Written by A. Millar
Although infamous in Britain for the Lockerby bombing, in the 1980s Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi provided an array of extremist groups in Europe and North America with financial assistance. These included communist, Black nationalist, and even neo-Nazi organizations. These were ideological rather than terrorist organizations – anti-Western, Third Worldist, and anti-Zionist and/or anti-Semitic.Despite some common ideological ground, to bring such an array of organizations together under one roof might seem an impossible task. However, as Warren Kinsella describes in his book Unholy Alliances, in 1987 Gaddafi managed just that. Gathered in an army barracks in Tripoli, ostensibly to commemorate the bombing by the US a year earlier were members of the Black nationalist Nation of Islam, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Irish Republican Army, and a British Labour MP. “[K]eeping a low profile”, Kinsella notes (p. 2), “were a dozen or so members of the Nationalist Party of Canada, a neo-Nazi group based in Toronto.” (President Ronald Regan had ordered the attack on the barracks in response to the Libyan-tied bombing of a Berlin nightclub popular with US servicemen.)
With Gaddafi gaining a reputation as a financier of radical organizations, it is perhaps not entirely surprising that in September of 1988, top National Front members Nick Griffin (now chairman of the British National Party), Derek Holland and Patrick Harrington traveled to Libya to try to secure funding for their party.