Some of the foreign fighters in Libya also seem to come from groups that have long-standing political and financial ties to the Colonel. Qaddafi’s sustained and deep involvement in African politics, especially the affairs of neighboring countries like Sudan, Chad, and Niger, has included “funding and training many fighting groups and rebel organizations in West Africa and other places.” Qaddafi’s relationship with Chad is especially intense. These ties not only affected the trajectory of conflicts outside Libya, but also shaped the composition of Libya’s security forces:
Other rebels, who stand to suffer if Qaddafi falls, have been willing to join the fighting in Libya:
That gives us at least three categories of foreign fighters in Libya: foreigners who are part of the formal security forces, foreigners who are fighting for Qaddafi for political reasons, and foreigners who are killing Libyans primarily for money. Let’s add two more: those were coerced into fighting, and innocent persons accused of being mercenaries.
Regarding coercion, here is the account of one young Chadian: