The Libyan dictator’s dire prediction was made in two desperate telephone calls to Blair – who left Downing Street in 2007 – on February 25 2011 as civil war was engulfing Libya.
In the first call, at 11.15am, Gaddafi said: “[Jihadists] want to control the Mediterranean and then they will attack Europe.”
In the call, lasting half an hour, Gaddafi insisted to Blair that he was trying to defend Libya from al-Qaeda.
“The story is simply this: an organisation has laid down sleeper cells in North Africa, called the al-Qaeda Organisation in North Africa. The sleeper cells in Libya are similar to dormant cells in America before 9/11.
“They have got arms and terrify people. People can’t leave their homes. It’s a jihad situation.”
In the second call, four hours later, Gaddafi told Blair: “I will have to arm the people and get ready for a fight. Libyan people will die, damage will be on the Med, Europe and the whole world.”
Blair had been trying to negotiate a peaceful power transition with Gaddafi. But three weeks later a Nato-led coalition that included Britain began bombing raids that led to the dictator’s overthrow. He was deposed in August and murdered by a mob in October.
- A suicide truck bombing on a police college in the Libyan coastal city of Zliten killed more than 50 people yesterday. It was the deadliest attack in the country since the 2011 revolution.
The explosives-laden truck had been used for carrying water to the college.
About 300 men, most of them coast guards, were in the college compound at the time of the blast.
Health Ministry spokesman Ammar Mohammed Ammar said 50 to 55 people had been killed and at least 100 wounded.
Urgent calls for blood donations were made.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but Islamic State, which has been growing in power in Libya, has carried out many suicide bombings in the country.