Qaddafi's Son Reportedly Escapes From Rebel Custody
The rebels are still encountering pockets of resistance in Tripoli
1:30 pm - Al Jazeera is reporting that Muammar Qaddafi's son, Mohammad, has escaped from rebel custody after with the help of "Qaddafi loyalists." If the report is accurate, it would represent a blow to the rebels as they continue to face heavy fighting in Tripoli after entering Tripoli with relative ease over the weekend. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera is also reporting that two bodies have been found that may be those of Qaddafi's son, Khamis, a military commander, and Libya's intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Senussi. These reports have not yet been confirmed.
11:00 - Al-Arabiya television, citing rebel leaders, is reporting that the opposition--which has already detained Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif and Mohammed--how now captured a third son, Saadi. Back in March, we noted how Hollywood was spurning a film production company supported financially by Saadi, a former professional soccer player, in light of the Libyan uprising. On Twitter, the Libyan Youth Movement claims Saadi also ordered mercenaries to fire at unarmed protesters in Benghazi on February 17, helping spark the Libyan revolution. As for their father's whereabouts? He's still at large, but the Pentagon believes he hasn't left Libya, according to Reuters. If you're having trouble keeping track of Qaddafi's family members, the BBC has put together a very helpful family tree.
Original post (9:39 am)
The Libyan rebels are continuing their rapid advance into the heart of Tripoli, as Muammar Qaddafi stations tanks near his Bab Azaziya compound in a defiant last stand. Al-Jazeera is reporting that central Tripoli is still very dangerous because of "pockets of pro-Qaddafi resistance and the presence of snipers and artillery fire," with loyalists still controlling about 20 percent of the city. But the rebels are increasingly taking control of state institutions, including, most recently, Libyan state television, which was still carrying pro-Qaddafi programs on Monday. BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes captured the intense fighting still raging in the capital when the convoy of rebels he was accompanying was ambushed by pro-Qaddafi forces this morning.
While Al-Arabiya is reporting that Qaddafi's son, Mutassim, is spearheading combat from the Bab Azaziya compound, Qaddafi's whereabouts remain a mystery. A rebel spokesman in London suggested that the Libyan leader had fled to neighboring Algeria, while AFP cited an unnamed diplomat as saying Qaddafi remained in Tripoli and "could be" in his compound, which The Guardian describes as "a rabbit-warren of tunnels and rooms." An unnamed reporter from Tripoli tells Al-Arabiya television that Qaddafi is in the Tajura-Cardiac hospital in Tripoli, though he didn't specify whether the ruler was undergoing treatment in the hospital or simply hiding from rebel forces there.
With the fall of Tripoli seemingly imminent, speculation is growing about whether Qaddafi will flee Libya or be captured by rebel forces. A Libyan rebel representative in London told reporters today that the opposition would "look under every stone" for Qaddafi so that he could be brought to trial, which The New York Times wrote was a reference to the International Criminal Court's arrest warrants for Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief issued in June. (The ICC is currently in talks with the rebels about transferring Saif, who is reportedly in rebel custody along with his brother Mohammed, to the Hague.) In a press conference on Monday morning, South Africa's foreign minister denied that his country was helping Qaddafi flee Libya. Al -Jazeera cites Angola and Zimbabwe as the most likely destinations for Qaddafi.