Libyan State TV Claims Khamis Gadhafi Alive, Despite Death Rumors

PHOTO A video shown on Libyan State television purports to show one of Moammar Kadhafis sons who was rumored to have been killed a week earlier.PlayABC News
WATCH Libyan TV: Gadhafi Son Alive

A man who appears to closely resemble one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons appeared on what Libyan State television said was a live broadcast Monday night, following rumors the son had been killed last week after a kamikaze attack by a Libyan pilot.

The footage purports to show 27-year-old Khamis Gadhafi, head of Libya's elite military squad, the Khamis Brigade, on Monday in a truck surrounded by guards as he greeted jubilant Libyans at his father's compound in Tripoli.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the video, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News last week the U.S. government had heard of the death of one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons "from many different sources," but said the evidence was lacking.

"I can't confirm it, but I've heard it," Clinton said. "We hear it from many different sources. That's why I can't confirm it. I can't give any confirmation because the evidence is not sufficient."

Khamis' death from severe burns suffered in the kamikaze plane attack on Libya's central military command compound was widely reported in opposition media.

WikiLeaks: Khamis Brigade Is 'Regime Protection Unit'

In several leaked U.S. State Department cables posted on the website WikiLeaks, U.S. officials say that Khamis Gadhafi and his elite military unit, which is "widely known as the most well-trained and well-equipped force in the Libyan military," served as effectively "a regime protection unit." Khamis received military training in Russia, including earning a Ph.D. in military science in 2007, according to one leaked document.

One cable from December 2009 notes that the continuation of the regime's power in the event of Moammar Gadhafi's death or resignation rested in part with Khamis. "It seems only natural that anyone intent on assuming power would try to align himself with Khamis," the cable says.

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When Uprisings Began, Khamis Was on Wall Street

Despite his role as protector of the regime, when the popular uprising exploded in Libya in mid-February, Khamis was not there. Instead, he was waltzing down Wall Street, just one stop on a whirlwind, cross-country tour of the U.S. organized by an American company with U.S. State Department approval.

The trip was part of an internship program with Los Angeles-based engineering giant AECOM, set to span just over a month, and take Khamis to tours and meetings with high-profile universities and companies from Houston to L.A., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Boston, according to travel documents obtained by ABC News.

After beginning in Houston with an extensive tour and presentations at the Port of Houston Authority, Khamis jetted off to L.A. where he was scheduled to go on an "exclusive" VIP tour of Universal Studios. After that, it was a short trip to San Francisco for meetings with technology giants Google, Apple and Intel, among others. In Colorado, Khamis toured the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and then hopped a plane to Chicago where he toured Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

By mid-February, Khamis was scheduled to visit the nation's capital to see famous landmarks like the National Mall before high-powered meetings with defense contractors including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, among others. Both U.S. military and civilian officials were present for Khamis' meeting with Northrop, according to a company official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Next up, Khamis headed to Wall Street in lower Manhattan to walk through the heart of the U.S. economy at the New York Stock Exchange before taking in the Broadway show "Mama Mia." But on the day he visited the floor of the stock exchange and was also scheduled to tour New York's Columbia University, protests against his father's regime rang out in Benghazi, Libya. A spokesperson for Columbia told ABC News the university canceled the visit in light of the protests and an AECOM spokesperson said that instead of heading uptown to Columbia, Khamis hopped a plane and flew back to his home country that night.

That meant Khamis missed out on further scheduled events including a tour of the West Point Military Academy, MIT and Harvard University.

CLICK HERE to read ABC News' report on Khamis Gadhafi's visit to the Port of Houston and HERE to visit ABC News' Houston affiliate KTRK which first reported portions of the trip.

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State Department Denies Active Role, AECOM 'Shocked and Outraged' at Khamis' Part in Libya Crisis

At several points, the itinerary notes certain visits would "need State Department help to coordinate," but the U.S. State Department told ABC News they did not facilitate the tour in any way, beyond greeting Khamis at the airport upon his arrival.

In a statement posted on its website, AECOM said the company was "not informed of any military connection whatsoever" between Khamis and Libya and was "shocked and outraged" when they learned of Khamis' role in the government's efforts to stop the popular revolution.

"The educational internship, which consisted of publicly available information, was aligned with our efforts to improve quality of life, specifically in Libya, where we were advancing public infrastructure such as access to clean water; quality housing; safe and efficient roads and bridges; reliable and affordable energy; and related projects that create jobs and opportunity," the company said, noting that the State Department "was aware of, and approved, all meetings."

AECOM did not fund the internship, the statement said, and was not paid for it.

Representatives at the Port of Houston, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Kellogg School of Management, Northrop Grumman and the New York Stock Exchange confirmed to ABC News Khamis' visit to their institutions. Representatives for Google, Intel and Apple did not immediately return requests for comment. Universal Studios declined to comment. Lockheed Martin also declined to say whether company officials met with Khamis, but said the company "frequently meets with customers, both foreign and domestic, to discuss their current and future needs… All such meetings are done in full compliance with U.S. laws and regulations."

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