1984 – Year of the Volcano: The plot to overthrow Qaddafi and make the appearance of Libyan Terror Cells in Europe

The following explanations are mainly based on Der Freitag blog author Angelika Gutsche’s review of German written books by Mark Altten “Das Gaddafi-Komplott” and by Manfred G. Meyer “Gaddafi, Koks und Knaben” as well as on articles from the magazine ‘Der Spiegel’, including other limited sources in English in addition to basic mainstream or official sources.

By Thermal Detonator – Edited by Adam Fitzgerald (October 30, 2020)

When I made this blog several years ago, the intention was to keep it oriented with 9/11 Truth, and with what few articles I’ve written on here, only on a few sparse occasions does it delve in some areas even before the first attack in the World Trade Center in 1993. And although Libya is not necessarily equated or known as being affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, like Osama bin Laden, Mummar Gaddafi was ultimately the first Arab villain propagated to the U.S, and the West, and there’s quite a bit here to unpack in what should be examined and questioned amongst 9/11 truth seekers in their sharpness to spot war propaganda and pretexts, particularly in the Middle East and as well as getting a better gist with the relationships between intelligence agencies, organized crime and terrorist groups, even for a regular person simply entertained by the official narrative with the Hamberg Cell, who were the 9/11 pilot hijacking team.

Libya with its oil reserve discoveries since the late 50’s had been able to transition the country from being one of the world’s poorest nations to a wealthy state. However, resentment grew within its population due to the majority of its wealth being concentrated into the hands of the monarchy. Discontent rose in the form of Arab nationalism/socialism that was heavily influenced by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

A bloodless coup, known as the, al-Fateh Revolution or September 1st Revolution, was carried out by a group of military officers led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, known as the Free Officers Movement, who overthrew King Idris I, which subsequently led to expelling Americans and inviting in the Soviets. Gaddafi deported Libya’s Italian and Jewish population and ejected its Western military bases. Libya’s dedication to Arab unity was made clear, as well as its support of the Palestinian cause against Israel.

Gaddafi basically took control of Libya in 1969 and nationalized the oil reserves in 1970 and used the increasing state revenues to bolster the country’s military. As well as funding foreign revolutionaries and implementing social programs while emphasizing house-building, healthcare and education projects.

He would also govern Libya for the next 42 years, becoming the longest serving ruler in the Arab world and Africa while being independent from foreign rule.

But by the late 70’s early 80’s Gaddafi started to experience resistance within its diplomatic representatives and ambassadors within the government.

Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf

In Sudan, the CIA-sponsored National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) announced its creation on October 7, 1981, which was founded by Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, a former Libyan ambassador to India. The NFSL called for major reforms such as democratic elections, a free press, and separation of powers. The group was allowed to operate out of Sudan until 1985, when its leader was ousted in a coup. The NFSL launched a wide campaign to topple Gaddafi, establishing a short-wave radio station, a commando military training camp and also published a newsletter. According to various sources, the group was supported by Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. The NFSL’s goal was to overthrow Mummar Gaddafi.

Jaballa Matar

The most active Libyan NFSL member was Jaballa Matar, originally Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York, but resigned in 1973, allegedly in protest against Libya’s politics. The Matar family initially returned to Libya before immigrating to Egypt in 1979, like many wealthy Libyans at the time. Matar was well-connected; in addition to his Cairo apartment he owned a country house in Yorkshire, England, and also an address in Virginia, just a few blocks away from another Libyan, Ragab Mabruk Zatout who had a construction company in Tobruk, Libya.

Ragab Mabruk Zatout

Denying that he ever worked for the CIA given that they are also based there in Virginia, Zatout seemed to be well “connected”. In the early eighties, Zatout settled with his import-export company Nine Stars which is based in Virginia. Eyewitnesses reports state that Zatout met with FBI people, al-Magariaf was also seen with him.

When and why this connection becomes important, actually starts in the year of 1978, in the small port city of Darna, Libya, where a business relationship begins with a Lebanese citizen and Hilmar Hein, a German building/scaffolding contractor from the Reinickendorf area of West Berlin with links to the underworld, and a nefarious past. There will be much more to explain about Hein and his outfit as the time goes, but he is a guy that’s flashy and whom owns two Lamborghinis, a silver Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes. Also known as the be hard to reach and a bit of a Coke addict, Hein had many lucrative contracts flown to him from the Berlin Senate and who had good relations with the Bilfinger construction group, which was active in Libya.

Hilmar Hein

One of Hein’s co-workers and confidants Manfred Meyer with whom he had an “exceptionally strong friendship between men”, described Hein as a loving, bisexual and eccentric multimillionaire and fidget philipp who was even friends with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran). Hein had been in contact with Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran since the mid-1970s. It was clear to him that big money could be earned in the oil countries.

The circumstances with Zatout as a man within the Gaddafi government at the time after the 1973 oil crisis, is that he awarded contracts worth billions. But there was a prospect for an airport to be built in the Kufra oasis in Libya for $ 96 million and Hein was awarded the commitment as general contract through Zatout.

Zatout arranged for Hein to meet Gaddafi and former Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Salem Dschalloud. Zatout became good acquaintances and visited Hein several times in Berlin, between the German and Libyan contractors, Hein had a feeling that Zatout was close to Gaddafi, but for Hein it was only about the 96 million dollars.

In short time, Zatout became a political refugee and needed a new nationality and some accommodations, while showing up in West Berlin telling Hein that he has some problems with the job but needed some help, first it being diplomatic passports.

Hein actually knew people who did this sort of thing, including an official at the Bolivian consulate who, ended up sending 20 fresh diplomatic passports, from then on making Ragab Zatout, the Libyan, and Roberto Zatout, the Bolivian.

Zatout was always exceptionally accommodating. In one example, Hein and Zatout were together at a Berlin casino, and Zatout would always share his winnings with Hein as if they were family.

At some point, Zatout gave Hein a video showing hooded, armed Libyans ready to fight Gaddafi, led by members from a resistance group called al-Burkan, “the Volcano”. Zatout had said “These are my friends,” and asked if he can get passports for them.

Hilmar Hein however was not interested in the beginning. His primary wish was simply to become wealthy. But if the way to wealth is only through Zatout, then he takes part and becomes a resistance fighter. Zatout’s promises sounded too good: “When Gaddafi is gone, you’re our man in Germany. Then you can make it big.” Hein’s motivations in wanting Gaddafi removed from power in Libya had nothing to do with ideology or fundamentalism, but purely for profit motive.

Soon Zatout introduces Jaballa Matar to become acquainted with him and the NFSL; but Hein didn’t know anything at the time that they were being supported by the CIA

This all eventually changes, with the Hein gang starting to train anti-Ghaddafi Libyan students in the basement of a large building on a Berlin industrial estate. The course was a standard assassination primer, reminiscent of the one in which the CIA had used 30 years before in Guatemala though much less sophisticated.

By the end of 1983 Hein is contacted by Zatout in the U.S. and asked if he could assist in obtaining weapons. Five to ten pistols with silencers, preferably “Walther type, caliber 7.65 mm. Hein gets the pistols and silencers made by his employee in his workshop Helmut Nagler. Hein has them painted black.

So then comes the year 1984, a truly memorable year in the United States as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad-Summer Olympics is coming, added with what always comes, being a presidential election year where with incumbent Republican Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush defeated Democratic nominee, former Vice President Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Its already a couple of years before the Iran-Contra scandal breaks, while the U.S. through the Pakistani ISI is aiding the mujahideen during the middle of the Afghan-Russian war, where also in the USSR there becomes change in leadership as Konstantin Chernenko succeeds the late Yuri Andropov as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1984, a year that had impatiently been looked upon dismally to fit a bleak Orwellian prophecy, in which no such thing happened, but it is a very event-filled and intriguing year as far as world events, in which a chain of incidents occurred throughout Europe and Libya in what could be considered the year of the volcano.



Assassination of Libyan Ambassador Ammar el-Taggazy

On January 21, 1984, 43 year old Libyan Ambassador Ammar El Taggazy was shot and severely wounded from behind by two masked and unidentified gunmen outside his Rome apartment as he approached his garage. He was beaten and fired upon with two pistols. El Taggazy had been in a deep coma when he arrived at Umberto I Polyclinic with bullet wounds in the head, abdomen and shoulder. The following day a caller telephoned the London office of the Associated Press and claimed responsibility on behalf of Al-Burkan. The doctors removed the bullets from El Taggazy, abdomen and shoulder in operation but his condition was unthinkable to operate on his brain to remove the bullet still lodged there. El Taggazy did not recover and died at the Rome hospital on February 10, 1984.


Killing of Kurg

On February 28, 1984 a cook who worked for Bilfinger Berger Construction Company from Libya, Helmut Krug, was shot in Würzburg, Germany. He was executed in an apartment and was suspected of being a member of Al Burkan.


The Blue Angel nightclub Bombing

March 10, 1984, a bomb exploded on a street with several Arab-owned stores in London, at the Blue Angel nightclub, which was popular with Arabs, wounding 23 people, three of them seriously. Three other bombs were detonated by police outside other Arab-owned stores. “Libyan terrorists” were reportedly responsible.

Manchester neighborhood bombing

March 11, 1984, two bombs exploded outside a home occupied by Libyan dissidents in Manchester, England, the first of the two explosions occurred before dawn when a two-pound bomb blew up a car parked near the apartment. No one was hurt in the blast, which destroyed the car and damaged another nearby. Later, when another explosive device was found in the rear of the building, the area was ordered evacuated and an attempt was made to explode the bomb deliberately under controlled conditions. The bomb blew up prematurely; however, wounding a family of three Syrians who apparently had slept undisturbed through the previous explosion. They were treated for cuts caused by flying glass. Bomb Exploded in Nightclub

Omar Khayyam Night Club Bomb

March 12, 1984 a bomb was dismantled by police at the Omar Khayyam nightclub in London. Officers cleared out the club and Restaurant on Regent Street, one of London’s most fashionable shopping thoroughfares, and cordoned off the area after the explosive device was discovered at about 7 P.M., said a Scotland Yard spokesman. There was no explosion and there were no injuries, the spokesman said. Employees at the nightspot said they had found the device under a table. The club, especially popular with Egyptians and Libyans, is in a building that houses the offices of the Royal Jordanian Airline.

Libyan terrorists were reportedly responsible for all three consecutive days of bombing attacks and attempts.

Earlier that month Scotland Yard warned of tensions in England between Libyan exiles and supporters of Colonel Qaddafi. The police alerted exiles and other possible targets that they might be objects of attack.

The UK Government asked Libya to help put an end to the bombings. A Foreign Office spokesman said that Two Libyan diplomats were summoned to the Foreign Office and were told that Britain was ”extremely concerned about the outbreak of violence”.

Libya denied all responsibility for the bombings and told Britain to stop ”pointing accusing fingers regarding these incidents,” according to an official Libyan press agency dispatch monitored in London. But five Libyans arrested in the police sweep were quickly deported.


Murder of Yvonne Fletcher

On April 17, 1984, Gaddafi opponents demonstrated in front of the Libyan People’s Office (Libyan Embassy) in St. James’ Square, London. The demonstration was organized by the NFSL. Suddenly shots were heard, which killed British police officer Yvonne Fletcher who had been deployed to monitor a demonstration and died shortly afterwards by an unknown gunman. A television team on site and filmed the death of Yvonne Fletcher. Her death resulted in an eleven-day siege of the embassy, at the end of which those inside Libyan People’s Office were expelled from the country and the United Kingdom severing diplomatic relations with Libya. During the anti-Gaddafi protest, two gunmen opened fire from the first floor of the embassy with Sterling submachine guns. In addition to the murder of Fletcher, eleven Libyan demonstrators were wounded. The inquest into Fletcher’s death reached a verdict that she was “killed by a bullet coming from one of two windows on the west side of the front on the first floor of the Libyan People’s Bureau”. Following the breaking of diplomatic relations, Libya arrested six British nationals, the last four of whom were released after nine months in captivity. No one has ever been charged with Fletcher’s murder.

The UK Channel 4 TV program ‘Dispatches’ put out a two part episode titled “Murder in St James’s” in April of 1996,—which included the opinions of the British Army’s senior ballistics officer, Lieutenant Colonel George Styles, the Home Office pathologist Bernard Knight and army surgeon and forensic pathologist Hugh Thomas—raised the question of the entry angle of the bullet that killed Fletcher. The conclusion of those interviewed was that the bullet could not have come from the first floor of the embassy, and could not have been from a Sterling submachine gun.

‘Dispatches’ Channel 4 Documentary ‘Murder In St. James’s’ part I

Prime Minister Tony Blair was questioned on this subject by MP Tam Dalyell in Parliament on June 24, 1997. The Guardian of July 23, 1997 reported a parliamentary speech by Dalyell, referring to Fletcher’s murder:

“With the agreement of Queenie Fletcher, her mother, I raised with the Home Office the three remarkable programmes that were made by Fulcrum, and their producer, Richard Bellfield, called Murder In St. James’s. Television speculation is one thing, but this was rather more than that, because on film was George Styles, the senior ballistics officer in the British Army, who said that, as a ballistics expert, he believed that the WPC could not have been killed from the second floor of the Libyan embassy, as was suggested.

“Also on film was my friend, Hugh Thomas, who talked about the angles at which bullets could enter bodies, and the position of those bodies. Hugh Thomas was, for years, the consultant surgeon of the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast, and I suspect he knows more about bullets entering bodies than anybody else in Britain. Above that was Professor Bernard Knight, who, on and off, has been the Home Office pathologist for 25 years. When Bernard Knight gives evidence on film that the official explanation could not be, it is time for an investigation.”

Participants who appeared in the ‘Dispatches’ documentary highlighted issues such as the velocity of the bullet and the angle at which it entered Fletcher’s body. Lt-Col Styles stated that a high velocity bullet from a Sterling sub-machine gun would have passed straight through her body at an angle of 15°, and Hugh Thomas rebutted evidence given by Ian West, the pathologist at the inquest, that the 60° angle of entry of the bullet could be explained by Fletcher’s turning to the right or left.

The film went on to allege that the anti-Gaddafi organization Al Burkan, which was allegedly funded by the Reagan White House, had obtained a gun from the Hein gang in West Berlin, and used it to kill Fletcher with a single shot. The head of Al Burkan, Ragab Zatout was present in the UK during the murder of Fletcher.

The murder of WPC Fletcher began what was known as the ‘The Libyan hostage situation’ which lasted 294 days, or until February 5, 1985.On the evening of April 17, 1984, airport manager for British Caledonian Airways at Tripoli Universal Airport, Libya, Doug Ledingham, was arrested by soldiers.

There was a standoff between the Libyan and British governments over the pursuit of who shot WPC Fletcher. The detachment resulted in the breaking of diplomatic relations by Britain with Libya, and the return to Libya under diplomatic immunity of the occupants of the Libyan Peoples’ Bureau in London. Rumors abounded at the time between April 17 and 27 as to the fate of the person who is alleged to have fired the fatal shots from the Libyan People’s Bureau. In 1986, a British businessman who had worked for Colonel Gaddafi’s regime reported WPC Fletcher’s killer had been hanged as soon as he returned to Libya.

Following the breaking of diplomatic relations with Libya, the British Embassy in Tripoli was evacuated and eventually ransacked by the Libyans. A skeleton staff of British diplomats took up office in the Italian Embassy.

Heathrow Airport Bombing

On April 20, 1984, a bomb exploded in the baggage area of Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport. The bomb exploded at 7:55 pm, as 60 people were inside the baggage area. The blast injured 22, one seriously. The Angry Brigade, an anarchist group, claimed responsibility for the bombing. British officials dismissed the claim, and once again, pointed their fingers at “Libyan-related Arab groups”, coming just three days after the murder of Yvonne Fletcher.

Coup attempt in Libya

April 1984, an arson attack on the University of Tripoli and in May the LNSA attacked a military facility near Tripoli. Journalist Jack Anderson reported in an article that appeared in several American newspapers that the group had been funded and trained by the CIA.

On May 8, 1984, three weeks after the embassy protest, NFSL commandos took part in an attack on Gaddafi’s Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli, in an attempt to assassinate him. According to Richard Belfield in his book A Brief History of Hitmen and Assassinations

“The CIA had traditionally supported the NFSL, but by 1983 it was it was an ineffective Talking Shop of intellectuals and émigré, long past there effective sell-by date. Reagan’s men bypass the CIA and set up their own organization. Al Burkan appeared from nowhere, sweet surprise to most in the anti-Gaddafi opposition who were shocked to suddenly discover this overgrown and heavily financed cuckoo in what was, by now, an old and battered nest.”

The attack on May 8 was thwarted when the group’s leader, Ahmed Ibrahim Ihwas, was captured when trying to enter Libya at the Tunisian border. Although the coup attempt failed and Gaddafi escaped unscathed, dissident groups claimed that some eighty Libyans, Cubans, and East Germans had been killed in the operation. Some 2,000 people were arrested in Libya following the attack, and eight were hanged publicly. Basically, Ragab Zatout coup attempt was thwarted by the Libyan army.


More hostage negotiations

From May 14 to 16, 1984 four British men in Libya were rounded up and detained as hostages, against the four arrested Libyan nationals in Britain by those claiming to be officials of the Gaddafi regime. The men in order of capture were: Michael Berdinner, Alan Russell, Malcolm Anderson and Robin Plummer. At first, Allen Russell and Malcolm Anderson were held at a separate location where they were questioned and beaten. Ledingham, Berdinner and Plummer (Plummer in solitary confinement) were in the same facility, the Italian Mansion, a building approximately 400 yards distant from the Italian Embassy.


On June 12, 1984, a month after being taken hostage, the five men were allowed a meeting with the British Second Consul, George Anderson, who was able to offer only pastoral care and contact with home, but no suggestion of release. It was clear by this time, however, that the men were being held as hostages by one of Col Gaddafi’s Revolutionary Committees, in defiance of international law. Return to their respective prisons was followed by little or no improvement in the hostages’ circumstances.

Murder of Mohammed Saleh Abouzeid Shatiti

June 21, 1984, a 52-year-old Libyan businessman named Mohammed Saleh Abouzeid Shatiti, with close ties to Qaddafi was shot dead in Athens during a visit of Libyan foreign minister Abdul Salam Turayki, who was also in Greece for talks with officials about a June 13 shooting of a Libyan-born Greek in his small shop in Athens. Shatiti lived with his 17-year-old son in Greece and had a wife and four other children in Libya, but had not visited the country for three years because he feared for his life, as told to police by his friends. A witness to the killing, Dimitris Haralambous, said Shatiti was driving a car and was being followed by two men on a motorcycle. “He stopped the car and he tried to run into a nearby hotel, while his passenger ran the other way. One of the men riding the motorcycle followed Shatiti and shot him with a pistol,” Haralambous said. “The gunman ran away and I tried to help the victim, who was alive for a few minutes and was saying something in an unknown language,” Haralambous said. The two assassins, described as thin, dark-skinned men, escaped. Athens police tried to say the murder of Shatiti may have been linked to his opposition of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi, but Treiki told reporters, “Libya does not export terrorism.”


On July 19, 1984 a second meeting with George Anderson resulted in all the hostages being put into one location, the Italian Mansion, and being fed an improved diet and given medical attention. This improvement in circumstances was accompanied by a slow but inexorable descent into gloom of the hostages isolated from all news of the outside world.

Meanwhile, in Britain, unbeknownst to the hostages, their families, notably Pat Plummer and Carole Russell, were working tirelessly with Kate Adie of the BBC and Brent Sadler of ITN to keep the hostages’ plight in the media to keep the situation in the news and the profile high on the government’s agenda. By now, the families were being kept up to date on a daily basis by contacts within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as to the stalemate between Libya and Britain, with a continual decline in international relations between Libya and most of the rest of the world.

By the summer of 1984 in London, a committee in parliament was held to determine whether or not what the British government had done over the Libyan hostage situation was reasonable. The committee concluded that in the circumstances, the British government had done all it reasonably could in the light of what little was known at the time.


On August 7, 1984 the Libyans allowed family members to visit the hostages. These visits brought unofficial news of the, as yet, publicly undisclosed involvement of Terry Waite, the Special Envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the Church of England.

Murder of Ali el-Giahour

Ali el-Giahour

August 20, 1984, a 45 years old Libyan businessman named Ali el-Giahour, who was facing trial in connection with March bomb attacks in London was found murdered in a London apartment. Spokesmen refused to comment on speculation that Mr. Giahour had been killed by a Libyan death squad, but said it was believed he had been lured to the apartment where he was killed by an assassin. The murder weapon was left in the bathtub filled with water. He had been charged with conspiracy to cause explosions after five bombs went off at Arab targets in London in March. One bomb wounded 23 people in a crowded club. Giahour was free, granted bail pending the hearing, despite police objections, Scotland Yard said. The murder is never solved.

Helmut Nagler

Essentially what put the Hein gang on the map was the second part of the ‘Dispatches’ episode “Murder in St James” where according to member Helmut Nagler, Hein had sent him in February of 1984 to London in a Mercedes with several pistols hidden within the bottom oil pan. It was his second delivery of weapons for Zatout. He drove the gold-colored Mercedes, registration B-NY 604, to Hamburg and takes the ferry “Prince Hamlet” to England. In London he meets with Zatout and handed the weapons with no money transaction. The murder weapon received, a Walther that was used on Giahour comes from the golden Mercedes, and was confirmed as weapon # 176979.

‘Dispatches’ Channel 4 Documentary ‘Murder In St. James’s’ part II

Authorities investigating the murder at first believed that the apartment flat Giahour was led to was rented by Zatout.

Dieter Harbecke

One of the other Hein gang member Manfred Meyer who was also aware of the weapons transaction had confirmed to German authorities that not only was it used for the Giahour murder but also on Yvonne Fletcher. In which German police and intelligence had also suggested the same thing. Years later, Meyer gave the police the information about the connections between the cook Helmut Krug and the brothel ‘Regina’ in Berlin, whose boss, former foreign legionnaire Dieter Harbecke, who was an associate to Hein, Zatout and Matar. Harbecke was known as a “man for the rough”. A Der Spiegel article from September 1988 had called Harbecke a ‘police spy’. It was rumored that he was “a real undercover agent, the criminal legend secure camouflage”.

And according to a February 16, 1987 Der Spiegel article charting some of Hein’s crimes, Walther pistols dominated the arsenal of the Heins gang; according to Hein’s practitioners, they were most suitable for the threads of the homemade silencers, brass pipes lined with aluminum and leather plates. The weapon also used on Gaddafi diplomat Ammar el-Taggazy who was shot in Rome at the beginning of 1984 was, according to former employees, owned by Hein.

Although the bombing campaign in March that Giahour was implicated in was feeding the British narrative of Pro Libyan terrorist retaliating or striking anti-Gaddafi militants or supporters, it was revealed that Giahour was also a member of Al Bukan and working for UK intelligence likely as a double agent, ultimately suggesting that Giahour as a free man with his bombing cases pending against him, no longer made him useful for Al Burkan or as an asset for any other special interests he was working for, nor especially Libya, and was ultimately a liability that needed to be silenced, as Giahour himself told his lawyer that he feared that he was a target as a free man.


Hostages begin to be incrementally freed

On September 1, 1984 Doug Ledingham (35) and another man ironically named George Bush (oil worker, 45) another prisoner, arrested and detained on bona fide charges unrelated to the Libyan hostage situation, were freed and allowed home. On the day of their release, British television news was granted access to and showed the world for the first time, detail of the hostage situation.

Attempted assassination of a Libyan diplomat in Madrid

On Tuesday, September 11, 1984 Mohammed al-Dris Ahmed an administrative employee of the Libyan embassy in Madrid, Spain was shot on his way to work, wounding him in his arms, his wounds were not serious . The Libyan, Mohammed Al Dris Ahmed, was in his car with two other people when the attack occurred. Two young men, both carrying Lebanese passports, were arrested soon after the attack, Mustafa Ali Khalil, 22, and Mohammed Khair Abbas, 20. Khalil, carrying an Italian-made pistol with seven bullets in the cartridge clip, and was captured as he tried to catch a taxi a few blocks from the scene. Abbas was arrested in his Madrid hotel room, and police said they also took a pistol from him. The two members of the (Lebanese) Amal militia were sentenced on July 25, 1985 in Spain to prison terms of over 20 years each. The defense counsel had argued for acquittal on the grounds that the accused were acting under orders. Three Libyans, including two diplomats, were expelled from Spain at the end of December 1985.

Both Al-Burkan and the Shia militant group Musa Sadr Brigade took credit. Al-Burkan claimed credit through an anonymous phone call placed in London

The Musa Sadr Brigade as well as Amal Miltia, are known as being part of the Amal Movement, a Lebanese political party associated with Lebanon’s Shia community, founded by Musa al-Sadr, also known as Imam Musa, described as a tall and charismatic philosopher and Shi’a religious leader from a long line of distinguished clerics tracing their ancestry back to the 3rd century A.D

The Amal movement has essentially turned into what we know now at today as Hezbollah, which was arguably founded as early as 1982 or as what American and Western media proclaim was after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings, however, Musa al-Sadr did not live long enough to witness those events or transitions takes shape, as he ended up disappearing in 1978 with two companions who departed on August 25, for Libya to meet with government officials at the invitation of Muammar Gaddafi. The three were last seen on August 31, 1978. They were never heard from again. Many theories exist around the circumstances of Sadr’s disappearance, none of which have been proven. His whereabouts remain unknown to this day. But the main implicating theory around his disappearance is that Gaddafi had something to do with it for an array of different reasons.

Al Jazeera put out an excellent 48 minute documentary in 2012 about Musa al-Sadr and the Mystery regarding his disappearance called the ‘The Imam and the Colonel’ that’s highly recommended for viewing to get a full gist of the story.

But If Qadafi was responsible for the disappearance of Al-Sadr, it may have been his biggest mistake if one doesn’t rely on the official narratives with the presiding events take shape over the next few years in which we will cover some in a follow-up chapter. But ultimately what events get blamed on the Qaddafi regime after 1984 will drastically affect Libya’s economy.

Also on September 21, two bombs were defused outside the Libyan Embassy in Nicosia, on the island of Cyprus, west of Lebanon.


Libyan embassy Attack in Bonn

October 14th 1984, Hein’s men attacked the Libyan embassy in Bonn where two Molotov cocktails were used in the contrite attack. According to an insider Manfred Meyer, the Burkan activists where offered 450,000 German marks to make an example of Gaddafi’s men all over the world. However, under the hands of the Berliners, the company got smaller and smaller from level to level – the bazooka initially intended as an explosive was not available, and neither was the hand grenade that was then planned. Finally, four juice bottles were filled with gasoline and sealed with rags. Hein employee Helmut Nägler later claimed to be the organizer. His gasoline bottle thrower, two petty criminals, only hit one embassy door; the total damage was, according to official findings, a pitiful thousand marks.

Closing the Libyan hostage situation

On October 17, 1984, two of the wives of the hostages, Pat Plummer and Carole Russell, attended a meeting with the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The two wives petitioned for a representative of the British Government to go to Libya and start negotiations for the release of the hostages. This meeting was soon followed by the arrival in Libya of Terry Waite.

October 21, 1984 Alan Russell and Malcolm Anderson were removed from the Italian Mansion and taken to the Libyan courts, where they were charged with transporting state secrets.


November 10–18, 1984 Terry Waite was in Libya. The hostage situation showed no signs of thawing, in spite of national and international efforts to secure the release of the hostages and the intervention at a pastoral level of Waite.


December 13–14, 1984 Allen Russell was placed on trial and charged with sharing state secrets with British journalists. Robin Plummer seized the opportunity to speak to the press post being question and states his innocence and makes a plea for warm clothing.

December 24, 1984 the four men were confirmed as political hostages by Gaddafi. Waite held a Christmas carol service with the hostages.

1985 – January

January 6, 1985 Col Gaddafi himself placed the matter of the remaining hostages before the members of the Basic and General Peoples’ Congresses, the system of democracy prevalent in Libya at the time, for a decision on the release of the hostages.

Assassination of Farag Omar Makhyoun

On January 13, 1985, Farag Omar Makhyoun, a 31-year-old cultural attaché at the Libyan Embassy was shot seven times and killed in Rome near his home but managed to fire two shots from a .38-caliber pistol during an ambush by his assailants before collapsing on an icy street. The incident occurred exactly a year after Ammar El Taggazy assassination also in Rome. Makhyoun died clutching a gun in his hand. An anonymous caller to the London office of The Associated Press said that a group named Al Burkan was responsible. Libya had initially blamed a Shiite Moslem group from Lebanon and PLO leader Yasser Arafat. Police said they were checking the possibility the assailant may be a follower of Shiite Moslem religious leader, Mousa Sadr.

1985 – February

February 5, 1985 the Congresses voted by an overwhelming majority to release the hostages. But there were conditions to the release. The release was however subject to a few days’ delay, for undisclosed reasons.

February 7, 1985 after almost nine months (294 days), the hostages arrived back in England.

Assassination attempt on ex-ambassador Ezzedin al-Ghadamsi

On February 28, Ezzedin al-Ghadamsie an ex Libyan ambassador in Vienna was gunned down and seriously injured by an unknown assassin. The perpetrators were not caught, but strangely enough they left the murder weapon with a silencer in a side street. The Libyan government condemned the act and blamed Palestinian groups and the CIA. Gaddafi’s former companion and confidante al-Ghadamsie had been sent to Austria as an ambassador, but after his dismissal in 1980 the diplomat refused to return to Libya. Even after his resignation, reports indicate that he continued to work for Libya.

But incidentally 3 years later in another gun attack on May 20, 1987, Ghadamsi was slightly injured in the head. A Libyan assassin was arrested by the police and sentenced to ten years in 1988, cited private reasons as the motive for the crime. Ghadamsi however spoke political acts after his relationship with Gaddafi deteriorated; the ex-ambassador later moved to London and repeatedly criticized the Gaddafi regime.

The Bust

With Ghadamsi attacked, the traces pointed to the environment in West Berlin where the scaffolding contractor Hilmar Hein was also based. Hein’s former intimate Manfred Meyer had been asked by Hein in February 1985 to take part in a murder. Meyer correctly concluded that he should be drawn ever deeper into something that he could not get out of.

Manfred Meyer

On February 25, 1985, Manfred Meyer surrendered to the police in Berlin and asked to be charged with murder in Vienna. A murder attack is planned by an Israeli named Genneadij Levenzon in collaboration with Moshe Ben Ari, a Mossad agent. But the police didn’t want to know about it, and sent Meyer back home. Levenzon was already known to the police because two pistols with silencers were traced in Belgium in September 1984 that was linked to Levenzon.

Ghadamsi was gunned down three days later.

Levenzon was already suspected in the indictment along with Hein whom was a companion of the boutique owner Moshe Ben Ari, an Israeli citizen who served in the Mossad and head of the ‘Third Eye of Zion’, a group which carries out Mossad’s dirty work in West Berlin.

However, if Ben Ari protected Hein, one can conclude that Israel, the CIA and MI6 were closely invested with any attempts to assassinate Gaddafi. The Federal Criminal Police Office counted Ben Ari as a key figure in Eastern European organized crime in Germany.

But it doesn’t end there as far as associations, in Easter of 1983 Hilmar Hein traveled to Thailand where he had met Zatout and with John Poindexter, President Reagan’s security adviser and was involved in in the soon-to-be coming Iran-Contra affair, along with other fellow conspirator Oliver North, National Security Council official and CIA agent, also involved in the Iran-Contra affair. According to Der Spiegel, Oliver North “took care of the deposition of unwanted leaders. He still remembers the memos from ‘El Burkan’ and the NFSL that went over his desk. ” In Bangkok, not only the CIA, but also the Israeli secret service Mossad had headquarters.

Even before engaging in the Al Burkan activity Hein also had a relationship with one of the richest men in the world at the time, the Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi, founder of the Safari Alliance Club, a name also involved in the Iran-Contra Affair. Hein knew Politicians such as the Berlin Senator for the Interior, Heinrich Lummer (CDU), who were also welcome guests on Kashoggi’s luxury yacht anchored in the port of Nice, France.

According to Angelika Gutsche writing for German weekly newspaper Der Freitag ‘Libyans, secret services, gunmen‘ published December 22, 2016, which is about Al Burkan and the Hein gang entanglement based on available articles and two books, one written by Manfred Meyer himself in 2012, that’s only published in German language, Gaddafi, Koks und Knaben: Ein CIA-Mordkomplott (Gadhafi, Cocaine, and Boys: A CIA Murder Plot) she says that distrust between Zatout and Hein had grown over money spent on Gaddafi’s coup attempt and Al Burkan activities. Hein had already paid ten million marks to the brothel owner Dieter Harbecke, who wanted to come forward with fiduciary checks issued by Zatout. Harbecke, who felt booted out, shot at Hein’s car as a warning. Hein then got himself a bodyguard: the boutique owner Moshe Ben Ari. At the time of the el-Giahour ‘murder, both Hein and his bodyguard Moshe Ben Ari were in London; both returned to Berlin on August 20. Hein later admitted in court that he had received at least one pistol from Ben Ari.

After the Giahour murder during a flight to the U.S. to visit Zatout, Hein asked his business partner Werner Stange whether he would be willing to put Gaddafi out of the way for ten million marks, but Hein also expressed the idea of changing sides and betraying Zatout to Gaddafi. Hein started to become no longer reliable to Zatout.

On March 7, 1985 Hein is arrested but denies any involvement in murder and says he gave Zatout guns and that he didn’t know what he has done with the guns.

The trial began in February 1987 before the Berlin Regional Court. For two years, the police investigated Hein and 13 accomplices, organized crime experts, drug and homicide officers, the Federal Criminal Police Office and Scotland Yard were also involved. The indictment is 178 pages long. Hein was found guilty on 30 of 67 charges among other things because of the attack on the embassy in Bonn, and is sentenced to seven years in prison. In 1991 he was released early only serving 5 years.

Nägler now lives in Switzerland, in a villa that once belonged to Hein. Hein often travels to Switzerland to visit Nägler.

Rageb Zatout essentially fled and was able to evade from all prosecution of these Al Burkan incidents spanning from 1984 to 85, taking up exile in the U.S. Zatout gave himself up as a Gaddafi victim in 2011. Already on April 11, 2011, he founded the New Libya Party with other exiles in Benghazi, in which only he himself sees a ‘hope for democracy’. The party has supporters in the United States, Canada and Germany. One can imagine that, especially among the secret services. In Libya, the number of followers is likely to remain within narrow limits.

In June 2011, months before Qaddafi is finally taken out in the NATO allied military intervention in Libya, which has essentially has been defined as the birth point of ISIS, the Der Spiegel article reminiscing on Al Burkan and Hein gang wrote Zatout up as being the now important “man of the Libyan opposition”, “an advisor to the insurgents”. Among other things, he demonstrated this in an interview with CNBC Arabiya, where he was able to spread his ideas about the ‘new Libya’.

Hein spent five years in prison for this. Zatout now appears as a politician in Arab news channels. “There he prides himself on having launched the terrorist organization Libyan National Salvation Army (LNSA) on January 6, 1981 together with Jaballah Matar.

Jaballah Matar was arrested in Cairo in March 1990 and extradited to Libya, where he was imprisoned in Tripoli until 2011. As of 2010, Hischam Matar, the son of Jaballah Matar, was a courting interviewee in the Western media, who skillfully built his father, who was on the list of Amnesty International, as a victim of the ‘Gaddafi regime’. Of course, the prehistory of the Jaballah Matar, which dates back to the 70s and 80s, was not just a language. Another son of Jaballah Matar is called Ziad Matar. He also asked for his father’s release in 2011 and wanted NATO operations in Libya to accelerate. Like his father and brother, he was a leading member of the NFSL.

Hildog and Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf

The NFSL founder Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, at the onset of the Libyan Civil War in 2011, Magariaf remained active in engaging with his political contacts, in an effort to gain international support for himself and the Libyan people. After the 2011 civil war, Magariaf returned to Libya from the United States, where he had spent most of his 30 years in exile. He is now the leader of National Front Party, the formal successor of the NFSL which was dissolved on 9 May 2012, after the National Transitional Council seized power. During the Libyan Congressional election of 2012, Magariaf was elected congressman, within the National Front Party. Magariaf was elected President of the General National Congress (GNC) on 9 August 2012. After serving as President for 9 months he resigned in May 2013 in anticipation of the political isolation law which was passed, barring him from office due to his previous role as an ambassador under the Gaddafi regime. Former Libyan foreign minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham, who defected from the Libyan government at the beginning of the 2011 Libyan civil war in March, told al-Hayat on July 18, 2011 that the Libyan government was responsible for the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772 (a scheduled international passenger flight of a French airline operating in France, the Congo and in Chad) stating “The Libyan security services blew up the plane. They believed that opposition leader Mohammed al-Megrief was on board”. Magariaf also survived an assassination attempt on his life in the southwestern Libyan town of Sabha in 2013. Magariaf is reported to have good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, yet is perceived as a moderate who led one of the most liberal parties in the 2012 election in Libya.

According to German Mark Altten in his 2011 book “The Ghaddafi plot” The following trail of death, led to Cold War Berlin, where secret services, the semi-silk underworld and exiled Libyans mixed deadly cocktails:

“On January 21, 1984, the Libyan Ammar Taggazy was shot by unknown people in Rome.

On February 28, 1984, a cook who worked in Libya died in Würzburg.

On April 17, 1984, pistol bullets in London injured police officer Yvonne Fletcher.

In mid-August 1984 the life of Libyan businessman Ali el-Gia-hour came to a cruel end in a London apartment.

On October 14, 1984, an attack on a Libyan facility in Bonn was carried out.

On January 13, 1985, the Libyan Farag Makhyoun died in an attack in Rome.

On February 28, 1985, Ezzedin al-Ghadamsi, from Libya, was seriously injured by gunfire in Vienna.”

None of these crimes, committed between late January 1984 and late February 1985, has ever been solved. And according to the conditions for release of the 1984 Libyan hostage incident, Libya requested that the British Government stop anti-Libyan propaganda channeled through British media; there has been almost no reference to the hostage situation in literature since the time of the release. Most references that state the history of Libya at the time make reference to the murder of WPC Fletcher and then make no reference whatsoever to the hostage situation, skipping instead to the bombing of Libya by the U.S. in 1986, which we will also over more extensively in a follow-up article. But Fletcher’s murder became a major factor in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s decision to allow US President Ronald Reagan to launch the U.S. Air Force bombing raid on Libya in 1986 from American bases in Britain, in which none of U.S.’s European allies would allow using its territory or airspace in the bombing campaign.

Between Zatout, Hein and Ben Ari organized the assassination of Libyan officials in London, Rome and Vienna; planned the assassination of Gadhafi in the attack on his Tripoli barracks on May 1984; and had a hand in the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher in April ’84 in London. And although this story may sound ages ago, or too late or beyond the statute of limitations to some, it is a tale worth knowing indeed not just in the aftermath escalating the war on terror a decade after 9/11, but that the same sort of organized crime nexus or arrangements laid out here mostly in 1984, either had a systemic, if not direct relationship to the road of 9/11 at least within the lines of foreign intelligence.

Hilmar Hein and Ragab Zatout

But before we move on to the next article covering the following years, they’re still one other intriguing Libyan worth also bringing attention to.

Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk

On November 19, 2015, head of counter-terrorism at Scotland Yard, Commander Richard Walton, announced that a Libyan man had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder WPC Yvonne Fletcher. The Libyan aged in his 50’s was detained in south-east England and is now in custody, Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk, who was expelled from Britain seven days after Fletcher’s murder but was allowed to return to visit the UK in 2000; a year after Britain restored diplomatic relations with Libya. Mabrouk subsequently fled to Britain and claimed political asylum following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He is also suspected of money laundering offences. Two other Libyan nationals – a woman (wife; Camilla Othman) in her 40s and a man (son; Osama Saleh Ibrahim) in his 30s – were also arrested on suspicion of money laundering. However a decision was announced in May 2017 that for reasons of “national security” the murder suspect, Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk, would not be taken to court. Senior policing sources told The Telegraph that the case against Mabrouk was dropped after a decision taken at the “highest level”. John Murray, a police officer who held WPC Fletcher as she laid dying outside the Libyan embassy in 1984, said the decision to give Mabrouk asylum was “scandalous”. Murray said it added to his conviction that Mabrouk had been an agent for the British intelligence services at a time when the UK Government was attempting to bring Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime back into the fold after years as a terrorist pariah state: “If he is a liaison between Libya and MI6 that would explain why he has got asylum.”

This is just speculation but could it be that Mabrouk was one of the Libyan diplomats who was secretly a member of AL Burkan or NFSL inside the Libyan’s People’s Office in St James Square London, during the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher, but was mysteriously let out of the country as what the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ episode uncovered with an unnamed suspect?


To be continued…

reference links:

• 1984 Libyan hostage incident – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Libyan_hostage_incident

• The Libyan friend (Der libysche Freund) – Der Spiegel, 06/27/2011: https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-79175780.html

• Why a Libyan receives the Pulitzer Prize (Warum ein Libyer den Pulitzer-Preis erhält) – Der Freitag, 04/13/2017: https://www.freitag.de/autoren/gela/warum-ein-libyer-den-pulitzer-preis-erhaelt

• 3 HURT IN 2 NEW BOMB BLASTS IN BRITAIN – The New York Times, March 12, 1984: https://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/12/world/3-hurt-in-2-new-bomb-blasts-in-britain.html

• BOMB FOUND AT LONDON NIGHTCLUB – The New York Times, March 13, 1984: https://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/13/world/bomb-found-at-london-nightclub.html

• GEHEIM on Mossad anti-Libyan Activities in West Germany – Beastrabban\’s Weblog, May 5, 2016: https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/geheim-on-mossad-anti-libyan-activities-in-west-germany/?fbclid=IwAR3IF_dSV3sz6VGf7LR3wb5A3FVdENfKlscNaXMENrscf507DL4fUkyFDLE

• Sections of ‘Libya in the Crosshairs: 25 years of Gaddafi’ (Libyen im Fadenkreuz – 25 Jahre Gaddafi) 1994: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/z-netz.datenschutz.spionage/IN8WFgMRFYI

• Hilmchen takes a nose („Hilmchen nimmt ein Näschen“) – Der Spiegel 02/16/1987: https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13522238.html

• Böck or klock (Böck oder klock) – Der Spiegel 05/09/1988: https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13528916.html

• Terrorist Attacks in 1984: http://www.angelfire.com/apes/atomictrain1/1984.html

• Lebanese Deny Libya’s Claim on Diplomat’s Murder – Associated Press, January 14, 1985: https://apnews.com/5727ec14613e7fef914d8a0d29057d58

• Libyan Diplomatic Aide Killed in Rome – Los Angeles Times, January 14, 1985: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1985-01-14-mn-9793-story.html

• OPPOSITION TO QADHAFI – from Country Studies/Area Handbook by the U.S. Department of the Army: http://countrystudies.us/libya/76.htm

• Athens police said Friday the murder of a Libyan… – UPI, June 22, 1984: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1984/06/22/Athens-police-said-Friday-the-murder-of-a-Libyan/4645456724800/

• GUNMEN KILL LIBYAN DIPLOMAT ON A ROME STREET – The New York Times, January 14, 1985: https://www.nytimes.com/1985/01/14/world/gunmen-kill-libyan-diplomat-on-a-rome-street.html

• CIA BACKED QADDAFI ASSASSINATION TRY – http://www.cia.gov: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP90-00965R000706950054-9.pdf

• Secrets from Germany – Lobster #15, Feb 1988: https://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue15.php

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