According to the President of the Libyan Transitional National Assembly, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Abdel Bari Atwan was paid $3,000 every month by Gaddafi. The new Libyan government has released documents which they say record the payments to Atwan, and to other Arab journalists.
Abdel Bari Atwan is an obnoxious and controversial figure. He is famous for having declared:
If the Iranian missiles strike Israel – by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square, and dance with delight if the Iranian missiles strike Israel.
Atwan also supported the massacre of children at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, and declared that it demonstrated the “courage of the Palestinian nation”.
He also supported the murder of civilians last month in the Eilat terrorist attack:
‘The Eilat operation, as I see it, corrected the course of the Arab revolutions and refocused them on the most dangerous disease, namely the Israeli tyranny. This disease is the cause of all the defects that have afflicted the region for the past 65 years…’
So, an unpleasant man.
However, Atwan angrily denies the evidence that the new Libyan Government has published. He is now threatening to sue the President of the Libyan Transitional National Assembly:
“I challenge him in the British courts, as I’LL SUE all from the face of abuse to me.”
It is very important that Abdel Bari Atwan clears his name. If the allegation that he was no more than a paid lackey of a horrific dictator who sponsored terrorism and murdered his own civilians, then his reputation will be in utter tatters.
However, instead of using the antiquated and slow moving British courts to sue the Libyan Government, he really ought to catch the first flight to Tripoli, to take the legal fight directly to his accusers. Such a step would show the courage of his convictions.
(hat tip, Elder of Ziyon)