Written by Sasa Milosevic

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Over 60,000 people in Serbia have joined a Facebook group to publicly support Gaddafi\'s regime. Credit: Support for Muammar al Gaddafi from the people of Serbia, a Facebook group

A Facebook group titled “Support for Muammar al-Gaddafi from the people of Serbia”, with its 62,500 members, became a serious threat for the Libyan opposition not only due to the support for Gaddafi, but also because of cyberattacks on the opposition's web site.

The cyber war initiated by pro-Gaddafi Serbian citizens, recruited mainly from the Serbian ultranationalists, rang out in the international media and panicked the Libyan Youth Movement (@shabablibya), “a group of Libyan Youth both in and out of Libya inspired by our brothers and sisters in Egypt and Tunis.”

Mohammed al-Sabah, a Libyan Youth Movement representative, said this to the Serbian media:

Thousands of Internet users from Serbia are attacking and infringing on our sites daily with anti-NATO and anti-EU slogans, so much that [the sites become] completely useless. We do not claim that all of them are hackers, but it is clear that it is an organized campaign. If something is not done soon, things will get worse for us.

According to Milan Kovacevic, a web administrator and author of the book “Cryptography in Electronic Banking,” Serbian hackers are not independent in their actions, but are a part of international groups:

These are two of hacker groups: “C1337ORG” and “Black Hand.” A big part of the attackers are actually foreigners who hide behind Internet address of ordinary users from Serbia.

He adds that it is possible that among the Libyan rebels there exist insiders who are informing Serbian hackers where and how to attack.

Administrators of the most popular Serbian Facebook page deny any connections with ultranationalists, explaining the essence of support for Gaddafi:

Gaddafi was sending oil to us when we were under economic sanctions. Gaddafi did not recognize Kosovo's independence. After the bombing in 1999, he sent money for Serbia's recovery. Gaddafi was providing employment to our people while they had nothing to eat here. Gaddafi is fighting against the people who have destroyed our childhood. So we are with him! Colonel, win for all of us!”

Daniel Vidal wrote in a comment to this statement:

I heard that Gaddafi gives €2500 to each student who wants to study outside Libya. He also gives them a car…

Milan Veris added:

Gaddafi is a living legend. Twenty years ago, this man built the most modern plumbing in the world. He brought water to Libya directly from the Nile.

(Because of this desert irrigation project, Belgrade's private Megatrend University awarded Gaddafi an honorary doctorate in 2007. Some of Gaddafi's opponents in Serbia, however, consider that a marketing trick to attract Libyan students to this university in the Serbian capital.)

Gorica Pukmajster wrote:

I am one of those whose family was fed by Gaddafi's salary, which, back then, was ten times what I was making when I worked in Belgrade.

Below are some more Facebook comments.

Dusan Duda Stevanovic

An army of monkeys led by a lion worth more than an army of lions led by a monkey.

Pathos Ydoni:

To the east of Libya, in cities that are controlled by the rebels, mobs and gangs, according to several human rights organizations, are virtually committing a crime against humanity. […] Rape, murder and torture are normal for rebels…

Trese Babe Oraje got this information from friends in Libya:

The rebels intercepted four buses from Tripoli to Benghazi, with people who started the peaceful protests in support of the Libyan army and stopping the NATO aggression. They took them hostage, and they beat even the women.

The NATO action in Libya has caused some young Serbs, who still live with the memories of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, to react with hatred.

Burek Pekaric:

These are the disturbed minds, and I really think to go to the French and Italian embassies and kick them with empty beer bottles on their heads. Monsters.

Ljubomir Popovski suggested this:

First, it should start from the dead. All French soldiers should be dug out from the New Cemetery and sent to France in cattle wagons. Second, all French monuments from Kalemegdan should be removed. Third, the French embassy in Belgrade should be closed and turned it into a museum of the NATO aggression.

Will exchange Tadic for Gaddafi. Credit: Vujaklija.com

The most rigorous critics are those Serbs who are disappointed with the decision of the Serbian president Boris Tadić to publicly distance himself from Gaddafi's government, “washing his own hands” of the long-term arms trade with Libya.

Vladimir Speed Savic urges:

Gaddafi, take from Tadic the Persian carpet you gave him last year for the Day of the Libyan revolution. And the honorary medal… Let Sarkozy weave him a new one at his own expense…

The administrator of the group posted a video of Radio Television Vojvodina from the time when the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affair paid a visit to Gaddafi, thanking him for not recognizing Kosovo. Foreign minister Vuk Jeremić and his group performed a deep bow for Gaddafi.

Some of the group's members warn that the Serbian police and the Serbian Inteliigence Agency ((BIA)) are monitoring online activities in the well-known dictatorial style.

Marko Nikolic posts this alarm:

Twenty of them from BIA are here in this group and they are posting messages to the wall.

Jebes Chuck Norris, Gaddafi ujedinio Srbe reveals:

We welcome the night shift of MUP [Ministry of the Interior] that monitors our group with fake profiles.

Bloggers on Vujaklija.com also offer public support to the “defiant” Libyan leader, as the Western media describe him.

Cho-Seung Hui says:

The president who would welcome us to free ourselves forever from joining the European Union, democracy, the rule of human rights, privatization, globalization, capitalism and other disasters that have befallen us after the October 5, [2000].

As_basket_player_5 concludes:

Until a few days ago, a totally irrelevant figure in our lives, and now a hero in Serbia. Nobody knows why.

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

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