Wednesday, October 12, 2011
"A top adviser of NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil meanwhile backtracked on his announcement that they had captured Kadhafi's feared son and national security chief Mutassim in Sirte, after it was denied by military commanders in the city." - Friday - Oct. 14
Gaddafi Son Arrested?
Al Bawaba News
October 14, 2011
The spokesman for the Libyan military Tariq Zebo on Thursday confirmed the arrest of Mu’tasim the son of ousted leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Earlier, a senior official in the Transitional National Council has announced the arrest of Mu’tasim Gaddafi in Sirte.
The official Karim Bizamh, Advisor to the President of the Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil told AFP, “The rebels have refused to announce the arrest Mu’tasim Gaddafi before he is being transferred to the city of Benghazi, fearing an attempt to kill him.”
On Tuesday, Gaddafi’s son tried to flee Sirte in a car with the family. He was transferred to Benghazi on Wednesday morning where he was questioned.
The news led to celebrations Tripoli, which saw firing in the air from all types of weapons.
MUTASSIM GADAHFI — NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Born in 1975, he was trained by Egyptian officers and is a career soldier and a doctor. In 2007, his father promoted him to head of the National Security Council and in April 2009 he met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. Suspected of attempting a coup, he was exiled to Egypt but was later pardoned and returned home. He was seen as Seif al-Islam's main rival for the succession.
Photograph by: Dmitry Kostyukov, AFP/Getty Images
Gadhafi's son Mo'tassim caught in Sirte
BY AHMED SEIF AND BARRY MALONE, REUTERS OCTOBER 12, 2011 5:30 PM
TRIPOLI - Moammar Gadhafi's son Mo'tassim was captured in Sirte on Wednesday while trying to escape the town, the head of the Tripoli Revolutionary Council said.
"He was arrested today in Sirte," Colonel Abdullah Naker told Reuters.
He was taken to Benghazi where he was questioned, other ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) sources based in Sirte and Benghazi said. They said he had been caught as he tried to leave Sirte in a car with a family.
"I can confirm there is an important figure who was arrested and is being transferred to Benghazi," Mohammed Bouker of the National Working Group, an NTC committee, told Reuters.
"The name will be announced tomorrow for security reasons."
NTC sources had earlier told Reuters that Mo'tassim, formerly Libya's national security adviser, had been captured on Tuesday. He is so far the only member of Gadhafi's immediate family to be captured by the NTC forces who led the rebellion.
Celebratory bursts of machinegun fire and fireworks lit up the skies over the capital Tripoli as reports of Mo'tassim's arrest circulated.
Hundreds of people gathered in the old city area, singing, waving Libya's new flag and shouting, "God is greatest."
Ships sounded their whistles in the city's harbour and car drivers honked their horns, many with passengers hanging from the windows shouting at passersby.
"A BAD DREAM"
"Now we have one Gadhafi," shouted Mohammed, a 23-year-old engineer, who, despite it being banned in Libya, swigged from a bottle of alcohol with three friends. "Soon we will have the old man Gadhafi and all the Gadhafis."
"But fair trial, fair trial," said his friends.
One man celebrated with a small girl on his shoulders, as men nearby unleashed volleys of gunfire into the air, sending some fleeing into doorways to avoid falling bullets. Local reports said several people injured by the celebratory gunfire were taken to hospital.
"Look at this child," the man told Reuters in English. "For her there will be no memory of Gadhafi. He will be an old dream, just a bad dream. That is all."
NTC military sources said Mo'tassim was being held in the Boatneh military camp in Benghazi and that he was "exhausted" but uninjured.
Another senior NTC military official told Reuters that Gadhafi's son had cropped short his usually longer hair in an attempt to disguise himself.
Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's ousted leader of 42 years, and his most politically prominent son, Saif al-Islam, have been on the run since the fall of Tripoli on Aug. 23.
Gadhafi's daughter Aisha, her brothers Hannibal and Mohammed, their mother Safi and several other family members fled to Algeria in August and have been there since. Another son, Saadi, is in Niger.
Most of Sirte, Gadhafi's hometown, has been captured by fighters loyal to the NTC in recent days after weeks of siege.
Interim government officials had said they believed Mo'tassim was hiding in the city's hospital.
© Copyright (c) Reuters
BY NIGEL HORNE
If Mutassim has been captured, it is certainly a coup for the NTC. First, it means the fall of Sirte cannot be far away. Second, he represents everything Libyans loathed about the Gaddafi family.
He was a womaniser who spent the nation's oil wealth with abandon. Every Christmas, he would party on St Barts in the Caribbean, paying for American entertainers such as Beyonce and Mariah Carey to fly down and sing for his entourage. Starry guests now trying to forget those days include Jay-Z, Lindsay Lohan and Jon Bon Jovi.
In August, a Daily Telegraph correspondent talked to one of Mutassim's former girlfriends, a Dutch glamour model called Talitha van Zon, as she prepared to leave Tripoli for Malta.
Her last sighting of Mutassim had been shocking, she said. "It was the first time I had seen him since just before the February uprising. He had a beard, he was sitting on a couch strewn with automatic weapons, and he was guarded by unsmiling 16-year-old boys with sub-machine guns."
No longer the fun-loving playboy she remembered, "his eyes were cold and he looked capable of killing someone". Talitha, a former Playboy model, concluded: "I asked myself, not for the first time; what the hell am I doing in Libya?"