The Libyan Terrorist: Muammar Qaddafi
6:00 PM, Feb 24, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Saad al Fagih’s ties to Osama bin Laden go way back. For instance, Fagih reportedly purchased a satellite phone that he shipped to bin Laden in the 1990s. Osama used the phone in plotting the August 7, 1998 embassy bombings. And according to the U.S. Treasury Department, Fagih “assumed the role of the al Qaeda spokesperson in London following the arrest” of a senior al Qaeda terrorist in 2001. Moreover, a “a senior al Qaeda operative in Saudi Arabia sent articles” to Fagih who would then post them on MIRA’s website using the al Qaeda operatives’ “pennames.”
So, the Libyans had good reason to think that Fagih’s MIRA could deliver al Qaeda operatives inside the Saudi Kingdom.
The plot was progressing until Alamoudi was found to be carrying $340,000 in cash during preflight security screening at Heathrow Airport. The Libyans and the MIRA men worried that they may be found out, since Alamoudi carried some of their contact information in his Palm Pilot. When they thought they were safe from Western scrutiny, they resumed plotting.
It turned out that when the Libyans used the word “headaches” in their conversations with Alamoudi they were really referring to an assassination. Qaddafi wanted Alamoudi to get al Qaeda to kill Crown Prince Abdullah.
The assassination plot was foiled, however, after Alamoudi was arrested again and one of his Libyan co-conspirators was arrested too. The Libyan, Colonel Ismael, was an intelligence officer dispatched to Saudi Arabia to coordinate the plot. Ismael reported directly to two Libyan intelligence chiefs who, in turn, reported to Qaddafi.
The New York Times reported that Colonel Ismael fled Saudi Arabia for Egypt, where he was arrested, after an “aborted ‘drop’ of $1 million to a team of four Saudi militants who were prepared to attack Prince Abdullah’s motorcade with shoulder-fired missiles or grenade launchers.”
Colonel Ismael quickly confessed to the plot, as did Alamoudi.
In his interviews with American authorities, Alamoudi pointed the finger directly at Qaddafi.
“I want the Crown Prince killed either through assassination or through a coup,” Qaddafi reportedly said to Alamoudi.
Neither came about. Alamoudi received twenty-three years in prison for his terrorist efforts. The U.S. Treasury Department would later explain that “the September 2003 arrest of Alamoudi was a severe blow to al Qaeda, as Alamoudi had a close relationship with al Qaeda and had raised money for al Qaeda in the United States.”
As for Qaddafi, well, he has “headaches” of his own today.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
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