Video: Remaining Gadhafi forces not going quietly

  1. Closed captioning of: Remaining Gadhafi forces not going quietly

    >> that city. in terms of symbols of the gadhafi regime you'll see the color green referenced over and over again and things called green by the gadhafi regime are among the first things to go as richard just described and as you can see here, the aforementioned green square in the capital of tripoli has been renamed martyr square you can see on google maps , the white writing there behind the label. that happened hours after they took control of the capitol. this right here, this is the flag of libya under moammar gadhafi , do not adjust your screen, it's just a green flag . so in addition to renaming green's square in tripoli , they are also replacing that all- green flag with this, the pre- gadhafi flag that you have been seeing in the news footage out of libya in this revolution. so long green square , so long green flag . this is libyan state-run television. for months they have been broadcasting moammar gadhafi 's speeches. in this instance, what you see here, yes, that is one of their news anchors brandishing a gun on television warning the rebels they will never win and they will never take control of that state-run television station . the television station is now effectively gone. this is the last thing they were showing before they went off the air, libyan version of "the view." it's a program about women's issues, then it went black. it was later replaced by this, a pro-rebel news network based in cutter, a network that was in the process of interviewing a rebel who claimed to be calling into the station from a cell phone from inside the libyan state tv building. part of what has happened in libya over the last 24 hours has been the exulting you would expect from not just ordinary libyan citizens happy for the toppling of the dictatorship in their country but also from the fighters engaged in the uprising for five months now.

    >> i don't know how to express myself, but i can say to everybody who's free in the world, libya is free finally, and she's back after 42 years of kidnapping.

    >> do you know where gadhafi is now, do you care where he is?

    >> i don't care where he is. i want to know where he is, already i feel free . this is the most important thing.

    >> 25 years now, my last now. freedom, man, thank you.

    >> so the happiness you see and hear being expressed by rebel forces there and supporters of the rebels there, for all the physical changes that have taken root, the situation is not resolved yet. we keep hearing that from everybody we're in contact with. even though rebel forces have taken control of much of libya 's capital, so forces continue to put up a fight. bbc news reporter hayes experienced that firsthand today as he traveled with rebel forces into the heart of tripoli . watch what happens.

    >> here we are, here's a group of young men on the corner here. every time we go past, groups of young men celebrating, so far no signs of any fighting in the city, everything looks quiet.

    >> a rebel convoy is heading into the city, little do the young men know what fate lies ahead. up ahead, there are still signs of fighting. then suddenly we run straight into an ambush. i can see the muzzle flashes as a gun opens fire directly into the front of the convoy. we simply don't know how many of the young men traveling with us survi survived.

    >> even with the capital city now reportedly 90% controlled by rebel forces, the 10% controlled by gadhafi loyalists means very scary stuff is going on tonight. this is a fight that does not seem to be yet over. despite reports moammar gadhafi 's son was in custody, this shows him apparently still at large and apparently still defiant in a crowd of pro- gadhafi supporters. joining me live on the phone from zawiya is washington post -- first can you describe what the situation is like in zawiya and what you've been able to see over the course of the evening?

    >> well, there's not much going on despite the national council arriving, that is the rebel council based in benghazi, which is about 1,000 miles to the east here. that's the first time they have come here in the vicinity of tripoli .

    >> in terms of the late reports that we've had, we have had reports earlier today that gadhafi 's son was in rebel custody, that he had been arrested, that, in fact, a traitor had turned him over to rebel forces. we are seeing footage that appears to be him this evening. have you heard anything about the voracity of the reports and what we're seeing tonight?

    >> yeah, i can confirm he's free. hi a talk with a high-level rebel commander today and he already told me earlier that saif was definitely not in the rebels ' hands and he was criticizing the rebel political leaders for bringing out this news. he said if we would have had gadhafi in our hands, we would have paraded him through town and put him in libyan court instead of putting him to the international court in the hague, something within the rebel council apparently said.

    >> i know that you spent much of the day with rebel forces in tripoli today, what happened to the group of rebels that you were with?

    >> well, while i was interviewing this commander and he was giving me a line that 90% of the city was in their hands, about five minutes later pro- gadhafi troops pulled up in front of the compound, opened fire with heavy machine guns and took the rebels by surprise. this is a rebel army, these are people who carry a machine gun in their hands and are wearing plastic flip-flops as they go to bed, so they were completely surprised by this well- targeted attack . even though nobody died, we have been caught up in the cross fire for almost two hours, and it just illustrates the situation here in tripoli . tripoli is not 90% in the hands of the rebels . i don't think there's anybody who is controlling tripoli at this point, and one thing is for sure, gadhafi 's forces are fighting back and seems their efforts are increasing.

    >> in terms of gadhafi 's forces and what you can tell about their remaining strength, do they seem to have withdrawn to hardened targets they are defending or are they mounting ambushes and setting up sniper positions and doing other things to stay on the offensive?

    >> definitely. i think what they are doing is have a pre-planned certain attacks, they have melted into society, not given up their weapons, something the rebels have been hoping for but organizes the attacks, actually forming their own rebel army now against the rebels that invaded tripoli .

    >> one last question, we showed footage a moment ago of a reporter on state television brandishing a gun on television saying state tv would never been taken. i understand you witnessed her arrest?

    >> well, i witnessed her, actually, being brought -- she was brought into a compound where they brought also journalists in to see her, now, this woman, the same woman brandishing that gun was there, and we could hear her scream "i am innocent," then we heard a loud man's voice saying, accusing her basically she was a traitor, and then afterwards we were not allowed to see her, but the rebel commander came out saying she was in good hands and sees the errors of her ways.

    >> just chilling. " washington post " reporter, thank you so much for your time tonight. i understand you've been very much in the cross fire , please, stay

NBC News and
updated 8/23/2011 1:00:12 AM ET 2011-08-23T05:00:12

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  • Gadhafi's whereabouts remain unknown
  • Son says Gadhafi is alive and well
  • Rebel leader warns against lack of discipline, threatens to resign
  • Loyalist forces fire Scud-type missiles
  • NATO reportedly bombing Gadhafi compound
  • U.S. fears Libyan missiles smuggled out of country
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TRIPOLI -- As rebel forces consolidated their control over Tripoli amid signs of disorganization within the ranks, the manhunt continued Monday for Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who was said by his son to be alive and well.

Three of Gadhafi's sons — Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, Mohammed Gadhafi and Saadi Gadhafi — were reported to have been captured by the rebels, but Seif later appeared before reporters at a Tripoli hotel, and rebels said Mohammed managed to escape.

Seif Gadhafi stunned onlookers when he showed up at the Rixos Hotel late Monday night and spoke to foreign journalists staying there.

Asked whether his father was safe, Seif Gadhafi said, "Of course." In an exchange captured on television, he said the rebels had fallen into a "trap" in Tripoli and that loyalist forces had "broken the spine of rebels."

Image: Seif al-Islam
Dario Lopez-Mills  /  AP
Seif al-Islam Gadhafi flashes the victory sign as he appears at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli.

Seif also said that Tripoli was under government control and that he did not care about an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague seeking him and his father for crimes against humanity.

Seif's public appearance contradicted the rebels' claims a day earlier that they had captured him and raised questions about the veracity of their assertions that up to 80 percent of the capital was under their control.

The rebel leadership seemed stunned that Seif was free. The leadership's spokesman, Sadeq al-Kabir, had no explanation and could only say, "This could be all lies."

He could not confirm whether Seif escaped rebel custody, but he did say that another captured Gadhafi son, Mohammed, had escaped the home arrest that rebels had placed him in a day earlier. On Monday, the rebels had said Seif was captured, but did not give details on where he was held.

Riding in a white limousine amid a convoy of armored SUVs, Seif took reporters on a drive through parts of the city still under the regime's control, saying, "We are going to hit the hottest spots in Tripoli."

Video: Remaining Gadhafi forces not going quietly (on this page)

The tour covered mainly the area that was known to still be under the regime's control — the district around the Rixos hotel and nearby Bab al-Aziziya, Gadhafi's residential compound and military barracks. The tour went through streets full of armed Gadhafi backers, controlled by roadblocks, and into the Gadhafi stronghold neighborhood Bu Slim.

At Bab al-Aziziya, at least a hundred men were waiting in lines for guns being distributed to volunteers to defend the regime. Seif al-Islam shook hands with supporters, beaming and flashing the "V for victory" sign.

Story: After uprising, rebels face struggle for unity

"We are here. This is our country. This is our people, and we live here, and we die here," he told AP Television News. "And we are going to win, because the people are with us. That's why were are going to win. Look at them — look at them, in the streets, everywhere!"

In Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital hundreds of miles east of Tripoli, the head of the rebel National Transitional Council said the rebels have no idea where Gadhafi is or whether he is even in Tripoli.

"The real moment of victory is when Gadhafi is captured," Mustafa Abdel-Jalil said. An Obama administration official said the U.S. had no indication that Gadhafi had left Libya.

NBC News' Richard Engel reported from Tripoli that opposition fighters had taken control of a majority of the capital — but not, crucially, of Gadhafi's main Bab al-Aziziya compound.

U.S. President Barack Obama said it was clear that "the Gadhafi regime is coming to an end," but the White House was reported to be deeply concerned about the prospect that powerful Libyan missiles capable of shooting down commercial airliners had been smuggled out of the country.

And a crucial question remained unanswered: Where is Gadhafi, who hasn't been seen in public for weeks, limiting his communications to audio messages. The last of those was Sunday, when Gadhafi, 69, urged Libyans to take up arms against the rebel "rats."

U.S. officials told NBC News that the U.S. believed Gadhafi hadn't fled the country, unlike other senior figures. U.S. intelligence agencies believe he was most likely hiding somewhere in the Tripoli area, a senior official at the Defense Department said Monday.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the Intelligence Committee, agreed, saying in an interview with MSNBC TV, "I believe he is in a bunker or a secure situation in Tripoli."

NATO, meanwhile, promised to maintain its air campaign until all pro-Gadhafi forces surrendered or returned to their barracks. Al Arabiya, citing rebel sources, reported late Monday that NATO was bombing the Bab al-Aziziya compound.

Video: NATO, US airstrikes will continue in Libya (on this page)

U.S. officials told NBC News on Monday that the U.S. and NATO strikes would continue as long as Gadhafi and parts of his military remained unaccounted for. The officials said Gadhafi himself would be a target.

A key worry for the U.S. is Gadhafi's stockpile of 20,000 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. That stockpile has been looted, and the U.S. officials said they feared some of the missiles had been smuggled out of the country, possibly into the hands of terrorists.

NATO warplanes have hit at least 40 targets in and around Tripoli in the last two days — the highest number on a single geographic location since the bombing started more than five months ago, the alliance said.

NATO said loyalist forces responded Monday by firing three Scud-type missiles from Gadhafi's home city, Sirte, toward Misrata. Initial reports showed that the rockets landed most likely at sea or on the shore, NATO told Reuters, saying it wasn't aware of any casualties or damage.

Video: Rebels consolidate control in Tripoli (on this page)

The U.S., which is part of the NATO campaign, will continue flying Predator drone missions — some of them armed — over Libya, the Defense Department official told NBC News. But for now, the Obama administration's policy that there would be no "U.S. boots on the ground" remains in effect, the official said.

Where could he go?
A variety of sources reported that Gadhafi was headed to any of several countries — among them Venezuela, Russia, Cuba, Angola, Zimbabwe, Algeria, South Africa and Tunisia — but U.S. officials said they had no confirmation that he had even been extended an invitation by any country.

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Monday that his country wasn't helping Gadhafi leave and that it wouldn't offer him asylum. Algeria's foreign minister denied that Gadhafi was in his country. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a strong supporter, is reported to be seriously ill and unlikely to be able to guarantee protection.

Video: Gadhafi rule crumbles as rebels surge

Mahmud Nacua, a diplomatic representative for the rebels, said opposition fighters would "turn over every stone to find him, to arrest him and to put him in the court."

Obama urges peaceful transition
Speaking on tape from Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where he has been monitoring developments while on vacation, Obama noted that Gadhafi was still at large and that fighting was continuing amid a "fluid and uncertain" atmosphere in Tripoli and other major parts of Libya. But "the situation in Libya has reached a tipping point," he said, and the U.S. stands ready to help opposition leaders rebuild the country.

"This much is clear: The Gadhafi regime is coming to an end," Obama said, "The future of Libya is in the hands of its people."

Story: Covert teams from US, NATO boost rebel forces

Repeating comments he made in a written statement Sunday night, Obama said the U.S. recognized the National Transitional Council as the government of Libya and would be its "friend and partner."

Obama made a point of calling on the opposition "to take steps to ensure a peaceful transition" and said "the rights of all Libyans must be respected." The comments came as Abdel-Jalil, the rebels' leader, warned that some opposition forces were breaking off on their own and ignoring the chain of command.

Abdel-Jalil expressed deep frustration with indiscipline within the rebel movement, warning that some fighters' refusal to observe the chain of command "might be the reason or the cause of my resignation."

Interactive: Libyan uprising (on this page)

For months, the rebels — most of them civilian volunteers who took up arms and had little military training — were judged to be big on zeal but short on organization and discipline, but their stunning success in Tripoli showed a high level of planning and coordination.

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Story: With Gadhafi out of power, oil prices should fall

The U.S. and other nations have recognized the National Transitional Council as Libya's legitimate government, but the rebel movement consists of Islamists as well as former government insiders and Western-leaning intellectuals, raising concern about whether the factions can unite in a post-Gadhafi Libya.

Story: 'Libya will go down in history as the anti-Iraq'

Brutal crackdown
The uprising against Gadhafi broke out in mid-February, inspired by successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

A brutal regime crackdown quickly transformed the protests into an armed rebellion. Rebels seized Libya's east, setting up the internationally recognized transitional government there, and two pockets in the west, the port city of Misrata and the Nafusa mountain range.

Gadhafi clung to the remaining territory, and for months neither side had been able to break the other.

In early August, however, rebels launched an offensive from the Nafusa Mountains, then fought their way down to the Mediterranean coastal plain, backed by NATO airstrikes, and captured the strategic city of Zawiya.

Story: Can anyone unite Libya if Gadhafi falls?

The rebels' leadership council sent out mobile text messages to Tripoli residents, proclaiming "Long live Free Libya" and urging them to protect public property. Internet service returned to the capital for the first time in six months.

For years, Gadhafi — the Arab world's longest-ruling, most erratic, most grimly fascinating leader — was an international pariah, blamed for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people. After years of denial, Libya acknowledged responsibility and agreed to pay up to $10 million to relatives of each victim.

Video: What can the US learn from Libya? (on this page)

Gadhafi also declared that he would dismantle his weapons-of-mass-destruction program, which him back into the international community.

U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News they believed they could learn a great deal about the country's various terrorist activities from a "treasure trove" of material in the Libyan intelligence archives — not only the Lockerbie bombing, but also its support for the Irish Republican Army, various Palestinian groups and terrorists like Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the notorious Carlos the Jackal.

So far, the U.S. has spent nearly $890 million on its part of the NATO air campaign, a senior defense official told NBC News on Monday. If operations continue at the same pace until the mandate expires at the end of September, the cost to the U.S. will be more than $1 billion.

Since the beginning of the operation, the U.S. has also sold allies and partners involved in the mission about $222 million worth of ammunition, repair parts, fuel and technical assistance.

The Defense Department has provided about $12.5 million in so-called non-lethal aid: about $1 million worth of ready-to-eat meals, including 120,000 halal MREs approved under Islamic dietary law; medical supplies; tents; and uniforms, boots and personal protective gear.

The defense official said the Pentagon is authorized to provide another $12.5 million in non-lethal aid.

By Alex Johnson of with NBC News' Richard Engel in Tripoli; Jim Miklaszewski, Andrea Mitchell and Courtney Kube in Washington; and Robert Windrem in New York.

Photos: Libya's uprising against Gadhafi

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  1. People gathering in Benghazi, Libya in mid-February of 2011 as protest against the rule of Moammar Gadhafi grew, in part triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel. EDITOR'S NOTE: The content, date and location of this image could not be independently verified. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Buildings at the entrance to a security forces compound burn in Benghazi, Feb. 21, 2011. Libyan protesters celebrated in the streets of Benghazi, claiming control of the country's second largest city after bloody fighting, and anti-government unrest spread to the capital with clashes in Tripoli's main square for the first time. (Alaguri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi speaks on state television. Feb. 22, and signalled his defiance over a mounting revolt against his 41-year rule. (Libya TV via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Libyan U.N. ambassador Shalgham is embraced by Dabbashi, Libya's deputy U.N. Ambassador after denouncing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for the first time during a Security Council meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Feb. 25. Shalgam, a longtime friend and member of Gadhafi's inner circle, had previously refused to denounce Gadhafi. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Thousands of Libyans gather for the Muslim Friday prayers outside the courthouse in the eastern city of Benghazi on Feb. 25, 2011. Perhaps 8,000 people gathered for the midday prayers with a local imam, who delivered his sermon alongside the coffins of three men killed in the violent uprising that routed Gadhafi loyalists from Benghazi. (Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint, who they accuse of being a loyalist to Gadhafi, between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, March 3, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pro-Gadhafi soldiers and supporters gather in Green Square in Tripoli, March 6, 2011. Thousands of Moammar Gadhafi's supporters poured into the streets of Tripoli, waving flags and firing their guns in the air in the Libyan leader's main stronghold, claiming overnight military successes. (Ben Curtis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Rebel fighters jump away from shrapnel during heavy shelling by forces loyal to Gadhafi near Bin Jawad, March 6. Rebels in east Libya regrouped and advanced on Bin Jawad after Gadhafi forces ambushed rebel fighters and ejected them from the town earlier in the day. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Libyan rebel fighters take cover as a bomb dropped by an airforce fighter jet explodes near a checkpoint on the outskirts of the oil town of Ras Lanuf on March 7, 2011. (Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Libyan rebels fire rockets at government troops on the frontline. March 9, 2011 near Ras Lanuf. The rebels pushed back government troops westward towards Ben Jawat. (John Moore / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Libyan government soldiers aboard tanks at the west gate of the town Ajdabiyah March 16, 2011. Libya's army pounded an opposition-held city in the country's west and battled fighters trying to block its advance on a rebel bastion in the east amid flagging diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed. EDITOR'S NOTE: Picture taken on a government guided tour. (Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Libyan people in Benghazi celebrate after the United Nations Security Council authorized a no-fly zone over Libya, March 18. Thousands of Libyans erupted in cheers as the news flashed on a giant screen in besieged Benghazi late March 17. After weeks of discussion, the UN Security Council banned flights in Libya's airspace and authorized "all necessary means" to implement the ban, triggering intervention by individual countries and organizations like NATO. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A picture combo shows a Libyan jet bomber crashing after being apparently shot down in Benghazi on March 19, 2011 as the Libyan rebel stronghold came under attack. Air strikes and sustained shelling of the city's south sent thick smoke into the sky. (Patrick Baz / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Residents of Benghazi flee the city along the road toward Tobruk, in an attempt to escape fighting in their city, March 19, 2011. Gaddafi's troops pushed into the outskirts of Benghazi, a city of 670,000 people, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt Western military intervention expected after a meeting of Western and Arab leaders in Paris. (Reuters TV) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Gadhafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20, 2011. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A rebel fighter carries his weapon outside the northeastern Libyan town of Ajdabiyah, March 21, 2011. A wave of air strikes hit Gaddafi's troops around Ajdabiyah, a strategic town in the barren, scrub of eastern Libya that rebels aim to retake and where their fighters said they need more help. (Finbarr O'reilly / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A Libyan rebel prays next to his gun on the frontline of the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, March 21, 2011. The international military intervention in Libya is likely to last "a while," a top French official said, echoing Moammar Gadhafi's warning of a long war ahead as rebels, energized by the strikes on their opponents. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Libyan rebels retreat as mortars from Gadhafi's forces are fired on them near the outskirts of the city of Ajdabiya, March 22, 2011. Coalition forces bombarded Libya for a third straight night, targeting the air defenses and forces of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, stopping his advances and handing some momentum back to the rebels, who were on the verge of defeat. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A Libyan man is comforted by hospital staff as he reacts after identifying his killed brother in the morgue of the Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, March 22, 2011. His brother was killed earlier in fighting around the city of Ajdabiya. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Volunteer fighters training at a rebel army training camp in Benghazi, March 29, 2011. Pro-government forces intensified their attacks on Libyan rebels, driving them back over ground they had taken in recent days. The rebels had reached Nawfaliya, but pulled back to Bin Jawad. (Manu Brabo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Smoke billows as seven explosions were reported in the tightly-guarded residence of leader Moammar Gadhafi and military targets in the suburb of Tajura. Two explosions also rocked the Libyan capital Tripoli on March 29, 2011, as NATO-led coalition aircraft had been seen in the skies over the capital. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A Libyan rebel urges people to leave, as shelling from Gadhafi's forces started landing on the frontline outside of Bin Jawaad, 93 miles east of Sirte, March 29, 2011. (Anja Niedringhaus / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. General Abdel-Fattah Younis, former interior minister in the Gadhafi regime who defected in the early days of the uprising, is greeted by Libyan rebels at the front line near Brega, April 1, 2011. (Altaf Qadri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Libyan men show the V-sign for victory as they stand on the deck of a Turkish ship arriving from Misrata to the port of Benghazi who were evacuated along with others the injured in the fighting between rebel and Gadhafi forces, April 03, 2011. The Turkish vessel took hundreds of people wounded in the Libyan uprising for treatment in Turkey from the two cities of Misrata and Benghazi. (Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A wounded prisoner from Gadhafi's forces is transported in the back of a pickup truck by rebels, on the way to a hospital for treatment, half way between Brega and Ajdabiya, April 9, 2011. Rebels say they took two prisoners after a clash with soldiers near Brega's university outside the government-controlled oil facilities, marking a noticeable advance by rebels. (Ben Curtis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. In this image taken from TV, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi makes a pubic appearance in Tripoli, April 14 2011. Gadhafi defiantly waved at his supporters while being driven around Tripoli while standing up through the sunroof of a car. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of government troops April 14, 2011, west of Ajdabiyah. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Gadhafi supporters hold copies of his portrait as they gather at the Bab Al Azizia compound in Tripoli, April 15, 2011. Rebels held much of eastern Libya by mid-April, while Gadhafi controlled the west, with the front line shifting back and forth in the middle. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Doctors work on a baby who suffered cuts from shrapnel that blasted through the window of his home during fighting in the besieged city of Misrata, April 18, 2011. Thousands of civilians are trapped in Misrata as fighting continues between Libyan government forces that have surrounded the city and anti-government rebels there. The Libyan government has come under international criticism for using heavy weapons and artillery in its assault on Misrata. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. MISRATA, LIBYA - APRIL 20: Libyan rebel fighters discuss how to dislodge some ensconced government loyalist troops who were firing on them from the next room during house-to-house fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata April 20, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. Rebel forces assaulted the downtown positions of troops loyal to Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi April 20, briefly forcing them back over a key bridge and trapping several in a building that fought back instead of surrendering, firing on the rebels in the building and seriously wounding two of them during the standoff. Fighting continues between Libyan government forces that have surrounded the city and anti-government rebels ensconced there. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Libyan rebel fighters carry out a comrade wounded during an effort to dislodge some ensconced government loyalist troops who were firing on them from a building during house-to-house fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata April 20, 2011. Rebel forces assaulted the downtown positions of troops loyal to Gaddafi, briefly forcing them back over a key bridge and trapping several in a building where they fought back instead of surrendering. Two rebels were seriously wounded during the standoff. (Chris Hondros / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Rebels tread carefully as they prepare to invade a house where soldiers from the pro-government forces had their base in the Zwabi area of Misrata on April 24, 2011. (Andre Liohn / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Libyans inspect damage and an unexploded missile at the Gadhafi family compound in a residential area of Tripoli, May 1, 2011. Gadhafi escaped a NATO missile strike in Tripoli that killed one of his sons and three young grandchildren. EDITOR'S NOTE: Photo taken on a government guided tour. (Darko Bandic / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Moammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, center, leaves the funeral of his brother Saif Al-Arab Gadhafi, who was killed during air strikes by coalition forces, at the El Hani cemetery in Tripoli, May 2, 2011. Crowds chanting Gadhafi's name gathered in Tripoli for the funeral of his son and three grandchildren. (Louafi Larbi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Fleeing migrants and Libyans are seen on board an International Organization of Migration ship leaving the port of Misrata on May 4, 2011, as Gadhafi forces continued to pound the city. (Christophe Simon / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Libyan men watch as the main fuel depot in Libya's third largest city, Misrata, burns following a bombing by Gadhafi's forces on May 7, 2011. Libyan regime forces shelled fuel depots in Misrata and dropped mines into its harbor using helicopters bearing the Red Cross emblem, rebels said as they braced for a ground assault. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Libyan rebels celebrate near the airport of Misrata on May 11, 2011 after capturing the city's strategic airport following a fierce battle with Moammar Gadhafi's troops -- their first significant advance in weeks. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Women react after a protest against Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Benghazi, Libya, on May 16, 2011. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, announced that he would seek arrest warrants against the leader of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the country's intelligence chief on charges of crimes against humanity. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Tripoli street in Misrata is seen from the terrace of a building used by Gadhafi’s snipers before the rebels took control of the area on May 22, 2011. The weeks-long siege of the city ended in mid-May and Tripoli Street was the site of the fiercest fighting in the battle and a turnin point in the war. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. A rebel fighter gives water to a soldier loyal to Gadhafi after he was wounded and then captured near the front line, west of Misrata on May 23, 2011. (Rodrigo Abd / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. An uncle, left, prays over the body of one and a half year-old Mohsen Ali al-Sheikh during a washing ritual during the funeral at his family's house in Misrata, May 27, 2011. The child was killed by a gunshot during clashes between rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces earlier in the day. (Wissam Saleh / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. The body of a drowned refugee floats near a capsized ship which was transporting an estimated 850 refugees from Libya, approximately 22 miles north of the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah, June 4, 2011. At least 578 survived the sinking. (Lindsay Mackenzie / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. A photograph taken from a video by a National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows Mutassem Gadhafi, son of Moammar Gadhafi, drinking water and smoking a cigarette following his capture and shortly before his death, in Sirte, Oct. 20, 2011. (- / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. A photograph taken from mobile phone video of a National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows the capture of Moammar Gadhafi in Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. This image provided by the Libyan Youth Group on Nov. 19, 2011, shows Seif al-Islam Gadhafi after he was captured near the Niger border with Libya. Moammar Gadhafi's son, the only wanted member of the ousted ruling family to remain at large, was captured as he traveled with aides in a convoy in Libya's southern desert. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: A photo said to show people gathering during recent days' unrest in Benghazi, Libya. The content, date and location of the image could not be independently verified.
    Above: Slideshow (81) Conflict in Libya
    AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (34) Moammar Gadhafi through the years

Interactive: Libya uprising: The latest

  1. Above: Interactive Libya uprising: The latest
  2. Timeline Libyan uprising

Explainer: Gadhafi's offspring

  • What is known and suspected about the children of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

  • Seif al-Islam Gadhafi

    Image: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi
    Ben Curtis  /  AP file
    Seif al-Islam Gadhafi in March 2011.

    Born 1972. Gadhafi's second-eldest son, by his second wife, Safia, has been alternately seen as a potentially more liberal successor to his father and as a staunch defender of the regime. The most educated and worldly of Gadhafi's sons, he has a doctorate in political philosophy from the London School of Economics and speaks fluent English, German, French and Arabic. He briefly left Libya in 2006 after sharply criticizing his father's regime, reportedly to take a position in banking outside the country. More recently, though, he has served in his father's government and acted as a spokesman for the regime during the uprising, warning in a nationally televised address in the early days of the revolt that it would likely lead to civil war. Before the unrest, Seif al-Islam worked as an architect and ran a charity that was involved in negotiating freedom for hostages taken by Islamic militants, especially in the Philippines. He also was involved in negotiations with the U.S. and Italian governments over compensation for survivors of the victims of the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. The International Criminal Court confirmed to NBC News that he was in the custody of the rebels.

  • Mutasim-Billah Gadhafi

    Image: Mutasim-Billah Gadhafi
    Juan Barreto  /  AFP - Getty Images file
    Mutasim-Billah Gadhafi in September 2009.

    Date of birth unknown. Gadhafi's fourth son was a lieutenant colonel in the army and later served as Libya's national security adviser. He also has spent time living in luxury in the West, including at his mansion in the London suburbs, and hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, according to published accounts. Like other members of the family, he is an accomplished shakedown artist, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks. A July 2008 report from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli quoted a confidential informant as saying Mutasim put pressure on the chairman of National Oil Corp., Shukri Ghanem, to pay him $1.2 billion in cash and oil shipments. Ghanem told the confidant that he was considering resigning because he feared Mutasim could seek revenge if he wasn't paid, it said. Mutasim also made headlines after WikiLeaks published the classified U.S. diplomatic cables when it was revealed that he paid pop stars Beyonce, Usher and other musicians $1 million to play at a New Year's Eve party in 2010 on the Caribbean island of St. Barts. Guests reportedly included Lindsay Lohan, music mogul Russell Simmons, the band Bon Jovi and Beyonce's husband, multimillionaire rapper Jay-Z.

  • Saadi Gadhafi

    Image: Saadi Gadhafy
    Mahmud Turkia  /  AFP - Getty Images file
    Saadi Gadhafi in January 2010.

    Born in 1973. Gadhafi's third son is a Libyan businessman and former soccer player — he served as captain of the Libyan national team and playing briefly with two Italian clubs before failing a drug test. In 2002, security officers at Singapore's airport seized a submachine gun, a pistol and a knife from a bodyguard as a group of at least 15 Libyans was headed to Seoul to watch the World Cup finals. Saadi also is said to harbor an interest in film. In 2005, he and brother Mutasim were reportedly at the Venice Film Festival, throwing after-parties that were described as the hottest ticket in town. More recently, though, Saadi has had business on his mind. He is currently the commander of Libya's Special Forces and has been involved in trying to put down the uprising against his father. On March 15, there were unconfirmed reports that a Libyan pilot attacked the Gadhafi stronghold of Baab Al Azizia in Tripoli, damaging it and injuring Saadi and his brother Khamis. He also has been accused of ordering Libyan troops to shoot unarmed protesters in Benghazi at the beginning of the uprising. Saadi acknowledged that he was at the barracks but denied giving orders to fire on the protesters.

  • Khamis Gadhafi

    Image: Khamis Gadhafi
    Balkis Press  /  Abaca
    Khamis Gadhafi in March 2008.

    Born 1983. Gadhafi's youngest son is a military officer who studied the art of war in Russia. He was touring the U.S. shortly before the uprising against his father began while serving an internship with AECOM, a global infrastructure company with business interests in Libya. Shortly after taking a VIP tour of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Feb. 7 — eight days before the Libyan revolt began — he rushed home to lead his elite Khamis Brigade — described in U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks as "the most well-trained and well-equipped force in the Libyan military" — in assaults on the rebel-held cities of Zawiya and Benghazi. Khamis was reported to have been killed early in the fighting, either by a Libyan pilot's suicide mission or a coalition airstrike, but he later appeared on TV.

  • Hannibal Moammar Gadhafi

    Image: Hannibal Moammar Gadhafi
    Mahmud Turkia  /  AFP - Getty Images file
    Hannibal Moammar Gadhafi in October 2010.

    Born 1976. Gadhafi's fifth son is said to have a near-monopoly on oil and gas transportation in Libya. Trained as a merchant mariner, he received an MBA in shipping economics and logistics from Copenhagen Business School in 2007 and was appointed as a consultant to General National Maritime Transport Co. of Libya. Internationally, his reputation is that of a fun-loving thug. He has had run-ins with the law in Italy, France and Britain, culminating with the arrest of him and his wife, former model Aline Skaf, in Geneva on July 15, 2008, on charges that they assaulted two members of their staff. All charges were dropped, but the Libyan government retaliated against Switzerland by, among other things, recalling its diplomats, boycotting Swiss products, reducing flights between the two countries and detaining two Swiss citizens in Libya. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks, the issue was resolved only after Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz traveled to Tripoli and made a public apology for the "inappropriate and unnecessary" arrest of Hannibal Gadhafi.

  • Mohammed Gadhafi

    Image: Mohammed Gadhafi
    Mahmud Turkia  /  AFP - Getty Images file
    Mohammed Gadhafi in October 2008.

    Born 1970. Gadhafi's eldest son is head of the Libyan Olympic Committee and chairman of General Post and Telecom Co., which owns and operates cellphone and satellite services in Libya. He has been regarded as a possible successor to his father. Like other members of the ruling clan, Muhammad Gadhafi has been accused of extorting Western companies seeking to do business in Libya. The New York Times on March 24 quoted a U.S. business executive as saying that when an international communications company he represented attempted to enter the Libyan cellphone market in 2007, Libyan officials made it clear that the foreign company's local business partner would have to be Muhammad Gadhafi. It also quoted a diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks as stating that Coca-Cola was ensnared in a dispute between Muhammad and his brother Mutasim over control of a bottling plant the soda maker had opened in 2005, forcing it to shut down the plant for months amid armed confrontations. He told Reuters on Sunday night that he had been detained and was under house arrest.

  • Seif al-Arab Gadhafi

    Date of birth unknown. Little is known about Gadhafi's sixth son, whose name translates as "sword of the Arabs." Seif al-Arab reportedly has spent most of his time in recent years in Germany. He was appointed a military commander in the Libyan army during the uprising against his father, but there were unconfirmed reports that he defected and joined the rebel Libyan People's Army. He remains on a list of regime figures whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. Treasury. There were widespread reports that he was killed in a NATO airstrike April 30, but that has never been confirmed.

  • Aisha al-Gadhafi

    Image: Aisha al-Gadhafi
    Jerome Delay  /  AP
    Aisha al-Gadhafi in March 2011

    Born 1976. Gadhafi's only daughter is a lawyer and a fashion plate, known among some in the Arab press as the "Claudia Schiffer of North Africa." Professionally, she is best known for serving on the defense teams of executed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, convicted of throwing his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush during a Dec. 14, 2008, press conference in Baghdad. She was once rumored to have been married to her father's longtime friend, former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, but that has never been confirmed. She is now married to a cousin, Ahmed Gadhafi al-Qahsi, who is a colonel in the Libyan army. The couple have three children. She rarely grants interviews, but she told The Telegraph newspaper in October 2010 that she is very close to her father, whom she described as "my father, my friend and my brother." She also said she was sleeping next to her adopted sister, Hana, in 1986 when she was killed by U.S. bombs. "I woke to the thunder of the bombs and the screams of my sister with blood spattered over me," she told the newspaper. Soon after, she was seen waving her fist to the camera. In the early days of the uprising against her father, she was reportedly on a Libyan Arab Airlines turbo-prop plane that was refused permission to land in Malta. The Libyan government later denied the report.

  • Milad Abuztaia Gadhafi

    Date of birth unknown. Gadhafi's adopted son is also his nephew. He is said to have saved . Gadhafi's life when U.S. warplanes bombed the family compound in the April 1986 U.S. air attack that was said to have killed Gadhafi's adopted daughter, Hana.

  • Hana al-Gadhafi

    Born 1985. Hana, an adopted daughter, was reported to have been killed as an infant in the U.S. airstrike on a family compound in April 1986. However, there have been reports based on leaked Swiss government documents and interviews with Libyan exiles that she is a doctor who is a powerful figure in Libya's health ministry.


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