Al-Gaddafi, Muammar Abu Minyar (Libya)

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Muammar Gaddafi took power in a military coup against the monarchy in 1969, espousing radical Arab nationalism and Islamic socialist policies. His revolutionary fervour frequently brought him into conflict with the Western powers, which held him responsible for acts of international terrorism. However, in the first decade of the twenty-first century there were improvements in diplomatic and business relations after Gaddafi settled the Lockerbie bombing claims and agreed to stop developing weapons of mass destruction. Domestic opposition to his rule grew, however, and in early 2011 a popular movement emerged calling for him to step down. In Aug. 2011 insurgents seized control of the capital and installed an interim administration. Gaddafi remained in hiding until Oct. 2011 when he was captured by National Transitional Council forces and killed.

Early Life

Born into a Bedouin family near Sirte in June 1942, Gaddafi’s education was strongly religious and he remains a devout...

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