Mahdi al-Harati

Mahdi al-Harati

Mahdi Al-Harati in September 2011, after the Battle of Tripoli
Mayor of Tripoli[1]
Assumed office
Personal details
Born c. 1973 (age 4243)
Tripoli, Libya[2]
Military service
Allegiance Libya National Transitional Council (2011)
Syria Syrian National Council (2012)
Service/branch Libya National Liberation Army
Rank Commander/Colonel
Commands Tripoli Brigade[2]
Liwaa al-Umma
Battles/wars Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War

Mahdi al-Harati (born c. 1973) is an Irish-Libyan politician and former co-commander of the Tripoli Brigade during the Libyan Civil War.[2] He was also the commander of Liwaa Al-Umma, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war.[3]

Before the Libyan civil war he was an Arabic teacher in Dublin, where he lived with his Irish-born wife and family.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] He was appointed second in command of the newly formed Tripoli Military Council.

On 6 October 2011, a gang broke into al-Harati's house in Rathkeale, as his wife Eftaima al-Najar was in Tallaght hospital with one of their children. The thieves took 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 the 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.[7][8]

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 assured that the resignation was for "personal reasons", a senior NTC official quoted by CNN said that the resignation was because of "differences with the National Transitional Council on the planning of the security of Tripoli". Fathi Al-Wersali, a member of the Tripoli Military Council, stated that Al-Harati would continue as commander of the Tripoli brigade.[9]

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 six months leading Liwaa Al-Umma, Al-Harati left the brigade in September 2012[3] and handed over its command to the Free Syrian Army.[10]

In 2014, Al-Harati was elected mayor of Libya's capital city of Tripoli.[11]


  1. 1 2 3 "Irish Libyans join rebels trying to oust Gadafy". Irish Times. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  2. 1 2 "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. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. "Mehdi Harati, "I received € 200,000 from U.S. secret services"". Ennahar. 09-11-2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. Fitzgerald, Mary (11 October 2011). "Libyan-Irish commander resigns as deputy head of Tripoli military council". Irish Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  9. Archived from the original on September 26, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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