaeda, expressing sympathy with the victims and calling for Libyan involvement in the US-led War on Terror against militant Islamism.


In 2009, Muammar Gaddafi attempted to strong-arm global energy companies operating in Libya to cover Libya's settlement with the families of the victims of Lockerbie.


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gave Libya an official apology in 2006, after which Muammar Gaddafi called him the "iron man" for his courage in doing so.


In Spring 2010, Muammar Gaddafi proclaimed jihad against Switzerland after Swiss police accused two of his family members of criminal activity in the country, resulting in the breakdown of bilateral relations.


Muammar Gaddafi allegedly financed Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 French presidential election.


Muammar Gaddafi financed Austrian far-right politician Jorg Haider starting in 2000.


Muammar Gaddafi welcomed these reforms, calling for wide-scale privatization in a March 2003 speech; he promised that Libya would join the World Trade Organization.


Muammar Gaddafi desired unity across the Islamic world, and encouraged the propagation of the faith elsewhere; on a 2010 visit to Italy, he paid a modelling agency to find 200 young Italian women for a lecture he gave urging them to convert.


Muammar Gaddafi was staunchly anti-Marxist, and in 1973 declared that "it is the duty of every Muslim to combat" Marxism because it promotes atheism.