Exclusive: Saif Gadhafi 'Surprised' by Coalition Attack, Says Americans Supporting Terrorists

"There is a big misunderstanding," Saif Gadhafi tells Christiane Amanpour.

March 20, 2011, 9:29 AM

March 20, 2011— -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, Saif Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, expressed surprise at the Western coalition attack launched against Libya, and said that his father has no plans to step down from power.

"Yesterday, we were surprised that ... the Americans and the British and the French attacked Libya, attacked five cities. Terrorized people, and especially children, women, were so afraid yesterday," Saif Gadhafi said. "So it was big surprise that finally President Obama -- we thought he was a good man and friend of Arab world -- is bombing Libya."

He denied the Libyan government had continued attacks against resistance forces in Benghazi, telling Amanpour the city was controlled by "terrorists" and "armed militia" who are attacking civilians and the Libyan army.

"Our people went to Benghazi to liberate Benghazi from the gangsters and the armed militia," Gadhafi said. "If the Americans want to help the Libyan people in Benghazi … go to Benghazi and liberate Benghazi from the militia and the terrorists.

"No country in the world will allow the second-largest city to be controlled by gangsters and armed militia," he added. "Of course not."

Gadhafi dismissed the notion that his father would step down from power because of the air strikes against Libya.

"Step aside, why?" Gadhafi said when pressed by Amanpour. "Again, there is a big misunderstanding. The whole country is united against the armed militia and the terrorists. Simply the Americans and the other Western countries, you are supporting the terrorists and the armed militia. That's it."

Gadhafi said Americans will regret the military action against Libya, comparing Western support for opposition forces in Libya to inaccurate claims of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq before war began there in 2003.

"It's like the WMD, the fiasco of WMD," Gadhafi said. "WMD in Iraq, and armed militia in Libya. You would understand that in Libya it's not about peaceful demonstrations or people talking about democracy. ...We are fighting the terrorists."

Exclusive Amanpour Interview With Saif Gadhafi

"And one day they will regret this, because … one day they will find that they were supporting the wrong side," Gadhafi said of the Western coalition leaders. "And those people are the enemies of the Americans, of the Libyans, of the whole world. Those are the enemies of everybody. "You should support the Libyan people, the ordinary people, the civilians, not the armed militia."

Gadhafi said that Libyans were "angry" with Americans for the air strikes, but denied that there would be Libyan retaliation against Western targets, including commercial flights around the Mediterranean.

"No, this is not our target," Gadhafi said. "Our target is how to help our people in Libya, especially in Benghazi," he said. "Believe me, they are living a nightmare. A nightmare, really."

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