Mahdi al-Harati

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Mahdi al-Harati
Mahdi al-Harati (6152656965).jpg
Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
Mayor of Tripoli[1]
Assumed office
Personal details
Born c. 1973 (age 42–43)
Tripoli, Libya[2]
Military service
Allegiance Libya National Transitional Council (2011)
Syria Syrian National Council (2012)
Service/branch Libya National Liberation Army
Rank Commander/Colonel
Commands Tripoli Brigade[2]
Liwaa al-Umma
Battles/wars Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War

Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is an Irish-Libyan politician and former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan Civil War.[2] He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.[3]

Before the Libyan civil war he was an Arabic teacher in Dublin, where he lived with his Irish-born wife and family.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] 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 children. 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 the 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.[7][8]

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 assured that the resignation was for "personal reasons", a senior NTC official quoted by CNN said that the resignation was because of "differences with the National Transitional Council on the planning of the security of Tripoli". Fathi Al-Wersali, a member of the Tripoli Military Council, stated that Al-Harati would continue as commander of the Tripoli brigade.[9]

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 six months leading Liwaa Al-Umma, Al-Harati left the brigade in September 2012[3] and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.[10]

In 2014, Al-Harati was elected mayor of Libya's capital city of Tripoli.[11]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c "Irish Libyans join rebels trying to oust Gadafy". Irish Times. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "الحارثي آمر "لواء الأمة": 99% من المقاتلين معي سوريون, أخبــــــار". Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  4. ^ "Irish Libyan Mahdi al-Harati leads the overthrow of Colonel Gadafy". Irish Central. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Stieven Ramdharie (2011-08-15). "Wie zijn de Tripoli Brigade precies? - De opstand in Libië - VK". Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  6. ^ Post (6 January 2011). "The Sunday Times". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Tinker raiders, Soldier, Spy". Sunday World. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Mehdi Harati, "I received € 200,000 from U.S. secret services"". Ennahar. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ [3]