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  • The Senussi or Sanussi refers to a Muslim political-religious Sufi order and tribe in Libya and the Sudan region founded in Mecca in 1837 by the Grand Senussi, Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi. The Senussi claim a direct lineage to the Prophet Muhammed. Senussi was concerned with both the decline of Islamic thought and spirituality and the weakening of Muslim political integrity. From 1902 to 1913 the Senussi fought French expansion in the Sahara, and the Italian colonisation of Libya beginning in 1911. In World War I, the Senussi fought against the British in Egypt and Sudan. During World War II the Senussi tribe provided vital support to the British 8th Army in North Africa against the German and Italian forces. The Grand Senussi's grandson became King Idris of Libya in 1951. In 1969, King Idris I was overthrown by a military coup led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. A third of the population in Libya continue to be affiliated with the Senussi movement.

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