Video: Where Gadhafi slept

  1. Closed captioning of: Where Gadhafi slept

    >>> now to libya tonight where nato has joined the hunt for gadhafi , still at large, no one knows where. there's a deal to release 1 monia 5 billion in assets frozen in u.s. banks. money the rebel leadership says it needs to pay salaries and basic supplies for the libyan people. today richard engel got inside gadhafi 's compound in tripoli and what they found, including a complex system of tunnels.

    >> reporter: rebels advance with all the firepower they had. took away their injured and arrested a suspected mercenary. nearby for the first time, we were able to visit gadhafi 's compound. this is where gadhafi would come to address large crowds. it's ransacked, but hints survive of how he lived and how his glory fadeded.

    >> this is one of gadhafi 's in suite bahathrooms, the lights are out. under this debris was gadhafi 's bed.

    >>> and 20 feet below, an extensive system of bunkers.

    >> reporter: he may have even used them to escape during the assault. there's a full command and control center here. these are lists of media organizations, cnn, abu dhabi . there is an exit here, a small little porthole that leads outside. the network of tunnels extends for miles. our colleague stephanie gosk saw more.

    >> there's electricity, there are telephones, it's even wide enough for golf carts that gadhafi used to rides around all the time. it's not clear if he used this one, but he will not be using one any time soon. this is the stairs from the tunnels, it must lead to somewhere into gadhafi 's house. but it tells how paranoid he was, clearly they sealed it off for security.

    >> reporter: the tunnels may have helped gadhafi escape, but now with a bounty on his head, it seems every rebel in libya is looking for him.

Image: Libyan rebel fighters stand guard over detainees in Tripoli
Anis Mili  /  Reuters
Libyan rebel fighters stand guard over detainees during a fierce fight in the Abu Salim district, one of the main holdouts of forces loyal to Gadhafi in the capital, Aug. 25.
msnbc.com news services
updated 8/25/2011 9:36:50 PM ET 2011-08-26T01:36:50

Latest developments:

  • Bodies of government loyalists and civilians found apparently executed in Tripoli
  • Amnesty International says both sides abusing prisoners
  • Gadhafi, in audio statement, calls on Libyans to 'destroy' the rebels
  • Rebel cabinet moving from Benghazi to Tripoli

TRIPOLI — The streets where rebel fighters bombarded snipers loyal to Moammar Gadhafi were strewn with bullet-ridden corpses from both sides Thursday. Streams of blood ran down the gutters and turned sewers red.

By sundown the rebels appeared to have won the battle for the Abu Salim neighborhood, next to Gadhafi's captured Tripoli compound, but the fallen dictator continued to elude them. Speaking from an unknown location, he exhorted his supporters to fight on.

"Don't leave Tripoli for the rats. Fight them, and kill them," Gadhafi said in a new audio message broadcast on Al-Ouroba TV, a Syria-based satellite station.

  1. Related content
    1. Report: Gadhafi troops protected tanks with children
    2. Ultimatum for Gadhafi forces: Surrender in 4 days
    3. Gadhafi family reportedly flees to Algeria
    4. Family: Lockerbie bomber near death
    5. Hundreds of foreigners leaving Tripoli
    6. Slideshow: Conflict in Libya
    7. Filmmaker: 'We were all Gadhafi’s prisoners'
    8. Gadhafi's 'darling': Condoleezza Rice photos found
    9. Slideshow: Gadhafi through the years

Signs of mass executions
Outside his Bab al-Aziziya compound, which rebels captured Tuesday, there was another grim scene — one that suggested mass, execution-style killings of civilians.

About two dozen bodies — some with their hands bound by plastic ties and with bullet wounds to the head — lay scattered on grassy lots in an area where Gadhafi sympathizers had camped out for months.

The identities of the dead were unclear, but they were in all likelihood activists who had set up an impromptu tent city in solidarity with Gadhafi in defiance of the NATO bombing campaign.

Five or six bodies were in a tent erected on a roundabout that had served as a field clinic. One of the dead still had an IV in his arm, and another body was completely charred, its legs missing. The body of a doctor, in his green hospital gown, was found dumped in the canal.

Some of the dead wore military uniforms while others wore civilian clothes. Some were African men. Gadhafi is known to have recruited soldiers from neighboring countries.

It was unclear who was responsible for the killings.

Elsewhere in the city, a British medical worker said a hospital had received the bodies of 17 civilians believed to have been executed in recent days by government forces.

"Yesterday a truck arrived at the hospital with 17 dead bodies," Kirsty Campbell of the International Medical Corps told Reuters at Mitiga hospital.

"These guys were rounded up 10 days ago. They were found in Bab al-Aziziya when the guys (rebel fighters) went in. These guys were shot in an execution there," she said.

The wounds were not battlefield injuries, she said.

U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said the allegations of summary executions were alarming.

"It is hard for us to confirm anything at this point, but incidents such as these will be looked into by the Commission of Inquiry on Libya which issued its first report in June and is still functioning," he told Reuters.

Will a post-Gadhafi Libya look like Iraq?

Abuse on both sides
Amnesty International said both sides were mistreating  prisoners.

Amnesty said its delegation uncovered evidence of rape being committed against inmates of Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim Prison while it was under the control of Gadhafi forces.

Two boys told cellmates that they had been raped numerous times by a guard, the Amnesty statement said.

An unnamed detainee said one of the boys returned to his cell almost naked with his clothes torn one night. He told the detainee he had been raped.

Other detainees said they were beaten in pro-Gadhafi prisons with metal wires, sticks and batons were given electric shocks.

  1. Get updates
    1. Follow us on Twitter

      Get the latest Libya updates from @breakingnews.

    2. Text NEWS to 67622 to receive mobile alerts

Amnesty said that despite repeated promises by the opposition's National Transitional Council that its forces would not repeat the same human rights violations of the former regime, its observers found some 125 people held in an overcrowded cell with barely enough room for detainees to move.

Also, several detainees held in detention centers by the opposition said they were migrant workers, not fighters.

Rebel cabinet moving to Tripoli
Rebels have seized most of Tripoli since sweeping into the capital on Sunday, and on Thursday they announced that their leadership was moving into the capital. The rebel National Transitional Council has been based in the eastern city of Benghazi, which fell to rebel forces early in the conflict.

"In the name of the martyrs ... I proclaim the beginning ... of the work of the executive office in a free Tripoli as of this moment," Ali Tarhouni, the council's finance minister, told reporters in Tripoli.

"I have a final message for everyone who is still carrying arms against the revolution," he said, "to let go of their arms and go back to their homes, and we promise not to take revenge against them."

Slideshow: Conflict in Libya (on this page)

The rebels know they cannot declare a full victory in the 6-month-old civil war as long as Gadhafi has not been captured or killed. There was no sign of the leader or his sons, despite rumors that swirled around the battlefield that they may be hiding inside some of the besieged buildings in Abu Salim.

Ongoing battles
The neighborhood, where battles have raged for days, is thought to be the last major stronghold of regime brigades in Tripoli, though there has also been ongoing fighting around the airport. Many of the pro-Gadhafi forces in Abu Salim are believed to have fled his Bab al-Aziziya compound after rebels captured it Tuesday, and the neighborhood is among the few places in Tripoli where pro-Gadhafi graffiti has not been painted over.

Rebel fighters moved methodically through the neighborhood — some on foot, wearing shorts and carrying machine guns, and others in long lines of pickup trucks with weapons mounted on the back. They fired anti-aircraft guns and rockets, trying to clear buildings of Gadhafi defenders.

Some of the bodies in the streets were on fire. The rebels covered their own with blankets and left the bullet-riddled bodies of their foes exposed.

The air was clogged with deafening explosions from mortars, the whistle of sniper fire and smoke from burning buildings and ammunition.

Civilians were in some of the buildings and caught up in the crossfire.

A mother ran out of one the buildings under siege, screaming: "My son needs first aid." Behind her, the building's glass windows were shattered and black smoked poured out of a burning apartment.

Amid the din, the call to prayer wafted out from neighborhood mosques.

The rebels, many from the western, rebel-held city of Misrata, were spurred on by rumors that one of Gadhafi's sons might be hiding in the buildings.

"Today is a crucial moment. This huge resistance suggests there is a big person there," said Youssef Aradat, a rebel fighter with a beard and aviator sunglasses. "It is a matter of hours. Now we can kill him. We will go room by room, flat by flat, street by street."

Gadhafi still defiant
Gadhafi has repeatedly vowed to fight until "victory or martyrdom."

"Take over the rooftops, the mosques, the side streets; there will be no safe place for the enemies," he said in the audio message. He warned that the rebels will try to go into his supporters' homes and rape women. "They will enter your houses and deprive you of your honor."

In Washington, the Pentagon pushed back on assertions that either NATO or the U.S. military is actively engaged in a manhunt for Gadhafi, underscoring ongoing sensitivities over the strict parameters of the U.N. mission there.

Story: US says Libya chemical, nuclear material secure

Marine Col. David Lapan said the U.S. is conducting aerial surveillance of Libya in support of NATO's military mission to protect civilians from attack by government forces. But he said this does not amount to targeting Gadhafi, and that it is not NATO's mission to target or hunt down individuals.

That statement conflicted with comments by British Defense Secretary Liam Fox, who said Thursday that NATO intelligence and reconnaissance assets are being used to try to hunt down Gadhafi.

Gadhafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, in a call to AP's Cairo office, said Gadhafi was still in Libya and his morale was high. Ibrahim refused to say where Gadhafi was hiding, but said he "is indeed leading the battle for our freedom and independence."

Ibrahim, whose voice was clearly recognizable, said he was also in hiding in Libya and constantly on the move.

"All of the leader's family are fine," Ibrahim said, adding that top military and political aides remained with Gadhafi.

Ibrahim claimed Gadhafi's forces controlled a "good portion" of the capital — a claim that contradicts what reporters can see — and other cities and towns.

Pics of 'darling' Condoleezza Rice found in Gadhafi compound

Door-to-door search
In Abu Salim, the hours-long barrage ended at sunset. Rebel fighters went door to door through largely deserted apartment buildings, occasionally dragging out suspected regime loyalists.

Some were dark-skinned men wearing cut-off camouflage and T-shirts. Their hands were tied behind their backs before they were driven away. The rebels have long claimed Gadhafi had been hiring mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa to bolster his army.

Some rebels looted the buildings, taking computers from a devastated fire station and printers from a nearby market area.

Rebels say one of their key targets now is Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, about 250 miles  from Tripoli, but capturing that city would not be easy because Gadhafi's fellow tribesmen were expected to put up a fierce fight.

Opposition leaders have said they were trying to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the city. The rebels said the supply lines to Sirte would be too long and they are short of funds and supplies.

The rebels have appealed to foreign governments for help freeing up funds Gadhafi's regime has amassed around the world. The U.S. and South Africa reached a deal Thursday that will release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets in American banks, and Italy was preparing to release $505 million in frozen assets in Italian banks in what Premier Silvio Berlusconi called a first payment.

Story: UN OKs release of frozen Libyan assets

Four Italian journalists taken at gunpoint in Tripoli were freed Thursday in a raid on the house where they were being held, an official said.

Matthew VanDyke, a writer from Baltimore missing since March in Libya, was among those who escaped Abu Salim prison, his mother said. VanDyke called her and said he had been held in solitary confinement, but fellow prisoners helped him escape to a compound where he borrowed a phone. He had traveled to Libya to write about the uprising against Gadhafi.

The State Department said Wednesday that all American citizens known to have been detained in Libya have been released.

Beyond the capital, rebels have seized several parts of Sebha, a Gadhafi stronghold deep in the south, according to rebel official Adel al-Zintani, who is in daily telephone contact with rebel commanders in the desert city.

Fawzi Abu Ketf, the council's deputy defense minister, said fighting was raging outside Bin Jawad, 400 miles east of Tripoli, but he had no details.

Libyan uprising

Gadhafi loyalists ambushed rebels advancing toward Bin Jawad on Wednesday, killing at least 20 of them. The ambush showed that pro-regime forces retain the ability to strike back even as the rebels tighten their control over the nation's capital.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the National Transitional Council, called on people living in loyalist-held towns to join the fight against Gadhafi's soldiers.

"I am appealing to the areas not yet liberated to join the revolution," he told reporters in Benghazi. "There is no excuse for them not to join."

Ship carries foreigners out of Tripoli
The International Organization for Migration said a ship chartered to rescue foreigners trapped in Tripoli left the Libyan capital late Thursday for Benghazi with more than 200 people on board.

A spokeswoman for the group says the passengers include Filipino, Egyptian, Algerian, Canadian, Moroccan, Italian and German nationals.

The ship's arrival in Tripoli had been delayed by continued fighting. The Geneva-based group estimates that thousands of foreigners are trying to escape Tripoli.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Libya's uprising against Gadhafi

loading photos...
  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
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  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.
    AP
    Above: Slideshow (81) Conflict in Libya
  2. Image: TO GO WITH AFP PACKAGE ON THE 40TH ANNIV
    AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (34) Moammar Gadhafi through the years
  3. Daryl Cagle / MSNBC.com, Politicalcartoons.com
    Slideshow (5) Daryl Cagle takes on Gadhafi

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.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments