The Gaddafi family – its key members

The Guardian - 30 August 2011

• Muammar Gaddafi. The 69-year-old former dictator is now a fugitive from international justice. Although his whereabouts remain unknown it is reported that he was last seen in Tripoli last Friday. He has pledged to fight or die in the country where he was born, and which he ruled for almost 42 uninterrupted years following the 1969 coup that brought him to power.

• Safia Farkash al-Baraasi. The second wife of the self-styled Brother Leader is in her 50s and mother to seven of his eight biological children. She trained as a nurse and met Gaddafi when she treated him for appendicitis in 1971. She owned an airline company called Buraq Air, but – despite her immense wealth – was known for her discretion. She has now entered Algeria, reportedly in an armoured Mercedes-Benz.

• Aisha Gaddafi. The 35-year-old daughter of Gaddafi is a lawyer who has been called the “Claudia Schiffer of north Africa” because of her glamorous looks. At one point she helped defend Saddam Hussein against allegations of crimes against humanity – experience which is likely to prove useful in the month ahead. Aisha was a UN goodwill ambassador. She is currently in Algeria and has just given birth to her fourth child.

• Muhammad Gaddafi. The 41-year-old eldest son of the colonel from his first wife once viewed himself as a possible successor. With no military training, Muhammad was always going to be overlooked, and ended up concentrating on roles in Libya’s burgeoning mobile phone industry. Muhammad surrendered to rebel forces in Tripoli but then escaped, before joining the family convoy to Algeria. Muhammad remains head of the Libyan Olympic committee.

• Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. At 39, he is the London School of Economics educated reformer who promised to introduce democracy to the dictatorship, and to open it up to the outside world. At the start of the rebellion he was videoed brandishing a machine gun, however, and pledging to kill his father’s enemies. This earned Saif an international criminal court arrest warrant. His whereabouts are currently unknown, although there have been claims that he was last seen in Bani Walid, south of Tripoli.

• Al-Saadi Gaddafi. The 38-year-old, who is the colonel’s third son, is a businessman and former footballer who was captain of the Libyan national team, and made briefly appearances for Italian Serie A sides Perugia and Udinese. He was the commander of Libya’s special forces and an Interpol arrest warrant against him is outstanding. He is reported to be hiding with his brother Saif al-Islam.

• Hannibal Gaddafi. The notoriously fiery-tempered fourth son of Gaddafi is now 35 and an accomplished western businessman, having earned an MBA in shipping economics and logistics at Copenhagen Business School. In 2008 he was accused of assaulting his servants at a Swiss hotel, which led to a diplomatic war between Libya and Switzerland. Hannibal is currently in Algeria.

• Al-Moatassem-Billah Gaddafi. In April 2009 Gaddafi’s fifth son, who is 34, met the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in the highest profile exchange between Libya and the US in almost four decades. Moatassem had just been appointed national security adviser. A year before he had impressed his father by asking for more than $1bn to form his own special forces brigade. Until recently he was commanding army units in the Brega region. He is believed to be fighting with his father’s troops.

• Saif al-Arab Gadaffi. Gaddafi’s sixth son was 29 when he was killed in a Nato air strike at the start of the rebellion.. This was after he had been put in charge of a military division by his father in order to quell protesters in Benghazi. Saif was wounded in the US bombing attack of 1986, when he was four years old.

• Khamis Gaddafi. At 28, Gaddafi’s youngest son was in charge of the feared Khamis brigade of the Libyan army. Since March, his death has been reported by rebels many times, but remains unconfirmed . He trained as a soldier in Russia.

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