October 23, 2011
The son and one-time heir apparent of the late Colonel Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, is still in Libya. He is free and will go on with the resistance, he reportedly claimed in an address to supporters aired by Syria’s Arrai TV Channel.
“We continue our resistance. I am in Libya, I am alive, free and intend to go to the very end and exact revenge,” Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quotes Saif al-Islam as saying on Saturday night on the Syrian Channel, which remains loyal to the Libyan ex-leader.
“I say go to hell, you and NATO behind you. This is our country, we live in it, we die in it and we are continuing the struggle,” Saif al-Islam said, according to Al-Arabiya news channel.
“I received a message from tribes in Bani Walid about a general consensus between them to respond to threats from the gangs of rats ─ the revolutionaries and the NATO alliance,” Saif al-Islam said.
Earlier contradictory reports suggested Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been either killed or captured in the western Libyan town of Zliten and was in the hands of the country’s National Transitional Council.
Egypt’s Nile TV Channel reported on Thursday, October 20, that he had managed to flee Sirte and find shelter in the desert.
According to RIA Novosti, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has already got the support of the tribes loyal to his father, who promised to fight against the current government and take revenge for the killing of the colonel and his son Mutassim. Some experts now suggest the Libyan conflict could now be prolonged and grow from a political into an interethnic struggle.
Thirty-nine-year-old Saif al-Islam is the second son of Muammar Gaddafi and carried out public relations and diplomatic roles for his father. Western-educated and the most-recognized Libyan official, he was often viewed as Colonel’s successor and a possible reformer.