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Is Libi’s Al-Qaeda Manual A Blueprint for Arab Spring?

The famous “Manchester Manual” of captured al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi reveals more about jihadist intentions for “apostate” Arab regimes than Western targets.

In May 2000, British police raided the Manchester home of reputed al-Qaeda operative Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Anas al-Libi. On Oct. 15, some 10 days after having been plucked from the streets of Tripoli by US special forces, Libi was arraigned in a New York courthouse on charges relating to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Sometime around the May 2000 raid, Libi went missing, only to turn up again in his native Tripoli in the wake of the fall of the Libyan capital to anti-[former leader Moammar] Gadhafi rebel forces in August 2011. Among the possessions seized from Libi’s Manchester home in May 2000, investigators discovered a 180-page handwritten document that has been widely cited in the intervening years as a supposed al-Qaeda training manual: the famous “Manchester Manual.”

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