Newly revealed data obtained by Wikileaks suggests former Libyan dictator tried to find refuge in Algeria but its government ignored him

The Global Intelligence Files

Little if any information was publicly available regarding Gaddafi's attempt to find refuge outside of the country he had been ruling with an authoritarian grip for forty-two years.
Thanks to the further publication by Wikileaks of the GI Files - the Global Intelligence Files, a trove of five million Stratfor emails it obtained at the end of 2011 - the public, journalists and historians will be able to better understand and investigate what happened during this episode of the Libyan revolution, and especially regarding the precise role of Algeria.
We were able to access the yet-unpublished GI Files material, thanks to an investigative partnership organized by WikiLeaks and involving journalists, academics and human rights organizations like this one.

More articles will follow as we come across valuable information.


– by Mehdi
- First published on 24-07-2012

After his toppling and escape, there was plenty of speculation as to whether, and if so, where Gaddafi was seeking refuge outside Libya. But little was actually known other than the fact that he had eventually not left Libya, where he was caught in a NATO air force attack shortly before being killed while in the hands of the Libyan rebel fighters.

Neighbouring Algeria (a country who's ruling class was wary of the sweeping democratic revolutions taking place at its eastern and western borders) has provided asylum for some of Gaddafi's closest family members: his wife Safia, his two sons Muhammad and Hannibal, and his daughter Aisha, on "humanitarian grounds" according to the Algerian Ambassador to the UN. Aisha's advanced stage pregnancy (she gave birth shortly after) can explain her entry in Algeria, but not that of the rest of the family. The endemic corruption of the Algerian state [PDF], as well as the wealth of the Gaddafi family might explain the rest.

This was in late August 2011, and put the Algerian government at odds with Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), the new governing body in Libya where Gaddafi's family are considered criminals and wanted for prosecution. All four family members are still in Algeria.

Although Gaddafi declared in his public speeches that he would never leave Libyan territory, information emerging from the new GI Files release suggests he did seek refuge, at least in Algeria.

The email ID 120909, dated 1 September 2011 and sent from a Stratfor employee (a 'watch officer' according to his social media profile, which is the level above analyst and below executive) to the Alpha mailing list (comprising analysts, writers and those with higher-level clearance), cites an Algerian diplomatic source affirming that Gaddafi (code-named "Q" in the correspondance, as in Qadhafi, another way of spelling his name) did attempt to seek refuge in Algeria by contacting the Algerian president Bouteflika. The source said Bouteflika ignored the repeated calls. S/he also suggested the Algerian intelligence services had shared the location of the former leader (which they estimated to be in Bani Walid) with their British counterparts, and predicted that he "will be gunned down sooner than later".

Note that despite the watch officer's average rating of their source (credibility at C, the best being A and the worse F) and the item's credibility (at 3-4, the best being 1 on a scale of 10), it seems with hindsight that the intel was quite reliable: Colonel Gaddafi was killed shortly after on 20 October 2011 near Sirte, less than 200 miles from Bani Walid. Stratfor's watch officer said his source had been introduced to him by another source, ME1 (for Middle-East 1), believed to be an important Stratfor source as they appear in many emails and their code name suggests a long-time informer of Stratfor; research shows s/he is cited in emails dating back to 2006.

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