Britain’s military knew that fighters from an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation were benefiting from the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, but continued to support Nato airstrikes in Libya for another two months.

The revelation raises serious questions about British foreign policy and whether the UK’s then prime minister David Cameron misled parliament.


Libyan diplomat and writer Giuma Bukleb looks at how the legacy of chaos and the political vacuum seeded by the regime of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, coupled with Libya’s geostrategic location and its oil wealth, turned the country into “a battleground for competing local and foreign interests” and “led to the emergence of new opportunistic political elites lacking the necessary qualifications and tools, helped by militias”.

Five Minutes to Midnight aims to explain some of the intractable issues in international politics. In the coming weeks we will begin by examining six topics: Iran, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Hosted by Mohamed EL-Doufani, a retired editor of 30 years experience working for the BBC and holder of a doctorate in Politics from Lancaster University.