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Gaddafi during a state visit to Ukraine in 2008

Gaddafi Becomes Premier of Libya

Image: Sodel Vladyslav /

Muammar al-Gaddafi, the young Libyan army captain who deposed King Idris in September 1969, is proclaimed premier of Libya by the so called General People’s Congress. Gaddafi, the son of a Bedouin farmer, attended university and then rose through the ranks of the Libyan Army. His ardent nationalism led him and a fellow group of conspirators to overthrow the monarchy in September 1969. Blending a mix of Islamic orthodoxy, revolutionary socialism and Arab nationalism, Gaddafi established a fervently anti-Western dictatorship.

His regime financed a wide variety of terrorist groups across the world, from Palestinian guerrillas and Philippine Muslim rebels to the Irish Republican Army. However, in recent times Gaddafi has sought to move closer to the West. European sanctions were lifted from Libya after Gaddafi turned over two suspects wanted for the Lockerbie bombing in Scotland. And Gaddafi has also sought to cooperate with the West since the 11 September attacks in the United States, possibly fearing American intervention in Libya if the country did not cooperate with arms inspectors.