Irish citizen named Mayor of Tripoli


By Madeline O’Connor

AN Irishman who commanded rebel groups in both Libya and Syria has been elected as the mayor of Tripoli, it has been reported.

Mahdi al-Harati, an Irish citizen from Firhouse in Dublin, was chosen as the city head by the Libyan capital’s new municipal council last Wednesday, according to state news agency Lana.

Al-Harati, 41, who was resident in Ireland for twenty years and married to an Irishwoman, went back to the war-torn North African country in 2011 and was involved in the armed revolt that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

It is believed Al-Harati founded a brigade that fought its way into the capital that year in a series of gun battles.

Also an Arabic teacher, he was popular with media outlets for his English in a country whose main language is Arabic.

Mr al-Harati went on to become deputy military chief in Tripoli, before leaving for Syria to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

He was also one of those seized after an Israeli attack on a Gaza flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara, in April 2010. Reports suggested he had been wounded, and spent nine days in a Tel-Aviv jail.

Al-Harati was interviewed on RTE talk-show the Late Late Show in 2011.


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