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Mahdi al-Harati
Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
Born c. 1973 (age 48–49)
Place of birth Tripoli, Libya[1]
Allegiance Libya National Transitional Council (2011)
Syria Syrian National Council (2012)
Service/branch Libya National Liberation Army
Rank Commander/Colonel
Commands held Tripoli Brigade[1]
Liwaa al-Umma
Conflicts Libyan civil war
Syrian civil war

Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is a former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan civil war.[1] He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.[2]

Before the Libyan civil war he was an Arabic teacher in Dublin, where he lived with his Irish-born wife and family.[3]

He was described by Volkskrant, a Dutch daily newspaper, as being a face of the Battle of Tripoli and one of the most important rebel commanders of the Libyan civil war.[4] The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, offered a first-hand account of Al-Mahdi's advance on Tripoli and his men's assault on Gaddafi's former residence, Bab Al-Azizia.[5] He was appointed second in command of the newly formed Tripoli Military Council.

On 6 October 2011, a traveller gang broke into al-Harati's house in Rathkeale, as his wife Eftaima al-Najar was in Tallaght hospital with one of their kids. The thieves take an important quantity of expensive jewels from the couple's bedroom, as well as 200,000 euros in €500 notes hidden on a hot press. When asked about that substantial amount of cash, al-Harati declared to Irish officers that the money was given to him by members of an American intelligence agency to help to bring down Muammar Gaddafi.[6][7]

On 11 October 2011, Al-Harati resigned as deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council, amid tensions over security in the capital. According to the Irish Times, while Al-Harati's associates in Tripoli assure that the resignation was for "personal reasons", a senior NTC official quoted by CNN said that the resignation was because "differences with the National Transitional Council on the planning of the security of Tripoli". Fathi Al-Wersali, member of the Tripoli Military Council, stated that Al-Harati would continue as commander of the Tripoli brigade.[8]

Following his involvement in the Libyan civil war al-Harati went on a fact-finding mission to Syria where, following discussions with members of the Syrian opposition, he decided to form the militant group Liwaa Al-Umma. After 6 months of leading Liwaa Al-Umma, Al-Harati left the brigade in September 2012[2] and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Irish Libyans join rebels trying to oust Gadafy". Irish Times. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "الحارثي آمر "لواء الأمة": 99% من المقاتلين معي سوريون, أخبــــــار". Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  3. "Irish Libyan Mahdi al-Harati leads the overthrow of Colonel Gadafy". Irish Central. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  4. Stieven Ramdharie (2011-08-15). "Wie zijn de Tripoli Brigade precies? - De opstand in Libië - VK". Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  5. Post (6 January 2011). "The Sunday Times". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  6. "Tinker raiders, Soldier, Spy". Sunday World. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  7. "Mehdi Harati, "I received € 200,000 from U.S. secret services"". Ennahar. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  8. Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  9. [1][dead link]

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