Moussa Ibrahim

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This article is about a Libyan government spokesman. For the Bangladeshi mountaineer and journalist, see Musa Ibrahim.
Moussa Ibrahim
موسى إبراهيم
Born (1974-12-07) 7 December 1974 (age 39)
Sirte
Residence Berlin, Germany
Nationality Libyan
Alma mater University of Exeter
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Royal Holloway, University of London
Occupation Government spokesman
Organization Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Known for Libyan civil war
Religion Islam

Moussa Ibrahim (Arabic: موسى إبراهيم‎ ; romanized also as Mussa and Musa, born 7 December 1974) is a Libyan political figure who rose to international attention in 2011 as Muammar Gaddafi's Information Minister and official spokesman, serving in this role until the government was toppled in the Libyan civil war. Ibrahim held frequent press conferences in the course of the war, denouncing rebel forces and the NATO-led military intervention, often in defiant and impassioned tones. His status and whereabouts remain unknown following the Battle of Tripoli in which the Gaddafi government was overthrown, although there have been several claims and subsequent refutations of his capture.[1]

Biography[edit]

Ibrahim was born on 7 December 1974 into Gaddafi's Qadhadhfa tribe. He studied politics at the University of Exeter in the early 2000s, where he met his future wife Julia Ramelow, a German-born theology student, with whom he has a young son.[2] He worked on a PhD in media arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, completing his final exam in May 2010, although he has not formally received his doctorate as supervisors are awaiting a small number of required amendments to his thesis. One of Ibrahim's lecturers at the University of Exeter, Dr. Larbi Sadiki, described him as an engaging, friendly but serious student — "a nice guy but with a short fuse."[3] He told Sky News: "I lived in London for 15 years. I know every street in London. I know how decent the British people are."[4]

On 19 August 2011, his brother was allegedly killed by an Apache helicopter in Zawiya.[5] During the Battle of Tripoli, he called for a ceasefire and blamed NATO and the West for the situation, saying that the conflicting parties should sit down and negotiate; although he also said that thousands of professional soldiers were ready to defend Tripoli against rebel forces staging an uprising within the capital, as well those advancing towards the city from Zawiya.[6]

It was incorrectly reported by Misrata-based Freedom TV on 29 September 2011 that Ibrahim had been captured near Sirte by NTC fighters.[7] No independent confirmation was forthcoming, and the report was denied by a pro-Gaddafi TV channel. Later that day a spokesman for the Misrata military council, Adel Ibrahim, told AFP "We cannot confirm he was arrested", and two days later an NTC commander admitted they had not captured him.[8] On 20 October 2011, Reuters reported that Ibrahim had been captured near Sirte, according to a Libyan transitional forces commander;[9] however, this was again proven to be untrue. On 22 October 2011, he was reportedly captured for a third time, along with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, near Bani Walid.[10] This claim was also discredited, as Saif was not captured until 19 November near the town of Ubari. On 20 January 2012, it was reported for the fourth time that Ibrahim had been captured in Asbi'a, Libya.[11] However, the following day these claims were denied by officials in Tripoli.[12]

On 20 October 2012, Ibrahim was reported captured for the fifth time, in the town of Tarhuna, 40 miles south of Tripoli.[13] For the first time, the reports were backed by the government, who said he was "being transferred to Tripoli to begin interrogation."[14] An audio clip was then released on Facebook, purporting to be Ibrahim's voice denying the reports.[15] On 24 October, government spokesman Nasser Al Manaa apologised for the false reports along with claims that Khamis Gaddafi had been killed.[16]

Ibrahim's elder brother Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, a "senior finance official" under Gaddafi, was reportedly arrested in Cairo on 19 March 2013, facing charges of corruption.[17] Several new audio clips purportedly of Ibrahim have been published online, but remain unverified.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Libya: Confusion at fate of Gaddafi aide Moussa Ibrahim". BBC News. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  2. ^ "UK-loving true believer sells Gaddafi's message". The Australian. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  3. ^ Kelly, Jon (2 April 2011). "Moussa Ibrahim: How Libya's voice was shaped in Britain". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Lisa, Holland (22 March 2011). "Full Interview With Moussa Ibrahim". Sky News. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Brother of Libya's information minister reported killed in NATO strike". CNN. 19 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Libya conflict: Rebels push towards Tripoli". BBC News. 21 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Gaddafi's spokesman arrested near Sirte: TV". Xinhua. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Nikolas, Katerina (1 October 2011). "NTC commander admits did not capture Moussa Ibrahim". Digital Journal. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim captured --NTC". Reuters Africa. Reuters. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Nikolas, Katerina (23 October 2011). "Libya's NTC claim Saif al-Islam Gaddafi captured alive, uninjured". Digital Journal. 
  11. ^ "Reports: Former Gaddafi Spokesman Captured". SKY News. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  12. ^ McSmith, Andy (21 January 2012). "Inspectors uncover Gaddafi's secret stash of chemical weapons". The Independent (London). 
  13. ^ "Libya gov't says former Gaddafi spokesman captured". Reuters. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim 'captured in Libya'". BBC. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Confusion in Libya over fate of former Gaddafi spokesman". Reuters. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  16. ^ "Bani Walid falls". Libya Herald. 
  17. ^ "Extradited Qaddafi regime figures flown into Tripoli". Libya Herald. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.

External links[edit]