The Warfalla (Arabic: ورفلة) is a tribe that resides in the west of Libya, in Bani Walid. While the Warfalla tribe has often been identified with the Gaddafi regime, there are many Warfalla who actively opposed his rule, including Mahmoud Jibril (el-Warfally), the titular head of the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC).
The Warfalla historically inhabited the area of what is between the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte. Due to their support to the Gaddafi during 42 years of his reign, the Warfalla tribe became the most armed and powerful tribe in Libya
The Warfalla tribe is composed of 52 sub-tribes that consist of Individual bayts or Clans. They claim lineage from the Banu Hilal tribe which swept North Africa from Arabia via Egypt in the 11th century. Intermarriage with Libyans tribesmen resulted in the complete Arabization of the region by the time of the Ottoman conquest in the 16th century.
During the Italian invasion of Libya the Warfalla tribe, under the leadership of Bel Khayre, fought against the invaders until the fall of Bani Walid, the Warfalla tribe's territory in December 1923. There was a civil war between the tribes and peasants of the Jabal al Gharbi District from 1920 to 1922.
Gaddafi drew many of his security personnel from the Warfalla tribe,:407 and placed certain Warfalla leaders in his "revolutionary committees" (besides members of the Maqarha and his own Qadhafa tribe), Members of the Warfalla tribe had participated in the unsuccessful 1993 Libyan coup attempt against Gaddafi, as a result, a number of Warfalla leaders and civilians were either imprisoned or executed. In the early weeks of February 2011 Revolution the Warfalla tribe leaders gave their support to the Gaddafi regime.
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