With the end of the revolution in Libya there are a number of interesting facts coming to light. Some of these have particularly alarming implications.
It turns out that in addition to harboring terrorists, and sponsoring their activities, Khadafi never really dismantled his WMD programs.
Kadhafi revealed one site, in the oasis of Al-Jafra near Waddan in central Libya, but had carefully hidden from the UN the existence of two others.
Safi ad-Din said both secret sites had now been “securitised” and posed no health risk.
UN officials in 2004 had inspected the stockpile which Kadhafi acknowledged and its elimination had begun in 2010 under international control, continuing until February 2011, the start of the uprising against the dictator.
The gas remaining there — 11.25 tonnes — had been “neutralised” by additives which drastically diminished its toxicity, said Safi ad-Din.
Fear of the gas being used by Kadhafi loyalists had preoccupied his opponents since the start of the conflict and a special team of local technicians and others from NATO had been set up, working secretly from Benghazi, the headquarters of the rebellion.
The cell “was directed by General Abdel Fatah Yunes”, chief of staff of the rebels and former interior minister in the Kadhafi regime. The general was killed on July 28 in mysterious circumstances, said Safi ad-Din, who was himself a member of the cell.
“The first stage was to maintain surveillance of the chemical arms which Kadhafi controlled, and prevent him from using them,” the Libyan expert said.
That operation was a success, acknowledged Mansur Daou, interior security chief in the overthrown regime, imprisoned at Misrata, 215 kilometres (135 miles) east of Tripoli.
“Kadhafi had quickly abandoned the idea of using chemical weapons, the Americans were watching over them from too near. We could not get near them,” without being bombed from the air, he said.
The Benghazi-based cell was also responsible for watching over the recovery of small quantities of radioactive material used by Libyan industry, notably cobalt 60 which could have been used to make a “dirty” bomb, spreading radioactivity.
The whole article can be found here
11.25 TONS of mustard gas. Let’s put that in perspective for a moment that is 22,500 pounds, or about half the capacity of a CONEX shipping container. In fairness, the US produced approximately 10 tons a day of mustard gas at the end of WW I. Mustard gas is primarily a blistering agent and causes terrifying and painful damage. Generally, it is not the direct cause of fatalities but, against an unprotected revolutionary force like you might have in Libya this would have been devastating. Given the persistent nature of the agent, and the dry conditions in North Africa this would have rendered areas attacked by this unusable for a period of time.
Reportedly, Libya is moving to a government that may be based on sharia law. Since sharia is typically diametrically opposed to a democratic system, it will be interesting to see where this movement finally ends up. Does Libya replace their dictatorship with a theocracy? Do they find a balance between democracy and theocracy? Do they wind up breaking into multiple countries? With the economic strength located on the eastern and western regions of the country what happens if three countries are formed with the third essentially being the largest desert regions? How does the “dismantled” WMD program stay dismantled?
I know that there is a lot of activity in the world right now, and a fair number of folks trying to stay abreast of developments with limited resources. I am more than just a bit concerned about the bits and pieces coming forth from Libya and the apparent limited attention it is getting.