The Frank Report is aware of a political shift that may make things more difficult for Basit Igtet and his political ambitions in his native Libya.
A former associate and top publicist for Basit Igtet, American-Libyan Faisal Feituri, has reportedly broken with Igtet’s political group.
A confidential source inside Igtet’s political camp revealed exclusively to the Frank Report that Feituri, who served as Igtet’s right-hand man for years, broke with Igtet over a number of “ethical reasons and personal differences.”
Since 2013, Feituri served as Igtet’s campaign director and political advisor.
The same source indicates that Feituri’s departure was many months – if not years – in the making, and likely signals the end of any American support or political goodwill towards Igtet.
Another campaign insider confirms that Feituri had been a constant critic of Igtet’s personal relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, and, more specifically, of his personal relationships with senior members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
Frank Report was also able to learn that a money dispute may also be fueling the feud, with Igtet allegedly owing Feituri $500,000.
Basit’s late father was accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the Gaddafi government and sent to prison. Basit fled to Switzerland and lived in exile for years.
Igtet alternatively said Gaddafi’s henchmen suffocated his father in retaliation for his outspoken activism against the Gaddafi regime, and his work building the National Library at Benghazi University.
Much of Igtet’s rise to prominence can be traced to two factors: Iget’s marriage to Seagram’s heiress Sara Bronfman, and his access to her nine-figure net worth – and Feituri’s management and public relation skills.
Igtet emerged as well-mannered, well-groomed, and articulate – and played the part of a well-heeled man, which he wasn’t.
After marrying Bronfman, Basit went through another transformation and became a student of his wife’s ”Vanguard”, Keith Raniere, the leader of the Nxivm sex cult.
Despite being married to a Jewish woman, the daughter of Edgar Bronfman, Sr, the late billionaire chairman of the Seagram’s liquor company and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, Igtet had political ambitions in his homeland of Libya, a predominantly Muslim nation.
Raniere began to coach him that he could be the next leader of Libya, according to NXIVM members at the time.
Raniere, who was convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering and forced labor in 2019, faces up to life in prison. The sex cult leader reportedly told Igtet that he should run for Prime Minister of Libya despite the fact of his having a Jewish wife, and his not having lived in Libya for decades.
Igtet ran for Prime Minister in 2014, funded with his wife’s money.
Though he lost, his leadership ambitions were still very much alive and, consequently, Igtet began to make friends with numerous radical Islamic groups and individuals.
Already wary of the many points of contact between Igtet and Islamic extremists, Feituri became reportedly even more distressed by his boss’s involvement with the “Butcher from Benghazi.”
Back in 2013, Igtet met Abu Khatallah, the mastermind behind the terrorist attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, that killed a US ambassador and three other American officials.
Khatallah was later captured in Libya, on June 15, 2014, and brought to the United States to face trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
That should have been the end of Igtet’s association with him – but it was not.
In 2017, Khatallah was tried and convicted on US federal terrorism charges and other offenses stemming from the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Igtet’s testimony on behalf of Khatallah was not enough.
On June 27, 2018, Khatallah was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
From the Libya Observer website: “The founder of what has come to be known as the 25th of September Movement, Basit Igtet, has declared on his official Facebook page that demonstrations will continue throughout Libyan cities.”
“The founder of September 25 Movement, Basit Igtet, declared Tuesday that he intends to form a new government before the end of next October.”
Some, however, noted the irony of Igtet trying to install himself as president through a violent radical fundamentalist Muslims, while he was funded by a Jewish wife, an heiress of the Seagram’s Liquor fortune.
Fundamentalist Muslims are forbidden alcohol – and Libyan law does not allow a man who marries a non-Libyan to become president of Libya.
Forbes magazine was smart enough to out Keith Raniere as a cult leader, but not so smart when they published a puff piece on Igtet.
“Libyan businessman Basit Igtet is a designer. A former fashion exhibitor, he designed clothes. A former urban planner, he designed infrastructure projects for the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. An entrepreneur, he designed asset management and engineering enterprises spanning several continents. […] Now Igtet wants to redesign his homeland.”
Igtet exaggerated, if not outright lied about his accomplishments.
“Igtet is living in a world of fantasies,” panned Karim Mezran, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, who told Forbes Magazine: “They have no clue who he is. He’s not as well-known as he would like to make himself out to be in the West.”
We are hoping that this move by Feituri signals a new trend in the Libyan-American society – one that rejects extremism and embraces the democratic values of international cooperation and respect for the rule of law.
[Stay tuned, as the Frank Report will continue to follow and report on Faisal Feituri’s story.]