During his 40-plus year reign., Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi has long been accused of promoting terrorist activities around the world. Such items included (allegedly) providing assistance to the Irish Republican Army, ordering the bombing of the Pan Am jetliner which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing more than 270 people, among many other infractions.
However, one the most bizarre and unlikely “partners in crime” with Gaddafi was probably Nick Griffin, the British ultra-nationalist who is now the head of the British National Party (BNP), which espouses the deportation of all non-white immigrants from the United Kingdom and has an especially virulent attitude against Islam.
In the mid-1980s, when Griffin was a member of Britain’s National Front (NF), a strident anti-immigration political party of the far right wing (and somewhat of a predecessor of the BNP), Griffin and other NF leaders actually visited Libya in order to seek funds from Gaddafi for the NF’s nationalist activities.
That visit is steeped in mystery and controversy. It is not clear if Gaddafi invited Griffin, or if Griffin initiated the journey to Tripoli himself. Reportedly, Griffin may have arranged the trip through the Libyan People’s Bureau in London. Other reports claim that Gaddafi (or someone in his regime) paid for Griffin and his party’s trip to Libya.
It is also unclear of Griffin and his English mates personally met with the Colonel himself or just his representatives.
What is apparently clear is that Griffin did not receive the requested funds from the Libyan strongman. (Reportedly, they were given free copies of Gaddafi’s “Green Book”),
Griffin also expressed support for the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran.
The National Front News (the party’s paper of record) wrote at the time: “Common interest must be turned into practical cooperation. Those involved must work to nail the media lies which are used by our enemies to try and divide us and make us afraid to be seen standing side by side with…. nations such as Libya and Iran”.
Griffin himself has never denied seeking funds from Gaddafi.
He said at one time: “In our minds was the fact that Libya is a small country awash with oil money. If we wanted to build a serious nationalist movement in this country [Britain], we needed to attract serious money. Had we been offered it, we would have been very happy to take it.”
Pandering to Libya at that time was especially controversial, given that someone in the Libyan embassy in London had shot and killed a lady British police officer (Yvonne Fletcher) during a protest in 1984 – an act that disrupted diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Four years later, of course, was the Lockerbie bombing which has long been blamed on Libya.