Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
|Born||c. 1973 (age 40–41)
|Allegiance|| National Transitional Council (2011)
Syrian National Council (2012)
|Service/branch||National Liberation Army|
|Commands held||Tripoli Brigade
|Conflicts||Libyan civil war
Syrian civil war
Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is a former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan civil war. He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.
He was described by Volkskrant, a Dutch daily newspaper, as being a face of the Battle of Tripoli and one of the most important rebel commanders of the Libyan civil war. The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, offered a first-hand account of Al-Mahdi's advance on Tripoli and his men's assault on Gaddafi's former residence, Bab Al-Azizia. He was appointed second in command of the newly formed Tripoli Military Council.
On 6 October 2011, a gang broke into al-Harati's house in Rathkeale, as his wife Eftaima al-Najar was in Tallaght hospital with one of their kids. The thieves took an important quantity of expensive jewels from the couple's bedroom, as well as 200,000 euros in €500 notes hidden on a hot press. When asked about that substantial amount of cash, al-Harati declared to Irish officers that the money was given to him by members of an American intelligence agency to help to bring down Muammar Gaddafi.
On 11 October 2011, Al-Harati resigned as deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council, amid tensions over security in the capital. According to the Irish Times, while Al-Harati's associates in Tripoli assure that the resignation was for "personal reasons", a senior NTC official quoted by CNN said that the resignation was because "differences with the National Transitional Council on the planning of the security of Tripoli". Fathi Al-Wersali, member of the Tripoli Military Council, stated that Al-Harati would continue as commander of the Tripoli brigade.
Following his involvement in the Libyan civil war al-Harati went on a fact-finding mission to Syria where, following discussions with members of the Syrian opposition, he decided to form the militant group Liwaa Al-Umma. After 6 months of leading Liwaa Al-Umma, Al-Harati left the brigade in September 2012 and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.
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- "الحارثي آمر "لواء الأمة": 99% من المقاتلين معي سوريون, أخبــــــار". Aawsat.com. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
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- Post (6 January 2011). "The Sunday Times". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "Tinker raiders, Soldier, Spy". Sunday World. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- "Mehdi Harati, "I received € 200,000 from U.S. secret services"". Ennahar. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
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