Tripoli, 12 March 2013:
Qaddafi’s spy master Abdullah Senussi has apparently claimed that Lebanese Shiite Imam Musa Sadr, who has never been . . .[restrict]seen since he arrived in Libya at the end of August 1978, was not killed on Qaddafi’s orders after the two had a row. Instead, he was kept in prison in Libya for at least two years before being handed over to the Palestinian militant Abu Nidal who murdered him at Qaddafi’s request. Also murdered with him were the two companions who had accompanied Sadr to Tripoli, Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine.
It has been widely believed until now that Sadr and his colleagues were immediately killed sometime in early September 1978 on Qaddafi’s orders after the argument with the dictator.
Subsequently, the regime tried to pretend that the Iman had left Libya on a flight to Rome and then disappeared.
According to a report in Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper, Senussi has revealed that Sadr, head of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council in Lebanon, was indeed arrested on Qaddafi’s orders for daring to argue with him on theological matters, but not executed immediately.
The paper is quoting information purportedly from a Libyan source linked to Senussi’s interrogation following his arrest.
He is reported as saying that Sadr was held in an underground cell at Libyan military intelligence headquarters for between two and three years along with his two colleagues.
Senussi supposedly said that, at a later stage, Imam Sadr was then handed over to the ruthless Palestinian dissident, Sabri Al-Banna, better known as Abu Nidal. The latter’s men then killed Sadr at Qaddafi’s request and buried him in the place they were staying.
Senussi is reported explaining that Qaddafi decided to execute Sadr using the Abu Nidal group because by then he had been accused of being behind the disappearance of Sadr and his companions and was too embarrassed to admit the truth.
“Qaddafi thought that getting rid of Sadr was the best way out of this dilemma,” Senussi is reported as saying, “especially after the exposure of the trick he adopted when he decided to send someone who resembled Sadr to Rome using his passport, in order to convince the Arab and international public opinion that the man had left Libya with his two companions”.
Senussi was certainly closely involved with Abu Nidal. The dissident Palestinian was for several years funded by the Qaddafi regime. His organisation ‘Fatah: The Revolutionary Council’, better known as the Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO), worked with Libyan intelligence run by Senussi. However, the relationship did not properly start until 1984, five years after Sadr disappeared, and the ANO did not move to Libya from Syria till 1986.