The Vanishing Imam: The mysterious disappearance of Musa al-Sadr
This is something I’ve actually never once seen being discussed here on ATS (surprising given almost everything else is). I even did a search for it
specifically for the name Musa al-Sadr (as they seemed most relevant) for thread titles also and absolutely nothing came up. (I did one for a general
board search and I found one result not related to his disappearance as well)
So, hopefully I'm bringing a new conspiracy theory to the boards with this thread here.
Anyway, with the recent events taking place in the middle east, Libya in particular, I thought I would do some research on Colonel Gaddafi given that
I know very little about him, his achievements, his character and so on. He’s a figure who's peak is seemingly beyond my time you see. Upon my
research on him though I inadvertently came across what is an interesting story to say the least about the Shia Leader, Musa al-Sadr and his quite
suspicious (perhaps convenient) disappearance in August, 1978.
Bizarrely, he hasn't ever been seen since this odd disappearance - one whom has caused something of a large dispute between the 2 countries involved
(Lebanon & Libya). Well, He hasn't been seen apart from some very few sightings of him, the most recent of which actually a couple of weeks ago
towards the end of February, 2011. More on this later though.
Admittedly this is something of a new story to me in all honesty, perhaps It's different for others here, I hope so anyway, but in writing this
thread I hope to understand a little bit better if not at the very least peak the interest of others for this peculiar incident also.
That being so, here's a little bit of background into Musa Al-Sadr
: Sadr, I believe, was born in Iran on the 15th, March, 1928 to a family of
theologians, He eventually moved to the Iranian capital Tehran, from Qom, where he was to receive his degree in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and
Political Sciences from Tehran University in 1956.
Afterwards deciding to move back to Qom to continue studies, primarily on Theology and Islamic philosophy under Allamah Muḥammad Ḥusayn
Ṭabaṭabāaī. Eventually he left Qom for Najaf to study theology under Ayatollah Muḥsin al-Ṭabāṭabā'ī al-Ḥākim and Abū l-Qāṣim
By 1960 Musa al-Sadr had accepted an invitation to become the leading Muslim Shi'ite figure in the Lebanese southern city of Tyre, his family and
himself originally coming from Lebanon It wasn't much of a surprising decision. He seemingly then became known by the name Imām Mūsá. It was then
shortly before the beginning of the next decade he was appointed the very first head of the Supreme Islamic Shi'ite Council, proving more say in the
government. Perhaps a motive for his disappearance? Anyway..,
For the next four years afterwards, he controversially engaged the leadership of the Syrian ‘Alawīs in what was an attempt at unifying political
power with that of the Twelver Shī‘ah. It was In July 1973 he and the ‘Alawī religious leadership successfully appointed an ‘Alawī as an
official mufti to the Twelver community.
In 1974 he had founded the Movement of the Disinherited to press for better economic and social conditions for the Shī‘ah, seemingly using his new
found governmental influence. In doing so, he established schools, hospitals, various medical clinics and actually did the world some good. Many of
these buildings are still present today in southern Lebanon in fact. The civil war occurred shortly after this though, something Sadr was said to have
gone to great lengths to helping avoid.
Sadr was, as far as I could tell, somewhat of an active figure in the war, not on the front line though of course. Instead in regards to prevention.
he at first aligned himself with the Lebanese National Movement, and the Movement of the Disinherited whom developed an armed wing known as Afwāj
al-Muqāwamat al-Lubnāniyyah, better known as Amal. Withdrawing his support come 1976 though, presumably due to the Syrian invasion on the side of
the Lebanese Front.
It was shortly after this, that he was to then disappear though seemingly without a trace. Many placing the blame right in Colonel Gaffafis hands of
all people. Let me explain..
The Imams mysterious disappearance
: It all stems from August 1978 when Sadr and two of his companions (Sheikh Mohamad Yaacoub and journalist
Abbas Badreddine) were visiting Libya. Now, I must stress at this point, much information is hard to come buy, but from what I did find, It seems that
the "trio" was staying at the "Shate' Hotel" in Tripoli. And witnesses report that they actually saw the Imam, alongside his 2 companions leave
this hotel in an official convoy on the 31st of August, the date set for their meeting with Gaddafi.
Official meaning I could only assume, It was organized by Gaddafis government, not to forget the meeting they (Sadr & Gaddafi) were supposed to have
was on this day also. None of this seemingly mentioned in any of the media outlets here also.
They were meeting after Sadr flew to Libya from Beirut commemorating Libya's Muammar Gaddafi's ascent to power in 1969. Some say Gaddafi saw him as
a religious rival thus deciding to having him killed.
From what else I found Gaddafi has completely denied the meeting had ever taken place, despite alleged reports (Which I can't seem to locate)
specifically confirmed the date was set was on the 31st of August at 1:00pm. (Although seeing Gaddafi in recent times denying almost everything thrown
at him It begs the question, why should/would we believe him? Just curious..)
The same reports (according to the article I'm using here) says that the meeting did in fact take place and It was here that the deep differences
between the 2 individuals (Gaddafi & Sadr) were surfaced. Differences involving the Lebanese crisis currently taking place. Again, It was this day
that Sadr and his 2 companions were never to be seen or heard from again.
Libyan authorities claimed that Sadr, Yaacoub and Badreddine had actually left Tripoli for Rome though. The investigation that was then set up by
Lebanese sources afterwards confirmed that the 3 men haven't ever checked into Italy. Rome itself undertaking two rounds of investigations into the
case and authorities concluded that Libyan claims were nothing but "baseless" and Sadr or his 2 companions never setting foot here.
Sadr's own son however claims that he (Musa Al-Sadr) remains secretly in jail, perhaps to this day, in Libya but unfortunately hasn't provided any
proof of these claims as far as my research goes.
Libya reportedly refused to acknowledge the investigations findings as well as any claims made.
Lebanon even deciding to going as far as taking legal action on the 30th of August 2001. And in 2008 Indicting Gaddafi. (see below)
On 27 August 2008, Gaddafi indicted in Lebanon for al-Sadr's disappearance.
It is widely believed in Lebanon that Sheikh Moussa Sadr, who was revered locally, was kidnapped and killed on the orders of senior Libyan
Libya has always denied involvement and says the sheikh left the country safely on a plane bound for Rome.
Col Gaddafi is accused of conspiring to kidnap and false imprisonment.
The charges carry the death penalty, but correspondents say it is highly unlikely that Col Gaddafi will ever stand trial in
To this day in fact Sadr's disappearance continues to be a dispute between Lebanon and Libya. A Lebanese Parliament Speaker - Nabih Berri actually
claiming that the Libyan regime are the ones responsible for his disappearance, particularly Gaddafi himself as published in a Saudi-run pan-Arab
daily reported as recent as the 27th, August, 2006.
What's even more fascinating about this is that according to the Iranian General Mansour Qadar, the then head of Syrian security, Rifaat al-Assad,
told the Iranian ambassador to Syria that Gaddafi was planning to kill al-Sadr also. I assume due to being a religious rival like I mentioned
previously. All but speculation though of course.
Now, as the protests continue to sweep across the middle east, particularly in Libya, despite rumors Sadr had been killed, there had seemingly been
alleged suspicious sightings of Sadr. Not forgetting that new sources have started coming to the forefront once more with sources telling
AlArabiya.net that the Shiite imam is none other than still alive in a Libyan prison. More than 25 years after his disappearance giving claims he is
alive more of a voice.
Many people throughout the years always holding this viewpoint too as marches have occured I believe in the Imams honour asking the Libyan government
to finally release him.
It has even been claimed by a Libyan opposition activist - Mr. Sami Al Masrati - that the Imam Musa Al- Sadr is still alive as well. Eyewitnesses
allegedly seeing a man "resembling" Sadr being transfered into a small aircraft and being taking to "an unknown location". Before this the Libyan
opposition leader and the founder of Tabo Tribal Liberation Front Essa Abdulmajeed Mansoor had told that Imam Musa Sadr is still alive and was seen in
the jail of Sabha.
It's an interesting story no doubt, and a conspiracy, as I mentioned, that isn't ever really discussed here - if ever at all. This my bringing it up
for discussion and seeing the recent events concerning Libya in the news also, particularly Gaddafi's actions, I feel It's something that shouldn't
really be forgotten about.
Anyway, thank you for reading. Does anyone have any thoughts or any information about this. I for one would love to hear it...