“Remember Libya? The North African country that got caught up in the ‘Arab Spring,’ ousted its eccentric dictator, and is now supposedly transforming into a peaceful, democratic state?” This was a foreboding question posed by the Trumpet on Feb. 23, 2012. During and since that time, Libya has been steered down a path of violence that is destined to end in radical Islam claiming another victim from the ‘Arab Spring,’ which will bring on the fulfillment of a number of powerful prophecies in the Middle East.
Since Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi’s execution at the hands of rebel forces, Libya has taken a backseat to more “gripping” news in the region, predominantly from Syria and Egypt. The murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens received some media attention and sparked a renewed interest in the plight of Libya, but in recent months interest has faded as the atrocities in other regions of the Middle East have intensified. While turmoil has raged across the Middle East and North Africa, Libya has quietly descended into a political, social and economic crisis.
Libya now faces its most daunting challenges since the days of Colonel Qadhafi. Since the war, the economy has failed to restart. Libya is largely dependent on its oil and gas revenues to pay its workforce, arm its military and to run the nation.
Libya currently exports 130,000 barrels of oil per day, a veritable dribble compared to the amounts gushing forth before 2011. Today, exports are at less than 10 percent of the pre-war level. With such a heavy reduction in oil—the lifeblood of the country—Libya is running out of ways to pay its workforce.
Many government workers are now striking, fed up with the inefficiency of the administration. These protests cost the nation around $140 million per day. The cost of strikes on the economy has been $5 billion so far. With daily power and water outages across the nation, the striking looks set to continue, and intensify.
Some are already taking more extreme measures to make a buck. Tired of the weak government, and wishing to capitalize on the country’s instability, some are taking over the country’s oil terminals, selling the oil for their own profit. Security guards have taken over four oil export terminals along the northeastern coastline, and despite government threats and feeble retaliation, the terminals have remained under rebel control.
Striking and theft are severely crippling the nation, but they are not the only concern. Streets upon which tourists and journalists once roamed are now the highways of rebels and militias, each working to obtain power and influence in their respective cities or regions.
Some of these militias have tried to take on the role of private security. However, many of the militia are comprised of common citizens who took up arms to topple Qadhafi and never put them down. The result is terrorism and gang violence taking over the country. The Libyan Shield Brigade, which operates out of Benghazi and is one of the two largest militia forces in the nation, opened fire on protesters outside one of its barracks, killing 31 demonstrators.
Another group that is on the rise is the Supreme Security Committees. This private militia is better funded and better armed than the legitimate police. Libyans are turning to these militia groups for protection because they know how ineffective the real police are. Take for instance the case of Military Prosecutor Col. Yussef Ali al-Asseifar. Mr. al-Asseifar was in charge of investigating assassinations across the country, yet he himself was assassinated in a car bomb attack on August 29. This shows the ineffective state of the police in the face of well-armed terrorists. Police fight on the streets with handguns, while the terrorists shoot back with rocket-propelled grenades. So it is that the police have come to the Supreme Security Committees to try to assimilate, in an attempt to maintain some control.
The problem is that the militias are not police—they are terrorists. A group affiliated with the Supreme Security Committees was responsible for the kidnapping of Libya’s ex-spy chief. Despite her eventual release, the incident well illustrated that the terrorists are a law unto themselves.
Water is being cut off to the capital because the Megraha tribe in Sabha cut power upstream in southern Libya. Further south, militants and arms smugglers easily cross the borders with Chad and Niger, facilitating the expansion of the radical groups.
And these groups are radical. Hashim Bishr, the head of the Supreme Security Committees, is a Salafist, a hardline Islamist. He has already been accused of pushing an agenda of imposing sharia law on the nation. With power and influence growing, these radical groups are becoming bold. The French Embassy was attacked on April 23 in retaliation to French involvement in the ousting of radical Islamists in Mali. A few days later, on April 28, militias surrounded Libya’s Foreign Ministry, calling for officials who worked for Qadhafi to be banned from working in the new administration. Unwilling to go up against 20 pickup trucks with mounted anti-aircraft guns, the police backed down.
The weak police are but an arm of a weak government. The Muslim Brotherhood leads the government under the banner of the Justice and Construction Party. The Brotherhood is constantly pressuring Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to take more action to fix the economy and curb the rise of powerful militia groups. Yet, some accuse the Brotherhood of empowering groups such as Libya Shield.
The situation is desperate as terrorist militias turn on each other and the government. After 40 years of dictatorial rule, the nation is struggling to take any meaningful steps to governing the vast territory. As daily gun battles rage in the capital, as more oil pipes are cut, as terrorism increases, the world refuses to pay attention.
Few see the danger of what happens when the civil servants can’t be paid and people can’t get electricity or water. The world doesn’t see the rise of radical Islam enveloping the nation. Look at Syria and see for yourself that chaos is the perfect ground in which radicalization can flourish. The situation is already radical in Libya now, but with continued social and economic breakdown, it could soon become far worse.
If the present state of Libya is not enough to convince you of its immediate future, look at the history of the revolution. Request a copy of our free booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy to gain an insightful look into the events surrounding the revolution and how they show Iranian influence.
Just as the world largely fails to see the impending fall of Libya to radical Islam, it also fails to see the place Libya holds in Bible prophecy. The Libyan nation is prophesied to fall under the control of the king of the south, a radical Islamic power headed up by none other than Iran. Daniel 11:40-43 tell us, “The Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” The Moffatt translation states that “at his steps” means following in his train.
A year on since the death of U.S. Ambassador Stevens, the situation in Libya is dire. It may be disheartening, but take heart in the fact that the fall of Libya to the king of the south is a step in the process leading up to the return of Jesus Christ. These prophecies are destined to come about right before the return of Christ. At that time, everyone will see the incredible fulfillment of prophecy, as Christ establishes His rule. There will be no weak government with a failing economy as we see in Libya, but rather, people will reap the tremendous benefits of living God’s way of life.