Two Important Activists 'Died' in US Custody This Month: Abu Anas al-Libi & Phil Africa

18 January 2015

By Karin Friedmann

Our America: Two major, latest, crimes of our government.

Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i, popularly known as Abu Anas al-Libi, died in US custody on January 2, 2015 - just 3 months after he was kidnapped in Libya in front of his Tripoli home by a team of US military, CIA and FBI agents [video: ].

First, al-Libi was taken to a Navy ship for torture. Intelligence officials interrogated him for a week after his capture aboard the USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean, according to the Guardian. He was then indicted and transferred to a prison in New York City. Reports have surfaced that the US obtained evidence against him via a plea bargain from Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian army major who worked for the CIA and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.In 2000, Mohamed received a life sentence without parole after he pled guilty to five terrorist charges in connection with the embassy bombings.

Al-Libi pled not guilty in October 2014 to involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He was supposed to go to court on January 12, 2015 to defend himself against the accusations. Instead, he was buried January 10 in Libya at a well-attended funeral.

'Adel Al-Masry, who was incarcerated alongside him in America said that our beloved father was maltreated from the moment he set foot in prison and was denied medical care, causing his health to rapidly deteriorate," stated his son, Ahmed Nazeeh al Ruqai'y .

A document filed in court by the Department of Justice said al-Libi "was taken from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to a New York hospital due to sudden complications arising out of his long-standing medical problems." Despite the care provided at the hospital, the government claimed, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed away Friday evening. They mention an imam was present with him at the hospital. Could this imam lend more insight into what happened at the hospital? There is no question that foul play could have been involved.

A similar though unrelated mysterious death occurred in another US prison hospital the same week. On Sunday, January 4th, 2015, Phil Africa was secretly transported from his Dallas, Pennsylvania prison to Wilkes Barre General Hospital at the same time as MOVE members were attempting to visit him. At the hospital, he was held in isolation for 5 days and not even allowed to call his wife of 44 years, Janine Africa. Due to the hospital and prison receiving hundreds of phone calls in support from around the world, Phil was finally allowed to call Janine on Thursday, January 8th. She reported that he was heavily drugged, incoherent and couldn't even hold the phone to talk to her. On Friday, January 9th Phil was sent back to the prison infirmary. On Saturday, January 10th Ramona and Carlos Africa were granted permission to visit Phil in the prison infirmary. When they reached him he was incoherent and couldn't talk or move his head to look at them. An hour after they left, they got a call that Phil passed away.

"Inmates in the infirmary and others in the prison were shocked when they heard the news. They had witnessed his vigorous health for decades in the prisons, had just seen him stretching and doing jumping jacks six days earlier," reads a statement written by the family. "When Merle Africa died in prison on March 13th, 1998 the conditions were very similar. She had been one way in the prison, but within hours of being forced to go to an outside hospital she was dead."

Phil Africa was a member of the Black revolutionary group, MOVE, whose home was bombed in Philadelphia by the US government on May 13, 1985. Two of Phil's children died in the fire.

Al-Libi also lost one of his sons in the Libyan independence struggle. (Details unknown).

Al-Libi's wife, Umm Abdul Rahman, didn't deny that her husband had been an al-Qaeda member, who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "My husband was affiliated with al-Qaeda a long time ago. But he was never a senior leader in al-Qaeda," she said. Later on he got involved with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, she said. "They had a common vision, a common cause, a common enemy, which was the Gaddafi regime and they wanted to overthrow this regime."

His commitment to the ousting of Libya's longtime dictator resulted in several years of imprisonment in poor conditions in Iran after the family fled Afghanistan.

Al-Libi was given asylum by the UK but was nevertheless frequently harassed by British police. His family home was raided many times, but he was never charged with any crime. A close friend, quoted by the Associated Press, said al-Libi's family had returned to Libya around 2011 under a policy introduced by Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, to promote reconciliation with regime opponents who gave up violence.

Disgracing the concept of due process, U.S. President Barack Obama asserted at a press conference in Washington DC that al-Libi was behind the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. He "helped plan and execute plots that killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of Americans. We have strong evidence of that."US Secretary of State John Kerry boasted that "members of al-Qaeda ... literally can run but they can't hide." American lawmakers praised the military operation of the man's kidnapping.

His son Ahmed Nazeeh al Ruqai'y stated: "We will not forget. Neither will we get over what happened at the hands of the Americans, who prevented us from visiting our father and deprived us from seeing him."



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