When a popular uprising exploded in Libya in mid-February, Moammar Gadhafi's son and military commander Khamis Gadhafi, charged with protecting the regime at all costs, was not there. Instead, Khamis 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 Gadhafi, head of Libya's elite Khamis Brigade, 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.
Less than a month later, Khamis was rumored to have been killed in an attack by a Libyan kamikaze pilot. The reports have not been confirmed.
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.