Qaddafi reportedly South of Tripoli as Algeria offers Family Members Safe Passage

An Italian news service, Ansa, reported Monday that Muammar Qaddafi, his eldest son Saif, and another son, Saadi (a military commander during the failed attempt to put down the uprising) are hiding in Bani Walid southeast of Tripoli.

Saif, the de facto ruler of Libya in recent years, had been reported taken prisoner (a report confirmed by the International Criminal Court) but appears to have escaped, possibly through a tunnel in the house where he was being kept under house arrest. Saadi has been involved in alleged war crimes, leading tank units against civilian urban populations that rose up against the regime.

Saadi has allegedly been attempting to make a separate deal with NATO, offering to negotiate a settlement without his father or brothers.

Another son, Khamis, has again been reported dead by rebel sources. There have been frequent earlier reports of his demise, all greatly exaggerated. He headed the dreaded 32nd Brigade and has or had a great deal of innocent blood on his hands.

Algeria announced, “The wife of Muammar Gaddafi, Safiya, his daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, entered Algeria at 8:45am (1745 AEST) [on Monday] through the Algeria-Libyan border,” and said that the Qaddafi family members had been given a free pass to go to a third country.

The new Libyan government is upset at the Algerian announcement, and wants the Qaddafis returned. The BBC says one rebel source called the Algerian stance “an act of aggression.” Many Libyans are distressed at Algeria’s hostility to their revolution and rumored help for Qaddafi.

Muhammad Qaddafi probably has no blood on his hands, and simply profited from his family position to become wealthy and dominant in the telecom sector. Hannibal has behaved like a psychopath in the past; I do not know if he had an operational role in the former regime’s war crimes.

United Nations-authorized allies announced Monday that the war is not over. Fierce fighting was waged in Sabha in the south, and the new Libyan government said that if the city of Sirte in the north does not surrender soon it will face an invasion. Sirte is Qaddafi’s birthplace and a site to which Qaddafi loyalists have retreated, and from which they have attacked innocent Libyans as well as the forces of the new transitional government.

Posted in Libya | 15 Responses | Print |

15 Responses

  1. Prof Cole have you written about the TNC hiring K Street lobbyist to sell this Libyan war to congress and the American people?


    Watch and listen to Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame stick Cheney’s nose into his own crap.

    When will Cheney and his warmongering thugs be held accountable
    link to

    Tenet to Stephen Hadley and Condi “mushroom cloud” Rice “do not use this Niger information, we do not believe it”

    Plame “Cheney shows nothing but contempt”

  2. It’s an Ottoman tombstone. The first line looks to be in Arabic, I am pretty sure it is a Quranic tag. The second and third lines are in Ottoman Turkish, which I don’t read.

  3. Finally occurred to me that this Libyan city-to-city and city-against-city type of warfare is reminiscent of Greek city-states and the old Roman-era towns-based warfare, though not an exact parallel, of course.

    Sometimes I think that’s what state’s rights means to a certain segment of the U.S. citizenry, the right to violently vent frustrations, anger, and bigotries, and to satisfy various lusts, against whomever they darn well please, in an organized cooperative way. Militant co-ops, more or less, based in towns and cities.

    Eye-for-an-eye writ large. Thank goodness for the NFL.

  4. Those broken stones with the Arabic-script inscriptions that you saw around the Fethiye Mosque, built in the 15th century by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, are Ottoman gravestones uprooted from the mosque’s graveyard. The one in your photo is the gravestone of a young man named Murad. Except for the Arabic pious invocation in the first line (“He is the Everlasting [God], the Creator”), the rest of the gravestone inscription is in Ottoman Turkish:

    “One who did not [live to] fully enjoy his youth,
    Murad … the son of…”
    (bottom of stone broken off)

    For more on Ottoman-era Athens and its Classical, Christian and Islamic legacy, see —
    Evliya Visits the Acropolis

  5. “African Union Accuse Libyan Rebels of Killing Blacks Indicriminately” – International Business Times 8-29-11. “Misrata Rebels Defy Libya’s New Regime” – The Guardian 8-29-11. The TNC’s PR firm definitely has it’s work cut out for them.

  6. Bani Walid is militarily, a terrible refuge. The major ingress, egress is from the north and south. The roads directly to the east are narrow, easily monitored, and because of the narrowness can’t support a large movement of troops and materiel towards Sirte.

    According to Wikipedia, the town is unique as every inhabitant is a member of the same tribe. Is Qadafi is there for political reasons–probably because the tribal leaders remain loyal to him?

  7. There is no point in slandering the Libyan people for being ungrateful for the things Muammar Gadafy did long ago. They had to live with the things he was doing today, and for the last decade, and they chose to risk their lives to put an end to that.

    So those who would eulogize Gadafy, use Robert Penn Warren’s words, and remember his warning:

    “I have to believe he was a great man. What happened to his greatness is not the question. Perhaps he spilled it on the ground the way you spill a liquid when the bottle breaks. Perhaps he piled up his greatness and burnt it in one great blaze in the dark like a bonfire and then there wasn’t anything but dark and the embers winking. Perhaps he could not tell his greatness from ungreatness and so mixed them together so that what was adulterated was lost. But he had it. I must believe that.”

  8. Hello Andras,
    Thank you for your courteous and informative reply. At this link you will find your translation with an acknowledgement: link to^18105&zoom_and=0

    Your reply makes perfect sense; the Agora had been used for centuries as a cemetery. There are also Greek headstones; those I could read. It’s good to have friends, even anonymous ones, who will fill the gaps in one’s understanding. Please send your name to so that I can thank you more adequately. I apologize to Dr. Cole for hijacking his thread.


    Bob Consoli

    • Hi, John. I have no special insight or information on those allegations. Since pro-Qaddafi forces were masters at manipulating public opinion with creepy stunts (burying empty coffins e.g. or claiming Qaddafi’s daughter was dead when she wasn’t) and false allegations, I am wary of anything that looks like a propaganda point. Human rights groups proceed by interviewing survivors and eyewitnesses to specific such attacks, enumerating victims, creating lists, talking to people with a guilty conscience, etc. At the moment all the allegations I’ve seen are vague and I’m unable to say anything one way or another. What Human Rights Watch has said is that the atrocities committed by the revolutionaries are on a vastly smaller scale than those committed by the Qaddafi regime.

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