Mutassim Gadhafi, one of the Gadhafi sons who U.S. State Department officials said appeared to be positioning himself as a possible successor to Moammar Gadhafi before the revolution, was killed today in fighting around Sirte, according to NTC officials. He was initially reported captured by rebel forces.
Mutassim served as the country's national security advisor but came to the attention of Western audiences most recently when State Department cables posted on WikiLeaks revealed he had thrown lavish parties in 2009 and 2010 on a Caribbean island featuring performances by stars like Mariah Carey and Beyonce.
"His carousing and extravagance angered some [Libyan] locals, who viewed his activities as impious and embarrassing to the nation," the cable said.
Still, U.S. officials said Mutassim cultivated a serious rivalry with his brother Saif al-Islam over the future of rule in Libya. The cable notes he attempted to use money from a private Libyan company to fund his own paramilitary group before Moammar rebuffed the effort. In 2009 he made a high profile visit to the U.S. where he met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
|Saif al-Islam Gadhafi|
Gadhafi's second-oldest son, who turned 39 in June, was a very public figure in Libya prior to the revolution and is currently the only high-profile Gadhafi child that, despite conflicting reports about his capture, is unaccounted for.
A 2009 U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks describes Saif al-Islam as the "heir apparent" to Moammar who enjoyed a popular advantage over Mutassim. But that was before the popular uprising swept the country and Saif al-Islam, once a great hope for reform in Libya, joined ranks with his father in violent repression.
Saif al-Islam has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity, including murder, for his alleged role in the violent crackdown against civilians during the uprising.
The National Transitional Council said in August it had captured Saif al-Islam but later the same day, Saif al-Islam reemerged with loyalist troops and said the tide of battle had turned in his father's favor. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Khamis Gadhafi was the one Gadhafi son that, to U.S. officials, appeared to be key to the future of the regime even if he would not be the one to lead it. Head of the elite military unit the Khamis Brigade, Khamis was a well-respected soldier and his unit was charged with protecting the regime at all costs, according to a State Department cable posted on the website WikiLeaks.
When popular protests broke out in Libya in February, Khamis was in the midst of a whirlwind tour of the United States organized by an American company with the blessing of the U.S. State Department.
Rebels claimed twice to have killed Khamis, but both times Khamis reappeared on television triumphantly to prove those reports false. In August, rebels said they were "almost certain" Khamis had been killed during a battle in the town of Tarhouma, south of Tripoli and he has yet to reappear publicly.
The eldest of Gadhafi's seven sons, born in 1970, Muhammad was not considered a likely successor to his father. One of his most public roles was heading the Libyan Olympic Committee. Libyan rebels captured him in Tripoli in August. He confirmed his surrender in an emotional interview with the Arab news service al Jazeera, but the next day he was freed by forces loyal to his father.
In late August, Muhammad, as well as his brother Hannibal and sister Aisha, were able to slip out of Libya and take refuge in Algeria, according to Algerian officials.
The ancient general Hannibal, who led the North African empire of Carthage to multiple victories over the Roman army in Italy, is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Hannibal Gadhafi has failed to live up to his namesake. A "ne'er-do-well" with a "checkered history," the some-time maritime shipping executive is best known for tawdry scrapes with the law in Europe.
In 2005, he received a suspended sentence in France for beating up his pregnant girlfriend. He was arrested in Switzerland in 2008 along with his European-born wife Aline on charges of bodily harm against hotel staffers, but the charges were dropped. The same year, he sued a Danish newspaper that alleged he had arranged for the kidnapping and beating of a Libyan national in Denmark. He lost the case.
Along with Muhammad and his sister Aisha, Hannibal managed to escape the Libyan revolution into Algeria in a secret convoy.
|Al Saadi Gadhafii|
Saadi, 38, took a different escape route out of Libya, apparently arranging to take refuge in Niger just last month. Niger's Justice Minister Marou Amadou said Saadi and eight ex-Libyan officials "of minor importance" were accepted in Niger on a humanitarian basis, according to a CNN report.
Saadi is one of the Gadhafi sons, along with Saif al-Arab and Hannibal, described as "ne'er-do-wells" in a 2009 U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks.
"Hannibal and Saadi both have checkered histories of unseemly behavior and public scuffles with authorities in Europe and elsewhere." Saadi may be acting out because of his failed soccer career. While he played in Libya with two different Tripoli teams between 2000 and 2003, scoring 23 goals, he was never able to make his mark in the far-more competitive Italian football leagues, cycling through three teams between 2004 and 2007 while only appearing in games twice. He failed a drug test at Perugia and played all of ten minutes for Udinese.
Like his brothers Muhammad and Saif al-Islam, Saadi was reportedly captured by rebels in August, but later the rebel Libyan ambassador to Washington, Ali Suleiman Aujali, told ABC News that the rebels never claimed they had Al-Saadi in custody.
Saadi was informed of his father's reported death and was shocked, a source close to Saadi told ABC News' Christiane Amanpour.
|Saif al-Arab Gadhafi|
The Libyan regime says that Saif al-Arab, the sixth son of Moamar Gadhafi, is dead, killed in an April NATO airstrike. At the time, Libyan rebels and some Western observers said they were not so sure, even though the Gadhafi government staged a grand public funeral for him. They suspected Saif al-Arab was hiding in a third country, perhaps Germany, where he had lived a sometimes violent party boy lifestyle for the previous five years -- but Saif al-Arab has yet to reemerge.
Born in 1982, Saif al-Arab survived the first attempt on his life when he was just four years old. A massive U.S. airstrike in April 1986, a retaliation for Libyan complicity in acts of terror against U.S. citizens, allegedly wounded Saif al-Arab and his brother Khamis and killed their adoptive sister Hana, along with 36 others.
In 2011, as unrest broke out in Libya, Saif allegedly returned to Tripoli from his home in Germany and his father reportedly put him in charge of troops in Eastern Libya.
On April 30, a Libyan government spokesman said he had been killed in an airstrike. A shrouded body reputed to be Saif's was shown on Libyan television, and then buried, wrapped in a Green Gadhafi regime flag, at a state funeral attended by 2,000 loyalists, including two of his brothers. The Libyan rebels and the British and Italian governments all expressed skepticism about Saif's death.
Called the "Claudia Schiffer of North Africa" in the Arab media for her blonde locks and curvy figure, Aisha Gadhafi, the Libyan president's only daughter is, according to insiders, one of the hard-liners of the Gadhafi clan.
When it was reported that the 35-year-old lawyer had attempted to flee to Malta last February, she appeared outside the ruins of the family home that was bombed by U.S. planes in 1986, dressed in a mink coat, and declared, "I am as steadfast as this house I stand in front of and this shows to the Libyans the extent of the lies by the international media."
It would take her half a year to manage her escape -- on to Algeria with two of her brothers. There, she reportedly gave birth to Moammar Gadhafi's last grandchild.
Described as Gadhafi's favorite child, she vehemently defended his refusal to leave Libya despite the bloodshed, telling French television last June, "There is something you do not understand and you will not understand. My father is a symbol, a guide and a leader."
She held the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Libyan army, but has mainly been involved in charitable activities. In 2009 she was named United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassador for Libya but her role was terminated by the UN in February following the regime's bloody crackdown on rebels. In February, the UN Security Council imposed a travel ban on her along with 15 other members of Gadhafi's inner circle.