Since the two decades he spent in the U.S. after leading a CIA-backed campaign against the regime of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in the 1980s, militia leader Khalifa Haftar amassed millions of dollars in properties and other assets, including a luxury home in Virginia.
Now, as Mr. Haftar commands troops in eastern Libya and faces a pivotal moment in his efforts to retake the rest of the country, he faces lawsuits in the U.S. that accuse him of war crimes for his role in the North African country’s bloody civil war. The suits target his U.S. assets as compensation for his alleged victims.
Mr. Haftar, once an ally of Gadhafi, broke with the Libyan leader in the 1980s and then led a CIA-backed operation against the regime. The CIA funded the training of the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, which Mr. Haftar led from neighboring Chad.
After being moved to Virginia by the U.S. government in 1991, Mr. Haftar led the Libyan National Army from there, according to a 1996 report from the U.S. Congressional Research service on U.S. assistance to the Libyan opposition.
During his stay in the U.S. and since his return to Libya in 2011, he and his family amassed 17 different properties worth some $8 million in Virginia alone, according to public property records, court documents, and an asset-tracing document assembled by private consultants and provided to the The Wall Street Journal by Libya’s recognized government for review.